When In Colombo: Best Places To Grab A Drink



After spending a day exploring the big city of Colombo, doing some shopping, cafe hopping and tuk-tuking through the winding roads, there’s almost nothing better than ending the day with a cold one!


Colombo’s nightlife is still in the making, but there are quite a few bars and clubs you can swing by for good drinks and music to suit almost any vibe. So if you’re wondering where the best places are to grab a drink in Colombo, here’s a quick and easy list!


(Note to self: Sale of alcohol at any shop, restaurant or establishment of any sort is prohibited on Poya Days in Sri Lanka, so make sure that your plans to go grab a drink don’t coincide!)


Some Local Drinks & Bites To Keep An Eye Out For!

1. Lion Beer

Made by one of Sri Lanka’s largest breweries, Lion Beer is almost every local’s favourite beer. It also comes in 3 different versions; Lager, Strong & Stout.


2. Ryder’s Wild Apple

Also concocted by Lion Brewery, this is basically apple cider with a kick! Ryder’s Wild Apple is a fan-favourite among Sri Lanka’s youth owing to the fact that it actually tastes quite good (this is perfect if you don’t particularly enjoy the taste of beer) and has an alcohol percentage of 8.8, which means a can or two can quickly get you tipsy and ready to enjoy a good night out!


3. Arrack & Arrack Cocktails

One of the most iconic liquors in Sri Lanka is arrack, which is made from the fermented sap of the coconut flower and has a taste similar to whiskey. It’s definitely quite strong as it has a much higher percentage of alcohol (30% – 40%). Most locals usually down neat shots or more often than not, mix it with club soda or cola. You can also try out some tangy and sensational local Arrack Cocktails at some well-established bars!


4. Hot Butter Cuttlefish

This sweet yet spicy dish is a staple when it comes to a good drinking session among locals! Doused in Chilli flakes, butter, onions, peppers and more flavourful ingredients, this delicious crispy batter-fried cuttlefish goes well with almost any drink. If you’re not a fan of seafood/ shellfish or are a vegetarian, you could give Hot Butter Mushroom a try; it’s pretty much the same, except the cuttlefish is substituted with mushroom!


5. Devilled Chicken

Last but not least, we have this hot and spicy chicken dish that serves as yet another delectable bite while downing a cold one! Packed with flavour and coated in a thick sauce, you can’t go wrong with a side of Devilled Chicken. Many establishments in Sri Lanka also substitute the meat in this dish with beef, fish and pork. Just state your preference!



Bars & Night Clubs Where You Can Grab A Drink


1. Botanik Rooftop Bistro & Bar


Image Courtesy of Instagram (@botanikbistrobar)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@botanikbistrobar)

Atop the Fairway Hotel in the heart of Colombo is one of Asia’s top 100 bars, Botanik Rooftop Bistro & Bar! Operating from Wednesday to Sunday from 5.00 pm to 12.00 midnight, this rooftop bar is an ideal place to sip on some drinks while taking in the view of Colombo city, from the renowned Lotus Tower pictured above, the twin World Trade Center buildings, to the sun setting over the Indian Ocean at Galle Face Beach. They also usually host some great DJs and live bands!


2. ColomBar

Image Courtesy of Instagram (@colombarsl)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@colombarsl)

Overlooking the city’s Beira Lake is the much-loved ColomBar. They whip up some amazing cocktails, namely arrack infused ones, and usually have some great musical talent in the evenings who’ll undoubtedly have you singing and dancing along! ColomBar is open from 3.00 pm to 11.00 pm every day, ColomBar is located at one of Colombo’s 5-star hotels, Cinnamon Lakeside.


3. Capital Bar & Grill


Image Courtesy of Instagram (@capitalbarandgrilll)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@capitalbarandgrilll)

Visit the renowned Shangri-La Hotel in front of the beautiful Galle Face stretch in Colombo and you’ll find the very classy Capital Bar & Grill. They’re definitely on the pricier end of the spectrum, but they’ve got quite the extensive range when it comes to both food and drinks! Additionally, the live entertainment does a great job of setting up the mood for a good night. Opening hours are from 5.00 pm to 1.00 am.


4. Cheers Pub


Image Courtesy of cinnamonhotels.com
Image Courtesy of cinnamonhotels.com

Tucked away on the lower floors of Cinnamon Grand Hotel is Cheers Pub. Their opening hours are from 11.00 am to 12 midnight. Built to resemble a traditional British pub, you can enjoy a drink by the glass, pitcher or even a 4-litre beer towers if you’re dropping by with friends! Cheers Pub is the best place to go if you’re looking for a place that’s kid-friendly (they have a separate kids area), offers homey vibes and where you can watch a game on their TVs.


5. Vistas Bar


Image Courtesy of movenpick.com
Image Courtesy of movenpick.com

Located on the 24th floor at the rooftop of the Movenpick Hotel in Colombo is the Vistas Bar. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the ocean, watch a beautiful sunset and sip on their signature local cocktails while enjoying the cool, sea breeze on your skin! Their operating hours are between 5.30 pm and 12.00 midnight (2.00 am on weekends).


6. Cloud Red


Image Courtesy of Instagram (@cinnamonredcmb)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@cinnamonredcmb)

Less than a kilometre away from Movenpick is Cinnamon Red, where you’ll find their rooftop bar, Cloud Red. Serving some amazing views of the Colombo skyline, Cloud Red also serves some great drinks by the glass and pitcher at very reasonable rates and is open from 5.00 pm to 12.00 midnight.


7. Ward7


Image Courtesy of jetwinghotels.com
Image Courtesy of jetwinghotels.com

Offering more stunning views of Colombo, great drinks and mouthwatering food from a beautiful rooftop restobar is