The Barefoot Cafe.

Barefoot Cafe is the best place to hang out in Colombo. It’s a chilled place to meet or make friends, see art, hear music, eat good food and drink affordable beer. Barefoot is a tourist destination as much as Sigiriya and for locals it’s a vital part of Colombo culture. It’s like the last embassy of the Ceylonese.

We haven’t written about Barefoot for so long because we hang out there so much, it’s like writing about your living room.


The Barefoot Cafe (which we’re writing about as separate from the store) is a stone paved, leafy open courtyard with seating that expands or contracts depending on demand. The Cafe holds everything from Jazz Sundays to gallery openings to concerts to meetings to dates and beyond. If you have only 24 hours in Colombo this is one place you have to go.

Aside from the seating there’s an art gallery which always has something current, a bar and assorted nooks and crannies and balconies which have also been used for plays or events.

Food And Beverage

Anytime of day you can get sandwiches (try the pork) or falafel or bites, plus iced teas and peanut smoothies and the lot. During lunch hours they have a roving menu board with rather consistently fantastic meals for around Rs. 1,000 a pop. These range from prawn dishes to a great pork curry to the ever-present quiche. Also good desserts (try the strawberries and cream!).


The service at Barefoot is nice if elusive. You can sit and order one iced tea and they’ll leave you alone for hours. This is nice in town where restaurants seem in a hurry to shift tables, but it can be a stretch when you actually want another iced tea. The owners, Dominic and Nazreen, are usually around so service never slips that much.


Barefoot also hosts many events public and private – ranging from concerts to art exhibitions to weddings and corporate meets. We try to post as many of the public events as possible here – the Wednesday Pub Quiz is a reliable winner – and if you drop by there’s almost always some art available to view (or buy).

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