One of the most important things to consider when travelling, is food! You need to ensure you refuel yourself regularly, especially in the hot climates of Sri Lanka. But where are the best restaurants and places to eat in Colombo?
To ensure you have a variety of options to eat, as you explore Colombo, we and a few fellow experienced travellers, tell you where the best restaurants and places to eat are in Colombo, ranging from typical Sri Lanka dishes, fast-food outlets, lovely Indian dishes, budget friendly places and more.
We want to make sure you’re refuelled, have a stress-free holiday, but importantly, eat at the best places Colombo have to offer. But firstly, you should know what the staple foods are in Sri Lanka!
Best Restaurants and places to eat in Colombo
We have a wide variety of restaurants and places to eat in Colombo:
Galle Face Green
Spending time at Galle Face Green is thought to be one of the unmissable things to do in Colombo. The city’s waterfront is a nice place to go for a late afternoon walk, and the beach below is a pleasant place to cool off after a day of work, and still very much a favorite of locals – so if you have a thing for photography and city life, it’s an excellent spot.
Yet, the best reason to visit Galle Face Green is that you will be able to taste all sorts of local street food – freshly prepared daily, local and with perfect views of the ocean. You will have plenty of options for food – from basic ice-cream and popcorn or freshly fried potato or cassava chips (which are similar to potato chips but even crunchier) to other more elaborate foods. Snacks you should look out for include samosas; ulundhu vadai, which looks like a thin bread fritters but it’s actually made of dhal and spices; and – the absolute best – dhal waddae, AKA lentil curry fritters topped with shrimps.
The latter dish is actually typical of the area, so you should definitely try it while there or you may miss your chances!
By Claudi Tavani, at My Adventures Across The World
Located in Maharagam a suburb of Colombo. We visit here on our annual visit to Sri Lanka, as it is one of the best restaurants for real authentic Sri Lanka rice and curry in Colombo.
The food is mouth-watering, and well worth stopping here for something authentic to eat. There is a large range of dishes available such as rice, vegetable curries, meat curries, fish and dried fish.
We have seen Nelum Kole expand over the years, from a small hut offering a large variety of dishes, to this larger than life cool building. There’s plenty of seating, and the best way to eat is by following the locals and eating with your fingers.
Most of the dishes are spicy, but there’s a small selection of curries that are mild but you will need to ask which ones are mild.
The price is very reasonable, and the staff are not shy when it comes to putting large amounts of food on your plate.
You won’t be disappointed with eating at Nelum Kole.
By Bev & Shams Adventures
At first sight you might find it strange to see the name of an international food chain as a recommended place to eat in Colombo. But Sri Lanka adds its own spin to the dishes that you can find worldwide. It adapted them to the local taste and culture.
Where else in the world could you find pizzas like Chicken Sausage Meat with Nai Miris, Devilled chicken or beef, Tandoori chicken, Butter Masala Chicken or Spicy Seafood? Vegetarians will not starve either, as they can choose between a Veggie Pizza, Margherita and Spicy Veggie Pizza. Pizza Hut has even thought about the days when one doesn’t feel like eating pizza and offers chicken wings with different flavors, from international ones like barbeque to more local ones like peri peri and sriracha. Of course, it wouldn’t be Sri Lanka if you couldn’t accompany them with rice.
Pricing is where Pizza Hut stands out, with a small pizza starting at around 500 Rs, which is less than 3 dollars. A large pizza, that can be shared by 4 persons, will only set you back 1500 Rs.
The quality and standards are appropriate to what you might expect from any Pizza Hut restaurant. Orders are usually ready within 15-20 minutes, staff is friendly and service is good. Locals go there on weekends and
evenings with their family and friends to have a pleasant time and chat. So, it’s also a great place for people-watching.
Let’s be honest! No matter how much one likes to try local dishes while travelling, sometimes homesickness makes its way in, as well as the desire to eat something familiar. Next time you are looking for a budget
place to eat, take it into consideration. After all, it’s were the locals go and they know the best places.
By Raluca Silvia from Travel With A Spin
Looking for a budget friendly place to eat Sri Lankan food, then head to Rambath.
you can Eat in or take away. A take away, is referred to as a lunch packet, or some may call it a rice packet.
Lunch packet is rice, accompanied with a selection of curries, from meat, vegetable or fish, and condiments wrapped up, ready to take away an eat later.
We ordered some rice and curry, which came to as little as Rs250.00 – £1.44 – $2.16. Good portions were given, and we even ordered their dessert of Watalappam.
By Bev & Shams Adventures
Ministry of Crab – Colombo, Sri Lanka
Ranked amongst the 50 best restaurants in Asia, The Ministry of Crab in Colombo is a haven for crustacean lovers. The seafood restaurant’s star is the legendary lagoon crab that ranges in size from 500g crab to 2kg and is prepared in the following ways- pepper crab, chilli crab, curry crab, garlic crab, garlic pepper crab, butter crab and baked crab. You will be delighted by the tender meat, delicious flavour and incredible experience. The servers provide you with the tools and guidance to savour your crab, especially if it’s your first time eating one. Just ask them to help! In case, you’re not in the mood for crab, you can also order king prawns, oysters, clams, seer or chicken. Vegetarian options can only be found in the form of sides, bread and beverages.
The restaurant is set up by chef-restaurateur Dharshan Munidasa and cricket legends Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara in a 400-year-old Dutch Hospital, now a commercial complex. At the restaurant, the beautiful crab-claw plant serves as the only décor. This simplicity gives rise to a sophisticated yet romantic and relaxed ambience.
Since the restaurant has a no freezer policy, the crab is absolutely fresh. However, because of that, you may not find the crab size of your choice as the evening progresses. So if you’re particular, reserve a table for earlier in the evening. Also, ensure you reserve a table here as early as possible because the restaurant is renowned enough to always be at full occupancy.
You must note that the restaurant is an expensive one with crabs ranging from LKR 6100 (500g) to LKR 39,400 (2kg). To put things in perspective, we shared an LKR 14,600 (USD 75) priced Kilo Crab (1kg crab) between two people but could have easily eaten one Kilo Crab per person.
That said, eating at the Ministry of Crab is surely a bucket list affair. Though the brand is now also present in Shanghai, Manila, Mumbai, Maldives, and Bangkok, the food is definitely most authentic at its flagship restaurant in Colombo. It is a once in a lifetime culinary experience that should definitely be included in your Sri Lanka Itinerary.
By Trisha Agrawal from Try Wandering More
Thunapaha is located in Colombo, with flavourful rice and curry, all at a low cost. A selection of vegetable, meat or fish curry accompanied with rice. If you don’t want to leave the comfort of your room, then Ubereats, will deliver your rice and curry to your address.
By Bev & Shams Adventures
After hearing about all these lovely restaurants and places to eat, we are feeling hungry and cant wait to eat at some of these places.
What was your favourite restaurant or place to eat? Have you eaten somewhere that you recommend that we haven’t mentioned? What place would you eat at first when you get to Colombo? Leave a comment below we would love to hear from you!
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