I’ve always loved the laid back foodie scene in Galle Fort which has been ever growing over the past couple of years. New restaurants have been popping up here and there, with a real variety in cuisine. From local residents serving authentic rice and curry in their houses to Middle Eastern, Chinese, Italian etc, the options are incredibly diverse.
I would like to share my personal recommendations of where to eat and drink in the Fort- please note these are all the places I’ve visited, I haven’t been everywhere. For restaurants in the Fort interested in potentially being featured please email email@example.com
With a history as rich and exotic as the cuisine, Galle Fort’s relationship with the Middle East dates back to arab traders many years ago. Founded by a Muslim family who have lived in the Fort for generations, Chambers serves a multitude of arabic favourites from a light and zesty hummus to a rich and hearty slow cooked lamb tagine, perfectly balanced with traditional mint tea or passion mojito mocktail. They also offer a handful of Italian dishes (the head chef trained in a Italian food) which is especially handy for families with children.
Church Street Social $$$
26 Church Street
At the entrance of one of my favourite hotels in Galle Fort, Fort Bazaar, Church Street Social is the place to go for mouthwatering comfort food. You can choose to go Sri Lankan or western/middle eastern fusion with a pulled pork burger, grilled vegetable & feta burger or middle eastern mezze platter. The breakfasts are regularly hailed the best in the Fort, with a killer eggs benedict and a decadent Sri Lankan cashew nut curry with hoppers.
A Minute by Tuk Tuk $$
The Old Dutch Hospital
Look no further than A Minute by Tuk Tuk’s ‘Batu Moju’, a vegetarian dish consisting of sweet/spicy aubergine, parippu (dhal) and fluffy paratha bread. It’s local, not too heavy, healthy and nourishing. Some of the dishes on the menu are not quite so consistent in terms of quality but this makes it well worth the trip! Their ‘tuk tuk special virgin mojito’ is a delicious non alcoholic thirst quencher. Alcohol is also served.
Street Food $
And last but not least, I can’t complete a foodie feature of Galle Fort without mentioning street food. There’s nothing like a walk around the ramparts at sunset with a homemade bag made from newspaper filled with freshly cooked parippu wade- deep fried lentils with prawns- and a couple or crispy salted chilis.
The wade cart tends to emerge around 5:30/6pm opposite The Bartizan Hotel at the western end of Pedlar Street although sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not- weekends are most likely. There is also (again, most often) two ice cream bikes cycling around- Cargills and Elephant House. If you have a sweet tooth, try the local favourite ‘pani cadju’ which is vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of kithul honey and sprinkle of cashew nuts.
Other recommended restaurants in Galle Fort:
The Fort Printers 39 Pedlar Street $$$
Pedlars Inn Cafe/Pizzeria 92 Pedlar Street $$
Sugar Bistro The Old Dutch Hospital $$
Lucky Fort 7 Parawa Street $
Cafe Punto 42 Pedlar Street $
Tequila Mockingbird $$
If you have recommendations of your own, do feel free to share in the comments below!