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4/5

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.



This Colombo institution is a great spot to have a drink, a light meal or a snack and to chill out in a peaceful and natural setting. 

At the very back of the Barefoot retail store in Colombo 3 - away from exhaust fumes and klaxons - you’ll find a lush and vast courtyard. This is the Barefoot Garden Café: an oasis in bustling Colombo.

While the food can be a bit over-rated here, the quality and extensive choice of drinks, the location and the ambience make it an ideal stop for a shopping break or a lazy sunny afternoon or evening. 

Drinks

Barefoot Garden Café offers a large range of drinks: from fresh juices, smoothies, mil shakes, tea, coffees to beer and wine. You will surely find something to quench your thirst, and at a pretty reasonable price.

On this hot and sunny day, we opted for a lime and mint soda (Rs. 320) and their homemade ginger beer (Rs. 460). The drinks delivered and were very refreshing. 

Although the ginger beer is bit pricey, it’s actually worth digging your wallet for: it's spicy, refreshing and well balanced. If you're wondering, the floating chickpea-looking ball in the glass is a sultana and not something that fell from the canopy above. 

The lime and mint soda was also nice and fresh and it’s always a good option to have the syrup on the side to sweeten it up as you please.

The Coffee

Coffees are of good quality in Barefoot Garden Café and reasonably priced. The cherry on the cake is that they all come with a lovely little biscotti, à l’italienne. 

In need of a jolt of energy, my companion got a double espresso (Rs. 300). Look at that crema! Beautiful! Being addicted to crema since my youngest age, I couldn’t resist jumping on the cup and getting the first sip. It was subtle and aromatic and provided the promised punch.

The Food

Barefoot Garden Café menu caters for everyone and every need: bites for those feeling peckish, more substantial meals like sandwiches, quiches and curries for rumbling stomachs and desserts for the sweet tooth. 

Our emphasis this time was on sandwiches. Bread was fresh and soft. Some effort and creativity was put into the fillings but the end result was not spectacular.

 The Roast Pork sandwich (RS. 750) was rather alright. The meat, which had been marinated in soy sauce, was tasty but a bit dry. The sandwich definitely lacked green goodness and unfortunately the salad was more of an ornament to the plate.

The Fresh Tuna Sandwich (Rs. 750) raised the game. The pan-seared tuna was moist and the tomato salsa (made of tomato, capsicum, garlic, chili and oil) enlightened the dish. Simple but efficient.

We then indulged in the Death By Chocolate Cake (Rs. 770) and the Passion Fruit Mousse (Rs. 680), which happily happened to be a great combo. The light and fluffy texture of the mousse and the tanginess of the passion fruit beautifully accompanied the rich and dense chocolatey cake. A tad too sweet though. I probably won’t rate them as the best desserts in town but they were still quite good.

Ambience

Undeniably their biggest asset! 

Decked out with contemporary wooden furniture and their own colorful Barefoot branded table linen and decorations, the café mirrors the vibrant and elegant style of the shop.

Nestled in a peaceful courtyard paved with uneven stones and scattered with ponds and majestic trees casting pleasant shade in the afternoon, Barefoot Garden Café atmosphere is very serene. You’ll feel miles away from the hectic Galle Road in no time. 

The excellent choice of jazzy music in the background adds to the coziness and timelessness of the place. I find the whole ambience really inviting and relaxing. You just want to sit down, enjoy a drink or two in good company and forget about the time. 

Service

The service perfectly matches the ambience of the café; it is extremely pleasant and efficient. We were greeted with warm smiles from the team as soon as we entered the courtyard. The staff is attentive and friendly as well as helpful. They were knowledgeable about the menu and gave us good recommendation when we were hesitating between dishes.

Conclusion

While I won’t say the food is show-stopping, Barefoot Garden Café is an awesome place to have a drink and unwind in Colombo, whether it’s day or night when live music or quiz nights are on. One of my favourite outdoor cafés in town.


TIP

The beer is surprisingly cheap, but note that they stop serving alcohol between 2-5 PM.
All Reviews

The Barefoot Cafe serves up some excellent drinks and decent food. Their service needs to improve, vastly.

This Colombo’s institution is a great spot to have a drink, a light meal or a snack and to chill out in a peaceful and natural setting. 

