Gourmet Guide to Kandy | The 10 Best Local Restaurants

Gourmet Guide to Kandy | The 10 Best Local Restaurants
Known for its stunning scenery, the Temple of the Tooth Relic and a large cluster of verdant tea plantations, Kandy has long been a cultural hotspot in the heart of Sri Lanka. Fine-dining is another string to Kandy’s bow, with the city offering an excellent selection of elegant restaurants embracing the Sri Lankan penchant for coconut and seafood. From simple home-cooking with a twist to all-out upscale dining, we’re revisiting Kandy’s best restaurants.
Honeypot Restaurant
Chicken biriyani at Honeypot Restaurant


Honeypot Restaurant

The Honeypot Restaurant is a simple, family-owned establishment known for its fantastic river views. The menu features a mixture of traditional Sri Lankan, South Asian and Halal dishes, as well as a number of Western favourites perfect for those craving the flavour of home. Go for the chicken biryani, served with dhal maharainie, pineapple, boiled egg mint raita and a poppadum. The interior is elegant and charming with exposed brick walls, wooden tables and large windows that illuminate the interior with plenty of natural light. The balcony offers gorgeous views of the river below, making it a great spot to linger with a Lion Lager for a post-dinner treat.

Honeypot Restaurant, 33, Deveni Rajasinghe Mawatha | (War Cemetery Road), Kandy, Sri Lanka, +94 81 2 384082


Empire Café
Courtesy of the Empire Café

The Empire Café

Housed inside the Olde Empire Hotel, the Empire Café is a quirky, relaxed establishment with an affordable menu. Popular with tourists and locals alike due to its close proximity to the Temple of Tooth, the café’s interior features eclectic artwork and a bright pink-and-teal colour scheme. The menu offers a mix of Sri Lankan curries, pastas, salads, sandwiches and soups, as well as a variety of snacks and desserts. Go for the Empire Classic chicken rice and curry for lunch or the Sri Lankan-style eggs at breakfast. Be sure to save room for the Regal Cake for dessert, a rich chocolate cake covered in chocolate sauce.

The Empire Café, 21 Temple St, Kandy, Sri Lanka, +94 81 2 239870

Helga's Folly
Courtesy of Helga’s Folly

Helga’s Folly
Hotel Restaurant, Sri Lankan$$
Kandy House Restaurant

Kandy House Restaurant | Courtesy of Kandy House

Helga’s Folly is easily the most intriguing hotel and restaurant in Sri Lanka. The childhood home of Helga de Silva Blow Perera, the hotel is said to have hosted dozens of famous figures over the years, from Gregory Peck to Mahatma Ghandi. The interior is a dream-like haze of colour and decoration, from paintings and sculptures to Indonesian shadow puppets and deer heads. The hotel’s restaurant is open to non-guests, offering set menus that include a starter, soup, bread, fresh vegetables, salad, and dessert alongside a choice of entrées varying according to the day of the week and dictated by season. Typical mains include a delicious, spicy chicken biryani or the vibrant red chicken curry. If looking for something a little lighter and typically Sri Lankan, opt for the fish of the day poached in tea.

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Kandy House

The Kandy House is a charming boutique hotel and restaurant nestled in a restored 18th century manor house, once belonging to an aristocratic Sri Lankan family. Located on a tree-covered hillside overlooking rice paddy fields, the interior is decorated with antiques, old photographs and colourful silks. The restaurant’s menu is Sri Lankan fusion with daily set menus based on what’s available at the local market. A typical menu might include chermoula-crusted mullet with tomato and avocado salsa or carrot and cumin soup with slow-roasted tomatoes. The restaurant also regularly serves special dinners focused on Sri Lankan curries – perfect for those wishing to experience a truly authentic taste of Sri Lanka.

Kandy House, Amunugama, Gunnepana, Kandy, Sri Lanka, +94 81 492 1394