8 Best Cafes in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for Your Quiet Me Time Sesh

By Rashmi Wickramasinghe | 15, Apr, 2019
8 Best Cafes in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for Your Quiet Me Time Sesh

You are in Colombo on vacation and you need some privacy to get your work done and catch up on some reading. The hotel room is a great option but your family and friends are getting on your nerves for being too loud. So where do you go to get a cup of coffee and enjoy some quality alone time? Colombo has got you covered.

Here are the top 8 cafés where you may enjoy peaceful time to yourself:

1. Black Cat Café

Credit: @blackcathackney on Instagram

Black Cat is a quaint little café that serves up good coffee and healthy food. It has a homey, rustic feel to it as it is an old house that has been converted into a café and B+B so...if you want to stay over they can accommodate you. The staff here is very friendly and would strike up a conversation with you and make you feel welcome.

The ambience is nice with indoor and outdoor seating – a lot of natural light seeping in through the windows and relaxing music playing. The seating arrangement is great as it gives you the secluded privacy you want even though it’s quite a small space. It's great to work from or have some much needed alone time with a book. Electrical outlets and WiFi are available, so all you gotta do is settle in, and order a cuppa.

The prices are between LKR 500 to LKR 100, but definitely worth it. There are two menus, the breakfast menu which is available till noon and another menu for the rest of the day. Their home made Ginger Beer comes highly recommended and their sandwiches are quite good as well. This place is also perfect to hang out with a group of friends, and you can stay as long as you like, even after the café has closed for the day.

Charging Ports: Yes
Wifi: Yes

Address: 11, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 07
Opening Hours: 8AM to 6PM (Mon-Tue)
                          8AM to 10PM (Wed-Sun)

Note: According to the workers at Black Cat Cafe, they are unable to confirm if everything on the menu is halal. Hence, we advice that you consume at your own discretion.

2. Café Mocha by Barista

Credit: @CafeMochaSL on Facebook

A spacious café with great ambience, the interior is specifically designed to accommodate people who want to get some work done or simply have a coffee date by themselves. 

It's a great spot to really sink into work or studying without being disturbed, it is also great to if you want to curl up in a ball on one of the comfy couches or booths and read a book – no judgement here, everyone’s busy staring at laptop screens or books themselves.

With ambient lighting and well spaced out tables, it's also great if you want to have any group discussions. It’s a great hangout spot and has pretty chill vibe overall, you can also find some interesting boutiques selling interesting trinkets and batik clothing.

The staff is friendly and accommodating. It has a typical coffee shop menu, with some interesting sandwiches which fuse Sri Lankan style fillings with cheese and other condiments. The price range is between LKR 400 to LKR 900, their Spicy Chicken Pasta is value for money at LKR 800 and their Tea is served for LKR 350 a pot.

Charging Ports: Yes
Wifi: Yes

Address: 8 Stratford Ave, Colombo 6
Opening Hours: 7AM to 11PM (Mon-Sun)


3. Caramel Pumpkin

Credit: Caramel Pumpkin

A quirky café, Caramel Pumpkin is the place to be if you want to chill or catch up with a friend. If you are looking for a place that's more upbeat and different from the usual cafés this is the spot for you!

It's has some cute wall art that might help get the creative juices flowing if you are a creative as well as bean bags if you want to get super cosy. There is also a nice outdoor area on the first floor overlooking the street below. If you like burning the midnight oil they are open till 1am Friday to Sunday and have an interesting late night menu.

They have an extensive menu with a great variety to choose from, but you will not go wrong with the make your own pasta option, which is value for money at LKR 800 and, local gelato (highly recommend the Puttalam Sea Salt Flavour by Isle of Gelato), one generous scoop is LKR 450.

Charging Ports: Yes
Wifi: Yes

Address: 38 Ward Pl, Colombo
Opening Hours: 8AM to 1AM (Fri-Sun)

4. Tea Avenue

Credit: @TeaAvenue1936 on Facebook

Located at Barnes place, this café is perfect if you are serious about getting some work done without any distractions or need some alone time to reflect on your vacation or just, chill.

It has a variety of seating options and it is great for hanging out with a group of friends. They offer a variety of food and drinks, mainly known for their ice teas and cakes. Prices range from LKR 500 to LKR 1000, their Charcoal Waffles at LKR 850 is one of the best items on their menu and you can get Ice Teas between LKR 400 to LKR 500.

