Introduction Easily the most beautiful city of Tamil Nadu,Coimbatore has wonderful people who work very hard and are basically entrepreneurs. This extends to a huge number of vegetarian restaurants that are the pride of this city.
Five such restaurants stand out for their brand of food and are simply superb in their respective niches. The five awesome restaurants are a) Sree Annapoorna/Gowrishankar group of restaurants b) Shree Anandas group c) Sri Krishna Vilas hotel d) Geetha Hotels (Geetha Cafe) and e)Adayar Anadha Bhavan. Some specialties of these restaurants are sought to be described in this article.
Annpoorna/Gowrishankar group of restaurantsThis famous group has been around for over five decades. There are two phrases prominently written in the restaurant at R.S. Puram. Translated into English, they would read " If you like our food, please tell others." And "if you feel there is something to be improved, please tell us". They have always relied on customer feedback to make huge improvements in the kind of offerings they provide to customers. The ghee dosa and the paper dosa in particular, are so famous. They also openly claim that they use only the best quality oils for cooking. The food is always served fresh.
The lunch is of okay quality, but this group is very known for a huge range of South Indian food items. The dosa always has the golden brown color and is extremely tasty. Coimbatore citizens praise the sambar so much and claim that it is better than the one offered by the biggest competitor in Tamil Nadu, the Chennai based Saravana Bhavan. Trade sources reveal that there is a secret pact between the two major groups. While Saravana Bhavan would not enter Coimbatore, the Annapoorna group would not enter Chennai.
Both the groups are kings in their own right. The sambar here is unique and has a different, but standardized taste. In the whole of Coimbatore city, one would always find the dominance of what is called the "old tamarind" in many dishes. This is not so in Chennai restaurants. Otherwise, there is not much of big difference in the quality of both the groups. The Annapoorna group has more than branches within the city,The most famous one is at R.S. Puram, the heart of the city.
There are 15 odd branches of this famous group of hotels in various localities and it is so easy to locate them. For example, if one takes a bus to Saibaba colony, (Bus route no.11 from Railway Station), there is a stop called Annapoorna stop and the restaurant is so famous there. Similarly, if one takes bus number 7, from Gandhipuram one can easily reach the R.S.Puram branch of this famous group. Just one phone call to any of the branches is enough to get all the information as to how to reach the branches. However, the Saibaaba colony branch and the R.S.Puram branch can be very easily reached from Railway Station/Gandhipuram. The phone number of the main R.S. Puram branch is 0422 4522333. Anyone wanting any further information and guidance to reach the hotel branches can contact this number.
The Gopalapuram branch of this chain is located at a walkable distance from the Coimbatore city Railway Junction. Ph: 0422-43922116.
The Shree Anandas group of restaurants There are ten branches of this hotel. The one on Avinashi Road which is commonly mentioned by citizens of Coimbatore as the best. They seem to have standardized the cooking practices and the food always tastes very good. The dosa items are also superb.
The special items are available even at 8a.m. in the morning. There is always a huge crowd. The three varieties of chutney served here are very delicious. Every day, they introduce a new innovation. It is possible to find the spinash dosa served here in so many varieties. The Avanashi Road hotel's phone number is 9894376666.(common for both A/c and Non A/c branches). The staff are polite and any information regarding the other branches can be obtained from them. The landline/cell numbers of the various branches are as follows-
Laskhmi Mills Junction: 8754097777.
Sundarapuram branch: 9894183333.
R.S. Puram branch: 9894383333.
Gandhipuram branch: 9894323333.
Brookefields branch: 8220761144.
Krishna college branch: 9894029888.
The Gandhipuram branch is situated right opposite the municipal bus stand of Coimbatore. One can obtain information on how to reach the other destinations from the staff here. All locations are well connected by buses. The group also has a website www.anadas.com.
The lunch is okay but the main attraction seems to be the South Indian tiffin items. Most customers like to go for the relatively simple food items like curd rice in the afternoons. The sheer range of food attracts customers.
There is a lovely sweet called the "Karuppatti mysore pak" which is made out of a very traditional but healthy variety of jaggery, brought from the interiors of South Tamil Nadu. This jaggery is very rich in iron. This sweet is a superb hit with the Coimbatore citizens.
Sri Krishna Vilas hotel This small but very neat restaurant is attached to the lodge very near the Coimbatore electorate. One has to just take left after reaching the entrance of the Coimbatore Junction and keep walking towards the collect orate. This hotel is around less than fifty meters from here.
This hotel has combo offers for breakfast. The dosa items are also good. The main advantage is that this hotel is very near the Coimbatore Railway Station and it offers very hygienic food.
This hotel and lodge are manged by traditional Brahmins from Palaghat from across the border. This hotel has a Brahminical touch in all its preparations. The lunch offering is also good. It is somewhat better than what is offered elsewhere in the neighborhood by the competitors. There is also a Bombay meal available with a distinct Bombay touch. However, the South Indian offerings are all good.
There are hundreds of regular customers who swear by the purity of the food served in this hotel. There are quite a number of punjabi vegetarian dishes also offered in the hotel. The dinner special items are also good.
Address: 42, Old post office road, Near collect orate office, Gopalapuram, Coimbatore. Mobile Ph: 09786006937.
Geetha Hotels (Geetha cafe) Bang opposite the Coimbatore city Railway Station is a road called the Geetha Hall road. Just walk along this road for five minutes. The Geetha Hotels, also called the Geetha Cafe, offer offer standard, and very tasty food items at just 7AM. The "pongal" is really special. So is the rava dosa. In fact, this hotel was managed by a Brahmin family for a very long time. It has reportedly changed hands, but it retains the old charm that it was and is famous for.
A huge number of tourists prefer this restaurant over others in the vicinity, as this is a pure vegetarian restaurant and has a very good ambiance. There are a couple of huge trees and benches are provided by the hotel to relax. In fact, hundreds of customers make it a point to relax in this natural atmosphere, at least for five minutes. Geetha Hall, over a period of decades, has made a huge name for itself.
The lunch offered here is very reasonably priced and is very tasty. It has a huge crop of regular customers.
Address: 7.52 Geetha Hall Road, Oppposite Railway Station, Coimbatore-641018. Ph: 09080523153.
The Adayar Anandha BhavanThis is part of the famous A2B chain of Chennai. This group has ventured into even other States and is a big hit in Bangalore. In Chennai, it is very famous for its dosa items.
Ditto in Coimbatore as well. The dosa offerings are preferred by hundreds of customers. The sweets shop attached to the hotel is another big plus. The sweet offerings are reportedly exported abroad too.
However, the hotel is not so famous for its lunch. Most customers walk into the neighboring RHR restaurant that offers a good unlimited meal at a very reasonable price. The Coimbatore citizens go this hotel mostly to taste the dosa items.
RHR would in fact, rank as number 6 in our list and would run neck to neck with the Adyar Anandha Bhavan. The special items offered by A2B at night seem to be picking up well. The Railway Station branch is situated on the road opposite the junction itself. The A2B branch, Gandhipuram, is situated very near the Gandhipuram bus stand. The one opposite the Railway Junction has a phone number 0422-4054999. One can easily find details of the other branches from this number.
Conclusion With the city of Coimbatore expected to exceed a population of over fifty hundred thousand in the next decade, this superb city is poised for explosive growth. The entrepreneurial spirit is also seen in so many good hotels. In the next few years, the number of new restaurants that will come up will easily exceed another twenty and will start offering a huge range of organic food items too. This trend is seen in the new hotels, that are busy establishing a brand for themselves.
At this point in time, the awesome Five may become awesome Twenty Five. The citizens of this city have never had it so good!