People will always have their own opinions about their favourite Pola (market); it really is very subjective, but when we can find an orange sweet potato and a good-sized fennel bulb, that pola gets our vote!
1. Kollupitiya Market
Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha ,Opposite Movenpick Hotel
The most famous of the markets, it has some very good stalls geared to the expat. The first floor sells mutton, beef, and chicken (be prepared, they may kill the chickens in front of you, this is not for the faint of heart), fresh fruit and vegetables, the best vegetable stall being Beemas for it’s unusually wide selection that includes things like kale, sugar peas etc in addition to local produce. We also love the fruit vendor 2 down from Beemas to your left.
The second floor sells fresh fish and is brilliant for buying your crab and prawns The third floor has import stores called Beemas and Branas which used to be the only places to go for import goods, and still charge high prices. There is also a great Chinese store selling big bags of star anise, and an amazing range of noodles and tofu. They don’t speak a huge amount of English, but it’s worth having a look here for goodies. Word on the street is that below Kollupitiya market on the street level, opposite the Movenpick, is a tiny little Chinese store selling fantastic blocks of tofu.
2. Jathika Pola
Municipal Market, Elvitigala Mawatha
This is great for taking guests and really soaking up the local atmosphere. Market vendors are much smaller, and there are little alleys you can wonder down, brilliant photo opportunities and the chance to support the local community.
3. Borella Meat Market
Borella market complex, Elvitigala Mawatha
The meat market underneath the Borella market is one that we have heard is top-notch. The butchers don’t understand English though, and their meat is halal, so you won’t find pork or anything swine related. But you can ask for the different cuts of meat that you want, and they will slice it and chop it the way you want. Like Colpetty (Kollupitiya), be prepared, they might kill in front of you. They pride themselves on providing the freshest of meat.
4. Narahenpita Economic Centre
Kirimandala Mawatha, in front of Ninewells Hospital
This market is huge! All the fruit and vegetables come pouring into this market during the day; the variety is fabulous, and you are guaranteed to get very fresh good quality produce here. There is a little stall (Ajith Chinese Vegetable nos.V2) where they sell more expat sought vegetables like rocket, broccoli, brilliant tomatoes etc, but absolutely check out all the wonderful market vendors; they sell fresh turmeric, huge orange sweet potatoes, big bulbs of fennel etc. They also have a fantastic range of East Asian vegetables so it’s worth going and exploring. This market has a big T&T seal of approval! Remember to take cash, but some stalls take cards