There are tonnes of cafes in Galle so it might seem hard to pick the best ones, especially if you are short on time and don't want to waste a meal at a bad cafe! I sampled a good number of cafes while I was in Galle and below I've written about my favourite ones.
Poonies has become famous among travellers heading to Galle. Sometimes these kinds of places live off that reputation and aren’t up to the hype so I went with an open mind, but boy was it good. The vibe was relaxed and friendly but had all the cool touches we’ve come to expect from our hip cafes. Think murals on the walls, a fishpond, bright colours and a reading shelf filled with books.
But more than the décor the food was incredible; healthy, fresh and tasty, what more could you want? I opted for the salad bowl which came with a delicious dressing made from local Sri Lankan style yoghurt called ‘curd’ and I couldn’t resist the plantain chips with ginger mayo. These chips are like our British crisps but were absolutely fantastic, crispy with a little sweetness, a little saltiness and lots of flavour and when dipped into the ginger mayo, they really were great.
Exotic Roots is all sorts of cool. A super chill café with an upmarket vibe that left you feeling like you could be sitting in a Parisian boutique café. The service here was great: slick and friendly. I didn’t sample any of their food, there is only so much food one girl can eat when in Galle, but I did have some of their spiced kombucha which was the perfect antidote to the heat. The café is out the back of a boutique so just head on in and make your way to the back where a courtyard opens up to the skies. They kindly moved a table to the shade for me without me even asking which is always nice. And as you make your way through the boutique have a look at some of the stuff they sell, they’ve got a great range from affordable to high-end depending on your budget.
Secret Garden I stayed at the Secret Garden so I ate breakfast here both days I was in Galle but it definitely didn’t matter. Breakfasts here are large and healthy, setting you up well for you day ahead. The breakfasts come in at around 1000lkr which sounds like a lot but translates to about £4.50 so a bargain really. There are quite a few choices to pick from, all with tea or coffee. My best breakfast was the oat bowl with cranberries and cashews. The fresh fruit platter has bananas, papaya, mango, pineapple and watermelon, but if you would rather have your fruit blended you can opt for a juice instead of the platter. The café has indoor and outdoor seating and has probably the largest number of seats of all the cafes I went to so might be a good option in high season.
‘Hoppers’ is a small establishment on the main street, pedlars street. The menu is a fun take on a Sri Lankan speciality the hopper. Whether you opt for plain, egg or cheese you can get a good taste of what is now my favourite Sri Lankan food. There are other options too, should you be bored of hoppers (trust me this is not possible), but if it is the case there are curry, rice and daal options too. The service is friendly and all at a reasonable cost considering it’s prime location!