Sowcarpet is a sprawling neighbourhood in the northern part of Chennai, India and is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of the city with narrow streets and vintage buildings. A bustling commercial area of the city and a range of wholesale markets are located here. Not only that, Sowcarpet is one area where you get numerous varieties of Chaats, Sweets and Drinks.
Having a number of eateries in tightly packed streets, meant proper planning was absolutely necessary and there came our superhero organizers Pranav Balasubramanian and Ajay Kumar S who jotted down the top ones that could be covered in a couple of hours. Perhaps, in 3 hours time we covered almost 10 of them and here goes the list:
- Kakada Ramprasad (Our meeting point)
- Mehta's Vadapav
- Anmol Lassi and Buttermilk
- Ganesh cool bar
- Chinnappa sandwich centre
- Seena Bhai tiffin centre
- Maya chats
- Maharaja Kulfi; and
- Mansukhlal Mithai Wala
Link to this sectionMehta's Vadapav
Mehta's vada pav serve some really mouth-watering ones and the Mayonnaise base, for instance, is the highlight in here. Apparently, this shop is located south of Kakada Ramprasad so prefer your walk starting from here or end it here as you can enter to the other streets up north or exit towards Chennai Central from here.
Link to this sectionMansukhlal Mithai Wala
This joint serves some quality Rosemilk if you happen to love it. Unfortunately, by the time we went, it was all over so we had to drop the idea and add it to our next time visit list. To cover up our disappointment we had the same at Mehta Bros.
Link to this sectionKakada Ramprasad
Kakada Ramprasad seemed to be a very old joint. All evenings are overflowing with people and the street that hosts this outlet has a bottleneck at this place. Remember to go a bit early in the evening if you are a person who loves to avoid the crowd. They serve delicious Paapdi chaat, Aaloo Tikki Chaat and hot Jalebis. If you think that's it, you are mistaken! The major showstopper for your food walk journey is their fantastic Badam milk.
Link to this sectionAnmol Lassi
Run by a former professional wrestler Mr Dinesh Soni, all of Sowcarpet seems to be knowing this humble person who serves sweet through his lassi. This food joint has been written about in various National publications as well. If you are on a food walk, I suggest you don't miss this place and check out the quantity of buttermilk he serves. One can skip the night dinner with his servings!
Link to this sectionMaya Chaat and Maharaja's Kulfi
After some thirst fulfilling buttermilk, we wander northwards to find out Maya Chaat which servers Onion Kachori. Ensure you eat them hot. On the other hand, Maharaja's serves a regular Kulfi with the taste of Badam. After the hot Kachoris, the Kulfi was of help.
Link to this sectionRasoee
One of the best things that happened in Rasoee was the smell of the food that's being cooked. Also, it looks like they serve a good amount of side dishes but their Paani Puri's are a must-have. It was completely new for me in here, as they give some onions and boiled chickpea as an add-on. Ensure you eat the pani puri with these else the taste would be normal.
Link to this sectionGanesh Cool Bar
There are plenty of Ganesh cool bars around Mint Street. And all of them seem to serve Sugarcane juice. What's special about it, they serve Masala Sugarcane and that too for a price of Rs. 10/-
Link to this sectionChinnappa Sandwich Center
Since we had to concentrate on Seena Bhai's Ghee dosa, we had to make the Murukku Sandwich (special item served here), as a takeaway. And folks who had it, say that it turned out to be super cool.
Link to this sectionSeena Bhaai's Tiffin Center
And touchdown was at Seena Bhaai's Tiffin Center. Seena Bhai seems to make some amazing Ghee Dosa which is the size of Kal Dosa (Small dosas). The dosas are toppled with Idly Podi and loads of Ghee. A pair of dosas are enough to satisfy your dinner. The Chilly Chutney along with Sambhar is a perfect combination for the Ghee dosa. Speaking about his popularity, one of the local TV channels were interviewing him when we happened to get dosas from his outlet. Last but not least, he can serve 14 plates of dosas at a time. Check out the pic if you don't believe me :D
Thanks to Iswarya Rajagopal, Apoorva, Mahesh, Ajay Kumar S, Kanal, Aishwarya, Soorya and Pranav Balasubramanian for being part of the food walk and making it fantastic. Special thanks to Aishwarya for the pics. If you need to know about the shops in a map, check this. It's always good if you also share your food walk tips with us, do post in the comments.