The Insiders Guide to Seminyak Restaurants, Cafes and Bars in Bali. The only guide you will ever need to find the best restaurants to eat and bars in Seminyak. I really know my way around Seminyak, and while any number of restaurants, cafes and bars come and go every year, these are my favourites. From cheap and cheerful cafes and restaurants to suit every budget I can point you in the right direction for dining out.
It should be a criminal offence to dine inside the hotel you’re staying at every night, as there are far superior options all over Seminyak. I’ve also listed my favourite local and high-end bars and there’s a section on local food to help you get off the beaten track.
Seminyak Restaurants Guide Map
Feeling lost? Here’s a handy guide map showing the location of every Seminyak restaurant, cafe and bar mentioned in this post.
Seminyak is seriously spoiled for choice when it comes to innovative, creative and downright sensational cafes. There are a number of local coffee roasters so there’s no need to settle for a cup of substandard life-giving elixir. Not only that, but the food-scene is especially creative with a big focus on plant-based, healthy eating. Except when you need a burger (then you need to head to Habitual).
The best cafe in Seminyak. Healthy food, great coffee. Shelter used to be a small, 12-seat cafe upstairs on a laneway just off the busy main road of Seminyak. It became so popular the owners expanded to double the size in 2018 to seat around 30 and doubled again in 2019 to seat around 60. Despite their growth, they have stayed true to the menu which made them popular to begin with, unlike other cafes who change a successful formula and never quite pull it off. The menu at Shelter has hardly changed in the 4 years I’ve been coming here.
The food is spectacularly simple, healthy and very good quality. From salads to burgers they put a local twist on cafe favourites making them unique, healthy and affordable, a rarity anywhere but especially in Bali.
Must-try dishes include the poke bowl and the weffy salad. Their burger and sandwich game is also strong, and their coffee is consistently outstanding. Almost everything on the menu is under Rp 100k, making it exceptionally affordable, as the same quality of dish would easily cost 2-3 times as much or more in any western city.
They also serve Nalu Bowls from the downstairs street-side servery. Nalu bowls are made from different combinations of blended fruits as a base and topped with berries, seeds, fruits, granola and a bunch of other delicious ingredients that make for the perfect power-breakfast kick-start to your day.
Address: Jl. Drupadi 1 No.2b, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-18:00
The best decompress stop after landing in Bali. Since I have been hosting friends, family and guests from all over the world, Nook has been my number one place to take people if they arriving on a morning flight for great coffee, an introduction to Indonesian food and chill-out environment to start the process of decompressing from the world they left behind.
Nook used to be a tiny cafe tucked away in the ricefields behind Jalan Petitenget on the northern end of Seminyak. “Progress” being an inescapable fact of life in Bali means the cafe has trebled in size and the ricefields are slowly disappearing under the hammer of development.
Having said that, it’s still an oasis compared to the hustle and bustle of Seminyak Central. There are still some virgin ricefields, which naturally makes this a spot for the Instagram crowd. It used to be dead quiet outside the high-season for tourists (July-September) but has become incredibly popular with local Indonesian tourists coming from Jakarta looking to feed their Instagram beast.
Along with that popularity has come an unfortunate, but the understandable practice of charging a minimum spend for the tables with a front-row view of the ricefields.
The menu is eclectic, brilliant and very affordable. It’s my first stop when I’m hosting stressed-out guests who clearly need to relax. For a great introduction to local food try the nasi campur, which is a mound of rice surrounded by morsels of 7-9 local dishes. The “special” includes proteins like ayam betutu (chicken cooked in banana leaves and spices) and beef rendang (slow-cooked beef in coconut), while the vegetarian version (my favourite) has a few more local delicacies.
Because it’s off the very busy Jalan Petitenget down an almost hidden laneway the feeling of leaving the hustle and bustle of Seminyak alone is worth the visit.
The toilets are clean (but tiny), and there’s plenty of car and motorbike parking.
Address: Jl. Umalas I No.3, Umalas
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-23:00
Basil Kitchen has a unique proposition – everything on their menu is IDR 50k++. That’s around AUD$5.80. The food is fresh, tasty and inexpensive. Dining is al fresco on their deck and they have a few seats inside in the air-conditioning. As well as savoury dishes like pork belly and burgers they have healthy vegetable bowls as well.
