Hear the waves splashing onto golden sands, the palm leaves rustling in the calm winds, and the stillness of time framed in memory. Breakfast with a view is a tasty tango you never get tired of. And the mighty Indian Ocean hugging the coastline of Sri Lanka has created dramatic sceneries for delicious views. We are taking you to the best breakfast spots down south of the island because, here, you don’t just dine but feast on beauty.
The Sri Lankan breakfast
The delicate latticework of steamed string hoppers against the sweet sourness of coconut relish (coconut sambol) is just a glimpse of the array of Sri Lankan breakfast foods waiting to meet your eager appetite. The beautiful south coast of Sri Lanka is a place to experience both local culinary iterations and colonial fusions. Once occupied by the Portuguese and the Dutch, its rich culinary heritage is truly stunning. Not to mention the fresh fish and seafood caught daily by local fishermen.
The world knows Sri Lanka as the island of rice and curry, but its breakfast foods are the best-kept culinary secrets of South East Asia. It is also a haven for vegans and vegetarians. The traditional Sri Lankan breakfast is an all-vegan affair with staples like kiribath, hoppers, string hoppers, pittu, and pol roti. They are made with ingredients like rice flour, coconut milk, grated coconut, rice, and wheat flour.
These foods are eaten with curries and sides made using an arsenal of local spices. Among them, ambul thiyal or ‘sour fish curry’ is perhaps the most famous dish to have originated from the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Dried goraka, used to give its sour flavour, is a unique spice indigenous to Sri Lanka and India’s Malabar Coast.
Kiribath (milk rice) is a breakfast food cooked with thick coconut milk and often served on special or auspicious occasions, such as the Sinhalese New Year. It is eaten with curries like fish or chicken, as well as sweet accompaniments like jaggery-mixed-sesame and banana. However, the most popular dish to eat it with is lunu miris, a chilli sambol made with red chillies, onions, lemon juice, salt, and sometimes Maldive fish. Maldive fish is a staple ingredient in Maldivian cuisine adopted by Sri Lankan cooking, especially for lunu miris and pol sambol.
And, if you want the gluten-free take on pittu, try kurakkan or finger millet pittu. Local veggies like cassava and fruits like jackfruit and breadfruit are also eaten boiled with curries for breakfast.
Breakfast spots of South
Galle is charming, buzzing, and artsy. It also offers the hipster vibe in quirky cafes hidden in its many colonial-style nooks.
Spots in the Galle Fort and on the city’s quaint streets
Peddlar’s Inn Café – Housed in the building that was the British Post office, it features a charming facade and vintage decor as well as books. A large menu of local and international cuisine is offered with indulgent coffee, sandwiches, and milkshakes.
The Heritage Café & Bistro – Sitting in a sunlit courtyard and filled with unique art deco & up-cycled installations, this cafe offers a breakfast menu featuring freshly-baked bread, hand-crafted cakes, delectable pastries, and organically-farmed local coffee. Shift to the Bistro side for lunch or dinner, and enjoy an eclectic international menu, as well as artisan pizza made from scratch and pasta made daily.
Crepe-ology – A rooftop French restaurant in the Galle Fort serving a refreshing selection of sweet & savoury crepes, salads, wraps, chillers, smoothies, milkshakes, and Italian coffee.
Dumplings Café – East Asian savoury treats for breakfast as you wish. Steamed bao buns, freshly made dumplings, wontons, siu mai, spring rolls, and noodles are served with hot and cold drinks.
A Minute by Tuk Tuk – Located on the second floor of the Old Dutch Hospital on the eastern side of the Fort, you are treated to unobstructed ocean views and a pleasant breeze on the verandah at this fun and quirky restaurant. It serves local and western dishes, including the full English breakfast, tapas, salads, and curries.
Royal Dutch Café – This tiny outfit is very popular in Galle, especially for its cinnamon tea and banana pancakes. They do a good brunch and late breakfast.
Church Street Local – Food inspired by Moroccan, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisine, the menu consists of local classics, contemporary twists, tapas, and platters.
Whale-watching, surfing, and turtles…also good food
Shady Lane – Lots of healthy vibes here. Serves avocado on toast, tropical fruit smoothie bowls, veggie burgers, and juice. It is vegan and gluten-free friendly. You can choose coconut milk for your lattes.
Aloha Coffee Gallery – This breakfast and brunch spot offers avocado on toast options, smoothie bowls with lots of fruit, and really good coffees.
Wood Space – This is a chill breakfast bar with rustic vibes, offering healthy smoothie bowls and coffee.
Home of the Brief Gardens
Cinnamon Bey Beruwala – The hotel’s restaurant Bufe, offers fruit platters, fresh juices, and live-action counters cooking up Sri Lankan and Continental breakfasts.
Fresh Restaurant – True to its name, freshly-made local and international brunch menus are served in a relaxed atmosphere.
Coves, beaches, and bays
Anantara – You will find some of the finest restaurants in Tangalle here.
Buckingham Place – Ocean-front restaurant with an eclectic menu and laidback hospitality.
Amanwella – From its elevated open-air terrace, you can look out over the palm-fringed bay. A selection of Mediterranean, Asian, and Sri Lankan cuisines with fresh seafood specialties are offered.
Lagoon and the beach
Kola – Vegan restaurant on the Koggala Lake with a floating platform that serves a fusion of local and western dishes.
Chillinguito – Freshly-ground local coffee, freshly made pancakes, smoothie bowls, rice bowls, and full-on breakfast.
SkinnyTom’s Deli – Serves up artisan bread, fine pastries, sandwiches, and coffee.
When on the southern coast, turn your breakfast into a foodie experience. Book your Sri Lankan getaway with Blue Lanka Tours to discover hidden gems, best-kept secrets, and culinary trails of the island.