The food scene in Ubud is definitely one for the books. Foodies and bloggers travel to Ubud from far and wide to experience the restaurants here, and, of course, to snap those all-important Instagram shots. Although Ubud has plenty to offer beyond the amazing food, you could easily spend your entire visit simply stuffing your face with all the deliciousness the Ubudian restaurants have to offer. I was lucky enough to spend an extended period of time in Ubud and had the opportunity to eat at so many fantastic restaurants that my mouth spontaneously begins to water when I think back to my time there!
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by choice, and the selection and variety of restaurants in this tiny town are pretty immense. You can, of course, just wander about and see what looks appealing, but if your time is limited and you’re a food fanatic like me, you don’t want to miss out on the amazing culinary experiences Ubud has in store. Based on my personal experience I’ve put together a selection of the must-try restaurants, highlighting some of the best in each category to help you out. Selamat Makan!
– Bon Appétit in Indonesian.
Vegan, Vegetarian & Raw Food
Vegetarian food is widely available throughout Bali, with just about every restaurant offering vegetarian options as tofu and tempeh are native to the country’s traditional cuisine. However, Ubud is the place where the health conscious congregate, so if you’re passionate about healthy eating you’re going to be elated with the selection of restaurants that cater specifically to you. Some of the most famous restaurants for plant-based diets include The Seeds of Life
, and for those with a sweet tooth, there’s even a vegan gelato parlour! Kokolato has unique designer flavours such as moringa mint chip, and cold pressed coffee gelato that will blow you away. If you’re following a raw food diet or simply need a detox day, you’ll be in heaven devouring the raw dishes served at Alchemy
and Suriya Healing
Foods. These are both hip and happening venues that have more of community vibe than a traditional restaurant. In addition to their extensive menus, they also host a variety of events and sell a selection of natural health products. Lastly, be sure to swing by Paradiso, a vegan movie theatre where you can dine on vegan food while watching a movie. You can exchange your ticket as a purchase coupon for anything off their amazing menu, a pretty sweet deal!
If you’re gluten intolerant, eating out can sometimes be difficult in a foreign country, but with plenty of options, Ubud has you covered! While there are many restaurants with gluten-free options, these are especially well done at the well-established health-conscious & plant-based restaurants such The Elephant
. My all-time favourites are a bit more low-key casual dining spots: Fussy Bird
and the Gluten Free Kitchen
. Fussy bird has a selection of Asian flavours, whilst the Gluten Free Kitchen has more a Western-orientated menu, complete with a baked goods section. Both of these restaurants have a laid back atmosphere and serve a great selection of gluten-free dishes that will keep you coming back for more.
There are many small-scale family-owned local restaurants in Ubud called warungs, which are usually a pretty safe bet for a solid bami goreng
(fried noodles) or nasi campur
(rice with a variety of sides). If you want to get away from the tourist crowd for a bit and try some more local food (local food also means local prices!), I have the perfect undiscovered place for you. Jump on a scooter or a moto-taxi and make your way up towards Tegallalang, on the way up you’ll find Kedai Bubuh
. This no-frills family-run restaurant has a great view overlooking the rice fields. Here you can try some of the best traditional dishes, the selection is limited but each dish is enak sekali
– very tasty! The best time to enjoy a meal is when the sun is just about to set, when the fireflies come out and play amongst the rice paddies. Be sure to try the Lak Lak, a Balinese sweet treat perfect for dessert. Another one of my absolute favourites is Warung Vinaka
, they serve hand made noodles that are just incredible! This restaurant is a little bit out of the centre and has a humble living room vibe. An extra plus is that they don’t use MSG in any of their dishes, which is not always the case in Asia.
One of my favourite budget spots to eat in Ubud is at the Makansan Padang
restaurants, there are several of these that serve a variety of Indonesian dishes. They display the dishes in glass cases, and you pick out what looks tasty on the spot. These places may look simple and a bit shabby but guarantee true Indonesian flavours (some restaurants that are mainly geared towards tourist may alter their dishes to cater to tourists milder flavour pallets), and they’re some of the few places that are open for late night food! All over Bali you will find little stalls selling local snacks and takeaway meals wrapped in banana leaf alongside the road that won’t make a dent in your wallet and are convenient if you need something quick and on the go.
For all the meat lovers out there, don’t worry! There are also plenty of meaty dishes to be found in Ubud. It’s hard to recommend just one dish to try, but if I had to then it would be Babi Guling, a whole suckling pig roasted for hours on a spit. This Balinese classic can be found at many different restaurants, but I’ve tried and tested it all over the island, and found that Babi Guling Payangan Bu Ari
has the absolute best. This version is so good that the locals adore it just as much as the first-timers. It is served with rice, crunchy pork crackling and a hearty soup made from banana stalks. You will definitely not be disappointed!
If you’ve got some to money to splurge then there are some phenomenal gastronomic restaurants that are ready to tantalize your taste buds with unique sensory experiences and works of culinary art that are as delicious as they are aesthetically pleasing. Cascade
, Blanco par Mandif
, and Locavore
are considered to be the best of the best, with flavour sensations like you’ve never experienced, and unique textures and combinations, all beautiful plated and often paired with specially made drinks to compliment each dish. Those with a sweet tooth should definitely check out the famed Room for Dessert
and spend an evening there indulging in their tasting menu paired with cocktails. Tip: Be sure to call ahead for a reservation so as not to be disappointed!
Satisfy your Cravings
When you’re travelling, you are generally experiencing the country’s native cuisine, and for some, that means you’re constantly trying new dishes. While this is all part of the fun of travelling, sometimes you are just craving some comfort food that reminds you of home and that something can be really specific. I know this feeling all too well! I can tell you that the best burgers and cinnamon rolls can be found at Tutmak. For all the Dutchies, bitterballen
are served at XL Shisha Lounge
and Lovin Restaurant & Bar
. If you’re craving some bimbimbap check out DON U
, for ramen head over to Japanese Diner AngkaSa
and for some eggs benedict Watercress
will sort you out. Whatever you’re craving, you can probably find it with a quick google search. Ubud has it all and will leave you hungry for more.