Barefoot Cafe is undoubtedly one of the most popular hangout spots in Colombo. With it's chic outdoor setting, good food and great music its easy to see why.

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.

සිංහල කොළඹ නිකරුණේ කාලය ගත කරන්න තියෙන හොඳම තැන තමයි බෙයාර්ෆුට් කැෆේ. ඒක යාළුවෝ හම්බවෙන්න හරි යාළුවෝ ඇතිකරගන්න හරි හොඳ තැනක් වගේම කලා කෘති බලන්න, සංගීතය අහන්න, හොඳ කෑම කන්න සහ දරාගන්න පුළුවන් මිලට බීර බොන්න හොඳ තැනක්. සංචාරකයන්ට බෙයාර්ෆුට්, සීගිරිය වගේම හොඳ සංචාරක ගමනාන්තයක්. දේශීය වැසියන්ට ඒක කොළඹ තියෙන අත්‍යවශ්‍යම තැනක්. ඒක අධිරාජ්‍ය යුගයේදී ලාංකිකයන්ගේ අවසාන තානාපති කාර්යාලය වගේ.

Address

8th Lane (off Galle Road), Colombo 3

Directions

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.

Contacts

E-Mail Facebook Website

Report Inaccuracy

Open until 07:00 PM

Price Range

Between Rs. 1000 - Rs. 1500

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
3
Quality Rating
3
Service Rating
1
Ambience Rating
5
Similar Places

User Reviews
Avatar for Imaad
7

2/5

0

Imaad

Until they address the glaring issues with their service, I wouldn't recommend locals to go here. Over the years I've been here with different groups and noticed that they only care about tourists, expats and their regulars. Many times I've seen the glass of water scene play out. Not cool.

As for food, I'm usually happy with the grilled prawns, the modha, or the curry pork. Drinks wise always go for the ginger beer or the lemongrass lime.

Avatar for la_kurumbas
4

3/5

2

la_kurumbas

I'm sorry Sunil but I have to agree with Sarah on this. Me and my boyfriend frequently visit the place, we always get served after a foreign customer who would come after us; ALWAYS. But, we really don't care because the food is really good and the vibe is quite chilled, especially on Sundays. But, for some people, I guess the thought of being treated second fiddle to a foreigner in their own Country is an issue. So how dare you have the audacity to find fault with her views? If you are such a frequent customer, then obviously you will be treated well, because the waiters probably know you. YAMU always mentions that they are giving only a personal account if their experiences. I have been following them since they started, and my life in Sri Lanka has become much easier because of them. If you don't like the way YAMU reviews places, then just leave and go back to reading newspapers, you artifact.

PS: Don't mix women's empowerment with alleged racism/bad service. That's just being opportunistic and sets a very bad tone for the true meaning on women's empowerment.

S
1

5/5

-4

Sunil Bothuju

Answer:
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.

Avatar for Imaad
7

2/5

0

Imaad

Until they address the glaring issues with their service, I wouldn't recommend locals to go here. Over the years I've been here with different groups and noticed that they only care about tourists, expats and their regulars. Many times I've seen the glass of water scene play out. Not cool.

As for food, I'm usually happy with the grilled prawns, the modha, or the curry pork. Drinks wise always go for the ginger beer or the lemongrass lime.

Avatar for la_kurumbas
4

3/5

2

la_kurumbas

I'm sorry Sunil but I have to agree with Sarah on this. Me and my boyfriend frequently visit the place, we always get served after a foreign customer who would come after us; ALWAYS. But, we really don't care because the food is really good and the vibe is quite chilled, especially on Sundays. But, for some people, I guess the thought of being treated second fiddle to a foreigner in their own Country is an issue. So how dare you have the audacity to find fault with her views? If you are such a frequent customer, then obviously you will be treated well, because the waiters probably know you. YAMU always mentions that they are giving only a personal account if their experiences. I have been following them since they started, and my life in Sri Lanka has become much easier because of them. If you don't like the way YAMU reviews places, then just leave and go back to reading newspapers, you artifact.

PS: Don't mix women's empowerment with alleged racism/bad service. That's just being opportunistic and sets a very bad tone for the true meaning on women's empowerment.

S
1

5/5

-4

Sunil Bothuju

Answer:
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.

K
5

4/5

-1

KIKI

Great hangout and excellent food at a premium price

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