Feeling Hot. Hot. Hot! Get Your Fill Of Filter Kaapi At These Popular Places

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The name Madras usually conjures up certain enduring images – and one of them is unfailingly a steel davra of steaming filter coffee, held dear to every resident’s heart, without which the day does not truly begin. The aroma of this coffee, made from the finest beans and untouched by chicory, is usually enough for one to wax eloquently of the drink’s importance to people’s palettes and the city’s culture, and the sight of frothy coffee being mixed swiftly and matter-of-factly has the capacity to elevate heart rates! Here’s a list of some of the best spots (apart from paati‘s homes!) to cherish a tumbler of filter coffee we are so possessive of.

Disclaimer: Check for the timings of the restaurant beforehand. Also, opt for cashless payment if you're doing takeaways. If dining in, please follow all social distancing rules, wear masks, and carry sanitisers while you are at the outlets. 

Madras Coffee House

Keen on a quick caffeine-fix before you get to wherever you’re commuting to? Stop at one of Madras Coffee House’s many little kiosks in the city, and get yourself a cup of its fresh, strong filter coffee. The place is efficient and hygienic, the service is quick, and you can always request extra decoction or less sugar. 

Ratna Café

While there are several outlets across the city, Ratna Café’s iconic Triplicane space remains a favourite amongst Chennai’s residents. Enjoy a morning out at the beach, or visit the Parthasarathy temple, and stroll through the charming, old-world streets of Triplicane as you dodge the Kolams and oncoming cows and take in the aroma of filter coffee wafting in from people’s homes until you come to this little functional restaurant. It’s not only about the celebrated drink’s taste in itself (which is fantastic, of course), but the entire experience. Psst! The sambar here is supposed to be so good you can drink it!

For a whole list of iconic restaurants in Chennai, click here. 

Hot Chips

Hot Chips may be popular for its idlis, chaats, and snack items, but it is also surprisingly unanimously thought of as one of the best spots in Chennai for that strong, frothy drink we all so desperately crave at all times of the day. The outlets are functional and crowded– you probably can’t hear yourself think over the sound of the clanging utensils and loud chatter, but none of it matters once your coffee or kaapi is placed with a flourish in front of you – one whiff of that beloved, comforting smell is probably enough to lift your spirits!

ID Restaurant

Their crispy dosas and chutney have satiated many a hunger pangs, especially after a movie at Sathyam. While we do miss having this eatery at the movie complex, we still manage to make our way to the other outlets it has just for its filter coffee. Strong, aromatic, and served just right - it's safe to say that if you're looking to try a new place for your cuppa, you won't be disappointed. 

Saravana Bhavan

Another in the Udupi chain that continues to attract its loyal clientele, Saravana Bhavan’s coffee is among the best in the city. The delicious, strong concoction with that hint of bitterness for an aftertaste is a wonderful pick-me-up on lazy afternoons or for a kickstart to your day after a filling breakfast. 

New Woodlands Hotel

Despite the burgeoning of a huge number of multi-cuisine restaurants over the city, New Woodlands remains steadfastly un-eclipsed by its newer competition. Apart from the nostalgia for old Madras it evokes, the unfussy, old-world interiors, friendly staff, and quick service in the restaurant make dining here enjoyable. And there is a legion of Chennaiites who’d take it very personally if you said you didn’t like their iconic coffee!

Sangeetha, RA Puram

Find a spot in the much-loved Sangeetha’s semi-outdoor seating area, and the Alwarpet traffic whizzing by becomes a blur as you lose yourself in a tumbler of the legendary Kumbakonam degree coffee. Best relished as a meal-ender, the sensation of the hot, flavourful beverage in your throat is the perfect way to wash down an onion Rava dosa and a plate of kuzhi paniyaram. Or perhaps you’d prefer it as an aperitif while you choose from the vast menu! 

Mami Tiffin Stall

Tucked in one of the bylanes in Mylapore, Mami Tiffin Stall is one of the best places to get Vivekananda coffee, one of the best coffee brands in the city. Simple, no-fuss and crowded in the evenings, head there when you're in Mylapore or just feeling touristy. You would not only get a strong cuppa but would also be ticking off a visit to one of the most iconic eateries in the city. 

Café Mercara

While it's obviously not like the regular, unassuming places on the list, Café Mercara at ITC boasts of having a filter coffee station that will make your heart flutter. Grab a cup after a filling breakfast or in the evenings while catching up with your friends, or whenever (it's open round-the-clock), and we bet your soul will feel delighted. 


Curious about making a bold cuppa at home? Check out these coffee brands on LBB.