10 Best Authentic Indian Dining In Chennai, India

Photo of Anete Jekabsone
16 November 2016

Considered to be India‘s gateway to the South, Chennai has an eclectic dining scene. Here is our guide to Chennai’s 10 best venues.

Fishing Harbour Chennai | ©Ramesh SA/ Flickr

Pan Asian

Restaurant, Asian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian
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Situated in the luxurious ITC Grand Chola hotel, Pan Asian restaurant is a recent newcomer to Chennai’s restaurant scene. The restaurant specializes in a variety of Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai. Thus, it is a hot-spot for fans of Asian food. Stylish, spacious and airy, the restaurant offers a wonderful spectrum of East Asian dishes, rich with spices and made from fresh ingredients and local produce. Headed by the rising star of India’s culinary scene, chef Vikramjit Roy, who has spent years in training in the best restaurants all around Asia, the restaurant is great for a luxury meal in Chennai.

Tuscana Pizzeria

Restaurant, Italian, European, Mediterranean, $$$
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Wood Fired Pizza
Wood Fired Pizza | © Basheer Tome/Flickr

One of the few classic wood-fired pizzerias in Chennai, Tuscana Pizzeria specializes in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. On offer are mouth-watering thin-crust pizzas, tasty pastas, delicious bruschetta and refreshing panna cotta for dessert. Ranging from creamy risottos to fresh salads, from a fresh baked focaccia to sweet tiramisu, accompanied by strong espresso or milky cappuccino, the restaurant covers all the main dishes of traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Yet it still offers surprising flexibility – the guests can choose between four different pizza bases, including gluten-free, whole wheat, multi-grain and classic refined wheat. The pizzeria also offers a range of egg-free and gluten-free dishes. For those who don’t want to dine out, there’s a home delivery service.

Madras Pavilion

Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Fusion, European, Asian, Indian, Mediterranean, $$$
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Dim sum.
Dim sum. | © Hisakazu Watanabe/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

Located in the same building as Pan Asian restaurant, Madras Pavilion is considered by many as Chennai’s best buffet restaurant. With dishes ranging from poached eggs and fried bacon to spicy dim sum, the restaurant’s menu features a variety of cuisines, including the best of South and North Indian, Mediterranean, Asian and international cuisines. The seating at the restaurant is divided into thematic areas such as Love Seats, the Crown, the High Table and the Private Zone. This offers its guests a choice of atmosphere and setting for their sophisticated and elegant dining experience.

Meal service:

Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner


Fine Dining, Business, Gourmet, Romantic


Restaurant, Indian, Asian, $$$
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Situated in the Park Sheraton Hotel, Dakshin is the perfect for authentic, simple yet delicious South Indian food. The restaurant offers a superb range of the best southern dishes from the Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka regions. It has a particular focus on fresh fish and seafood such as prawns, lobsters and squid dishes. The guests can choose between traditional thali or order from the menu, including well-known dishes as dosai and rasam. The cosy atmosphere and setting with traditional décor such as statues of Hindu deities and tajore paintings is even further enhanced by daily live Karnatic Indian music.


Restaurant, Italian, Mediterranean, European
Italian Pomodorini
Italian Pomodorini | ©Cucino di Te/Flickr

It only opened its doors in 2010, but the restaurant Italia is well-loved for both its delicious cuisine and cosy yet elegant atmosphere. Situated on the grounds of Park Pod Hotel in Chennai, the restaurant has a spacious and airy outdoor courtyard lounge area and a lovely, glass-encased patio. This is an ideal dining space to avoid monsoon rains during the day or mosquitos during warm evenings. True to its name, the restaurant specializes in traditional Italian cuisine, with thin-crust pizzas, hearty lasagnes and creamy mushroom risottos and vegetables pastas. Other Italian classic dishes also always on the menu.

Italian Pomodorini

Italian Pomodorini | ©Cucino di Te/Flickr

Meal service:

Brunch, Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner


Fine Dining, Business, Gourmet


Restaurant, Indian, Asian, Healthy, Vegetarian, $$$
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Located near Air India building in Chennai city, Annalakshmi is a lovely South and North Indian vegetarian restaurant. Started in Malaysia in 1984, with sister-branches all over India, Singapore and Australia, Annalakshmi is a non-profit organization that dedicated part of its income to sustaining the artistic and charitable activities of the Temple of Arts, a centre for performing arts. The restaurant offers a wide selection of vegetarian food, with a particular focus on delicious Tamil Nadu dishes. The guests can choose between a traditional vegetarian thali that includes rice and varied curries, and a la carte dining options, ranging from the rasam of the day to tasty dosai.

Barbeque Nation

Restaurant, Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, European, $$$
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Barbecued Indian Street Food
Barbecued Indian Street Food | © Travis Wise/ Flickr

The laid-back and cosy Indian restaurant chain Barbeque Nation, owned by Sayaji Hotels, has sister-branches all over India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad among others. The widespread success of the restaurant lies not only on the great quality of the ingredients but also in the presentation and eating process, as every table has a live grille where customers cook their own food. The Barbeque Nation specializes in grilled food yet offers a large selection of soups, salads and desserts, all representing a mix of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian and European cuisine.

Copper Chimney

Restaurant, Indian, Asian, Halal, Vegan, $$$
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Puri Bread
Puri Bread | © Ahmed Mahin Fayaz/ Flickr

Founded in 1972 in the city of Mumbai by Jagadish Kapoor, a prominent Bollywood filmmaker and foodie, the Copper Chimney restaurant specializes in North Indian cuisine, offering hearty and mouth-watering mughlai curries and meat and fish tandoori dishes. With a sleek, stylish and minimalist interior design, the restaurant creates an intimate yet sophisticated ambience. Here, you can enjoy the surprising variety of North Indian cuisine, all made from fresh local ingredients and blends of secret spices. From sumptuous kebabs, prepared in traditional coal-fired tandoor ovens, to creamy curries and fragrant and spicy biryanis and delicious handmade Indian breads, the restaurant introduces its guests to the staples of North Indian food.


Restaurant, Indian, European, Asian, Italian, Mediterranean
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Situated on the grounds of Park Hotel in the city centre, the stylish and contemporary Six-o- One restaurant is a recent yet warmly welcomed newcomer to Chennai’s restaurant scene. One of the few 24-hour restaurants in the city, Six-o-One offers a wide range of dishes from Indian, Mediterranean and continental cuisines, ranging from tandoori chicken, heart biryanis and lamb kebabs to a pasta bar, wood-fired pizzas and creamy desserts, all accompanied by an extensive selection of international wines. The restaurant features a buffet for every meal of the day, with breakfast buffet including British, South Indian, European and continental breakfast options. The restaurant also offers a fantastic Sunday brunch.

Meal service:

All Day, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner


Fine Dining, Gourmet, Business

Hotel Saravana Bhavan

Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Indian, Asian, Vegetarian, $$$
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Founded in 1981, Hotel Saravana Bhavan, one of the largest vegetarian restaurant chains in the world, specializes in South Indian vegetarian cuisine. With more than 20 outlets in Chennai alone, the restaurant has sister-branches all around India, as well UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia and Middle East. The restaurant offers well-priced and delicious South Indian staples, ranging from idli, a savory cake from lentils and rice, and vada, a fritter-type snack from lentils, gram flour or potatoes for breakfast, to traditional thalis or biryani and pilaus for lunch and dinner. Refreshing ice-cream cones and filter coffee are offered for dessert.