The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
Food is a highlight of Colombo, much more so than you might imagine. You won’t go hungry here with a wide selection of restaurants, fast food outlets and coffee shops serving a range of Sri Lankan, South Asian, Eastern, Western and fusion cuisine. For a true taste of Sri Lankan cuisine, try one of the smaller eateries serving local hawker-style favourites like string hoppers, lamprais, koththu roti and Biryani. Sumptuous pastries are not limited to high tea here in Sri Lanka: patties, Chinese rolls, Seeni sambal buns, chocolate éclairs and crème buns also known as short-eats, are a favourite any time of day and can be found at local cafes and coffee shops. For cafe and restaurant reviews see: www.yamu.lk
There is a wide selection of Chinese restaurants in Colombo with most adjusting the level of spices to suit the local palate. Indeed, there is a distinct "Sri Lankan style" to many of the Chinese restaurants that includes extra chilli. The most popular old-school favourites in this genre include the likes of Flower Drum, 88 and Chinese Dragon. Some of the more authentic Chinese restaurants are No. 168 Seafood Palace off the Galle Road, which is popular with the local Chinese community, the Emperors Wok at the Hilton, Loon Tao located on the beach at Mt. Lavinia, and the Long Feng at Cinnamon Lakeside which specialises in Singaporean style Chinese.
For a more informal open-air dining experience, the Barefoot Café is ideal especially after a bit of shopping at the Barefoot shop which is at the same location. The Commons and Café Che, two more establishments managed by Harpo, are popular and serve a range of light meal, including a Koththu Roti cart that serves sumptuous savoury as well as sweet rotis. Three local favourites are P & S, Fab and Chariot for their cheap short eats and pastries. The Jagro cafe serves up delicious juices, cakes and desserts made with fresh locally grown strawberries from their own estates in the hill country. The Urban Kitchen in Colombo 2, adjoining the Arpico supermarket, bustles with activity and is the closest Sri Lanka has to a proper Asian-style food court. They have an extensive menu of Middle Eastern, Chinese, Sri Lankan and western dishes. The Cricket Club Cafe is an old favourite serving up a very reliable and consistent range of dishes all named after famous cricketers. It is also Sri Lanka's best sports bar. The latest addition to Colombo’s list of cafes is `Ginger’ managed by Sri Lanka's larger-than-life celebrity chef Koluu, whose signature dishes include Mediterranean and Asian influences.
Colombo by night can be fun with a scattering of pubs and nightclubs that come alive especially on Friday and Saturday nights and features live bands or DJ music. The Library and 7 degrees North at Cinnamon Lakeside and the Breeze Bar at Cinnamon Grand are popular night clubs with Amuseum, Silk, Kama Lounge and White Horse usually frequented by the younger lot. Characterful pubs in Colombo include the Cheers Pub at Cinnamon Grand, Cricket Club Café, and Inn on the Green at Galle Face Hotel in Colombo 1. 41 Sugar with views across Colombo 7, is an upscale bar and restaurant with a live band. The popular Sky Lounge located at the roof top of The Kingsbury hotel in Colombo Fort, has fantastic views of the Indian Ocean and Colombo’s sky line.
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