This is a list of our favorite vegetarian restaurants in or around Colombo. Please tell us if we leave anything out, we’re always looking.
Despite being a largely Buddhist country, pure veg is hard to find in Sri Lanka, unless you consider dried fish a vegetable. Even if you order veg people will feel bad and offer fish hodi (gravy). There are, however, a few standout places.
Dunhinda is really far (in Attidiya, between Dehiwala and Ratmalana) and basically hidden in a carefully constructed jungle. It is, however, definitely worth a trip. Dunhinda has perhaps the best rice and curry in Colombo and it’s veg for deep cultural reasons, not as a fad.
Dunhinda is old school Sinhala food – rice and curry, kola kanda, they even do a great kavum. While you can catch the kola kanda truck roaming around sometimes, nothing beats their roadside location for a good veg meal.
2. Milk & Honey
For a more modern take on veg, Milk & Honey Cafe on Barnes Place can’t be beat. This old colonial house does great veg and vegan bites and cakes. They also have a great range of fruit and veg juices.
There’s also a kids store with books and toys attached.
The classic veg is of course South Indian. Pre-eminent among Sri Lankan South Indian is Shanmugas down Ramakrishna Road in Wellawatte. They do a good lunch thali and chaat after 6 PM. They have North Indian fare but the South Indian is the best. Check out the black dhal.
Mathura on Havelock Road does a great tomato soup and paneer. They do pretty good South Indian fare.
5. Amro Vegetarian Cafe
This charming spot in less than charming Nugegoda is basically a few aunties cooking up healthy, tasty food. The summaries are getting shorter as we get further down the list.
This are five or our favorites. Did we miss any? Of course. There’s the classic Greenland’s and Saraswathi in Wellawatte (home to many more). There’s also the new Paradise in Thumulla, in the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi building. Tell us if you know any more good veg spots in the city.