10 Traditional Sri Lankan Breakfast In Sri Lanka To Try

Please note that some posts may contain affiliate links. We may earn a commission should you choose to purchase using these links but at absolutely no extra cost to you. This helps to keep the website running and continue to produce useful content for all. Thank you in advance if you do! :)

Sri Lanka breakfast foods are among the most delicious meals on our globe. The reason is their unique combination of a variety of flavors. The strong taste and post-meal satisfaction are other reasons for its popularity.

The only inconvenience with breakfast in Sri Lanka is that only a few places serve ready-to-pick meals. Most of the time, you need to order your food in advance.

What Is Special About Sri Lankan Breakfast?

The typical breakfast in Sri Lanka includes curry and hoppers. Coconut milk and rice are the focused ingredients in most meals. 

Sri Lankan breakfast also comes in a combination of rice, roti, and hoppers. Most of their breakfast tastes gently spicy and creamy. Natives usually prefer eating with their hands, but you can ask for cutlery in case you are not used to it.

One thing to note if you are having curry; turmeric and curry powder are common ingredients and they can leave a rather lingering smell and coloring on your hand. But that is part of the local experience!

Following are some of the top breakfasts in Sri Lanka that you should try.

Sri Lankan Breakfast – Curries 

Classic Sri Lankan Curries – Egg And Potato

Curries are the most popular Sri Lankan breakfast that comes in several forms. You can find potato and egg curries in almost every street food market. It is a definite source of comfort food for the locals. 

Sri Lankan potato curry is a creamy curry with soft potato chunks floating in coconut milk. Egg curry includes boiled eggs in a mild coconut sauce. Both these variations have very different yet delicious tastes.

You can enjoy them with bread, roti, or with rice. Some people also eat it directly with a spoon. Once you start to get into the curry kick, you simply cannot put your hands off it! But don’t worry, there are plenty of curry options in traditional Sri Lankan food.

Kukul Mass Maluwa (Chicken Curry) 

It is another variation of curry for people who crave non-veg food. In case you are not familiar, “non-veg” is the common term used to refer to meat-based dishes in countries like India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Chicken curry can make for a filling breakfast in Sri Lanka. Although the locals do not commonly eat it for the morning meal, it is without a doubt a good dish to try.

Sri Lankan chicken curry comes in two variations, with and without coconut milk. Other common ingredients are chicken, curry powder, and tomatoes. Coconut milk chicken curry is perfect for people who prefer non-spicy foods.

Both versions deliver the pure cultural taste of Sri Lankan spices. You can easily find it at any restaurant or hotel. 

Parippu Curry (Lentils Curry)

Parippu curry is another curry dish made with orange lentils, spices, and coconut milk. It is a staple of almost every Sri Lankan breakfast. The locals also eat it for lunch or dinner.

Lentil curry comes in either runny or thick forms. Both types deliver an earthly nutty taste with spicy flavors of yellow lentils. You can enjoy it with roti or hoppers.

Look for cafes and food stalls to taste this incredible dish. Because of the popularity and quick turnover, they typically make a big batch ready to serve the customers.

Sri Lankan Breakfast – Puddings

Kiribath (Rice Pudding)


Kiribath is a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast with outstanding taste. It is prepared with the two main ingredients rice and milk, which symbolize prosperity. Therefore, the locals also make it on celebratory occasions.

This classy dish is like rice cake with a slightly savory taste. It is prepared by boiling white or brown kekulu rice in coconut milk. The rice feels creamy and velvety. Its creamy texture comes from the added coconut milk.

These mouthwatering rice cakes are sliced into small pieces and served with chilies and onion sambal. You can also try this Sri Lankan breakfast with a spicy chicken or fish curry. If you stay in a luxurious hotel, you can typically find it in their morning buffet. 

Pol Sambol (Thick Coconut Sauce)

Coconut Sambol is a super spicy side dish you can also enjoy at breakfast in Sri Lanka. It is more like a topping that you can add to spice up your breakfast. The condiment pairs well with several breakfast foods in Sri Lanka, particularly rice and curry.

