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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 26, 2019
Headline for Street Food You Must Try in Colombo - Top Street Food to Sample in Sri Lankan Capital
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Street Food You Must Try in Colombo - Top Street Food to Sample in Sri Lankan Capital

Home to one of the world's most underrated cuisine, Sri Lankan street food is a cut above roadside treats available elsewhere in Asia. Here are some of the city's best street eats.

1

Kottu Roti

The clattering of steel blades crashing that accompanies the making of this dish is unmistakable in Colombo's busy street corners and the unique and rhythmic sound is music to the ears of many locals and expats alike. Made up of shredded Godamba roti pieces and tossed in a special spice mix which includes eggs and vegetables as well as meat, depending on the preference, Kottu Roti just may be the most popular street food item in the capital. The dinner meal option is made within earshot of passersby and diners can select a plethora of toppings and flavours to make their Kottu Roti a humble feast to remember.

2

Galle Road String Hoppers

Often consumed for breakfast and at times dinner, string hoppers are made using rice flour and resemble flat circles of angel hair noodles upon first glance. Served alongside a gravy the likes of Dhal curry and coconut sambol, string hoppers are steamed to perfection the old fashioned way. Galle Road is home to some of the top local eateries in the city and most of these establishments specialize in serving up string hoppers morning and night. String hoppers are also packed with side dishes and available to purchase for takeaway for those heading to the office on a busy weekday morning.

3

Samosas

Available through street-side kiosks and high-end bakeries alike Samosas are omnipresent snacks on the roads of the capital. Widely sold at bus and train stations, samosas are triangle shaped pastries featuring either vegetable or fish/meat infused fillings. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, the snack is made using a flatbread which is folded and then deep fried till it achieves a golden brown colour. The perfect pick-me-up during tea time and other times of the day when hunger pangs bother weary travellers, dig into the succulent and spicy samosas in Sri Lanka's capital if you can handle the heat.

4

Coconut Pancake

Simply referred to as "pancakes" by locals, coconut pancakes differ greatly from the types of fluffy pancakes European, American and Canadian travellers enjoy with maple syrup. The batter for this tea time dish is made using eggs, wheat flour and coconut milk while the filling is made by combining Kitul treacle with coconut shavings. Undeniably sweet, the refreshing taste of a coconut pancake can be enjoyed any hour of the day from a roadside vendor occupying the streets of Colombo. Those who are creative also sell coconut pancakes with different fillings including savoury options but the classic treacle infused filling is what's made this snack a classic in Sri Lankan cuisine.

5

Prawn Vade

Dhal or "Parippu" Vade is a snack item that's not only sold in the streets of Colombo but in India where the dish is believed to have originated. Prawn Vade, however, is a uniquely Sri Lankan snack item that's not only available in Galle Face Green but near the Berjaya Hotel Colombo and in front of most of the beachside restaurants in Mount Lavinia. Prawns are placed on top of this flat Vade before being deep fried and a special spice mix and sauce are sprinkled onto the surface of the Vade just before it is served to the customers.