If you are active on Instagram, you will be used to scrolling through your feed and seeing one dreamy cafe or another, looking up the location and often finding it’s in Bali. Over the last ten years, tourism and long term expats have taken over the small island in Indonesia and many areas that were once stretches of beach or rice paddies are now lined with restaurants and bars.
I have spent a lot of time on the island over the last year and during that time I have read many best of cafe lists, oftentimes detailing the same places over and over. Whist they are obviously popular for a reason (designer smoothies bowls, pretty murals and Insta-worthy decor) I have found lots of lesser known places to eat that you may not try if you are just a visitor to the island. In this guide I share some of my personal favourite Bali cafes and restaurants in Seminyak, Umalas and Canggu for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as some of the usual suspects.
SEMINYAK & PETITENGET
1. The Dusty Cafe
One of my absolute favourite spots in Seminyak is The Dusty Cafe, a Burning Man themed cafe that serves up great breakfast and lunches, with sweet and savoury options, salads and sandwiches, there is something to please everyone! The interior is cool grey metallic with purple accents and Burning Man photos on all of the walls. The menu is also burning man inspired with dishes such as the Astral Totem, The Dragon Bowl and The Machine.
2. Shelter Cafe / Nalu Bowls
Downstairs you can grab a bowl at the Nalu Bowls bar, choosing from a range of yummy fruit bowls or acai. Upstairs Shelter cafe offers healthy salads, sandwiches and juices in the open air cafe. The walls are decorated with Instagrammable murals and quotes that you won’t be able to resist posting to your social media. Slightly higher prices for smaller dishes than some other similar places, but still worth a visit!
3. Cafe Bali
Cafe Bali has been around for a long time, but it is still a firm favourite and popular with tourists staying in Seminyak. Personally I am charmed by the decor, as you enter the restaurant there is a beautiful chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and soft lighting sets the atmosphere. The food is good, inexpensive and the wine and spirits are well priced (compared to other Bali restaurants and bars). Whilst the food is not the best you will find in Bali, this is a great social option for a night out in Seminyak.
Next door to Cafe Bali, you will find Batik. When I came to Bali in a few years ago we walked past several times without checking the menu, based on the gorgeous colonial style decor and pretty terrace, we assumed it would be pricy. One day we stopped to look at the menu and discovered it was inexpensive, upon dining there we found you could have one of the best tuna tartars in Bali for just US $5! I also recommend trying theThai curries and make sure to order a young coconut to drink as they make a special effort with the design!
A little known spot close to Petinenget is Nebula. A rare place that offers air conditioning and great wifi makes this a perfect place if you want to get some work done whilst you are in Bali. The food is delicious too, sadly they have taken their epic chocolate chip and vanilla french toast off the menu recently – but I am personally campaigning to have it re-instated!
6. Motel Mexicola
Motel Mexicola isn’t exactly an insider secret, but it is one of my favourite spots so I wanted to add it to the list! If you enjoy Mexican food this is the place for you, if you enjoy gorgeous colourful decor this is the place for you, if you enjoy delicious margaritas this is the place for you and if you enjoy a good party – then this is the place for you! You get the idea, Motel Mexicola is a must visit on any trip to Bali, if for no other reason than to take a 1,000 photos!
7. Coffee Cartel
A new addition to the Bali cafe scene, Coffee Cartel is a pretty pastel pink destination where you can spend your mornings indulging in their extensive breakfast menu. Starting out in Wollongong, Australia, Coffee Cartel offers their own unique coffee blends that you won’t find anywhere else. And there are even pink lattes!
8. Fat Turtle
Fat Turtle is a great little lunch spot in Petitenget opposite Potato Head. It’s a small cafe with around 10 tables that serves up a number of savoury choices, as well as some indulgent sweet breakfast options. If red velvet pancakes or toasted banana bread with caramelised bananas and ice cream are you thing then definitely make a stop here!
Situated at the top of Petitenget Pison is a cool coffee shop that wouldn’t be out of place in San Francisco or LA. Go here if you want eggs benedict and other breakfast goodies. Pison is also a good place to work with fast wifi, a cool co-working type atmosphere, friendly staff and great coffee.
10. Kynd Community
Already a Bali institution after only just recently opening, Kynd Community was the first to create smoothies bowls with words written in mangos on the top (see the feature image on this article). This little quirk and their “another day in paradise” pink wall has made the tiny cafe instantly popular. If you want your photo by the wall get there when they open at 6am, you will probably have no chance snagging this table later in the day and be warned its a very small cafe so you may be waiting a long time for any table at all!
11. Sea Circus
Like Motel Mexicola, Sea Circus is no longer a secret – thanks in part to its gorgeous exterior brightly painted with circus murals that you will no doubt have seen your favourite Instagrammer pose in front of. However, unlike many Insta-popular cafes in Bali the food at Sea Circus is actually some of the best you will find on the island and not as over-priced as its counterparts. My favourite here is the nourish bowl and my fiance loves the tacos. But honestly, you can’t go wrong ordering anything from this menu!
KEROBOKAN / UMALAS
1. Livingstone Bakery
Livingstone is the perfect spot if you are looking for a delicious breakfast, cakes and pastries. Make sure to indulge by ordering the yummy Nutella French toast coated in cinnamon sugar with maple syrup. If the lure of the pastries and breakfast are not enough of a draw, then the coffee will be! They have several different coffee options, including unusual flavoured coffees like strawberry and avocado. And if thats not weird enough, you might want to try watermelon bread!
