Gourmet Guide to Kandy | The 10 Best Local Restaurants
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.
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 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.
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