Sri Lanka cuisine is full of incredible dishes, but nothing beats a good street eat. So here’s my treet food Sri Lanka guide for some top tips
For me, food is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new country and street food in Sri Lanka is a great introduction to one of my favourite countries.
Whether it’s freshly chopped Kothu through to spicy coconut samba (a personal favourite!) Sri Lankan street food is a tasty, cheap and authentic way to experience this epic little island.
So if you’re heading that way soon, here’s what you can expect…
Street Food Sri Lanka | The Foodie Guide to Eating in Paradise
From the sensational sizzle of pans to the hearty tear of freshly baked bread, Sri Lankans know that the way to one’s heart is through the stomach.
This South Asian country is filled with beautiful sights to see and things to do. On your journey through the winding paths, you’ll encounter the enticing aromas peppered within these streets.
By using a kaleidoscope of spices, local produce, and foreign influences, Sri Lanka has a stunning palette that will be sure to dazzle any taste buds.
Unsure how to choose the perfect, delicious dish while exploring these streets? We’ll take you on a journey through this cuisine and how to determine whether you can handle its sweet and spicy nibbles.
What To Expect From Sri Lankan Cuisine
Sri Lanka provides a mosaic of flavours to titillate its consumer’s tongues. From cinnamon sticks to pandan leaves, this tiny island nation incorporates their native produce and spices into their dishes.
Many think Sri Lankan cuisine is the same as India, and while they might be similar, they have a distinct difference in added spiciness. You can expect a lot of rice dishes, seafood delicacies, and curries while frequenting its restaurants.
Coconut lovers will rejoice at the smells and flavours of Sri Lankan specialties, as this shelled fruit is a staple in its cuisine. From coconut milk in curries to freshly picked coconuts that you can drink straight from the shell, the King Coconuts of this island are royalty.
Famous Street Food Vendors in Sri Lanka
As street vendors seem to dot every pathway in Sri Lanka, some local spaces are known for providing a sublime array of roadside dishes. Take a look at some of the areas and places where you can find the perfect on-the-go snack:
Nana’s King Beach Side Food
Location: Galle Face Dr, Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka
Located in the street food haven of the Galle Face Green on the waterfront, this stall has everything you’re looking for.
When night falls, a steady stream of street vendors set up their stalls on the premises, and among the masses, Nana’s is one of the best. Be sure to try the various Kottu options for sale to encounter this country’s vibrant culture in one bite.
Eat Street Colombo
Location: Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka
Eat Street Colombo hosts a street food festival every four months that will have any foodie swooning. This pick is more for individuals looking to add a sense of refined flair to the usual street food experience, from international to local cuisine.
Whether you’re after a steaming kebab or looking for the homey pleasures of a pizza, Eat Street Colombo has got you covered. This festival also usually features quite a few fun kiddies activities, such as jumping castles.
Location: Abdul Hameed St, Colombo, Sri Lanka
If you’re looking for a wide variety of different types of Sri Lankan street food in one place, this is the eatery for you. With big portions and low prices, this hunger-solving hot spot will have you embarking on a tasty adventure of a lifetime.
Street Food Factory
Location: Commercial Bank Kollupitiya Car Park, Colombo, Sri Lanka
A fantastic food truck near the Casino Marina Colombo, this raving roadside hub does street food a little differently. Filled with hamburgers and fries covered with traditional spices, you’ll have a taste of the familiar mixed with a unique flair.
Bros Street Foods
Location: 163/5/97/R, Gramasekara Mawatha, Wellampitiya, Sri Lanka
Situated in the suburb of Kotikawatta, Bros Street Foods offers a wide range of authentic dishes. From Pittu Kottu to biryanis, this hole-in-the-wall establishment is a tiny slice of the flavourful heaven this country has to offer.
Top Street Foods to Try
From seafood delicacies to traditional pancake creations, unique dishes are the name of the game when it comes to describing Sri Lanka’s fine cuisine.
Sri Lanka’s street food is a great way to encounter the flavourful underbelly of the tasteful splendors Sri Lankan cuisine has on offer. Get ready to drool as we take you through some of the must-try, mouth-watering street foods in this colorful country:
While you might be familiar with this carb-infused side dish from Indian cuisine, Sri Lankan cuisine has various versions of rotis sprinkled and engulfed with different fillings.
This flatbread usually comes with vegetables, meats, and other fresh ingredients. Here are a few variants of rotis you can expect to see on the menu:
- Thengappu roti – Made with shredded coconut baked within the dough. Try it with chili salt for an extra kick.
- Kottu roti – This is a finely chopped roti with a mixture of scrambled eggs, onions, tomatoes, and an option of meat or vegetables. This dish is usually made on a hot plate.
If you’re fortunate enough to travel during the Sinhalese New Year, you’ll come across these deep-fried balls on the streets. Konda keum is deep-fried dough balls, also known as oil cakes, sweetened to perfection.
If you’re a fan of the crunchy sensation of coconuts, the coconut sambal (also known as pol sambal) is the perfect dish to further your love for this chewy fruit.
Coconut sambal is a savory dish with coconut, dried chilies, spices, and red onions. This is, however, more of a condiment and can be enjoyed with various other dishes.
An egg-cellent dish in our books, hoppers are usually created in a pancake form, which is generally from coconut milk and rice flour. A popular way to eat this creation is by adding an egg, transforming it into an egg hopper, and is a staple of any breakfast.
These deep-fried lentil fritters or patties are a delight to munch on after a long day of exploring, such as traveling to the wondrous beaches in the area. These steaming domes of flavour are often referred to as a “short eat” as it is an excellent snack on the go.
Have you tried any awesome Sri Lanka street food?
Anything or anywhere you’d recommend?