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The Barefoot Cafe

8th Lane (off Galle Road), Colombo 3

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.



Sunil Bothuju

An interesting review……but not sure I agree with your comment that locals need to daub whitening cream on their faces in order to get served here. I have never had that experience at Barefoot and am a regular customer as are many locals, especially on Sundays which happens to be their busiest day. I was also there on the Sunday you reviewed, and I find it really sad that you would be so insecure to think that a busy waitress, who is new to working at Barefoot, (I chatted to her that day), would refuse to serve you water because you are Sri Lankan (as she is herself). Was she really being racist? Couldn’t she just have been busy? Or perhaps, as she is new, she simply forgot? That’s not a racist crime. I think with all the nationalistic sentiments beings bandied about in this country and also around the world where people are being denied homes, separated from their children, and killed for the colour of their skin, forgetting a glass of water cannot be cited in the same vein as a heinous racist act, don’t you think? As a local myself I find these comments from Sri Lankans embarrassing as they make us all look like we have huge chips on our shoulders and that we carry a ‘poor me, I’m a lesser person because I am not white’ syndrome around with us. You may but I don’t. I also didn’t get served my water on time, and I simply put it down to it being a busy day. No big deal – that’s how it gets at busy restaurants. In terms of customer service at Barefoot I find all the staff to always be friendly and helpful even when they are rushed off their feet.
I also think that Barefoot should be commended for employing female staff. I happen to know how difficult it can be to get young women to work in service industries especially hospitality. I would have thought, Sarah that instead of moaning about not being served ‘because you’re not white’, you would be encouraging and celebrating these young women for blazing a new trail for others.
In terms of your critique of the food, I’m a little confused. Is Yamu a site purely for locals? I thought it was meant to be inclusive for everyone of all diversities….including those white (and any other colour) tourists. I have always recommended the site to people wanting to come to Sri Lanka on holiday. I have said that it brilliantly showcases places to visit that are beyond the normal tourist locations. If that is still so, then your quite subjective comments are excluding a large portion of your audience because not everyone’s mum will know how to make a kade tea or a local dishes. Surely a more objective critique would describe the local fare based on the ingredients, the presentation, and the taste rather than on what your mum makes.
In summary, whilst I do not agree with all of your food comments, I vehemently disagree that Barefoot is a prejudiced restaurant. To say it is, citing the example you gave, reflects sadly on the insecurities of some Sri Lankans and paints us all as oversensitive, bitter people incapable of being confidently proud of the great assets we have to show off to the rest of the world.
PS: Oh, and the sauce is certainly NOT mayo!! It’s a tahini-based sauce which is the traditional condiment for falafel, hummus and babaganoush dishes.

Please don’t apologise for your comments, Las Karambas. Your opinion is just as valid as mine and of course Sarah’s. That’s what freedom of speech is all about – the right for people to respectfully disagree and offer an alternative viewpoint. Whilst I don’t think calling me an ‘artifact’ and telling me to ‘ go back to my newspaper’ is very respectful or mature, if you need to resort to name calling and stereotyping to get your view across, that is your prerogative.
Luckily, Yamu is not as discriminatory as you. It welcomes alternative perspectives (regardless of supposed age). Amen for free speech.

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8th Lane (off Galle Road), Colombo 3


Go down the Galle Road, it's just past the Bambalapitiya Junction (so past Majestic City). You can walk through the Barefoot store or go down the adjoining 8th Lane to a decent sized parking lot.


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Open until 07:00 PM

Price Range

Between Rs. 1000 - Rs. 1500

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