10 Of The Best Places To Find A Perfect Cup Of Filter Coffee In Chennai

Feb 6, 2024

If there’s one constant request for food or beverage recommendations, it’s filter coffee in Chennai. While cities like Melbourne might claim to have invented the term coffee snob, you haven’t met the most fussy coffee snobs if you haven’t run into one in Chennai. This is a city that takes its filter coffee very seriously – one reason why international and national coffee chains that have tasted success in the city are still not taken seriously concerning their filter coffee creds.

You will hear every possible crib from the city’s filter coffee connoisseurs- either the milk is too thick, the coffee is too light or the sugar is not right. That’s one reason many traditional restaurants and coffee outlets offer a tumbler of the filter coffee decoction on the side. That’s one way to placate serious coffee drinkers in the city. We round up some of the best spots for filter coffee in the city; we’re sure this list is likely to spark more debate among the city’s discerning coffee snobs who are almost impossible to please.

Also Read: 5 Must-Try Bengaluru Restaurants Where Filter Coffee Rules!

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10 Top Places For Filter Coffee In Chennai:

1. Sangeetha Veg Restaurant, RA Puram:

It operates multiple outlets across the city. It’s the RA Puram outlet (The Adyar outpost is a close second) that is our favourite for filter coffee. The service team caters to requests – whether it’s strong coffee or a version with less sugar, like OG restaurants in Chennai continue to do.

Where: 4th Main Road, RA Puram

2. Krishna Restaurant, New Woodlands Hotel:

A popular hangout for Carnatic music fans, especially during the Chennai music season (December – January), this is one of Chennai’s most iconic restaurants that is also associated with the Udupi-style Masala dosa. The restaurant has sourced its coffee beans from the same estate for decades.

Where: Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore

3. Mathsya:

Another Chennai restaurant, this place has been sourcing its Arabica beans from a single estate in Chikmagalur for over thirty years. That’s one reason old-timers keep coming back for their filter coffee aside from their traditional Udupi snacks like the deep-fried Mangalore bondas and the bajjari (made with rice flour) dosa that’s served with jaggery and fresh coconut.

Where: Halls Road, Egmore

4. Eating Circles:

A magnet for Bengaluru-style snacks like the crispy masala dosa and thatte idli, Eating Circles is also one of the only restaurants in Chennai that serve the sweet, Bengaluru-style sambar. It’s also one of the best spots in the city for a Bengaluru-style filter coffee, this is another city like Chennai that loves its filter coffee.

Where: CP Ramaswamy Road, Abhiramapuram

5. Saravana Bhavan on RK Salai:

Few metros wake up earlier than Chennai. This restaurant moved recently from its popular location on RK Salai, but continues to be a favourite with beach walkers (the city’s emblematic Marina Beach is close by) and late-night revellers who kick start their day with a tumbler of invigorating filter coffee.

Where: Radhakrishnan Salai, 5th Street, Mylapore.

6. Vivekananda Coffee:

One of the oldest filter coffee retail brands in Chennai, Vivekananda Coffee’s Kumbakonam degree coffee has been a household name since the 1950s. The coffee brand operates multiple retail stores in Chennai where you can also sample freshly brewed filter coffee on the go.

Where: South Usman Road, T Nagar

7. Madras Coffee House:

If there’s one thing most Chennaites miss when they’re away from home, it’s a tumbler of filter coffee. One reason the Madras Coffee House outlet at the Chennai airport is a comforting sign for Chennaites returning home. This is one of the best versions of a grab-and-go filter coffee served in a paper cup and is available across the city in malls and IT parks.

Where: Multiple outlets

8. Mylai Karpagambal Mess: 

Most trails to good-filter coffee in Chennai lead to Mylapore. This old-school establishment is famous for its keerai (spinach) vadai and badam halwa and is located close to the iconic Mylapore Kapaleeshwar temple. The restaurant sources coffee seeds, roasts, grinds and brews its trademark coffee which is a favourite with its regulars

Where: East Mada Street, Mylapore

9. Cafe Mercara, ITC Grand Chola:

For a city that wakes up to filter coffee, it’s not always easy to find a great cup of filter coffee in its luxury hotels. Cafe Mercara Express at the ITC Grand Chola is a rare exception. Whether you need a filter coffee fix in the middle of the night or during a business meeting during the day, you’re more than sorted.

Where: ITC Grand Chola, Anna Salai, Guindy

10. Rathna Cafe:

It’s been over 75 years since this homegrown Chennai brand began its journey in Triplicane. It’s now grown into a chain with multiple outlets. While Rathna Cafe might be best known for its sambar idli – grainy idlis drenched in their signature sambar, the filter coffee is also a popular draw among its regulars.

Where: Multiple outlets

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