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The Blog

( Catch latest news & hacks related to travel ).

Food in Bali

Food in Bali

6 March 2024

17 Best Local Food in Bali You Must Try On Your Visit

 

Bali is a world-popular honeymoon destination, celebrated for its stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage, featuring temples and historic sites with breathtaking architecture. It's a perfect spot for enjoying mesmerising sunsets, sunbathing, and engaging in unique water sports not found anywhere else in the world. But there's something else about Bali that will leave a lasting impression: its incredible cuisine.

 

Balinese cuisine reflects its dynamic culture and beachside setting, with a diverse menu that caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. With fresh and flavourful seafood, Balinese cuisine is a major attraction to this coastal paradise. Read on to discover the most popular food in Bali you must try during your visit.



CONTENTS:

 

Traditional Food in Bali

1. Babi Guling - A Delightful Suckling Pig

2. Bebek Betutu - Slow-cooked Duck

3. Lawar - Taste with a Twist

Seafood Specialties in Bali

4. Grilled Seafood at Jimbaran Bay

5. Ikan Bakar - A True Flavour of Grilled Fish

6. Udang Bakar - Authentic Grilled Prawns

Food in Bali for Vegetarians

7. Gado-Gado - A Delicious Side dish

8. Tempeh Manis - Sweet and Spicy

9. Jackfruit Tacos - A Perfect Alternative to Non-Veg Food in Bali

Best Street Food in Bali

10. Mie Goreng - Indonesian Noodles

11. Nasi Jinggo - A Mini Food in Bali

12. Sate Lilit - Indonesian Kebabs

13. Pisang Goreng - Fried Bananas

Best Dessert in Bali

14. Dadar Gulung - Traditional Bali Dessert

15. Black Rice Pudding - Tasty and Healthy

16. Es Campur - Indonesian Ice Dessert

17. Klepon - Sweet Rice Cake Balls

Looking for a Delicious Bali Adventure?



Traditional Food in Bali

 

1. Babi Guling - A Delightful Suckling Pig 

 

This Balinese delicacy is a feast reserved for special occasions. However, it has also found its way into the hearts (and stomachs) of locals and tourists as one of the best food in Bali. Babi Guling literally means ‘pork roll’. It's basically a whole pig that's roasted over a fire, and filled with turmeric and other special spices. This makes the meat really tender and the skin super crispy and delicious. 

 

If you want to try the best Babi Guling, go to Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka in Ubud. It's right near the Ubud Royal Palace.

 

2. Bebek Betutu - Slow-cooked Duck

 

Bebek Betutu is a testament to the patience and love that goes into Balinese cuisine. This dish involves a duck marinated in a rich blend of local spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and slow-cooked in a coal fire buried underground for up to 24 hours.  The meat becomes tender and flavorful, absorbing all the spicy goodness. It's very moist, leaving you content after just one bite. 

 

Bebek Betutu Gilimanuk in Seminyak is a popular spot to try this iconic traditional food in Bali.

 

3. Lawar - Taste with a Twist

 

A traditional mix that combines vegetables, coconut, and minced meat or fish, seasoned with rich herbs and spices, and sometimes even fresh blood to enhance the flavour. Lawar has many versions and so does its taste. 

 

Roughly means finely chopped, this ceremonial dish is more like a salad. It offers a true Balinese culinary adventure and is often served alongside rice. For an authentic taste of Lawar, visit the local warungs (cafes) in Denpasar.

 

Seafood Specialties in Bali

 

4. Grilled Seafood at Jimbaran Bay 

 

Want to dine on fresh seafood in Bali? Hop over to Jimbaran Bay, the fishing hub of Bali. Here, you’ll get the freshest seafood grilled to perfection. You can also catch your own fish and have it grilled with Bali’s rich spices.  

 

Aside from seafood, you can also have prawns, squid, and a delectable lobster seasoned with local exotic ingredients at the cafes of Jimbaran Beach. Nothing beats enjoying a delicious seafood meal with your feet in the sand while watching the sunset over Jimbaran Bay. This experience defines Bali's seafood scene.   

 

5. Ikan Bakar - A True Flavour of Grilled Fish

 

Ikan Bakar is a simple yet delicious way to enjoy Bali's fresh fish. The fish is marinated in sambal, an Indonesian chili sauce, which adds a special taste and aroma. Then, it's wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled over coconut husks, giving it a delicious smoky flavour and keeping it juicy. It's a famous local food in Bali that really lets you taste the freshness of the fish. You can have it with rice or just by itself.

