A Foodie’s Guide to Bentota

Best food experiences, restaurants, and cheap eats!

Bentota draws watersports enthusiasts and those seeking world-class Ayurveda treatments all year long, but it’s also prepared with great food as well!

Image of Yellow rice and curry or kaha bath dark food
Yellow rice and curry or kaha bath dark food | Source:  FKavinda/Shutterstock.com

The culinary masterpieces of restaurants in Bentota aren’t limited to fancy restaurants—you can get traditional Sri Lankan food with a delicious zing at an affordable price.

Best Food Experiences

Food is one of the best ways to understand a culture and is one of the memories from a travel you will cherish for long. Bentota presents some amazing culinary experiences and here are some of the best:

1. Seafood feast at Malli’s Seafood Café

Image of King prawns in red curry sauce and coconut milk in a lilac bowl
King prawns in red curry sauce and coconut milk in a lilac bowl | Source:  Paul_Brighton/Shutterstock.com

We won’t be exaggerating if we say that you cannot leave Bentota without relishing the scrumptious sea food fare at Malli’s Seafood joint.

As much as it is known for its great quality of food, it also attracts customers due to its quirky location. What’s that, you may ask! This joint finds its place on the platform of Bentota railway station, overlooking the Galle railway line.

Enjoy the freshest seafood in town right from lobsters and prawns to shrimps and fishes – everything so fresh you’ll wonder they just caught it from the sea. Friendly staff and value for money menu are just the bonus qualities that earn them those brownie points. Now that we have mentioned brownie, don’t forget it’s refreshing dessert of pomegranate and ice cream.

Image of Sri lanka street food
Sri lanka street food | Source:  Guy Mace Photography/Shutterstock.com
Image of Traditional cuisine and food
Traditional cuisine and food | Source: Authentic travel/Shutterstock.com

2. Steaks and grills at Golden grill

Image of Street food barbecue with grilled chicken and fish sri lanka
Street food barbecue with grilled chicken and fish sri lanka | Source:  Oskanov/Dreamstime.com

After you have fed adventure to your adrenaline-filled soul, in Bentota, it is time for some food for the soul with the lagoon’s delicious cuisine. Looking for something peaceful, beautiful and scenic at the same time?

Head to Golden grill – a restaurant overlooking the lake and tropical greenery that lends a perfect ambiance for a sit-down dinner. Gorge on the steaks, tuna steaks and mixed grills – the stars of the eatery’s fare. Living up to the name of the place, they surely are the perfect combination of golden glow crisp and tender and juicy flavors.

Fine Dining

1. Fine Dining by Saman Villas  ($$$$)  

Galle Road, Aturuwella, Bentota 80500 | +94 34 7 200334 | www.finediningbysamanvillas.com

Popular for their culinary magic done with the local seafood catches, this place is everything that is Bentota. The beach, the bar, the food, chilled vibes, and great hosts are to die for. This is a much visited place mainly for its exciting dining options. Be it a sandy beach or a cozy garden or right on the sands, you can choose to eat anyplace you wish.

2. The Villa Café ($$$$)

Mohotti Walauwa, 138/18-22 Galle Road, Bentota | +94 34 2 275311 | www.paradiseroadhotels.com/villabentota/dining

A quaint and lovely cafe that reeks of charm and culture, this cafe is an experience not to be missed. Sri Lankan cuisine, great ambiance, and friendly staff is what Heritage Cafe boasts. Their black pork curry is a popular with its eaters and is a must try.

3. S.H.A.C.K, Vivanta by Taj ($$$) 

Vivanta by Taj, Sri Lanka National Holiday Resort, Bentota | +94 1334 5 555555 | www.vivanta.tajhotels.com/en-in/bentota-sri-lanka/restaurants/shack-restaurant

The S.H.A.C.K overlooks the sea. The stunning view will feel like you never want to leave, especially during the sunsets and dawns. Bright and open, the architecture is airy and spacious and everything you’d want in a place you want to relax and eat at. The menu offers a variety of cuisines that will cater to any craving.

