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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 Ward7 at Jetwing Colombo 07. You can opt to enjoy a drink in the sophisticated indoor area or lounge by the infinity pool in the comfortably designed outdoor area. Operating hours are between 10.00 am and 1.00 am.


8. In… On The Green


Image Courtesy of Instagram (@gallefacehotel)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@gallefacehotel)

One of Colombo’s most frequented pubs, In… On The Green hides in plain sight on Galle Road in Colpetty. It’s very mysterious from the outside looking in, but once you cross the front doors, you’re immediately transported to a whole other place at this old-timey pub! They have some good food options as well. Opening hours are from 4.00 pm to 12 midnight.


9. Firebeach


Image Courtesy of Instagram (@firebeachcolombo)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@firebeachcolombo)

Recently revamped at the long-standing Galle Face Hotel in Colpetty is the poolside restaurant, Firebeach. Everything about this place, from the decor to the vibes, scream chilled-out, tropical getaway! Overlooking the beach and located by the pool, Firebeach is probably one of the best places to take in a Colombo sunset while sipping on a good drink. Operating hours are from 11.00 am to 2.00 am daily.


10. King of The Mambo


Image Courtesy of Instagram (@kingofthemambo)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@kingofthemambo)

Also at Galle Face Hotel and right next to Firebeach is the Havana-inspired King of the Mambo! This vibrant and open-aired restaurant space is perfect to grab a drink and go dancing to Latin American music and more with friends. They’re open every day from 5.00 pm to 12 midnight (2.00 am on Fridays and Saturdays).


11. SunsetBlu


Image Courtesy of hiltoncolombo1.com
Image Courtesy of hiltoncolombo1.com

Operating from Wednesday to Sunday from 11.00 am to 12 midnight (2.00 am on Fridays & Saturdays), SunsetBlu is Colombo’s first and only day club! Grab a drink and enjoy the relaxing setting during the day or swing by in the evenings to sip on your favourite cocktails as well as for the live-and-kicking atmosphere with great music!


12. The Steuart by Citrus- &Co Pub and Kitchen


Image Courtesy of citrusleisure.com
Image Courtesy of citrusleisure.com

&Co Pub and Kitchen at The Steuart by Citrus Hotel in Fort, Colombo is a very popular watering hole among Colombo’s youth. Located in the time honoured Dutch Hospital precinct, the &Co Pub operates between 11.00 am to 11.00 pm and has some incredible offers on their drinks! (Pro tip: They make mean Daiquiri or Mojito Pitchers!)


13. Honey Beach Club


Image Courtesy of thekingburyhotel.com
Image Courtesy of thekingburyhotel.com

By the poolside of Colombo’s prominent Kingsbury Hotel is the open-aired Honey Beach Club. Open from 10.00 am to 12 midnight, it’s a great spot to unwind and enjoy a drink or two from their extensive beverage menu. For more of a local feel, there’s also Tavern, their brand new Sri Lankan bar which boasts a selection of 69 arrack flavours!


14. Curve Bar


Image Courtesy of curvebarcolombo.com
Image Courtesy of curvebarcolombo.com

If you enjoy having a drink while listening to some old-school music, Curve Bar is definitely the place for you! Located right at the top of the pretty, brick-laned area of Park Street Mews, Curve is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm to 12 midnight (2.00 am on Fridays and Saturdays).


15. The RE.PUB.LK


Image Courtesy of Instagram (@therepublk)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@therepublk)

Also situated in the Dutch Hospital Precinct in Fort, The RE.PUB.LK (most commonly known as Repub) is a great place for interesting drinks (like strong cocktails in huge fishbowls!), superb music by some of Colombo’s favourite entertainers and as the night progresses, it transforms into somewhat of a club! They’re open every day from 11.00 am to 12 midnight (2.30 am on Fridays and Saturdays).


16. Kava Island Bar


Image Courtesy of Instagram (@kavaislandbar)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@kavaislandbar)

Kava Island Bar is a Tiki Bar located in Colombo and is quite the favoured spot for drinks especially since it pretty much becomes a club as the night goes on. They’re quite popular for a number of reasons; the set-up and decor of the place are very intriguing (absolutely Insta-worthy), they’re very women-friendly, have some great DJs to set the atmosphere and they also make some mean cocktails! You can pop by during their operating hours from 5.00 pm to 1.00 am.


17. The Love Bar


Image Courtesy of Instagram (@thelovebarsl)
Image Courtesy of Instagram (@thelovebarsl)

With groovy neon signs and quirky decor donning this place, this bar/club is one of Colombo’s nightlife hotspots. The Love Bar has been around for some time and continues to draw in the crowds with its riveting parties, happy hour deals, and overall good vibes. So if you’re in the mood to go clubbing, we’d definitely recommend swinging by here!


18. Ask For Fern & The Chiller Room


Images courtesy of Instagram (@askforfern) and Instagram (@thechillerroom)
Images courtesy of Instagram (@askforfern) and Instagram (@thechillerroom)

Ask For Fern and The Chiller Room are two of Colombo’s most popular bars and clubs respectively and are located in the same space but on different floors. If you’re looking to only have a drink and enjoy some food, head over to the speakeasy lounge restaurant and bar that is Ask For Fern. On the other hand, if you’re looking to down some drinks, let loose and dance the night away, make your way to The Chiller Room! Both places offer great music and top-notch drinks!



And that brings us to the end of our round-up, folks. Cheers and have a drink on us!


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