Bali Restaurants and Dining

(Bali, Indonesia)

Al fresco dining photographBali has a great offering of foodstuffs and food is generally very cheap, bar five-star hotels and associated restaurants. Unique Balinese dining and typical Indonesian tastes, as well as a variety of international foods, can be had day and night in the tourist resorts, at eateries in the big cities and at modest food vendor stalls in out-of-the-way mountain villages around Bali.

In season, Bali restaurants generally open all day, everyday, and most stay open until 22:00 or 23:00. In the tourist areas, some eateries stay open until midnight or 01:00, and a few even operate around the clock. You are guaranteed to get sushi or sashimi at the 'ryoshi' dining venues until midnight, and many 'padang' restaurants in Kuta and Sanur serve food 24 hours a day.

Picture of summer diners

What to Eat

You can get all the standard Western foods in Bali, as at any other high-profile Asian destination, including McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and European dishes in expat restaurants. Bali also has its own unique cuisine, which differs from other parts of Indonesia, with pork being the wildcard. Roast suckling pig (babi guling) is a must-try, as is traditional Balinese spicy sausage (urutan), another pork dish.

Duck is also fairly ubiquitous on Balinese dining menus, including the tasty roast duck in banana leaves (bebek betutu). Balinese salads (lawar) will suit vegetarians - just order without minced meat or chicken - while satay is highly recommended, as is of course seafood.

Being Hindu-orientated, this is very much a drinker's island, and Bintang is about the most common beer tipple. Bali Hai and Storm are also immensely popular, while Hatten wine is a notable local wine. Whites, reds, rosés and sparkling wines are all available. For spirits, try the local Arad and Brem.

Photo of cafe tables with a view

Where to Eat

Options for eating in Bali are exhaustive and eateries range from the highest class to simple hawker stalls in all areas. Kuta has the best dining options for tourists, being geared to foreigners with its fast food joints and European, American and Australian eateries, as well as also having traditional Bali restaurants. Legian Beach on Jalan Kayu perhaps has the best dining in Kuta, with its five-star hotel restaurants while small eateries dot the beachfront.

Lovinia's Jalan Bhina is another good bet on Bali, where restaurants and eateries cater to all tastes, including Thai, Indian, Mexican, and Italian, as well as the ubiquitous Balinese seafood. The Bukit Peninsula is also loaded with beachfront restaurants and Sanur is big on cafés and snack bars.

Different image of outdoor cafe tablesMany people favour Ubud as having the best eating in Bali and there are dozens of restaurants nestled along Jalan Sugriwa and Jalan Raya. Monkey Forest is another popular eating area and has a glut of trendy restaurants and cafés, along with health food and vegetarian eateries. You can expect anything from Mediterranean menus to spicy Balinese dishes here.

Another dining favourite is Candi Dasa, which is particularly renowned for its fresh seafood and its cheap prices. Everything from prawns to shark meat and barracuda is up for grabs here and there are also innumerable pizzerias and dedicated Balinese joints. If you are staying or visiting Denpasar, don't despair, as despite being such a large and bustling city on Bali, it does offer plenty in the way of authentic Balinese, Indonesian and international restaurants. Head for Jalan Sumatra and the markets for the best of dining in the capital.

The mobile street vendors known as 'kaki lima' tend to have the most authentic food in Bali. Seminyak's beaches around sunset time have a glut of them, where hot bakso (spicy meatball and noodle soup) is served fresh for a nominal charge.