 

Looking for the best place to try it? You can find Ikan Bakar in many spots around Bali, but the Warungs (small cafes) along Sanur Beach are famous for it. Enjoy this dish in a relaxed beachfront spot with your loved ones.

 

6. Udang Bakar - Authentic Grilled Prawns

 

Another gem of Bali seafood cuisine is Udang Bakar. You must try this if prawns are your favorite. In this dish, large prawns are soaked in a sweet and spicy sauce before being grilled to perfection. It's usually served with steaming hot rice and sambal for an extra kick. 

 

It's tough to pinpoint the single best place to enjoy Udang Bakar since many restaurants in Bali do it well. However, for an unforgettable experience, have it at one of the beachfront cafés in Jimbaran Bay, where the gentle sound of the waves adds to the joy of your meal.

 

ALSO READ: Offbeat places in Bali that don’t feel real

 

Food in Bali for Vegetarians

 

7. Gado-Gado - A Delicious Side dish

 

Gado-Gado, a classic Indonesian salad, is a must-try food in Bali for vegetarians. It's a hearty mix of steamed vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, beans, or capsicum, along with tofu and tempeh, which is a traditional Balinese food made from fermented soybeans. The salad is generously topped with a savoury peanut sauce, creating a rich, aromatic flavour. 

 

To add to the magic, Gado-Gado is sprinkled with crispy fried shallots and fresh tomato slices. You can enjoy this delightful dish on its own or as a side dish. Available almost everywhere in Bali, this dish is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients, making it one of the top vegetarian food in Bali.

 

8. Tempeh Manis - Sweet and Spicy

 

Tempeh Manis is a delightful stir-fry that masterfully blends sweet, spicy, and savoury flavours. Originating from Central Java, it's known for its rich, sticky sweetness that it gets from caramelised kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and palm sugar. This sweetness is harmoniously balanced with the nutty taste of crispy tempeh, the added crunch from roasted peanuts, and a warm kick from the chili. 

 

In Ubud, you'll find many cafes serving this tempting dish. Not just tasty, Tempeh Manis is among the healthy and safe foods to eat in Bali. Locals consume it as a rich source of protein. If you're looking for famous vegetarian food in Bali, that's crunchy on the surface yet soft and juicy on the inside, this is it. 

 

9. Jackfruit Tacos - A Perfect Alternative to Non-Veg Food in Bali

 

In Canggu, jackfruit tacos stand out as a unique and mouth-watering delicacy. Jackfruit's uncanny resemblance to meat in texture makes it an excellent choice for those looking for vegetarian food in Bali. When young and green, jackfruit has a pleasantly neutral taste, making it an excellent canvas for absorbing the rich flavours of different spices. It is seasoned and simmered until it mimics the texture of pulled pork, then tucked into tacos alongside crisp vegetables and a zesty salsa. 

 

Each bite of Jackfruit Taco is a burst of flavour, enhanced by the blend of exotic spices. For an authentic taste of this delightful dish, make your way to Taco Casa in Canggu or Seminyak, where you can enjoy jackfruit tacos with a unique smoked cashew nut salsa.

 

ALSO READ: Water Sports in Bali

 

Best Street Food in Bali

 

10. Mie Goreng - Indonesian Noodles

 

Mie Goreng is a popular noodle dish you'll find all over Bali, from busy street food spots in Denpasar to relaxed beach cafes in Nusa Dua. It's a tasty mix of fried noodles with spices like garlic and onions, and a bit of sambal for a spicy flavour. You'll often see it made with chicken, shrimp, or veggies, and usually topped off with a fried egg. 

 

Each place where you try Mie Goreng might make it a bit differently, using their own mix of ingredients or spice levels. This makes every plate of this dish a new experience. It's often served with some fresh cucumber, tomato, and a splash of lime to add a fresh twist. 

 

11. Nasi Jinggo - A Mini Food in Bali

 

One of the best ready-to-eat street foods in Bali, Nasi Jinggo consists of a small portion of rice with various side dishes, often wrapped in banana leaves for easy takeaway. This dish is incredibly affordable and offers a taste of the local cuisine's complexity and richness. 

