Sri Lankan food is finally cool. I mean really cool. Over the last few years, a swathe of super trendy restaurants has sprung up across London serving a modern take on authentic Sri Lankan food. Here’s my list of where to find the best Sri Lankan restaurants in London.
People are starting to find out what hoppers are, how satisfying chomping into a a mutton roll can be and discovering the joys of eating drumsticks.
I can’t keep up with the rate at which these Sri Lankan restaurants keep opening. I haven’t tried them all – so if you do – please let me know in the comments how you found them – good, bad, indifferent, let me know in the comments!
My top pick of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in London and beyond
Of course being Sri Lankan, I am blessed with some amazing restaurants that really showcase Sri Lankan food. Here is my personal pick of some of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in London:
Apollo Banana Leaf
Apollo Banana Leaf – when I first walked in here I was transported back to my granny’s kitchen in Colombo. This restaurant serves great Sri Lankan food, which uses coconut as its base (so very on-trend). Seafood is a Sri Lankan speciality – the crab curry is to die for. Try the hoppers, a Sri Lankan style pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk – just tear into pieces and dip into the delicious curries.
Address: 190 Tooting High St, London SW17 0SF
Tel: 020 8696 1423
When I last visited this place it was called Sekaras. Dammika’s a stone’s throw from Victoria Station. You can stop by here to fuel up on Sri Lankan food after a hard day’s sightseeing or shopping. And on Sunday, Dammika’s serves up a fantastic Sunday buffet feast – it’s well worth the trip.
Address: 3 Lower Grosvenor Pl, Westminster, London SW1W 0EJ UK
Tel: 020 7834 0722
Hop & Roll
Rosh is a lawyer and a street food entrepreneur who is bringing the uniquely Sri Lankan dish, hoppers, to London’s streets and into our homes.
Rosh has a street food stall at Venn Street Market, Clapham where you’ll find her dishing out hoppers once a month.
It’s Rosh’s passion for Sri Lankan cuisine, and a drive that is helping to bring authentic, traditional food to a wider audience.
During lockdown Rosh has been sending out hopper kits. These kits are helping Sri Lankan food enthusiasts create hoppers in their own homes. And to go with those homemade hoppers you can create your own cocktails with her Arrack cocktail kits.
Hoppers is a new breed of Sri Lankan restaurant. Opened by the team that have brought us Trishna, Motu and Brigadiers. This is high-end, incredibly well done Sri Lankan food. Hoppers was the first restaurant to Sri Lankan food mainstream which has only been a good thing.
49 Frith Street, London W1D 4SG – firstname.lastname@example.org
77 Wigmore Street, London W1U 1QE – 0203 319 8110
Unit 3, 4 Pancras Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AG
Go to Jaffna House, if you are looking for a restaurant that serves up authentic Sri Lankan cooking. This is a humble place, a cafe in the front, and a very small restaurant at the back. You aren’t here for the ambience, nor the service (be patient) you are here for the food. Jaffna House does real Sri Lankan food, hoppers, string hoppers, dosas, idlis. When I am here, I fill up on mutton and squid curries, all washed down with Lion larger.
Address: 90 Tooting High St, London SW17
Tel: 020 8672 7786
This restaurant’s claim to fame is the head chef – Malin de Silva, was a runner up in Master Chef professionals. The owners, to showcase the food they remember from the childhood. Kolamba is the Singhalese name for Sri Lanka’s captial city Colombo.
Address: 21 Kingly Street, London W1
Paradise is another of the next-gen of Sri Lankan restaurants. Its style is minimalist, brutalist. Based in the heart of Soho is this contemporary Sri Lankan restaurant serving food based on family recipes influenced by Portuguese, Malay, South Indian and Dutch cuisine.
Address: 61 Rupert St, Soho, London W1D 7PW
This restaurant is based in South Harrow and has branches in New Malden, Southall, East Ham, Barkingside, Croydon and its own bakery in Colindale. I’ve not been to this restaurant, but I get the feeling they cater for a local crowd (I grew up in the area) so expect food to be both authentic and hot. I’m crossing my fingers they’ll be coming to Tooting!
