Walking around Galle Fort in 2017 we are completely spoilt for choice. With a vibrant array of unique shops & restaurants around every cobbled corner, more places have sprung up in the past few years than ever before – so much so the guidebooks simply can’t keep up.
With the Fort becoming an ever stylish, cultural destination for jet-setters and locals alike, dining (and to an extent, wining) has become easier than ever. Having spent a lot of time here over the past few years with my family friends, I’ve tried the majority of restaurants, both new and longer established. Here are a selection of my most consistent favourites.
Poonie’s Kitchen $$
63 Pedlar Street (through Tallentire & Mimimango)
Specialising in a kaleidoscope of fresh, healthy Sri Lankan produce, founder Jo Eden is a visionary when it comes to creating innovative dishes to inspire all the senses. From her highly instagrammable ‘salad thali’, featuring an impressive assemble of unique salads (instead of the traditional Indian thali with curries) to the mindblowing butternut squash fritters with beetroot raitha, her creative fusion utelizing the island’s garden-fresh organic produce is divine.
‘Galle Things Roti’ $$
With an extensive history of arabic traders, it seems only fitting to have an option of middle eastern cuisine within the Fort. Founded and run by a Muslim family who have been located in the Fort for generations, Chambers serves a multitude of arabic favourites from a light and zesty hummus to a hearty slow cooked tagine, with traditional mint tea or mocktails to compliment. They also offer a small selection of Italian dishes as their chef was based in Italy for some time.
Church Street Social $$$
26 Church Street
The ‘in house’ restaurant of one of the most successful latest hotels in Galle Fort Fort Bazaar, with a sister hotel called The Walawwa in Colombo, Church Street Social is the place to go for mouthwatering comfort food with an award winning australian chef leading the way. You can choose to go Sri Lankan, western (the succulent pulled pork burger is delicious) or even middle eastern with a mezze platter. The breakfasts are regularly hailed as the best in the Fort, with a killer eggs benedict and for me personally, one of the best creamy cashew curries with hoppers (Sri Lankan) on the south coast.
A Minute by Tuk Tuk $$
The Old Dutch Hospital
I will be completely honest with you, I go for A Minute by Tuk Tuk for the same thing every time- one of their signature curry dishes, ‘Batu Moju’. A delectable and charmingly presented plate of typical Sri Lankan caramelised aubergine, parippu (dhal) and Indian chapathi bread. It’s mouthwateringly good, filling and relatively healthy. Try the Tuk Tuk special virgin mojito for a non alcoholic thirst quencher or a cool lion beer for a stronger ‘fix’!
Street Food $
And last but not least, I can’t complete a foodie feature without mentioning street food. For me, there’s nothing like a walk around the ramparts at sunset with a makeshift bag filled with parippu wade (deep fried lentils which you can also buy with prawns) and a couple or crispy salted chilis. The wade cart tends to emerge around 5:30/6pm opposite the (new) Bartizan Hotel, at the western end of Pedlar Street. You may also find an ice cream bike along the path and if they have it try the local favourite ‘pani cadju’, vanilla ice cream with cashew nuts and kithul honey.
Other recommendations in Galle Fort:
The Fort Printers 39 Pedlar Street $$$
Pedlars Inn Cafe/Pizzeria 92 Pedlar Street $$
Sugar Bistro The Old Dutch Hospital $$
Lucky Fort 7 Parawa Street $
Cafe Punto 42 Pedlar Street $
If you have recommendations of your own, do feel free to share in the comments below.