Bali, with all its tropical glory, amazing beaches, and famous nightlife is a food haven. As a popular stop of travelers from around the world, a lot of cuisines have crossed over to this side of the world, making the island a melting hotpot of note-worthy food.
A trip to the island will not be complete without eating your way through some of its most amazing dishes and treats. Check out some of the best of them, as suggested by locals!
1. Babi Guling
Address: various branches
If Cebu has Lechon, Bali has Babi Guling, a suckling roast pig rice dish thrown with other treats like blood sausage, long beans, a stick of satay and a mix called basa gede (which is a combination of shallots, ginger, salam leaves, and shrimp paste). The dish is similar to a rice topping type of dish, but more exciting since you don’t quite know what you’ll fish from your plate! Babi Guling is arguably the most popular dish of Bali—ask the locals and they will all recommend this! They are also available everywhere, too, with side (sometimes unnamed) restaurants serving the fare.
2. Bebek Betutu
Address: various branches
Bebek Betutu is a steamed or roasted duck/chicken dish cooked in a rich stew mixture made of ingredients like turmeric, ginger, garlic, shrimp paste, and peanuts. It's a flavorful spicy plate popular throughout Indonesia so it's a must to try it if you're a big fan of hot dishes teeming with spices. Bali has a special way of making their duck tender, too, and without the usual heavy flavors often associated with its meat. Similar to Babi Guling, you can have this dish on many restaurants all around Bali.
3. Satay from Waroeng De Koi
Address: Jl. Tirta Empul, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Another food fave in Bali is satay, skewered meat made from chicken, lamb, fish, pork or a combination of them that are served with peanut sauce. They are usually barbecued using lemongrass or bamboo sticks and are grilled to perfection until they are tender. What makes satay different from other grilled treats is the combination of spices added into its meat. Of course, the peanut sauce also adds to the appeal of the dish, with its nutty flavors mixing in with the chargrilled flavor of the dish. The plate from Waroeng De Koi already comes with a hefty serving of rice and a combination of chicken and pork sticks. You can even enjoy a wonderful view of the rice paddies just across the restaurant while having your meal!
4. Squid Ink Rice and Ribs from Kilo Seminyak
Address: Jl. Drupadi No.22, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Nestled on the streets of Seminyak away from the busier part of its beach is Kilo Kitchen, a semi-casual dining place that has silently gained a following for its amazing food and wonderful ambiance. The restaurant features Asian fusion fare, with our favorites being the squid ink rice—which is a perfect combination of sweet and savory—and their fall-off-the-bone ribs. The place is also perfect to catch a quick nightcap as the Spicy Margarita made with homemade jalapeno-infused tequila, sour mix, citrus salt, and lime.
5. Smoothie Bowls from KYND Community
Address: Jalan Petitenget No.12 Kerobokan Kelod, Seminyak, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
If you've made your research about Bali, chances are you've come across photos of visually pleasing acai bowls once or twice. The most popular ones are those from KYND Community, a plant-based cafe in Seminyak that's perfect for anyone who loves IG-worthy food shots (and millennial pink). The shop offers a variety of food like breakfast fare and desserts, but it is their healthy bowls made with a combination of fruit, granola, and other nutritious ingredients that are the real stars. Try their acai bowl made with berries, banana, apple juice, and house-made granola for that perfect power breakfast food. KYND will even ask you what word you want to carve as toppings for your fruit bowl. Cute!
6. Revolver Espresso
Address: Jl. Kayu Aya Gang No. 51, Seminyak, Bali
To those who don't know, Bali has a pretty strong coffee culture. The island is dotted with numerous shops with their special types of brews, but it's Revolver Espresso that has ultimately changed the scene in the area because of its good cups. Those who love traditional concoctions should try their filter coffees and flat white, though you can also choose from their iced creations if you're craving for something sweeter. Try the Killer Chiller, an iced blended espresso with whipped cream and your choice of caramel, chocolate mint, or vanilla syrup.
7. Seafood from Warung Wayan Gede Seafood and Beach Bar
Address: White Sand Beach, Karangasem, Bali
Bali is known for its beach life, so it makes perfect sense that the place also has a pretty solid food scene near its waters. Found in East Bali is White Sand Beach, a pristine strip of white sand beach framed by a row of restaurants. Go and order some fresh seafood fare from Warung Wayan Gede—the price is not too bad for the level of freshness of their king prawns, lobsters, and other catch! We tried their plate of king prawns and fries and was pretty surprised at how well they work together! P.S. their garlic butter sauce is a WINNER.
8. Fish Tacos from La Plancha Beach Bar and Restaurant
Address: Jalan Mesari Beach, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
While White Sand Beach is best for tourists who prefer trying the off-beaten track, Seminyak Beach, its restaurants particularly, are ideal for those who are after a night of partying and socialization. Just across one of Bali's most famous beach is a row of restaurants, most famous of which is La Plancha—a wooden establishment painted with bright colors reminiscent of a Mexican piñata. The place is popular for drinking, but its food menu reflects its visual inspiration, too. Don't miss their fish tacos which, while flavorful, tastes fresh and light to the palate. Pair them with a glass or pitcher of their cocktails and you have a good night ahead of you.
9. Soft Tacos from Motel Mexicola
Address: Jl. Kayu Jati No.9X, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Talk about nightlife on the island and everyone and their mother will point you to Motel Mexicola, a bar that has become synonymous with Bali's parties. The place is best known for its strong alcoholic drinks and psychedelic interiors, but it's not a pretty bad place to visit if you're looking for chow, too. From its name, Motel Mexicola offers Mexican fare (think churros, tacos, and guacamole). We love their soft shell tacos like Taco Michelada which is made with battered prawn, coriander mayo, avocado, and tomatillo ginger salsa. Don't know what to order? Motel Mexicola offers a 'Feed Me' experience where you will be served a collection of the restaurant's most popular dishes.
10. Dimsum from Kober Mie Setan
Address: Jl. Bedugul no. 37, Denpasar 80224 Indonesia
It's almost unbelievable to know that dim sum is popular in Bali, but it is, and Kober Mie Setan is one of the locals' top favorites. The place is popular for its noodles and dim sum and has gained a big local following because of its wallet-friendly prices! The dim sum from this place is a little bit different from the normal ones served in Chinese restaurants since they are meatier and are served with sweet and spicy sambal sauce. Don't be shy to ask for extra packs if you want to douse your order with flavor.