Address: Jl. Pangkung Sari No.45, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 08:00 – 22:30
Old-school charm with wonderful but inexpensive food. Biku is, without doubt, the one place I take friends and family if they haven’t been before. It’s an old-fashioned joglo that used to be a spice trading house and is run by the same family for the past 38 years.
Serving a mix of local and western dishes, it is extraordinarily inexpensive, with most mains under Rp 100k. Try the Kashmiri fish curry, anything from the daily specials and they make an excellent caesar salad. But the highlight is their high tea, served in sweet, savoury and local Indonesian versions. It really is a treat worth going to this charming restaurant.
Make sure you book by phone during the high season (July-September). Highly recommended for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as the high tea in the afternoons.
Address: Jalan Petitenget No.888, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-23:00
Brilliantly executed classic cafe food with healthy salads. Watercress has been a staple in the Seminyak cafe scene for years, and deservedly so. Great coffee, excellent salad cabinet selection and consistently good quality mid-market cafe menu. If you are around this side of town, definitely worth a visit. Well patronised by ex-pats, which tells you all you need to know.
Address: Jl. Batu Belig No.21 A, Batu Belig
Opening Hours: Mo-Sa 07:30-20:00
Phone: +62 851-0280-8030
Great coffee, small but impressive menu, all-in pricing. Coffee Cartel is relatively new on the Bali cafe scene, opening in late 2018. But it quickly established itself among the ex-pats and longer-term visitors to Seminyak as serving quality coffee, breakfast and lunch. It’s tucked away 100m from the main street in Petitenget which is a plus because the popular spots in Seminyak during high season are getting too crowded for comfort.
They have a unique gimmick in being able to create a photo or your name on the foam of your coffee, making for an irresistible Instagram moment. By downloading the app to your phone you can connect to their coffee machine and send any photo to be printed onto of your coffee.
Another big selling point for this cafe is they include tax and service charges in their menu pricing. Most places add tax and service on top of the advertised price, pissing off millions of tourists a year by appearing to be less expensive than they actually are. Places that include everything in the advertised price are to be heartily encouraged.
They do a mean smashed avo, and the pulled brisket burger and mcmuffin are well worth trying.
Address: Jl. Lb. Sari No.8, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 07:30-18:00
Bo & Bun
Home of the world-famous in Bali 12-hour spicy lemongrass Pho Bo. Seriously, this pho will change your life. I travel to Vietnam often and I’ve never had better than this. I have a cousin who comes for a visit every year, and after a swim and a cold Bintang, this is his first stop for the bao gao – Chinese buns stuffed with pork belly and chilli.
Bo & Bun started as a small hole in the wall cafe around 5 years ago and has become popular enough to expand into the adjoining premises which are 3 times the size of the original. The Vietnamese fusion menu is small but delicious packed with some favourites along with originals like the crack ‘n’ slurp. Most everything is under IDR 130k and my only complaint is the coffee and drinks tend to be more expensive than they should be for this kind of place.
Located half-way up Seminyak’s main street, streetside parking can sometimes be an issue.
Address: Jl. Raya Basangkasa Br. Basangkasa No.26, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-10:30pm
Phone: +62 859-3549-3484
KZU Wabi Sabi
The best healthy cabinet food selection in Bali. Wabi Sabi serves Japanese inspired healthy food, both from a cabinet selection and from an al-a-carte menu. I eat here several times a week and recommend the tuna tataki (if it isn’t sold out), any of the salads in the cabinet and the yakitori skewers.
Address: Jl. Sunset Road No.151, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 10am-11pm
Phone: +62 821-4656-7832
Fantastically unique Korean-inspired menu, great staff, excellent happy hours. New arrivals to Ling Ling’s maybe a bit taken aback by the mildly fetishistic schoolgirl uniforms worn by the staff, but the hemlines are conservative and it’s all part of the anime-punk decor. The drinks are very inexpensive for this part of Bali and the prices are all quoted inclusive of tax and service without the dreaded plus-plus, which is unusual and to be both applauded and supported.
This bar and restaurant has already survived several seasons when many nearby have opened to huge fanfare and then quietly gone bankrupt. And the bankrupted bars and restaurant list in Seminyak is very, very long. It’s just unusual enough to be unique, just edgy enough to be fun, and with very affordable and tasty food and cocktails, this deserves a “dinner and drinks” before hitting the clubs.
It’s close to everything in Petitendget, open until 1 am, which is also unusual as all but few places are only licensed until 12 am. Try the maki rolls and the fish tacos and of course the excellent cocktails.
