Bali is a special travel destination. I first visited the Land of the Gods in 2013 and returned five years later, in 2018. After an underwhelming weekend on Nusa Penida island, I booked a second long week-end to enjoy Bali’s vibrant food scene.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the fact that Nusa Penida was still very authentic, but it was not an easy traveling experience due to the limited infrastructure and restaurant options. The island is beautiful though, so whether you should go or not depends on your priorities and how much time you have.
If you’re looking for a good overall experience, take a look at my favourite spots in Seminyak, Canggu and Ubud.
Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida
Kynd is a delightful plant-based restaurant. The Berry Tropical smoothie bowl is my favourite in Bali—I’ve tried Nalu Bowls’, Cafe Organic’s, Crate Cafe’s and Peloton Supershop’s. I recommend you go early in the morning or right after lunch hour because this place is tiny and gets crowded easily.
Sisterfields ine of my favourite lunch spot in Bali. Everything I tried on the menu was delicious. The place is tastefully decorated and has an air-conditioned courtyard. It’s also located near a shopping mall and shopping streets.
Not only does this place have some charcoal and beetroot lattes, but you can print a picture on your latte via your mobile phone. How cool is that?
I wasn’t amazed by any dinner in particular but you have many options to choose from in Semyniak. Merah Putih and Potato Head‘s restaurants were ok, Sea Circus was also ok but perhaps better suited for lunch. I remember Mamasan as being good, but that was in 2013.
You may have heard of Potato Head in Seminyak. It sure is a nice beach club to watch the sun set. But The Lawn is my absolute favourite beachfront cocktail spot in Bali. Friday night is the best time to go as it transforms into an outdoor “nightclub”. Make sure to reserve in advance if you’re a group, or to arrive “early”.
Cafe Organic (also in Seminyak)
Cafe Organic is a classic brunch restaurant. They serve a wide variety of breakfast options and it’s a 15-minute walk to the beach. There’s also a market next door called Love Anchor which is open on the weekends.
Another good breakfast place is Crate Cafe.
Mad Pops (also in Seminyak)
Whether you’re an ice cream fan or not, you have to go to Mad Pops. I tried the pistachio and salted caramel ice cream, it was absolutely scrumptious. There’s also one in Seminyak.
If you’re in between Seminyak and Canggu, there’s a restaurant called Folie Kitchen and Patisserie. I only tried their desserts and not a proper meal but I was more charmed by the decor than the food.
Locavore offers an incredible fusion local cuisine experience! I’d go to Ubud just to have another meal at Locavore. My friend had the regular six-course menu and I had the herbivore six-course menu, so we tasted 12 dishes. It’s worth it! We also went for lunch as it fit better in our schedule.
Another pleasant dinner was at Pica, a South American restaurant.
I haven’t had the chance to go, but next on my list is Room 4 Dessert, as featured on Chef’s Table.
My favourite activity in Ubud is to hike Mount Batur. I believe we asked our hotel if they knew a company and paid around 300,000 IDR per person (less than CAD30), including transportation, a basic lunch, and a group hike with a guide. Some websites will be overpriced. At the top, beware of monkeys, they are fearless. Don’t take anything out of your bag, and be careful if you carry food.
The Apartments Umalas is absolutely fantastic. If you can book a Deluxe or Grand Deluxe room, you won’t be disappointed. The only “downside” is that it’s not walking distance to the main roads so you need to take cabs, which are affordable, or rent a scooter. It’s a 15 to 20 minute ride to both Seminyak and Canggu.
If you want to be closer to the beach, I enjoyed staying at Canggu Beach Apartments and The Kirana Hotel in Canggu. If you had a busy day and need some rest (before going out, or not), you can use the GoJek delivery app, which is similar to UberEats. I ordered the Jack Stack, a veggie “burger” from The Shady Shack and was not disappointed!
Have I missed anything? Feel free to share your musts in the comment section.
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