As a newfound vegetarian, and a lover of eating fresh, local food, I was determined to find the best veggie options which Mirissa has to offer. With lots of restaurants and cafes to choose from and the luxury of staying in Mirissa for ten days, I had plenty of time to explore and try out each restaurant to find the best vegetarian options. Here are my top five favourites:
Zephyr Restaurant and Bar
This was definitely my favourite spot! So much so that the staff actually got to know me. Although that might have had something to do with me being the only solo woman traveller in a sea of happy couples! Firstly Zephyr is located on the beautiful Mirissa main beach, further down the beach so away from the crowds. This is a beautiful setting to enjoy any meal at any time of day! Just before dusk is perfect as you can usually nab one of the tables on the sand and get a beautiful view of the sun setting.
Zephyr has a lot of choice for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians so you can take your non-veggie friends/other half without them complaining too much! All of the food tastes incredibly fresh and uses local ingredients. My personal favourite was the Vegetarian Curry which took me back to my adventures in India. They give you a little bit of everything on your plate so it’s an exotic mix of flavours, textures, and spices. It is fairly spicy so I would recommend ordering a Banana Lassi to go with it if you are not good with spice. Zephyr is also an amazing spot for tea and cake, they have a good selection of teas which are all really good, I tried them all! The cakes are equally delicious! They are quite indulgent and more like a dessert than a cake so perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. The Iced Tea is also delicious here! Sweet and fruity, and very refreshing after a long day on the beach. The best part about Zephyr is that the food is very reasonably priced especially considering its location so you can treat yourself to a main and dessert without breaking the bank.
No. 1 Dewmini Roti Shop
My second favourite restaurant in Mirissa is No. 1 Dewmini Roti Shop. This is a hidden, local gem which is well worth the walk to. Situated off the beaten track, just behind the main road and opposite side to the beach, this local restaurant serves really affordable and yummy local food. The rotis here were the best I had in Sri Lanka! They also have a range of milkshakes and lassis, try the Peanut Butter Milkshake, it is incredible! You can order sweet rotis if you have a sweet tooth or fancy something else after your main food. The Mango and Chocolate Roti is to die for! This place is great for lunch or dinner. All of the seating is outside and the place is beautifully decorated with fairy lights in the evening for a cosy ambience. The restaurant is owned by a local family who are friendly and seem to have a lot of regulars, which speaks for itself. Some of the rotis are served with some separate sauces, one of which is chicken so just watch out for that before you excitedly pour the entire pot over your roti, as I did!
Finding this place is a bit tricky as it is away from the beach and appears to be someone’s house. Don’t let that fool you! It is someone’s house, a local family who serve the best local cuisine which is all hand cooked and made to order for you. The curries here are incredible, I’m not sure how the family cooks the eggplants but they are mouthwatering! It is also great value for money as you get massive portions and extra servings if you would like. The family are really kind and friendly and you can make adjustments to your order as the owner makes it especially for you in her kitchen. This place is so worth a visit! You can also have cooking lessons here if you want which is a really fun experience, I would highly recommend trying a cooking class in Sri Lanka. The food tastes so fresh and healthy and is full of local ingredients. Each order is made when you arrive so don’t come here when you are starving hungry as it can take longer than other restaurants but definitely worth it!
Ambrosia Roti Shop & Restaurant
Ambrosia Roti Shop & Restaurant is a really lovely place which serves great value local cuisine. Situated in a beautiful garden lit with candles and lanterns, this place has a peaceful, laid back vibe. The rotis here are really yummy and again they do a good choice of different local food. The sweet rotis are equally good and at their prices, you can definitely afford to try both the sweet and savoury. They even put out incense sticks to deter mosquitos at each table which is a thoughtful touch.
O Mirissa Cafe & Bistro
This is the only restaurant on my list which is situated on the main road opposite the beach so easy to find and walk to. They have live music events so look out for these on weekends. The food here is a mix of local and Western so lots of different options for differing tastes. They serve a lot of great Italian food and do gluten-free options as well as catering for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. They also do a good range of desserts, Grandma’s Chocolate Cake is definitely worth a taste! With modern decor and friendly welcoming staff, this place is a must visit. It is also very affordable and great quality food.
Mirissa is a great spot for superb food offerings and there are lots of other great places you can try. These are my absolute favourites and all offer both vegetarian options and non-vegetarian options. Happy eating!