Limited off-road motorbike parking, car drop only, clean toilets.
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.43B, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 12pm-1am
Phone: +62 819-1641-7867
A go-to for people who want quality, inexpensive western cafe-style food. Recently under new and invigorated ownership. Corner House has been a staple in the Seminyak cafe scene for years. Located right at the top of Eat Street, it’s easy to get to from pretty much anywhere. The new menu includes a monster chicken parma and their happy hours with live music and discounted drinks are being heavily promoted.
I prefer places with local food, but if I’m in the mood for a typical western brunch with friends this is the place. I recommend the breakfast menu and anywhere that serves Revolver coffee has my vote. A few motorbike parking spots but it’s a real hassle to get cars in and out of Eat Street. Better to be dropped off nearby and walk. Clean toilets.
Address: Jl. Kayu Aya No. 10 A, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 7am-11 pm
Phone: +62 361-730276
Great salads and a nice location in the centre of Petitenget. I like the salads at Gourmet Cafe a lot, and probably have a couple a week. Their caesar salad is particularly good, and I also recommend the juice and smoothie menu.
It’s right on the corner in the centre of Petitenget just up from the Potato Head and Woobar entrances. Good coffee, ample motorcycle parking and reasonably clean toilets.
Address: Taman Ayu Hotel, Jl. Petitenget No.100x, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 07:00 am – 12:00 am
Phone: +62 361-8475115
If ever a place has grown to be popular purely through Instagram marketing, it’s Kynd. They cleverly modelled the cafe in the perfect and popular Instagram pink, with cute little signs against which a thousand Instagram models have posed. I love the salads, but they can sometimes be too deconstructed (think a bowl of unmixed raw vegetables, dressing in the side).
A little bit too much form over substance but worth a visit just for those insta-snaps. Crazy busy in the high season with hordes of people, rarely anyone over 25.
Address: Jalan Petitenget No.12, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 7am-10pm
Phone: +62 859-3112-0209
Self-proclaimed Garden Gangstas and one of the earlier and better plant-based cafes to open, Cafe Organic maintains pretty consistent quality. In between Biku and Gourmet Cafe, across the road from Woobar.
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.99 X, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 7am-6pm
Phone: +62 812-3612-8341
Quite possibly the best burgers on the planet. Back in my pre-keto diet days, Habitual was my guilty pleasure. Hidden away in Umalas, this place has I swear the best burgers I’ve ever had. The classic cheeseburger is an exercise in elegant and tasty simplicity. It’s an inside air-conditioned place, which is is great during the hot season.
It’s located not far from Nook, but don’t blink or you’ll miss it. If you’re a burger aficionado then this is well worth the visit.
Address: Jl. Umalas I No.12B, Kerobokan
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 9am-6pm
Phone: +62 851-0018-1801
There are so many great restaurants in Seminyak that it has become deservedly known as one of the great foodie holiday destinations. There is so much fantastic natural produce and spices grown in Bali, and combined with low operational costs these restaurants can offer world-class food on the plate at a fraction of what it would cost in Australia, New Zealand, Europe or the United States.
The best introduction to modern Asian in Bali. I love Ginger Moon. I’ve been coming here so often I know pretty much all the staff. Ginger Moon has been around for about 6 years and in that time the menu has hardly changed, which is a good thing because chef Dean Kendall is on to a winner. Most everything on the menu is less than IDR 200k.
It’s a bright, beautifully designed restaurant with fantastic staff and a price point that will leave you stunned how cheap great food can be in Bali. They have several reasonable wines by the glass for under IDR100k – which is becoming hard to find in Bali – and the bartenders really know their speciality cocktail menu.
Must-try dishes are the steamed buns with selections like beef rendang, battered fish, grilled pork and chicken cooked in local spices. Oh, and don’t forget the trio of brule for dessert. Relatively cheap wine by the glass, excellent cocktails, no parking except for a few motorbike parks directly on the street in front of the restaurant and spotlessly clean toilets upstairs.
It’s the place that when stuck for a recommendation or when hosting groups that have varying tastes that is my default dining option. I’ve taken friends there for lunch on their last day in Bali with a late night flight, and somehow lunch has not ended until well into the dinner service.
