10 Best Street Food in Chennai – A Detailed Foodie’s Guide

Do you know Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is one of the topmost destinations for food?

Street food in chennai doesn’t limit its offerings to Idlis and Dosas, rather it offers a scrumptious array of food items with a combination of varieties of spices and herbs.

The street food items are emerging daily in Chennai with numerous food streets that offer succulent varieties of culinary delicacies by offering not just South-Indian food but also other delicacies of the Indian subcontinent.

Top 10 Most Popular Street Food of Chennai

Chennai ranked 2nd in National Geographic’s list of “Top 10 Food Cities” worldwide. If you’re a foodie, you cannot give this city’s food a miss.

So just for you, here is the list of top 10 street food of Chennai that you should must-try.

1 Idli


Idli is one of the most common street foods that you get at almost every roadside stall, shop, or cart on the streets of Chennai.

Idli is a soft and fluffy round cake that everybody can enjoy from small children to adults. Idli is made up of fragmented black lentils and various types of spices.

The batter of the lentils and spices is steamed in an idli stencil and is then ready to serve in front of you with hot and spicy sambar and luscious coconut and tomato chutney on the side.

It is one of the healthiest and the most preferable street foods that you get on the streets of Chennai.

If you want to taste the real flavor provided by the city then, you should must-try Idli here.


Idli originated in the 17th century in southern India. Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu claim that they invented the recipe of Idli. The actual answer is lost in the history pages.

Where You Can Get It

  • Murugan Idli Shop (T. Nagar)
  • Idly Express (Velachery)

Best Time to Eat: At Breakfast

Price Range: Rs. 50-80 per plate

2 Sundal

Sundal is a kind of dry Chaat item which is very much popular among the people of Chennai. Sundal is a light, healthy, and one of the best munching snacks.

It is made up of boiled Black chickpeas, shredded coconut, and raw mango, which provide it with a tangy taste, nicely diced cucumber, tomatoes, and onions.

And various types of spices are added to it as well to make it a bit spicy and are then served in front of you in a paper cone or a bowl.

The spicy and tangy flavor of this chart will surely steal your heart. You can find several stalls selling this particular chaat snack with their unique touch of flavor on the streets and beaches of Chennai.

Sundal Chaat, especially the one you find at Marine Beach is worth trying.


It originated in Uttar Pradesh during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, around the late 17th century.

Where You Can Get It

  • OSB hot and Chaat (West Mambalam)
  • Mathsya (Egmore)

Best Time to Eat: At Tea-Time

Price Range: Rs.30-50 per plate (approx.)

3 Kothu Parotta

muttai paroota

It is one of the popular South-Indian delicacies. Kothu Parotta is a simple, easy-to-make dish.

This dish can be enjoyed in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian ways.

First of all, Parotta is a flatbread made up of wheat flour and that somewhat looks like a lachha Paratha. Kothu Parotta is prepared from leftover Parottas by shredding them into tiny pieces.

It is then mixed with meat or chicken or eggs with potatoes and spices if you are a non-vegetarian lover.

If not, then the shredded parotta is mixed with various chopped vegetables such as onions, potatoes, and tomatoes with different spices and it is ready.

It is served with cold Raita or a spicy sauce according to your preferences.

It is a famous roadside stall dish. In Chennai, you find the most delicious Kothu Parotta options to choose from.


It is believed to have originated in Madurai and is now can be found all over Tamil Nadu.

Where You Can Get It

  • Thambi Vilas (T. Nagar)
  • Madurai Kumar Mess (Ashok Nagar)

Best Time to Eat: At lunch

Price Range: Rs.100-150 approx. (per plate)

4 Murukku


Murukku is a crunchy, savory snack that is enjoyed by a large number of people.

This snack is known by different names in different parts of India, such as Chakli in Maharashtra, Jantikalu, and Chakralu in Andhra Pradesh, and many other names.

It is made up of rice and urad dal flour with varieties of spices mixed into it. The paste of both the flours is then twisted and shaped into a spiral coil.

