11 Best Street Foods in Sri Lanka To Have An Amazing Gastronomic Experience (2023)
Pleasing the palate of tourists for years, Sri Lanka is known for offering delightful street foods. Connected to the rich history of the island country, Sri Lankan cuisine offers a wide spectrum of culinary delights. As you explore different places in the country, you will get to explore different dishes that will bring out the adventurous eater in you.
Here are some of the street foods that you must try during your stay in Sri Lanka.
- Kiribath with Lunu Miris: Popularly known as milk rice, Kiribath is one of the most popular street foods that you must try during your stay in Sri Lanka. Made with rice and coconut milk, this rice is known for being a common household staple in the country. Many families serve this rice on the eve of auspicious occasions such weddings, birthdays, and so on. Don’t forget to try the Sri Lankan Sambal i.e. Lunu Miris along with the rice. Lunu Miris is a spicy paste and uplifts the entire dish. Made with ingredients such as salt, dried fish, red onion, lime juice, and salt, this paste is often used as a topping on dishes. Shall you prefer vegetarian food, feel free to enquire about the ingredients used in the sambal before eating.
- Egg Roti: Egg roti is another popular dish that you will find at many streetside food stalls. Even though the recipe is quite simple, the taste will definitely leave a mark on your taste buds. Ideal for a quick meal, this dish is made with dough and egg. One the dough is stretched on a hot surface, the egg is cracked and put on it. The egg roti is often served with a curry such as spicy fish curry, dried fish curry, etc. You can also ask the seller for his or her recommendations.
- Kola Kanda: Having earned popularity as a breakfast item, Kola Kanda is a traditional soup that is made with different herbs. It comes with a number of health benefits because of the presence of the juice of medicinal leaves in it. This thick herbal soup is served piping hot along with a pinch of palm sugar or jaggery which ultimately adds to its taste. The green color of the juice comes from the herbs. Ideal for vegetarians, this soup can be used for a quick meal. Even though the recipe differs across stores, you should definitely try this once.
- Egg Hoppers and String Hoppers: Locally known as Appam and Idiyappam, both Egg Hoppers and String Hoppers are one of the most widely consumed street foods in the country. Hopper, which forms the base of both of the dishes, is made with a batter that contains fermented rice flour and coconut milk. Once this batter is cooked in a spherical pan, you have the hopper. For the egg hopper, an egg is cracked and cooked in the middle of the hopper. It is served with a pinch of black pepper. On the other hand, the string hopper is made with rice flour and coconut milk. The batter is cooked with a special tool to create long and thin noodles which are then steamed. String hoppers are usually served with curries, stews, and sambals.
- Kottu Roti: This traditional dish is one of those that you can’t miss during your trip to Sri Lanka. Made with shredded roti, vegetables, egg, meat, and sauces, this dish takes you on a gastronomic journey. You will be amazed to see the rhythmic fashion in which the entire mix is chopped. The aroma of the dish will certainly excite your taste buds. It is also easy to know about the stalls that sell kottu roti because of the distinct sound that happens because of the rhythmic chopping of the mix with paddles.
- Goat Brain Curry: This adventurous dish attracts tourists and locals alike. This simple yet delicious curry is made with goat brain, onion, salt, yogurt, and a bunch of other spices. The cooking process involves bringing all the spices to a mix and then cooking the goat brain in it. If you want to try something unique during your stay in Sri Lanka, this is definitely worth trying. Image Source
- Isso Vadei: Spice lentil cakes, popularly known as the Isso Vadei, are one of the most popular street food items that you simply can’t miss. These cakes are often adorned with prawn on the top. Some of the sellers might mix the prawns in the cake. Often served as after-work snacks, Isso Vadei attracts both tourists and the locals alike. During your visit to Sri Lanka, you must try this street food once.
- Samosas: No matter which street are you roaming on in Sri Lanka, you will find a samosa seller on most of them. Loaded with vegetables or beef, these samosas will take you on a spicy journey that will add to your street food experience in the island country. With a crunchy pastry on the outside, these samosas can be found in every street corner.
- Sarvita and Coconuts: During your Sri Lanka trip, you will find saravita and coconuts no matter wherever you go. Being produced in large amounts, this island country has an abundant amount of coconut. On the other hand, you will also get to see saravita which is a luminous-colored street dessert. To make it even more attractive, the sellers wrap the shredded coconut in a betel leaf. Whether you are visiting Colombo or Galle, you will find plenty of shops selling this street dessert.
- Watalappam: Introduced in the 18th century, this dessert primarily comes from the Malay immigrants. Made with a number of ingredients such as coconut milk, cashew nuts, jaggery, nutmeg, etc., this dish is one of the must-haves during your stay in Sri Lanka. Popularly known as Coconut Custard, this dish is worth dying for. Being light and not too sweet at the same time, this street food is an integral part of the traditional Eid-al-Fitr meals as well.
- Manioc Chips: Another popular street food that you must try in Sri Lanka is Manioc. Made with a cassava like Tapioca, this street food is chewy and sweet. In terms of texture, it is crispy yet melts in your mouth. Take yourself on a gastronomic journey with these deep-fried manioc chips during your stay in Sri Lanka. They often come seasoned with salt and mild spices as well. You will find them even at the local cinema theatres. Many locals find it simply addictive.
No matter whether you are looking for desserts or unique street food items, Sri Lanka will never disappoint you. Created with fresh produce, the street food items combine sweet, spice, and sourness and rejuvenate your taste buds. Taste all the dishes listed here and make your trip to Sri Lanka memorable.