Sri Lankan Friday nights are always a battle between “let’s have a small shot” and “can we really afford enough 900 rupee cocktails to get drunk?” The struggle is real when you’re trying to balance your lifestyle with your bank account but we should consider ourselves truly blessed for incredible things like happy hours and BYOB places.
So the next time you’re looking to get “turnt”, here are all the places you can do it without digging a hole in your wallet:
No Corkage Charged
Almost everyone’s favorite thin-crust pizza joint is perfect for that laid back bottle of red wine with its rustic decor, great food, friendly service. and no corkage! Giovanni’s in Thimbirigasyaya is a personal favorite and is great for hosting large groups of people as well.
Located down Col TG Jayawardena Mawatha in Colombo 03, Holybelly is a little difficult to spot but when you do, it’s worthwhile. This eatery is family friendly and strives to provide the best service to its customers and no corkage! They’ve got a couple of scrumptious dishes and drinks, so make sure you try them out!
Brewing up authentic Italian dishes, Dolce Italia needs no introduction! The outlet down skeleton road is bigger than its previous outlet, being able to accommodate more people with comfortable spacing. The best part about Dolce Italia’s BYOB status is that they charge no corkage! That way you can spend your money on their delicious dishes instead! However, you can only bring wine and beer.
Upali’s by Nawaloka
Sri Lankans definitely know how to have fun and there’s no better way doing so than pairing our very own local dishes with our sessions. Whether it is a portion of rice or deviled chicken, nothing satisfies our quick Sri Lankan fix than Upali’s! Better yet, no corkage! However, Upali’s expects you to bring in a receipt of the drinks you’re bringing in as well, so keep that in mind to avoid disappointment.
Offering authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, Culture Colombo became wildly popular for what it had to offer! Even though the prices are quite steep, there is no corkage fee; making the dining experience totally worth it!
Offering a healthy option for fast food, Bowl’d focuses primarily on its range of customisable Poké Bowls, inclusive of gluten free and low carb ingredients. It has an earthy concept, practicing an eco-friendly environment. The vibe at Bowl’d is super laid back with a touch of reggae playing in the background, making it even better because there’s no corkage fee!
Barracuda Crow Island
More on the higher end of the price spectrum, Epicure is a fine-dining establishment that serves up intricate dishes with exquisite flavor pairings. Choose to dine here if you don’t mind having a drink whilst shelling a few bucks on an upscale dinner that will tickle your taste buds.
Having a designated play area and two meeting rooms sets apart Coffee Room from every other cafe and their food is quite good too. The cafe is perfect to spend a relaxed evening and that fact that they have no corkage makes things even better.
Located at the end of Peter’s Lane in Dehiwala, The Deck is a slightly dodgy but good joint for a cheaper night out. It has an indoor area as well as an outdoor area so you can wiggle your toes in the sand while you enjoy some Sri Lankanised-Chinese. Their corkage depends on what you are bringing and how many people are there so better to call in and check.
Aimed a little more at the baila-singing loud crowd, Chatz dishes up Sri Lankan-ised Chinese and good bites. A typical Friday night here will consist of loud music and large groups of drunk youngsters, perfect to crack open that Old Arrack bottle in true Lankan style. The catch: it’s only after 5.00pm and each person’s bill needs to rack up to at least LKR 1000.
Zen (Zylan hotel)
The winning point at Zen in their incredible pool-side ambience that’s both private and chilled out for a small drink with an intimate group of friends. They have a multi-cuisine menu and will guarantee a solid night. They have a corkage of LKR1500 for each bottle of wine and LKR3500 for anything else.
With a wide range of mocktails but no alcohol, Barracuda lets you BYOB right to the shores of the Dehiwala beach. They have a separate menu for Sizzlers as well as Chinese so there’s quite a variety of food you can choose from as well. However, each person’s bill needs to add up to LKR1500.
August by Mama Aida’s
Located down Dudley Senanayake Mawatha, August by Mama Aida’s consists of quaint outdoor seating; making it an exceptional venue to sit back, relax and de-stress. Although they do not allow hard liquor, they do allow customers to bring their own wine, so pair it up with some of their available dishes!
Tucked away in Thalwathugoda, Wayne’s Junction is a cute little eatery featuring all things Australian! There’s nothing like sitting back and crackin’ open a cold one with the boys especially with good food at your service! They do charge a corkage fee of Rs.2000, which could also be redeemed by ordering food.
Park Street Trattoria
PST is on a more fancy level, located within the stretch of high-end restaurants down Park Street Mews. It fits the ambience of the Mews perfectly, so if you want good feels, food and company; try em out! Their corkage charges are Rs.3000 for hard liquor and Rs.800 for wine.
Arcadia Café and Restaurant
Located down 16th Lane, Colombo 03, the Arcadia Café and Restaurant is a lovely eatery consisting of 3 different compartments for dining in. These include the bakery/café upon entering, along with an intimate dining area followed by a garden of greenery. There won’t be a corkage if each person spends more than Rs.1500 but if this is not the case there’s a charge of Rs.200 for each person!
A rooftop fine dining restaurant, Il Cielo, specializes in Southern Italian food and offers a wide variety of drinks as well. The mood lighting and cozy atmosphere makes it a great spot for an intimate dinner or even a date. They have outdoor seating as well and the view is a bonus! It is situated below Berlin Sky Lounge, its German counterpart. They only allow foreign liquor and Rs.1500 will be charged as corkage.
Garton’s Ark offers a unique dining experience aboard a sailing restaurant as it makes its way down Diyawanna Oya, coupled with a spaciously open air lounge on the top deck and a buffet dinning area at the bottom. With a delicious bounty of food (each more delicious than the last), their menu offerings make for a dining experience you’ll never forget! Corkage of LKR 1000 per bottle applies for orders less than LKR5000.
Serving a wide range of South East Asian cuisine, the theme at Monsoon revolves around the concept of sharing food, as is traditional in most South Asian families. The cuisine is a modern take on South Asian street food, while their décor is rustic and certainly ticks the instagrammable box! They have two corkage fees; LKR 2000 for wine & LKR 4000 for hard liquor.
If you want food that makes you feel good this is the place to go to. Halo Diner is a quaint little spot with loads of Sri Lankan comfort food along with some western dishes that speak to the soul. Corkage is LKR600 per bottle as long as your bill is more than LKR1000.
Being one of our favourite beachside destinations Loon Tao has a wide variety of options with an East Asian Twist. It’s as chill and laid back as you would expect from a beachside restaurant and will be perfect to hang out with some friends.
Cajun on Wheels
Being part of a Singaporean franchise you can surely expect some authentic Creole seafood. With things like repurposed shipping containers and barrels making up your surrounding the experience itself will be awesome.
Remember reading about Cajun on Wheels? Happi Food is basically another menu offered there. The food is just as great so there’s nothing to fear.
PappaRich Sri Lanka
Being a Malaysian franchise that offers both Chinese and Indian cuisine on top of some amazing Malaysian food, PappaRich has a lot to offer and they’re all awesome. The ambience is open and refreshing so it’s worth giving this gem a visit.
Great Wall Restaurant
A gorgeous venue, great service and awesome food. If you decide to drop by you have to try their fusion kottu! Corkage fees of Rs2000 for wine and Rs4000 for spirits will be applied.
Sawadee Restaurant at Mount Breeze Hotel
So there you have it, folks. Good company, great food, and boozy nights are awaiting, so go get cracking!