Having traveled to Bali recently, I have so many recommendations that I thought I should share with you all as I know it is a popular holiday destination for Australian’s and many European countries. I have an extensive list of places to eat and things to do, my only issue with my list is please keep in mind that this is quite a tourist based list of things to do and eat in Bali, Indonesia. There is a lot of things to do when overseas than just the most tourist friendly option, so please do appreciate travelling overseas as a different culture and opportunity to experience things other than what you may have at home.
Keeping all this in mind, myself and my travel pal are both a little Instagram obsessed so we really did look into places to eat and go during our time overseas, we also had quite a few recommendations from friends and family that had previously been to Bali, Indonesia. We were not able to go everywhere on our lists, but we did manage to get through quite a few recommendations. We traveled to three major areas within Bali, Indonesia so I will break it down into the three major areas in order to make it easier to know where may be closest to you when travelling.
Note: Lots of Taxi’s around, super easy to travel around the surrounding areas, and it is also so busy that just wandering around will find a fab cafe or boutique. Please be wary of taxi’s however, I was told to use Blue Bird taxi’s as they are metered taxi’s rather than just playing haggle with the driver, of course don’t forget to negotiate with the driver or you will end up paying much more than necessary.
WHERE TO EAT:
This is a great venue for breakfast or lunch if you’ve had a big night before, mainly because they have lots of hangover options, including breakfast cocktails and beers. I really recommend getting one of the ‘sparklers’ which tastes like ‘frose’ and is the perfect way to curb feeling ill, or a classic bloody mary was on offer, or the slightly bolder coffee with a shot of vodka was on offer as well. The food was delicious too, with a really funky decor vibe.
This was one of our first stops in Bali and had a delicious all day breakfast menu which I personally adore, the food was cheap and super tasty, with a lot of healthy options available, yet again delicious fresh juices and one of the better coffee’s we had while in Bali. Beautiful, bright interior that felt comfortable and fresh.
Another incredible Eggs Benedict in Bali, they have delicious fresh juices and some seriously good coffee. Went for breakfast, and would go back again in a hurry if I were back in Bali, had recommendations about the french toast too! Loved the nature mixed in with the cafe, and is really large, so pretty much always can get a table quickly, perfect for larger groups because of that.
KU DE TA:
Huge recommendation for a fancier dinner while in Bali, it is located on the beach with a stunning view, and delicious cocktails that were delicious, I had an amazing risotto and the menu was extensive with a great selection of seafood. Definitely a nice dinner for an anniversary or birthday because it really is a beautiful luxurious restaurant.
SHELTER CAFE/ NALU BOWLS:
An incredible cafe, that we got horrendously lost trying to find, but once we got there, it was gorgeous. There is two parts to the cafe, the Nalu Bowls section is downstairs, but can be ordered from Shelter Cafe upstairs, which I think is very clever. It is a open bungalow feel, and gives the feeling of a large treehouse. The food was delicious and had many healthy options which is always a plus when travelling, also had yummy home made tonic’s which was perfect after a couple too many cocktails the night before.
WHAT TO DO:
- Market shopping.
- Streets of boutique and locally owned stores.
- Delicious cafe’s and bars.
- Pool swimming.
- Happy hour (always fun).
A classic spot for Western tourists, for a reason, it’s a really good time. A delicious Mexican restaurant, with an extensive tequila bar, a seriously fun DJ. I loved having dinner, recommend the banquets if you’re keen on a full meal, order a couple of the giant Pina Colada’s and then wait until the lights go off, the tequila comes out and the DJ gets going, it’s a really fun night with a great vibe and lots of old school music that everybody knows.
Similar concept to Motel Mexicola, this is another great dinner spot that becomes a bar/club scene later in the night. I really enjoyed the tapas style meals, and they had some lovely drinks too. Great as well because of it’s location being near other night spots, the music was a mixture of old school and dance, with a little bit for everyone, a huge venue so if you’re not a big dancer, you can steal a table and have drinks.
