Updated: Apr 24
A coffee before the morning surf; and, one after. A cup of joe before that two pm call. Something to sip during the beach stroll to scope out the perfect spot for the sunset watch. A slice of vegan cake on the side, maybe. All of the above, maybe. This is a very realistic scenario when you’re staying at the Spice Trail—the home of Bites Bakebar and Café. When you need a real coffee in the bay, there’s only one place to go; and that’s Bites. Sitting at the very entrance to the Spice Trail resort, facing Panama Road, Bites is Arugam Bay’s original coffee haven. With best-of-bay brews, and shelves full of what looks like Willy Wonka’s wildest dreams, Bites is where everyone here gravitates towards to get their fix. This story is about what we love about this Nordic bakery and café, and what it brings into the Spice Trail mix.
Let's face the facts - most of us can't function without caffeine and a slice of sweetness. Come 8 am, elevensies, or the afternoon sugar blues, the need to top up gets real. Giving the people what they really want, Bites was born as the brainchild of Silje Nilsen—a Nordic powerhouse with family roots in baking, currently based here in the tropics. Over the years, Bites has been consistent in brewing that perfect cup with dangerously delicious side treats, becoming THE coffee place in Arugam Bay. There are many reasons why we give Bites extra kudos. A big one is that they share the Spice Trail ethoses of bringing the best of local flavours together with classics from around the world. Think homemade chai mixing in Ceylon Cinnamon, kombucha with lemongrass from the farm, and home bakes topped with Lankan cashew nuts. Bites complements the Spice Trail’s love for sharing new and interesting ways to taste Sri Lanka’s freshest flavours, while keeping it relevant for everyone visiting, as much as the home crowds.
Speaking of crowds, Bites is where they all inevitably end up. And, that’s another thing we love about this great little café. Walking into the Spice Trail, you see people enjoying piping hot cups in the air-conditioned café as they fire away those morning emails, while others lounge on the outdoor patio sipping iced drinks in pools of sunlight. Taking advantage of the green lawn stretching between the Spice Trail and Bites, many bring their kids along (both human and furry) and let them loose to buzz away into eventual tranquility by the time you start thinking about having a civilised lunch or dinner. With a great mix of tropical moods and Scandinavian roots, Bites has a fantastic atmosphere that makes it too easy to spend fun hours on end. It sits right in with the Spice Trail’s priority to create places and experiences that families of all shapes, kinds and sizes can enjoy together.
And finally, what it all boils down to; coffee at Bites is hard to beat. The strong cult of everyday regulars who simply can’t do without the mandatory Bites injection, and those who come all the way because someday somebody told them about this star-class coffee house in Arugam Bay, are all testimony to just how solid the Bites caffeine game is. Being big fans of consistent quality, and hard-to-beat standards, we find Bites a great partner in crafting the Spice Trail experience that stands for these very same things.
At the end of the day, Bites really brings in an important mix of ethoses, food cultures, and family-friendly values that are very close to the heart of the Spice Trail. That’s why we take special pride in hosting the bay’s best coffee place here at the Spice Trail, giving our guests access to all their taste-fantasies within the resort itself. So, here’s to them cake dealers, coffee slingers, and the makers of the best fix for all our pick-me-up rituals. Come by, take your time; enjoy that sip, savour those bites; it’s all about living that sweet, sweet Spice Trail life.