Many electrical outlets are available, so you don’t have to worry about your laptop or phone battery running out of juice and WiFi is free for one hour with every purchase; however you can stay here as long as you want without any disturbances. The music is unobtrusive and the booths are perfect to set up shop and finish any tasks at hand.

If you are someone who likes working at night, this spot is highly recommended, they are open till midnight.

Charging Ports: Yes
Wifi: Yes

Address: 55 Barnes Pl, Colombo 7
Opening Hours: 7AM to 11PM (Mon-Sun)

5. Café Kumbuk

Credit: Cafe Kumbuk

Similar to Black Cat Café, Café Kumbuk is located in an old colonial house that has been renovated, with both indoor and outdoor seating. However, it is not air-conditioned. If you are vegan or a health food junkie this is the place to be.

The interior is nice and comfortable with a minimalist but rustic aesthetic; however, seating is quite limited. Other than that it's a great spot to relax and enjoy a healthy but tasty meal. They use organic ingredients and their menu changes seasonally. The price range is between LKR 500 to LKR 1500.

Charging Ports: Yes
Wifi: Yes

Address: 60, Horton Place, Colombo 7
Opening Hours: 8AM to 6PM (Tue-Sat)
                          8AM to 5PM (Sun)

6. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Credit: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

This American chain has 3 branches scattered around Colombo, however the Maitland Crescent outlet would be the best of you are a night owl.

Similar to Tea Avenue in spaciousness, this coffee shop has a cool ambience. With urbanised interior and interesting seating, this spot will not disappoint. The café also serves essential coffee shop fare and is a great spot to hangout by yourself or with a group of friends. Their ice coffees and frappes are popular amongst the young crowd and are great if you want to escape the heat, their price range is between LKR 500 to LKR 1500.

Charging Ports: Yes
Wifi: Yes

Address: 07, No 2 Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7
Opening Hours: 6AM to 12AM (Sun to Thur)
                          24 hours (Fri and Sat)

7. The Blue Swan

Credit: @blueswancafe on Instagram

This small, cosy café serves up their own brand of coffee and chocolate along with some delectable desserts and sandwiches.

The perfect spot to grab a book and escape, the café is decked with comfy seating and has only one or two people making up the staff – however, this does not mean service is bad! Be sure to try their Chili Hot Chocolate priced at LKR 350, which is a peculiar concoction of chilli with hot chocolate, also the Cheese and Tamarind Toast for LKR 400, another quirky treat.

The place is almost always crowded, however it is worth the visit for the good food and drinks at very affordable prices as well as its notable homely feel.

Charging Ports: No
Wifi: Yes

Address: 24 Fife Road, Colombo
Opening Hours: 10AM to 7PM (Mon to Sat)

8. Noteworthy Café

Credit: @NoteworthyCafe on Facebook

If you are a book lover or an art enthusiast, this café will not disappoint!

The ambience is comfortable but rich with the velvet carpets and the apparent Van Gogh Theme, you can see copies of his best work hung up on their walls! Also, the staff there are friendly and accommodating.

They have an impressive drinks menu that serves up some of the best coffee in town. If you are a fan of breakfast, they serve up all breakfast all day and have some interesting sandwiches – like the Green Goddess (LKR 500) for you health nuts and the Fish Ambulthiyal Wrap which has an authentic Sri Lankan curry filling (LKR 600). Their menu is quite extensive and has something for everyone; the price range is between LKR 1000 to LKR 1500.

If you want some proper alone time – just you, a cup of coffee and a book? Look no further than Noteworthy Café.

Fact: The café does not have WiFi as the owners want the customers to immerse themselves in the café experience and communicate and relax in the traditional ways.

Charging Ports: No
Wifi: No

Address: 4 A Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7
Opening Hours: 7AM to 9:30AM (Mon-Thur)
                          7AM to 10PM (Fri-Sun)

Important: Most Cafes in Colombo are Halal friendly and don’t really serve pork products so there is no need to worry about the food not being Halal, however, if you want to make sure you may always enquire with the staff.

When you are in Colombo and craving that much needed alone time with a nice hot, steaming cup, you know where to go!

An introverted old soul who loves writing, reading, art, music, food, and cats.