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Where to EAT in Madurai - Top Restaurants

There’s a soft corner for Madurai in the hearts of most true-blue Tamils. This is one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities with a colourful history that dates back over two millennia. At the heart of Madurai’s rich history and traditions is the Tamil language. Madurai has always been with the city’s rich culinary heritage. Madurai is the right place for you. Where to EAT in Madurai - Top RestaurantsMadurai has a host of restaurants, hotels and road side food stalls. All of them are famous for their fresh and tasty traditional South Indian food . Madurai is famous for the Jil Jil Jigarthanda, Paruthi Pal, and sugar cane juice. Jigarthanda is a delicious drink made of algae, milk and sugar. Paruthi pal is another drink prepared by cotton seeds, flour of raw rice, coconut and jaggery.

Where to EAT in Madurai - Top RestaurantsThere is also a special 'fruit mixture' drink that is sold near the Meenakshi Amman Temple. In Madurai, food is available at reasonable prices and you can satisfy your apetite almost 24 hours a day. Madurai's road side food joints are available almost all the time. The tourists are recommended to try the Dosa and pongal here. There are over 30 variety of Dosas available here. Some of the famous restaurants in Madurai, providing the Where to EAT in Madurai - Top Restaurantsanswer to 'where to eat', This is not a city where you have long drawn conversations over a meal and yet almost everyone you meet in the city has strong opinions about their food. Recipes carefully bequeathed from one generation to the next. Restaurants where masalas are still hand ground and where factory-made masalas are frowned upon.


The city that never sleeps. Madurai’s location in the heart of Tamil Nadu has always seen a steady flow of visitors who keep ‘floating’ through the city almost round the clock. The city’s markets are a hub for local produce from all over Southern Tamil Nadu. It’s been one of the biggest drivers for the city’s food culture with a host of street foodoptions. We pick 10 dishes you must try when you are in Madurai. Of course, there are no fine dining options:

1. Kari Dosai at Konar Mess

Where to EAT in Madurai - Top RestaurantsThe Konars were originally cow and goat herds and therefore, offal dishes are a big part of their daily menu. The three-tier dosai at Konar is now a local legend. A thick dosa, an omelette and a layer of minced mutton. This is not a dosai you can take lightly! Order a repeat at your own risk and do wash it down with Bovonto, Madurai’s very own soft drink that’s become ultra-cool post the state’s Jallikattu protests.

2. Kola Urundai at Chandran Mess
Where to EAT in Madurai - Top Restaurants
The owner of this famous local establishment proudly took me around his squeaky-clean kitchen that is still supervised by his family. I watched the staff painstakingly grind down the mutton and transform them into melt-in-your-mouth mutton balls that are crispy on the outside. Don’t leave town without sinking your teeth into these pockets of joy.

3. Idli at Murugan Idli Shop
Where to EAT in Madurai - Top Restaurants
Murugan Idli is now a household name in Chennai and has blossomed into a restaurant chain. The Murugan story began in Madurai with a restaurant that’s walking distance from the iconic Meenakshi Temple. Murugan’s idlis are soft, sticky (a complete contrast from the grainier Udupi-style idlis) and served with an array of chutneys.

4. ‘Full Meals’ at Shriram Mess
Where to EAT in Madurai - Top Restaurants
Madurai’s ‘mutton-heavy’ meals can be overwhelming even for hard-core meat fans. Shriram Mess is the perfect detox before you head home. This restaurant serves one of the finest vegetarian meals on a banana leaf in the city.

5. Idiyappam at Burmah Idiyappa Kadai
Where to EAT in Madurai - Top Restaurants
‘Hole in the wall’ might not be an inaccurate description of this tiny eatery that serves just one dish. Locals and visitors patiently wait for their turn opposite Mission hospital to sample idiappam (string hoppers) served with chutney and coconut milk. The simplest dishes are often the tastiest.

6. Kalkandu Sadham at Sri Nagalakshmi Annexe

Where to EAT in Madurai - Top RestaurantsThe Madurai Saurashtrians moved here from Gujarat during the reign of the Nayaks. The community speak their own dialect and are a fascinating subculture in Madurai’s rich tapestry. This community loves their ‘mixed rice’ dishes. Nagalakshmi Annexe is one the city’s few surviving Saurashtra style restaurants and their kalkandu (sugar candy) rice is a must-try.

7. Paruthi Paal

Where to EAT in Madurai - Top RestaurantsMadurai’s food scene truly comes alive just before the sun sets. It’s about the same time you will find push carts hitting some of the city’s streets with Paruthi Paal (translates to cotton milk). Cotton seed extracts are combined with a small quantity of rice flour, cardamom, dry ginger and sweetened with palm sugar. Tasty and full of goodness.

8. Meen Kuzhambu at Amma Mess

Where to EAT in Madurai - Top RestaurantsYou are never alone when you eat here. It’s not just the never-ending sea of diners but also pictures of celebrities – mostly Tamil film stars (who have dined here), that stare at you from every corner. The highlights from this home-style menu are the fish gravies (try the Muthal Mariyathai Meen kuzhambu, that takes its name from a popular 1980’s Tamil film). If seafood is not your scene, do sample their truly unique bone marrow omelette.

9. Parotta at Sulthan restaurant:
Where to EAT in Madurai - Top Restaurants
Madurai loves its parottas and the city’s parotta ‘artistes’ love the attention - the kothu (minced) parotta ‘masters’ turn up the decibel levels to attract customers. Sulthan’s is quite popular for their biryani but it’s their flaky, multi-layered parotta that is their biggest draw.

10. Jigarthanda at Famous Jigarthanda
Where to EAT in Madurai - Top Restaurants
There’s one theory that the Nawabs of Arcot brought this sugary sweet dessert to Madurai. It doesn't matter now; this is Madurai’s most popular dessert and possibly the city’s answer to falooda. Hand churned ice cream, condensed milk with tree gum. The perfect antidote to all the spices and flavours of Madurai’s meat dishes.

Best Buffet Restaurants in Madurai

Handpicked Top 3 Buffet Restaurants in Madurai. How can we actually say this? Our 50-Point Inspection includes everything from checking reputation, history, complaints, reviews, satisfaction, trust and cost to the general excellence. You deserve only the best!

Barbeque Bistrro

Veg Starters, Non Veg Starters, Soup, Salads, Main Courses,
Chicken Noodles Soup,
Desserts & Biryani

Presents an all new International Buffet dining experience with a live grill - Non vegetarian buffet lunch spread with desserts

Sangam - Buffet

Weekday Buffet, Weekend Buffet, Soup, Salads, Chicken Breast, Fries, Desserts & Beverages

Weekend buffet is a lavish and elaborate affair with a range of options to choose from

Ahaaram Multi cuisine Restaurant

Starters, Soup, Salads, Rice, Naan, Side Dishes, Breakfast, Dinner, Deserts & Beverages

Located in Regency by GRT hotels

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