Wednesday, December 22, 2010

World Cup 2011 Travel: The Chennai Vegetarian Food Guide

So being a Chennaiite, this is the obligatory post to pay homage to all the "Madharasi"ness that makes us who we are. In no particular order, these are the places where a lower middle class vegetarian with a moderately acceptable spicyness index and who generously eats spoonfuls of Equal sweetener(and Lactogen) would love to dine at. Any treats to be given to me when I am back in Chennai can gladly be organized at the following locations.(For which I will not pay a single rupee, obviously)

-Murugan Idly Shop, T Nagar/BNB.
-The Dhaba, RK Salai. (A little costly!)
-Saravana Bhavan, Vadapalani.
-Kaiyendhi Bhavan, Brilliant Tutorials, T Nagar.
-Mathsya, Egmore.
-Palmgrove, Nungambakkam.
-Sangeetha, 1st Main Rd., Adyar.
-The Eden, Besant Nagar.
-Hot Chips, Pondy Bazar.
-Bajji Kadai next to Adyar Bakery, Adyar.
-Rathna Cafe, Pondy Bazar.
-Woodlands, RK Salai.
-Gangotree, Cathedral Road.
-Sri Bombay Halwa House, Anna Salai.

Any more?

Suggestions I've got:

-Cozee, Besant Nagar..
-The Eden, The Harrisons, Nungambakkam.. Courtesy: NJ Karthik
-Mathura, Tarapore Towers (How the heck did I miss this?? forgot its name!).. Courtesy: NJ Karthik
-Barbeque Nation, T Nagar, Don Pepe's Mexican food.. Courtesy: Rahul Rangarajan(Don Pepe reviews are BAD!)
-Bakyas - Jaishankar St./Station Rd., West Mambalam.. Courtesy: Balaji Kothandaraman
-Cream Centre, Nungambakkam.. Courtesy: Divya Murali
-The Grand Sweets, Gandhinagar.. Courtesy: Mom
-Sanjeevanam, Mogappair/Nungambakkam/Adyar.. Courtesy: Santhosh Rathnam (Apparently a health oriented restaurant)
-Cream Centre, RA Puram is apparently one of the best restaurants Nithin Bharadwaj has gone to. He tweets here.
-Vasanta Bhavan, Indian Chat Corner(Besant Nagar) Courtesy: Vidya (I like the VB-Namma Veedu restaurant)
-iD @Sathyam Cinemas, Annalakshmi(damn missed this), Flower Drum(exclusive Veg. Chinese), Bay Leaf (Veg. Bengali), Ashoka, National Lodge, Shree Mithai.. Courtesy: Harish Anand. He tweets here.
Mukundh Bala reckons the Jalebi shop opposite the bike exit of Devi Theatres is damn good for light snacks.
-Rajdhaani, Express Avenue.. Courtesy: Aishwarya, Pavithra
-Rangoli, Pondy Bazaar.. Courtesy: Aishwarya, Pavithra
-Crimson Chakra, Karpagambal Mess(Mylapore).. Courtesy: Aishwarya (see comments below)
-Harish Anand says the Nalas Aappakadai (OMR, Annanagar, Velachery) people take orders via wi-fi on an iPod app! Technology I say. The food's good, importantly, for the MC Veggie. (also has an NV section though)
-Divya Murali recommends Mansukh's at T Nagar for authentic "light on the purse" North Indian food, and Vaishnavi Chat Shop in Kilpauk!
-Pasta Bar Veneto at Burkit Road is a favourite Italian food jaunt for school treats, says Ashwin Kumar.
-Preeti recommends Copper Chimney's (Cathedral Road) Veggie menu.(old favorite) Might be on the higher side, though.
-Sriram recommends one of Vadapalani's local favourites - Town Bus by Kodambakkam Powerhouse on Arcot Road. Have they painted the bus back as yet?
-Sreevatsan recommends Karthik Tiffin Center @ Anna Nagar and OSB-The Chaat Shop at West Mambalam for economy dining... And Kwality Rivera, Adyar for great food!
-Rahul Rangarajan is back with his trademark reco's - a roadside Pani Puri stall at the intersection of 15th and 16th main in Annanagar.
-Mukundhan Rangarajan(or MB) asks with outrage why Madras Bhel Puri in Pondy Bazar near Gopalakrishna Rd. was left out of this list. He rightfully also asks us to mention his home on this list. Yes, MB- some of the most tasty food I have had is at your place. :)
-Srividya recommends the Margazhi Music festival canteens at all Sabhas.. (best being Gnanambika at Narada Gana Sabha-agreed upon by Sunanda Narayan and Harish Anand!). She also recommends Novelty Tea Shop on Mint Street.(oft overlooked area for eateries, some of the best are here!)
-Santhosh Rathnam is back with a new reco.. Little Italy!
-Pavithra is back too.. Mothers Kitchen at Nanganallur she says!

