What are the best restaurants in Cochin that can serve authentic Kerala food?

Filipino chicken curry recipe with coconut milk

Kochi is definitely the foodie paradise in Kerala.

Being in heart of Kerala, definitely you will find a lot of authentic Kerala food,One misconception one needs to remove is that Kerala has a huge array of Vegetarian options (less popular outside Kerala).

However, its very unlikely you find a pure Authentic Malayalee Vegetarian Only restaurant in Kerala.

Rather you are more likely to end up in a Tamil/Udupi restaurant if you look for Veg only restaurant in the state or in the city.

This is primarily because a good percentage of Malayalees are Non-Veg and vegetarian Malayalees have no issue in partaking food in a mixed environment where some excellent vegetarian options do exist.

Unfortunately for extreme hardcore/orthodox Vegetarians have no other option other than finding solace in Tamil/Udupi Brahmin restaurant which has more of Tamil/Tulu items like typical Dosas, Idly, Upma, Pongal etc.

,So if you wish to taste Malayalee vegetarian foods, definitely try out in authentic Kerala restaurants that equally serves non-veg options.

,In Kochi, some of the recommended options, which I have personally tried would be,Pavillion at Grand Hotel- MG RoadThis is my THE FAVORITE Kerala restaurant, which I have been trying out for last 20 years.

The proof of its authenticity lies in the fact, its heavily patronized by locals despite being located inside a 4 star property.

,Though its a multi-cuisine restaurant, its famous for its very authentic Kerala options, particularly Alleppey/Central Travancore style of preparations that gives a very traditional Nasarani (Syrian Christian) feel.

The Karimeen Pollichathu (Fried Pearlspot doused in thick masala and steamed in Banana leaf) is an iconic dish of this restaurant.

So as Prawns cooked in coconut milk and the celebrated Beef Roast, makes this restaurant, a pilgrim spot for foodies.

For veggies, I recommend Vendakka Mappas (Brinjal cooked in coconut milk) which gives the best of flavors that one otherwise enjoys in non-veg options.

They also have Veg rice meals where one can sample some Kerala dishes in it.

This restaurant is often featured in many travelogue shows, especially in Rocky & Mayuru2019s Highway on the Plate in NDTV.

Slightly expensive being an upscale dining option,2.

Malabar Cafe- Grand Hyatt BolgattyThis is a very recent option, opened in the ultra-luxurious Grand Hyatt.

It gives a truly 5-star dining with awesome settings overlooking the grand backwaters and the Kochi Harbour.

The good part is that they have hired services of many local ladies who are expert in cooking traditional dishes which they effectively converted into a 5 star styled food presentation.

Everything is so fresh, including the pepper which they use, which gives an unmatched taste.

I personally loved Mushroom Thiyal (Veg option) so much which gives a unique Nadan (desi) taste.

What I loved most was Attuirachi Kurumulagu Curry (Pepper Mutton curry) which is so simple, yet out of the world.

The freshness of pepper, I can still feel in my tastebuds.

,So as one can enjoy the various flavors of Kochiu2019s signature drink- the Kulukki Sharbat (Kerala version of Mojitos) and an extremely strong original cardamom tea from the finest quality of Kannan Devan Hills of Munnar.

Ofcourse its expensive but definitely worth it.

,3.

Palaaram-KakkanadWell, I can say, this could be a TGI Fridays of Kerala Food.

Its an upscale restaurant with a lot of youthful uber chill feel, but serves some of the classic dishes which rarely we find in other restaurants.

Well, for some of older generation, they may not appreciate many things here, because of its not so typical kind of their styles.

But more suitable for youngsters who want to enjoy authentic Kerala dishes with a hint of modern taste factor.

My favorite will be Kozhi Pidi (Steamed rice dumplings in thick chicken curry), Kunji Pathiri (Rice coins with Beef curry).

Their Kappa with Uli Kanthari Chammanthi (Tapioca with Onion&Birdu2019s eye chili chutney) is definitely awesome for veggies.

,I once tried a unique combination which I was very apprehensive eariler- Beef Upamavu (Upma with Beef)u2026 Well I know, one may feel disgusting when they hear it which I too had.

But surprisingly, it turned out a very perfect evening dish.

Donu2019t know whether they still serve that, as last time when I went there, they said its not available.

But its indeed tasty.

Also try out their Paalooda (Milk version of Falooda) and the classic Malabari drink- Naruneendi (Nannari) drink which is an ayurvedic plant good for the body.

,4.

Calicut Paragon- Lulu MallHow can a Malayalee ignore the iconic Calicut Paragon.

