When you think of cafes in Chennai, the initial thought is usually of idli, vada, dosa and filter coffee as they were and are intrinsic to the food culture of this South Indian city. However, with time, the long-existing café culture of the city has been slowly evolving and has started embracing the new cuisines as well. 

Listed out are 16 cafes that are nothing short of culinary destinations for the experience they offer.

1. Writer’s Café, Chennai

A collaboration with Higginbotham, one of India’s oldest bookstores, this café in Chennai is just perfect for literature enthusiasts and book lovers. Enjoy authentic Western menu surrounded by bookshelves.

  • Location: Anna Salai, Egmore
  • Cost for two: INR 600
  • Timings: 10:00 am – 09:00 pm

2. Zuka, Chennai

Zuka Chennai

A café synonymous with chocolate through their decor and menu that features a plethora of desserts. A good place for having a chocolate-filled romantic date, it’s an ideal café in Chennai for couples.

  • Location: Krishna Street, T. Nagar
  • Cost for two: INR 600
  • Timings: 10:00 am – 05:00 pm

3. Tryst Café, Chennai

A classic place offering a wide range of cuisines served in a European setting, it is among the best cafes in Chennai. The bakery section of the café is a must-visit, especially for kraftkorn, their signature bread.

  • Location: East Coast Road, Neelankarai
  • Cost for two: INR 800
  • Timings: 09:30 am – 10:00 pm

4. Osteria by That Madras Place, Chennai

With a classic décor and a cosy and charming vibe, it is a great café in Chennai for couples. They mainly serve European fare, but they also offer delectable Italian dishes as well as their own artisanal teas.

  • Location: Kasturibai Nagar, Adyar
  • Cost for two: INR 800
  • Timings: 12:00 pm – 09:30 pm

5. Amelie’s, Chennai

Enjoy the colourful and lively ambience of this café known for its mouthwatering desserts along with traditional café items. There are also a lot of interesting mocktails and smoothies that are a must-try.

  • Location: Seshadri Road, Alwarpet
  • Cost for two: INR 900
  • Timings: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm (till midnight from Saturday-Sunday)

6. Café De Paris, Chennai

Cafe_De_Paris_Chennai

Aesthetic ambience with a wonderful garden and beautiful lighting, this place is a perfect café in Chennai for romantic couples. Relish the array of Italian dishes in the warm setting of this quaint little place.

  • Location: Opposite Lanson Toyota, Teynampet
  • Cost for two: INR 900
  • Timings: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

7. The Bark, Chennai

Bring your dog or play with the adorable dogs in the backyard at this pet-friendly café in Chennai. A menu item called the ‘Skyscraper’, which is 4 different, unique burgers is a definite must-try.

  • Location: Dutch Village, Alwarpet
  • Cost for two: INR 1000
  • Timings: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

8. Fromage, Chennai

Chennai’s only cheese-themed restaurant, this is in the list of the best cafes in Chennai for its amazing menu whose every item’s core is cheese-based. Indulge in the cheesy goodness served in this café overlooking the coastline.

  • Location: Chennai Corp Ward, Egmore
  • Cost for two: INR 1000
  • Timings: 12:00 pm – 09:00 pm

9. Chamiers Café, Chennai

The ideal example of an English café with tasteful and classy décor, it’s quite popular among locals. Enjoy a good conversation and delicious food in the quiet ambience of this café.

  • Location: Opposite Crowne Plaza, RA Puram
  • Cost for two: INR 1000
  • Timings: 09:00 am – 08:00 pm

10. Azzuri Bay, Chennai

With a rooftop seating that offers a scenic view of the city, this place is a wonderful café in Chennai for couples. They serve palatable seafood as well as cuisines ranging from Thai and Chettinad.

  • Location: Gandhinagar, Adyar
  • Cost for two: INR 1000
  • Timings: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, 07:00 pm – 10:00 pm

11. Shiraz Art Café, Chennai

Specialising in Persian cuisine, this café offers exotic menu with strangely named dishes that will blow your mind. Enjoy the cool sea breeze in the open-air seating while having some unusual and fancy food.

  • Location: Blue Beach Road, Neelangarai
  • Cost for two: INR 1100
  • Timings: 11:00 am – 03:00 pm, 05:00 pm – 10:00 pm

12. Gusto Café, Chennai

This Arabian-themed café in Chennai has a décor with props and furniture that remain true to its theme. Visit to try flavoursome hookah and some tantalising Continental and Chinese dishes.

  • Location: Jaganathan Road, Nungambakkam
  • Cost for two: INR 1100
  • Timings: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

13. Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory, Chennai

Minimalistic and modern are the two words that define the interior of this café with glass doors and an outdoor seating area adorned with fairy lights. Their menu offers a wide selection of scrumptious desserts.

  • Location: 2nd Street, Nungambakkam
  • Cost for two: INR 1400
  • Timings: 07:00 am – 09:00 pm

14. Wild Garden Café – Amethyst, Chennai

Comprising a café, an accessories and fashion store, and a flower shop, this venture is highly popular. One can choose to sit in either the verandah, the garden, or the enclosed area and enjoy the amazing food and beverages served by this café.

  • Location: Whites Road, Royapettah
  • Cost for two: INR 1400
  • Timings: 10:00 am – 08:00 pm

15. Kipling Café, Chennai

Among the most romantic cafes in the city, it is a popular choice for some quiet and memorable times. With a beach nearby, this café is always buzzing for all it offers in its artistically designed décor and cocktail menu.

  • Location: East Coast Road, Akkarai
  • Cost for two: INR 2400 (excluding alcohol)
  • Timings: 12:00 am – 08:00 pm (till 09:00 pm on Sundays)

16. Café Mercara Express – ITC Grand Chola, Chennai

Situated in Hotel ITC Grand Chola, this café gives you the best luxurious café feel and experience with its exquisite seafood and ambience. They also specialise in serving a variety of flavourful and aromatic coffee in clay pots.

  • Location: Mount Road, Guindy
  • Cost for two: INR 2500 (excluding alcohol)
  • Timings: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Enjoy the highly varied experiences and ambiences these cafes have to offer from a European Era to the Madras of Chennai’s past. You can gorge on the traditional dishes of the city and let your taste buds explore new flavours and exotic food at the same time in these highly popular eating places. 

Now that you have read all about which are the best cafes in Chennai, go out and start ticking each café off the list one by one.