Top 5 North Indian restaurants you need to try in Chennai


I can completely relate when it’s all about trying out new places to satiate your hunger and finding the food a complete letdown and not worth the buck. I’ve had my share of rubbery panner and butter naan’s that reminded me of elastic chewy feeling in the mouth. But this post isn’t about that it’s about finding the best lip-smacking north Indian food in Chennai.

Want to have the subliminal feeling of a food coma or death by stuffed Paneer tikka or an Aalu Kulcha topped with a dollop of butter or wanted cheese mar ke Pav Bhaji?  Here are my top picks on finding the best north Indian cuisine in Chennai.

Also, all these are Tried and Tested

  1. Shyams Bombay Halwa house

Now, this is not any other Bombay halwa house restaurant in the city, even though you’ll come across at least a few by the Bombay Halwa house name don’t go by that. This specific restaurant is in T.nagar with all the other eatery’s. It’s in a quiet lane, so it’s hard to notice and fully packed most weekends but the waiting time is worth it. Go there for the melt in the mouth soft paneer, their butter rotis and experiment with their starters and curries menu.

What to order: Paneer Cigars, Stuffed paneer tikka, Fried masala khichiya. Paneer labadar, Dal makhni, Dal fry from the curries section they have an in-house Punjabi paneer the spicier version for those who’d like to take the heat up a notch.

Afternoon thalis:  if you’re around Tnagar, make sure you reach early as it gets really packed in the noons too since the restaurant is a pure veg they also cater to Jain food specifics.

Address: No. 6, Govindhu Street, T Nagar, Behind Panagal Park, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017

 2. Novelty Food House

If you’re sincerely craving food slapped with a dollop of butter then this is the place for you. Famous for it’s Pav Bhajis which can give you a heart stroke this place is well known for its chats. You can blindly order anything out of it’s extended curry section and it will not let you down. A dollop of butter may cost you a little higher but the food is truly worth the try.

What to order: Cheese/ Spl Pav bhaji, Tawa pulav, Mint dosa, Paneer tikka masala with butter roti. Try the falooda as well

Address: Old No.175, New No.355, Mint Street, Park Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600003

3.  Hatke Swad

If you’re typically from Delhi and are missing the food from the parathe waali galli or generally missing the food from the North of the Vindhiyas? Go to Hatke Swaad which is right opposite to Ethiraj College. The place is known for its tasty chats and you will truly devour some khulchas in proper Punjabi style. They also have Paratha meals which are truly filling under 200 rupees, that quite a steal for all the gluttony. The chats are amazing with the right moderation of chutneys and will definitely want you asking for more.

What to order: Delhi ki Aalu Tikki, Sev puri, Aalu Khulcha, Paneer Khulcha, Pani puri, Rajma chawal, moong dal halwa

Thali: There are many thalis to opt from but apart from that you could also ask for the thali which is inclusive of Paneer butter masala with a different gravy, rice and naan. They also have proper rice and dish combo like Rajma chawal, Kadhi chawal that you can opt for.

Address: 25, Ethiraj Salai, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600008

4. Ravi Mehra’s Delhi Hotel

In the busy lanes of Waltax road where parcels are regularly packed and shipped, there are lines of small joints that give you a quick filling of your dosa or typically spicy Andhra meals but walk further away and you’ll find the best for your buck at the Delhi hotel. It’s a popular hotel which is on the main road and cant go amiss their menu is extensive and the food is total yum.

What to order: Paneer Tikka, Spring rolls, Corn cheese balls, Dragon Paneer, Schezwan noodles, Paneer butter masala gravy with butter roti. Their afternoon thalis are known for their special crowd.

Address: 111, Wall Tax Rd, Badri Garden, Park Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600003

5. Babal da Punjabi Dhabha on P.H road

The only non-veg restaurant standing on this list is the Punjabi Dhabha, get transported into the retro era with old songs. The place looks small but there is delicious lip-smacking cuisine to taste.

What to order: Paneer Tikka, Gobi Manchurian, Dal fry, Aalu paratha, gobi paratha, Paneer/vegetable jalfrezi.

Non-Veg order: Tandoori Chicken, Rehmi kabab, Malai Kabab, Cheese Reshmi Kabab, Haryali kabab, Chicken tikka, Wheat kulcha. Order the schezwan rice or noodles, you won’t be disappointed.

Definitely try the lassi or the Rabdi with the Kulfi or the moong dal halwa.

Address: 114/9, Poonamallee High Road, Opp. Abu Portico, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600184











Unwinding at Meraki Cafe

If you’re someone that has a listicle of things to do, priorities and hardly any time to yourself it’s about time you visited this quaint cafe tucked in a deserted street at Abhiramapuram

As soon as you enter the cafe you’re surrounded by a bright wall and a nice sit out place, as you walk in, there is a space inside dedicated exclusively for a retreat. As soon as you open the main doors a slight aroma of lavender wafts through and the antique lamps make the retreat much more relaxing.

You’re taken into a room with an oval-shaped pod right in the center, it’s a white big round shaped pod filled with Epsom salt and water known as the NapPod. Once you enter the pod you can either sit back and relax or remain afloat in the water. Epsom salt is known to reduce the inflammation, promote blood circulation and relax the body even deeper. With 60 minutes to yourself, it’s an absolute retreat in your own cocoon.

Once you’re done with the retreat you can hang outside and order yourself quick snackers or sip some apple cider vinegar or go with the blueberry rush if you like to drink something sweet.

I happened to try paneer cigars which were delish which was served with mayo and sauce. I was hovering over the pasta menu next and ordered for Beetroot pasta, a dish that I thought I wouldn’t try because I’ve avoided beetroot almost all my life. When the dish landed on my table it was pink colored wheat pasta with perhaps a transparent sauce that I couldn’t identify, topped with garlic bread. Even though it felt pretentious at first, it all melted down when I took the first bite, it was all sorts of yum and creamy. You can always tell them if you’d like a rather dry version or a saucy version, they’re ready to make it exactly the way you want it.

My brother, who tagged along with me wanted to try a sandwich so he ordered a classic paneer cheese sandwich and it was just like any other sandwich we had eaten. There was quite a lot of options from the menu like Nachos, Salad’s for people who eat on a lighter note, but we were almost full.

Even after all the food thulp, we still had space for desserts while he went for the chocolate mousse I decided to order the Gulab Jamun cheesecake. This is perhaps the most sinful dessert I’ve tasted till date that light cheesecake with Gulab Jambun in the center, I was in heaven. I don’t think I even mumbled while having my dessert, and that my friend is when desserts give you a high, literally.

This is a kind of go-to place for a retreat and to grab a quick snacker (I’ve heard they’ve also introduced new maggie flavors in their menu) All the more reason to hang out at a quaint cafe, I say.