Address: Jl. Kayu Aya No. 7, Seminyak
Opening Hours: 11am-11pm
Phone: +62 361-734533
A meat-lovers paradise, Barbacoa is an Argentine grill with a speciality in whole suckling pork roasted over a wood-fire for 12 hours. Barbacoa is one of my top go-to restaurants for a special occasion. It’s a huge room, warmly lit with outstanding staff and an excellent menu. Must-try dishes are the roasted pork, ceviche and the nitrogen-fueled ice cream made to order table-side.
It’s not just for the carnivores though. I highly recommend the chapa bread served with roasted garlic puree and olive oil, burnt carrots (I’ve been for lunch there just for the carrots, they are that good!) and the roasted cauliflower. And this from someone who traditionally detests cauliflower.
It’s a big room with very high vaulted ceilings and yet somehow manages to maintain a great ambience, especially when full – which is often, so this is one you are well-advised to book ahead for.
For an intimate night for two, ask for a table alongside the front windows. The leather padded bench seats are super comfortable for the one who gets to sit along the wall.
This is one of the few restaurants in Seminyak that I consistently rate the staff 5-stars. Attentive, but not overly so, and really on the ball when it comes to customer service with a smile.
Make sure you leave room for dessert – get the honeycomb ice cream sandwich and the ice cream made table-side with nitrogen.
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.14, Petitenget
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 12pm-12am
Phone: +62 812-3999-9825
La Luciola is a long-standing favourite in Seminyak and gets consistently excellent reviews for good reason. Serving authentic Italian the food is the number one attraction despite the amazing beachfront views.
Access to the beach-side restaurant is through the car park in the adjoining Petitenget Temple, on the opposite side of the car park from Manu Beach Club.
It’s a little on the expensive side for Bali, but the quality of the food, consistently outstanding service and world-class beachside location make La Lucciola a must-visit in my books.
Address: Pantai Petitenget, Jalan Kayu Aya, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 19am-11pm
Phone: +62 361730838
Perfect date night restaurant overlooking private ricefields. Perfect for a romantic dinner, Sardine is in a stunning setting next to their own working rice fields. Specialising in modern seafood with seasonal ingredients, the flavours are clean and fresh.
Compared to prices in western countries, the prices are surprisingly affordable for a white-linen kind of place. Starters are between IDR 100 – 200k and main courses between 200 – 300k.
Make sure you go for an after-dinner walk around the pathway bordering the rice fields on the left-hand side. It just doesn’t get any more romantic than this.
Address: Petitenget Street No.21, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 11:30am-1am
My go-to restaurant for taking visiting friends. One of the best in Bali, the name Merah Putih pays homage to the Indonesian flag – merah meaning red, and putih meaning white – and has a unique menu with local Indonesian dishes on the left-hand side of the menu, with a contemporary version with a modern twist on the right.
Merah Putih is my number one go-to if I have guests and only one night to spare for a special dinner.
Like most restaurants in Bali, this one is stylistically impressive. The massive, white, floor-to-ceiling columns are actually water catchments that funnel rainwater into their underground reservoir, making the restaurant self-sufficient when it comes to water usage.
The prices are like most places in Bali – surprisingly affordable, with most main dishes under IDR200k. The menu changes seasonally, but they stick to what they are great at and the bar menu is a great option for a cocktail or two and some lite bites, especially if you are dining solo for the evening.
The cocktail bar is also a great place for pre-dinner drinks, or if you’re in the mood they have a selection of light bites from an excellent bar menu.
I’ve been going to Merah Putih for 5 years and it never fails to impress. Be warned, while the portions may appear small, over-ordering is a common mistake. Get some dishes to share, take stock of the hunger levels, and then keep ordering anyway.
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.100X, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 12:00-15:00, 18:00-23:30
Classically French overlooking beautiful gardens. Modern French with a fantastic cocktail bar, Metis is one of our favourite special occasion restaurants. It also has amazing fixed-price lunch specials for 2 or 3 courses that allow you to sample the food and enjoy the surroundings for much less than the dinner menu. It’s at the expensive end for restaurants in Bali, but the fine-dining french menu is still great value compared to restaurants of similar quality in western countries.
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.6, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Sa 11:00-02:00, Su 17:30-02:00
Seriously romantic, spectacular decor, stunning food. A legend in the local dining scene, the street-food chef Will Meyrick’s flagship modern Asian restaurant Sarong is the most romantic of restaurants. It’s expensive by Balinese standards, but much less than you’ll pay in other countries for a spectacularly presented modern take on Indonesian dishes.
