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A Guide to Eating and Drinking in Colombo

Tropical Fruit

Although Colombo is no longer the capital of Sri Lanka, it has remained a busy, modern center of commerce where international influences have dramatically improved the city's restaurant and nightlife scenes in recent years.

Curry is the most prolific dish to be found both in the city and country as a whole - Sri Lankans are keen to curry all sorts of food, above and beyond the usual meat or vegetables. However, Colombo's cuisine also blends a fair amount of Portuguese and Spanish traditions (thanks to its colonial past) with the spices indigenous to the region.

Restaurants are - like many aspects of Colombo - generally very affordable, and even travelers on a budget should be able to treat themselves to some of their delicious specialties which present worldwide dishes with a spicy twist.

Along the coast, Galle Road is one of the most frequented areas in Colombo and a great spot to find a bite to eat. Alternatively, street vendors around the Parliament Building offer snacks and local delicacies for tiny prices.

Most of the city's entertainment and activity, however, is centered on the business district known as the Fort. Here, restaurants, bars, clubs and casinos have sprung up to cater to Colombo's rise in international visitors and trade.

Like the restaurant scene, nightlife in Colombo is on the up and there's even the odd 'Irish pub' dotted amongst the bars and clubs. The trendiest spot in the city is Colombo Plaza, where the young and powerful head for Western-style discos pumping out pop.

The city has been halied as ‘the Las Vegas of South Asia’ and its easy to see why when you arrive - the center is packed with 24 hour casinos! As well as making for a fun night out, the casinos can also be budget-friendly (even on a losing streak) as they typically ply foreign customers with free food, drinks and cigars.

Colombo may not have the most sophisticated restaurants or clubs but, by throwing the same dynamism and energy that characterizes the city into their food and partying, a night out here is certainly unique.

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