Its shape looks quite like a Jalebi. After deep frying in oil or ghee for health-conscious ones till Golden Brown, it is all ready to serve.

Murukku’s salty taste just goes perfect with hot tea. It is one of the best street snacks that is so much admired by locals.


This snack originated in Tamil Nadu and is immensely popular in southern states.

Where You Can Get It

  • 3 star Murukku Shop (Mowlivakkam)
  • Ajanabi (Egmore)

Best Time to Eat: Evening time

Price Range: Rs.20-30 approx. (per piece)

5 Puttu


Puttu is the most popular street food item among Tamilians. It is a sweet dish that is enjoyed in many Southern parts of India. Puttu is a heavy and fulfilling breakfast.

It comprises different types of flour such as rice, ragi, wheat, black rice, Rava flour, etc.

The freshly grated coconut and sugar are added to it, which enhances its flavor and taste.

The whole mixture is then steamed in a bamboo Puttu maker. The Bamboo log gives the Puttu its original cylindrical shape and also provides it with a delicious mouth-watering aroma of its own.

This steamed snack is served with multiple curry types, such as kadala curry or black chickpeas curry.

People also love to have it with fish curry and meat dishes.

Puttu can also be enjoyed without any sides, just with a bit of sugar sprinkled over it. You should give this dish a shot.


It originated in Tamil Nadu itself. It is first mentioned in the book written in the 15th century by the renowned Tamil poet.

Where You Can Get It

  • Maplai (Nungambakkam)
  • Ente Keralam (Alwarpet)

Best Time to Eat: At Breakfast

Price Range: Rs.30-80 approx. (per plate)

6 Idiyappam


It is a healthy dish that you find on the streets of Chennai. It is a culinary specialty in the southern states of India.

There are lots of roadside stalls you find selling this scrumptious dish. Idiyappam is referred to as delicious South-Indian noodles made up of steamed rice.

It is served with various mouth-watering curries, including Veg Korma, Mushroom Korma, Veg Stew, Kadala curry, or coconut milk. This dish is admired by children as well as by adults.

The combination of steamed noodles with any of these curries goes perfect with each other and tastes finger-licking amazing.

But it goes without saying, you will not get the idea of its tasty flavor without actually taking a bite out of it.

If you ever plan to visit Chennai, do give this luscious dish a try.


It is believed to have originated in Northern or eastern Sri Lanka. It is one of Sri Lanka’s staple dishes as well.

Where You Can Get It

  • Srinivasan Road (T. Nagar)
  • Karaikudi (Mylapore)

Best Time to Eat: At Breakfast or Lunch

Price Range: Rs.50-90 approx.

7 Dosa

the biggest dosa menu ever


Dosa is another most famous south Indian food item that you can enjoy on the streets of Chennai after Idli.

It is a thin and crispy round pancake that is made up of the batter of fragmented rice and lentils.

Dosa is stuffed with various fillings such as mashed Masala potatoes, paneer masala, onion masala, etc., and can be enjoyed without any fillings.

It is served with hot and spicy sambar and multiple types of chutneys on the side. Dosa is quite a fulfilling dish that you can eat at very budget-friendly prices.

The trip to Chennai is incomplete without tasting its most quintessential food item that is dosa.

No dish can stand in front of the authentic and flavorful dosa served to you on the roadside shops and stalls in Chennai. So, do try it once.


It originated in South India and was enjoyed in the ancient Tamil country, around the 1st century.

Where You Can Get It

  • Dosa Mama (West Mambalam)
  • Dosart (Kilpauk)
  • Krishna’s Dosa Kadai (Nolambur)

Best Time to Eat: At Breakfast or Lunch

Price Range: Rs.60-140 approx.

8 Atho

Atho is amongst the most famous street foods in Chennai. It is one of the Burmese delicacies.

Atho is a dish consisting of plain orange-colored noodles mixed with a lot of raw veggies and multiple types of spices. If you are a non-veg lover, you can go for non-vegetarian Atho as well.

Additionally, meat, chicken, and eggs are mixed with noodles and vegetables to satisfy your taste buds.

