Are you traveling around Sri Lanka as a vegan and looking for the best plant-based eats in Ella? Not only will you find wildly awesome views in this little mountain town but also a plethora of veggie options! Here’s my list of the best restaurants and cafes for vegan food in Ella, Sri Lanka.
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Hands down, Ella was one of my favorite destinations while backpacking Sri Lanka for 3 weeks!
Not only are the vegan-friendly restaurants here delish, but…
✓ The hikes are challenging, yet incredibly rewarding.
✓ The locals are welcoming (including the local dogs who are so so sweet!).
✓ Ella’s atmosphere is incredibly relaxing.
✓ There are tons of awesome sites to visit in the area.
✓ The views are breathtaking!
It’s definitely a fabulous place to spend a few days. (I may or may not have gained a few pounds eating endless buffets of vegan Sri Lankan food here…)
Although, while some restaurants in Ella are fabulous and 100% worth your time, there are a few to steer clear of.
Here’s my personal opinion on the BEST vegan food spots in Ella, as well as what places you should avoid spending your money.
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BEST VEGAN FOOD SPOTS IN ELLA, SRI LANKA
Jade Green Tea Centre & Restaurant
Hands down, this was my favorite vegan-friendly restaurant in Ella! Dan and I ate here multiple times while in town and never once regretted it.
Their vegetarian Sri Lanken buffet special (which is vegan) is absolutely mouth-watering. With 6 different dishes and a massive bowl of rice, you will most definitely get full after a meal here!
Not to mention, it’s SO cheap! So Jade Green is a great place for travelers backpacking Sri Lanka on a budget.
Another awesome place for cheap and easy vegan eats in Ella, Matey Hut is a teeny tiny little shack located on the outskirts of the main town area.
For the small price of 480 LKR (~$2.65, £2.00, €2.40), you can order up a large place of 4 different types of veg curries, rice, and papadam. Though my food could have been a bit warmer, the flavor was spot-on!
My only negative opinion about Matey Hut is that you never know when it’s going to be open! They’re hours are notoriously finicky; Dan and I walked all the way there one day to eat during their “open hours” only to find out it was shut. Such a disappointment!
But to be fair, when we did get the chance to eat here, the food was delish! Definitely worth the walk from our homestay.
As the only 100% vegetarian eatery in Ella, Little Folly Restaurant (located at the Little Folly Hidden Wood Cabins) is a great place for vegan travelers!
Serving up an array of veggie dishes, like curry, dahl, roti, soup, and more, you can fill up on damn good food here. Heck, if you even need a place to lay your head afterwards, there’s cute little cabins, too!
Highly recommend trying one of their fresh juices! Especially on a hot, humid day.
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ELLA RESTAURANTS TO AVOID AS A VEGAN
If you look on Google and search for good eats in Ella, Cafe Chill comes up as one of the best… but if you actually go into the reviews and look up what vegetarians and vegans have said, it’s pretty darn negative.
Many have stated they’ve been brought meat-filled curries instead of veggie ones and when asking about it, completely ignored or — in one reviewer’s case — actually yelled at!
While you can visit and form your own opinion about Cafe Chill, I would stick to the other (better) vegan-friendly restaurants in Ella just to be safe!
Reincarnation at the Rainbow Inn
If you decide to visit Sri Lanka, do yourself a favor and eat Sri Lanka food! In which case, Reincarnation is nowhere near the right level of “local” food.
Serving up a strange mix of western/mexican food, Reincarnation is terribly expensive compared to other options in town, has slow service, and is not great for vegans (they simply modify a menu item to make it vegan but nothing on there is truly plant-based).
Similar to Cafe Chill, you’d be better off eating somewhere else with better vegan options!
With these 3 places to eat (and 2 places to leave in the dust!), you can be filling up on delicious vegan food while in Ella in no time.
As a long-time vegan, I would personally eat at either Jade Green or Matey Hut every day if I could!
Are you currently traveling Sri Lanka? Or just checking out to see if you can travel as a vegan here? Share your story or any questions you might have in the comments below!
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