Negombo, 1.5 hours from Colombo, is a small tourist town / fishing village with a walkable strip of restaurants on Poruthota Rd (formerly Lewis Place) and hotels around it. Because it's so compact, you can go from kadala karaththe to restaurant to pub and stagger back to your room at the end of the night.
Even better, there are a wide variety of restaurants, all of which are quite good and reasonably priced. As a result, even when we went for a holiday weekend at Villa Araliya, all we did was eat. Negombo has all these activities like Dutch Canal rides - with kasippu on the way - and Muthurajawela swamp visits but we never cared: we just hung out and hoovered various kinds of food. These were some of our favorites:
Rodeo Bar and Restaurant
Rodeo has a really good burger and a very wide menu. Two menus in fact: one is Italian and the other is a mish mosh / hodge podge of western and eastern cuisine. And liquor. And a giant cow skull.
Oasis Beach Hotel and Restaurant
It doesn't look promising but we had a - pretty good - pizza here.
Phoenix Ice Restaurant
Right next to the turn off to Villa Araliya on Lewis Pl / Porutota Rd, but a little bit away from the main set of restaurants, this is a nice little place with a wide menu and live music on the weekends. Owned by a Brit / Sri Lankan couple, it is nicely decorated and lit in a subdued style. The food is low priced but a bit hit and miss: I'd say they'd've done better with a smaller menu and more focus on each item.
For some reason, Sri Lankans love German food. This is Swiss but honestly the only difference between that and German is the level of boiled-ness. If you like schnitzel, pork knuckles and various forms of cabbage - boiled, pickled, etc - this is your place in Negombo.
Villa Araliya (Vegetarian)
It has an excellent restaurant with a beautiful view of the pool and an entirely vegetarian / Italian menu. The pizza margherita - which they delivered to our room - was excellent: definitely one the best we've had despite the lack of dead animal flesh on it. Mmm, dead animal flesh.
These are some of the restaurants we went to: let me know your recommendations in the comments, so we can visit those next time.
(Click here for more posts about restaurants/places to eat in Sri Lanka)