The month of Ramazan is here, which means Muslims all across Sri Lanka will be fasting, giving charity, and looking forward to a tasty ifthar or break-fast.
The fast is usually broken at sun-down, with dates, some shorteats and a warm bowl of kanji (which interestingly is a Tamil word, but it’s a porridge that’s popular in many South Asian countries and even goes back centuries in China). The ifthars on our list are typically available
between 6PM and 8PM. We will be updating the list as the month goes on, but here’s a roundup of places you can break fast at for the moment.
112 301 032
379, Galle Road, Colombo 3
The Arabian Knights ifthar buffet seems to be one of the better thought-out ones on our list. For
Rs. 1350+ per head
, the spread includes kanji of course, and Arabic favourites like pita bread, hummus, fattoush, samboseks and falafels, also samosas, a mini mixed grill, mini shawarma and the laban or lemon mint juice for drinks. If you pay Rs. 300 extra you also get tea or coffee and desserts. Between 4 and 7PM there are also discount-specials available if you’re visiting with a big party – you can get 30 pieces of samosas or falafels, or big shawarma platters, in the Rs. 1300 – 2500 range.
112 679 292
107, Barnes Place, Colombo 7
Cioconat Lounge is another place that puts effort into hosting ifthars each year and remains popular among its loyal customers. The coffee shop also happens to have prayer facilities available. For
, you get kanji and dates, pastries, a wide range of salads, a bread corner, chicken and veg rice, rice noodles, Thai green curry, a mixed grill, Moroccan chicken, chicken lasagna, pizza and a table of desserts. There’s also a cooking station where you can get crepes and pasta hot off the pan.
117 635 635
Ward Place, Colombo 7
Coco Veranda is another coffee shop that has managed to keep its customers somewhat satisfied over the years, with their central location and range of frappes and lattes. For
, they seem to have a relatively smaller spread than the other buffets, including kanji, dates, Faluda, beef kofta, fried chicken, fish burgers, some veg alternatives, and coffee or tea.
115 922 263
65, Thimbirigasyaya Road, Colombo 5
Cafe Shaze is one of Colombo’s many cafe/lounge options, and they do some decent, well prepared Western dishes and iced teas. They’ve got two ifthar packs available. The first is for
and features one main dish (the options: basil rice, beef burger, biriyani, beef bolognese, chicken pasta, seafood pasta) and the dessert of the day (fingers crossed for creme brulee!). The second is just kanji, a small assortment of shorteats and a beverage for
112 491 000
115, Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo 2
Cinnamon Lakeside has a fun spread prepared for ifthar, albeit for the hefty price of
. It includes a lot of stuff: kanji, samosas, beef kebabs, other mixed grill meats, lamb shawarmas, chicken biriyani, mutton biriyani, Indian chicken dishes, fish curry, Arabic favourites like hummus and falafels, salads, juices and Faluda.
112 544 544
Lotus Road, Colombo 1
Galadari may have fallen from its ’90s stardom, but its lobby and restaurants are still somehow quite popular. Their ifthar buffet at their Arabic restaurant Sheherezade. For
, besides the dates and sweet lassi, you get a limited selection of starters, main courses and desserts, from their menu of typically Arabic cuisine.
11 2 437 437
77, Galle Road, Colombo 3
Cinnamon Grand usually has good fare across all their restaurants. This Ramazan their international dinner buffet starts early at 6PM and features a special Ifthar menu, priced at
. They also have a special Ifthar snack menu for Rs. 1100+, available at the Shisha Lounge (and through Room Service if you’re there).
There is also an Ifthar set menu at the Taprobane and Shisha Lounge for Rs. 2,100+. So tl;dr, whether you want a buffet, set menu or just snacks, they’ve got you covered.
11 2 422 001
30, Sir Mohamed Macan, Colombo 1
Ramada Hotel sounds like they cut a pretty neat deal for ifthar. We were told that they have different menus on different days of the week, and for
per head, they’ve got chicken/mutton kanji, dates, fruits, Arabic snacks, a wide range of salads, pizzas, cutlets and other shorteats (including veg options), chicken/mutton biriyani, Indian options like tikka and chicken kadai, pastas and desserts.
Mount Lavinia Hotel
112 711 711
Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia
Mount Lavinia is another good place to have your ifthar at, if you feel like making a fancy dinner out of it. It’s being hosted at the
, and for
, you get a starter, main course and dessert, with Arabic, Indian and Sri Lankan options to pick from. If you call and make your reservation early you get a 15% discount.
112 421 221
48, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 1
The Kingsbury usually has a very wide, quality range of foods to pick from at their dinner buffet – the seafood selection is our favourite part. For
it’s one of the more expensive buffets in town. This Ramazan if you’re in the mood for a rather fancy ifthar, they start their buffet early with the addition of break fast basics – kanji, dates, samosas and Faluda.
114 388 488
6B Alfred House Road, Colombo 3
Paan Paan has got a great ifthar-party deal going on for Ramazan, ideal for breaking fast with a bunch of friends or family. Judging from the quality of their usual
, we have some faith in these ones. A large platter will cost you about
, it’s customizable, and includes 40 pieces of snacks. The options include chicken rolls, veg/tuna patties, mini pizzas, cutlets, beef rolls, spring rolls, samosas, mini chicken and fish buns and other shorteats.
777 417 417
417, Galle Road, Colombo 3
Pilawoos, Colombo’s immensely popular, not all connected kottu franchise, is being a good guy this Ramazan and offering free kanji, dates and shorteats for anyone who walks in at ifthar time. We were told that they cook up different kanjis – chicken, beef, veg – and the shorteats include their usual fare of samosas, patties, egg rolls and the likes. Also if you buy bulk orders of kottu, you’re likely to get a happy discount.
117 363 600
166 Thimbirigasaya Road, Colombo 5
Hazari’s, one of our favourite Arabic restaurants in the city, also throws a freebie this Ramazan by offering kanji and dates on the house. It’s a good option to consider if you’re looking to stay on after breaking fast and have some tasty dinner.
115 661 661
Marine Drive, Colombo 6
Dinemore is home of those beloved mayo slathered submarines, and is another generous ifthar-friendly location. While they don’t have an ifthar buffet or anything of the sort, they do serve up free kanji, dates and bottled water at ifthar.
Ceylon City Hotel
11, Upatissa Road, Colombo 4
A new comer in the age of new affordable hotels The Ceylon City Hotel will be offering a good deal for around Rs.600 this season. They offer a variety of snacks including kanji, samosas and dates. You can also try out their A la carte items.
So that is our roundup for now, but the list is likely to evolve over the course of the month – we’re actually waiting on places like Malay Restaurant and Taj to give us details about their Ramazan offers. If you know of other places that are great for breaking fast, let us know in the comments or give us a call on 114544230. Ramazan Mubarak, people.