Chennai often gets overlooked in terms of a thriving nightlife, with Bangalore & Hyderabad giving it major competition, down South. Even though Tamil Nadu is embroiled in a long list of rules and regulations, the city has always found a way to have fun. Here are 10 cocktail bars in Chennai, old and new, that serve up the best drinks, bites, and vibes in the city.
Over the last decade, Madras has seen a surge in the opening of new bars, cafes, and eateries, forming a unique nightlife culture. And here, at Lifestyle Asia, there’s few things that bring us more pleasure than a curation of cocktails.
You can sip on fine malt and smoke a cigar. Need I say more? This classic hotspot, located in the colossal ITC Grand Chola, transports you to a world of aromatic scents and old-school splendor.
Cocktail Recommendation: stick to the classics. You can’t go wrong with a whiskey sour or a negroni.
Where: 63 Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032
The Park was, and remains, one of Chennai’s most iconic hotels and The Leather Bar is an integral part of its vibe. Its décor sets a mystic tone, as the DJ spins thumping beats on a nightly basis. The bar also features an outdoor terrace, perfect in cooler months to catch that tropical breeze.
Cocktail Recommendation: The Leather bar boasts an exquisite range of liquor, so opt for a martini… shaken, not stirred.
Where: The Park, 601, Anna Salai, Near US Embassy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600006
This contemporary-meets-art-deco space overlooks the Bay of Bengal. The blue lighting sets the perfect ambience for date night.
Cocktail Recommendation: Try the Blu’s signature cocktails. The ‘Spicy Ocean’ topped with lemongrass and chili is delicious!
Where: Lobby level, The Leela Palace, Adyar Sea Face, M.R.C Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600028
This hip, rooftop restobar is where you go if you’re in the mood to treat yourself. While it can be heavy on the wallet, the plush design and scrumptious cocktails are kinda worth it.
Cocktail Recommendation: Sip on ‘Fifty Shades Of Gold’ as you stare out onto the charming, Chennai skyline.
Where: 11, Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar Rd, Rathna Nagar, Nandanam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600035
Inspired by ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ book, this bar is the perfect post-work, happy hour spot. The drinks are well-priced and you can order Ramen from the Japanese restaurant, Aki Bay, tucked secretly below the bar.
Cocktail Recommendation: Beer drinkers can opt for the innovative beer-based cocktails, like ‘Brewed Mary’ and ‘Spiced Ale.’
Where: 57, 2nd Main Rd, Govindaswamy Nagar, Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600028
Staycation weekend? Or are you just looking for a quick getaway? Head to this laid-back, Tiki-themed bar in Mahabalipuram and take a breather from the city.
Cocktail Recommendation: Sip on sweet rum-based drinks, like Malibu Sunset for vacation feels.
Where: Inter Continental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort, 212, Nemelli Village, Mahabalipuram, Chennai
Fans of retro music flock here on weekends for a casual, enjoyable night out. The space’s highlight installation is the wall behind the bar, made entirely of wine bottles from floor to ceiling.
Cocktail Recommendation: Hop in for tapas and desi cocktails like ‘amour pour la mango’ and ‘Hit De Fleur.’
Where: Radisson Blu City Centre, 2, Ethiraj Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600008
It’s usually packed on Fridays & Saturdays with a DJ spinning everything from Bollywood to the latest pop, rightly named “radio room” because they’re all about the music.
Cocktail Recommendation: Try their ‘Smooth Criminal,’ it gets its name for a reason.
Where: 94, Sathyadev Ave, MRC Nagar, Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600028
It’s a slick, contemporary version of an American dive bar, great on the weekend and even better if you want to catch up over a drink on weekdays. Oh, and, don’t forget to check out the charismatic terrace.
Cocktail Recommendation: Try their flavored LITs and get lit.
Where: 179/8, Kodambakkam High Rd, Parthasarathi Puram, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600006
The Social Offline just opened its doors in Chennai and the city’s excited. What can we expect? Co-working space and chill spot by day and a dynamic bar that brings new events, live performances, and experiences by night.
Cocktail Recommendation: Don’t miss their twisted classics, Social’s play on the average cocktail. My personal favorite is the Deconstructed Mule.
Where: Mount Road Social, E Hotel, Gate 1, Express Avenue 1st floor, Patullos Rd, Royapettah, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600002