Eating in Sri Lanka

Eating in Sri Lanka

Part and parcel of enjoying a vacation destination is to be able to enjoy its cuisine. When looking at villas for rent near Galle, don’t forget to look around for eateries close by. While you might find things to do in Koggala, eating in Sri Lanka is an experience not to be missed out on as well. Sri Lanka is truly a Spice Island. A blending of cultures means a wide array of food, and the island even offers local versions of international cuisine.Read on to discover the array of dining options.

Dining Options

There are many places to eat from street-side to high-end. If you are looking for villas for rent near Galle, try Royal Dutch Cafe or Old Railway Cafe. Queens Art Cafe, Unawatuna is good for a bite and a drink off the beach. An amalgamation of cultures means a variety of local fast food: the Kotthu – a stir-fried combo of chopped rotti , veggies and meat. There’s paratha, vadai, coconut rotti, samosa offered at roadside eateries, that are each named ‘hotel’.

Sri Lankan Specialities

Rice is the staple food, eaten with curries. Biriyani is rice cooked with meat while most dishes use coconut flesh or liquid to thicken the curries. ‘Devilled dishes’ usually include  a meat or fish item in a spicy sauce. Try hoppers (bowl-shaped crispy pancakes), Dosas (paper-thin pancakes with vegetables) or Uttapam (thick pancake with onions, chillies, peppers). Kola kanda is a herbal health drink made with coconut milk into a herb porridge. Whatever is on your list of things to do in Koggala, make sure to stop by and grab a glass of Kola kanda to fuel up on your journey.

Fruit, Vegetables and Seafood

There’s an abundance of fruit in the island; several varieties including bananas, papayas, guava, mango, pineapple, rambutan, durian and mangosteen. Vegetables are plentiful. Mallung is a raw leafy preparation that is sometimes tempered or consumed in the raw. Young Jackfruit has a meaty texture and makes for a good curry. Another absolute must is Pol Sambol. This dish is actually shredded coconut, lime juice, red onions and chilli all pounded together into a sambol. Jaffna crab curry is a unique and such a flavourful dish made in the north using tamarind and coconut. Ambulthiyal fish curry is a typical dish prepared in the south and uses goraka, a sour fruit for flavour.


Wattalappam is a coconut milk and egg pudding with jaggery and cardamom infused. Another local dessert favourite is curd served with treacle. Curd is  natural yoghurt; it’s served with kitul treacle. Pani pol is another speciality – pancake with jaggery and coconut filling, this is an absolute treat.


Tea can be enjoyed from road-side stalls or high-end outlets. Tea is had with milk and sugar, or brewed with ginger. While coffee is catching on, tea is a favourite among the working crowd in the evenings. With a plentiful crop of fruits all year round numerous fruit sellers have turned to serving fresh fruit juices. The lime juice is the local favourite and when you’re really thirsty, the juice with soda is a perfect quencher on a hot day.  Other local sweet drinks include lassi or faluda. Ginger beer is a popular soft drink which use to be made at home. How could we forget the thambili (king coconut) which can be drunk at any roadside ‘kade’ or shop.