If your trip takes you along the A4 road through Ratnapura have your driver stop at the excellent Lindys Restaurant and Bakery at Batugedara (just to the south of Ratnapura towards Haputale).
There are no inflated tourist prices at Lindys, the owner manager has many years of catering experience in Sri Lanka and abroad, his place is well managed, spotlessly clean and the food is simply great.
A breakfast buffet is served between 7 and 10am, lunch from 11.30am to 3pm and dinner between 4.30 and 10pm. The owner also has two shops selling bakery items in the area.
Favorite Dish: The splendid rice and curry buffet comes at Rs200 for all you can eat and is followed by a complementary crème caramel. Or, if you are fed up with curry you can treat yourself to pies, sandwiches and cakes from the bakery counter.
Along the coast, especially areas where travellers stay, you can find simple, family run restaurants. Usually just a small room in a house with a few tables, they can give you a chance to sample good traditional food. The selection is whatever they have on hand at the time...typically fresh fish, lamb, vegetables, curries etc. Finish off your meal with a lassi blended with milk and some of the local fruits.
Favorite Dish: The fish is always good
I'm really not the kind of person to eat alot of fast food, but I guess I just got a bit tired of curries in Sri Lanka, so on our last day we ate at both KFC and Pizza Hut within 24 hours. But even these American icons have a Sri Lankan flavour to them here; Pizza Hut Express has three varieties of pizza - spicy vegetable, spicy chicken, and tandoori chicken - and the KFC menu includes items such as Biryani Chicken and Kottu.
We were very happy to find this place which fills a void in Galle Fort, where we had a hard time finding budget restaurants. It is small and intimate with just three tables, and it has a very nice view of the ramparts, good food, cheap prices, and friendly service. It began in October 2005 as a juice bar (hence the name), but people kept requesting food so they started serving that too, and they do a very good job of it. They do not add tax or service charges onto the bill, which is unusual in Sri Lanka.
Favorite Dish: Grilled Tuna with Salad Rs 200
Grilled Prawns with Chips or Salad Rs 250
This guesthouse has a very nice set vegetarian dinner for Rs 300. It comes with rice, three or four curries according to the menu though we were served five, plus salad and dessert. We weren't very hungry so we asked if we could share one dinner between the two of us, and they brought us more food than we could finish but still only charged us Rs 300 (plus 10% service charge).
Apart from the guesthouses, Aruna's restaurant is one of the few budget options for eating in Galle Fort. It's a tiny family-run place with just four tables. They do pretty good pizzas and curries, and the service is quick and the price reasonable. Since there is no staff other than the couple who live there and run the place, they may close unexpectedly if they have something else going on (even if that something else appears to be nothing more than standing in the doorway watching the world go by).
This guesthouse does a very good job of preparing fresh fish, and at a price much lower than many of the neighbouring establishments. It may take a while for the food to come, but the wait is worth it. I recommend the grilled fish with mixed salad and chips (Rs 200). Their continental breakfast for Rs 260 is also very good.
This large restaurant (also a hotel, see my accommodation tip) has two very extensive menus, one for Indian food and the other for Chinese. The 'banquet hall' upstairs is usually quieter than the main seating area. The Indian in particular is very good, though it can get pricy when you add in all the rice, naan, juice, tax, service, etc. A full dinner for two could cost about Rs 1000, though if you do without the extras it will be less. Don't bother with the naan, it's more like chapati and is overpriced.
Favorite Dish: Makhani Murgh, Cucumber Raita, and Paneer Tomato Bathi.
The creatively-named Why Not restaurant offers a lunch buffet for Rs 95, or Rs 90 for take-away. This includes rice and various curries, which are fairly tasty but also on the spicy side. The seating is at plastic tables on an outside patio. They also offer accommodation.
We were told about this restaurant by a young honeymooning couple and decided to give it a try after feeling a little curried out! They explained that we could reach it by turning left onto the beach out of our hotel , (the Riverina hotel) past the sarong shacks and there we would find this delightful terrace serving very good Italian food. Yes the food was good, crusty based pizzas and pasta that strangely resembled noodles..but anyway it tasted fine. While we were there several waiters and kitchen staff ran past us to the beach and we followed fearing something dreadful was going to happen, only to find them watching a giant turtle as she came up on the sands to lay her eggs!! What an experience. BUT and its a big BUT, when the time came to go back to the hotel, the tide had come in and it took us quite a few runs at getting past the sarong shacks without drowning!!
Favorite Dish: The pizzas were better than the pasta
We had gone along to this resort to take a boat trip up the river and were brought back to this restaurant, where the charming staff lead us to a table out on a balcony overlooking the waters edge. What views and what food! The service was impeccable and the food...well lobster was our first choice and it was fresh and juicy. There were meat dishes as well and the steaks were cooked to perfection.
Favorite Dish: Gotta be the lobster
You can sit outside and enjoy the beachside. There is a large model of an elephant with an eagle clawing at it's back in the outside restaurant area.
Update Nov 04 hotel and restaurant are closed, have been leased out long term to some German people, being refurbished at the moment but the massage room is open. Nice massage for 800 ruppees.
Update Jan 2006 The restaurant on the beach was destroyed by the tsunami but the hotel has been rebuilt and it looks like they will be building a new restaurant near the beach.
Favorite Dish: We had beef goulash, a fish and a chicken dish. All were very good.
A newly opened small beachside restaurant with tables on the beach or inside the simple style ground or 1st floor.
Great views of the coast and the mouth of the Bentota river from the upstairs.
Not a large menu but the food is good althought a little pricey but you are paying for the location.
This was a wonderful restaurant where we enjoyed our final meal before flying home to Canada. Wonderful decor, atmosphere, prices, service, the whole nine yards. It was a wonderful place to wrap up a wonderful visit. I highly recommend eating at the Mango Tree.
Favorite Dish: Too many to list!
Last time in Nov. 04, this restaurant was not open. !!!!
In Feb. 03 we really enjoyed this real small restaurant - nothing special at all. It is right behind the rails and you can watch a train passing by very slowley if you are lucky (it's an experience!).
We went there every day at lunch time without really being hungry, just because of their inexpensive and very tasty and freshly prepared hot meals as well as for their drinks (beer available). An absolute Must: Their seafood dishes! Oh, I am getting hungry straight away just thinking about it!
Favorite Dish: Barbequed King Praws (approx. 5 Euro) and rice with prawns (less than 1Euro)!
This is the closest hotel you can experience the Beach as you come to Colombo. Good food, good rooms...more
Very pleasant polite friendly front desk staff. Exceptionally efficient. Greeted with a warm towel...more
If there's a hotel I have loved to bits in Sri Lanka, this hotel is the one! Not only because it had...more
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