11 ways to enjoy the nightfall in Chennai
As the sun goes down the horizon, and the day’s businesses come to an end, another world awakens in the evening glow of Chennai. Just as it is fascinating in the daylight, the nighttime Chennai is equally exciting. The Detroit of India and Gateway of the South, the southern capital assumes an entirely different identity post-sundown. The historical, heritage city with a touch of modernity, becomes an eclectic mix of music, lights, sounds, drama, art, food and more. If you are exploring Chennai for a few days, you would not want to miss its after-hours’ charm. With influences from different communities of India and its neighboring countries over generations, Chennai has evolved into a kaleidoscope of cultures and daily practices.
We scouted through the best options to explore in the late hours of the day, and we found 11 things you can do to experience an evening in Chennai.
Go for a cultural show
Not everybody needs to go drinking, dancing or visit the theaters to enjoy the night. You can also unwind after a long day, with incredible dance performances or a music recital. A culturally sound city, classical music, and dance forms are its heritage. The home of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam, you can enjoy a cultural evening at a prominent venue like the Kalakshetra.
The pub culture has been quite a tradition in this city, which earned it the sobriquet of the ‘pub capital of India’. Till the 90s, it was restricted to the bars of plush hotels or the smaller restaurants serving alcohols. Eventually, with the overwhelming western influence, the city of Chennai offers one of the most eclectic and fancy pubs you will find in the country. Of all, these two deserve mentioning:
Radio Room – A retro-themed place, Radio Room is one of the hippest places in town. The 80s style pop and rock music keep the place in that era, as opposed to its futuristic cocktails and food menu
Velveteen Rabbit – Named after a novel, this underground bar is the latest go-to place on a Friday or Saturday night. Ironically hidden under a café, Velveteen Rabbit exudes that vintage charm with high back chairs and leather couches. Do indulge in their selected international beer menu and house special appetizers.
Dine under the open sky
The best part of Chennai being a coastal city is the endless, cooling and relaxing breeze you can enjoy all day. Let the sea bring a calming effect while you dine at the city’s best rooftop restaurants. Places like the Q Bar at Hilton, Kefi at the Taj and Azzuri Bay, make for a romantic dinner on the canopied corners of the rooftop with a magnificent view of the skyline.
Hit the dance floor
For those you like to sweat it out on the dance floor and become oblivious to the world outside, the southern capital also has a few secrets up its sleeves for them. You will be pleasantly surprised, at how you can keep partying and grooving at few of these places, even beyond midnight. Some of the luxury hotel clubs like Library Blu and Willows are open till 2am, while Leather Bar stays on till 4am.
Sometimes on a night, all you want to do is sit with your favorite drink and unwind. Or maybe chat away with your close friends over a few cocktails. And that is when you go to the best lounges. Chennai boasts one of the hippest lounges, where you can enjoy a relaxing evening. Head to Bay 146, known best for their live music or Pasha, one of the oldest lounges in town, popular for their unique concoctions of drinks.
Go for a late night grub
If you are one of those who has serious late night food cravings, then head out on the streets of Chennai, because, this city surely loves to eat. Places like Matsya serves crispy dosas and Night Fillers makes lip-smacking Chinese food and are open till late. Also, drop by Dawn and Dusk or Kolapasi to kill those hunger pangs.
Think of stargazing
When you have had a long day, and all you want to do is get away from the chaos, and find a nice cozy corner amidst nature, but still be within the city, then head to the Thiruvanmiyur beach. Settle yourself on the golden sands and watch the night sky filled with twinkling stars. As the waves of the Bay of Bengal hit the shores, and the night turns darker, you would surely feel that it’s the best way to spend an evening in the city.
Go for a night drive
They say the East Coast Road (ECR) is one of the most beautiful drives in the country. With the hills of Eastern Ghats on one side and the scenic shores of the Bay of Bengal on the other, this stretch of highway makes for a de-stressing drive. Head out with your wheeled companion and drive down the ECR, and enjoy a relaxing time on the wheel, as the roads bend and turn.