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© llee_wu/Flickr
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The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants In Colombo

Picture of Lena Blos
Updated: 9 February 2017
Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, is a bustling city by the Indian Ocean where visitors will be able to sample some fresh seafood while digging their feet in the sand and listening to the sound of the waves. Whether you are craving some tasty crab, grilled fish or deep-fried prawns, the capital is home to numerous seafood restaurants fitting a wide range of appetites and budgets.

The Lagoon

The Lagoon is one of the city’s finest open market seafood restaurants, allowing visitors to inspect the fresh catch of the day and have it prepared to their liking. Part of the prestigious Cinnamon Grand Hotel, the two skillful chefs have been trained to master over 150 ways to cook seafood, and they offer a choice of 30 sauces. With its animated ambiance and comfortable setting, The Lagoon provides a satisfying eating experience. With its consistently fresh fare brought over from the market daily, there’s hardly a better place to sample quality seafood. Their dishes range from raw sashimi to lobster and fish curry, and with such an extensive selection your only problem will be what to choose.

Address: 77 Galle Road, Colombo 3, Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Colombo 00100, Sri Lanka, +94 112497371

Ministry of Crab

Head over to Ministry of Crab, a restaurant that features among Asia’s top 50 restaurants, and enjoy an unforgettable eating experience. Cricket legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have joined forces with chef Dharshan Munidasa to delight tourists and inhabitants of Colombo with truly sumptuous dishes. As the name suggests, Ministry of Crab is all about the tasty crustaceans. They dish out some incredible meals such as the well-seasoned crab curry or the chilli crab, and the menu’s highlight, the crabzilla, with a weight of more than 2 kilograms. The restaurant is situated in a beautifully restored Dutch hospital dating back more than 400 years. It has been decorated with wooden accents and orange colors mimicking the color of its prized fare. Enjoy the country’s best lagoon crabs alongside their signature small island ice tea.

Address: Old Dutch Hospital Bank of Ceylon Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 11 2 342722

Seafood Cove

The shores of Mount Lavinia beach are filled with numerous seafood restaurants, but none are quite as good as the acclaimed Seafood Cove, at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. Visitors can take a seat on the sandy beach and enjoy a sumptuous cocktail by the light of little lantern while overlooking the Indian Ocean. Within its rustic setting, the Seafood Cove offers a variety of fresh seafood specialties from lobster to jumbo prawns, cuttlefish, squid and different fish. Whether you like your fish grilled, sautéed, devilled, poached or fried, the attentive staff strives to fulfill your every desire and ensure a satisfying eating experience. Additionally, a live band often enhances the relaxed atmosphere during the evening. There’s hardly a more scenic setting than at the Seafood Cove, where you can feel the sand on your toes, listen to the waves and enjoy some of Colombo’s best seafood.

Address: 100 Hotel Rd, Mt Lavinia, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 11 271 5221 7

Mount Lavinia Beach | © Amila Tennakoon/Flickr
Mount Lavinia Beach | © Amila Tennakoon/Flickr

The Ocean Seafood Restaurant

One of the city’s most elegant hotels, The Kingsbury Hotel has established its very own seafood restaurant, offering gourmet fare and panoramic views over the sea. The Ocean Seafood Restaurant serves some of the freshest fare in the city and allows you to pick your options straight from the counter. A variety of sauces and preparations are available in order to ensure everything is exactly to your liking. Next to sumptuous meals, the restaurant features an excellent list of wines and international spirits. Serving from garoupa to salmon sashimi, the extensive range of choices will satisfy even fussy eaters. With modern décor elements, high-ceiling windows and other elegant features, the Ocean Seafood Restaurant provides a remarkable fine dining experience and remains an established member of the city’s culinary scene.

Address: 48 Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 771087720

The Ocean Seafood Restaurant | © Courtesy of The Kingsbury
The Ocean Seafood Restaurant | © Courtesy of The Kingsbury

The Manhattan Fish Market Sri Lanka

The Manhattan Fish Market has been a huge success with its American-style seafood and friendly staff. All ingredients are fresh from the market and combined with delicious spices, resulting in creative dishes with explosive flavours. The restaurant draws inspiration from the Fulton Fish Market, featuring a minimalistic yet homely décor. Next to delicious seafood dishes visitors can order a variety of international dishes and some sumptuous desserts such as the Manhattan mud pies. The Manhattan Fish Market brings novel innovations to the city and delights its guests with its garlic herb mussels and flaming seafood platters. The friendly and professional service will ensure you get your money’s worth and will leave you wanting for nothing.

