If you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka on a budget, you are probably wondering the cost of food and eating out. Sri Lanka has one of the most innovative and flavorsome cuisines in the world. In addition to rich biodiversity and local traditions, cultural influences brought by foreign traders have also shaped the Sri Lankan cuisine with savory flavors and delectable dishes over the years.
The pleasant coastal climate of Sri Lanka has a huge influence on the habits of tourists eating out. Rice, sea food and coconuts plays a significant role in Sri Lankan cuisine, and you would find them in almost every food item.
How to Calculate the cost of food and eating out in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is a country where you will find many options when it comes to dining out. Therefore, how much money you will need per day for dining in Sri Lanka greatly depends on where you eat. While some people are OK with eating from street food vendors and small restaurants, others prefer to pamper themselves with the five-star dining experience in Sri Lanka. In this article, we will give you the most up-to-date information about:
1. Street food prices in Sri Lanka
2. Prices at fast food restaurants in Sri Lanka
3. Prices at casual dining restaurants in Sri Lanka
4. Prices at fine dining restaurants in Sri Lanka
5. Prices at bars and clubs in Sri Lanka
6. Alcohol prices in Sri Lanka
7. Supermarket prices in Sri Lanka
8. Tipping in Sri Lanka
1) Street Food Prices in Sri Lanka
Local food stalls in Sri Lanka offer a wide assortment of budget-friendly street foods and snacks. Ranging from the appetizing godamba roti to the delectable egg hoppers, these vendors provide healthy and delicious foods with lowest prices. Here are the prices of some of the most popular street foods in Sri Lanka:
- Godamba Roti: Between 150 to 200 LKR
- Ginger Tea: 25 to 35 LKR
- String hoppers: 70 to 90 LKR
- Kottu Roti: 350 to 450 LKR
- Curry and rice: 400 to 500 LKR
- Samosa: 30 to 40 LKR
- Ice Cream: 50 to 70 LKR
- Fruit juices: 40 to 60 LKR
- Egg hoppers: 40 to 60 LKR
2) Prices at Fast Food Restaurants in Sri Lanka
Variety of local and international fast-food chains are present in Sri Lanka. You can find pretty much any fast food meal you want, for surprisingly cheap prices. A few of these fast foods chains and their famous meals are listed below:
- Dinemore is a local fast-food chain that is spread across the major cities in Sri Lanka. It provides a large menu with popular items such as submarine sandwiches, rice and curry, beef chops, rice dishes, pizzas, burgers, juices and more. You could have a filling meal at Dinemore for about 900 LKR.
- Many local fast-food restaurants offer popular South Indian dishes like Dosa, Idly and Vada. Prices for this type of simple but delicious snacks range from 250 to 500 LKR for a filling meal.
- International restaurant chains like McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc. are present in the major cities. At McDonald’s, single Big Mac burger would cost you around 450 LKR. You can get a large Big Mac meal for around 700 LKR. At Pizza Hut, a large chicken bacon pizza would be priced around 1600 LKR. Taco Bell provides Crispy Chicken Griller Taco for 450 LKR, and Quesadilla for about 600 LKR.
3) Prices at Casual Dining Restaurants in Sri Lanka
Casual dining restaurants are another budget friendly options for tourists in Sri Lanka. These eateries serve local and international cuisines at mid-range prices, but the quality of service and dining experience is very impressive.
Across Sri Lanka, you could expect restaurants to charge about 2000 LKR for two people at a lower price range. Fancy restaurants could charge anywhere from 3000 LKR to 7000 LKR. Although most tourists prefer to taste local Sri Lankan dishes, you can find Asian, Indian, Italian, and Thai cuisines in these restaurants.
These casual dining restaurants serve fresh and healthy food. Also, they serve cocktails and juices made from the best of ingredients. Many tourists prefer these restaurants over fine dining restaurants in Sri Lanka because of their laid-back atmospheres and more moderately-priced meal selections.
4) Prices at Fine Dining Restaurants in Sri Lanka
While Sri Lanka doesn’t have as many five-star restaurants as other Asian countries have, it is home to some pretty amazing fine dining restaurants that would tantalize your taste buds. You can try the most famous Sri Lankan and Asian delicacies in a top-notch ambience accompanied by excellent service in these restaurants.
