I am born and brought up in Chennai but I have rarely had a need to go beyond Flower Bazaar in North Madras. Today accompanied by my Yoga Master I went to Sowcarpet for some Rajasthani Thali (Meals), Window shopping in Mint Street and Dry fruits shopping. You can enter into Sowcarpet area at Mint-street from Chennai (Central) or through N.S.C. Bose Road near Flower Bazaar (பூக்கடை).
Almost all buildings here are narrow (in width) but go deeper in length. You can see that clearly in this one that was demolished for a new one. After an hour so roaming in Mint Street we were hungry and found a banner advertising for a traditional Rajasthani Bojanalaya in one of the small streets off Mint Street (near Chinnakadai Amman Koil) ‘Hunumantha Rayan Koil Street’, we had lunch there. Don’t be deceived by the small entrance, the restaurant can have 16 seats and served hot Rajasthani meal – not classy, not hygienic enough but manageable.
Our next stop was Chinnakadai Sri Mariamman or Renuka Parameswari Temple which is claimed to be more than 200 years old. It is in Mint Street (Sowcarpet) & N.S.C. Bose Road junction, the time we went it was closed so we saw it from outside and then moved on to Kakada Ramprasad.
Kakada Ramprasad in Mint Street is a famous sweet and snack shop in the area. We had a heavenly Badam Drink loaded with nuts, saffron and thick milk.
Then we went to Strotten Muthiah Mudali Street which is lined with shops selling all varieties of fresh Dry Fruits (Badam, Pista, Cashewnuts, Dry Dates, Figs, Charoli), Rajasthani Pickles, Papads and all other tasty items.
Reference: I found this nice blog post listing all popular temples in Chennai.