Chennai has consistently been listed as one of the best food cities in the world, and a large part of that comes from the rich variety of desserts that it has on offer. Dessert spots are integral to the food experience in Chennai and there are several in the city that have acquired a nearly legendary status and pioneered preparations that are now famous across all of India. If treating your sweet tooth is on your mind, then here are some of the most famous dessert spots in Chennai that are a must visit.
The Adyar Bakery
Bakery, European, British, $$$
The Adyar Bakery, which started as a quaint, hole-in-the-wall bakery in Adyar in the 1950s is now a chain of over 35 bakeries located all across the city and reigns as one of the city’s most popular dessert joints. The Adyar Bakery draws dessert lovers all across Chennai, but visiting the original joint in Gandhinagar is an experience that is unlike any other. Famous for its cakes and pastries, a must-try is the tea-bar cake, which is an English recipe passed down in the bakery across decades.
Sandy's Chocolate Laboratory
Bakery, Contemporary, $$$
There is simply no better place in Chennai to satisfy your chocolate cravings than Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory in Nungambakkam. Famous for its designer confectionery and choice chocolate preparations, this small and cozy dessert spot is among one of the most popular ones in Chennai. It features a deli-like interior and a quirky menu full of everything chocolate. They also have extensive breakfast and global dessert options such as falafel and Japanese pancakes.
Fruit Shop on Greams Road
Ice Cream Parlour, $$$
The Fruit Shop on Greams Road is to Chennai what the Haji Ali Juice Center is to Mumbai or what Wenger’s is to Delhi
. Over the years, this quaint hangout spot on the arterial Greams Road has grown to acquire legendary status and now includes more than a dozen outlets across Chennai. As the name suggests, fresh juices are what this joint is famous for, but it also serves a wide range of dessert options such as puddings, fresh fruit ice creams, and signature Faloodas.
Amadora Gourmet Ice Cream and Sorbet
Bakery, Dessert, $$$
Talk about indulgence in Chennai and it doesn’t get better than Amadora Gourmet Ice Cream, which is located in Nungambakkam and Sholinganallur. A pricy joint by any means, a single scoop here starts at Rs.200, but you can rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth and more. With choice ice-creams, sorbets, and sundaes in a massive 2,000 square-feet parlor, Amadora Gourmet Ice Cream easily makes it to Chennai’s most popular dessert spots list. A must-try is the Hail-Mary Sundae, which, despite its name, packs an ungodly amount of calories.
Ajnabi Mithai Ghar
Bakery, Indian, Street Food, $$$
Sowcarpet’s Ajnabi Mithai Ghar is the closest experience one can get of Delhi’s Chandni Chowk
sweet stalls while still in Chennai. A derivative of Sowcarpet’s age-old connection with North Indian cuisine, the Ajnabi Mithai Ghar is the best place in Chennai to savor some authentic Jalebis
. Now with a chain of nearly a dozen outlets, the AMG first started in the 1950s and is a must-try for anyone with a liking for North Indian desserts.
Sri Krishna Sweets
Bakery, Dessert, $$$
Mysore Pak is a traditional South Indian sweet made with ghee and gram flour | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mysore_pak.jpg
Stopping by Sri Krishna Sweets and getting a box of Mysore Pak
is almost a ritual for everyone who visits Chennai regularly. Indeed, Sri Krishna Sweets is one of the few sweet shops that can proudly claim that they pioneered the melt-in-your-mouth Mysore Paks that Chennai is famous for. This joint is a must-visit for anyone that wants to try traditional South Indian sweets, but no matter what you try, make sure you leave with a box of Mysore Paks. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Old Madras Baking Company
Contrary to what its name might suggest, the Old Madras Baking Company in Chennai’s Alwarpet is only a couple of years old at best. However, its charm is something straight from Madras’s glorious past, when storied British and European bakeries lined up its thoroughfares. The OMBC’s specialty is oven-fresh bread, and the joint is pretty famous among the city’s health-conscious dessert lovers. From gluten-free options to a menu full of items made without preservatives, the OMBC is dessert done the old way. Try out their Danish pastries or Nutella brioche and wash it down with a cup of signature Madras filter coffee.
Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert, $$$
Baskin Robbins shot to popularity around the world for providing a whopping 31 varieties of ice creams. But if variety and choice are any metrics to go by, then Chennai’s Bellaria, with its 70-plus ice-cream flavors easily surpasses it. Located in Alwarpet, Bellaria is one of Chennai’s best-known ice cream parlors and attracts customers in hordes every evening. Head here to satisfy your craving for fresh fruit and ice cream at the same time.
Ice Cream Parlour, Indian, Street Food, $$$
The kulfi is an Indian dessert item popular with traditional flavors such as paan and Kesar Pista | © IdbiMahaveer/Wiki Commons
Tewary’s Kulfi is in many ways credited with popularizing kulfi, an ice cream popular in North India, in Chennai. Started in 1979, the kulfi-parlor is still one of Chennai’s most popular dessert spots and is located on Nungambakkam Lake Street. If you are a fan of kulfis or are curious about this quintessentially Indian dessert, then Tewary’s is the best spot to head to in Chennai. Try out their specialties, such as the coffee-flavored kulfi or Kesar Matka kulfi, all for a princely sum of Rs.50!
Restaurant, Dessert, $$$
When it comes to restaurants in Chennai, Buhari is easily the grand-daddy of them all and there are few that haven’t tasted or at least heard of their Biryanis and Chicken 65
in the city. However, what many don’t know is that the restaurant is just as popular for its desserts as it is for its meat preparations. If nothing else, head to the original Buhari on Mount Road and try out the exquisite falooda
that is served in a hefty glass.