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.19, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 18:30-23:30
A relatively recent entry in the Seminyak dining scene, Da Maria serves modern Italian in a chic and spacious bar and restaurant decorated in a Mediterranean style.
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.170, Petitenget
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 12pm-2am
Phone: +62 361-9348523
MoonLite Kitchen and Bar
This is one of my favourite sunset spots, located on the 3rd floor of the Anatara Resort at Seminyak Beach. They have a great happy hour between 5-8 pm with an excellent menu serving modern Indonesian. It’s on my go-to list for taking friends for sunset cocktails and dinner afterwards.
Note: currently being renovated, I’m looking forward to the reopening.
Address: Jl. Abimanyu (Dhyana Pura), Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 4:30pm-11pm
Phone: +62 361-737755
One of the iconic beach images of Bali is the bright umbrellas and bean bags at La Plancha. Gorgeous to photograph at sunset, many beachside bars have copied their unique theme, but this is the first and largest with the best sunset DJ sounds on Seminyak Beach. The tiny kitchen pumps out a huge array of snacks and while the beer sometimes isn’t as cold as it should be, the cocktails are pretty good. It’s more a place to visit for the vibe than the food but it is incredibly popular. When I first started coming here there were around 20 bean bags that have now grown to over 100.
Uniquely decorated in drift-wood meets steam-punk style, it’s owned and operated by the same company that runs La Favela, the popular Seminyak nightclub and La Brisa, the beach club in Canggu.
Address: Jalan Mesari Beach, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 10am-12am
Phone: +62 878-6141-6310
The Orchard Bar & Restaurant
The best live music venue in Bali by far is The Orchard Bar & Restaurant in Seminyak.
The Orchard is an English-style pub tucked away behind Jalan Seminyak (Jalan means Road in Indonesian) but is easily accessible. You wouldn’t think an English pub would be the place to find the best local bands and artists, but it’s true. Almost every night of the week the owner Graeme hosts some of the most extraordinarily talented musicians both locally and overseas – check out their artist wall of fame for a taste of who has played there. It has gained a well-deserved reputation for great live music, so be sure to schedule some time to drop in.
Monday is jam night and is gaining a well-deserved reputation, especially with visiting artists, for being a muso’s night where a mix of accomplished professionals along with the occasional outstanding amateur gets to show their skills on the best stage in Bali.
Hosted by Rheta Ahreta it’s rapidly turning into one of the best live music nights on the island. Tuesday is singer/songwriter night where again an invited cast of original artists get to showcase their talents. Thursday is “Rock ‘n’ Soul” with a reputation among local and visiting musicians that often get called up to jam with the headline act. This is as far from an in-house band playing their nightly repertoire as you can get, and is guaranteed not only a great night out but the chance to see some very talented musicians playing under pressure among their peers.
Saturday is host to the now famously known “Marmalade Sessions” with the well-known The Island Souls headlining the best rock night in Bali.
The best live music in Bali can be found on Gang Baik Baik accessed off Jalan Nakula, it’s only a 10-minute walk from Bintang Supermarket in Seminyak.
Address: Jl. Nakula Gg. Baik-Baik, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-01:00
A late-night prohibition bar, 40 Thieves is accessed through a black curtain at the rear of a ramen restaurant at the Kerobokan end of Petitenget. Decked out in 1930’s prohibition-style the bar is either pumping, especially on a Friday and Saturday night, or when it’s quieter is still an outstanding spot to grab an after-dinner cocktail or three.
Bespoke cocktails can be made to order by some of the best mixologists on in Bali, and while they run to the expensive end I rate this bar as a must-visit in Seminyak for a late night out. The poster on the wall from the original bar pretty much sums it up. “Payment by cheque or sexual favours are no longer permitted”.
Address: Petitenget St No.7, Petitenget, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Sa 10pm-2am
Phone: +62 878-6226-7657
One of the only nightclubs in Seminyak with a late license, Red Ruby is open until the wee small hours.
Inspired by the New York Disco scene of the ’70s and ’80s. Musically however the club draws Influence from the underground avant-garde clubs of Berlin, Ibiza, Barcelona and Amsterdam. The club has the distinct spirit and vibe of Bali that can’t be captured anywhere else in the world.
