Colombo for the Foodie
The city of Colombo has a vibrant food culture that has been growing at a fast pace over the past few years. The city is home to restaurants and cafes that serve some exceptional fare, ranging from cheap to expensive.
Breakfast & Brunch
Brunch culture has caught up with Colombo over the past few years, with both hotels and cafes jumping on the bandwagon. The grand Sunday brunch buffets hosted by hotels such as Cinnamon Grand, Mount Lavinia Hotel and Taj Samudra are tailored to inspire extreme gluttony, and are generally popular with local families. Cafes and restaurants such as One Up All Day Breakfast in Bambalapitiya, Plus Nine Four in Havelock Town and the Grind Coffeehouse in Union Place serve up some delicious brunch fare that also make for some great pictures!
Sri Lanka is famed for its great seafood, thanks to being an island surrounded by the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean. Most of the restaurants in the city serve seafood, however, some do it better than others. The Ministry of Crab, located at the Dutch Hospital Precinct, serves some of the best crab dishes in the country, although at a relatively steep price. The Lagoon at Cinnamon Grand and the Seafood Cove at Mount Lavinia Hotel allow you to pick your fresh seafood, market style. Once you have selected your favourites from the many types of fish, prawns, crabs, lobster and cuttlefish available, the chefs will prepare the dishes according to your preferred style of cooking.
Colombo is home to people from all walks of life. As such, the city has an abundance of kades (small shops) that serve pretty cheap, yet delicious food that is a must try for any food lover! The famous Sri Lankan kotthu rotti can be found in roadside shops as well as in luxury hotels. Grab a portion from Hotel de Pilawoos or Hotel de Plaza (neither are actual hotels) if you want an authentic experience.
The Galle Face Green Promenade is a great place to try out a variety of local street food including isso vadey (fried prawn cake), achcharu (pickled fruit), hand cut cassava chips, fried prawns and crabs and bombai mutai (hand pulled candy).
Traditional Sri Lankan food is delicious and very varied in terms of methods of preparation. Restaurants like Upali’s, Culture Colombo and Raja Bojun serve well-cooked Sri Lankan meals at reasonable prices. Kaema Sutra, Nuga Gama and Curry Leaf restaurants also serve great Sri Lankan food, but in more luxurious settings than the average local restaurant.
Many restaurants in Colombo specialize in different types of Asian cuisine including Indian, Chinese, Thai, and Japanese. These restaurants too range from high-end and expensive to hole-in-the-wall and cheap.
The London Grill at Cinnamon Grand serves French and continental fare, the Tintagel Restaurant serves international cuisine al-fresco style, Rare Bar & Kitchen offers exciting fusion cuisine, Echo at Cinnamon Grand serves traditional Italian dishes, while Café Francais offers a more chilled out option for classic French fare. Royal Thai at Cinnamon Lakeside is famed for its Thai cuisine, Navratna at Taj Samudra for Indian and Nihonbashi for Japanese.
Colombo has become a dessert haven over the last few years, with a large number of cafes and shops serving delectable desserts and good coffee to go with it. Check out Hyve Dessert Bar, The Cakery and Butter Boutique for some scrumptious cakes, brownies, cheesecakes and other sweets.