How to Plan a Culinary Tour in Galle

Cuisine | Img. Credit: [Mosvold Villa]

Ranked to be one of Sri Lanka’s most popular beach holiday hotspots, the southern capital of Galle is not your average beach spot. Home to some of the country’s most iconic cultural highlights the area is a food lover’s dream destination. From sampling the area’s best local dishes to exploring Galle’s finest restaurants, here are some guidelines on how to plan an organized or independent culinary tour down south.

1. Reserve a Strategic Base
The first step in planning a culinary tour in the southern capital Galle is securing a strategic base hotel. A convenient and strategically located rest will not only allow visitors to explore more of the city in a shorter time period but also its best dining hotspots. So whether you select one of the many boutique hotels in Galle or a resort which is well regarded for its own in-house eatery the likes of Mosvold Villa or similar hotels ensure the location is surrounded by the city’s top restaurants. One will find that certain hospitality hubs in Galle also offer their own culinary tours or cooking demonstrations as a part of the hotel’s inbound activities or outbound excursions options. Selecting such a venue can also be an added advantage to foodies visiting Galle.

2. Look for Tour Operators
Those wish to take part in an organized culinary tour in Galle can then proceed to look for tour operators in the area. There are specific food tours that focus on certain areas of Galle, such as the Galle Fort, for example, which primarily deal with the eateries and food hubs located inside the Dutch Galle Fort, the city’s most famous landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other tour options will combine sightseeing activities with some culinary hubs thrown into the mix or a traditional Sri Lankan meal but keep in mind that these types of tours are not the right fit for a food lover. Regardless of the tour organizer you select, ensure the tour encompasses a wide range of culinary experiences.

3. Do Your Own Research
Travellers who wish to organize their own tour on the other hand can start the second phase of the planning process by doing their homework. Consult online travelogues, food blogs and restaurant ratings for popular diners in Galle and learn about what local specialties to expect in the seaside hamlet. Researching Sri Lankan southern cuisine and its specialties as well as reading accounts of fellow foodies who have travelled to Galle or the hottest new restaurants opening in the city are other ways visitors can gauge the culinary pulse of Galle to help create the perfect culinary tour. Those who are unfamiliar with Asian cuisine as well as the fusion of Portuguese, Dutch and Sri Lankan cuisine, for example, would also benefit from looking into the various restaurants in Galle set up or managed by expats.

4. Make a Culinary Checklist
Based on your research, it is then time to compile a list of must-sample delicacies and dishes on a tour of Galle. Whether it’s Galle’s famous seafood curries or the many pastries and baked goods available in the city’s top cafes, create a comprehensive list of Sri Lankan dishes and specialty southern cuisine so you have a game plan in place. Don’t forget to include the many tea varieties and authentic Sri Lankan beverages including alcoholic options as well as southern desserts such as curd and treacle as well as sweetmeats the likes of Dodol which are regional food icons.

5. Create an Independent Culinary Itinerary
Lastly, it is time to map out your culinary tour based on the restaurants and dishes you wish to sample. Couple eateries that are located within the same area of Galle together and include the city’s most coveted dining Meccas the likes of the Heritage Café, The Royal Dutch Café, Fort Printers and Amangalla while Pedlar’s Inn is also worth a visit.