Places for North Indian Chaat Items in Chennai
Among the different locales in the city, Sowcarpet definitely tops the list when it comes to chaat items. It takes you 15 minutes for you
to drive to the area, but 20 minutes to drive in the area, to the shop. It is a place where people can get a wide variety of chaat with no fancy prices. There are innumerable stalls on the road and also various small chaat-corners that offer a wide range of mouth-watering Pani Puris, Bhel puri, Daabeli, Ghaatia, Jalebi, and Bhujiya Bondas. You also get a range of sweets, lassis, Badam kheers, Basandis along with the spicy chaats. The taste of the food here is very authentic.
For those of you who have never dared venturing into the busy streets of Sowcarpet, the following are some of the best places to eat.
Novelty Tea House
Every North Indian dish thinkable is available here along with a huge variety of chaat. Don’t miss the Pav Baaji, which is the happening dish of the place. This place also offers a variety of South-Indian dishes. No wonder people of the locality (Being pre-dominantly North Indians) are always found here.
The Pav here is probably the best. Soft, hot and laden with butter, you can easily go on till atleast you are done with 6 Pav’s. The ‘Bhaji’ utterly butterly delicious. Cooked on most occasions only after the order is placed. So, it is piping hot. Novelty offers a huge variety even if you eating just the Pav Bhaji. There is the Cheese Pav Bhaji(not for the calorie conscious), Khada(Dry) Pav Bhaji, Masala Pav Bhaji (this rocks), Kadak (Crispy) Pav Bhaji, Jain (No Onions) Pav Bhaji among others.
You can also try out the Tawa Pulav here. I am not sure whether any other joint in Chennai actually gives you the Tawa Pulav.
How to Reach ?
Take a left at the Flower Bazar police station and head straight down, ask anyone for Novelty and they will guide you. Alternatively you can come via Waltax Road (the road which runs adjacent to Central Station), park your car near Patni Plaza and walk straight down that road. And mind you, you get Pav Bhaji only in the evenings. And it is packed on weekends.
Sri Kakada Ramprasad
The shop is so popular, that the specialty dishes get over in no time. The Jalebis and Ghaatias of here seem to be the breakfast of many, as they get over in minutes. The drinks like Badam Kheer and Basandi are a must try especially during summer.The Badam milk is absolutely fresh, thick and mmmmm… Actually, there is tons of badam and cashews spilled over on top than the milk per se. Forget the calories and enjoy.
How to Reach ?
The place is very near to Novelty Tea House, just about 100meters down the road from there on Mint Street.
Chottu-Motu, Rajshree and Mahendra Sweets are all famous for their pani puris. And these are cheap and makes you eat more.
Chotu Motu is a fast food outlet, which serves chaat items and bread varieties such as sandwiches, cheese toasts and grills. Also available are kachodi, samosa, puff, khaman and dhoklas. They also prepare pure vegetarian cakes and pastries. The Dahi Puri at Chottu-Mottu is a must try.
Bamboo Chaat House like the name suggests has the ambience of the woods. This place is famous for its Bhujiya Bondas and various other North-Indian dishes.
Try Agarwal Bhavan on Govindappa Street for lassi and basundi.
You might notice that there are a lot of regulars even to the roadside shops. These places offer you food that even the bigger food courts might fail to. The sandwich stalls in this area are also a must try. There is no way that you would stop with one! You will also find sugarcane shops set up here and there in the streets that can quench your thirsts especially after all the spicy food.
Note for the first time travellers
Please do not take your car here. It is best to take a bus or an auto, finish your shopping and then hail another auto and head home. Parking here is chaos and that itself is an understatement. Second, if you are new to the city AND do not know Tamil or hindi, please take someone along who does.