Best Sri Lanka National Dishes to Try

Table Of Contents


Sri Lanka is an exotic paradise for our tourists. Everything here differs: from the climate to the flora, fauna and cuisine. Here is the list of the best national food in Sri Lanka and traditional dishes to try.

National food in Sri Lanka

Popular Traditional Dishes in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan cuisine is a variety of rice dishes with coconut milk. Fresh vegetables, perfectly cooked meat and even fruits are added to these ingredients.

By the way, experienced tourists are advised to try fruits and dishes from them not in establishments, but in the markets.

So it will be cheaper by 2-3 times. In the markets of Sri Lanka you will find mango, jackfruit, papaya, rambutan, lychee, Bengal quince and many other exotic fruits. You can also make a dessert, salad or smoothie out of them at the exit from the market for only 20-40 rupees.


This is the main dish of the Sri Lankans. There are many variations on the theme of curry: meat, seafood, chicken, fish or lentil curry for vegetarians. Along with the dish, you will be served a bowl of rice and snacks from vegetables and fruits. All this is stewed in coconut milk, due to which it acquires incredible softness. Get ready for the fire: Sri Lankan dishes are spicy. Snack them with boiled rice or flatbread.

National dish of Sri Lanka - Curry

string hoppers

This is a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast of steamed rice noodles. String hoppers are served with meat or fish sauce, stewed vegetables or served as a dessert.

In the latter version, coconut milk with cane sugar is used as a topping. If you’re traveling to Sri Lanka with children, they will especially appreciate this dish.

Sri Lankan traditional food - string hoppers


And again rice with coconut. This dish is also customary to eat for breakfast, because hoppers are a thin openwork rice pancake on coconut flour. It is fried without oil, and scrambled eggs, vegetables or meat are added to the center. Be sure to order a dish in local cafes: it will turn out cheap and satisfying.

National Tomorrow of Sri Lanka - Egg Hoppers


The basis of the dish was a finely chopped cake made from coconut flour. It is fried until golden brown and seasoned with a topping of your choice: egg, meat, chicken.

Stewed vegetables and hot chili are added to all this. Be sure to ask to make it not spicy if you are not used to scalding food and do not want to spoil your trip to Sri Lanka with stomach problems.

What to try tourists in Sri Lanka - kottu

Is food expensive in Sri Lanka?

Food prices in Sri Lanka are much lower than in many resort countries. The cheapest place to eat is in a cafe for locals, but don’t expect European service here. On average, food in Sri Lanka costs as follows:

  • lunch in a cheap cafe – $ 2;
  • lunch for two in a middle-class restaurant – 10-11 dollars;
  • fast food lunch – $4;
  • 0.5 local foamy drink – $ 1.4;
  • 0.5 foreign beer – 2.5 dollars;
  • cappuccino coffee – 2.5 dollars.
What dishes to try in Sri Lanka

Portions are big here. Traditional dishes are hearty, so everyone can eat one serving.


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