Candlelit dining is one of the mainstays of romance in Colombo. Why?
Here's our list for some of the top spots in the city for candlelight dinners.
August is one of our top recommendations for food, romance, and ambience. It's incredibly romantic and charming (it's literally in a flower shop, what more do you need?), and the perfect spot for a date over wonderfully-executed Middle Eastern fare.
Price for 2: Around Rs. 3500
The HPB's standards and service may vary, but their ambience is always leafy and magical. It's one of the most private spots in town, complete with flickering candles, dim corners, and fairly reasonable bottles of bubbly.
Price for 2: Around Rs. 3500
The Gallery Cafe is one of the stalwarts of Colombo's dating scene. How many couples have got together, fallen apart, gotten engaged, or gotten angry at the waitstaff here? Who knows. It's a lovely evening space with compelling art, Bawa design, good food and bizarrely inconsistent service (it's either fine or terrible, it's a lottery).
Price for 2: Around Rs. 4500
Probably Colombo's finest fine dining restaurant, London Grill's service, ambience, and food is consistently great. Come here for excellent steaks and wine, and a special occasion sort of vibe.
Price for 2: Around Rs. 9,000
rare is one of Colombo's few forays into fusion dining, employing a bunch of experimental dishes, beautiful restored colonial architecture, and good service. It's a perfect special occasion spot, and quite charming outdoors. The indoor seating is nice too, but more suited to business or family dinners.
Price for 2: Around Rs. 5500
Another one of Colombo's best spots for candlelit romance, the Courtyard at Tintagel is exclusive, private, and terribly pretty. It does get overrun by mosquitos though, so watch out for that plus the high prices.
Price for 2: Around Rs. 8000
Il Ponte is probably Colombo's oldest Italian restaurant. Perched by the Hilton's pool, it's got your usual pizza and pasta fare, along with ambience that could lend itself to either a date or a catch up with family.
Price for 2: Around Rs. 5000
Probably the cheapest and most casual option on this list, Barracuda is for very very casual dates or drinks with friends. The beachside ambience is quite nice, the hot butter cuttlefish delicious, and the drinks cheap (it's sometimes BYOB, you should call ahead and ask).
Price for 2: Around Rs. 2500
Mount Lavinia Hotel's historic grandeur has some pretty romantic legends behind it. The beachside dining is still quite nice, but not exactly upscale glamour. It's a pricey yet casual seafood overlooking the sea.
Price for 2: Around Rs. 5500 (higher if you order crab or lobster)
The Lagoon isn't a full entrant on this list, because its only candle-lit tables are the 3 or 4 outside (which are non-functional in the afternoon or during rainy periods). However, the outside pond-side dining is quite lovely and picking and choosing fresh seafood together is generally lots of fun!
Price for 2: Around Rs. 6000
Prices for 2 are rough indications of how much two mains, plus a starter or dessert would cost after service charge and taxes on average. We haven't included places like Sky Lounge, Cloud Red, and Sugar Bistro because plastic glowing boxes don't count as candle-lit. If you're looking for a cheaper beachside experience, there are lots of other candlelit beach bars like the Station, Buba, and more.
We'd also recommend Sea Spray at the Galle Face Hotel, which is a wonderfully elegant dining experience we haven't published yet.
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