Barista Lavazza has been around since 2002 and was one of the first coffee franchises to successfully establish themselves in Colombo. Lately you can find a coffee shop at every street corner, and their biggest competitor – The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is literally just a few steps away.
Back when I was still in school, I would come here with my friends after school, whenever we had any money or time to spare (so be wary of any obnoxious teenagers from between 2 and 4pm).
In a nutshell, it’s a really nice hangout spot - there’s something about Barista that has a really homey feel to it, or perhaps my fond childhood memories have left me infatuated with the place. Anyway, if you’re looking to kill a bit of time with someone, they’ve got a chess and monopoly board to amuse you.
They sell cigarettes here too (unique for a café?), you’ll usually find someone outside smoking a cigarette and reading the morning paper. It’s a pretty chilled out spot; it’s quiet and they’ve got WiFi – not a bad place to bring your laptop and get some work done if the WiFi wasn't so darn slow.
Barista serves up some decent short eats, cakes, brownies and of course - coffee. Their sandwiches are usually good, especially the chicken tikka, although recently I went there with my friend and ended up being served a cold, stale sandwich that we had to send back to have re-heated. Don’t know what to take from that experience. The short eats and the cheesecake are consistently decent though.
The other day I walked in at around 9.30 in the morning to try something from their (new?) breakfast menu. I decided to try their continental breakfast for 350 rupees (see photo). I was served some toast, 2 fried eggs, 2 tiny sausages, a hash brown and a cup of black coffee. It didn't seem too bad for the price, considering that a cup of coffee on its own costs 300 rupees anyway. But for Rs.350, I expect more than a cold hash brown and 2 keells sausages, it was ridiculously disappointing.
The service is just alright and having read everything I just wrote, I’m a bit less fond of this place than when I sat down. They’ve got board games and that’s their biggest appeal - having said that, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
across the street is probably a better place to go to if you don’t mind spending a little more.