Not sure what to order at a Sri Lankan restaurant? There’s so much diversity and flavours within Sri Lankan cuisine that it may be impossible to try all Sri Lankan dishes in your lifetime, let alone at one time. But here are some of our favourites that you’re likely to find at your nearby Sri Lankan restaurant. Like most restaurant experiences, in our opinion, your best route is ordering many main dishes and sharing them around the table. Combined with a few sides, plenty of rice, curry and a dessert, you’re sure to leave happy.

Here are some dishes you shouldn’t miss on your vacation to Sri Lanka.

  1. Rice Curry and Roti (Flat bread)

Rice is the Sri Lankan staple food. Rice goes into almost every dish in Sri Lanka, The Vegans, Vegetarians and non-vegetarian restaurants all offer great rice and with different curries. This is the most popular dish in Sri Lanka preferred by both local and tourists. 

  1. Kottu

Kottu is a Sri Lankan dish made from godhamba rotiand vegetables, egg and/or meat, and spices. One can’t visit Sri Lanka and fail to try Kottu roti also spelled (Koththu or Kotthu). Kottu is basically on all Sri Lankan restaurant menus. It is a very common dinner dish. 

  1. Dhal Curry (Parippu)

Dhal curry is one of the most popular dishes in Sri Lankan restaurants, It is a curry dish made of dhal (lentils) and gets its yellow colour from saffron. An excellent side dish that great accompaniment with anything from rice, to roti, to string hoppers, to roast paan (bread that is roasted in an oven).

  1. Hopper

Hopper is a pancake made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk. The dish is must have in Sri Lanka Cuisine. It is a bowl shaped pancake crispy on the outside and soft at the centre.

  1. Polos (green jackfruit curry)

Sri Lankan food is world renowned for its curries – and young jackfruit curry (polos). Jackfruit is eaten in a number of different ripeness stages in Sri Lanka. It is a favourite meal with local and tourists. 

  1. Wambatu moju (eggplant/brinjals pickle)

The wambatu moju is a blend of different flavours. Prepared with the eggplant, this dish is bursting with flavour packed with several textures a delightful taste. The bite-sized eggplant wedges are deep fried and then caramelized with a spoon of sugar, vinegar, red onions, green chilies, mustard seeds, chili powder and a hint of turmeric powder.

  1. Pittu

Pittu or puttu is a Sri Lankan rice cake mostly served during breakfast. The exquisite little cakes are conventionally steamed in bamboo but now are sometimes steamed in circular metal tubes. They are a great accompaniment for coconut milk.

  1. Pol sambol (coconut sambol)

Pol sambol (coconut sambol) is a traditional Sri Lankan condiment prepared with freshly grated coconut. It is most often used as an accompaniment with rice, string hoppers (idiyappam), hoppers (appam), as well as other dishes.