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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 5 Street Foods You Must Try in Colombo, Sri Lanka - The vivid flavours of the Capital of Sri Lanka
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Street Foods You Must Try in Colombo, Sri Lanka - The vivid flavours of the Capital of Sri Lanka

The tasty blend of flavours, spices, and textures gives Sri Lankan cuisine the popularity it deserves. Street food is considered a national treasure in Sri Lanka, the love and fondness the citizens put into making this food have been passed down through generations!


Isso vadei

There’s one place to start your street food journey, and that’s at Galle Face Green – an interesting cross between a park and a beach which makes it all the more fascinating. It’s the go-to spot for snacking and as you walk through, you’ll notice vendor carts selling bright orange ‘isso vadei’ – spicy lentil cakes either with prawns mixed in or on top. They are strangely addictive with plenty of people making it a point to immediately satisfy their isso vadei cravings, no matter the time! Galle Face Green is only a 4- minute car ride away from Cinnamon Grand Colombo, or you can opt to walk, in order to build the appetite you’ll need to eat the isso vadei!



The king of Sri Lankan street food, kottu seems like an easy enough type of food to make – but it’s rarely made at home. With its perfect balance of flavours, this dish isn’t only found in street vendor stalls, but even at any hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Kottu is a combination of roti, vegetables, spices and a meat of your choice! What’s most intriguing about kottu is the manner in which it is made – on a hot cooking surface with two rectangular knives chopping the roti.



If you enjoy the taste of tanginess, then you’re bound to love acharu. Acharu is simply unripe fruits pickled in a mixture of sugar, salt, vinegar and loads of chilli powder. Acharu is a childhood favourite among many Sri Lankans, mango and pineapple acharu are the most popular.



Every street vendor stall in every corner has samosas, small delicious looking triangles. Loaded with plenty of spices, these tiny triangles are filled with either beef curry, vegetable curry or sometimes even just potatoes. The ratio of pasty to curry is perfect, as the crunchiness of the pastry perfectly complements the burst of flavour that you taste as you reach the curry! Finding samosas aren’t going to be a hard task because they’re everywhere, and they’ll easily catch your eye. Finding good samosa that’ll leave a lasting impression on you won’t be a challenge!



Sri Lankans love their hoppers! A pancake bowl served with eggs and curries, hoppers are often eaten for breakfast or dinner. Basically, hoppers are the Sri Lankan version of thin pancakes with crispy edges due to the fact that they’re made on mini woks. Traditionally served with coconut sambal, chilli sauce or chutney, this delicacy can be found anywhere on the island. If you visit Sri Lanka, make sure you try the hoppers before you leave – you’ll only want more.