Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo isn’t renowned for its trendy cafe culture (did you even know it had one? I didn’t!), but with a handful of stylish and healthy hangouts emerging in the city, it’s certainly becoming a contender for the hipster epicentre of Sri Lanka.
With other awesome adventures elsewhere on the island calling, most travellers choose to bypass the capital altogether. But with great coffee, healthy eats and plenty of general good vibes, there’s a few hangouts in Colombo that’ll make you want to stay… even if it’s just for one night before or after a flight. I know we all love getting out for a good adventure with Mother N, but sometimes spending time in the city is inevitable. So I’m going to tell you where to find all the little gems you can escape to.
Dotted around city, down back alleys and in little courtyards on main roads are hidden, spacious, colourful and tasty hangouts in Colombo – coming complete with all of the hipster feels of course. The truth is, you just have to know where to find them! In this post I’ve included my top 9 hangout spots PLUS a map to help you find your bearings.
#1 Cafe Kumbuk
For: Chilled brunch vibes.
Try: The turmeric bread avocado toast with poached eggs.
With it’s shady terrace, buzzy atmosphere and tiles that’s have you taking all the foot shots, Cafe Kumbuk is one not to miss if you are looking for a hangout in Colombo. Trendy locals and travellers alike congregate at this cafe that oozes all the traditional Sri Lanka feels but with all your fave health fixes. With yoga on site and a cute little shop, hanging out at Cafe Kumbuk could last for hours… enjoy! FYI Closed on Mondays.
#2 The Good Market – Saturday Market
For: Feel-good market vibes, fresh juices, great little sustainable trinkets and a fresh local feed.
Try: The Healthy Up include a new world-fave ingredient; Gotukola.
If you happen to be in Colombo on a Saturday, be sure to hit up this market! You’ll find everything your inner hipster desires, from fresh juices to fresh Sri Lankan dishes and all of the ethically conscious trinkets in between. I recommend heading there on an empty stomach, with tote bag in hand to put all your gorgeous gifts and souvenirs to take back home.
#3 The Good Market – Cafe & Shop
For: Fresh food from the internal pop ups, health food stock ups and relax-on-the-patio vibes.
Try: The virgin coconut oil for evening swills (if you love coconut pulling!) and the coconut & cacao spread for adding a bit of love to your toast.
A lovely little space that’ll make you feel at home if all of the healthy and organic foods are your jam. In fact, this place is a social enterprise which consists of 3 independent businesses collaborating (I love a collaboration!); The Good Market food store, Life Food juice bar and Brown Bean coffee shop. If you want health food stock ups, this place has it all as well!
#4 Plus Nine Four
For: Good coffee, iced tea and digital nomading.
Try: The Gunpowder Green tea, mint & passionfruit iced tea or double espresso – it’s all so good!
Set in an unassuming neighbourhood down a sleepy street is this hidden gem; Plus Nine Four. With a stunning painted mural on the wall, this place has recently opened it’s doors to coffee-lovers. They have a small hot food menu which they intend to switch up every 6 months, and every Sunday they have kitchen pop ups so check out their Facebook Page for more info if you’re looking for a surprise! The burgers are all available after 12pm daily. And if you like sipping on something a little cold? No need to BYO metal straws, they got the memo. BRB I’m off for a burger splurge!
#5 Cafe Nuga
For: Fresh healthy foods and epic iced teas.
Try: The curry bowl.
Vegan? No worries, this place has you covered. Not vegan? No worries, this place also has you covered. Great for a brunch, lunch or even dinner spot, enjoy the fresh decor and inspiring quotes on the wall along with the healthy food as you hangout here. No need to BYO metal straws here, Cafe Nuga got the memo already. Stock up on your superfoods and organic treats here too as they have a little shop selling these.
#6 Black Cat Cafe
For: Good coffee, a place to stay and digital nomading vibes.
Try: The Gone Troppo fruit and granola dish and fresh passionfruit juice.
Delicious healthy food, incredible coffee and all the digital nomad vibes you can handle; even if you aren’t planning to get the laptop out this is a shady and cool hangout that’ll keep you well fed and offer little respite from the Colombo heat on exploring days. You’ll love it so much you want to stay there. And good news… you can because it’s an air bnb too!
#7 Park Street Mews
For: Socialising and dining.Relaxing in a buzzy atmosphere for drinks with bae or new travel friends.
Try: Monsoon restaurant and Curve Bar.
If you want nightlife, Park Street Mews is the way to go; a little pedestrianised street in the heart of Colombo – with an EPIC pice of wall art to go with it – head to Curve Bar for a couple of cocktails al fresco first (BYO steel straws) before hitting up Monsoon restaurant for some South East Asian foodie finds.
#8 My Little Island Hostel
For: Travel & chill, read a book or be a digital nomad.
Try: Appreciating all the reclaimed furniture feels and free tea and coffee.
Set on Galle Road in Colombo 3, My Little Island Hostel opened it’s doors to travellers this year. And we are so thrilled it did! Featuring dorms with double beds (perfect if you are travelling as a couple), free tea and coffee any time of day, and a bright and colourful hangout area, you’ll want to not only hangout here but you’ll want to bed down here too. Well, you kind of have to bed down here if you want to hangout here but you get the idea. It’s a rad hangout spot!
#9 Smokey’s The Brownie Bar
For: Vegan brownies
Try: The vegan brownies
And if you’re not vegan, don’t let that put you off! Set outside of the city centre, on the coust that runs south from Colombo, in Mount Lavina, this hangout spot gives you a chance to escape the city hustle and chill out beach-side. And stuff your face full of vegan choccie brownies too of course!
Find Your Bearings
Here’s a map to show the location of all those hangouts.
PIN IT FOR LATER
MORE FROM COLOMBO
With thanks to my local babe Cat Douglas for helping me find these little gems. x