Chennai - Post Report Question and Answers

What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Restaurants in Chennai are not the best, but not awful either. Can find pretty much everything. Pizza and sushi wasn't the best, but other Asian fusion was decent. Don't expect good burgers of course. Swiggy is the primary delivery service, and was excellent. Cheap, fast, and eventually began taking US credit cards which was useful. - Jan 2024

Everything was widely available except good live music and outdoor restaurants with a vibe. You'll tire of Indian food and there was plenty to make up for that. - May 2023

Pumpkin Tales, Zhouyu, Pa Pa Ya, The Grand Hyatt, Black Orchid, Madras Square, Xo at the Leela Palace and Down Sterling - Apr 2023

Restaurants are abundant, so are food delivery services such as Swiggy or Zomato. However, once you realize how dirty the kitchens and seating areas are kept you may just refrain from eating out, even at the hotels. Saw too many restrooms with waiters at nice restaurants who never washed their hands. It's a very dry state and buying alcohol is challenging. - Apr 2023

In my opinion, they all seem interesting until you actually eat there and experience the service. - Aug 2021

There are a number of international restaurants here. Korean, Italian, American, Thai, Chinese, etc. Some are better than others, almost all deliver. South Indian food is quite good and generally inexpensive. - Apr 2021

Way better than we expected. Lots of new restaurants are opening all the time. There are several great Japanese and Korean restaurants, Italian, etc. South Indian cooks have trained and lived abroad are coming back and working at restaurants here. Anything can be delivered using Swiggy. - May 2019

You have 3 general choices for restaurants in Chennai - 1) South Indian, 2) North Indian, 3) Pan-asian (Chinese/Malaysian/Thai/Vietnamese/Indonesian with an Indian twist). Some places advertise themselves as "multi-cuisine" and offer all of the above including South and North Indian, and pan-asian. That said there are some American fast food chains are available -- subway, burger king , pizza hut, and even Krispy Kreme donuts are all popular. Only places at 5 star hotels will offer overpriced alcoholic beverages. No one really offers beef. Swiggy is a popular food delivery service, if they can find your home. - Aug 2018

There are a lot of restaurant options and most deliver. A number of apps like Zomato, Swiggy, etc. offer food delivery. It's not quite as seamless as in the U.S., but it usually works if you're somewhat patient and flexible. KFC, Dominos, lots of Indian restaurants, Subway, lots of Asian restaurants, etc. all deliver. - May 2018

Restaurants run the gamut from very inexpensive (US$1.50 per person) to expensive (US$75 per person, usually in the finer hotels). Food safety is a major concern when eating out. Western chains are minimally available. Expect non-Indian cuisine to have an Indian flair: heavy sauces, and plenty of vegetarian options. Only rarely will beef or pork be served. I do not care about fast food chains, but I enjoy exploring food, and Chennai doesn't have much. Restaurants tend to serve the same dishes. Cuisines here are not inventive. Compared to other major cities in India, there is very little diversity. Quality is often low. - May 2016

Plenty of eating-out options. - May 2015

KFC, Papa Johns, Domino's, McDonald's, California Pizza Kitchen, Hard Rock Cafe, Pinkberry... Leela place hotel has good brunch, lunch and dinner. Their dimsum lunch on weekend was pretty good even though it was pricey. And Leela place also has Thanksgiving and Christmas special lunch. - Mar 2015

Domino's, Papa Johns, KFC, a very questionable McDonald's in one of the malls. Best fast food was dosa and idly at preferred local restaurants (even for kids who don't like spicy food, the plain dosas are a big hit)! I believe a few more chains have made it since we've left (Hard Rock Cafe and California Pizza kitchen.) A fair amount of good restaurants with varied menus, mainly at the nicer hotels in the area, but can be pricey. - Oct 2014

No Starbucks or McDonald's. But the food scene is improving and there are some nice new malls. Everything is inexpensive. You do have to be careful where you eat but I rarely got sick. Overall, it's much better than other parts of India. - Oct 2014

KFC, Subway and Dominoes are all readily available. There are local places that sell dosas for next to nothing and are worth a try. Food poisoning is a real risk no matter where you eat. There are more and more five star hotels who have great offerings, but of course are pricey. Very little in between basic food and luxury. South India cuisine is heavily dependent on rice and getting good, quality protein is a real challenge. - Jun 2014

Lots of fast food options - Subway, McDonald's, KFC, Pinkberry, Dominos, Pizza Hut. Usually a bit cheaper than in the U.S. or UK. All will offer more choices for vegetarians than in the west - McSpicyPaneer, anyone? If you want really good, affordable and yet somewhat nutritious fast food, Sangeetha (a South Indian diner) is great. - May 2014

Domino's, McDonald's, California Pizza Kitchen (brand new), KFC, Pink Berry (brand new). There are other sit-down restaurants that offer good Italian, Greek, Korean, and American food. The selection has grown greatly since we moved here last year. Still has room to grow. - Aug 2013

South Indian restaurants are cheap and the food is generally good, though cleanliness is sometimes an issue. The big hotels in the city are more expensive, but have a variety of good restaurants. - Jul 2012

A few McDonald's and KFCs around. Pizza Hut and Domino's are ubiquitous. Prices cheaper than in the U.S. - Aug 2011

There is Pizza Hut, Dominos, McDonalds, KFC, Subway. The best food is getting out and sampling the local cuisine. At the branded restaurants you will pay America like prices. But I could take my family of 5 to a good local diner and get full for under $20.The hotels have fancy restaurants but the prices are high as well, $10 or more a plate. - Jun 2010

Indian food can be very inexpensive. The major hotels have Western-style meals and buffet bunches --all for a cheap price compared to home. - Sep 2009

Fast food includes a new McDonald's, KFC, and many Pizza Hut and Subway. None are especially convienent. There are several good restaurants that are generaly cheaper than you'd find in the States. - Aug 2008

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