Best Places to eat in Colombo

Colombo, a newly emerging Asian metro and colourful port city, offers world cuisine and numerous dining options. Colombo’s vibe has greatly changed in recent times with trendy restaurants and quaint little cafes emerging around every street corner of its central business district.


  • For scrumptious seafood, try star class restaurants such as The Lagoon at Cinnamon Grand or The Ministry of Crab
  • Designer dining set in interiors old and new, The Gallery Cafe, a classy restaurant offering continental cuisine and delectable desserts
  • For International and Fusion cuisine, star class restaurant, Table One at Shangri La Colombo and Rare at Residence
  • For multi cuisine dining set in an atmosphere reflecting to colonial eras would be the iconic Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct
  • Nara Thai offers authentic Thai food and Shang Palace gives the best fine dining Chinese food experience in the city
  • For a relaxing and romantic environment along a cobblestone street, Park Street Mews is the place that has all types of food


Colombo, a newly emerging Asian metro and colourful port city, offers world cuisine and numerous dining options. Colombo’s vibe has greatly changed in recent times with trendy restaurants and quaint little cafes emerging around every street corner of its central business district. An array of recently opened international chain hotels have also caused a transformation in the food culture of Colombo, which increasingly hints of a cosmopolitan outlook, but retains its old-world charm with colonial buildings, seaside and relatively laid-back island culture.

The list compiled below highlights some of the best dining options and different world cuisine available in the city and is not given in any particular order. The list excludes the best places for Sri Lankan food and the best cafes in Colombo as these are found in detail under separate lists.

The Lagoon $$$ – $$$$
Cuisine – Asian, Sri Lankan, Seafood

Located at the 5-star Cinnamon Grand Colombo, The Lagoon truly is an unmatched seafood experience anywhere in the city. A generous array of fresh seafood is attractively displayed on ice in fish-market-style, including all the crustacean you crave for from lobster to lagoon crab and jumbo prawns. Choose your seafood and hand over to chefs who will blend over 30 different sauces to present you with an absolutely lip smacking experience.

Ministry of Crab $$$$
Cuisine – Seafood, Sri Lankan, Asian

From ½ kg to colossal monsters weighing over 1kg to the 2kg Crabzilla as they call it, its Crabs galore at the Ministry of Crab. Founded by famous chef and restaurateur Dharshan Munidasa together with Mahela Jayawardane and Kumar Sangakkara, two of Sri Lanka’s celebrity cricketers, Ministry of Crab was featured in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and is located in the 400-yr old iconic Colonial building, The Dutch Hospital.

Paradise Road Gallery Cafe $$$ – $$$$
Cuisine – Continental, Asian

Located at what was the former office premises of world renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, The Gallery Café is firstly a visual feast of mossy old brick, cut cement, cobblestone, wood and wrought iron, seamlessly blending in with the green of grand old trees and flowing vines, art walls and sculptures, revealing cosy sitting areas and a classy restaurant layout. The restaurant offers designer dining options and over 30 delectable desserts and some of the best coffee in town. For lunch, dinner or simply dessert & coffee surrounded by good taste, The Gallery café is one of our firm favourites in this list.

Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct $$ – $$$$
Cuisine – Multi-outlet food destination, Seafood, Sri Lankan, International

More of a stylish and classy food destination than a shopping precinct. The building located at the Colombo Fort area which was constructed by the Dutch imperialists in Sri Lankan in the 17th Century to tend to their officers and service personnel, was in recent years restored, and is now a beautiful and iconic structure with large cobblestone courtyards providing seating for a range of restaurants, cafes, bistros and pubs. The place usually comes alive at night, and the live band on the street outside over weekends makes it a place to be in Colombo.

Rare at Residence $$$$
Cuisine – Sri Lankan, International, fusion

Located at the stylish boutique hotel in the heart of the city, Residence by Uga Escapes, offers some innovative fusion dishes and cocktails albeit a slightly complex menu to manoeuvre. Nevertheless the restaurant attracts some regular and active young patrons for daily sun-downers, bar offers and their famed evening tapas. While offering indoor and outdoor seating, the outdoor poolside ambience makes for an ideal romantic dinner.

Table One $$$
Cuisine – Sri Lankan, Asian, International

Table One, earns its place on our list for having the largest buffet spread, with the most diversity and consistent quality among the all-meal restaurants of the 5-star circuit of Colombo. Located at the Shangri-La Colombo, the restaurant offers an attractive setting with tasteful interiors, good lighting and an entering first-impression of a typical Sri Lankan fruit market, which is in clever contrast with the rest of the hotel.

Saturday Good Market $$
Cuisine – Multi-outlet food destination and marketplace

A collection of local business and cottage industries that share in the values of ethical and responsible business that come together as a marketplace every Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm at the Colombo Racecourse. The food & beverage offerings include organic fruit and vegetables, Sri Lankan achcharu, traditional Sri Lankan rice and curry, food outlets offering international cuisine, vegan friendly cuisine, cakes & bakes, heathy drinks, juices and more.

Botanik Bistro and Rooftop Bar $$$
Cuisine – Contemporary, Fusion

With its menu designed by Rishi Naleendra, Sri Lanka’s first Michelin star chef of Cheek by Jowl (Singapore) fame, the restaurant offers contemporary bistro-type food and particularly a range of innovative starters and snacks that tempt you to construct your own seven course meal with them. The boldly botanical interiors of the restaurant and bar seek to achieve a garden-restaurant feel despite being on the 8th floor rooftop of the Fairway Colombo Hotel.

