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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 6 Delicious Dishes You Must Try in Colombo – The Best of Sri Lankan Cuisine
Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Delicious Dishes You Must Try in Colombo – The Best of Sri Lankan Cuisine

If you have not tried out the local cuisine in Colombo, you have not experienced this city! Below are 6 dishes that are known for their unique flavours and aromas. Try them and relish an unforgettable culinary experience.


Kottu Roti

Sri Lanka's all-time favourite street food, Kottu Roti can work any day as a snack, a full meal or even just comfort food. This dish is a hundred percent Sri Lankan and although it's such a treat for the taste-buds it utilises the simplest of ingredients. A couple of finely shredded rotis combined with chopped onions, carrots, leeks, and your choice of meats all go into making a yummy kottu. Through the years Kottu Roti has experienced its fair share of evolution and now you get varieties like the "Cheese Kottu" and the "Marmite Kottu", making this simple dish all the more interesting! If you are staying at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo or other such hotels in Colombo City, you will be able to find local dishes including Kottu Roti on the buffet menu.


Isso Vade

Three prawns lie on a lentil pancake that is seasoned with special gravy and sprinkled with chopped onions and carrots. That is what Isso Vade is all about! Bursting with flavour and full of crunch the Isso Vade is reputed as one of Sri Lanka's most favourite snacks. If you are hunting for places to get your hands on Isso Vade, head straight to Galle Face. You can pick and choose from the many stalls found here. But since it is common street food, there are several other Isso Vade stalls dotted all over the city.



Known locally as "Appa", this is yet another favourite dish among the locals. Simple but authentically Sri Lankan, anyone visiting the island should definitely try this out. Appa can be eaten for either breakfast or dinner and is readily found in most local eateries around the city. Coupled with some Lunu Miris (a spicy concoction of finely chopped up onions and chilli) you will be surprised at how flavourful this dish can be. Have your hopper with a bull's eye (fried egg) in the middle or with some sweet jaggery.


Rice & Curry

A staple in Sri Lanka, rice and curry is an immensely popular dish and it is not uncommon to find locals who enjoy it at all three meals! You get different kinds of rice though the traditional kind that is used is a red rice variety. Accompanying curries which usually are spicy can include different meats be it chicken, beef, pork, mutton or fish.



Kiribath marks new beginnings in Sri Lanka and is without a doubt a breakfast favourite. The dish literally translates to "milk rice" and is prepared using raw rice that is cooked in thick coconut milk. You can have Kiribath with some spicy fish curry or the traditional Lunu Miris mentioned earlier.



If you have a sweet tooth, this is a dessert that you cannot miss. A popular dish amongst the Muslim community, it is made using eggs and jaggery and you will be surprised at what a scrumptious pudding like outcome it creates.