There are lots of food stands in the centre serving large portions for next-to-nothing prices. Look specifically at the road leading down the Shore Temple from the bus stop, early in the morning at breakfast time. Clustered around Othavadai Street and Othavadai Cross are restaurants catering primarily to tourists, which serve generally undistinguished Western food. Your best bet is often fresh grilled fish (which you can usually select yourself) served with french fries or salad.
The Golden Palate
At Hotel Mamalla Heritage, 104, East Raja Street, 044 – 27442060, 27442260, 27442360, serves excellent Indian vegetarian food. Breakfast buffet from 7AM is a poor deal at 153INR (including tax) for a fairly simple buffet. It does, however, offer air conditioning!They offer ala-carte break fast as well…which is excellent. The lunch from midday is highly recommended… the best vegetarian thali spread for miles! It also has a pleasant non-veg restaurant on the rooftop.
Garden View Restaurant
At Greenwoods Beach Resort, Othavadai Cross Street. Excellent food, each order freshly prepared, views of the street or the garden courtyard. Breakfast (RS25 – 45), Lunch and Dinner (RS65–145).
Shore Temple Road (near Raja Street). Cheap, very good, popular veg thali (unlimited vegetables and curries, fixed rice and roti/bread) joint. Rs 27 to Rs 35 (lunch thali as of 2008-06-23).
Sri Ananda Bhavan Restaurant
Right on the corner of Ottavadai Street and East Raja Street. Primarily an Indian scene but popular with Westerners too. Pure veg, cheap and good. Big lunch (dal, sabzi, rice, two chapatis, salad, pickles, ice-cream) for Rs 60, Idli breakfast for Rs 20, Dosa Masala for Rs 25. Get a food ticket at the desk. (Feb 2010).
Othavadai St,. Multi-story restaurant with eclectic decoration, listed in all the guidebooks and hence quite popular with foreign tourists. The menu runs the gamut of Indian and Western favorites, veg and non-veg, although staff will try to steer you towards the expensive seafood items. Most dishes under Rs. 100, but seafood will cost you more. Also expect to pay more for extra bread or rice, drinks, etc. Beers around Rs. 150. Now expanded to control two places opposite one another.
#4, Othavadai Cross Street. Popular with foreign tourists, this French-owned cafe features credible Western food, a decent cup of coffee, a competent and friendly waitstaff, and a library stocked with Tintin and Asterix volumes. Rs 50-200.
Surf provides a wide variety of food for all sea-food lovers. This restaurant is at the entrance of the town. If you are not the greatest fan of sea-food, then you will find this restaurant over priced. If you are really hungry, then Surf is not a good place to eat. The service is really late and you will receive your order just before you are about to starve down.
Gecko Cafe, Othavadai Cross. Family-run, fast, friendly and clean. Features Indian veg and non veg food as well as freshest seafood, offers an nice lake view for bird watching and has a relaxed atmosphere, very helpful waiter and cook.
the new cafe ( lakshmi lodge ), No 6, Ottavadai Cross Street (mamallapuram .tamil nadu.india), ? 044-27442463. serve healthy breakfast and excelant vegetarian food ( tamil nadu style) and varity of fresh fish,prawns ans lobsters,crabs and calamari. fresly prepard with excelant taste.and beautiful terrace with view of ocean and sound .