Address: Seminyak No.919, Jl. Petitenget, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 11pm-6am
Phone: +62 812-3966-5546
Ku De Ta, Seminyak
Ku De Ta is the original Bali Beach Club. It’s a sophisticated beach-front venue with several bars that are one of the most popular spots for watching the sunset. The dining at Ku De Ta is upscale, although their bar menu is very affordable and highly rated.
Ku De Ta was one of the original beach clubs and used to be my go-to spot for treating visiting friends and family. Repeated instances of watered-down drinks, an emphasis catering to families with young children instead of high-spending adults and a poor response to customer service means this one-time respected stalwart isn’t what it once was, but it’s still worth a stop for sunset cocktails.
With all the ingredients for the perfect venue (location, architecture, great food, longevity) Ku De Ta just needs to improve the consistency of drinks service and the management take a more humble approach to customer service to be once again at the top of the list for premier destination bars in Bali.
Address: Jalan Kayu Aya No. 9, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mon — Sun, 8 am – 2 am
Phone: +62 361-736-969
Entrance Fee: None – Minimum spend on day beds IDR1,000,000 in the high season or IDR500,000 in low season.
A very popular sunset bar on the beach at the W Hotel in Petitenget, Woobar is popular with tourists and local ex-pats alike. They have a limited happy hour on selected cocktails Monday-Thursday 7 – 9 pm with complimentary snacks and a fantastic view over the direct beach frontage. Woobar has regular late-night guest DJ’s playing in the downstairs club after 10 pm, usually on Saturday nights.
The iconic “W” next to the beachside is constantly redecorated and makes an excellent photo opportunity, as does the amazing entrance roadway with overhanging bamboo making a unique entrance tunnel from the main road to the hotel complex.
Entrance Fee: Free entry. Day beds beside the pool available for IDR 750k++ credited towards food and beverage.
Address: Jalan Petitenget Seminyak, Petitenget, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 10am-1am
Phone: +62 361-4738106
Potato Head is a must-do for anyone coming to Bali looking for a party by the pool. It has some of the most inspiring architecture you will see for commercial premises from the entrance. To say they made the market for using antique shutters as an architectural feature is an understatement.
Year after year, Potato Head is the standard by which all other beach clubs should be judged. The cocktails may seem expensive but they are expertly prepared and pack a real punch. Dollar for dollar the best cocktails on the island.
Address: Jl. Petitenget 51B, Seminyak
Phone: +62 361-473-7979
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun, 10am – 2am
Entrance Fee: None – Minimum spend on day beds starting at IDR 1.5 million, bookings required.
My happy place, 707 as it’s locally known used to be a simple bar made from driftwood and bamboo slats on the beach at Jepun Beach (Pantai Jepun) at the bottom of Batu Belig. Unfortunately, they had to move a hundred metres down the beach due to the continuing development in this area. However, the new spot is still pretty cool with a number of similar beachside bars have popped up in the past couple of years. It’s still a throwback to an older, more authentic Bali experience and their sunset DJ’s sets, especially on Sunday, are downright legendary.
Located just down the dirt road 100m is Warung Pantai, also a favourite haunt. In between the two is the ostentatious Tropicola beach club, with overpriced food of dubious provenance. In this part of Bali, you are better hanging at the rustic beachside bars directly on the beachfront.
Address: Jl. Batu Belig No.33 A, Batu Belig
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 10am-8pm
Phone: +62 812-3981-356
One of the first rustic bamboo shacks along Pantai Jepun is Warung Pantai. During the massive tides experienced in spring a couple of years ago, it was washed away (along with everyone else on this strip) twice before being rebuilt with sunken concrete reinforcing along the beachfront.
Cold beer, cheap drinks, reasonable local food and the best sunset view in Bali. What more could you ask for? Just don’t tell anyone.
Address: Jl. Batu Belig No.37, Kerobokan
Opening Hours: Mon — Sun, 7am — 10pm
Phone: +62 818-0536-3423
Warung Babi Guling Jambul
Although Indonesia is 85%+ majority Muslim, Bali is mostly Hindi, which would explain their love of pork – particularly spit-roasted whole pig. If there is such thing as a national dish of Bali, it’s Babi Guling (roasted pork).
Hundreds of small warungs (local restaurants) get a big hunk of pork delivered each morning. They then proceed to cut it up and mix it with herbs and spices according to their own unique. recipe and techniques.
When served, a little bit from lots of different preparations is dished up along with rice and a small bowl of soup made from the bones and off-cuts. The soup is used as a condiment, spooned over the rice and pork while you eat.