Update: The Kaiyendhi Bhavan seems to be no more as Santhosh Rathnam puts it. Sad.
Also, BBQ Nation's veggie options aren't that impressive. But worth a shot?
Aishwarya is coming up with a review of Tandoori Tadkka soon. You can find it at the Slurp Spots blog.

Unsurprisingly, most of the City's best Sambars(acc. to Harish Anand) seem to come from among these restaurants. Check them out here. .
(The chap reviews restaurants bigtime, btw!)
My friend's recommendations and reviews on vegetarian eateries in Chennai.  If you need to analyse more before you choose ;)

P.S. I forgot to include the best place of them all, Home!

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karthik said...

There's an Eden at The Harrissons' hotel, Nungambakkam. Absolutely great food. Mathura, Tarapore Towers too is excellent.

manasa said...

Kaiyendhi bhavan-u besht-u!!

srivi said...

ananda bhavan ,vasantha bhavan ,shree balaji bhavan(cheap nd best) ,hot chips,gupta bhavan all at chromepet :):)

karthik said...

There's a mess near the Mylapore temple right? forgot it's name...

srivi said...

Indian chat corner-besant nagar

Sreenath said...

Thanks everybody for the wonderful response.. keep them coming and I shall keep adding!

Aishwarya Rameshbabu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aishwarya Rameshbabu said...

Sree, dont ever forget Crimson Chakra.When u're in Chennai, we are going there !

Tandoori Tadakka is going to be my next place of rebiew. Very good punjabi dishes n far better than the Dhabas I'd say.

Aishwarya Rameshbabu said...

The mess near mylapore temple is called Karpagambal mess ! man, wonderful home-made food :)

Sreenath said...

Much thanks, Aishwarya. Updated your suggestions above! Lets see what Tandoori Tadka holds for the MC Veggie :)

Divs said...

Mansukh's .. T Nagar.. Authentic North Indian :).. Light on ur purse !!

Sreenath said...

Added, madam! :)

Sreenath said...

Actually, Cream Centre is courtesy you too, Divya madam. Edited accordingly..

sriram said...

There's one called "Town Bus" near vadapalani. The foods gud and the whole restaurant looks like a bus... its fun

Preeti said...

There is Copper chimney at cathedral food- amazing for veg and non- veg but slightly on the higher side..& Woodlands in Cathedral road again- best north indian food ever

Sreenath said...

@Sriram - yeah that one's near my place. Haven't tried it though. Added!

@Preeti- Old favourite, added! :)

Srivaths said...

Ratna Cafe needs to be on the list somewhere.

Sreenath said...

@Srivaths - added... :)

Swetha said...

I don't have any additions but I was super happy to see Murugan Idli Shop :) No visit to Chennai is complete without a Butter Masala at that place!!!

Sreenath said...

@Swetha- absolutely.. but the last time I went there, the quality seemed to have dipped a teensy weensy bit.. The guys need to take lessons from HSB.

sreevatsan said...

Karthik Tiffin Center is one of the best places for of my fav..anna nagar :)

OSB - the chaat shop at west mambalam is one of the best..esp the parathas..

two of the best low budget shops i know :)

sreevatsan said...

Also Kwality Rivera at Adyar is a nice place for multicuisine...aish can vouch for that :)

Sreenath said...

Thanks Vatsa.. added them to the list!

srivi said...

canteens in narada gana sabha,music academy nd most of the sabhas in mylapore during music season....enjoy the food while listening to the music:):)

srivi said...

Novelty tea house -sowcarpet(mint street) famous for north indian foods.

Bestinchennai said...

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