One of the best reasons to visit India and Chennai, in particular, is the amazing Halal food that's available all around. But if you were ever having trouble finding nearby Halal food in Chennai, you don't even have to worry because you will have a plethora of delicious vegetarian food options!
Since the majority of Indians, especially in the south, are vegetarians, you won't have trouble finding Muslim-friendly food on your travels. But that doesn't mean that vegetarian food is the consolation prize when there's no other choice. In fact, Indian vegetarian food is some of the most delicious you'll find in the world. With the deep, rich curries of the North, to the crispy rice-flour dosas of the south, any meat-eater is bound to be satisfied and craving for more!
Here's an ultimate vegetarian's guide to Chennai, India – we've got you all set!
Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu, so of course, when in the Tamil Nadu, eat as they do! Food from Tamil Nadu is known to be one of the healthiest in the world. Comprised of dishes made of rice and gram flours, as well as gravies that are full of not only vegetables but spices that are good for the body. And let's not forget the ghee; lots of delicious, fragrant ghee (clarified butter), that makes anything better!
Here's where you can find mouthwatering South Indian vegetarian food in Chennai:
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Saravana Bhavan is one of the most successful vegetarian chain restaurants not only in India but the world! Their success can be attributed to the authenticity of their food and the hard work of P. Rajagopal, their founder. Try their delicious South Indian fare, from crispy ghee dosas to soft idlys, kesari, pongal, and so much more. They are also known for their range of traditional Indian sweets or “mithai”. There are a total 27 Saravana Bhavan locations in Chennai, 33 total in India, and 47 branches overseas.
Address (1 of 27): 102, Pondy Bazaar, Sir Thyagaraya Road, T. Nagar, Chennai.
Phone: 044 28154662
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New Prakash Bhavan is not exactly “new”, they've been serving happy customers for a while now. Set in the bustling Flower Bazaar area of Georgetown, Chennai, one of the busiest wholesale and retail shopping areas in the city, Prakash Bhavan is one of the most popular family eateries here. You'll find it packed it to the brim with hungry shoppers any time you visit, from 6 am in the morning when they open until thy close at night. Prakash Bhavan is one of the best places to enjoy and wholesome South Indian meal, and their quality is outstanding!
Address: 163, NSC Bose Rd, Sowcarpet, George Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600079.
Phone: 044 2538 8748
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Having started in the city of Madurai, way down south of Tamil Nadu, Murugan Idly Shop is a South Indian eatery that has grown its reach to over 17 locations in Chennai. Of course, they're known for their idlis, so don't miss out on them, but other popular dishes also include masala dosa, sweet pongal, filter coffee, and more. Try their famous 'Jigarthanda' for dessert, a sweet drink ailing from their hometown of Madurai.
Address (1 of 17): 149/1, 6th Avenue, Opposite Vilankanni Church, Besant Nagar, Chennai.
Phone: +91 9597086503
The South of this massive country is actually made up of 5 states: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Additionally, it also includes the union territories of Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Other than Tamil Nadu, most other cuisines are based mostly on meat and seafood-based dishes. Of course, they too have their vegetarian specialities, but non-vegetarian food being the focus of the cuisine means its hard to come by purely vegetarian restaurants serving them. Nevertheless, here are a few of them:
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This is one of the few places specializing in Andhra (Keralan) cuisine that serves pure vegetarian food. Some of the most popular dishes include the vegetable biryani, neer dosa, appam, and drumstick soup. You can also try their special thali for an all-encompassing meal.
Address: 14, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Opposite TCS, Karapakkam, Chennai.
Phone: 044 24500811
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One of the best places to try authentic food from Andhra Pradesh in the city is at National Lodge. We said “authentic”, so get ready for the tears! Food from Andhra is known for its spiciness, and this place doesn't shy away from it. You can choose the unlimited meals for refills until your stomach’s about to burst or the thali meals.
Address: 112, Govindappa Naickan Street, Sowcarpet, Chennai.
Phone: 044 25369508
If you're a die-hard meat lover, you'll find familiarity in the rich curries of North India based on ingredients like paneer, beans, and vegetables like potato and cauliflower which tend to be more “meaty”. These are accompanied by delicious bread like naan, chappati, kulcha, etc. These meals tend to be a lot heavier and more filling, which is something a non-vegetarian would be used to.
