Sri Lankan cuisine offers a great deal of variety to people who love spices – and for those who don’t too – as well as for vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. You’ll find delectable curries made with an eclectic range of different ingredients – from meat and seafood to vegetables, lentils, pickled achcharu and sambols – to mallums, which consist of sauteed veggies with some coconut, chilli and spices. It’s incredibly mouthwatering stuff and luckily for us, London offers up some of the best grub that can transport you to Sri Lanka from the very first bite. Here’s a rundown of seven of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in London:
One of the most famous Sri Lankan restaurants in London, Hoppers, is a Michelin Bib Gourmand-listed chain with outlets dotted about in Soho, Marylebone and King’s Cross. The Sethi siblings who run the Michelin-starred Gymkhana own this cherished spot, and their cuisine is inspired by both Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu in South India. Their hoppers – a traditional dish made of rice batter dipped in coconut milk and dosas – pull in people from all across the capital time and time again. No wonder then that many consider it to be one of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in London.
Their food menu offers a variety of tastes for everyone. The starters like ‘mutton rolls with Sri Lankan ketchup’ set the bar high for the next set of courses that keep flying out of the kitchen. They’ve got a whole host of spicy options like the unmissable ‘hot butter squid’ or the ‘devilled paneer’, as well as the ‘upcountry aubergine red curry’ from the vegetarian menu. Combine all this with the ‘jackfruit and mushroom kothu roti’ (stuffed flatbreads), and you’ve got yourself a real meal to remember. If you can’t pick, go for the dosas, which are a classic go-to, and wash it down with arrack and genever-based cocktails and drinks. We’ll cheers to that.
You’ll find Hoppers at various locations in London. You can find out more here.
Slow-cooked meats, bare brick walls, cosy ambience and aroma lift your spirits from the moment you walk in at Kolamba, one of the most well-liked Sri Lankan restaurants in London. This place is pure heaven for vegetarians, and the menu serves cherished home recipes and brilliant dishes like the ‘vaira’s jaggery beef’, which is marinated in jaggery and spices overnight before being slow-cooked the next day.
Similarly, the ‘hot butter cuttlefish’ and ‘pork fry’ set the bar high and must not be missed. In the mood for some lighter dishes? Order the hoppers, the dosas, the sambols, the ‘cashew fry’ – which is as good as it sounds – and the ‘dhall’ (lentil) which can be mopped up with roti. The service here is efficient, and the ambience is relaxed. Even better? It’s brilliant value for money. Win, win.
You’ll find Kolamba at 21 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5QA. Nearest station is Oxford Circus.
A cool food place with a dart board, friendly ambience and food that will make you practically drool, Karapincha has really cemented itself as being one of the best places for Sri Lankan food in London. The ‘kothu rotti’ with chicken and egg or lamb is probably one of the best in the city, and the taste will linger days after you’ve had it – trust us.
Their string hoppers in prawn curry or egg hoppers in chicken curry practically transport you to Sri Lanka itself, and will make you want to keep coming back for even more. However, the real star of the show for vegans is the ‘vegetable kothu rotti’ served with pineapple pirattal – it’s no wonder that it’s considered one of the best in town. A street food favourite, you’ll get good sized portions for a great price – and that’s what keeps people coming back for more.
You’ll find Karapincha at three different locations in London. You can find out more here.
Don’t be deceived by the small setup; Dammikas’ food will blow your mind (and tastebuds) away. This diner-like restaurant – whose speciality is seasonal British ingredients with Sri Lankan seasoning – won an award a the London Curry Awards in 2019, and punters love their home-style cooking. They’re also just a hop, skip and jump from Buckingham Palace – oh darling!
The lamprais they serve are real crowd-pullers, especially with chicken, and the hoppers are cooked just right and make for a great starter. Their cuttlefish fry, fit cutlets and chicken rolls are nothing short of extraordinary, and if you want to go down the spice route, order the ‘Sri Lankan prawn devil’ or the chicken curry. Looking for something lighter? Go for the lentil (daal) with some rice and then order some string hoppers on the side. They’re decent portions that will fill you up for a decent price.
You’ll find Dammikas at 3 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EJ. Nearest station is Victoria.
Looking for some Sri Lankan food that tickles your taste buds, makes your tastebuds tingle, and doesn’t lighten your wallet? Well – that’s Adchaya for you. This Sri Lankan restaurant offers incredibly delicious food for really affordable prices, and they’re well-known for their tasty meals and excellent and super-fast customer service. The simple interior confirms their main focal point: the food!
Their seafood kothu and keerai puttu with fried fish are outstanding, and completely worth every penny you spend. They also whip up some pretty excellent Indian grub here too – takeaways are also available.
You will find Adchaya at 164 Merton High Street, London, SW19 1AZ. Nearest station is South Wimbledon.
6. Everest Curry King
Looking in from the outside, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Everest Curry King was nothing really to write about home about. But one taste of the mouthwatering food on offer here, and you’ll swiftly change you mind. Drawing people in from far and wide, it offers fantastic food at brilliant prices – no wonder then that they’ve raked in rave reviews for years.
The boneless lamb curry, aubergine curry and mutton rolls are utterly delicious and standouts from the menu, and there are also great options for vegans and vegetarians like the idlis served with sambar and green chutney, various kothu rotis or any of the dosas. They’re also BYOB too.
You will find the Everest Curry King at 24 Loampit Hill, London SE13 7SW. Nearest stations are Lewisham and St John’s.
7. Serendip Flavours
Why does a restaurant that only offers kerbside pickup, deliveries and takeaways feature on this list of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in London we hear you ask? Well the answer’s simple. Their food is one of the most authentic examples of Sri Lankan cuisine you will find anywhere in the British capital. Here, you’ll get filling portions at great prices and a menu drenched in flavours. If you’re looking for some authentic chicken lamprais, you’ve come to the right spot. It is their speciality and a must-try.
The chicken curry and kothu roti are tempting and delicious, and if you like chicken curry that doesn’t leave you sweating, then order the ‘chicken panang curry’. It’s only mildly spiced and yet packed full of flavour – sounds pretty damn good to us.
You’ll find Serendip Flavours at Arch 18, Elenor Street, London E3 4UR. You can order from them here.
Sri Lankan cuisine offers incredible flavours to vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike from the first bite. This list of seven of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in London definitely does it justice we think!