Sate your hunger in Bali with these top tables and must-try local foods.
When in Bali, the only way to treat your belly is by feeding it local food.
Packed full of flavour and spices that hit the right spot each and every time, Indonesian food is a flavour sensation that’s easy to find. The streets are lined with local eateries and hawker stalls, and in the city centre, you’ll find hotels swarming with decadent tables.
If you want to eat like a local, head to one of the hawker joints and order up a babi guling which is Bali’s famous suckling pig. It’s traditionally roasted over a spit of coconut husks or wood, flavoured with turmeric and stuffed with spices such as coriander leaves and lemongrass. Another must-try meat is the slow cooked duck dish, bebek betutu. It’s a ceremonial dish that is flavoured with tamarind puree.
Satay is naturally a must-eat on the island and can be found virtually everywhere. Look for the words sate lembat on the menu and order away. It’s minced meat pounded and eaten with a shrimp paste sambal.
For vegos, there’s the Jamaican-style grilled fish dish ikan bakar and the sweet banana treat pisang goreng which is fried bananas topped with honey or palm sugar syrup. If you’re a caffeine addict, you have to try a Balinese kopi (coffee) at least once.
Searching for a tried and true favourite? There’s also the world renowned mi goreng noodle dish and nasi goreng rice dish that will fill you up and leave you grinning.
Want to know where to go for the best meals in town? We know a few places…
Best Bali restaurants
Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka
Admittedly this is a chain, but it’s an institution in Bali renowned for serving up the most succulent babi guling on the island. Its main concentration of outlets is in Ubud and it’s open daily for lunch and early dinners. Try it if you don’t believe us.
We mentioned the roast above, so it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t disclose where to duck in and taste it. Nicknamed the Dirty Duck Diner, Bebek Bengil opened its doors in 1990 and has built a solid reputation as one of the best diners for crispy skin duck. The skin is crackly and the meat is soft and juicy. What more could you want?
Jalan Hanoman, Padang Tegal, Ubud
A local favourite, Biku doesn’t serve your traditional Balinese fare but offers a beautiful afternoon tea dining spot for unwinding and catching up with mates. Think clean western dishes and high tea offerings. There are some Indonesian dishes available, but they are few and far between.
Jalan Raya Petitenget 888, Kerobokan, Bali
For a truly indulgent meal, make yours an evening at Fire. It’s a contemporary grill restaurant that’s located inside the W Retreat & Spa, which should already give you an idea of the calibre and style of this joint. Expect signature cuts including a dry-aged Irish ribeye and an incredible buffet breakfast that you don’t have to be a patron of the hotel to enjoy.
W Retreat & Spa, Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan, Bali
If you’ve been itching to know where to tuck into some top satay in Bali, Made’s Warung is the answer. Circa 1969, it’s another institution on the island with numerous outlets in all the right spots. This includes Kuta, Seminyak and Benoa, making it a must if you’re staying in either (or all) of those regions. It offers an international menu of Japanese, Indonesian and European cuisines so even the pickiest of eaters can find something they’ll like.
Kubu at Mandapa
Named the number one fine dining restaurant in Bali by TripAdvisor fans, hundreds of happy tummies can’t be wrong. Located inside the Ritz-Carlton, Kubu fills a small intimate space featuring only nine private cocoons that overlook the Ayung River. Despite its setting, the cuisine at Kubu is Mediterranean-European and is exquisitely presented.
Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Jalan Kedewatan, Banjar Kedewatan, Ubud
Self-proclaimed as “the best restaurant in Jimbaran Bali”, Menega may live up to its name. Here, it’s all about the seafood which is both delicious and fresh. Think jumbo prawns, grilled crab, barbeque clams and live lobsters cooked to order and then add in a magical sunset and you’ve got all the makings of a perfectly romantic dinner date.
Jalan Four Seasons Muaya Beach
Beachfront fine dining honestly doesn’t get much better than this. Kayuputi is attached to the St. Regis Bali Resort and features private cabanas and arresting views of the Indian Ocean. It’s fare of Asian-inspired haute cuisine is laced with Sturia premier caviar and oysters, though for a truly decadent experience, you must pop by for the Astor Diamond Champagne brunch on Sunday.
The St. Regis Bali Resort - Kawasan Pariwisata, Nusa Dua
Visually stunning in more ways than one, Merah Putih is a modern Indonesian restaurant that’s ideal for a family get-together. The restaurant is open and airy with indoor greenery and the plates are designed to be shared. For fancy occasions, there’s a modern section where the plates are meticulously crafted while for purists, there is also a traditional section to the restaurant which offers regional dishes in a more relaxed setting.
Jl. Petitenget No.100x, Kerobokan, Bali
Do you have a sweet tooth? Look no further than Angelita Patisserie. It’s a local and tourist favourite with French pastries, light meals, coffees and teas aplenty.
Jl. Raya Kerobokan no. 10A Banjar Taman, Kerobokan, Kuta
Food tours in Bali
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by choice or want to sample it all in a short space of time, these food tours are sure to hit all the right tastebuds.
Kuta Street Food Tour
Bali Food Safari
Sanur Foodie Cycling Tour