From Marina Beach to Periamet Mosque, the city is home to local areas that are known for their street food.
Besides the usual dosa and idli, Chennai is known for its varied street food that includes salads, bhajjis, and even Burmese dishes. From Marina Beach to Periamet Mosque, the city is home to local areas that are known for their street food. We list a few areas that you must visit to grab a bite when you’re in Chennai:
Be it sundal or bhajji, the residents of Chennai can vouch for the street food at Marina Beach. Bhajji are a popular, fritter-like Chennai snack made by dipping onions, potatoes or chillies in lentil flour and then deep frying them. Fried fish, made with the fresh catch of the day, can also be found here. Besides bhajji, don’t miss sundal—a type of salad made with boiled white peas, grated coconut and raw mangoes—and roasted corn-on-the-cob at the beach.
Location: Marina Beach, Marina Beach Road, Chennai 600008, Tamil Nadu.
In Tamil, ‘jannal’ translates to window. Jannal Kadai has been named so because it is a hole-in-the-wall or just one window. The place, which is situated along the narrow lane that leads to the Kapaleeswarar Temple, is known for its bhajjis and bondas. It opens only for a few hours and is thronged with customers at most times.
Location: 12, 1, Ponnambala Vadhyar Street, Vinayaka Nagar Colony, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
A fast food restaurant famous for selling the murukku sandwich, Links in Purasavakkam was the first place to introduce the snack to the city. To make the popular sandwich, slices of cucumber, tomato and onion are sandwiched between two pieces of murukku that have been slathered with green chutney. A generous amount of cheese is grated on top and the whole snack is sprinkled with sev to add even more crunch.
Location: 22/4, Raja Annamalai Road, Opposite Purasawakkam, Purasaiwakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Second Lane Beach Road
Not too far from Chennai’s Burma Bazaar is Second Lane Beach Road, which is home to street food stalls selling Burmese food. Popular dishes include athouk, a Burmese salad made with boiled eggs. Some versions of athouk also use noodles. The dish is usually served with mohinga, a traditional Burmese soup.
Location: Second Lane Beach Road, Mannady, George Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Kapaleeswarar Temple area
The streets near the Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore are known for vegetarian street food. In the evenings, the temple hands out prasadam like puliyodharai (tamarind rice) or curd rice to devotees who visit. Outside the temple complex, stalls of all kinds sell street food that includes everything from idli and dosa to traditional sweets.
Location: South Mada Street, Sankarapuram, Mylapore, Chennai 600004, Tamil Nadu.
Periamet Mosque area
Delhi and Hyderabad don’t have the monopoly on dishes like biryani and haleem. The Periamet Mosque area comes alive during Ramadan when vendors from Hyderbabad, Mumbai and Delhi arrive to set up stalls here. Noteworthy dishes from the area include chicken biryani, ghost korma and haleem.
Location: Periamet Masjid, Near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Sydenhams Road, Periamet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.