 

This dish can be enjoyed with several side dishes. Try it with a highly spicy sambal made from garlic, shallots, shrimp paste, and cayenne pepper for an extraordinary taste. You can easily find Nasi Jinggo in the night markets and street stalls around Kuta. 

 

12. Sate Lilit - Indonesian Kebabs

 

A Balinese version of satay or kebab, Sate Lilit is made from minced pork, chicken, fish, or turtle meat, which is then mixed with grated coconut, coconut milk, lime leaves, and a blend of spices. The mixture is then wrapped around bamboo sticks, and grilled. 

 

Unlike the usual satay, Sate Lilit doesn't come with peanut sauce. It is flavourful enough to stand on its own. Enjoy this popular Bali food on the beaches of Jimbaran, where the sea breeze adds a special touch to the dining experience.

 

13. Pisang Goreng - Fried Bananas

 

A simple yet delicious snack, Pisang Goreng is an Indonesian version of Banana fritter. Ripe bananas are coated in a batter made from rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and turmeric powder. The mixture is then deep-fried till golden brown. 

 

Often served with a sprinkling of sugar or a drizzle of honey and sometimes even cheese or chocolate, it's a perfect sweet treat. You can find the best Pisang Goreng at local stalls along the streets of Ubud, making for a perfect snack while exploring the town.

 

ALSO READ: Things to do in Bali

 

Best Dessert in Bali

 

14. Dadar Gulung - Traditional Bali Dessert

 

Dadar Gulung is a delightful green pandan crepe filled with a mixture of sweet coconut and aromatic palm sugar. This traditional Balinese dessert is prepared by making a thin crepe from a batter of rice flour, pandan extract, and coconut milk, which is then filled with a sweet coconut and palm sugar mixture. The crepe is then rolled up and served, creating a perfect balance of flavors and textures. 

 

Want to try it? Hop to the local markets in Ubud that are renowned for offering some of the best Dadar Gulung in Bali.

 

15. Black Rice Pudding - Tasty and Healthy

 

Looking for a healthy sweet snack? If yes, Black Rice Pudding is your best option. Made from black glutinous rice, this aromatic pudding not only tastes delicious but also offers health benefits. 

 

After cooking the black glutinous rice until it's soft and creamy, it's blended with coconut milk and palm sugar, resulting in a smooth, velvety texture and a deliciously rich, caramel-like flavour. It's a creamy, rich treat that's simply irresistible. Try this dish at restaurants in Seminyak for an authentic experience while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of this popular beach town.

 

16. Es Campur - Indonesian Ice Dessert

 

Es Campur is the perfect way to cool down on hot days while exploring the streets of Bali. This traditional Indonesian shaved ice dessert is made from a wide range of ingredients, including fruits, jellies, and syrup, all layered over a bed of finely shaved ice. 

 

To enhance it further, red beans, grass jelly, avocado, and coconut are added. It is then topped off with syrup for an extra touch of sweetness. This delightful dessert is sure to refresh and rejuvenate you after a day of exploring popular attractions in Bali.

 

17. Klepon - Sweet Rice Cake Balls

Klepon is a beloved traditional Indonesian sweet dish that ensures a delightful taste with every bite. This sweet rice cake ball is made from glutinous rice flour filled with liquid palm sugar and coated in grated coconut. When you take a mouthful, the liquid palm sugar bursts in your mouth, leaving you feeling excited.

 

You can easily find Klepon in traditional markets across Bali, where skilled vendors prepare these sweet treats by hand. The combination of chewy rice cake, sweet palm sugar, and fragrant coconut makes Klepon a must-try dessert in Bali.

 

Looking for a Delightful Bali Adventure?

 

Ready to taste some amazing food in Bali for vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians? Balinese cuisine is a unique blend of international flavours and traditional spices, capturing the exotic life and adventures Bali is known for. Thanks to its picturesque island setting, Bali serves up exceptional seafood and beachside snacks that will have you licking your fingers. Whether you're soaking up the sun on its vast beaches or enjoying the cool sea breeze, food in Bali is like nowhere else. 


Excited for this delightful journey? Book your Bali tour package today and prepare to indulge in delicious banana cakes or yummy fried prawns, while sipping a refreshing mocktail on the beach. With beautiful views and calming ocean sounds, it's an experience you won't forget!

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