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The best places to eat in Madiha, Sri Lanka—9 unmissable spots for great coffee, epic pizzas, amazing Sri Lankan food, and chilled beach vibes

Madiha, just a short TukTuk rude from Matara on Sri Lanka’s south coast is one of the most chilled, beachside spots in the country. After spending two weeks in the cutest Airbnb surrounded by mango and coconut trees and from where I could hear the ocean, I discovered there’s a little bit of everything in this tropical village. Great roadside stalls sell delicious Sri Lankan food, hip cafes with incredible coffee and pizza are everywhere, and there’s a handful of rooftop hangouts with slick tunes and even better cocktails. What’s more, there are yoga classes to be found most days.

While staying in the beachside village, I tried numerous places and also cooked at my Airbnb since it had a well-equipped kitchen with coconut oil for cooking, fresh coffee, and coconut treacle. But when I did go out, these are the places I visited more than once, and would recommend checking out when in Madiha. 

The best places to eat and drink in Madiha, Sri Lanka

1. Swell Cafe 

Swell is the place for really good coffee, great pizza, and an amazing selection of breakfast dishes including peanut and chocolate pancakes, avocado toast and smoothie bowls.

A plate of banana and chocolate pancakes at Swell Cafe, one of the best places to eat in Madiha, Sri Lanka
Pancakes at Swell Cafe
I visited three times during my stay and it fast became my favorite spot thanks to its chilled atmosphere and good selection of food and drinks. 

2. Sand Bank

Head to this breezy joint for the best burger in town that sees crispy chicken topped with egg, cheese, and lettuce in a toasted bun and served with the most incredible battered potato.

Chicken burger in toasted bun on a wooden serving plate served with potato wedges at Sand Bank, one of the best places to eat in Madiha
Sand Bank's chicken burger
Cocktails are well blended, I like the Arrack Attack and there's a ping-pong table to boot.

3. Komorebi

The main draw at this fairly newly opened spot is its expansive garden filled with tropical plants.

The garden at Komorebi restaurant, one of the best places to eat at in Madiha, sri lanka
Komorebi's garden seating
As well as offering daily yoga classes and ice bath plunges Komorebi boasts an array of breakfast and lunch dishes, good coffee, and has helpful friendly staff. It stays open during the low season, too.

4. Sara Kitchen

This cute little terrace tucked away on the way to the main Matara road has just a handful of tables but serves up wonderful Sri Lankan food including their trademark rice and a selection of seven curries.

a clay pot filled with rice surrounded by smaller pots filled with vegetable curries at Sara Kitchen, one of the best places to eat in Madiha
Lunch at Sara Kitchen
For my visit, I was served one of the best green bean curries I’ve had in the country so far as well as dahl, potato curry, and beetroot curry.

5. Spindrift

The cocktails here are pretty special and even more so since they can be sipped on the well-designed hostel’s huge roof terrace. While the terrace doesn’t really have ocean views, it’s a cool spot to while away an evening and there are usually quizzes and movie nights each day. The food is lush too, so much so that I forgot to take a photo before I jumped into my plate of pork tacos.

6. Zephyr Ceylon

I’m pretty sure I had my favorite meal at Zephyr Ceylon. With tables that unfold onto the beach (where it’s possible to see turtles hatching) this uber laid-back joint has super friendly staff and quality inventive dishes.

A white plate with a picece of miso-infused mahi mahi on top at zephyr ceylon, one of the best places to eat in madiha
Miso-infused mahi mahi at Zephyr Ceylon

I ordered the miso-infused mahi mahi served with shitake mushroom sauce, pak choy, and mashed potato—it was incredibly good. Zephyr Ceylon also serves up deep south prawn curry, pan-friend barramundi, and some very impressive-sounding cocktails.

7. Lily’s Roti Hut on the Matara main road

I tried two street food stands on the main Matara road yet didn’t catch the name of one of them. Both were very good and affordable serving Sri Lankan curries and rice. From Lily’s on the road towards Kamburugamuwa, I got a take-out box of rice and a selection of vegetable curries for less than a dollar. The second, tucked away on Welegoda Road had dining-in space too. I ordered a box of vegetable fried rice which was large enough to last two meals.

8. Doctor’s House

Madiha institution Doctor’s House doesn’t appeal as a place to stay since it’s aimed at a younger backpacking crowd but it’s a nice place to stop by for a drink and bite.

A pizza on a wooden board at Doctors House, one of the best places to eat at in Madiha
Pizza at Doctors House
The pizzas are pretty good, the smoothies are fresh and the service is swift. 

9. Casa Tharin

Run by an Italian woman and her Sri Lankan partner, Casa Tharin is open each morning until roughly midday for breakfast. The menu is short and sweet and they serve decent cappuccino.


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