If you have booked a holiday to Sri Lanka or you’re thinking about it, you might be wondering, is it safe to eat the local food? Well the answer, is a resounding YES. In fact, the local food is one of the main reasons to go to Sri Lanka! We’ve listed a few foodie tips to help you navigate what’s on offer and avoid any upset tummies.
Many guesthouses offer breakfast and dinner as part of your stay at a very reasonable price. These meals are always made fresh daily and the huge breakfasts will keep you going for most of the day. While it’s true that not all establishments offer the best variety or quality, there are plenty of fantastic, mind-blowing flavour sensations to try and often it’s just about using common sense. In 3 weeks of travelling through Sri Lanka and eating nothing but local food, neither one of us got sick at all. Not even a single tummy upset!
It’s so important in Sri Lanka not to ‘judge a book by a cover’. Nearly all of our best foodie experiences were in places that were humble shacks. The only places we wholeheartedly avoid are the mid-range tourist traps with huge menu’s and buses parked out front. We always take a few sensible foodie precautions too, learnt through years of travelling through out of the way places. Here they are just in case you’re wondering:
Foodie Tip # 1
If you are in a very local looking establishment, only eat what has been cooked and served hot. That means ordering off the menu so that it is prepared for you.
Foodie Tip # 2
If you’re eating in a humble establishment like a shack, go vegetarian. No matter who you are, we would all struggle to store meat well without reliable electricity.
Foodie Tip # 3
Never eat fish in the mountains. Duh! Even if it’s on the menu, save that fishy dishy for your beachside seafood shacks.
Foodie Tip # 4
If it’s fried, try it! Boiling hot oil will kill just about anything, so when the ‘vadai’ guy comes through your train carriage do yourself a massive favour and get 2 – 3 helpings.
Foodie Tip # 5
We swear by travel probiotics and coconut water! Both will keep your gut bacteria strong!
If you still don’t feel 100% comfortable about eating at local places, we would always opt for a luxurious looking hotel over a mid-range option. Just order a vegetarian rice and curry (always the cheapest option on the menu) and soak up the luxe atmosphere. You can also write down our Top 5 Sri Lankan Foodie Destinations and give them all a go. You won’t be disappointed!