By Lisa on May 08, 2016 with Comments 1
Well this isn’t going to be a very long post!
If you are looking for places to eat in Habarana then the chances are you are staying there for a few days while you visit Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle.
Restaurants in Habarana
The restaurants in Habarana are very few and far between so if you are staying in Habarana, you can prepare yourself for plenty of home-cooked food at your guesthouse or some really tiny local places with good food, cheap prices and questionable hygiene standards…
In Habarana we ate plenty of kottu in what seemed to be shops with a few tables and chairs inside and a roti/kottu hut on the front. We’d sit among the packets of biscuits and jars of pickle, guzzling our ginger beer and chomping on kottu.
There are a few other choices of where to eat in Habarana and the following are where we ate in Habarana:
(Note: we had breakfast included in the rate of our room in Habarana and we mostly skipped lunch or grabbed a quick snack, so the meals we ate out were nearly always at dinner time).
Dudley’s was a favourite of ours for a fresh ginger beer and delicious kottu on the upstairs terrace of the restaurant.
Dudley’s is on the Habarana cross-roads just by the petrol station – not to be confused with Dudley’s Guest House which is elsewhere in Habarana, owned by the same family.
For the restaurant, look out for the neon sign – I think it’s the only neon sign in Habarana!
The owner is friendly and chatty (likes to plug his guesthouse but it was a bit out of our budget). The food is good and there’s a nice atmosphere. Wifi is advertised but was on the blink the few times that we visited.
This restaurant seems to have erratic opening times if any set times at all. Don’t be surprised if you go there at what seems like a logical time for a meal and find it closed.
We went here to have a meal at a proper restaurant, and I have to say it is a very pretty restaurant: semi outdoor, all lit up by candles.
It is located on the Dambulla Road, walking from Habarana cross-roads towards Dambulla about 10 minutes on the right. The entrance, on a dark, uneven dirt track is a bit tricky.
At Dewata Village they offer Sri Lankan rice and curry buffet and it is good. We found it not good enough to return but good enough to have enjoyed the meal and the evening in general.
It was our most expensive meal in Habarana at 1,200rs/pp (8€) for the buffet.
When we visited it was Habarana’s no.1 restaurant on Trip Advisor.
Thuruliya Guest House
The last evening that we were in Habarana we asked the guy from our guest house if there could be any option of dining there, even though they do not advertise it.
He said yes and asked us if we fancied some rice with dhal curry.
And rice with dhal curry was basically what we got. It cost us 800rs (5.30€) for both of us and we were served string hoppers, dhal curry, coconut sambol, a fried egg and tea. And all for under 3€ per person.
The food was not great but it was good.
Regardless of whether you are staying at Thuruliya Guest House like us, or elsewhere, do ask your host about an evening meal and I’m sure they’ll arrange something for you.
Other Places to Eat in Habarana
Other places that we ate at in Habarana were the small restaurants near the cross roads. Just walk up the street and see where there seems to be some activity.
Sometimes you will be a bit unsure of what to ask for at these little local places and the people will likewise be unsure what to offer you. Just remember, you can’t go wrong with a kottu. And it will always be cheap.
Toni and I ate in what appeared to be a grocery shop across the road from Dudley’s. We had a chicken kottu, a veg rice and two ginger beers all for the grand sum of 650rs (4.30€) for both of us.
My Overall Impression of Food in Habarana
After just a few hours in Colombo, Habarana was the first proper place we stayed in Sri Lanka. I have to say, our first impressions of local food were that it was tame, repetitive and not very exciting.
Naturally, over the course of the following three weeks that we spent in Sri Lanka, we grew to appreciate the delicate flavours more. For example, rice and curry went from being this odd concoction of mini dishes each featuring just one vegetable to an explosion of flavour and colour and a fun experience in which we enjoyed trying each curry on its own and then mixing and matching to make fun, unique dishes.
When we were in Habarana we still didn’t understand the Sri Lankan food – we were still learning. But even so, I think the food we had in other parts of the country was much better than what was on offer in Habarana.
But it’s also true that if we’d visited Habarana last instead of first on our trip we might have appreciated the food there more.
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....