On the occasion of Pongal, if you are looking forward to polish off plates of chakkara or ven Pongal, then rest assured you are not alone. The breakfast staple occupies centrestage at this time of the year and we decided to check out places that absolutely ace their Pongal preparation.

Rayar’s Mess

Looking for your granny’s delicious Pongal? Head straight to Rayar’s Mess but you surely have to wait for a table. Once you do get a table, just order their Pongal. It will be served steaming hot and its consistency is such that it can be even poured out of a ladle. As you have your first mouthful from plantain leaf plate, you can savour the taste of cumin, pepper, ginger and curry leaves. Like many other places, this Pongal is not drenched in ghee and you can easily polish it off in seconds. It is served along with getti chutney, heavy on roasted Bengal gram (pottukadalai) and coconut, kaara chutney and sambar.


Krishnavillasam is a relatively new name in this list and is known for serving heirloom cuisine. The Pongal served here is absolutely melt-in-mouth and delicious. Specialising in Tirunelveli style cuisine, this place adds its unique touch to most staple dishes.

Ratna Café

This place needs no introduction. Known for being the place that serves the best sambhar in Chennai, Ratna Café also has a delicious Ven Pongal in the menu. It is melt-in-mouth topped with oodles of ghee. And served with its famous sambhar, the combination is simply divine.

Karpagambal Mess

Mylai Sri Karpagambal Mess, established in circa 1953 is still patronized by Chennaiites who have taste for the real stuff – keerai vadai, adai, rava khichdi and their delicious Pongal. One spoonful and you will understand why their Pongal is one of the best ones in town!

Murugan Idly Shop

Yes, you saw that right! While the place is known as soft, fluffy idlis, their Pongal often does not get due credit. Both the varieties of Pongal- sweet and savoury are prepared with much precision and are full of flavours. They are rich, sinful and purely divine!