Sri Lankan cuisine is downright delicious. Even though I’m a pretty careful eater who has to gulp down three glasses of water after eating anything spicier than table pepper (as opposed to Sam, who is as gastronomically discerning as a garbage disposal), I enjoyed gorging on all manner of local dishes during our time Sri Lanka.
These are some of the best restaurants in Tangalle, Sri Lanka.
Where to Eat in Tangalle, Sri Lanka
The Tangalle Rice and Curry Restaurant
If you’re looking for some seriously tasty rice and curry—which, of course, you should be—head to The Tangalle Rice and Curry Restaurant and come hungry. The meal we ate there was hands-down the best of our two-week stay in Tangalle and one of my favorites of our entire trip.
While you can choose which meat (if any) you’d like with your meal, the rest of the menu is set. But don’t worry too much, because the assortment of five or six curries they serve you will blow your mind.
Our meal here cost 2,150 rupees, which was more expensive than what we typically paid elsewhere. But the quality definitely makes a meal here worth the expense.
It is located somewhat out of the main part of town, so you may need to take a tuk-tuk.
Order: Rice and curry, of course!
A2, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
No Worries Beach Café
For some good kottu or chocolate banana roti, check out No Worries Café. It offers heaping portions, friendly service, and affordable prices. Sam and I split an order of chicken kottu and could barely finish it!
It is only a short walk from Tangalle Beach and fairly accessible from the main tourist area of town.
The only downside is that, for some unfathomable reason, the proprietors have a tendency to blare Justin Bieber music videos with alarming frequency on the big-screen TV. I guess it really is a small world.
Order: Chicken kottu.
Pallikkudawa Road, Tangalle 82200, Sri Lanka
We ate at Mango Shade for dinner on Valentine’s Day after Sam realized too late that the restaurant where he planned to take me required a reservation. Oops! But we ended up being glad the original plan fell through, because our experience at Mango Shade was fantastic.
The atmosphere is fun and each table has a deck of playing cards to keep you busy while you’re waiting for your food. And it’s obviously popular. Every table was full when we visited.
Sam and I both ordered rice and curry, his with calamari and mine with chicken, and they both tasted fresh and delicious.
Order: Rice and curry.
No. 141 Pangngawana Mawatha, Tangalle 82200, Sri Lanka
The Trees Restaurant
The Trees Restaurant is a cute family-run operation not far from Tangalle Beach. The walls are decorated with appreciative notes from patrons from all over the world, and their rave reviews are justified. The food is amazing!
As with most restaurants in Sri Lanka, we found the portion sizes to be huge here (and that’s coming from people who live in America). Sam and I split a kottu and had plenty left over.
Order: kottu; curd and honey.
Pagngnawasa Mawatha | No.11/C Medilla., Tangalle 82200, Sri Lanka
We spent the morning roasting in the Sri Lankan heat the day we visited Vibes, so we were more than happy to sit back and enjoy a cold drink and good meal!
The service was somewhat slow, but that was something we found to be pretty common in Sri Lanka, because the food is typically prepared fresh to order. It certainly wouldn’t have dissuaded us from returning!
Order: Dahl and papadam
Madakatiya road, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
When we asked our guesthouse owner which restaurant he recommended, he sent us to Cactus Lounge, a nice little beachside restaurant with fairly good seafood (if like seafood, which I don’t). We ate dinner around sunset and the ocean views were great.
Just be sure to wear strong bug spray, because we found the mosquitos to be particularly vicious at beachfront restaurants in the evenings.
Order: Fresh-caught seafood
435/7 Matara Road, Tangalle, Sri Lanka, Tangalle 82200, Sri Lanka
Turtle Landing is a small restaurant with beachside seating and a lovely view of the Indian Ocean. Though it is located quite close to Cactus Lounge, it didn’t seem to be quite as crowded.
We might have visited on an off day, but we had to wait a long time to receive our food (we saw the chef get on his scooter and drive to the store to pick up a few ingredients!). But the food itself was tasty and the location is hard to beat.
Again, wear mosquito repellent if you’re eating in the evening and don’t want to spend the next week clawing at bug bites.
Order: Fresh seafood.
No. 443/3 Matara Road. | Pallikkudawa, Tangalle 82200, Sri Lanka
Moonstone Villa & Restaurant
Though we thoroughly enjoyed sampling the local Sri Lankan cuisine (I still crave kottu from time to time), at a certain point we were desperate to eat something that was a bit more…well…familiar. Enter Moonstone Villa & Restaurant, a pizza joint!
Though the pizza was honestly pretty average, it definitely fulfilled our need for a taste of home. We visited at least 3 times during our stay in Tangalle.
Not to sound like a broken record, but wear bug spray. The patio seating is surrounded by a garden that attracts so many mosquitos we spent half our meal swatting away bugs. Not the most pleasant experience.
Order: Pineapple bacon pizza. The pizza tends to be super cheese heavy, so ask the chef to go light on the cheese if you prefer to avoid a lactose overload.
336 Matara Road, Tangalle 82200, Sri Lanka
Further Reading: What to Pack for Sri Lanka: One Month in a Carry-On
Villa Ocean Waves
For a cheap meal that will fill you up, head to Villa Ocean Waves. We actually ate here on our first night in Tangalle and ended up returning multiple times during our trip because it was super close to the guesthouse where we stayed.
The portion sizes are massive and an added bonus is that there is free WiFi! Just ask your server for the password.
Order: Chicken fried rice
No. 330 Matara Road | No 330, Matara Road, Tangalle 82200, Sri Lanka
Blue Moon Restaurant
Another good spot to enjoy a meal near Tangalle Beach is the Blue Moon Restaurant. The servers are friendly, the food is tasty, and the prices are affordable. Just watch out for mosquitos!
Medaketiya Road, Tangalle 82200, Sri Lanka
Coffee Shop Cafe
Sri Lanka is the land of tea, but if you’re desperate for a coffee fix, head to Coffee Shop Cafe. Not only is it the only coffee shop in Tangalle, but it’s also surprisingly good. Sam is a total coffee snob. He buys and roasts all his own coffee at home. He gave it his stamp of approval.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a coffee drinker (being in a land where everyone drinks tea was heaven for me!). That said, they also serve killer pineapple milkshakes, so I was always just as eager to return as Sam was!
Another reason to hit up the coffee shop is because it’s so small you are bound to meet other travelers. Each time we visited, we ended up making new friends. And I’ve written an entire post on being an introvert, so this phenomenon really is noteworthy!
Order: An iced latte or a pineapple milkshake.
What is your favorite Sri Lankan specialty?
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