Sri Lanka, with its rich culinary heritage, offers a delightful array of flavours and dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds

ByAndrea Thompson

May 8, 2024
Here are some of the best foods to try in Sri Lanka and why they are worth savouring.

Here are some of the best foods to try in Sri Lanka and why they are worth savouring.

Rice and Curry:

  • Why: A staple in Sri Lankan, fragrant rice is served with an assortment of curries. Each curry whether it is fish, chicken, or vegetable is infused with a blend of spices, coconut milk, and aromatic herbs.
  • Must-Try: Ambul Thiyal (sour fish curry) a robust fiery curry

Hoppers (Appa):

  • Why: These bowl-shaped, crispy pancakes are made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk. They’re often enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack.
  • Must-Try: Egg Hoppers, an egg is cracked into the centre of the hopper during cooking.

Kottu Roti:

  • Why: A popular street food, kottu roti is a stir-fried dish made from shredded flatbread, vegetables, eggs, and your choice of meat.
  • Must-Try: with Chicken Kottu.

String Hoppers (Idiyappam):

  • Why: These light and delicate rice noodles are steamed and served with coconut sambal or curries.
  • Must-Try: Perfect with Dhal Curry.


  • Why: A legacy of Dutch colonial influence, features rice cooked with meat (usually beef or chicken), sambal, and other accompaniments, all wrapped in a banana leaf and baked.
  • Must-Try: The flavours meld beautifully in this unique dish.

Fish Ambul Thiyal:

  • Why: The fish is marinated in spices, dried goraka (a sour fruit), and then slow-cooked.
  • Must-Try: It’s a bold explosion of flavours.

Pol Sambol:

  • Why: A fiery coconut relish made with grated coconut, red onions, chili, and lime juice. It adds a zesty kick to any meal.
  • Must-Try: Pair it with hoppers or string hoppers.


  • Why: A traditional Sri Lankan dessert, steamed coconut custard infused with jaggery, cardamom, and nutmeg.
  • Must-Try: The velvety texture and sweet-spiced flavour are divine.

Wood Apple (Bel):

  • Why: Not a dish but a unique fruit native to Sri Lanka. Its tough outer shell hides a sweet-tangy pulp that’s often made into a refreshing drink.

In Sri Lanka, food isn’t just sustenance, embark on a culinary adventure and savour some of these delightful dishes