Being a Big Foodie hailing from Madurai , I would recommend the below restaurants which are favorites in Madurai.
Chandran mess – delicious lunch only restaurant , known for its kola urundai (fried mutton meat balls). Coconut oil fried Madura chicken, Chicken and mutton biriyanis and other side dishes ( quite expensive lunch)
Amma mess – lunch and dinner most popularly known, located right opposite to chandran mess, almost identical hotels but I prefer chandran mess than amma mess. Known for things like kola urundai , nandu omlette ( crab omlette) , mutton liver fry .
Kumar Mess – Near Thangam theater, Goripalayam. Ayirai fish, mutton balls. lunch and dinner. Quite similar to the above two restaurants. They serve delicious lunch and dinner. Mutton ennai chukka .Authentic side dishes.
Konar Mess/ Konar Kadai – Simmakal, Madurai (Branches at: Railway station, Madurai & Anna Bus stand, Madurai) They make the city’s best and finest Kari Dosa (Mutton Dosa), Dosa topped with layers of beaten egg and deep roasted spicy muttonchops. Nalli, Mutta Kari ( Diced spicy mutton pieces fried with egg, onion and pepper with extra oil)
Ammsavalli bhavan – vintage biriyani shop, very hyped but now a days it’s not upto the mark but that doesn’t keep people away from crowding that place anyway. Still considered as one of the best biriyani in Madurai ( as in Madurai each hotels has its own unique style and taste) but I would say it’s old school now.
Taj restaurant – learn that consistency from taj biriyani. Very famous for its biriyani and it has its own set of customers.
Kari Kanji Restaurant – Near race course road, Tallakulam, Madurai. Known for their special combo non vegetarian meals and Dinner.
Ajmeer mahal & Amir Mahal – Ajmeer mahal & Amir Mahal restaurant complex, Goripalayam, Madurai (best egg parotta in Madurai, Chicken Ceylon Parotta, Idiyappam) crispy parottas, a very different variety of mutton chukka, the colour is unique and taste finished with coconut oil flavour. Chicken items are also good.
Sulthan hotel – Periyar bus stand branch & Simmakal branch, Madurai (Famous for Parotta, Egg parotta, Chicken Egg parotta, Biriyani.) Just the biriyani, it’s again another unique blend of ingredients to make this mouth watering biriyani. Operates till mid night. Side dishes are not top class but decent enough for the price.
Mudhaliyar Idli kadai – Goripalayam, Madurai (Famous for Idly and non veg gravies)