Aimee O'Keefe
11 Best Sri Lankan Restaurants in Melbourne | Man of Many
If you’ve never sampled Sri Lankan food before, or you’re simply looking to recapture the flavours you had on a trip to a far away land some years ago, you’re in luck. Melbourne is littered with terrific institutions that deliver outstanding food no matter your budget or preference. Without further ado, here are the best Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne you simply have to try.
Best Sri Lankan Restaurants in Melbourne
Best for: Fine Dining

If you’re looking for an intimate Sri Lankan restaurant in Melbourne, look no further than INDU. Nestled behind a Victorian terrace frontage, this Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant is all about authentic food and that village culture hospitality, which shines through in the service and food.
Best for: Drinks 

Combining traditional Sri Lankan cuisine with innovative techniques and a contemporary dining experience is what makes Araliya stand out from the rest. Located in Kew, the restaurant matches the vibe of the town, with an impressive array of nibbles as well as an equally important drinks menu with plenty of spiced cocktails for you to try. 
2. Araliya
Fusion Ceylon is one of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne if you’re looking for an Asian-fusion experience. Its menu shines with the combination of exotic flavours and Sri Lankan cuisine with a contemporary, modern twist. The long-time family-run restaurant is known for its good vibes and delicious food –  the wild boar stew is not to be missed, or if you’re not feeling that brave, the Lankan Chinese-fired rice dishes are also a hit. While definitely not as up-market as some of the other Sri Lankan restaurants on this list, Fusion Ceylon is still one of the best places to score authentic food in a hurry. Definitely a winner if you’re chasing take-away.
3. Fusion Ceylon
Best for: Take-Away

If you’re in the mood for simple, no-frills Sri Lankan dining, then Okra is the place for you. Priding themselves on offering a variety of Sri Lankan cuisine from various regions, generous hospitality and passionate cooking, the Okra team rarely disappoints. 
4. Okra Sri Lankan Cuisine
Casual dining with a fresh, contemporary touch, Upali’s is one of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne. It’s a popular spot for lunch,  traditionally the biggest meal of the day in Sri Lanka, with a set lunch menu that consists of rice, three vegetable curries, one meat or seafood curry, papadams and sambols, all for just $14.50. It’s no wonder Melbourne’s Sri Lankan community flocks to Glen Waverley for this one.
5. Upali’s
Did someone say buffet? This Sri Lankan restaurant is a long-time favourite of locals and visitors alike to the trendy streets of Fitzroy North. Opened by the Somaweera family back in 2019, Citrus boasted a hybrid menu of American burgers and Sri Lankan specialties, which is one of the strangest combos we’ve encountered in a while, and the locals agreed. Pretty soon after opening, the Fitzroy North establishment ditched the burgers, instead delivering more traditional Sri Lankan food via a generous buffet. The buffet is delicious and affordable, with plenty of authentic dishes to fill up on. We can’t go past the classic dahl and the fish curry and with many of the dishes under $20, it’s really hard to go wrong.
6. Citrus
This all-you-can-eat buffet fever dream in Brunswick, run by husband and wife Minuri and Matt Adams, is just as affordable as it is delicious. For just $20, you can enjoy all the rice, noodles, dal, sambol and curries you could dream of. Plus, there are unlimited hoppers for an extra $5 from Friday to Sunday. Say no more.
7. Maalu Maalu
Home-style Sri Lankan cooking at its finest, Cinnamon’s in Melbourne’s CBD offers fuss-free Sri Lankan fare and we love it. The menu provides an extensive selection of the most popular dishes from different regions of Sri Lanka, including Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. A popular spot for Sri Lankan natives – that says something.
8. Cinnamon’s Sri Lankan Cuisine
If you like your Sri Lankan with a side of Thai, then Coconut Tree is your dream come true. Serving up authentic Sri Lankan and Thai food in a cosy restaurant in Melbourne, they pride themselves on using only the freshest locally sourced ingredients. Our top picks from the menu include the roasted cashew nuts and fried curry leaves with chilli and a hint of lime juice for an entree and the goat or lamb vindaloo (if you can handle the spice!)
9. Coconut Tree
Best for: Atmosphere

One of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne specialising in both Sri Lankan and North Indian food, Elephant Corridor is a popular spot for Glen Waverly locals and visitors alike. The menu is seasonal, so you never get bored, and with an extensive a la carte menu, it’s a great spot to come with your mates and share the deliciousness. 
10. Elephant Corridor
Located in the heart of Melbourne, Ambula Sri Lankan Restaurant Berwick is known for its authentic Sri Lankan dishes with a passion and love for cooking you can taste. Plus, they offer buffet lunches and dinners during the week for just $15, which sounds almost too good to be true!
11. Ambula Sri Lankan Restaurant Berwick
A traditionally underrated cuisine on the international market, Sri Lankan food is much more than meets the eye. While there are common elements, the rice and curry foundation that most meals are built upon is actually very different from those you see at some of the other international venues across Melbourne. Specifically, Sri Lankan food plays off a combination of sweet and spicy, characterised by big bold flavours such as coconut, bitter melon, caramelised onion and dhal.
Types of Sri Lankan Food
In Sri Lankan cooking, you’ll generally find a few key ingredients tend to pop up. For most restaurants, the cuisine will focus on spices like black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, pandan leaves and curry leaves. However, they’ll also be elevated by a series of fragrant herbs. Typically, Sri Lankan cuisine makes use of  pandan leaf, shallot, goraka, lemongrass, tamarind, garlic, ginger, curry leaf, lime, cayenne pepper and tabasco pepper.
Typical ingredients
Similarly, you can expect to find some old favourites at most Sri Lankan restaurants in Melbourne. These dishes are staples in the sub-continent and offer a range of different flavours that explore tradition, heritage and the language of food in Sri Lanka.
Classic Sri Lankan Dishes
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