Address: No.31 Deal Place, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka, +94 112301901

Curry Leaf

Curry Leaf is not only one of the most noteworthy places to enjoy freshly grilled fish but it’s also renowned for cooking authentic local dishes. Considered one of the city’s most exclusive Sri Lankan restaurants, here visitors can enjoy a range of seafood dishes alongside traditional hoppers, pittu and kottu rotti. The biggest highlight, however, is the Curry Leaf’s daily all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, with the experienced chef preparing the fresh fish right in front of your eyes. Located in a rustic wooden building, this restaurant allows visitors to sample the balanced blend of spices of the country’s cuisine in a romantic setting. If you are looking for authentic cooking and locally sourced ingredients, head over to Curry Leaf.

Address: 2 Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha, Fort, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112492492

Kottu rotti | © Ruocaled/Flickr
Kottu rotti | © Ruocaled/Flickr

Lavinia Breeze

After a day on the beautiful beach of Mount Lavinia you could enjoy a delicious seafood dinner at Lavinia Breeze, a restaurant serving gourmet fare. The beautifully designed restaurant features a romantic al fresco terrace right on the shores of the Indian Ocean. The skillful chefs prepare some outstanding meals, combining premium fare with rustic simplicity. All dishes are presented perfectly and will have your mouth watering even before you savor the well-balanced flavors and spices. The extensive wine and drinks list allows visitors to choose the perfect beverage to accompany their grilled fish, squid or lobster.

Address: 43/7, De Alwis Avenue, Off De Saram Road,Mount Lavinia, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 77 3 215 951

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The Fat Crab

The Fat Crab, under the leadership of Don Stanley, has won over numerous critics with its magnificent crab dishes. Built on top of a wooden platform, the quaint restaurant overlooks the ocean allowing its guests to enjoy the gentle sea breeze while digging into their quality dishes. Upon arrival you are greeted with a glass of local coconut water or soil juice before being accompanied to a nearby pond in which numerous crabs can be found. For food enthusiasts, the friendly staff is more than happy to provide information about the preparation and cooking process. Whether you are swinging by for lunch or a romantic dinner, The Fat Crab is a wonderful venue for any occasion and its consistently delicious cooking continues to attract numerous visitors.

Address: 53 Haig Road, Colombo 04, Colombo 00400, Sri Lanka, +94 11 2 055606

Nihonbashi

Next to Ministry of Crab, Nihonbashi is another of Colombo’s restaurants that has made it on the list of Asia’s top 50 eateries. With a name which translates as ‘Japanese Bridge’, this place successfully combines Sri Lankan and Japanese cuisine resulting in some innovative creations. Visitors are able to get a taste of some of the country’s best seafood here, with ingredients being imported all the way from Tokyo’s famous fish market. The skillful chefs prepare the food on a hardwood charcoal grill. Additionally, Nihonbashi features a sushi counter situated in rustic bamboo atrium and beautifully designed yakitori gardens. From melt-in-your-mouth tuna to seared Sri Lankan beef, the fusion restaurant is a must-try for any seafood lover.

Address: Galle Face Terrace, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 112 323847

Off the Hook

If you have grown tired of overpriced restaurants, make your way to Off the Hook, where you can sample tasty seafood dishes for reasonable prices. The intimate venue serves only fresh seafood presented on the counter, allowing visitors to take their pick from fish, prawns and other delicious fare and have them prepared according to their tastes. With an endless variety of options, Off the Hook delights its guests with mouthwatering textures and flavors. Starters such as sautéed mussels and the seafood cocktail are the perfect way to treat your taste buds before you sink your teeth into your main meal. With its good-value-for-money approach, Off the Hook has proven that dedication to quality fare and a love for cooking are still the best recipe.

Address: 180 Park Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 11 2 505818