The ancient city of Madurai finds one of its earliest mentions in the travel stories of Greek Ambassador Megasthenes when he visited the city in B.C. 302. It has been a bustling city, encouraging commerce and trade since then, carry out business with Greeks, Romans, and Arabs later on in 900 AD during the reign of the Pandya Kings.
Madurai is quite famous for its cuisine, heavily borrowing from the nearby Chettinad region with its fiery taste that is quite sensational. This sizzling flavour is quite evident in the abundantly available street
food in Madurai and foodies find its worthwhile exploring this history-laden city. Enjoy mouth-watering delicacies in the form of the best street food in Madurai The narrow streets of Madurai are filled with vendors creating fresh and lip-smacking food right in front of your eyes.
These include a wide variety of rice-based snacks like paniyaram, idiyappam, kuzhambu and the Sri Lankan culinary delight, Kothu Parotta. Madurai’s roadside eateries are extremely popular amongst tourists and locals, and though this city has its share of top-class hotels and modern, glitzy restaurants, the best food places in Madurai can be found in the bylanes of the temple city.
1. Feather-soft idlis Madurai Idli Shop
No visit to this temple town is complete without a mandatory visit to this place that serves probably the softest idlis in this part of the country. Their Onion utthapam with a range of chutneys and the generous butter spread over it, is worth dying for.
2. Non-vegetarian delights at Amma Mess
Non-vegetarians swear by the chicken dosa served at this basic food joint at Thallakulam and prawn biryani that seems to be everyone’s favourite. Mutton kola (deep-fried mutton balls) are extremely popular too and is counted amongst the most famous food of Madurai.
3. Nannari sherbet and other Cool Drinks
Make sure you douse all this fiery food with Bovonto, a local grape-based cola or Nannari sherbet which helps beat the summer heat too. Both these delicious, thirst quenching drinks are available at every roadside stall, making it a great accompaniment to the street food in Madurai.
4. Famous Jigarthanda
This tiny shop on East Marrat Street is popular for its Jil Jil Jigarthanda (heart cooler, literally), which is a concoction of sarsapalli syrup, almond jelly, ice cream, sugar, cream and milk.
For tourists and devotees who make their annual pilgrimage to this town, the famous street food in Madurai; is a gastronomical experience that no one would want to miss and for this, you will have to explore the city along with us. The tastiest food is found in the most non-descript and unlikely places, but you will agree, the trip is worth the effort and more.
5. Dosas galore at Ayyappan Tiffin Home
The narrow Pandia Vellalar Street is home to the tiny Ayyappan Tiffin Home that is well-known for the 40 types of crisp dosas it has developed over the years. Ignore the tiny hole-in-the-wall kind of ambience, and this place is a foodie’s delight waiting for you on this crowded street. Keep your eyes on the best food in Madurai being served to you and the noise around you will surely cease to exist.
6. Idli and chutney at Meena’s Idli Stall
Madurai is well-known for its large number of idli- parotta stalls and this place run by Meena on West Masi Street surely ranks high amongst them. This open-air stall serves soft and fluffy idlis, with its daily changing chutneys, making it a hit amongst its daily customers. More importantly, you will get fresh and hot food, without waiting for long, as is the case with glitzy restaurants.
7. Elumbu Roast at Arumugam Evening Mutton stall
As is evident from its name, this stall is open only in the evenings and serves lip-smacking Elumbu roast with a range of hot n spicy gravies to its customers, till late in the night.
8. Parotta and mutton curry at Ashok Evening Mutton stall
Yes, this is another similar sounding place serving street food in Madurai; but with a unique signature dish called stuffed Ceylon parotta with mutton chukka. This is a spicy preparation, and you may want to cool your throats with fresh Bovonto.
9. Kari Dosa at Konar Mess
You will love the Kari Dosa, served at this small place in Anna Nagar. The dosa is covered with juicy mutton and eggs and then pan cooked to resemble a thin-crust pizza. It is normally brimming with customers, especially late night so be prepared to bide your time if you want to taste one of the most famous street food in Mess
10. Idiyappams at Burma Idiyappam Kadai
This is a hotspot for foodies like you where delicious and delicate idiyappams are served all throughout the evening. This idiyappam, as they are locally known, are made of ragi and soaked in coconut milk, with coconut shavings serving as fluffy toppings.
11. Halwa at Prem Vilas
As a gastronomical delight, this decades-old sweet shop and its Tirunelveli halwa score pretty high and is undoubted, one of the best food places in Madurai. This mouth-watering, ghee-filled, gooey halwa may throw your weight-loss plan for a toss, but you cannot afford to miss this culinary delight served hot and fresh, in lotus leaves.
These roadside eateries are the prime reason why Madurai is known as Thoonganagaram or the city that never sleeps. Explore these wonderful places, and you will surely locate your favourite street food in Madurai; amongst these narrow bylanes of this amazing city. Share your culinary experiences with as many as possible, social media included, and receive the gratitude of like-minded foodie