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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.



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

The Food

One reason why Barefoot Cafe has remained favoured by Colombars over the years is because they offer something only a handful of others do, which is a great atmosphere with consistently good food. We did, however, run into a hiccup during this visit. We found a hair in one of our dishes. While this may not be a big deal to some, others find it just the opposite. However, they did handle the situation well. These things happen every now and again so we understand, everything else was on point. Barefoot has a standard menu with sandwiches and salads, but the mains are cycled throughout the week. When it comes to prices expect to pay around Rs. 1500 - Rs. 2000 per head after taxes and service charge.

The quiche lorraine (Rs. 900) was one of three quiche options available on the day. We went with this one since it had bacon. You get a sizeable slice which is packed full of the savory custard which had cheese, cream, bacon and diced veges. It's very hard to go wrong with cheese, cream and bacon so this one was very rich and just plain tasty. It comes with a side of salad which feels like is there to make you feel less guilty about the pastry.

The pork curry (Rs. 900) is served with fried rice, salad and a bit of curd as a dressing. This is where we found the hair, but they were quick to replace the entire dish. The pork curry itself was well seasoned and lightly spicy. It's also a larger portion than it seems. The rice was also well cooked and unlike other places they don't give you a ton of rice, which is fine since the emphasis should be on the pork.

Their crème brûlée (Rs. 500) is one of the best you'll come across in Colombo. It has the perfect little crack when you tap the sugar with the spoon and a rich custard filling. What I really loved about it was that the custard itself wasn't overly sweet, instead relying on the caramelized sugar to add that little extra sweetness.

The almond caramel tart (Rs. 55o) was also really good. I'm not the biggest fan of almonds but just the caramel sauce could have had me sold on it. Combine that with the warm tart and a scoop of ice cream and you get that mix of hot and cold that works so well with desserts.

Ambience & Service

If you think about it Barefoot Cafe is really all about location, location, location. The garden area itself is intrinsically beautiful so all they needed to do was bring in some tasteful furniture. Another thing that Barefoot nails time and time again is the music, which just works really well in the background while you chat away.

Barefoot is almost always crowded so service time won't generally be very fast, but they won't keep you waiting too long either. We were impressed by the waiters since they were a bit understaffed on the day we dropped in. They managed to handle all the tables, not mess up any orders (as far as we could see) and still do it all with a smile.

Conclusion

Barefoot will always be a solid choice for either a place to grab a bite to eat or to just hang back and grab a beer. It gets crowded but the garden is spacious so you don't really feel cramped, plus the food and music is good enough you don't feel the time go by.


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

Closed right now

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

See 25 Comments