The best fine dining restaurants in Colombo serve excellent food at premium prices. Shang Palace provides exemplary dishes from the Chinese and Szechuan cuisines. The Ocean restaurant at the Kingsbury Hotel has a delectable seafood menu. When it comes to Indian cuisine, Navratna is the best. All of these select restaurants receives very good reviews from tourists. The price range at this type of restaurants starts from 5000 LKR without alcohol. Beer starts from 500 LKR a pint.
5) Prices at bars and clubs in Sri Lanka
The best place to experience the nightlife in Sri Lanka is probably its bustling capital city Colombo. Colombo is home to some of the coolest and most stylish bars, clubs and pubs. Clubs such as the Loft Lounge Club, ZAZA Bar, Botanik Bistro & Rooftop Bar, The Irish Bar and Grill, Vistas Bar provide a chilled-out ambience and friendly service.
Prices at bars and clubs in Sri Lanka usually starts from 1500 LKR and goes up depending on the location and experience. To give you an idea about the price, mocktails start at 700 LKR and cocktails range from 1000 LKR to 1600 LKR. Prices for a bottle of Scotch Whisky goes up to 21000 LKR. Vodka shots starts from 800 LKR and expensive brands would cost you around 1300 LKR a shot.
6) Alcohol Prices in Sri Lanka
In order to find the real cost of food and eating out in Sri Lanka, alcohol prices is an important factor to consider. In Sri Lanka, alcohol is prohibited to individuals below the age of 18. Local spirits are generally not expensive, but imported ones can be expensive.
- Beer ranges from 300 LKR to 1000 LKR. A can of Carlsberg would cost you between 900 LKR to 1300 LKR.
- The local alcoholic drink “Toddy” is a mild alcoholic drink with only 4% alcohol that is made from coconut flower saps. It is a cheap local drink that you can find in many places.
- Wine ranges from 1600 LKR to 16000 LKR, and it is mostly available in some 3-star, and almost all 4 and 5-star restaurants and bars.
- Cocktails start from 1000 LKR and could go up to 4000 LKR.
- A bottle of tequila starts from about 6000 LKR and could go up to 10000 LKR.
7) Supermarket Prices in Sri Lanka
When it comes to shopping for groceries Sri Lanka, prices doesn’t vary too much from city to city. However, certain local vendors sell common items for rather cheap rates, and the products are usually very fresh and healthy. We made a shopping list for you with basic food items in order to give you an idea about supermarket prices in Sri Lanka:
- 1 liter of Milk – between 180 LKR to 230 LKR
- Extra virgin olive oil (1lt) – 35 to 50 Lira
- Loaf of fresh white bread – from 60 LKR to 120 LKR
- Pack of 12 Eggs – 200 LKR to 260 LKR
- 500g of local Cheese – about 1000 LKR
- Chicken fillets (1 kg) – about 600 LKR
- Ground beef (1 kg) – between 900 LKR to 1050 LKR
- Rice (1 kg) – 110 LKR
- Apples (1 kg) – 500 LKR to 600 LKR
- Tomatoes (1 kg) – 150 LKR to 180 LKR
- Potatoes (1 kg) – 160 LKR to 200 LKR
- 1.5 Liter of water – 80 LKR
- 100g of fish – anywhere between 120 LKR to 350 LKR
- 500 g noodles pack – 100 LKR
8) Tipping at Restaurants in Sri Lanka
In general, the service staff at the restaurants in Sri Lanka would expect to receive a tip. Casual and fine-dining restaurants usually include a 10% service charge in the total bill amount. Thus, before you tip it would be better to check if it has already been added to the bill or not. Small restaurants and eateries would usually not include such service charges. If you think that the service was good enough, you could tip them anywhere between 50 LKR to 100 LKR or 10% of the bill. Since the wages in Sri Lanka are very low compared to Western countries, tipping is always appreciated by the staff and reflected on the service you receive.
When it comes to cost of food and eating out in Sri Lanka, you would see that Sri Lanka is a very budget-friendly destination. No matter where you go or what you eat, you will definitely experience the hospitality and friendliness of the Sri Lankan people. Plus, you will get to taste as many delicious dishes as you want that will blow you away!
If you are planning your honeymoon in Sri Lanka, we suggest you to take a look at our main article to find out everything you need to know about Sri Lanka. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to share with us in the comments section below.