12 Of The Best New Restaurants In Chennai You Must Visit In 2023
On the lookout for exciting dining venues in Chennai? Check out our roundup of some of the top restaurants to explore this year.
Was 2023 the most vibrant year for Chennai's booming F&B scene? It certainly presented a diverse array of dining experiences. Local flavours took centre stage, and so did national brands like Mustard and Farzi Café expanding their footprint to include Chennai. Comfort food held its own - everyone loves a good pizza - while seasoned Chennai brands like Cake Walk successfully reinvented themselves. The evolved café scene in Chennai welcomed a couple of intriguing additions, and Asian cuisine continued to be a popular choice among the city's well-heeled. Although it's impossible to capture all of Chennai's stellar restaurant debuts in 2023 in one list, we certainly made an attempt:
Also Read: 7 Of Chennai's Best Whisky Bars You Must Visit
Here Are 12 Of The Best New Restaurants You Must Visit In Chennai:
1. Lazy Leopard
We've witnessed the pizza scene in Chennai come of age in the 2020s. Lazy Leopard, named after the spots on the corner of a pizza, has made its mark among Chennai's finest pizzerias since its debut this year. Positioned as a Neapolitan Pizzeria and Trattoria, Lazy Leopard maintains authenticity with its wood-fired oven.
- Where: Peters Road, Royapettah
2. Kaylir Canteen
Offering traditional vegetarian cuisine from Tamil Nadu, it's the setting that is truly unconventional. This casual dining restaurant serves delicious South Indian-style 'full meals' in a self-service setup with vibrant interiors. Additionally, there's a pet-friendly section, and the restaurant has recently introduced a 'tiffin' menu for those comforting evening nibbles.
- Where: CIT Colony, Mylapore
3. Farzi Café
After teasing the city for a while, Farzi Café finally kept its date with Chennai. Located in the heart of the city, Farzi doesn't deviate from its pan-Indian template. It's not just the bold interiors; the menu is filled with all the customary twists we've come to expect from Farzi. The starters hit all the right notes, featuring bestsellers like the Dal Chawal Arancini and the Aslam Chicken in the mix.
- Where: Uthamar Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam
4. Cake Walk Café
Part of Chennai's dessert landscape since the 1990s, Cake Walk is truly one of Chennai's original pastry destinations, evoking a strong sense of nostalgia for many Chennaiites. Cake Walk Café launched earlier this year, aims to tap into that nostalgia in a contemporary setting with an extensive menu that includes their popular cake mash-ups and delicious pastas.
- Where: Kothari Road
Made a splash in the city as one of the country's first photography-themed cafes. The baristas are well-trained and have quite a few tricks up their sleeves - you can even get your picture snapped and printed onto your cappuccino foam. It's not just about coffee; the menu is quite eclectic, featuring bestsellers like smoked chicken soup and a burrata salad.
- Where: 10th Cross Street, Sastri Nagar
Mustard has remained one of our favourite restaurants in Goa over the past few years. It takes its name from the use of mustard, a condiment used in its purest form in both French and Bengali cuisine. The menu brings together iconic Bengali dishes and fine French cuisine in a an atmospheric setting backed by a bar menu packed with innovative cocktails.
- Where: Sterling Road
7. Chettinad Stories
How far will you travel for authentic Chettinad flavours? If you're in Chennai, all you have to do is head to Chettinad Stories, located at Hotel Aadithya. The menu includes true-blue Chettinad delicacies and dishes with a delicious twist. Even if the interiors don't transport you to Chettinad (in Southern Tamil Nadu), the authentic flavours certainly will.
- Where: Hotel Aadithya, Arcot Road, Vadapalani
If there's one reason why diners return to Sangamithirai, it's nostalgia. Executive Chef Prem Kumar and his enthusiastic team bring some of Tamil Nadu's finest cuisine to your table. From Kari dosai to Karuppu Kavunni halwa, this is a fantastic culinary journey across Tamil Nadu. If you grew up in Tamil Nadu, it might evoke childhood memories and remind you of your grandmother's recipes.
- Where: Feathers - A Radha Hotel , Manapakkam
9. Ambur Canteen
You had to be invited to a wedding or travel to Ambur to sample authentic Ambur biryani. Ambur Canteen has changed all that. We appreciate the casual vibe and the slice-of-life images from Ambur and the Arcot region that adorn the walls, but it's the biryani that steals the show. Their key unique selling proposition (USP) is the culinary production team, all hailing from Ambur, and their rice-to-meat ratio that elevates the biryani.
- Where: Habibullah Road
10. ETC (Elba Trading Company)
Pasta might be ubiquitous in Chennai, but there are not too many spots where you can sample an authentic Italian pasta crafted with fine ingredients. That's why ETC, which debuted in the last quarter of 2023, has our attention. From spaghetti to ravioli, all their pastas are terrific and made with ingredients shipped from Italy. It's also one of the only spots in the city that offers fine, fresh black truffles.
- Where: St Mary's Road, Alwarpet
11. Sky, The Residency Towers
The name is a giveaway. This is Chennai's best new rooftop restaurant with a choice of indoor and alfresco options - four dining spaces in all. It's the two alfresco sections with views of the city and the coastline that win our vote. This all-day dining space is perfect for sundowners and a hearty Asian meal with a local twist.
- Where: Sir Theagaraya Road
12. Bask By Coffee
It's one of the most 'Instagrammed' F&B hotspots of 2023. Set in a sprawling bungalow in a swish neighbourhood, Bask quickly became one of Chennai's preferred social spaces. Large community-style dining tables, a brilliant blend of outdoor and indoor seating options, and an exhaustive menu that captures the city's evolving palates, all come together in this high-energy cafe.
- Where: Kasturi Rangan Road