Home to the financial district of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo’s Fort area is speedily transforming into one of the city’s most frequented hotspots. Visit one of our 10 favorite restaurants in this area.
Ministry of Crab
Ministry of Crab is counted among the 50 best restaurants in Asia. Located in a former Dutch Hospital, one of the oldest buildings in the city, this restaurant serves sumptuous lagoon crabs. It has seafood lovers from all over the world raving about their excellent preparation and flavor. Since former cricketing legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara teamed up in 2011 to bring the Ministry of Crab to life, this place has been a success. It provides arguably one of the most noteworthy eating experiences in the city. Due to the scarcity in Sri Lanka, the premium crabs are imported. They range from sizes of 500g to the ‘crabzilla’ weight of 2kg. Ministry of Crab has managed to capture the attention of culinary experts throughout the world.
Old Dutch Hospital Bank of Ceylon Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 11 2 342722
The Gallery Café
The Gallery Café has gained a reputation for being one of the trendiest spots in the city. It has consistently served up outstanding dishes with perfectly balanced flavors. The open-air bar and restaurant attracts a wide array of visitors from diplomats and artists to tourists. Its elegant yet minimalist set-up, featuring a black-tiled pond and wooden pillars, creates a particularly enchanting ambiance. This is further enhanced by the adjoining gallery. The extensive menu features a variety of authentic Sri Lankan, international and fusion dishes, which are best enjoyed in the open courtyard dining area. Let your tastebuds be enchanted by the well-seasoned dishes and take in the surroundings while sipping on a cool drink.
Providing some of the best Indian and Sri Lankan dishes around, Curry Leaf is one of the oldest restaurants in the city and has visitors raving about its authenticity and its perfectly spiced dishes. Whether you are looking for hoppers, pittu or kottu rotti, this place has it all and more. Curry Leaf is most famous for its exceptional seafood buffet. Visitors can marvel at the culinary expertise of the outstanding chefs, who prepare the fresh fare right in front of them. The outdoor-like construction of the restaurant and the charming architecture give Curry Leaf a truly romantic feel. Within the tropical hut, you can soak in the authentic atmosphere and let your tastebuds be overwhelmed by the well-seasoned dishes. These meals feature only the best ingredients and balanced flavors. It’s a must-visit for any fan of Sri Lankan cuisine or those wishing to explore it.
Harbour Court – The Kingsbury
The Kingsbury has speedily risen to fame and acquired a reputation as one of the most renowned hotels in the city. Its restaurant, Harbour Court, offers global cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Visitors line up in order to get a taste of the sumptuous dishes. They draw inspiration from Western, Indian, Japanese and South-East Asian recipes. Dishes are presented in a sophisticated, buffet-like manner by outstanding chefs, and an a la carte menu is also available . Harbour Court features both an elegant inside and outdoor area, both offering marvelous views over the Indian Ocean. With its slogan ‘food from the universe, for the universe,’ this place has truly managed to perfect several cuisines to create a blend of international dishes.
Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 11 2 421221
The Mango Tree
Offering truly authentic North-Indian cuisine, The Mango Tree has steadily established itself as one of the best places to eat in Colombo’s Fort area. After moving to Sri Lanka in the early 1990s Viraj Panchal felt the clear lack of Indian and vegetarian options and promptly brought the charming restaurant to life. With combinations of curd and sweet tamarind, puffed rice, coriander and other brilliant spices, this place is a true culinary paradise. Additionally, it offers reasonably priced lunch packets if you are looking to grab some Indian food on the run. They have also opened other smaller outlets in the area.
No. 82, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +34 11 7620620
Whether you are a part-time or full-time vegetarian, we guarantee you won’t be able to stop your mouth from watering when taking in the dazzling scents of Shanmugas. Established in 1998, it is one of the oldest and most famous vegetarian Indian restaurants in Colombo. It combines excellent service with outstanding dishes. The menu is dominated by Northern and Southern Indian influences and a large part of the customers are regulars in correspondence with the restaurant’s welcoming atmosphere. Flavors tend to be on the spicy side, yet don’t let that scare you off: Shanmugas has something to offer for everyone and the charming staff is happy to accommodate any wishes.
53/3, Ramakrishna Road,, Wellawatte,, Colombo 00600, Sri Lanka, +94 11 2 361384
The striking cement building with its shiny logo and atmospheric lighting functions as a cafe and diner as well as a boutique. It serves a mixture of international and Asian dishes and it does so at great value, with generous portions and reasonable prices. This place is good whether you are looking for a quick bite or a lavish dinner. Having opened only recently, Shaze is steadily making a name for itself and is seeing an ever-increasing stream of visitors. With its extensive menu, this place has something to offer for everyone while not loosing anything of its quality taste and standards.
No. 65, Thibirigasyaya Road, Colombo 00500, Sri Lanka, +94 76 843 3122par
If you are looking for truly authentic cuisine within a warm and laid-back environment, look no further. Make your way to Upali’s, one of the city’s best restaurant for Sri Lankan dishes. Offering an interesting eating experience, this place serves up perfectly spiced plates of outstanding quality. Additionally it features a charming coffee shop serving freshly brewed coffee and sweet treats. The elegant yet relaxed setting with the adjoining garden invites its visitors to lean back in their chairs and sink their teeth in the numerous dazzling dishes. Coming at incredibly reasonable prices, there’s no reason not to sing Upali’s praises.
No. 65 C W W Kannangara Mawatha, Colombo, Ski Lanka, +94 11 2 695812
Whight & Co
Situated in a converted art deco mansion facing the ocean, Whight & Co opened its doors in 2014 and has been a raving success every since. With a mixture of retro and business elements, the coffee house serves excellent pastries, outstanding coffees and a sumptuous mixture of international and Asian dishes. From fresh, crispy salads to sizzling chicken and seared prawns, Whight Co is steadily becoming a staple in Colombo’s busy Fort area. The coffee is locally grown and offers special flavors, which has led to rumors of it being the best in town. Whether you are looking to have lunch with friends or get some work done on your laptop, this is the place to visit. If that wasn’t enough, you can also take your pick from a solid selection of alcoholic beverages.
Bambalapitiya, Colombo, Sri Lanka, +94 11 4 383236
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.