A plant-based culinary journey at the Galle Fort 

The Meatless Monday Sri Lanka team headed down to the world-renowned Galle Fort to browse through the cafés and restaurants in the fort in search of vegetarian and plant-based food options recently. The plan was to visit hotels, restaurants, and other locations in the area to see what sustainable, ethical, and climate-friendly food options were on offer.    In the course of our culinary journey, we were able to explore the food offerings at Pedlar’s Inn Cafe, Calorie Counter – Galle Fort, Fort Bazaar – Church Street Social, and Pedlar’s Inn Gelato, where we enjoyed a variety of delicious plant-based meals, snacks, desserts, and beverages.   Galle, the capital of the Southern Province and one of the oldest cities in Sri Lanka, is a major tourist attraction – and with good reason. The city boasts a rich history, offering a unique blend of European and Arabic architecture, with iconic locations such as the historic Dutch Fort, which boasts expansive and breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean. The wide food selection available in the city draws local and foreign tourists in droves and in the Galle Fort you will find a wide variety of restaurants which operate day and night, catering to all palates.   Here are some of the highlights of our culinary journey:   Pedlar’s Inn Cafe  Pedlar’s Inn Cafe, located at No. 92, Pedlar’s Street, Galle, is a British-era post office that has been converted into a restaurant and is widely popular among culinary enthusiasts. The team followed the staff recommendations and selected two vegetarian options – the Penne Garlic Mushroom Pasta and the Vegetable Sandwich, which comprised complete, filling, and delicious meal. The sandwich was a substantial portion and was served with fries and a green salad on the side while the pasta was a generous serving with mushrooms and garlic in every bite.

(Vegetable Sandwich and Penne Garlic Mushroom Pasta)

  Calorie Counter  Located in an old colonial-style building at No. 56a, Lighthouse Street, Galle, Calorie Counter specialises in a variety of healthy food. The food menu is displayed on a large board at the entrance to the restaurant, along with the relevant calorie counts and a separate space for vegan food.  We ordered the Vegetable Atta Wrap and the Green Goddess smoothie. The latter was a delicious combination of avocado, banana, pineapple, mango, and coconut water, among other ingredients, while the Vegetable Atta Wrap was stuffed with a healthy and delicious combination of kidney beans, avocado, garlic paste, mixed greens, and tomato. The meal was nutritious, well balanced, and packed with flavour.  

(Green Goddess smoothie and Vegetable Atta Wrap)

  Fort Bazaar – Church Street Social Church Street Social is located at No. 26, Church Street, Galle and is an ideal place to unwind and relax with friends and family while digging into some delicious food. The team ordered the Polos Burger and Pumpkin Ravioli from the vegetarian section of the menu, both of which were perfectly seasoned with local spices and served up in a very appetising manner. It was a pleasant surprise to discover how well the Pumpkin Ravioli paired with the Polos Burger – a unique flavour mix indeed. The restaurant certainly hasn’t pulled its punches with this burger, which was quite large and came topped with three succulent onion rings and a side of French fries.

 (Polos Burger with French Fries)

  Pedlar’s Inn Gelato Pedlar’s Inn Gelato, located at No. 63, Pedlar Street, Galle, offers a lovely space in which one can cool down amid the intense sunshine of the Galle Fort. Enjoying a gelato is a must-do while on a tour of Galle Fort so we went all the way and tucked into four unique vegan gelato flavours – mango, banana, strawberry, and passionfruit – which elevated our food experience by being so delightful and yummy, bringing a perfect end to a satisfying culinary journey.

(Vegan Gelato by Pedlar’s Inn Gelato)

  During our visit to Galle, it was quite pleasing to see how many restaurants had added vegetarian and plant-based food options to their menus. We look forward to heading back to Galle at a later date to see how the plant-based food options have expanded with time and what approaches the tourism and food and beverages industry are adopting in terms of healthy and sustainable lifestyles and food options. 

(Ramesh, Thilini and Chalani from Team Meatless Monday at Galle Fort)