Babi Guling is epic, and everyone has their own favourite warung. Mine is down a side street in Seminyak. It’s very small, the owners and staff don’t speak a word of English and I love it.
Servings are very small bu western standards – a local will typically be charged IDR 15k for a serving. If you want to experience great babi guling, go here and ask for a tiga pulau (30k) serving. She will likely you know I sent you, as I’m the only one who asks for big portions (please don’t judge).
There are other babi guling warungs in Seminyak, with the most popular being Warung Babi Guling Pak Malen, but in my opinion, the busloads that file through Pak Malen make the offering a bit bland and less authentic.
Address: Jl. Plawa No.10, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Sa 9am-7pm (maybe)
Nakula Night Market
The Nakula Night Market or Senggol Pasar Malam on Jalan Nakula at the southern end of Seminyak is the best place to eat like a local. Most local service staff live in small hostels that don’t have cooking facilities, so they tend to pick something up on the way from work or stop and eat with friends before going home.
In the last couple of years, a number of other restaurants and local warungs have opened, making the street busier with more choice. But I love dropping into the pasar malam to eat and gossip with my local friends.
Be warned – the level of hygiene might strike you as shocking from a westerners viewpoint, but is it’s probably cleaner than the kitchen at your hotel (which are notorious for their lack of hygiene standards). The reality is that if any of these local warungs poisoned anyone they would be out of business in a heartbeat as the locals would simply stop going.
It isn’t very large, so blink and you’ll miss it. Senggol Pasar Malam is diagonally opposite Extrablatt German, a vastly overpriced Babi Guling restaurant.
Address: Jl. Nakula No.57, Legian
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 5pm-10pm
The best fresh fish in Seminyak. I go here for their sashimi, served freshly sliced and dirt cheap. Sakanaya is the distribution point for the Ryoshi chain of Japanese restaurants, so their seafood is guaranteed fresh. It’s a rustic fish-shop with some simple wooden tables out the front.
Check out the seafood display inside the shop – if it looks full, stick around and dig in. If it’s nearly empty, give it a miss, as they’re due for another shipment.
I recommend the large sashimi platter. For around IDR 80k you can’t go wrong, with 4 slices from 5 different cuts of fresh fish.
Address: Jl. Sunset Road No.77 X, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 10am-9:30pm
Phone: +62 361-8475950
While strictly local Balinese food, everyone I take there loves it. Warung Bunana is a local roti shop, serving a huge range of flavoured roti with lamb curry. It’s dirt cheap – roti starts from IDR 7k with accompanying lamb curry around 28k.
It’s also right next door to my favourite barber, Headmost, so you can get a feed while waiting for your haircut and a hot-towel shave after making an appointment.
Address: Jl. Sunset Road No.28, Seminyak
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 10am-10pm
Phone: +62 853-3843-1755
Sate Babi Street Food
Most days, at the local market on the corner of Jalan Seminyak opposite Sunset Point Shopping Centre, is a family selling grilled pork skewers – sate babi. This is my favourite street food snack. They cut up small pieces of pork and marinate them in spices, ready to be grilled to order.
Sate Babi is traditionally served to nasi lontong – compressed rice tightly wrapped in leaves and cooked so it’s a solid mass, opened and sliced and served alongside the pork. Some sliced fresh chilli and a pinch of salt complete this dish served all over Bali but rarely found in the tourist areas.
A serving of 10 skewers with compressed rice costs around IDR 20k. You might get charged 25k, and if so, smile and pay willingly. You can get it wrapped in grease-proof paper to take away, but I like to sit and hang out with the family, chewing the fat (literally) about the state of the economy and the poor behaviour of bule (tourists).
Ask for satu (one) or dua (two) sate babi nasi (grilled pork with rice) either makan di sini (eat here) or bawa pulang (takeaway).
I’m writing a separate post on local food, how to order and where to find it. But for now, if you see someone grilling food on the side of the road in your travels, stop and get some. It’s either pork, chicken or lamb, depending on where the proprietor’s family originates.
If you have hired a private car and driver, just let him know you’re keen on sampling some street food, particularly sate – little roadside operations like the one pictured here are everywhere in Bali away from the tourist areas.
Address: Jl. Raya Basangkasa 12
Opening Hours: Maybe from 3 or 4 pm until 6-ish.