Shady Lanes Arugam Bay

14 Drool-Worthy Restaurants in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Arugam Bay is a rugged tropical paradise situated on the east coast of Sri Lanka. 

Arugam Bay is best known for its epic surfing scene and abundance of wildlife

However, what most people don’t realise is that Arugam Bay is quite the foodie haven with a whole host of restaurants to cater to everyone’s tastebuds. 

For such a small town the food scene in Arugam Bay is truly impressive

From the most delicious local eats to some very scrumptious Western brunches, the restaurants in Arugam Bay really don’t disappoint. 

I spent just over a month in Arugam Bay and tried and tested some of the best (and worst) restaurants in town. 

So, whilst my waistband does feel a little tighter, there is a silver lining in the fact that I feel hugely qualified to tell you about all of the best restaurants in Arguam Bay. 

So what are the best restaurants in Arugam Bay

Read on below to find out. 

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Mothers Kitchen 

⭐Customer Rating: 4.7/5 
💰Cost: $

Mother’s Kitchen hand-down has to be THE BEST local restaurant in Arugam Bay. 

From kottu rottis to rice and curry buffets to fresh fish they really do not do a dish wrong. 

Out of the month I spent in Arugam Bay I think I went to mothers kitchen at least 15-20 times. 

If that doesn’t tell you just how good it is then I don’t know what will. 

I recommend trying the egg kottu. It is the best kottu I have tried in Sri Lanka, and I have spent a total of 4 months in Sri Lanka over 3 different trips, so many Kottus have been tried and tested. 

Mothers Kitchen is always packed, especially in the evening when the rice and curry buffet begins (around 6:30 pm), so make sure to get there a little early to secure your seat. 


⭐Customer Rating: 4.6/5 
💰Cost: $ 

Perera is an unassuming little “hole in the wall” style restaurant but it’s definitely another local hot spot that is worth a visit. 

If you’re looking for delicious but budget-friendly eats then this is one of the best restaurants in Arugam Bay for this. 

One of the best picks on the menu has to be their traditional Sri Lanka breakfast of string hoppers and dhal. 

Another great option is sampling some of their freshly made coconut roti. 

Salty Swamis

⭐Customer Rating: 4.8/5 
💰Cost: $$$

Salty Swamis is a beachfront restaurant and surf shop and is the ideal spot for those who want to enjoy a spot of lunch whilst listening to the sound of the ocean as the waves crash on the shore. 

There are too many awesome options to choose from on this menu but if I could recommend one thing it has to be their chicken schnitzel sandwiches – it’s one of the best I have ever had. 

Oh, and if you have a mild Milo obsession (if you know you know) then they also do a very tasty Milo milkshake. 

Their beautiful garden cabanas adorned with colourful, comfy cushions will also make you feel super relaxed and make it very hard to leave. 

Mr Fisherman

⭐Customer Rating: 4.6/5 
💰Cost: $-$$

If you’re looking for a drool-worthy fish restaurant in Arugam Bay then Mr Fisherman is it. 

Whether you want a fish curry, or to pick out your very own fish and have it cooked up for you on the BBQ, Mr fisherman has you covered. 

The prices here are also extremely reasonable considering you’re getting the freshest fish possible. 

If you’re keen to try other fish restaurants in Arugam Bay then “The Sketch” and “Serendib” also come highly recommend, they both have very similar customer rates and price points as Mr Fisherman. 

Shady Lanes

⭐Customer Rating: 5/5 
💰Cost: $$ 

Shady Lanes is a Western-style restaurant that truly deserves its 5/5 customer rating. 

The restaurant is nestled in a shady garden oasis in the back streets of Arugam Bay. 

Their menu leaves you spoilt for choice. 

Choose from their “toast and toppers” offering which allows you to build your perfect eggs-on-toast brunch, or their healthy burgers, bowls and fruity chia puddings. 

Not forgetting to mention their champion dish (in my eyes) which has to be their fruity French toast drizzled with lashings peanut butter. 

I’m not sure how they do it but it tastes like pure magic in the mouth. 

Onsite you’ll also find a small boutique store with some very beautiful clothes (I couldn’t resist picking up a wrap skirt). 

If you’re a fashionista I’m sure you’ll find it very difficult not to pick something up too.

Shady Lanes was definitely my favourite brunch restaurant in Arugam Bay so do not miss this place off your Arugam Bay Itinerary.

Buffet Arugam Bay

⭐Customer Rating: 4.7/5 
💰Cost: $

If you’re looking for a cheap but delicious rice and curry buffet then a trip to Buffet Arugam Bay is in order. 

You can get an all-you-can-eat buffet for less than 1000lkr and add on extras like egg, chicken and fish for as little as 100-500lkr. 

They also hold regular live music nights here so perfect for a chilled evening out too. 

