The Best Cafes for Freelancers and Backpackers in Chennai

Freelancer cafe
Freelancer cafe | ©MaxPixel
Arun Venkatraman

If you are a freelancer, writer, or someone with a creative pursuit backpacking through Chennai, the one thing you’ll absolutely need is a cafe to sit and let your creative juices flow. And while Chennai has no dearth of amazing cafes, finding the one that’s just right for you can be difficult. Just so you don’t have to sift through them all, we’ve compiled a list of the best cafes in the city that combine work with fun. Whether its peace and quiet you’re seeking or some sumptuous food, there’s a cafe for everyone in Chennai.

1. Ciclo Café


The Ciclo Cafe
Courtesy of Zomato

While this joint is fairly new, its already become one of Chennai’s favorite cafés. The theme of this place is ‘cycles’, and it features a colorful and brisk decor. If you’re so impressed by the decor that you’d like to take one of those bicycles home, you’re in luck, because the cafe also has an attached bicycle shop. The café is operated in a partnership between India’s popular TI Cycles and Absolute Speciality Foods, and thanks to the success of the one in Koturpuram, there are now plans to expand the chain. Oh, and did we mention the place has free wi-fi?

2. Amethyst Cafe

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Italian, Fast Food, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian

Outdoor Seating Area at Amethyst Cafe, Chennai
Image Courtesy of Zomato

Amethyst is one of Chennai’s most popular cafes, and with good reason. With amazing decor and both indoor and outdoor seating, the cafe has been frequented by movie stars and cultural icons. At Amethyst Cafe you have the chance to hobnob with the best of Chennai and make some new friends, but there’s also ample space to sit alone. The decor in the cafe is elegant, and there’s also a beautiful open-air gallery and outdoor garden. With free wi-fi and great food, this is definitely one to write home about.

3. House#22

Cafe, Italian

Events Arena at House #22 Cafe, Chennai
Image Courtesy of House 22 Cafe

If you’re out for a taste of Chennai’s literary and cultural scene, House#22 is the place to be. While the cafe itself is a popular hangout spot, what makes it special is its weekly line-up of cultural events, book launches and even stand-up shows. The cafe is located in a restored 19th century colonial-era British mansion and features decor reminiscent of the Raj era. Walk in during the afternoon for some peace and quiet and stay the evening for fun and to socialize, or just to catch the day’s sports fixtures live with other fans.

4. Writer's Cafe

Cafe, European, Coffee

This new cafe has quickly become one of the most happening spaces in the city, and draws a young crowd that’s crazy about books and reading. It’s conducive to both writing and reading, and is run in partnership with Chennai’s oldest bookshop, Higginbothams, so there are plenty of books to browse. But what makes the place popular among youngsters is how affordable it is. Located centrally, this cafe is the perfect place for writing, reading and everything in between. There’s indoor and outdoor seating.

5. Kipling Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, Fusion, Asian

Cottage Seating Area at Kipling Cafe, Chennai
Image Courtesy of Tripadvisor

This sprawling place holds quite a few surprises for those willing to take the ride through ECR to reach it. Best among them is the view. Sitting in a cafe and taking the sea breeze in while enjoying a good meal is quite a magical experience. If you are a beach baby and have an inexplicable need to feel close to the sea, Kipling Cafe is the place for you. With its antique decor, pleasant ambiance, and azure sea contrasting with the green of the garden plants, this cafe is an inspiring spot. The only drawback is the longish drive from the city along the ECR.

6. The Brew Room

Cafe, Italian, Indian, Coffee, Fast Food, Vegetarian

The Brew Room is another spot in the city that attracts the best crowd, as it’s located within the Savera Hotel in Mylapore. As for the ambiance, The Brew Room has slick decor and both indoor and outdoor seating with tables by the poolside, giving it a refreshing feel. It isn’t exactly cheap, but between the setting and the sparkling conversations it inspires, this joint is worth every penny you spend here.

7. L'ámandier

Bistro, French

This little restaurant is basically a piece of Paris in Chennai. Styled after the famous Parisian breakfast cafes, L’ámandier is famous for its bright decor and a very popular brunch menu. If you’re up for it, there’s also an affordable buffet option.

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