2. Warung Dua
Not the prettiest or most photogenic place in Bali, but Warung Dua has some great and affordable food if you are staying in Umalas. The cafe has an extensive menu as well as a counter of hot and cold food, including delicious salads, eggplant parmesan, curries, pastas, chargrilled vegetables and much more. With each item being 10-15k (US $75 cents – $1) you can pile up your plate and try a bit of everything!
3. Eko Cafe
I recently found this little cafe in Umalas, which has a large (and cheap) menu offering delicious acai and smoothie bowls, loads of breakfast options, burgers and sweet treats. I had one of the best acai bowls at Eko since my visit to Brazil and loved the casual laid back feel of the restuarant. There is also a super cute dog to play with and if you live in Bali you will be interested to know you can find bags of nuts, seeds and berries here for a lot cheaper than the supermarket options.
4. Bali Buda
A restaurant and a market, Bali Buda is very well known spot for expats on the island and I would recommend a stop here as a visitor. If you can make it through the menu (its big!) you will be rewarded with some very healthy and delicious food choices. I recommend the cinnamon bun and the Bali Bunda salad bowl.
5. Da Maria
Pizza in Bali? Yes, I know that having a pizza is probably not on your priority list when planning your Bali trip, but it should be! Da Maria is brought to you by the same people behind Icebergs on Bondi Beach and quite frankly they have the best pizza / pasta I have ever tasted. At first we thought that perhaps we just had not had a good pizza for a while, but bringing 24 girls to the restaurant during our Bali retreats last year confirmed I was right!
In all honesty before its renovation around 9 months ago, Nook had the beautiful setting, but not the service or food to go with it. But with a major extension, this cafe set perfectly overlooking the rice paddies in Umalas has massively improved both the food and service. With the extension, the cafe has become very popular in the last year and is typically packed with tourists, but you can still usually find a place to sit without a wait.
1. The Spicy Coconut
People come to Batu Belig especially for this vegan breakfast and lunch spot. Offering up delicious smoothie bowls, a healthy take on nachos with the Mexican Munch, choose your own salads and tofu to die for! Seriously, I have never once eaten tofu and thought it tasted good, until I came to The Spicy Coconut. Order it with whatever else you are having, trust me.
Watercress is famous in Bali and well known as one of the great breakfast, lunch and dinner spots. Well worth a trip to Batu Belig, you will find the usual breakfast bowls, delicious salads and open sandwiches on sour dough bread. The evening menu is great too, a little more expensive than some other places, but worth it! Try the summer lasagne, the tuna and the grilled broccoli.
CANGGU / ECHO BEACH
1. La Brisa
The latest addition to the chain of “La” restaurants and bars in Bali, entering La Brisa feels like entering a designer ship wreck! The setting, like its sister venues is charmingly rustic and shabby, with a variety of wooden seating, bean bags and fishing nets scattered around. Find your favourite spot and watch the sunset as you eat some delicious tapas. The best on the menu is the feta salad, the bread basket (yes, the bread basket) and the tuna tartar.
2. La Laguna
La Laguna holds my heart. It is quite simply one of the prettiest places in Bali to enjoy cocktails, the sunset and some yummy tapas. Arrive early to take photos with the gypsy caravans, sit and enjoy the sunset over the ocean and then head into the dining area for a full dinner. I personally prefer the tapas menu options and the cheese board over the main courses.
Sister cafe to Nook, Milu opened in 2017 and is another pretty shabby chic cafe overlooking the rice terraces. Much like Nook, the food is good, not overwhelming but the setting is idyllic. The bagels are a great choice here, along with juices, smoothies and bowls.
A small cafe in Canggu that has some of the best and largest salads I have found in this area. Usually Nude is quite a busy spot, if you are lucky you can get seating in the indoor section with air conditioning or alternatively in the open air part next to some rice paddies. Again, this is a cafe you go to more for the food than the setting.
One of my personal favourites in Bali, in large part due to the crepes served with strawberries and nutella! But the rest of the menu at Cinta Cafe is also delicious, try the avocado toast – we took my mother here during a trip to the island and despite going to more famous and expensive places afterwards all she wanted to do was go back to Cinta for the avocado toast! For some reason the cafe is not that poplar (crazy, since the food is great) so you can always find a seat and probably a few puppies too.
6. The Lawn Canggu
Once simply a grass lawn by the beach with some mats and an old VW camper van selling Bintang and young coconuts to surfers, The Lawn has undergone major development and is now a large restaurant, bar and beach club. For those who have been in Bali a while, they will miss the old relaxed lawn, but the new set up is a great place to chill out during the day and watch the sunset in the evening.
Of course there are so many other places in Bali to eat, many of which are mentioned countless times in other blog articles. But so as not to ignore them here are a few more of my favourites you should definitely check out – I just didn’t include them in the main list as they are well known establishments and likely already on your foodie list!
In Seminyak, you must stop at Sarong, La Sicilia and La Lucciola. In Uluwatu head to The Rock Bar for drinks, Single Fin and Sundays Beach Club. In Canggu do happy hour at Old Mans, head to Lacalita or Taco Casa for mexican food and Milk & Madu, Peloton, Cafe Organic for brunch and lunch options.
That’s it for now, I will add more places I love as I find them in Bali, but this list should give you a good start for places to eat in Bali that are not just the Instagram cafes!
I hope that you found this article helpful to plan your own schedule for eating and drinking when you visit Bali. Please share your own Bali favourites in the comments below and let me know if you have any questions!
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