This restaurant is the crowning jewel of Kozhikodeu2019s famed food culture and has its branch in Kochi which is a much upscale version of their original store.

Kozhikode is the food capital of Kerala and most of Malayalees long for authentic Kozhikodan dishes.

So definitely for the majority of us, Paragon satisfies that urge.

The Kozhikodan Biriyani of Paragon needs no introduction for Malayalees.

Its as iconic as Hyderabadi Biriyani of Paradise hotel in Hyderabad.

My favorite will be the Mango Fish curry, Pandan Chicken (Malayalee version of Filipino dish of Grilled chicken in Pandan leaves), the Kappadu Coconut Soup.

Unfortunately there is nothing for Veggies in Kerala section, however, they can have the North Indian dishes as its a multi-cuisine facility too.

For many veggies, they may not like the atmosphere was the non-veg dishes are indeed strong in their aromas here and fish being the most popular.

I had an experience where my veggie Grandma left the restaurant as she couldnu2019t enjoy the primarily non-veg ambiance of the restaurant which is slightly overpowering than other places.

So as one could be disappointed slightly if they expect the same perfect taste as in their original store as its bit hard to bring complete expertise.

,5.

Dhe Pattu- NH BypassKochiu2019s iconic restaurant, that revolutionized the classic Malayalee breakfast dish into a diverse popular option.

Puttu is a simple steamed dish which most of Malayalees take only in mornings.

But Dhe Puttu changed that concept by introducing nearly 50 varieties of veg and non veg puttu and many interesting combos.

It was owned by actor Dileep (not now, but he still continues to be its brand ambassador), so most of the items are named after his movies.

,My favourite will be the Spanish Chicken Puttu.

For Vegs, I definitely recommend Veg Biriyani Puttu which surprisingly gives the same taste of a Biriyani, but in steamed puttu form.

,6.

Mullapanthal or Nettoor ShapIf one wants to feel the real Kerala food experience, definitely it should be at traditional Shapps (Coconut toddy shops).

Its indeed dingy, small and not-so-hygiene.

After all its not a fancy restaurant, rather a place for native men to unwind in evenings with toddy and food.

But over time, these toddy shaps became famous for its extremely fiery hot diverse food options that today families come in to dig in this amazing option.

,Mullapanthal in Tripunithura became so iconic that, it even won Times Foodie National awards for its celebrated array of dishes.

Remember 99% of dishes are Non-veg, so its not a place for veggies.

And even among Non Veg, its not limited to Chicken alone.

One can find almost any kind of meat here, be it freshwater fishes, seafood, ducks, frogs, rabbits, pork, beef, buffalo, mutton, chickenu2026 The options are so diverse.

Remember, its extremely hot, much equal to some traditional Andhra meals that use the hottest chilies like Guntur.

In Kerala, we donu2019t use Guntur chillis, but the traditional Kantari Chillies are lavishly used in Shapp dishes that makes it FIERY HOT,Mullapantal became so famous that one always find it crowded.

So another option is Netoor Shap which is located close to backwaters and offers a perfect place to taste the best of Kerala dishes.

,Note:- Its definitely okay for families, but donu2019t expect any premium services.

Its just basic.

,7.

Nawaras or CheenavalaTake your favorite fish, weigh and order to cook as per listed recipe options as in Nawaras.

Full net Thalis with various fish options is a favourite of CheenavalaKochi is definitely famous for its Seafood and definitely, I recommend either of these two brands.

Both are much like BBQ Nation vs ABu2019s kind of thing when comes to seafood.

Lots of seafood as well as fresh water options where one can choose their option and get it done in various styles.

,I personally recommend the Seafood Thalis.

Its so extensive and one can sample various options.

Taste-wise, I feel Nawaras is bit better, but as of now, no one can beat Cheenavala for its presentation and variety.

,Again, nothing much for veggies.

Sorry,Other options include,Arrippa MG Road,Rice Boat in Taj Malabar,Tharavadu in Casino CGH,Kadaloram Kerala buffet in Abad Plaza MG Road,Cassava Kerala Buffet in Marriott Kochi,Sealord - Marine Drive,Rice N Fish- Vazhakkal,Rolexio Biriyani in Kaloor,Halaiu2019s Alleppey in Oberon Mall,Springs- Avenue Regent,The above options offer good Kerala meals, but nothing out of the world or special experience.

In all above restaurants, they offer some good Kerala Veg food also.

,For enjoying Sadya, you have to be invited to some marriages or attend any temple festivals etc.

Some Brahmin hotels like BTH, Gokul etc offers Kerala Sadya (in limited form), but not so authentic as they being Tamil restaurants.