4. Cocoon Resort and Villas ($$$)

Kaikawala Road, Induruwa, bentota, 80510 |  +94 (0) 722330890  | www.cocoonresortandvillas.com/dining.php?lId=04

You get to choose between the indoor restaurant which exudes charm, or sit outdoors, where you can enjoy delicious meals while you watch the world go by. A perfect setting for romantic night, the courtyard is the place for you to dine in style in your own private haven. The Cocoon is the essence of Bentota itself and is a must visit if you want to feel the old world charm and the magic that is Bentota.

Casual Dining

1. Malli’s Seafood Restaurant ($$$)

Beach Road, Opposite of Hotel The Surf, Bentota

Best known for its seafood dishes, this is one of the best places to eat at in Hikkaduwa. The taste and quality of food is never compromised and its ambiance is minimal, but delightful. The food is scrumptious.

2. Diyasisila Restaurant ($$)

Elpitiya Road, Bentota – Adaganthota, Bentota

A change of scene is what awaits you here. Away from the beach hustle, this eatery lets you sit by a river and dine in style. Specialising in serving the best seafood dishes in town, this is a must visit if you want to wind down after a long day out.

3. Barista  ($$)

88 Welipenna Road, Aluthgama, Bentota

A very casual sort of dining place, this cafe is well sought after for its laid back ambiance and great food. The most raved about is their coffees and snacks. A refreshing change from the spicy local cuisine, this is an ideal spot if you want a break and chill after a day out in Bentota.

4. Sun & Sea Restaurant ($$)

Robolgoda, Bentota

A great hangout for friends and loved ones alike, this place has a choice of succulent dishes for a price that doesn’t take your roof down. Their pizzas are a must have, and the best thing to go along with it is something deliciously cold from their menu. Very chilled out and laidback, this place will instantly relax you.

5 The Loft ($$$)  

Hotel Road, Bentota

One of the rare bars that operates even during the off season, the Loft is the perfect place to unwind after a hot day at Bentota. Grab a cold drink and observe the ocean view while you munch on tasty seafood dishes and salads. As they are right on the beach, you can seat yourself right below coconut trees and even on the sand itself.

Budget Places

1. Prem Cafe & Restaurant ($)

117 Galle Street, Robolgoda, Bentota

This local restaurant is humble and quaint, but when it comes to their cooking, perfection is what people say. A simple and well cooked meal for a very low price is what you get here. Run by the friendly owner himself, this eatery has a welcoming vibe to it.

2. Happy Garden Café ($)

Opposite the Surf Hotel, Bentota

This Sri Lankan and fusion joint is vegetarian friendly and for those pickier eaters, is vegan too. Their rice and curries are raved over. If all you need is good food in a clean place, this is where you should be. Traditional local cuisine served by very authentic locals themselves, what more could you ask for?

3. The Red Fish ($$)

200/1 Robolgoda, Galle Road, Bentota

The Red Fish caters to international cuisine, and of course, Sri Lankan meals. This place offers great atmosphere and a filling meal at a good bargain. You can have healthy food while you watch the waves from this eatery. The view is something you’d remember for years to come. Family friendly, this is a safe haven for any type of visitor who is hungry after roaming the streets of Bentota.

4. Oceanview Restaurant ($)

204, Robolgoda, Bentota

Hidden in a garden and under palm trees, this is a find for those who want a comfy meal in an almost secluded restaurant without going broke. Run by a lovely family, the ambiance is relaxing and the food has nothing to be complained about. What more could you ask for on a vacation by the beach?Bentota is more than just gorgeous beaches, exciting watersports, and a relaxing Ayurvedic treatment. It’s affordable and delicious food to keep you going all day long! Stop by the beach shacks with budget food, or step into the high end restaurants where you can dig your feet into the sand and relax under the shade of a coconut tree. The food is Sri Lankan delicious, affordable, and the best part of the whole experience. We can’t wait to see you on the beach!