Good Market, an every-Thursday event at Diyatha Uyana, now goes on till about 11PM. They first started extending the event in December 2014 – which is when we went to check it out. The times are still a little experimental since the organizers are trying to gauge the interest of their customers, but you can drop by more or less between 3PM and 9PM and if you’re lucky, it’ll go on till 11.
For the noobs – Good Market is basically a fun market that gets set up by the lake, not far from Waters’ Edge. They’ve got baked goods, organic foods, music, art, children running amok, and a lot of foreigners in the evenings. You’ll recognize it from a distance when you see a canopy of white tents.
Because of Good Market’s strict regulations when it comes to being organic and environment-friendly – the food here will generally be healthier than otherwise. It’s also a pleasant open space for exercise.
There aren’t a whole lot of outdoor places in Colombo that are friendly in the late evening, so ambience-wise the Good Market is pretty nice and chill at night. You’ll find a new amateur musician in the last row of stalls every Thursday – the music’s occasionally good, so not a bad place to relax after a round of shopping/eating here. If you lose your friend or kid in the crowd (I lost the former) you can use the musician’s mic like I did to make an announcement for the fool.
The Good Market is famous for its organic or relatively-unpolluted food – whether it’s fruit juices, bee’s honey, or good old hakuru. There’s also other stuff like jaggery pancakes, waffle style rottis and cookies. So if you feel like having a super light snack-ey dinner with friends, it’s not a bad place to wander around. There’s also heavier Sri Lankan food available here and there if you look. Usually you’ll end up spending about Rs. 1000 on food if you go nuts, but we also found hoppers for Rs. 20 so it depends. Places like Hiranya Foods promise chemical-free, organic meals.
Shopping-wise you’re sure to find some interesting oddities here, albeit it could cost a little more than your average store bought stuff. During our round here last December we found some interesting things on sale like jute-cloth bags (because ordinary bags are too mainstream!), a variety of hand-made percussion instruments, and ‘body deo crystals’. We also found a limited but welcome collection of organic body-shop products. Next-door to the Good Market space is also a fresh flower market.
Cake & Books
Cake and books get their own section in this post because these are the best things in the world, and there’s a decent selection of it at the Good Market. I find browsing for bargains at Deen The Bookman’s much more relaxing late in the evenings because of the thinning crowd and the more relaxed atmosphere. We found some awesome mouth-watering cakes last December at Hash Deli, and there are plenty others who do desserts too – though expensive, this wide choice of home-made desserts in one place is one of the best things about Good Market.
There are always ‘events’ featured here every Thursday, and you’ll see the agenda chalked up on a big black board in one of the paved aisles. On the day we went this included live music, live portrait-sketching, massages, free drum classes, cycle rides for kids and a photo booth. So it’s pretty happening.
Good Market is so far the only outdoor place in Colombo that combines entertainment, food and shopping on a weekly basis. If it wasn’t so far away from central Colombo I’d probably spend time there. The food here is healthier considering Good Market’s organic standards, and though the clusters of hipsters at 5PM and some of the prices can get you down, it’s still not a bad way to while away a Thursday night with your favourite people. When the stalls pack up, you can still wander around the large lit-up aquariums or enjoy the views of the lake nearby.