20 places in Chennai to find the perfect plate of Idli sambar
South India is famous for its indulgent, light, and tasty breakfasts. Of them all, the one that stands out miles above the rest, is definitely the Idly, especially when served with sambar and various chutneys. And what better place to eat Idli sambar, than the heart of Tamil Nadu, Chennai? We bring to you, some of the places serving the best idli sambar, and in fact, much more in recent times to satisfy the changing tastes of people!
Triplicane Rathna Cafe
Address: Triplicane High Road, Triplicane, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600014
Extremely simple in its ambience the seating style is traditional to South Indian restaurants. Popular enough to have its own Wikipedia article, the brand expanded inside and outside of Chennai. The food served is exemplary. The sambar-idly served here is legendary and has maintained its taste through the ages. Treat yourself to some admirable breakfast followed by a hot cup of filter coffee.
Sangeetha Veg Restaurant
Address: 7, Gandhi Nagar, 1st Main Road, Adyar, Chennai
With humble beginnings of the restaurant in Chennai, it has branches in twenty-three other locations. Added to that are the several International branches situated in Sydney, Hong-Kong, Qatar, Canada and Doha. A reliable eatery, food here hardly goes wrong. Breakfast is an uncomplicated affair, which guarantees satisfaction to every customer. With its quick service and cheerful ambience, this hotel is a favourite among many city dwellers.
Address: 3rd Floor, Forum Vijaya Mall Food Court, Arcot Road, Vadapalani, Chennai
Consisting of five outlets ID has managed to carve a niche for itself in Chennai. It is featured in almost all the best list articles. An interesting thing about this chain is that each of its branches has a different seating arrangement. One is a fast food outlet, another is casual dine and there is modern dining room styled outlet as well. Though it serves meals as well it is more famous for its scrumptious breakfasts which are available throughout the day. It also offers a wide variety of side condiments from sambar to Karuveppillai.
Address: Old No. 50, New No. 117, Luz Church Road, Near Nageshwara Rao Park, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004
It is a vegetarian only, all day breakfast serving restaurant. With a lovely décor and lovelier food, it is a casual diner. It is known for its affinity towards healthy food. It is Isha life’s fine dining restaurant. Mahamudra, in addition to the regular north and south Indian dishes offers an array of offbeat but delicious dishes such as Pineapple rasam, Dosa Ballapur, Wheat thali and more. The cost of sambar idli is below hundred rupees and is well worth it.
Hotel Shri Balaajee Bhavan/strong
Address: F 41B, 1st Avenue, Anna Nagar East, Chennai
Open from early in the morning to late at night, Shri Balaajee Bhavan is an authentic South-Indian restaurant. It has branches all over the city, which maintain their consistency in serving tasty food. The Chrompet branch even has a rooftop restaurant. The breakfast menu has lots of options to choose from. Sambar-idly is one of the more popular choices for the restaurant goers. This is a perfect location for light and heavy food.
Mami Tiffin Stall
Address: New No.7, Old No.4, Pitchu Pillai Street, Pitchu St, Vinayaka Nagar Colony, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004
This eatery serves South-Indian dishes fast food style. Starting its journey as a small roadside mess, it expanded into a fast food eatery. A favorite among Chennaites, the place never disappoints. Extremely pocket friendly it has a huge variety of dishes to choose from. Ghee podi dosa, filter coffee and of course sambar-idly are local favorites. The sambar is the star of the show and is sure to melt your heart. Although it has very little seating area, standing and eating occasionally is not as bad as it sounds.
Annachi Dosai Kadai
Address: No.5/159, East Coast Rd, Injambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600041
Located on the ECR highway, this place is a perfect haven for travelers who want a break. Also, you can head over there for weekend breakfast or brunch and make a short long drive of it. It offers a wide array of condiments to add to dosas. There are Paneer dosa, Kheema dosa, Egg dosa and what not. The MLA dosa takes the crown for the most popular. Along with all the dosas and various other vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes is the non-assuming yet amazingly tasty idly. This place is worth a try.
Mr and Mrs Idly
This is a franchise store it has outlets all over India. Three of these franchise stores are in Chennai. Having started business a few years ago, it has prospered and gained fame in a very short span of time. It promises authentic taste of Chennai wherever you are. There are numerous options of idlis to choose from and various size as well- regular and mini. There are few quirky dishes to be found as well- for instance idli Manchuria, where idlis are made into dumplings and simmered in Chinese sauce. One can safely say there is something for everyone here.
Address: 14, Jaganathan Road, Near VIJAY TV, Nungambakkam, Tamil Nadu 600034
Previously purely vegetarian it has now revamped its menu and added loads of non-vegetarian dishes as well. The food is serves in banana leaves giving you an authentic feel for the food you are eating. The hotel is quite sought-after and it easily stands out in the area. It has a very peaceful ambience and vast seating are. With rave reviews and a diversity of spicy food it is definitely worth a try.