Mount Lavinia Beach $$ – $$$
Cuisine – Multi-outlet food destination, Seafood, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, Thai, International

Mount Lavinia Beach which is located in a southern suburb of the Colombo city, is a broad strip of beach that becomes an attractive food & beverage destination by night. While some restaurants and pubs have prime beach front, there are also some excellent eateries on the by-lanes leading to the beach such as College Avenue, De Alwis Avenue and Beach Road. A place to spend the full day if you desire, although swimming and diving is only advisable during certain times of the year, the beach draws plenty of activity such as beach rugby and beach volleyball culminating with some good food and drink to end the day, at mostly affordable prices.

Indian Summer $$$
Cuisine – North Indian, Asian

With 3 restaurants in the country, our pick for this list is located at Horton Place, Colombo 07. With pleasing themed interiors and a private dining area for a small party of about 30, the restaurant offers very good quality north Indian cuisine via a comprehensive menu of popular Indian dished and sweets. With plenty of vegetarian options on its menu, the restaurant is also able to cater to Jain food requirements within a few hours of prior notice.

Nara Thai $$ – $$$
Cuisine – Thai, Asian

A good, reasonably priced option for authentic Thai cuisine in Colombo with some interesting eclectic interiors. Dishes for a foodie’s list would include the Tom Kha Gai soup, Pad Thai or Pad Kee Mao and steamed Dory Fish. Their signature coconut ice cream with sticky rice and Mango or Litchi is also a crowd pleaser. Located at Duplication road, Colombo 3, the restaurant is also family friendly.

Shang Palace $$$$
Cuisine – Chinese

The signature restaurant of the Shangri La Colombo, here is possibly the best fine dining Chinese food experience in the city, serving up cuisine from the Sichuan, Dongbei, and Canton areas. At the very high end of the food chain among the seemingly endless Chinese restaurants in Colombo, this restaurant makes our list for its classy and tasteful execution of authentic Chinese cuisine in a classically beautiful setting.

Park Street Mews $$$
Cuisine – Multi-outlet food destination, French, Italian, Middle Eastern, International cuisine

A converted warehouse and stables complex, Park Street Mews is a cobblestone walking street with its own namesake restaurant as well as a row of sophisticated other eateries, exclusive shops, Art gallery and spa. In the heart of the central business district but airy and spacious with good food and light entertainment, the street offers a relaxing and romantic environment as the sun sets and the fairy lights come on.

Nihonbashi Honten $$$$
Cuisine – Japanese, seafood

Not just the best Japanese in town, but one of the most creative and innovative offerings in a restaurant in Colombo pioneered by celebrity chef Dharshan Munidasa. The large and varied menu has some daunting 5-figure items but also plenty of the staples and even some affordable set meal options. Stylishly Japanese interiors complete the overall tasteful experience that Nihonbashi Honten offers.

The Bavarian $$$
Cuisine – German, Continental

Dine in a pub-style environment, on succulent steaks and other German classics from kieves, sausage and schnitzel to roasted pork belly with crispy crackling; all served in large wholesome meal sizes. A restaurant which has stood the test of time having lasted for over 3 decades through Colombo’s ever evolving food scene, purely through the offering of good quality food consistently and in very generous portions.

Dolce Italia $$ – $$$
Cuisine – Italian, Pizzeria

Located at a pretty bungalow in a residential area of Colombo 05, is your charming and cosy Italian restaurant and pizzeria on a platter. Adding to the homely touch is a basket of home-grown Italian plum tomatoes on the entrance counter for sale together with olive oils, sun-dried tomatoes, pestos and other Italian groceries. With quality and comforting Italian cuisine delivered like a warm hug, the restaurant is definitely a favourite in our list.

Chutneys $$$
Cuisine – Indian

Located at the 5-star Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Chutneys offers veg and non veg dishes from 4 Southern provinces of India; Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andra Pradesh. Different to a typical South Indian restaurant due to the availability of much varied cuisine from the four states, the restaurant has some stand out dishes and all of the staples offered in a pleasing bright environment.

Capital Bar & Grill $$$$
Cuisine – Continental, steakhouse

Prime ribs, roast leg of lamb and the juicy and enormous signature Tomahawk steak are among the favourites in this opulent steakhouse located at the Shangri La Colombo, fast becoming synonymous with the largest selection of whiskies in the city. With retro classic style interiors and an attractive show kitchen, the restaurant delivers the bar and grill experience with the panache of fine dining.

The Sizzle Colombo $$ – $$$
Cuisine – Fusion, Mongolian, Halal

Offering a unique proposition from sizzling drinks to mains and sizzling desserts, this is an ideal family restaurant offering hearty steaks (various meats, seafood and even some veg options) with an eastern twist. Individual portions include a carb of choice, a steak or meat in sauces of choice and grilled vegetables. The result is a BIG meal that comes sizzling to your table.

Sky Lounge $$$
Cuisine – Bar-menu, Sri Lankan, International

Located on the rooftop of the 5-star Kingsbury Colombo, the Sky Lounge which is more of a Bar-restaurant with a limited range of but good quality food, makes our list mainly for location, location and location. The Sky Lounge offers panoramic views of the city lights and Port by night with the slight chill of sea-breeze and the smell of the ocean enhancing the overall experience.

Thalis $$
Cuisine – Indian

An affordable good quality family restaurant for Indian cuisine, with a greater bias towards south Indian food, this standalone restaurant located in Colombo 05 is always popular and buzzingly busy during its lunch and dinner services. True to its name, the restaurant offers some excellent Thalis and the Thalis special meal is a per-person 16-dish meal with two types of rice, roti and papad.

88 Chinese Seafood House $$
Cuisine – Chinese, Asian

Of the many Chinese restaurants now available in Colombo, 88 Chinese Seafood House which is one that has been around for the longest makes our list for simple and solid authentic Chinese food priced very reasonably. Typical Chinese restaurant, no frills, clearly a little dated and a little noisy but a firm favourite for both locals and the large expat Chinese community now residing in Colombo.