Like Bernard Shaw once said, ‘There is no sincere love than love for food’. There is nothing better than being a foodie without a weight obsession. Unless you can be batman: if you can be batman, then always be batman. We at T5E feel you and that is exactly why we are bringing you the list of the top places in insti where you can kick back and get stuffed.
To start things off we have:
Gurunath Stores or often referred to as ‘Guru’ is a one stop destination for all things food. Comprised of three tiny vendors and a Dosa corner, guru offers everything from idlis to chaat; Chinese to burgers. Located in the SFC (students facilities centre) with ample seating space, Guru is the mother of all insti food spots. Offering burgers at prices as low as Rs 22 /- and the much loved Shamam milkshake for another Rs 20/- (that’s 2 whole glasses), one can pretty much eat their heart out if they walk into guru with Rs 100 /- . And that’s not all that guru has to offer, they have got food varieties that can satisfy the Gordon Ramsay in you with sandwiches, noodles, fried rice and our very own GFC (the obvious meaning). It also has a dosa corner and a chaat vendor nearby.
To avoid panic, we shall take the liberty to guide you through what we think are the top 5 dishes at Guru.
- Aloo Tikki Burger – Come on, a proper Burger for Rs 22/- , how could that not top the list?
- Oreo Milk Shake – It’s exactly what it sounds like.
- Podi Dosa – Nothing special, we just think it tastes good.
- Chicken fried rice – Priced at Rs 45/-, and it fills you up. Go for this when you are low on cash. Which you will be after the first two weeks, trust us.
- Chicken strip Burger – It’s a Chicken Burger and it costs Rs 26/-. Enough said.
LEO CONFECTIONERSLocated next to Gurunath Stores is our very own pastry shop ‘Leo’. If you have got a sweet tooth, get ready with your wallet my friend, because you wouldn’t be able to hold back. From muffins to pastries to puddings; you name it, they’ve got it. But Leo is not an all-sweet guy; if you ever feel like having a puff and some tea after a long day of lectures, head to Leo. The egg and veg puffs priced at Rs 7/- and chicken at Rs 8/- are the lowest prices in insti. A must try is their Black Forest Pudding which is literally black forest in a cup. Soaked with chocolatey goodness and cream on top, it’ll make your day.
ANDAVAR JUICE SHOP
It’s nothing but juices in there. If you are okay with waiting for your food, then even if it takes a while you’ll fall in love with Andavar. You can’t blame the folks there, with that sort of queue it’s a miracle that they manage to get things onto the table. Andavar is by far the most pocket friendly juice shop in insti, which really is its selling point as far as I am concerned. You could try out a bunch of combinations that they come up with everyday, like apple-fig or guava-honey, all of which taste good. Further, all of these combinations come under the ‘buy 2, get 1’ offer so it’s definitely worth a shot!
You won’t be hearing this name all that much, since it usually goes by the name ‘Bru’. Located in Himalaya (the mess) Bru is the one place you can head to if you ever feel like having a paneer roll in the middle of the night. Besides that, they have a lot of sandwiches and rolls, all of which are vegetarian; but who cares as long as the food’s good? Another plus point is the big Kwality walls freezer that they have by the side which is always loaded with ice cream. It wouldn’t hurt to eat a big fat chocolate cornetto once in a while, would it?
ZEA GOURMET SHOP
Located on the first floor of Himalaya, Zea offers burgers, hotdogs, nachos, sandwiches, wraps, pastas, and ice golas to name a few. It’s a cute little stall with a few stools here and there, and ideal for late night snacks. One day or the other you are going climb all the way up to the second floor of the mess, only to find that they are serving chapattis and veg kurma (strictly personal); fret not, Zea will be there for you.
This is it, our all night tea stall. It was so good that we had to have two of them, the first being located near Himalaya and the second in the newly constructed SFC. Ramu is the place to be after spending your night in CFI or during breaks from the late night prep for tech-socs or any other activity. Ramu gets crowded around the time of end semesters, with all the late night muggers and procrastinators. The type of food Ramu offers is typical tea stall varieties like puffs, samosas, rolls and other snacks along those lines. In addition to this, they have basic bakeries including biscuits, chips, and so on. A must try is their Rs 5/10/15 rupee coke that they give out in glasses.
Pro tip: Rs 5 coke paired with egg puff is one of the best combos ever.
This 24×7 canteen located next to the freshie hostels has been a lifesaver for almost all the freshies by making the transition from home food to mess food a lot easier. Suprabha is easily one of the most crowded places in insti due to its accessibility and the wide variety of food they have to offer. With a menu as elaborate as its own, Suprabha qualifies more for the title of a hotel than a cafeteria. The menu consists of different types of dosas, Indian breads and the other dishes you would find at a typical vegetarian restaurant. Suprabha ensures that the hungry child in you wouldn’t have to cry all night.
Operated by the administrative section, this is a general canteen facility that is used more by staff than by students. Located near the Central Workshops, this facility offers typical South Indian Food and meals and is the best place to grab a bite before heading to the 8 o’clock class or during the lunch break at 12. The place is extremely pocket friendly with their yummy ghee roasts costing roughly Rs 25/- . You’ll find yourself at ‘CC’ nibbling a perfectly ‘gheed-up’ Dosa around the last week of a month when you’re practically broke.
We’ve all been in that place where we’ve asked a girl out on a date (and she said yes!) and have no clue about where to take her. I am kidding! Many of us probably don’t have a love life. But for those fortunate people out there, this is the place. Formerly operated by Kickstart, the place is right next to the Department of Management Studies. However the contract has been transferred to Cafe Coffee Day, and we’re sure this place need no introduction to you folks. The place is set to be on par with international standards, with a wide range of bites at affordable prices. So next time you’re bringing a date here, remember that “a lot can happen over a cup of coffee”.
ZAITOON AND PARFAIT 3
Ever had Arabic Cuisine? If not, get ready to experience a whole world of lip smacking Arabic flavours from insti’s very own restaurant. When was the last time you saw a menu with Al-faham Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Dragon Fish, Paneer Hariyali Tikka, Shawarma Roll, and Frankies? Well, here in insti we see it every day.
Though it is considered one of the ‘upscale’ food spots in insti, the fact that there has never been a shortage of people coming in to Zaitoon shows its popularity among insti ‘junta’. Not just Arabic, Zaitoon offers you all kinds of cuisines that you would get at a standard restaurant outside insti. The fact that Parfait 3 has opened up right next to the billing counter at Quark Complex is the icing on the cake, pun intended. It is a regular cake/snack shop with cakes like German Forest, Chocolate Truffle; we could go on and on. A brownie with ice-cream right after eating a whole barbeque chicken and a chicken dum biriyani, that’s why we love insti. Ah! It’s a good time to be alive.
The take home message is that if you are an avid foodie coming into IIT Madras, you’ll fit in just fine. So what if you ‘cupped’ the semester? That shouldn’t hold you back from enjoying a cup of pudding or a bowl of ice-cream. Final words of wisdom? “Joey doesn’t share food and so shouldn’t you”: It’s okay to be selfish for food!