Note: There are no cars on Lembongan, you can hire a motorbike, or a lot of the larger restaurants or resorts will actually come and pick you up if you request, chat with your hotel front desk as I’m sure they will be helpful!
WHERE TO EAT:
BALI ECO DELI:
If you are a vegan, vegetarian, raw or just generally enjoy cleaner eating, then this sustainable cafe is heaven on the quiet island of Nusa Lembongan. Cannot recommend their sweet treats enough, and they have less guilt attached because of the ingredient list, the Banana bread was the best I have ever had. They also offer free filtered water refills if you have a non-disposable drink bottle, helping to combat the Islands litter problem. You need to try their in house made iced tea’s too.
BLUE CORNER CAFE:
A gorgeous beach front Mexican eatery, that has bean bags and delicious tapas style sharing food. There are bean bags to sit on the beach and watch the sunset with a glass of sangria and some dip. They also have a movie projector which could be a fun way to spend an evening while eating some nibbles.
SANDY BAY BEACH CLUB:
This is a must do for a dinner while on the island, make a booking because it gets very busy, but they have their own transport service which is perfect to utilize for a gorgeous evening on the beach. This was a stunning view and the tables feel like they are on the beach but elevated to make the view even better. The food was delicious and it has such a gorgeous atmosphere and the view was impossible to pass up on.
A gorgeous place for lunch to overlook the rest of the island, it is a very small cafe with an incredible view and some really tasty food. Perfect spot even just to sit and have a drink on the stools or the couches. My only caution is make sure you have a plan b because it does fill up quite easily because of it’s intimate size. Perfect way to waste an afternoon with a drink and some food.
HAI BAR & GRILL:
Another beautiful spot for an afternoon and sunset dinner, overlooking Mushroom Bay Beach. The food it’s self is delicious and they have amazing woodfire pizza, but I cannot stress how much you need to order one to share, rather than one each, because they are huge! The staff were super friendly and the cocktails were delicious. It also has one of the few ATM’s on the Island making it even more attractive.
WHAT TO DO:
We went snorkeling on a private tour organised through our hotel reception and traveled to both Mangrove Bay & Crystal Bay, both of which were stunningly clear and had incredible underwater habitats that looked un-touched by human interaction. The locations around Nusa Lembongan were all so gorgeous and there were many other water activities to enjoy on the island.
There a lots of bicycle’s available for hire, as well as motorbikes or even a golf buggy, which is what we did and it was a great laugh that I really think was good fun and a great way to see the island, especially if you’re more confident on four wheels compared to two.
DREAM BAY BEACH CLUB:
This is a stunning view with a private beach that has a gorgeous lookout above it. Also there is a resort and hotel which has a pool that can be used by outsiders as well as a cafe. The pool is two stories and is infinity on both levels making it a gorgeous view and beautiful way to relax if the beach is a little rough as it was when we visited.
This is a gorgeous little beach that has a variety of cafes and other things to do facing on to it, as well as a nice beach to sit and enjoy an afternoon relaxing around.
Note: I found Ubud the easiest to just wander around and had the least need for transport to get around the local area. We were staying on Monkey Forest Road, which meant that we could walk out of the hotel and just wander around to the local area, there are so many stores, markets, cafe’s and restaurants, so plenty of things to occupy your time with. However, if you are travelling to surrounding areas, such as the rice paddies or Mt Batur, then I suggest organizing with your hotel or a tour as there is limited taxi’s in the area, but yet again can always hire a motorbike if your confident.
WHERE TO EAT:
My favourite cafe in Ubud for lunch or a little something, super fast wifi as standard with most cafe’s in Bali, this was the perfect place to hang out while planning out a day, or in our case we came back the second time to sit drink cool drinks while eating dumplings on our last day when we had to be out of the hotel, but our flight wasn’t until later. The staff were so kind, and they had a gorgeous decor. If you go, please get the Pao, I loved the beef and the duck, if you do order it, thank me later, because it was delicious!
