While a lot of bakeries and small kades may be open early morning, some of which we've mentioned here, most restaurants in Colombo tend to open their doors at about 10AM, so it's an issue if you're looking for a place for a good breakfast. Here's a roundup of places we like that open at around 7AM and do a good morning meal.
Calorie Counter is one of the most recent additions to Colombo's breakfast scene and they do quite brilliantly. What sets them apart from the rest of the list is that they're sticking to their health food theme, so you'll see classic breakfast dishes with healthy twists like their eggs benedict (Rs. 650) in which they've substituted multi seed bread instead of bagels, smoked salmon over ham, and a creamy avocado dressing instead of the traditional hollandaise. Besides this they've got a bunch of other breakfast specials like granola parfaits and healthy sandwiches.
Ceylon Tea Moments at the Racecourse is the building's popular stop for teas and bready treats. What you likely didn't know was that they also offer an absolutely spiffing three-course breakfast offer for Rs. 1000. While that may seem like a lot, this is the kind of breakfast that makes you skip lunch. The meal includes cereal, a massive English breakfast (which includes toast, a massive omelette, two grilled sausages, baked beans, a golden hash brown, and a large roll of succulent chicken chorizo) and a fruit platter. If that wasn't enough, they also give you a pot of tea.
Try: Strawberry frappuccino
Dolce Italia is one of our favourite places to eat. The Italian dishes are delicious and authentic, and most importantly affordable, and they have a quality range of savoury snacks to nibble on. Since they're also a bakery they open up at around 7.00 AM. Their chocolate croissant (pictured above) was particularly delicious and properly filled with chocolate.
Sugar Bistro is a new classic - simple, modern food with just the right amount of traditional ingredients. They're definitely one of the more expensive places on this list but everything we tried was very tasty. Our favourite was the open bacon sandwich. The crusty bread topped with a bullseye and generous portion of bacon makes for an exceptional meal. The bacon has little to no fat and is crisped well, while the egg adds a nice softness to an otherwise crispy dish.
Try: The Eggs Benedict.
Tea Avenue is a very nice place to relax at for breakfast. Plenty of room, plenty of quiet, and I imagine especially their outdoor space next to curling trees would be particularly enjoyable very early in the morning. They also do your standard tea lounge waffles, teas and sandwiches, which are all-in-all alright and not too pricey.
Try: Cookies & Cream milkshake
Whight & Co is an old favourite of ours who keeps recurring on our lists.
They've got good food, excellent coffee and a wonderful quiet coffee shop
ambience by the sea on Marine Drive. It isn't the cheapest place in town, but
their stuff is ideal for breakfast. Also if you're a coffee purist, this is
likely the one you should go for.
Try: Cold drip coffee
The Bread Company has great food overall and breakfast available all day. This includes delicious granola, cinnamon buns, baked goods, bread, and whatever else they come up with on a given day. They also have excellent bread, sausages and condiments if you want to make breakfast at home.
Try: The granola. Healthy but really tasty as well
Tasty Caterers is one of Colombo's best bakeries that do excellent shorteats, and they're actually kind of all-rounders since they do a super rice and curry too. They've got an ordinary long space of tables and chairs as you walk in where you can sit and have a meal, provided they aren't taken up by the hordes of loyal customers.
Sponge is our other favourite bakery. It goes all the way back to 1985 and has only improved since. All the shorteats are high quality, from the Chinese rolls to the chicken pies.
Try: Maalu paan
Palmyrah at Hotel Renuka has been around for ages and has been known for their good Sri Lankan food and Jaffna dishes. They recently renovated the place and it looks really good now. If you're fan of Sri Lankan style breakfast, Palmyrah's hopper's will likely make you happy.
Try: The dhose
Cafe On The 5th does classic Sri Lankan takes on everything from Mongolian BBQ to pasta and rice. For breakfast they have a good range of short eats, iced coffee, etc.
Curry Much does a great lunch and rice and curry, but they also do nice breakfast sandwiches with roast paan, pol sambol, seeni sambol, etc. They also sometimes do kiribath and stuff you can eat there.
Try: The pol sambol and egg sandwich.
Saraswathie Lodge is one of the many kades luckily open early morning. If you're into South Indian food, especially vegetarian, these guys do a wonderful job in great, affordable portions, in a very clean and efficient environment.
Try: The Madras Meal thali
Taste of Asia serves up classic small-shop stuff like hoppers and string hoppers but in a nicer, bigger atmosphere, so it attracts a whole variety of customers. While their aromatic crab curry is available only after 5PM, in the mornings, you get kiribath, parata, egg rottis and shorteats, all tasty and super affordable.
Cioconat Lounge does an early and decent breakfast. You'll likely find yourself paying around Rs. 650 - Rs. 1000, which isn't exactly cheap, but their stuff does have its merits. We were skeptical when we heard their eggs benedict (Rs. 620) comes with beef bacon, but all in all in it turned out to be pretty tasty.
So that's our quick round-up of places to get breakfast in Colombo. Do note that roadside kades usually do a good parata and purippu style breakfast, Galle Road or Fort or Slave Island are a good bet for a wander, but there's kades everywhere. As always, let us know what we missed.
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A home cook specialised in crafting up some delicious, Sri Lankan-style crab curry.
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