Sweet, sour, salty, hot, bitter and burning, all at once. The incredible variety of food can be shocking at first, but believe me, you will miss its taste when you leave. The food is on almost every corner and at very reasonable prices. Locals hardly cook, they use local food vendors. Be sure to try food from the stall, which is not adapted for tourists, as is the case in the main tourist areas and hotels.

Tips on eating in Sri Lanka

The national dish is rice and curry. But it is not a curry spice we are familiar with, but a hot mixture with vegetables, meat or fish. Sri Lankans even eat curry for breakfast. If you are not completely lover of spicy food, it is necessary to warn the staff significantly. Also, be prepared for the fact that you will hardly come across a proper steak in Sri Lanka. Like any coastal state, they have a local supply of fresh fish and usually upon arrival at the restaurant, instead of a menu you can see the counter where you will see the current menu. Just choose the best piece and way of cooking.


It is a spicy fruit or vegetable sauce. Most likely you will come across mango chutneys.


Hot chili sauce, the most common variant is half sambal made of grated coconut.


Local type of pastry. These are bread pancakes, which are an excellent addition to sauces. However, they can also eat separately.


A remnant of Dutch culture, these are rice, meat patties, eggs and vegetables wrapped and baked in a banana leaf.

Appam (Hoppers)

Pancakes made of rice flour and coconut dough, they are usually served for breakfast. Like our pancakes, they can be eaten in several ways in sweet and savory versions.


A local classic, red lentils are cooked in coconut milk, the basis of every curry feast.

Food prices in Sri Lanka

Food in Sri Lanka is very cheap. Thanks to the proximity of the sea, you can have fresh fish and shellfish for a fraction of the price in comparison with what you can get in Europe.

  • Fresh coconut about 40Rs
  • Rice and curry about 500Rs
  • Grilled fish about 1000Rs
  • Fried rice about 500Rs
  • Lobster about 400Rs

(Prices may vary).

Where you can best find yourself in Sri Lanka

As in every country, the rule is that, you would the best food where the locals go. In many tourist restaurants, they adapt the food to our tastes and it is not so authentic. It is definitely better to try smaller buffets, dining rooms or stalls than renowned restaurants. If you choose private accommodation, for example according to the Lonely Planet guide, we definitely recommend you try the home cooking, which will certainly be offered to you—prices will not be much different from those in restaurants.

What to know next about Sri Lanka

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