Here's where you can find the best North Indian vegetarian restaurants in Chennai:
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Set in the popular Phoenix MarketCity mall in Velachery, Chennai, Rajdhani Thali Restaurant is one of the best places to enjoy the classic thali-style meal from the North. A thali is a meal that includes a variety of curries and sides served along with rice, whole wheat roti, papad, and sweet. The uniqueness of this dish is that everything is served on one plate, which contains small bowls of each item. You don't even need a menu, just get seated and be served! This place specializes in the Rajasthani and Gujarati varieties of thali.
Address: 1st Floor, Phoenix Market City, Velachery Main Road, Velachery, Chennai.
Phone: 044 66650316
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Delhi Highway, as the name suggests, is one way to enjoy delicious food from the capital of India right in Chennai! It's a family-friendly restaurant that serves authentic North Indian fare in a friendly and classy setting. Don't miss out on their vegetarian kebabs, which are good enough to fool even a meat eater! They're soft kulchas and naans are also a popular accompaniment to any rich curry you choose.
Address: Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai.
Phone: 044 30205567
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There are quite a few fine dining North Indian vegetarian restaurants in Chennai, but only a few that do not serve alcohol as well. Pind brings a unique ambience of a Punjabi Dhaba-style eatery in Chennai. Their food is also made to set the theme, from the Punjabi thali to the number of tikkas, kebabs, flatbreads, and more. And don't forget to try their creative mocktails as well.
Address: No.2 Sarathy Nagar, 1st Main Road , Opp to L.C.S apt. , Vijaynagar, Velachery, Chennai, India
You can find a lot of variety in cuisines and food from all around the world in Chennai. So, if you're feeling like venturing outside the range of Indian food, but still want to keep it vegetarian, you can try any one of the restaurants below.
Here's where to go to try some delicious vegetarian food of international cuisines in Chennai:
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Flower Drum is one of the best locations in Chennai for some good quality Chinese cuisine. If you're looking for vegetarian buffets in Chennai, Flower Drum is one place you can try. Some of the other popular dishes include the momos, dumplings, manchow soup, Thai green curry, etc. Celebrating a special occasion with your loved one? Try their Wednesday night candlelight dinners for a romantic meal.
Address(1 of 2): 2/1, 4th Floor, Near Adyar signal Junction, Above ICICI Bank, Adyar, Chennai.
Phone: 044 49588833
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Little Italy is one of the most popular eateries in all of India for authentic Italian food. They are also purely vegetarian and do not serve alcohol, which is hard to come by in an Italian restaurant. Their menu consists of starters, soups, salads, pasta, and desserts that bring a little bit of Italy right to your table in the midst of Chennai. You can go for the buffet option, or choose any item from the a-la-carte menu. Try the minestrone soup to start off the meal, and the wood burn pizzas for mains. For dessert, you cannot beat the chocolate mousse or tirimasu!
Address (1 of 4): E-50, 17th Cross Street, Lane Before Spencers Daily, Besant Nagar, Chennai.
Phone: 044 30853624
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While soul garden bistro does some delicious modern variations of classic Indian food, like BBQ Paneer and veg biryani, we've featured them here for their continental, Mexican, Italian, and Western food. They've got some creative burgers and sandwiches like the beetroot and feta burger or the Bombay chatpata sandwich that are sure to fascinate your taste buds. They've also got a variety of continental dishes from pasta and pizzas to salads, soups, and starters.
Address: 14, Ananda Road, Alwarpet, Chennai.
Phone: 044 30205505
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The Wok Box Co. is ideal if you're in the mood for some authentic Chinese and Thai food. Their menu offers you the choice to build your own dish, be it noodles, fried rice or curries. From picking the sauces to the (vegetarian) protein and vegetables, you're the boss! If you want something unique, try their mouthwateringly soft and delicious vegetarian bao buns. They don't have seating space, but you can get takeaway or have them deliver right to your home.
Address: 2nd Floor, 5/391, OMR Main Road, Thuraipakkam, Chennai.
Phone: 044 33011476
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If you're a hummus-lover, then you have to try out The Hommus Family for all things hummus-related. Their entire eatery is based on this delicious Mediterranean dip, so you know it's going to be good. You can get all kinds of bits and bobs to go with the delectable chickpea dip. They also don't have seating space but are available for takeaway and delivery.
Address: 73/12, Halls Road, Orchards B1, Kilpauk, Chennai.
Phone: +91 9791088988