Looking for more Sri Lanka inspiration? Check out my other guides here.


⭐Customer Rating: 4.7/5 
💰Cost: $$

Meori’s is a beautiful brunch cafe with Indian Ocean views. 

They offer a small but tasty brunch menu specialising in smoothie bowls. 

Whilst their food is good, I personally think their coffee is great and they probably have the best coffee in town. 

I visited Meori’s every single day whilst I was in Arugam Bay for my morning coffee because I loved it there so much. 

The staff here are also super friendly and welcoming which just adds to the overall experience. 

They also have a branch on the south coast in Ahangama


⭐Customer Rating: 4.8/5 
💰Cost: $

Emily’s has to be one of the fanciest restaurants in Arugam Bay that offers an awesome dining experience. 

Their food is fresh, colourful and locally sourced. 

On the menu, you can find dishes such as ceviche, tuna steak, tiger prawns and nourishing veggie bowls and burgers. 

Emily’s is a very popular spot in town and the space is quite small so make sure to get there early to nab yourself a seat. 

East Falafel

⭐Customer Rating: 4.8/5 
💰Cost: $$

If you’re anything like me then a hummus and falafel craving will be a very regular occurrence in your life. 

Whilst you’re in Arguam Bay, East Falafel is here to tend to all of your hummus and falafel craving needs. 

Whether you want a full-on falafel wrap or just a bit of hummus to dip some pita bread in, East Falafel has you covered.

This has been hailed as some of the best Middle Eastern food in Sri Lanka so why not give it a try and make your own opinion? 


⭐Customer Rating: 4.2/5 
💰Cost: $$

Surf’n’Sun is a cute hotel and cafe hidden in a leafy garden oasis on the main road. 

The service here can take a little while (so maybe don’t come here when you’re extremely hungry) but the food and coffee are super nice and definitely worth the wait. 

I recommend trying the omelette wrap or the cheesy chicken melt to start your day off right.


⭐Customer Rating: 4.7/5
💰Cost: $

Samanthi’s is an unassuming little gem en route to Main Point surf break. 

Here you can find some seriously delicious traditional Sri Lankan food like rice and curry and coconut rotti. 

You can also pick up some incredible pumpkin rotti here (something I’ve not seen in the rest of my travels in Sri Lanka). 

But, what I loved most about Samanthi’s is the peanut butter and banana smoothie bowl. 

I don’t know about you but I hate it when my smoothie bowls are packed with too many ingredients, so I was delighted when I came across this one at Samanthi’s. 

Simple ingredients but packed with flavour! 

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Squeeze Me

⭐Customer Rating: 4.3/5 
💰Cost: $$

Squeeze Me is one of the only fully vegan restaurants in Arugam Bay. 

The food here is so delicious that for a meat-eater like myself I definitely didn’t feel like I was “missing” anything. 

Squeeze Me was another one of my favourite breakfast spots in Arugam Bay and I absolutely loved their fruity oats with homemade peanut butter on the side. 

Hopper Man

⭐Customer Rating: 4.3/5 
💰Cost: $

Hopper Man is the ultimate street food restaurant in Arugam Bay he’s been here for 8 years and serves up the best hoppers in town.

Hoppers are a traditional Sri Lankan bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk and usually filled with an egg. 

However, at Hopper Man, you can find an extensive menu of both sweet and savoury hoppers. 

My favourite, however, will always be a hopper number 4. 

He’s recently moved into a bigger space and now offers crepes and rolled ice cream on top of his hopper offerings. 

His stalls are open from 4 pm to 4 am so it’s the perfect place to visit if you need a pre or post-night-out snack. 

You truly haven’t completed a trip to Arugam Bay until you have visited Hopper Man. 

Rolling Pin 

⭐Customer Rating: 5/5 
💰Cost: $

Whilst Rollin Pin isn’t exactly a restaurant it is the go-to bakery in Arugam Bay. 

Here you can find the most scrumptious freshly baked breads, pastries, brownies and all kinds of other delicious carb-laden sweet and savoury treats. 

If you don’t want to miss out on some of these incredible baked goods then either head here first thing, or put your order in the night before. 

Rolling Pin opens at 7 am every day. 

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Happy Eating 

Arugam Bay’s food scene is a hidden gem that’s just waiting to be explored. This town isn’t just for surfers and wildlife lovers; it’s also a dream for foodies too. 

If you’re travelling on a budget, places like Perera and Buffet Arugam Bay offer great food without emptying your wallet. 

For a more relaxed meal, you can check out the beachfront vibes at Salty Swamis or the cosy garden setting of Shady Lanes.

So, when you visit this tropical paradise, make sure to hit up these awesome spots and dive into the delicious flavours Arugam Bay has to offer. 

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