Cute little funky space with quirky decor and comfy couches that we used to wait out the rain one day. Really enjoyed the food, and the general feel was great for cafe dwelling and people watching. Another great combination of Eastern & Western food making it a little more individual.
CINTA BAR & GRILL:
A delicious place for dinner with a great mixture between Eastern and Western food, cannot recommend the Cauliflower Taco’s enough, would have them again in a heart beat. They also have a delicious happy hour special of two for one mojito’s which we took full advantage of.
A lovely dinner spot with a top level balcony which makes rainy evenings totally bearable, this was literally across the road from our hotel and made for the perfect rainy night run across the road. The food was delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed their home made iced tea’s. Heard great things about the cafe for lunch too.
Another cafe perfect for vegan & vegetarian or clean eaters, a really secluded cafe off a main street. Love the casual setting and the menu is huge, they have incredible house made pesto that was a part of the marinated vegetables on toast, seriously yummy! Also a long list of fresh juices and smoothies.
Probably my favourite dinner venue in Ubud, they have a fabulous vibe, with a perfectly curated playlist which meant that while sipping on their happy hour cocktails and jugs of Pimms, you can enjoy the ambiance of the busy Monkey Forest Road. The food is more of a tapas style nibbles but there is definitely enough to fill you up as a full dinner, really enjoyed sitting upstairs and people watching, was fine even when raining.
WHAT TO DO:
Unfortunately due to weather we were unable to do the Mt Batur hike, but having heard so many recommendations myself, I felt that I had to give it a mention, from the photos I have seen, a truly incredible view.
A classic Bali attraction. The Monkey Forest is a beautiful setting and along the main road of Ubud, really recommend it for about an hour activity. Personally do not like Monkey’s, ironic I know because I stayed on Monkey Forest road, but regardless, glad we went. Don’t walk along the road in front of the Monkey Forest with Gelato because they will chase you, I can personally verify that.
KEMENUH BUTTERFLY PARK:
A gorgeous large enclosure full of beautiful delicate butterflies that just fluttered around as if we were not there. Such a gorgeous place that allows you to wander around the enclosure, and then be able to go into a large avery with day old butterflies, caterpillars and cocoons. A really beautiful little visit that I thoroughly enjoyed and got some beautiful photos from.
BALI PULINA COFFEE PLANTATION:
We had heard nobody talk about the coffee plantations, but this was a true highlight of the trip for both me and Jasmine. It was an incredible view of the Tegalalang Rice Paddies and tucked away in the rural part of Ubud. So thankful that our drive suggested going here, because it was gorgeous and the coffee was delicious, and we got to meet the cutest little coffee eaters ‘Luwak’s’ which were truly adorable and super entertaining. Purchased some coffee’s and tea’s to enjoy at home too as a yummy little reminder.
TEGALALANG RICE FIELDS:
I feel that this is a pretty classic thing to do in Ubud, and I personally really enjoyed wandering around the rice paddies and just kind of doing it at your own pace, but there are bike tours that go around the paddies. Another thing to remember is that there are donation buckets around the paddies in order to keep the fields and their paths operational for tourists as they do need to be maintained, so bring some small notes with you or even some coins so that you are prepared. It was quite a good walk and made a little tougher by the constant humidity, but take it at your own pace.
I hope that if you are travelling to Bali this was slightly helpful and has made you a little excited and inspired, and if you have been to Bali then I hope it brings back some fond memories. If you have never been to Bali and do not have any current plans I really recommend it, Indonesia has beautiful landscapes and some of the kindest most accommodating people I have ever encountered. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Bali, Indonesia, loved all the food we ate, things we saw and cocktails we drank.
Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I did travelling to bring you this! If you would like to see more images, I have previously posted my Bali Travel Diary which has different photos to this post.
DISCLAIMER: All food, drink and experiences were paid for by myself, I was in no way payed, sponsored or gifted anything discussed in this post, all opinions are 100% my own and genuinely reflect the experiences.