It is quite a popular dish among locals. It is a unique dish that you can get most commonly on the roadside stalls in Chennai. People line up in front of the Atho stalls just to buy a plate of it.

The flavorful taste of these spicy noodles doesn’t even take a minute to make your taste buds dance.

The veggie indulgence in Atho makes it a lot healthier. So do not worry about calories you gain and try this in the mouth-watering offering of Chennai.


It originated in Burma, Myanmar but became so popular in Chennai that people have forgotten its origin.

Where You Can Get It

  • Atho Man (Royapuram)
  • Atho Corner (Narasimha Nagar)

Best Time to Eat: At Lunch or Dinner

Price Range: Rs.60-100 approx. (per plate)

9 Uthappam

rava uttapam

Uthappam is the most loved street food among locals as well as among tourists in Chennai after Dosa.

This South-Indian item comprises fragmented rice and is loaded with lots of vegetables like capsicum, tomato, onion, and cabbage. Uthappam has a very soft texture.

Though it appears to be like dosa, its mixture is relatively thicker. The different types of vegetables in it enhance its flavor and taste to a large extent.

It is one of the healthiest street food options the health-conscious people find in Chennai.

This lip-smacking dish is served hot with spicy and tangy sambar and with delicious coconut and tomato chutney on the side.

There are different varieties of Uthappam offered to you, such as Onion Uthappam, Paneer, Uthappam, Masala Uthappam, etc.

You can choose according to your mood and preference.

Remember that this dish is a bit fulfilling!


It is mentioned in the Tamil ancient literature that this South Indian dish is originated in Tamil Nadu

Where You Can Get It

  • Anachi Dosai Kadai (Injambakkam)
  • Ratna Cafe (Triplicane)

Best Time to Eat: At Breakfast

Price Range: Rs. 50-80 approx.

10 Bhajji

vazhakkai bajji

It is one of the well-liked evening snacks in Chennai.

The texture of Bhaji is similar to North Indian snack Pakora. Bhaji is stuffed with different vegetables such as onion, Potato, Chili, etc.

It is then deep-fried in the oil and served hot and crispy with sweet, tangy, and chili chutneys on the side. These chutneys enhance the flavors and the deliciousness of the Bhajis to a great extent.

You can find this light snack on many roadside stalls on the streets of Chennai at a very affordable price range.

This tea-time snack is most enjoyed by the people in the monsoon season.

I bet you, when the piping hot bhajis come in front of you straight out of the Kadais, you cannot stop yourself from having one, no matter how diet conscious you are.


The actual origin of this snack is lost in history pages.

Where You Can Get It

  • Mak N Bhajji Shop (Triplicane)
  • Jannal Kadai (Mylapore)

Best Time to Eat: At Evening

Price Range: Rs.30-50 approx. (per plate)


In the end, you know that Chennai is all about street food. Street Food in Chennai is something that you shouldn’t miss at any expense while here.

People from all around the globe visit this place just to explore the flavors and lusciousness provided by the roadside stall and shops on the streets of Chennai.

If you have never been to Chennai but feel an urge to grab a bite of Chennai’s street food by looking at this list, then it’s time to gift yourself with a solo trip to this city, pack your bags, go on a food journey to this beautiful place, and enjoy its immense succulent offerings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs on the Top 10 Street Food of Chennai

1. Which is the most famous breakfast you find on the streets of Chennai?

Idli is the most famous breakfast among all the street food items that you find on the streets of Chennai.

2. Which street food in Chennai has gained the most popularity in the whole state?

Atho, a burmese delicacy, has gained the most popularity among Tamilians.

3. What makes the street food in Chennai so special?

The uniqueness and flavors that South Indians add to food preparation make the street food in Chennai unique and delicious.

4. Is street food in Chennai healthy?

Not every street food item in Chennai is healthy, but Idli, Dosa, Uthappam, Sundal Chaat, Pattu are some of the healthiest options that you find on the streets of Chennai.

5. Chennai’s street food is pocket-friendly. Yes or No?

Of course, you can explore any street food item under Rs.150 approx. on the streets of Chennai without burdening your pocket


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