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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 14, 2020
Headline for Top 5 Street Food to Try in Sri Lanka – Delectable Culinary Adventures
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Street Food to Try in Sri Lanka – Delectable Culinary Adventures

If savouring local cuisine is a quintessential part of your holiday plan, then you are in for a treat when visiting the island of Sri Lanka. Featuring eclectic street food that can be spicy, savoury or sweet, the country offers foodies flavour-filled culinary discoveries they won't soon forget!


Kottu Roti

A perennial favourite when it comes to street food in Sri Lanka, kottu roti or just "kottu", is a tantalising dish full of spice and heavenly flavour combinations. First-time visitors should head to one of the street-side eateries where this dish is made to watch (and hear!) it being prepared; strips of godamba roti, as well as a variety of veggies and meats (options include chicken, beef, mutton, prawns and cuttlefish), are sliced and diced to a rhythmic beat of metal against metal. The result of this kottu "soundtrack" is a delectable dish that is made yummier when it has an infusion of cheese!


Isso Vadei

This bite-sized snack is best eaten hot when the outside is crunchy and the inside is soft. Isso vadei (or isso wade) can be termed as a kind of deep-fried lentil cake topped with small prawns locally known as "isso". In main cities such as Colombo, it is common to see mobile food cart vendors selling isso vadei alongside the road, while Galle Face Green has plenty of vendors beside the seaside promenade. Sometimes, this snack will feature a mini crab instead of prawns and it is just as delicious.



Great for both breakfast and dinner, hoppers are an integral part of Sri Lankan cuisine and sometimes are referred to as a kind of pancake; while the base of the hopper is somewhat similar, unlike pancakes, it has a bowl-like shape with the sides being crispy. Available both at street eateries and properties belonging to hospitality chains the likes of Aitken Spence Hotels, this dish sometimes features a fried egg in its centre (called an egg hopper). Enjoying hoppers with curries and a spicy sambal paste known as "lunu miris" will have your taste buds in raptures of delight!



Another much-loved street food snack, samosas are readily available at most street eateries. Shaped like a triangle, this deep-fried snack is made from flatbread that is stuffed with vegetables or meats (like chicken or beef) along with a variety of spices. Great to enjoy on the go, samosas when eaten hot, offer crunch-filled goodness that gives way to the spicy filling within; suffice to say, you are likely to crave it the next time you get a case of the munchies!


Pani Pol

Those with a sweet tooth will love pani pol (also called pol pani) which is rolled up pancakes filled with a sweet ("pani") coconut ("pol") filling. When made well, the coconut filling which consists of a palm treacle base is juicy and soft and when combined with the pancake is pure bliss! While you can find this sweet treat at a variety of small restaurants and eateries, it can be easily made too, perfect when you get a craving for some pani pol when back at home.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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