Vegan Short Eats in Sri Lanka

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Published December 2014

‘Short Eats’ is the generic name for a variety of snacks found all over Sri Lanka and they are often vegan. Vegan short eats in Sri Lanka will help you as a vegan travelling here, you’ll find it hard to go hungry because of the abundance of fried vegan snacks, and like us you might find it hard to resist them. Lentil vadai, samosas, stuffed rotis, all happily vegan and totally delicious.

Don’t ask us why they are called ‘short’, they aren’t short on flavour, taste or calories that’s for sure. Neither are they short on addictiveness, having become our downfall to healthy virtuous vegan eating whilst on the road as our favourites are all fried, or a bit doughy or both and it’s near impossible to resist them. They just seem to present themselves at every opportunity where you’re thinking that you might quite fancy a little something, as well creating these opportunities by just generally being everywhere, within a short reach (maybe this is behind the name?). Taking a bus journey? Stock up on short eats, like delicious roti pancakes, stuffed with spicy potato curry and served in recycled newspaper or exercise books. Wandering along the street? Oh, how convenient, there’s a little stall selling short eats, why not buy yourself some tasty vegan samosas?

vegan short eats in Sri Lanka
roti pancakes are stuffed with spicy potato curry and served in recycled newspaper or exercise books
vegan Sri Lankan samosas

Sat down for a quick bite to eat in a local restaurant? What a surprise, a platter of short eats arrives on your table, just in case you might want one or two (which of course you do). We’ve concluded that its just futile to resist them, they’re too good, plus, because they’re often vegan, we should eat them in a kind of act of solidarity, right? Having a morning cuppa…oh and there just happens to be a huge cabinet of short eats nearby! There are no particular tips on where to find them, you just need to arrive in Sri Lanka and they will find you we promise; never underestimate the power of these cheeky little vegan snacks. Have you ever been to Sri Lanka and found yourself tempted by the abundance of short eats?

vegan short eats at Indo Ceylon Cafe in Colombo
cabinet of short eats in Sri Lanka

Vegan Food Quest in Sri Lanka


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  1. eileen December 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    Love your humorous and informative descriptions of ‘short eats’. And isn’t it a bonus when so much of the food on offer is vegan? Of course it can’t be resisted.

    • Paul December 28, 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

      We love the short eats but after 2 months in Sri Lanka we are having to limit our enjoyment of them as they are certainly not the most healthy option….

  2. Jackie May 30, 2015 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Thanks for the tip, I haven’t eaten at many authentic places yet, but I will embrace them when I see them!

    • Vegan Food Quest May 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      love love love Sri Lanka for the food, the people and the adventure – enjoy!

    • Vegan Food Quest May 31, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Do it Jackie! The hoppers in Sri Lanka are so good, so light and tasty and we never find them anywhere else in the world so eating as many of them as possible was one of our goals during our last visit! 😉 Wheat free too… Caryl x

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