Pilgrims Hostel, Restaurant and Pizzeria is a small outfit in a corner of the Galle Fort. They're mainly a hostel but also have a great restaurant that claims variaby to have the best pizza in Galle or in Sri Lanka itself. Hostel rates are pretty affordable, off-season beds can be found for Rs. 1500 with complementary breakfast thrown in.
As for the restaurant experience, they do a good pizza and a mean rice and curry and good prices relative to everything else in the Galle Fort.
We started with the Hummus (Rs. 650) which came with really nice olive oil, though it was missing a little bit of salt and lemon.
The bread wasn't something I'd usually expect to have with hummus because it was pizza crust, guess we know where all those failed pizza experiements end up. This actually wasn't bad, and the portions were decently sized.
The Bufala (Rs. 1900) pizza was next, it had tomato, mozarella and basil. Everything here is locally sourced apparently, even the mozarella which is made in Negombo. It's very good, and not very salty. The pizza is a little bland, but we could put that down to a matter of preference. It had a great tomato base, and while not the best, its overall well within competing range of other great pizza spots on the island.
The hummus and pizza were good, but really the winner in this review is the rice and curry. At Rs. 550 it is rather steep for a rice and curry, but remember we are dealing with the Galle Fort in which regular bath kadeys have all but disappeared. Also the portions are very generous and you get a ginormous range of delicious homemade curries which certainly beat anything you can find at the Galle bus stand (where the closest bath kadeys can be found) in terms of quality and quantity, albeit for double the price. Also free rice refills for you bathmartins.
The food could use a bit of salt and spice for local palettes. We asked for chilies.
Other pizzas on the menu include the classic Margherita, veg and seafood options. The menu also has fresh seafood options as well as vegan food. No meat to be found on it. No dessert from the kitchen on the day we were there, which was disappointing. That chocolate pizza sounded tempting.
We tried the Lime Tea (right) and fresh Pineapple Juice (left) both Rs. 300 and both really good. The coffee here is pretty dope also, starting around Rs. 280 for a pot of black upto Rs. 390 for a Latte.
Pilgrims Hostel is located down a quiet street in the Fort, so you can largely be guaranteed a peaceable meal at their tables and chairs set on the roadside. The sea breeze is refreshing and sunlight mercifully blocked by the high walls of buildings. The interior (pictured) is less interesting and the music was terrible when we were there, Eurodance isn't what I would pick for a nice relaxed lunch, but maybe that's me.
Friendly, conversational and personal. Five stars.
If you're looking for a relaxed meal in an out of the way spot at the Fort, Pilgrims Hostel is a no-brainer.
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