Not only is Ubud the centre of all things cultural in Bali, the food scene is up there with the best. All across town you’ll find traditional warungs serving up Indonesian classics alongside ultra-hip healthy cafes. To find the best places to eat in Ubud, you’ll mostly want to stick to the local food. You’ll discover such incredible food that it will be the highlight of your time in Ubud. I’m still daydreaming about the food to this day.
To kick-start your day of exploring, head to Kafe for fresh smoothies and all manner of healthy options. I feel this place caters nicely for those requiring gluten-free or vegan food. It’s very Australian with smashed avocado on toast but the real highlights were the buckwheat pancakes and the flaxoat porridge.
Kafe is situated on one of the slightly quieter streets of Ubud and you can easily spend a whole morning watching the world go by.
Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka 3
Suckling Pig is one of Bali’s most famous dishes. It’s really popular here due to the fact that the population is mostly non-Muslim. Often prepared overnight and eaten for breakfast, this is one dish you cannot miss. No part of the roasted pig is left untouched and you’ll find yourself eating crispy skin, soft juicy pork and other things that you’d rather not think about. I visited at lunch time and somehow they hadn’t quite sold out! There are probably better places out there as a lot of tourists now seek out this place but it’s still worth it!
If you can only go to one restaurant, this is probably my most recommended out of the best places to eat in Ubud. Not only is the food freshly cooked to perfection in such a tiny kitchen, 100% of the profits go to good causes. The warung is run by the Fair Future Foundation and they have free health and medical programs. It’s great to know that you’re supporting the local community and you’re doing it simply by eating a meal. One meal equals two free medical treatments and goes towards their new paediatric hospital!
I’d recommend the red chicken curry as well as the crispy tempe and tofu to start with!
Warung Pondok Madu
Whilst Fair Warung might be my most recommended pick for it’s impact on the local community, this is my favourite restaurant in Ubud. Hands down. We took a little punt on this one as it was a bit of a walk but the reviews were good. It was packed but, after having a drink at the bar, we were quickly shown to a table. On TripAdvisor, this is number 13 out of all the restaurants in Ubud and I can assure you that it really is worth it. The prices are still very local and the food quality is exceptional.
It’s all about the BBQ ribs here which cooked to perfection following a local recipe. The prices were such that we actually had starters and shared three main courses between two of us.
After all that Indonesian food, you might find yourself fancying something a little different. Don’t worry, Ubud has it’s fair share of Western food restaurants too so you won’t struggle to find a burger or a pizza if that’s what you need. However, if you like Mexican food, I’d highly recommend visiting Taco Casa. Back in England, I’m normally disappointed with Mexican restaurants. I always end up saying that I could have made better at home – not that I’m a great cook either. I was pleasantly surprised then to find such a brilliant restaurant in Ubud. This place is often packed to the rafters so make sure you book before you go!
Whilst I didn’t really fall in love with Bali like some people (this post explains all), the quality of the food will always stay with me and maybe one day might actually draw me back to the island. I hope my recommendations above will help you find some incredible food that will stick with you forever.
Before you head to Bali, why not pick up a guide by Lonely Planet? You’ll also want to make sure that you book suitable accommodation. My top tip for Ubud; book a homestay as you’ll get to experience life like a local and they’re excellent value for money.
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