I am going to give Yhaal House a shout.
It’s not a restaurant, but a cafe and takeaway. Given the heat of the food, the chilli content, this place caters for a very local Sri Lankan clientele. This is where I go to stock up on Sri Lankan short eats such as roti rolls, patties, mutton rolls, fish cutlets, vadai. There’s also a good selection of authentic, fiery curries. Yhaal house is cheap and fantastic.
Address: 1 London Road, London SW17 9JP
Tel: 020 8767 7688
Sri Lankan restaurants outside London
I first came across Colombo Kitchen when they are just a catering operation. They came and catered for my birthday serving my guests freshly made dosas on-site and a selection of Sri Lankan short eats – mutton rolls, samosas and patties. It’s great to see they have got a restaurant. They are based out in Worcester Park – and they’ll be worth the trek.
And I love that their head chef is a woman, Sylvia Perera – queen of hoppers! And recently won the coveted award of Surrey chef
Address: 25 -27 Central Rd, Worcester Park, KT4 8EG
Website: Colombo Kitchen
This is a new addition to the Sri Lankan foodie scene. This restaurant is based out in Bromley it boasts private dining offering traditional Sri Lankan recipes with a modern twist.
Address: 32 East Street, Bromley BR1 1QU
Website: Copper Ceylon
K + K
K + K’s food is so good. Their lamprais is second to none. For the uninitiated, lamprais is a selection of rice and curries packed neatly into a banana leaf. Truly Sri Lankan. And while you’re tucking into your lamprais, treat yourself to some mutton rolls or fish cutlets. And don’t worry if you’re vegetarian or vegan there’s plenty to choose from. I can recommend their jackfruit curry and the seeni sambol.
The three founders of K+K founders grew up in Sri Lanka. I think you will agree there is something magical about Sri Lankan street food. The combination of their passion for Sri Lankan food, memories of trips to Sri Lankan food markets helped the trio seal their bond to become business partners and share their passion for Sri Lankan cuisine with the rest of the world.
Adress: Unit 34-35, BoxPark, 99 George St, Croydon CR0 1LD
And, some of the best Indian restaurants in Tooting
I can’t leave you without giving you a round-up of some of Tooting’s fantastic curry houses. OK, so we might have trendy pop up places offering you sharing plates. But if you are in Tooting – try out one of our fantastic curry houses before you leave.
Dosa & Chutney
Dosa & Chutney – this family favourite specialises in South Indian crispy pancakes with a spicy potato filling. My kids love the kid’s dosa, but have now moved on to chicken 65. This restaurant always makes the listings of best Indian and Sri-Lankan restaurants in Tooting. I love the mutton masala dosa. It also serves a good selection of Sri Lankan starters including mutton rolls, fish cutlets, vadai (spicy lentil doughnuts). Ignore the orange décor and wall-to-wall mirrors and enjoy a great meal for under a tenner.
Address: 68 Tooting High St, London SW17 0RN
Tel: 020 8767 9200
Vijaya Krishna is heading out of the main drag of Tooting’s Indian restaurants. But it’s been a fixture in Tooting for the last 25 years. About three years ago the restaurant had a revamp, and now it’s super stylish. The restaurant specialises in South Indian food, in particular, Kerela. And the food is delicious!
Address: 114 Mitcham Rd, London SW17 9NG
Spice Village, in Tooting Bec, is well worth a mention serving North Indian and Pakistani food. The restaurant is bright, busy, and popular with local families.
Address: 32 Upper Tooting Road, London SW17
Website: Spice Village
Tel: 020 8672 0710
Another favourite of ours, Lahore Karahi. This restaurant serves Pakistani food, and I can highly recommend the masala lamb chops and the chicken karahi. This is a bright bustling restaurant, with quick service and easy on the wallet.
Address: 1 Tooting High St, London SW17 0SN
Tel: 020 8767 2477