The Best Restaurants In Pettah, Colombo

Photo of Lena Blos
9 February 2017

Colombo‘s Pettah district is most famous for its bustling market but is also a marvelous spot to sample authentic Sri Lankan or South Indian cuisine. Considered one of the capital’s busiest commercial areas, numerous vendors have set up their tents and stalls here, selling everything from textiles to fresh fruits and jewelry. We have discovered some of the best restaurants in this vibrant district.

Sea Fish Restaurant | © Courtesy of Sea Fish Restaurant

Sea Fish Restaurant

The Sea Fish Restaurant is located between Colombo’s Fort and Pettah areas and has been part of the city’s culinary scene since the 1970s. The charming restaurant continues to thrive under its new management, serving up mouthwatering seafood dishes. The contemporary setting boasts a modern design and the professional service further enhances the ambiance. While the focus of the restaurant is set on seafood, the Sea Fish Restaurant’s menu also features sandwiches and pastas. Being able to choose among a large variety of dishes, from grilled fish to crab and lobster, seafood lovers will be more than happy here. While prices tend to be quite high, they are more than justified given the quality of the fare and the skillful preparation.

Sri Suyas

Sri Suyas is only a stone’s throw away from the bustling Pettah Market and has made a name for itself with its delicious Indian fare. The restaurant draws inspiration from the Southern parts of its neighboring country, serving perfectly spiced and creamy curry. Including samosas, dosas and vadais, the extensive menu offers something for every taste, featuring numerous vegetarian options. Service, meals and prices are all on point and account for the continuous popularity of Sri Suyas. With daily Kurmas specials which range from spicy to milky, there’s always something new to discover and tickle your taste buds. Enjoy some of the best Indian dishes in the city in an unpretentious setting accompanied by the friendly staff.

Chettinad Restaurant

Serving South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine, all dishes are on point in Chettinad Restaurant, making it one of the most noteworthy places in which to sample local fare and get a taste of authentic flavors and spices. Situated in the heart of the Pettah district, the restaurant features an open dining room on the ground floor as well as a more secluded dining area upstairs, with air-conditioning. Chettinad serves up a wide range of dishes at reasonable prices, and Indian sweets round off the well-seasoned curries and spicy samosas. Take a break from the busy streets of Pettah’s market areas and indulge in some truly outstanding dishes which excel thanks to their simple preparations and fresh ingredients.

Address: 293, Sea St, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 77 881 1509

Indian sweets | © robertsharp/WikiCommons

Ruhunu Foods

Ruhunu Foods is located around the corner from the Young Men’s Buddhist Association and serves up authentic Sri Lankan cuisine at reasonable prices. While you can easily grab a few samosas and take them away, the restaurant also offers basic dining facilities in which you can enjoy sumptuous curries and kottu rottis. With its affordable prices, the Ruhunu Foods is particularly popular at lunch time when local workers are looking to get a bit of its well-spiced dishes. The diverse menu includes classics such as string hoppers, as well as fried rice and a delicious selection of curries. Additionally, visitors can take their pick from fresh juices and other refreshing beverages. Ruhunu Food Centre remains one of the best restaurants in the area and is a hotspot for locals.

Kottu Rotti | © Amila Tennakoon/Flickr

The New Saraswati Cafe

Stroll down Seastreet and make your way to the The New Saraswati Cafe, one of the area’s best vegetarian Indian restaurants. Like most saivar-kadeys in Colombo, the restaurant offers a basic yet clean setting, and the friendly staff provide excellent service. Next to all the popular favourites such as chapatti, string hoppers, dosa, vada and uthappam, The New Saraswati Cafe offers an impressive selection of Indian sweets to round off your eating experience. Here you will feel stuffed without having to empty your wallet. Whether you are looking for a quick bite or a rich Indian feast, make sure to pay this place a visit.

Address: 230, Sea Street, Pettah, Colombo 11, Sri Lanka

Thosai | © Jonathan Lin/Flickr

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