11 of the Best Restaurants & Cheap Eats in Mount Lavinia

The Dutch, Portugese, British, and now native Sri Lankan’s have all loved Mount Lavinia, and you will too.

But it’s the food that will surely grab your heart.

This busy city has so many places to eat that you won’t be able to stop at them all, but it sure will be fun to try!

Best Food Experiences

1. Hot Butter Cuttlefish at Loon Tao

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

Relax under the moon at Loon Tao, a place serving the best fish delicacies in Mt Lavinia. Located by the sea on a shack on the beach, Loon Tao is a seafood lover’s paradise. The menu is huge and has loads of veg options too but non-veg fare takes the cake. Relish the delish fish, shrimp, and crab dishes under the moonlight while listening to some perfect country music. The crispy Calamari is super delicious and an absolute must have. If you’re looking for some mouth-watering HBC, head Loon Tao where you’ll get the best finger-lickin’ Hot butter cuttlefish that you will savor for days to come. Beautiful setting by the Indian Ocean and delectable seafood – what more does one want?

2. Home-cooked food at The Angler

Heading a few hundred meters away from the sea you’ll see a line of large smooth barked palms and a yellow sign in a residential block. That’s The Angler – it is like entering into someone’s living room for a warm, homely dining experience. The cooking is the star of the place with fresh tuna curry cooked in coconut oil, served with poppadams and pickles. The authentic Sri Lankan food gives you a feel of the homestay and is super hygienic – fresh and direct from the market. You can also have their fish curry served with veggies and sambol.

3. Grilled steaks at La Voile Blanche

La Voile Blanche is a chic all-white washed beachside restaurant in Mount Lavinia. Although La Voile Blanche is a beachside restaurant, they don’t just focus on seafood. The restaurant is very famous for its delicacies straight from the grill – specially the steaks. With its fast service and friendly hospitality, this one scores higher than most beach side restaurants. The restaurant has a fairly wide variety when it comes to steaks. The menu comprises Tuna Steak, Rib-eye steak, Tenderloin Steak, Fillet of steer fish, Crab steak among others. The steaks come with seasonal vegetables, sauces and a side dish of your choice. If you still want to go for the tried and tested seafood, go for the seafood kebabs and mixed seafood platter. This quaint neat place with a backdrop of the mighty Indian Ocean is a must-visit.

4. Seafood at Seafood Cove

Image of Steamed Rice with Shrimp and Lobster sri lanka
Steamed Rice with Shrimp and Lobster sri lanka | Source: Maithreebhanu/Dreamstime.com

Seafood Cove has an excellent location on Mt Lavinia Hotel’s private beach area; you can enjoy your meal and take in the view of the ocean.

For evening dinner the restaurant hosts a market where you select and buy fresh fish, prawns, lobster, etc. and then get it cooked the way you want. 

If the ocean’s catch your thing, this is the place where you can have a soup to mains meal consisting of the best of the sea.

Start off with a crab bisque which is heavily spiced and contains the right flavor.

For the starters, you can choose the fish and chips – trust us, they are the best in town!

Choosing the mains is a little difficult because everything on the platter is so fresh and yummy that it’s tough to choose one.

But , try the garlic buttered prawns, grilled tuna, and steamed garupa for a wholesome platter., while the crab fillets in aioli sauce are like a dream.

Fine Dining

1. Governor’s Restaurant, Mount Lavinia Hotel ($$$)

Mount Lavinia Hotel, 100, Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia | 011 2711711 | www.mountlaviniahotel.com/dining/governors-restaurant

Governors Restaurant serves up an authentic experience with a little bit of fusion thrown in for adventure.

They have live counters making Sri Lankan dishes, and the aromas wafting from it is heavenly.

The colonial setting, comfortable seating, charming hosts, and fine dining experience is exactly what you need for a perfect vacation.

2. Loon Tao ($$$)

Beachfront, 43/12, College Avenue, Mount Lavinia | 011 2722723 | www.loontao.com

Staying true to its name, Loon Tao serves only the best of Cantonese food. Their fried rices and succulent meat dishes are the talk of the town. The fact that you overlook the sea as you dine is just icing on the cake. Their fresh fruit salads are pure joy and a must try if you ever venture in.

3. La Rambla ($$$)

69, Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia | 011 2 725403

This Italian restaurant focuses on seafood, and if reviews are anything to go by, they serve the freshest catch in town! La Rambla prides itself on fine dining with a flourish. Their decor is minimal yet impressive. It is the place to be in if all you love is great food that takes you out of this world.

4. The Shore by O! ($$$)

Beachfront, 43/14, College Avenue, Mount Lavinia | 011 4 389428

This casual yet fine dining resto bar is the ultimate vacation meal destination. The tables overlooking the sea, coconut trees waving about, and the wind whistling around you is all you need. But wait, there’s more. This place has the best cuttlefish fries and their seafood starters are praised often.

Family and Casual Dining

1. Jo-Jo’s Place ($$)

Beachfront, 43/6A, De Alwis Avenue, Mount Lavinia

Set up right on the sands of the Mount Lavinia beach, this is indeed a sight to see. Good food, a great view, and a calm atmosphere awaits at Jo-Jo’s Place. Their cuisine is a fusion of Sri Lankan and Chinese foods, a very commonly sought after taste in the island. At this eatery, you can bring your own beer and just pay corkage charges.

2. Chinese Dragon Café ($$)

203A, Galle Road, Ratmalana Dehiwala, Mount Lavinia, Colombo

Known around Mount Lavinia as being the best place to eat nasi goreng, this Chinese cafe is a fusion of the locals favourite international cuisines. Be it authentic Chinese dragon chicken or Sri Lankan rotis, this eatery serves it all at a very reasonable price.

3. Queen’s Cafe ($$)

198, Galle Road, Mount Lavinia, Colombo

Focusing on American, Chinese, and North Indian cuisines, this place is a well-known hangout for local youngsters. Usually not very crowded, you’d be shocked when you taste the food and wonder why there isn’t a line flocking up to the door! Their milkshakes are well known around town, and if you want a good spot to wind down, this is it.

4. Bixton Street Café ($$)

9, Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia, Colombo

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 burgers and fresh juices. This will be a refreshing change from the spicy local cuisine, and is an ideal spot if you want a break and chill after a day out in Mount Lavinia.

Budget Friendly Dining

1. Little Star ($)

274, Galle Road, Mount Lavinia, Colombo

This bakery is a great breakfast stop for those travelling within a budget. They offer a variety of cakes and pastries. Cheap, quality food at a convenient location, Little Star is worth a visit.

2. Hotel De Pilawoos ($)

275, Galle Road, Mount Lavinia, Mount Lavinia, Colombo

This restaurant prides themselves on being the best in the island for kothu rottis. Their most raved about dish is the delectable cheese and chicken kothu—which you can get at a very low price. The upside is that they serve huge quantities.

3. Big Bite Biriyani ($)

485, Galle Road, Mount Lavinia, Colombo

Image of Yummy healthy indian chicken biriyani sri lanka
Yummy healthy indian chicken biriyani sri lanka | Source: Tusharkoley /Dreamstime.com

A simple hole in the wall type of place known for its biryanis, Big Bite prides itself on serving the yummiest in town. For a very low cost, one parcel of biriyani brings you spices and aromas that are hard to compete with, even by the high standard restaurants in Mount Lavinia.

Mount Lavinia is a hot spot for many reasons, and many of them are the food! This busy place offers plenty of variety for even the pickiest palattes, and soft prices for the pickiest wallets! Enjoy Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan, Western food, and more! You can pick fine dining, budget, or standard options. Grab a napkin and tuck in!