Sri Lanka’s charm lies in the rich history that honed the nation into what it is today. Being a melting pot of different cultures, this little island is just the right balance between old and new, where ancient heritage, tall buildings, lush mountains, and turquoise beaches co-exist in unparalleled serenity. With this, Sri Lankan cuisine has been shaped by a number of historical and cultural factors, with major influences ranging from Asian to Western cuisines. A visit to Sri Lanka will never be complete without indulging your taste buds. To make sure that you get the best out of your vacation, we’ve collated all our favourite food trip places from every part of Sri Lanka. Read through and feel free to bookmark this post!
Must-try restaurants in Colombo
Sri Lanka’s colourful capital boats unlimited options for fine dining, budget eats, and colonial restaurants. While Colombo is typically just a stopover for guests who are travelling to the island’s most beautiful beaches, we say it’s truly worth it to stay for a day or two at Colombo to just explore the city and check out Sri Lankan food in all its diversity.
1. Upali’s by Nawaloka
Locals, as well as people who have been to Colombo (including us!), would agree that Upali’s has some of the best Sri Lankan food offerings in the area. The restaurant’s comfortable sit-down set-up amidst the busyness of the city makes it a perfect destination right after a jam-packed day of touring around. Talk about affordable fine dining experience!
What to Order: If you want to experience an authentic Sri Lankan rice and curry, this is the place to be!
Upali’s by Nawaloka
Address: No. 65 C.W.W. Kannangara Mawatha, Colombo
Contact Number: +94 112 695 812
Operating Hours: Open every day from 11:30am – 10:30pm
2. Kaema Sutra
Kaema Sutra may be on the pricey side, but this won’t stop us from putting it on our favourites list! This beautiful restaurant is the brainchild of celebrity chefs Jacqueline Fernandez and Dharshan Munidasa. Though the dishes are not those that you can typically see on the tables of Sri Lankan homes, the menu is still definitely authentic but redefined and taken on a whole new level.
What to Order: Their selection of hoppers (Sri-Lankan bow-shaped pancakes) are to die for!
Address: 4th Floor, Shangri-La Hotel, # 01, Galle Face, Colombo 2
Contact Number: +94 11 7 888 288
Operation Hours: 5pm – midnight, Sundays to Thursdays; 5pm – 2am on Fridays and Saturdays
3. Hotel de Pilawoos
Pilawoos is a 24/7 fast food place that serves the best Kottu Roti in town. This is a staple dish in Sri Lanka, made of sliced roti (flatbread), mixed spices, vegetables, and a meat of choice. Pilawoos recently included a cheese kottu on their menu, and it became an instant hit. We personally loved it!
What to Order: Cheese kottu, need we say more?
Hotel de Pilawoos
Address: 417, Galle Road, Colombo
Contact Number: +94 77 741 7417
Operation Hours: 24/7
Must-try restaurants in Bentota
Beyond golden beaches and countless water sports, this Bentota is made of several restaurant options that offer succulent Sri Lankan dishes. Keep reading and discover Bentota’s best-kept food destinations.
Randholee has long been a favourite of travellers coming to the area, looking for authentic Sri Lankan restaurant to feast in. Situated in a Dutch bungalow turned restaurant, this place is known for its relaxing ambience, delicious food and friendly service. The best thing about Randholee is its extensive menu, allowing your travel buddies who are not keen on trying out Sri Lankan cuisine to still enjoy just as much!
What to Order: Sri Lanka’s famous rice and curry never get old!
Address: Galle Road, Bentota
Contact Number: +94 344 940 940
Operation Hours: Open every day from 11:00am – 10:00pm
2. Golden Grill Restaurant
Another crowd favourite is this multi-cuisine restaurant called Golden Grill. Perfect for intimate group gatherings, Golden Grill is one of the perfect choices if you’re coming to Bentota with your full pack. They serve a mix of eastern and western dishes, so everybody surely has something that will satisfy their cravings.
What to Order: Apart from rice and curry, we also love their Indian thali!
Golden Grill Restaurant
Address: Bentota Bridge, National Holiday Resort, Bentota
Contact Number: +94 342 275 455
Operation Hours: Open every day from 11:00am – 10:00pm
3. Malli’s Seafood Restaurant
Being surrounded by the rich waters of Bentota will get you craving for seafood in no time. If this happens, you’ve got Malli’s to save your day. This restaurant doesn’t offer an extensive menu unlike the others, but what it promises is the quality of every plate coming out of their kitchen. You’ll be surprised by how affordable their selections are!
What to Order: We’ve had the best lobsters at Malli’s, which gets our mouths watered up until now!