Murugan Idli Shop/strong
Address: 149/1, 6th Avenue, Opposite Vilankanni Church, Besant Nagar, Chennai
Spread across three countries, Murgan idli Shop provides some exquisite south Indian breakfasts. They specialize, obviously, in idlis, various chutney, podis and sambar. The dosas and ghee Pongal made are worth a try. The restaurant takes pride in serving nutrient rich meals, which will you the energy to make the most of your day. The drink jigarthanda is something everyone who visits over there seems to recommend and the taste lives up to the hype.
Address: 6/B, Harleys Road, Kilpauk, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600010
Sambhar serves scrumptious sambhar. Open twenty-four seven it is an exclusively vegetarian restaurant. A foodie’s heaven, this eatery serves both North Indian and South Indian food and does a superb job at cooking it. People love the thali, ghee dosa and melt in your mouth soft idlis. It has five variants of sambhar to choose from and each of them have a distinctly notable flavor.
Address: 11, 1st Floor, Haddows Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai
The tag line of the restaurant goes “Home of the Classics” and classic it is. Right from the décor, to the serving staff and most importantly the food everything is set up to woo you. With terrific thalis and an amazing choice of breakfasts to choose from, it is difficult to pick a favorite dish. The chefs seem to put their soul into the cooking and it is quite evident. Even the simplest of dishes like idli-sambar manages to make you a fan of this artistically decorated place.
Hotel Saravana Bhavan
Address 70, Kabaleeswarar Temple, North Mada Street, Mylapore, Chennai
Food from here meets everyone’s needs. This is another eatery which is quite renowned in the city, with multiple outlets. It is known for its hygienic ambience and prompt service. The food once had leaves its mark on your taste buds and you keep wanting more. The idli-sambhar is very delicious. With spice meeting soul it feels like a warm hug from a long lost friend, and who doesn’t like that?
Address: Hilton, 124/1, JN Salai, Guindy, Chennai
A high-end luxury restaurant, it is priced accordingly. With decent ambience, it is perfect restaurant to go to when you want a rich and filling meal. The buffet spreads are extravagant and each dish is tastier than the next. Head here for corporate dinners and official Sunday brunches and make those stressful decisions with over some impressively made food. However, the timings are a bit irregular. So it is better to confirm before going.
Address: No.241, Purasavakkam High Road, Purasawalkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600007
A humble eatery that is usually crowded, it makes you wonder what is so special about it. It is, of course the food. Especially sambhar idly and idli sambhar. Yes, there is a surprisingly vast difference in both of them, as you will see when you visit there. It is hands down the most common dish you see there as there are a lot of people savoring it. It is pocket-friendly too.
Flavors of Lalgudi
Address: 6, CP Ramaswamy Iyer Rd, Sriram Colony, Alwarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018
With reasonably priced and well-cooked meals available throughout the day, it is the place to go for a quick fix for your hunger pangs when you are in the area. The place has a very rustic feel to it with its well-painted murals. Lalgudi is a play on the word Malgudi days, which is a very popular short story series, and the murals depict scenes from the same. It takes you back to the good old childhood days where you spent time reading those beloved stories.
Chettinad Saiva Bhavan
Address: 121/66, RK Salai, Mylapore, Chennai
One of the best restaurants in the area, it is vegetarian only. It specializes in quick bites and there is nonebetter than the soft idlis with sizzling hot sambhar. The experiences of customers vary significantly and it lacks consistency. Never the less, there is hardly anything that can go wrong with idli and more often than not it delivers spectacularly in this aspect.
Address: 6, Venkateshwara Nagar, 2nd Main Road, Off 100 feet Bypass Road, Near Simrans Appa Kadai, Velachery, Chennai
You can have idlis with a tremendous assortment of side dishes. Sambhar being the most traditional choice. Chicken and mutton curries being the slightly unconventional but equally tasty options. They use homemade masalas and are very keen to give you the hoom-cooked style food. You can even savor the idlis from the comfort of your home as there is home service available. The other outlet is located in New Delhi.
ITC Grand Chola
Address: 63, Mount Rd, Guindy Institutional Area, Little Mount, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032
ITC is a brand in itself and needs no introduction. The ITC Grand Chola’s Madras Pavilion offers some world-class food with typical Tamilian flavors. Yes, idli-sambhar is not the most popular dish and one would not go to a restaurant of this grandeur for having it but it is simply delicious and worth giving a try. Alternatively, you could simply have it in the grand breakfast buffet spread. With thematic zones, you can choose if you want to head over to the Love Seats or The High Table and a few others.
Address: Plot No. 10, Pearl Beach, Ansari Nagar, Kanchipuram District, Kovalam, Tamil Nadu 603112
To be completely honest, the food is average over here compared to the rooms. But the feel of having some piping hot idli and sambar on the sea shore as the waves splash around you is not an experience which you usually get. It is not exclusively a restaurant. It is bed and breakfast located in Kovalam and is quite a gateway from the hectic city schedule and what is more? They have surfing lessons you can take as well!