This beloved side dish includes fresh coconuts mixed with hot red chilies. A squeeze of lime, salt, onion, and tamarind accompanies for additional flavoring. It delivers a spicy, sour, and salty taste with an unnoticeable hint of sweetness.

Pol Sambol is easily available at any street food market. You can also find it at restaurants and hotels. Try this sizzling hot side dish and take your Sri Lanka breakfast game to a new level.

Sri Lankan Breakfast – Breads And Hoppers

Coconut Roti (Coconut Flatbread)


Coconut Roti or Pol Roti is an everyday breakfast in Sri Lanka. It is a type of thick flatbread that you can enjoy in different ways. Have it plain or topped with jam or fruit butter.

The Roti comes in two versions. The simple version is prepared with coconut flour mixed with water or coconut milk. In the second version, you will find chopped onions and green chilies with the other ingredients. It is creamy from the inside and toasted charred from the outside. 

You can easily find this all-rounder bread at almost every roadside food cart for morning munching. Some people like to eat it with curry. You can enjoy this traditional Sri Lankan breakfast any way you like, and that versatility is a reason for its popularity.

These are also one of the popular Sri Lankan street food as you can eat them easily on the go.

Appam (Egg Hoppers)


Hopper is a must-try traditional Sri Lankan breakfast. It is one of the favorite snacks of almost every native. Sri Lankan egg hoppers have a crispy texture and come in various forms.

The typical egg hoppers are prepared with rice flour batter and coconut milk. The thin outer layer is crunchy with a slightly thick center. Locals commonly eat it with an egg in the middle, but you can also enjoy it plain. 

The plain hopper is topped with sambal or curry. You can also put a treacle or banana to make your plain hopper sweet.

Indiappa (String Hoppers)


Indiappa is another delicious variation of hopper from Kerala, India. These steamed noodles are commonly eaten for breakfast in Sri Lanka. It is also a super snack perfect for health-conscious people. 

This Sri Lankan breakfast is prepared with rice flour noodles pressed to make a nest-like appearance. The noodles are then put on the hopper mats and steamed before serving. It is pretty much tasteless but a great side dish with several meals. 

Street stalls sell string hoppers plain or with filling throughout Sri Lanka. It is usually served with spicy chutney. We definitely recommend giving it a try with your favorite curry.

Pol Pani (Sri Lankan Pancakes)

You have probably discovered that most foods in Sri Lanka tend to be spicy. However, this next item is for people who crave sweet foods.

Pani pol, also known as coconut pancake, is a type of Sri Lankan pancake. This morning snack is a beloved breakfast in Sri Lanka. It is made with wheat flour and coconut milk.

These pancakes are soft and sweet from the outside and stuffed with sweet brown paste. The paste includes coconut, palm sugar, and honey. This classic Sri Lankan breakfast is further topped with grated coconut, jaggery, and spices to enhance its flavor.

Of course, you can imagine it makes for a great Sri Lankan dessert as well. This super sweet snack is a heavenly match with a hot cup of tea.

Sri Lankan Breakfast – Tropical Fruit Plate 


Being a part of Asia, Sri Lanka is known for its agricultural produce and exotic fruits. And the morning meal is a fantastic opportunity. to taste some fresh and healthy Sri Lankan fruits!

The tropical fruit plate is a treat for fruit lovers. A single plate is loaded with freshly cut tropical fruits. It includes bananas, passion fruits, watermelons, mangoes, and papayas. Of course, this can always change and vary.

If you plan to stay in a guest house in Sri Lanka, you will likely be able to enjoy it on your breakfast menu. Otherwise, you can try it from the roadside street stalls. It is prudent to take note of cleanliness whenever eating uncooked food from the streets.

Every bite of this Sri Lankan breakfast delivers a burst of fruity flavors. You can also have it as a healthy topping for your coconut roti or pancakes.

Discovering Delicious Sri Lanka Breakfast

There are many delicious food options to choose from for breakfast in Sri Lanka. Whether you like to start your mornings sweet or savory, there is something out there to satisfy your tastebuds. Be sure to try some of the traditional favorites such as hoppers and pani pol pancakes. And don’t forget to enjoy all the fresh fruits that Sri Lanka has to offer!



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

More Adventures


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


other stories