15 unique restaurants you must try in Chennai

If you are in Chennai, you must try out these very unique/interesting restaurants when possible. If you have a guest and wondering where to take them, this list should give you lots of options to choose from. Though Chennai is popularly known for its Saravana Bhavans, Murugan Idli shop and other traditional south Indian food outlets, there’re a dozen + unique restaurants that are worth considering. These are spread all over the city and each has its own uniqueness. I have personally visited most of them over a time-span of past year or two. You can visit based on your preference and distance.

#1 Robot Restaurant, Sememcherry, OMR
This is a recent addition and hugely popular because of its working robo waitress. A robot brings your food to your table and it has clicked well with the guests. I was here once- a detailed review with photos and video is here. Factor a cost of minimum 1000 rupees for two people. Quality and quantity was decent.
#2 Dialogue in the dark, Express Avenue, Chennai

Managed by visually challenged staff, Dialogue in the dark gives you a totally different experience. You can either buy just meals (around Rs 300) or meals + experience (around Rs 700)- The experience involves taking a walk in total darkness, feeling things around you by means of touch, sound and other senses. Changes your perspective of those living with visual challenges. You can play cricket, identify ornaments and even have your lunch/dinner in total darkness. Read a detailed review here
#3 Jupiter Express- Train themed restaurant, Gopalapuram

Located in Gopalapuram, Jupiter Express is a train themed restaurant. Visited last about an year ago- food was ok- not very impressive. Will cost close to INR 1000 for 2 people. 

#4 747-Flight themed restaurant, OMR
This is an aircraft themed restaurant located in Old Mahabalipural Road (OMR) near Thoraipakkam. Belongs to the same owner as Robo Restaurant. The restaurant interiors are made to look like a plane. General perception is that food is here not so great, only ambiance is good- use your discretion. I paid a short visit recently had just one time- my thoughts and photos here: Read a detailed post here
#5 BR Mathsya, Pondi Bazaar- for Udupi food
I recommend stopping by at BR Mathysa off Pondy Bazaar for some authentic Udupi style food. Price is on the higher side but totally worth it. Buffet and Ala carte both are available.  Do try items like Mangaluru Bonda, Neer Dose, Mysuru masala dose, Bisibele bath etc, which are not easily available in other South Indian restaurnats in Chennai. BR Mathysa also has various continental items on their menu.

#6 Rajdhani Thali, Pheonix Mall, Velachery
For Rs 500+taxes you can sample over 30 different items- all super special Rajasthani dishes and pure veg. 
#7 Cyclo Café, Kotturpuram
A cycle themed restaurant in Kotturpuram area, serves several drinks and snacks items- not a hard core meal restaurant, good for quick meets or checking out some interesting cycles. A glass of juice is priced around INR 150-200. Expect a bill of around Rs 700 for 2 people for a short visit with couple of items ordered.

#8  Kaidi Kitchen, Mylapore
Another unique theme restaurant that depicts a prison.I have not been to this place yet, hope to visit soon.

#9 Rain Forest, Adyar
Rain Forest is a popular restaurant in Adyar area, with a theme of Amazon rain forests. Serves Chinese and continental food, is often crowded.

#10 The Farm, OMR- village/farm theme
The Farm is a popular restaurant with village/farm theme located on OMR in Southern Chennai. But don’t expect the food there to be cheap- factor at least a 1000 Rs per person for a decent meal. I had visited them during Landrover Experience in Chennai. Very popular with corporate outings and event, so you might want to check if they’re relatively free on very busy with large bookings, on the day of your visit.

#11 Choki Dhani, Poonamalle
Choki Dhani is a theme park depicting Rajasthani culture and tradition. The Entry ticket fee (Rs 700 per person approx) includes a traditional Rajasthani dinner. Choki Dhani is on the outskirts of city on Poonamalle high road, so might be a bit far for many. But a great place to spend half a day with family, as there’re lots of activities to keep guests busy. Read a detailed review of Choki Dhani here
#12 Dakshin, Crowne Plaza
Dakshin is a 26 years old restaurant, part of Crowne Plaza (formerly Adyar gate hotel, one of the oldest 5 star hotels in Chennai). Dakshin serves very exquisite delicacies from all over South India- Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and of course Tamil Nadu. You can try a thali or ala carte. Since it is a 5 star hotel, price is also at 5 star level- expect to spend about Rs 2000 to 2500 per person for a decent meal. [Detailed post here]
File photo of Dakshin from Hotel PR kit
#13 Green Meadows Resort, ECR
Green Meadows Resort on Pallavakam, ECR has a nice restaurant that serves good Kerala style food. Possible to manage with a budget of about INR 500 per person. Beach is also close-by.

#14 Amethyst-wild garden cafe, Royapettah
Amethyst is a very popular café in central Chennai. They serve several signature food, including a honey induced sugarcane juice that can cost Rs 250 onwards but tastes like heaven. Have visited Amethyst only once- long long ago during Cerebrate Chennai event. Should visit again.

Amethyst is within walking distance from Sathyam Theatre and US Consulate. So if you're visiting these, you can consider a short visit to Amethyst.

#15 Bazaar in Grand by GRT,  T Nagar

Bazaar is a 24 hour dining outlet inside GRT Grand near T Nagar. Open to both resident guests and walk in customers, Bazaar serves wide variety of food items. On Sundays, there is even an organic market. Lots of choices, very spacious area, great ambiance. Will easily cost close to 1500 INR per person. Read a detailed review here The BR Mathysa I mentioned earlier is within walking distance from GRT Grand.

So this was my list of unique dining/cafe places in Chennai. I have not included bars.

There was a party bus- but now it seem to have stopped.

Of course there’re chains of Saravana Bhavan, Murugan Idli Shop, Vasanta Bhavan and Sangeetha for wide range of South Indian/Tamil Nadu style food.

Did I miss anything? Is there a unique place you've visited? Do let me know in comments.

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  1. Nice collection. And I haven't been to any :( Maybe next time I'm there, I could keep this handy :)

  2. nice research in chennai about restaurants

  3. Oh wow! What a cool list of interesting places to eat.
    I think I'll be coming back to this post.
    Thank you, Shrinidhi. :)

    1. You're welcome. Do try to meet me when in town

  4. I feel that ambiance can never make up for bad food. A lot of these places (older ones like Matsya, Farm, Rajdhani) were fabulous a few years back. Now the fare seems ordinary to me. I was hoping to check out the Robot and the train place soon

    1. Yes, food has to be good, else great themes won't last long. Thanks


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