So you want to find your culinary bliss in Bali on the cheap? The good news is you won’t have to binge with the bogans in Kuta to keep your bank account (and tummy) happy. The small, yet culturally diverse island off the coast of Indonesia is a mecca for frugal foodies and let’s be honest, those who like the odd cocktail or two! Here are some of the best and most affordable eats and drinks in three of Bali’s coolest suburbs.
Where to Eat in Bali on The Cheap (but oh so good)
Café Pomegranate (pictured above)
Set-up under a huge canvas canopy in the middle of a field full of rice paddies, this ‘pop-up’ Ubud café is the perfect place to chill and refuel with a chai after a flow session at The Yoga Barn. About a 20-minute walk along a narrow, awkwardly paved street from the local Ubud Markets, Pomegranate is certainly an enchanted place in its own right. And that’s what makes this place so serene. On a clear day you can spend hours gazing at Mt Agung in the distance while sipping on a Bintang.
Jl. Subak Sok Wayah, Ubud
Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka 3
This modest eatery located on the main drag in Ubud serves up fast food, Bali style. A never-ending supply of fresh roasted suckling pig (with the crackling on top, bonus!) is served on paper-plates to the hoards of in-the-know tourists and locals patiently sitting cross-legged and shoeless on floor mats. Everyone salivates over the cheap-as-chips special Babi Guling (suckling pig), which comes with rice and sayur, vegetables cooked with coconut milk and shallots. Some even call it the best in Bali!
JL Tegal Sari 2, Ubud
Three Monkeys Cuisine and Art Café
Three Monkeys is a real feast for the senses. From the moment you walk in to find the counter brimming with freshly baked cakes and cookies to the time you spend sitting out the back underneath frangipani trees and ornate water-fountains overlooking endless rows of rice paddies. The inviting ambience is rivaled only by its gourmet, globally influenced pizza and pasta dishes with a modern, yet authentic twist.
Monkey Forest Road, Ubud
Green Ginger is a cosy blink-and-you’ll-miss-it café, hidden away in the streets of residential Canngu. The Asian-inspired cuisine is some of the best in the neighborhood, with favourites including the Pho, Laksa and homemade dumplings. The eclectically styled café is a perfect place to meet your mates for breaky or, if you’re feeling a bit antisocial, the corner table in the tiny garden is the perfect place to blend-in with your laptop and earphones.
JL Pantai Berawa 46, Canggu
As any Canggu expat or hip-traveller will tell you, Betelnut Café is like raiding your mumma’s fridge full of goodies… except the fridge is a menu full of delectable health-conscious goodies and your mum is the best vegan chef around! The rustic two-story restaurant is a reliable home-away-from-home, offering comforting seasonal vegie stacks, raw salads, fresh juices and burritos.
JL Batu Bolong 60, Canggu
With its signature pastel-coloured louvers, bright yellow chairs and hot pink menus, Sea Circus is the quirky, cool kid of the Seminyak dining scene. Hangover breakfasts come with Berocca or Panadol and Margaritas with cheeky names like Holiday Pash are served in milk bottles. The taco-bar is something to write home about too – filled with scrumptious pork and seafood fillings. The service is fun and full-of-life and come weekends, the place is the proverbial beehive of activity.
JL Oberoi, Seminyak
Naughty Nuri’s Warung
Naughty Nuri’s has the best American style pork ribs going, extremely potent cocktails and too-cool-for-school interiors. This legendary joint is the triple threat of dining, and it’s been reeling in Ubud customers for the past 16 years. The recently opened Naughty Nori’s sister restaurant and bar down south in Kerobokan has the same mischievous attitude and doesn’t disappoint on the ribs front. You can’t miss the Warung, just look for the sidewalk BBQ and the line out the door!
JL Batubelig 41, Kerobokan
The main food drag of Seminyak can get pretty overwhelming at times. But Petitenget is a mainstay on the street simply because it serves up a mouth-watering menu of seafood and salads at very reasonable prices compared to the other trendy eateries around the area. It’s got a casual yet sleek sidewalk vibe, and walking into the restaurant one gets a sense that every little thing is styled and cared for, right down to the type of flowers filling the many vases that dot the tables. It’s this professional attitude to hospitality that makes the eatery worthwhile. It’s never going to be filled to the brim like your Metis’ or Sardine’s, but it’s always going to be a favourite among locals and returning travellers. Grab a crab risotto or a goats-cheese and beets salad. They also make killer cappuccinos.
JL Petitinget 40X, Seminyak
Read more about AMW’s bohemian Bali travel tips here.