Bali is famous for its beaches, spectacular sunsets, family-friendly resorts and spiritual retreats, yet few visitors to this Indonesian jewel realise it is also an increasingly attractive place to savour some of the world’s finest cuisine. Their loss is the discerning foodies gain because Bali boasts more than its fair share of celebrated restaurants, quirky cafes and local food stalls.
So if you fancy tantalising your taste buds while topping up your tan at this relaxed tropical paradise, then sit back and enjoy our guide to the top restaurants in Bali. Bon appetit.
The perfect place to start your Balinese food trail is in the Seminyak and Kerobokan areas – the epi-center in Bali for top restaurants.
For authentic Indonesian cuisine in lavish surroundings, pay a visit to Sarong at Kerobokan. Here, Australian Chef Will Meyrick takes traditional Asian street food to a whole new level. Start in the restaurant’s open-air cocktail lounge and ask the bartender to mix you up a ‘Grape Escape’ or a ‘Lychee Banshee’ before you settle at your table.
While you’re in Kerobokan, stop in at Mamasan to sample an array of South East Asian dishes at very reasonable prices. Often referred to as Sarong’s little sister, Mamasan offers dishes ranging from rich curries to delicate dim sums in casual surrounds.
Famous for its beachside restaurants and bars, nearby Seminyak in Bali is also a food lover’s paradise… and no Bali holiday would be complete without a visit to one of the world’s most famous beach clubs – KU DE TA. Often touted as the place where bikini-clad bodies laze in the sun and sip cocktails at sunset, KU DE TA offers an eclectic globally inspired menu with a Mediterranean twist. Arrive in the afternoon and sample their all day tapas menu until the sun sets and you take a seat for dinner. KU DE TA is also a popular choice for breakfast.
To read all about how to quench your thirst at another great sundowners suggestion, Rock Bar at AYANA Resort & Spa, check out our Top 10 Things to do in Bali blog.
Most visit Uluwatu, Bali for its legendary surf break… but to ignore the seaside town’s unique dining experiences would be a big mistake. For wholesome local fare, head to The Warung and try their signature ‘ayam betutu’ (roast chicken in a banana leaf). Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a social outing with many, the sophisticated restaurant offers a variety of dining options including indoor and alfresco dining, communal tables and private tables.
For extraordinary cafe culture, head high into the mountains to Ubud. Offering fresh organic food, inventive juices, and homegrown Balinese coffee at low prices, Clear Cafe is an obvious standout. This contemporary cafe combines industrial and traditional Balinese design with rusted beams that meet bundles of bamboo, tables made from thick volcanic stone and a thatched palm roof. If the design doesn’t blow you away, the cafe’s menu and list of elixirs and tonics will.
If you’re looking to splash out on a gourmet meal in Ubud, reserve a table at Mozaic. Dine in the evening in the restaurant’s magical candlelit tropical garden and choose from two tempting six-course tasting menus that change daily.
And if you’re planning on visiting during Bali’s high season (July to September) when these restaurants and cafes are buzzing, make sure you don’t miss out by booking well in advance (up to one month for Bali’s hippest establishments).