Malli’s Seafood Restaurant
Address: Hungantota, near Galapatha Temple, Taniperuwa Watta, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: +94 77 525 3772
Operation Hours: Open every day from 10:00am – 11:00pm
Must-try restaurants in Galle
Tucked nicely away in this quaint town are colourful eateries, encompassing multitudes of culinary delights. Both tasty and instagrammable, Galle’s vibrant food scene continuously develops Galle as a growing hotspot for tourists. With its ever-increasing number of restaurants, it may be hard to prioritise which one to try out first. This list might help you out!
1. Poonie’s Kitchen
Chic, Instagrammable, and healthy are the three best words to describe this cute little food place in Galle. With its reusable utensils, ample natural light, and colourful backdrops, Poonie’s Kitchen is every blogger and influencer’s dream brunch spot. And the best part is, everything is organic! Can this place get any more perfect?
What to Order: Practice your flatlay skills. Their dreamy Salad thali is dangerously beautiful and tasty! We can’t get enough of their bowls and smoothies too!
Address: 63, Pedlar St., Galle
Contact Number: +94 912 226 349
Operation Hours: 10am – 5pm, Monday to Thursday & Saturday; 24 hours on Fridays
2. Pedlar’s Inn Cafe
If you’re looking for some western food, this is the best place to satisfy your cravings. Situated in a former British post office, you can just imagine how beautiful this restaurant looks like. Featuring an eye-catching terra cotta outside and a contemporary interior that seems to complement its ancient features very well, this restaurants creates an elegant but casual vibe out of itself.
What to Order: Put this in one of your breakfast plans, ‘cause they’ve got the best banana pancakes and coffee in Sri Lanka!
Pedlar’s Inn Cafe
Address: Pedlar St., Galle
Contact Number: +94 912 225 333
Operation Hours: Open every day from 7:30am – 10:00pm
3. A Minute by Tuk Tuk
There are tons of good restaurants in Galle, but what makes this one stand out is its access to an unobstructed view of the ocean. Located at the second floor of the Old Dutch Hospital, A Minute by Tuk Tuk is the winner for its ambience, topped with the fresh breeze of sea air. They’ve got a great variety of Sri Lankan and western dishes, best enjoyed at their outside seating area.
What to Order: Try out their beef burger with fries on the side!
A Minute by Tuk Tuk
Address: The Old Dutch Hospital, Galle
Contact Number: +94 914 945 000
Operation Hours: Open every day from 8:00am – 11:00pm
Must-try restaurants in Kandy
With Kandy’s many tourist attractions, this destination is easily the highlight of most tourists’ visit in Sri Lanka. Kandy is home to the Temple of the Tooth, rice fields, green hills, and tea plantations. As the second largest city in Sri Lanka, you can just imagine how vast your options are in terms of your gastronomical adventure. For tips on which one to check out first, read on!
1. Kandy House
Once the villa of the last Chief Minister of Kandyan Kingdom, it has now been converted into a boutique hotel and restaurant. Both charming and sophisticated, The Kandy House is perfect for a romantic out of the country dinner date with your travel buddy—the best way to cap off your visit to Sri Lanka. Here’s a tip: Try to reserve a table at their veranda area and get a perfect view of lush greeneries.
What to Order: Their beef massaman curry with basmati rice and broccoli is our ultimate favourite!
The Kandy House
Address: Amunugama Waluwa, Gunnepana, Kandy
Contact Number: +94 814 921 394
Operation Hours: Open every day from 7:00am – 9:00pm
2. The Empire Cafe
With its vibrant walls and colourful paintings, this one is hard to miss. The Empire Cafe serves a generous variety of dishes on its menu, from rice and curries to mac & cheese, spring rolls, and many more. It’s surprising how a luxury-looking cafe can offer an affordable set of options.
What to Order: You’ll probably have guessed this already, but yes, we recommend their rice and curries. They’ve got awesome spring rolls as well!
The Empire Cafe
Address: Temple St., Kandy
Contact Number: +94 812 239 870
Operation Hours: Open every day from 8:30am – 8:30pm
Last but definitely not the least on our list is our favourites is Worldspice. This accessible food court offers a wide selection of cuisine. And when we say wide, we say generously wide—Thai, Indian, Chinese, and Italian. Many are surprised by how good the food is from Worldspice. We were too! So make sure to check this one out and see for yourself.
What to Order: You’ll never go wrong with their Sri Lankan and Indian dishes.
Address: No, 5, Dalada Veediya, Kandy City Center, Kandy
Contact Number: +94 812 202 844
Operation Hours: Open every day from 10:0am – 9:30pm
There you have it! Did you take note of all the restaurants that caught your attention? Hope this post helped you make the most out of your Sri Lanka trip. Tune in for more travel tips like this!