Most restaurants and cafes line Ella’s main road and a couple are a little off of the centre, but all are easily accessible by foot or by tuk tuk.
An all-time favourite spot in Ella is Cafe Chill. Both Sri Lankan and Western food are served here in a quick and qualitative manner. Its ambiance is a clear winner and the reason as to why Cafe Chill remains such a favourite.
Cafe Chill, Wellawaya-Ella-Kumbalwela Highway, Ella, +94 077 180 4020
The Dream Cafe is the coffee shop located outside of the Dream Cafe guesthouse. Good for breakfast and a quick meal, Dream Cafe has seating that overlooks the road and serves typical cafe fare.
Dream Cafe, +94 0572 051 110
Matey Hut is a tiny log hut that doesn’t look like much but serves a mean rice and curry with all the trimmings. The place is small so there may be a wait – it’s worth it!
Matey Hut, Ella
Ceylon Tea Factory
The newest eating spot in Ella is the Ceylon Tea Factory. Built to resemble a tea factory, the restaurant centres its theme around tea manufacturing and drinking. Food is both Sri Lankan and Western and very high quality.
Ceylon Tea Factory, 39 Passara Rd, Ambagollapathana, Ella, +94 0572 226 333
Located a little off the main road, AK Ristoro is an Italian restaurant that serves a lot more than just Italian. Some dishes are better than others, so it’s best to go simple.
AK Ristoro, 37 Passara Rd, Ella, +94 0572 050 676
One of the biggest attractions in Ella is the hike to Little Adam’s Peak. On the edge of town and close to the bus stop, the Curd Shop serves killer curd and treacle. It’s also a great spot for a quick breakfast before the hike and for picking up sandwiches for the walk.
Curd Shop, Ella
As one of the many roadside cafes in Ella, 360 is laid back and friendly. The food is varied and the ambience is relaxed. 360 is a great option for a meal – the burgers are a favourite.
360 Ella, 10, Main Street, Ella, +94 071 409 4688
Tom and I spent lunch, dinner and breakfast at 360 Ella which is right at the heart of the town. The atmosphere is lovely, you can choose to sit either downstairs, upstairs under a little roof or on a verandah but the entire place is technically outdoors which is lovely. They even have an entire wall which is basically just a chalk board and I definitely didn’t miss my opportunity to write my name on it. I kind of like the idea of there being a little part of me in Ella regardless of where in the world I am. Although the service was quite slow they did do everything possible to accommodate us the best they could. We weren’t feeling well during breakfast and the manager went to the store to get us samahan tea and didn’t even charge us for it. Can’t wait to go again! •I got the 360 Ella burger which has a layer of egg and melted cheese over the chicken patty. I’ve never had an egg with my burger but it was absolutely amazing. Ended up ordering the same thing for dinner too. • Tom got the chicken and cheese rotti, which he claims was “delightful”, and the banana and chocolate rotti. Fortunately I got to try the banana and chocolate rotti and it’s the best thing I’ve ever had, we ended up ordering it again for dinner and breakfast the next morning.
Little Folly Restaurant
Little Folly Restaurant is located on the edge of the jungle and serves great cakes for tea time. With a lovely natural atmosphere and ambience, it’s a good choice for lunch, as well as dinner.
Little Folly, 39 Passara Rd, Ambagollapathana, Ella, +94 0572 228 817
Downtown Rotti Hut
The Downtown Rotti Hut has a great selection of Rotti, as the name suggests. There is rotti with all sorts of curry, sweet rotti and even kottu rotti. The decor is cute and it’s a good option for a quick meal.
Cafe Guru is a great option for some homemade rice and curry while lounging on sofas. Like most restaurants in Ella, the ambience is relaxed and laid back. It’s definitely another great spot for a meal and a drink.
Cafe Guru, 11, Wellawaya Road, Ella , +94 076 763 5566