Best Street Foods to Try in Chennai to Satiate Your Taste Buds

December 18, 2023

Nothing reveals the true colours of a city than the street food culture. The street food scene in Chennai is a diverse blend of interesting cultures and its beautiful history. Chennai is typically presumed as a vegetarian delight. However, the street food scene here debunks this myth. 

The street food landscape here changes every kilometer or neighbourhood. From scrumptious seafood stalls in the popular beaches of the city like Besant Nagar and Marina Beach to meat-based street-side vendors to even invigorating filter coffee, there is much more for your platter. No other cuisine describes the term ‘finger-friendly’ food better than the metropolitan city of Chennai.

What is the Best Street Food in Chennai?

From Besant Nagar to Triplicane to Perambur, an extensive range of the best Chennai tastemakers will take you on an ultimate street food trail through different neighbourhoods of the city.

If you are visiting Chennai anytime soon, you can try out some of the most sought-after street foods of Chennai  that delight you in every sense. Here are some of them:

1. Atho Man

Atho Man

Amongst one of the most scrumptious street foods of Chennai, Atho Man is typically a street-side delicacy with its origins from Burma. However, the dish has managed to gain immense popularity in Chennai due to its unmatched flavors. 

Typically, Atho Man is an orange-coloured plain noodle-based dish that is blended and served with fresh veggies. You can easily come across small stalls in almost every corner of the metropolis selling this sought-after local dish. 

2. Idlis


Idli is one of the most famous street foods in Chennai. It is so popular that it is common to find the delicacy across almost every roadside vendor, cart, or shop in the city. Idli is available as a soft, fluffy round cake that is loved by all, including children and adults. The dish is prepared out of either rice or lentil batter. The batter is eventually accentuated in the overall taste with the help of spices. 

The batter of lentils and spices is then steamed in a dedicated stencil. You can have delicious, steaming hot idlis with a serving of piping hot, flavourful Sambhar. To enhance the overall experience, most street-side vendors also offer delicious tomato and coconut chutney as the popular condiments. Idli is undeniably one of the healthiest and most sought-after breakfast dishes of South Indian cuisine

3. Sundal


It is a type of chaat snack that is quite popular across the locals of the city. Sundal is a healthy and lightweight snack item that is favoured for evening munching. The dish is prepared by using ingredients like black chickpeas, raw mango, and shredded coconut. The presence of diverse ingredients imparts this dish a slightly tangy flavour. To top it all, the dish also features diced onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers. 

To enhance the overall flavours of this dish, most vendors add a wide variety of flavour-rich spices. The presence of different spices makes the dish spicy and delectable. Usually, local street-side vendors offer this dish in a bowl or a paper cone. The tangy, spicy flavours of the chaat will indeed leave you with a pleasant experience. 

4. Kothu Parotta

Kothu Parotta

It is yet another local street delicacy in Chennai. Kothu Parotta is a simple, yet fulfilling dish that you just try in the city. The best part is that you can enjoy this dish in both the veg and non-veg option. Protta is a type of Indian flatbread that is prepared using wheat flour. It somewhat appears like the Lachha Parantha from North India cuisines.

Kothu Parotta is prepared by shredding leftover Parottas. The shredded pieces are then mixed with eggs, chicken, or other forms of meat with spices and potatoes. If you prefer the vegetarian version, you can have the ones that are prepared using a mixture of finely chopped veggies, including onions, tomatoes, and potatoes with different spices. The dish is served with either a spicy sauce or cold raita as per your preference. 

5. Murukku


Murkku is a crunchy, savoury snack that is quite famous across South India. The delicious snack is known by different names across different parts of the country. For instance, in Maharashtra, it is famous as Chakli and in Andhra Pradesh, it is known as Chakralu. 

The dish is prepared with a rice-based batter that is blended with a mixture of urad dal flour and a wide variety of flavourful spices. The scrumptious paste is then twisted and given the shape of spiral coils. The shape of the snack resembles a jalebi. Once the batter is ready, it is deep-fried in oil or ghee until golden brown. The overall flavours of murukku can be best enjoyed with tea. It is one of the most favourite evening snacks amongst locals in the metropolis. 


Chennai is all about scrumptious street food. If you are visiting the metro city, you should try these local delicacies to make the most of your trip. If you are tired from all the explorations, you can head home and order food online in Chennai from the best street food vendors in the city. 


1. What are the famous local snacks I should try while exploring Chennai’s street food scene?

A. As you wish to unravel the street food culture of this historic city, you can visit or order from the famous eateries. Some of the must-have street food items here are idlis, dosas, kothu parottas, chaats, and much more. 

A. While you must have tried out the savoury delicacies across the street food scene in Chennai, there is a wide range of desserts that are a must-have as well. For all sweet-tooths out there, some of the must-try desserts in Chennai are Mysore Pak, Palkova, Profiteroles, and Ukkarai.

3. What are some of the must-try street foods in Chennai?

A. The street food scene in Chennai is quite happening and diverse. If you wish to indulge in some wholesome experience, you must give the street food culture here a try. Some of the best street food items in Chennai are Puttu, Uthappam, Dosa, Idli, Sundal, and much more.

A. If you are craving for something lightweight yet delicious, the wide range of scrumptious snack items in Chennai will indeed delight you. There are several street food vendors that offer these delicacies. You can try out snacks like Bhajji, Murukku, Chaat, Pani Puri, and others to have a great culinary experience.

1. Can you provide a list of vegetarian street food options in Chennai?

Yes. There is an extensive list of the best street food options you can relish in Chennai. For your divine experience, some of the highly sought-after options are Atho Man, Parottas, Kozhi Roast, Muttai Curry, and Sundal. 

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