Sri Lanka serves the best street food, unique and delectable and differs in palate basis their region of origin and the style which they’re prepared in. These on-the-go snackible items are an integral part of Sri Lankan cuisine, they’re filling and they’re sold at affordable prices. Sri Lanka has a tasty spectrum believe you me and here are some must try snacks, native to the country.

1. Ulundu Vadai

The aroma of fresh vadai wafting in the air will leave you craving for this deep-fried snack. Made from urad dhal, these popular donut shaped savories are had with spicy chutney made from coconuts or with steamed rice cakes for breakfast. It is fried to perfection till the outside turns crispy while the inside remains fluffy and moist.

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Famous at: Shanmugas in Colombo 6 serves each at Rs. 75

2. Acharu

This addictive pickle will tingle your taste buds with it’s sweet, sour, tangy and spicy clique of flavors. Acharu is prepared from fruits, vegetables and meat. It is served as an accompaniment for rice and curry and often considered an offbeat on-the-go snack. It is traditionally prepared with fruits like raw mango, jack-fruit, wood apple and lime, also made from vegetables like red onions and eggplants and proteins like fish and prawn.

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Famous At: Achcharu Kade in Colombo 7 charges Rs.150/ bowl

3. Paripu Vadai

A highly recommended vegan snack in Sri Lanka prepared using lentils and served hot. Packed with proteins, it is best relished with a hot cup of Ceylon tea on a rainy day. The lentils are soaked, ground and mixed along with spices like fennel seeds, garlic and onion. This thick paste is flattened to bite-sized vadai and is deep fried in hot oil until golden brown.

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Famous At: Saraswathie Lodge on Galle road sells them at Rs.50

4. Fried Chick Peas

Fried chick peas are bite-sized snacks that play a major role as a crunchy savory alongside beverages. These fried and salted grams are served in bowls to welcome guests before meals are served to them. Popularly sold by street vendors on their mobile carts, these funnel treats are found plentiful in Sri Lanka in several variants like roasted, fried, salted and spiced.

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Famous at: Street Stalls on Galle Green Road

5. Pani Pol

These offbeat sweet pancakes are made from a mix of freshly ground coconut and sugar which is then stuffed into a palm treacle base. This tasty treat can be savored across restaurants, street stalls and even at bakeries-on-wheels. This juicy crepe is often had with tea for an evening snack in Sri Lankan households. Cinnamon and Cardamom give a Sri Lankan twist to this dish originally introduced by Portuguese during their invasion.

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Famous at: Dehiwala and Wellawatte area around Galle Road.

6. String Hoppers

String hoppers are prepared from steamed rice noodles molded into flat spirals. They are served hot once steamed till the noodles get translucent. These string hoppers are traditionally served with coconut sambol, dhal and other curries. While in Sri Lanka, do not miss the sight of numerous eateries along the Galle Green Road serving this healthy snack along with a cup of black tea.

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Famous at: Taste of Asia on Galle Road, Colombo popular for offering Hopper combo at Rs. 70

7. Short Eats

Savored anytime and anywhere, find these cute triangular rotis filled with vegetables/egg/meat at any bakery or food stall along the streets of Sri Lanka. Proclaimed to be the healthier cousin of samosa, the stuffed rotis are freshly made and sell out as soon as they make it out of the pan.

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Famous at: The Roti Shop in Unawatuna, Galle recommended for vegetarians where rotis is stuffed with olives, cheese, mushroom priced at Rs. 250

8. Saruwath

Served as a local refreshing drink, the street stalls are decorated with these colorful syrups waiting to quench your thirst. The thick syrups are available in different flavors like lime, pineapple, strawberry and rose that are then mixed with chilled water and ice cubes. This offbeat sweet drink has an instant chilling effect and is best enjoyed on a hot sultry day.

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Famous At: Temporary stalls on the streets

9. Kottu

Kottu is a recommended street food prepared with leftover ingredients mixed to a perfect balance of all flavors. It is made from leftover wheat rotis mixed together with vegetables, eggs, spices and curry along with some shredded meat (optional). As the sun sets, the street vendors pull out their iron pans and metal cleavers as you enjoy the rhythmic clank of the kottu makers, busy at work.

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Famous at: The RoadHouse Food Truck at Hotel Road Mount Lavinia sell Nai Mirish Chicken Kottu costing Rs.430 and Chili Beef Kottu is Rs. 450

10. Lamprais

Translated to a “packet of food” in Dutch, the descendants of the Burgher community introduced this popular dish to the Sri Lankan cuisine. Wrapped around a banana leaf and slow-baked in the oven for several hours, this packet of goodness mainly consists of richly flavored rice, boiled eggs, eggplants, meatballs and sambol along with spices like clove, cinnamon and cardamom.

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Famous at: VOC Café in Colombo 4 sell All Meat Lamprais for Rs.545

The rich culinary culture of Sri Lanka can be relished through an array of dishes served by street vendors. Gorge on the healthy hoppers for breakfast, Kottu for lunch and Lamprais for dinner along with some refreshing Saruwath to wash down the spices. Sri Lanka is a delightful paradise for foodies travelling on a budget.

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