4/5

Kollupitiya Market

65 Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka


If you've ever wondered what's in that long-ass ugly block of a building opposite next to Liberty Cinema - this post is going to take you through it - here you'll find handcrafts, travel agencies, a shipping surveyor, a whole floor of vegetables, another full of butchers, shops that sell colourful buckets and mops, grocery stores, Chinese grocery stores - and then unexpectedly - rare and awesome food products imported from Italy, Australia and the UAE.


Scarcely two decades ago the Colpetty (now its Kollupitiya) market was virtually the only place in Colombo to do your grocery shopping. Now your options have expanded, but the Kollupitiya Market remains a fascinating place.

It’s pretty much your standard Asian wet market – this means it sells vegetables, meat and fish and is perpetually wet with whatever drips off the various produce.  An assortment of vendors selling everything from ducks and turkeys to scallops and Nuttella occupy little stalls, and after some haggling will part with their goods for quite reasonable prices.

At some point in 70’s(?) the government, in one of its periodic anti chaos drives, took the assorted vendors and installed them in a rather ugly three story building.  Sadly this had the effect of confining the chaos and the wetness in an enclosed and now super chaotic and wet place.  Urban planners note –  a non-airconditioned, upstairs fish market in a tropical country is a bad idea.

Despite its design limitations however the Colpetty market is still among the best places in the city to get fresh produce and as modern supermarkets have taken over Colombo the old market is less crowded and more pleasant than it used be.  The quality of the produce is generally high and as the market is popular with Colombo’s resident Chinese and Koreans- people who know how to bargain - so the prices are quite competitive.

Why Not Food City Or Keells?

The market is packed full of good deals and any Colombian with an interest in food should acquaint themselves with the market’s vendors, as its the vendors themselves who give this sort of traditional market a competitive advantage vs. supermarkets.  They get to know you and what you like. If they know you like durian and a particularly good one comes in- they’ll put it aside for you or call you to let you know- that’s customer service.  You can also call and order stuff- 500 grams of this, two kilos of that, and they’ll make a bag ready so all you need to do is pick it up- it's old school and a pleasant alternative to the supermarket.

TIP

Negotiate for produce downstairs, check out the seafood and pork on the second floor, and get rare imported goods from Branas and Beemas on the top floor.

Address

65 Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka

Directions

From the Kollupitiya Junction head up Dharmapala, the market is opposite Liberty Plaza.



Latest