Restaurants in Mahabalipuram largely cater to the Western palates of the backpacker crowd.

Most of the restaurants in Mahabalipuram are located on and around Othavadai Cross Street east of the main ruins. These restaurants have a multi-cuisine menu to suit the palette of both their Western and Indian customers. What’s nice about these Mahabalipuram restaurants is the open-air ambiance; the food is pretty average at best. Most have decent Western mains and bland Indian curries so it’s best to stick to the Western dishes if you can. Most restaurants here serve beer whether they are licensed or not; there is an 11pm curfew though which is best observed. Most Mahabalipuram restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Among these restaurants, Gecko Café, Moonrakers and Blue Elephant seem to be the more popular ones. Situated under a thatch-covered rooftop, Gecko Café is packed most evenings.

If none of the restaurants on Othavadai Cross Street interest you, head further east to the beach where you’ll find a line of restaurants along the beach that serve fresh seafood daily. The fish is plentiful and cheap – best served fried or grilled with fries and salad.

If you’re looking for good quality Indian food and don’t care about décor or ambiance, head to the restaurants near the bus stand. While there are a couple of biryani joints, most are vegetarian restaurants; however, they are cheap and good value.

Our pick for ‘Best restaurants in Mahabalipuram’ is La Pizza de Mama – located at the beach end of Othavaadai Cross Street.  As the name suggests, La Pizza de Mama specialise in traditional wood fired pizzas that come in one regular size. Available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, they are really delicious for Indian standards. While the ambiance inside the restaurant is quite pleasant, you can also do take away which is very popular with the Indian tourist crowd.


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