Last year I made lot of trips between Chennai and other cities in Tamilnadu. I was amazed to find even in so called costlier cities in the state like Coimbatore the food was priced 50% lower than that was in Chennai.
In Chennai a decent chicken briyani costs Rs 160/-, whereas in Coimbatore, a briyani much more tastier and in a hotel that looks much decent costs only Rs 80/-. I was amazed by the spaces that were there in Coimbatore. The hotels were spacious, I was able walk freely even when the hotels were crowded. In Chennai just going to wash one hands will be a challenge.
To wash hand in Chennai, where the spacing between tables is so less that only a child could travel, you have to crawl in those alley ways. If you encounter a server or a cleaner on the way, it would look like you are stuck in a massive traffic jam. Coimbatore hotels were spacious.
The tables in Chennai will barely fit your plate and side dishes on the table. In Coimbatore even if you have a partner to dine with there will be ample space on the table.
Even in so called great hotel chains in Chennai like Sangeetha, you will have the server who looks down upon you as though you are not needed, but in Coimbatore you feel that you are being respected.
So why there is space constraint and lot of money need to be paid for very low quality food in Chennai? The answer is simple. The cost of Real Estate. In Chennai the rent that the hotel guys need to pay is staggeringly high compared to many places even in this world. Now its as comparable as Mumbai. Higher rent means you need price your commodity high to make decent profit.
Even though Real Estate price is crashing, the rents are not, so food prices will stay relatively high in Chennai. Its quiet unfortunate to live there.