Sri Lanka is a culinary paradise, known for its spicy and flavorful dishes that have been influenced by centuries of different cultures. From traditional rice and curry to street food and seafood, the island nation has something to offer everyone.

Traditional Dishes

Sri Lankan Hoppers with lunumiris | Image by Amila Tennakoon via flickr

A plate of rice and curry is a staple in Sri Lankan cuisine and is often served with a variety of curries made from different meats and vegetables. Kottu, a street food dish made from roti, vegetables and meat, is another popular choice. Hopper, a type of bowl-shaped pancake made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk, is also a traditional dish that is often served with a variety of curries.


Sri Lanka is an island nation, so it’s no surprise that seafood is a big part of the local cuisine. Fresh fish, prawns, and crabs are often cooked in a variety of ways, from grilled to curry. Try out the traditional dish of Fish Ambul Thiyal, a tangy and spicy fish curry made with tamarind.

Where to Eat

Sri Lanka has a wide range of dining options, from street food stalls to fine dining restaurants. For a true taste of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, head to a local “short-eatery”, which serves rice and curry and other traditional dishes. For a more upscale experience, try a restaurant in Colombo or Nuwara Eliya, maybe at a Nuwara Eliya hotel restaurant offered by the likes of Araliya Green City, where you’ll find a variety of international and Sri Lankan cuisine.


Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its spiciness, with a variety of chillies and spices used in dishes. Popular spices include cinnamon, cardamom, and curry leaves. Dishes like chicken curry and hot butter cuttlefish are particularly spicy, but always delicious.