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Restaurants in Chennai (Madras)

Eating out in Chennai is a food-lover's dream, with everything from classy hotel restaurants to the cheap lunch canteens that host the city’s office workers.

The restaurants in Chennai below are listed alphabetically in three different pricing categories:
Expensive (over Rs800)
Moderate (Rs400 to Rs800)
Cheap (under Rs400)

These prices include a three-course meal for one, with half a bottle of house wine or equivalent, as well as tax. Tipping is optional.

Expensive

Pan Asian

Cuisine: Asian

With an open kitchen and fine service, the sleek restaurant at the ITC Grand Chola hotel is one of India's top Asian restaurants. The menu is a culinary road trip through the Far East, serving dishes from as far afield as China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Address: Guindy, ITC Grand Chola, 63 Mount Road, Chennai, 600032
Telephone: +91 44 2220 0000.
Website: http://www.itchotels.in/pan-asian

Peshawri

Cuisine: North Indian

Sister restaurant of the award-winning Bukhara in Delhi, the ITC Grand Chola's non-veg restaurant serves up the delectable flavours of the North-West Frontier. Predominantly cooked in the charcoal grill and clay oven, the beautifully marinated meat dishes are succulent perfection, and there are also good vegetarian choices for non-carnivores.

Address: Guindy, ITC Grand Chola, 63 Mount Road, Chennai, 600032
Telephone: +91 44 2220 0000.
Website: http://www.itchotels.in

Southern Spice

Cuisine: South Indian

The elegant South Indian restaurant at the Taj Coromandel pulls together the diverse flavours of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Surrounded by grandiose pillars and striking Indian artwork, the house thali (a plate meal made up of a selection of dishes) is a fantastic introduction to the food of South India.

Address: Nungambakkam, Taj Coromandel, 37 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Chennai, 600034
Telephone: +91 44 6600 2827.
Website: http://www.tajhotels.com

Moderate

Amethyst

Cuisine: Modern European

A big hit with the city's well-to-do middle classes, Amethyst spills out on a gorgeous terrace looking over a tropical garden. The menu is European-inspired and sophisticated (think tomato, mushroom and olive risotto or tomato and mixed peppers galette), and there's a chic boutique and flower shop in the compound.

Address: Royapettah, Whites Road, Chennai, 600014
Telephone: +91 44 4599 1633.
Website: http://www.amethystchennai.com

Annalakshmi Chennai

Cuisine: South Indian

Run by devotees of Swami Satyananda Saraswati, this handsome mid-range vegetarian restaurant swims with the flavours of the Indian south. There's an extensive range of South Indian staples, as well as less familiar Jain dishes, made according to strict vegetarian principles.

Address: Egmore, 18/3, Sigapi Achi Building, Rukmani Lakshmipathy Road, Chennai, 600008
Telephone: +91 44 2852 5109.
Website: http://www.annalakshmichennai.co.in

Barbecue Nation

Cuisine: North India

The kebab is king at Barbeque Nation, where delicious skewers of chicken, mutton, fish and paneer are grilled right at your table. There are good options for vegetarians too, but it's the meaty dishes that have earned the restaurant a loyal following amongst Chennai diners. There are two more locations around the city.

Address: Thyagaraya Nagar, Shri Devi Park Hotel, 1 Hanumantha Road, Chennai, 600017
Telephone: +91 44 6060 0000.
Website: http://www.barbeque-nation.com/branches/Chennai

Cheap

Hotel Saravana Bhavan

Cuisine: South Indian

A Chennai institution, this vegetarian restaurant offers superb South Indian fare, such as uttapam (savoury pancakes), dosa (crepes made from rice batter and black lentils) and idli (steamed rice cakes), as well as Western-inspired dishes like meat-free pizzas. Established over 30 years, it boasts a loyal local following and there are often queues at lunchtime. There are several branches in the city.

Address: Egmore, 21 Kennet Lane, Chennai, 600008
Telephone: +91 44 2819 2055.
Website: http://www.saravanabhavan.com

Murugan Idli Shop

Cuisine: South Indian

Famed for its idli (steamed rice cakes), this is one of Chennai's favourite breakfast stops, with 15 branches around the city. The signature dish comes with a side serving of spicy sambar (tamarind and lentil curry) and tangy coconut curry. Wash it down with a jigarthanda milkshake.

Address: Thyagaraya Nagar, 46/13 North Usman Road, Chennai, 600017
Telephone: +91 44 4208 4842.
Website: http://muruganidlishop.com

Ratna Café

Cuisine: South India

The house sambar (lentil and tamarind curry) is said to be the best in town at this lively canteen in Triplicane. The spicy sauce is served as a side with filling plates of idli (steamed rice cakes) and dosa (crepes made from rice batter and black lentils), as well as other South Indian staples.

Address: Triplicane, Triplicane High Road, Chennai, 600014
Telephone: +91 44 2848 7181.