Colombo, Sri Lanka
Your Colombo food tour will start in front of the Colombo Fort Railway Station. The station is the centre of Sri Lanka’s railway network and hasn’t changed much since it first opened in 1908. From there, we’ll wander past the busy markets finishing up at the end of the day, and down a street that’s full of little shops and vendors selling everything from saris to leather bags to fake Tag watches.
Then, it’s time for our first food stop! We’ll visit a popular local eatery, where you’ll get to sample some traditional cuisine, including hoppers, egg hoppers, and other local savoury snacks.
Then, it’s back to walking (so we can burn off that food and make room for more!). Moving on, our Colombo tour will take you to the famous Red Mosque, which is a revered place for Colombo’s Muslim community. (Men on the tour may venture inside for a peek, but unfortunately women are not allowed.)
From there, it’s back to the treats! Colombo’s main street is home to the famous Bombay Sweet House, known for its falooda and saruwath drinks as well as its sweets. As well, further down the street we’ll stumble across some achcharu (pickle) carts with different kinds of pickles.
The Sri Lankan pickle is typically very spicy — are you adventurous enough to try it out?!
We’ll also see several shops selling varieties of what the locals call murukku. These are crunchy, flavoured, fried bits of flour or chick peas. Of course, we’ll stop at one of these shops to try some of these treats for ourselves!
As we keep moving, we’ll pass by the Khan clock tower (all road distances in Colombo are measured from this tower), the harbour, and the old colonial buildings such as the Grand Oriental Hotel and the Cargills building. We’ll stop at the Old Colombo Dutch Hospital, which is considered to be the oldest building in the Colombo fort area. It’s now a renovated complex and hosts some 5-star restaurants, fancy shops, and some decent bars and pubs. Those who want can stop for a quick beer or drink here.
We’ll continue toward the Galle Face Green, passing many street food shops and stopping to sample local snacks such as prawn and crab wade along the way.
Our final stop will be the famous Nana’s kothu shop, where we can have dinner and experience the Sri Lankan kothu (a Sri Lankan roti of vegetables or meat and spices). The Galle Face Green is where locals come to relax after a busy day, and we’re likely to see families and couples playing, flying kites, or just enjoying the cool evening breeze.
Your Colombo tour will finish here, but you’re free to spend more time at the Green or wander on to the many pubs or clubs that are easily accessible from here.