As the disagreeable Chennai summer sets in, we bid goodbye to the short-lived season of daytime chilling. However, one thing we can still agree on is the serene pleasure of nursing a drink under the stars, as the odd sea breeze from the Bay of Bengal ruffles the hair. Here are five buzzing open-air bars we have rounded up for you to check out.
Kefi, Taj Clubhouse
The city’s best Mediterranean food, sheesha, and top-notch service make Kefi a great place for a quiet and classy night-out. Sip on some wine or the adeptly brewed cocktails as you enjoy sights of the Coum River.
High, Raintree, Teynampet
Literally rising high up above Mount Road, High offers panoramic views of the cityscape as you groove to some foot-tapping music. A happening spot throughout the week, High often hosts standup comedy gigs on Fridays. Watch out for the markup on imported liquor though.
Q Bar, Hilton, Guindy
A regular stop for club-hoppers, Q Bar at the Hilton entices you with a view of hillocks and mood lighting. The music gets louder come weekends, as it turns into a makeshift rooftop nightclub, barring the cramped dance floor. There is a cover charge on the busy weekends; reserve ahead.
The Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt, Velachery
It is hard to leave The Flying Elephant out in any list concerning Chennai’s most buzzing bars. Sit by the serene lotus pool outside and watch airplanes flying by. The buzzing lounge has a great selection of drinks and the cherry on the cake is the double happy hours from 6 pm to 8 pm and 11 pm to 1 am from Sunday to Thursday. It is usually jam packed over the weekend, so reserve a table ahead.
Above Sea Level, Raintree Alwarpet
Above Sea Level is the Raintree’s calmer offering, and overlooks the tree lined St Mary’s Road in Alwarpet. Come here for relaxation or intimate conversations, over candle-lit tables. Watch out for the 58% tax on imported liquor.
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A self proclaimed food geek and coffee nerd, Amit Patnaik enjoys his time in the kitchen as much as he loves dining out. He runs the food blog Pursuit of Yummyness and contributes to The Hindu in Chennai.