Tamz Explores

Five places for best local food in Bali

Indonesian cuisine has been widely admired by food lovers and travelers across the globe. In fact, the food in Indonesia is regarded as one of the best in the world due to the wide range of distinctive flavors which in a way highlights the cultural diversity of this country. Bali is probably the most popular destination for people traveling to Indonesia and there are thousands of food options spread across the island. Being a popular tourist attraction, there are plenty of restaurants serving foods from different parts of the world. Western, Mediterranean, Italian, German, Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Thai – name it and you will find it here. Bali is probably one of the many tourist destinations where restaurants serving international cuisine outnumber the ones serving local food especially in the popular tourist areas like Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud. During my six trips to Bali since June 2015, I took to the local food and that is how I fell in love with Indonesian cuisine. I must agree that it was real fun to try out the local food in Bali and here are five places that are definitely worth a visit if you want to try some of the best local food in Bali.

Warung Made, Seminyak & Kuta 

Bali local food

Steamed chicken stuffed with spices

“Chicken Betutu”, my friend answered when I asked her what is that one particular dish that is iconic to Bali. And she took me to this restaurant in Seminyak. The place had a rural old-world charm to it with dim lighting and modest looking furniture. This restaurant has an outlet in Kuta which has similar setting but has a smaller area. This restaurant chain is quite popular with tourists for some pretty amazing local food in Bali. Coming to the food, I went just for the Chicken Betutu. This traditional Balinese dish is basically steamed chicken seasoned and stuffed with traditional spices. It is served with rice, vegetables, roasted peanuts and an assortment of spicy sauces. The chicken looked yummy alright and it was delightfully tasty with the perfectly mixed spices adding all the flavors. This was arguably the best food I had in Bali !!

Bebek Tepi Sawah, Ubud

Bali local food

The restaurant area

Bali Local Food

Slow Grilled Duck

The biggest advantage of having a local friend accompany you during your travels is that you get to visit some hidden gems. This restaurant is one such delightful place located in Ubud that not many tourists would know of. With a wonderful rustic and rural outdoor location, this restaurant is built like a farm in itself and is well known for its duck specialties. Small open huts instead of the usual table-chair arrangement for the dining area around a small pond makes for an amazing experience in natural surroundings. With a setting that good, the food wasn’t far behind. One of the restaurant specials, Bebek Pangang or Slow-Grilled Duck was my lunch. The dish was served with rice, vegetables and three kinds of spicy sauce. The entire combination was so spicy, I was literally red-faced yet I enjoyed every bit of it. A place definitely worth visiting and a dish worth trying if you can tolerate spicy food.

Nasi Bali, Legian

Bali Local Food

Nasi Campur – Steamed rice with vegetables and meat

This restaurant is located right on the main stretch of Legian Street that runs across Kuta and Legian areas. The decor is quite simplistic although the restaurant itself is quite spacious. It is the food here that deserves a five star rating. Local favorites like Nasi Campur (Steamed rice served with vegetables and meat/fish/egg) and Nasi Goreng are very popular with the tourists visiting this place. I went for the Nasi Campur with meat addons. The service took a while but the taste of the food was worth all the wait. The price might seem a bit on the higher side for budget travelers however, the food here is among the best in Bali.

Warung Mina, Legian

Bali Local Food

Grilled fish served with rice and vegetables

This is yet another place located on Legian Street that serves some quite amazing seafood. With an extensive list of local seafood items to choose from, the fish preparations here are absolutely wonderful. Whether it is the grilled, barbecued or fried fish, the spices are nicely complimented to bring out all the distinct flavors of the dish. You will have nothing but a fulfilling experience for your taste buds once you try out some of their local Balinese dishes. The restaurant has a cozy and laid-back vibe to it with a live band playing on some evenings. I was particularly impressed with the furniture which is put together from slabs of raw wood, giving the whole place a pleasantly rustic and natural look.

Kuta Night Market

Bali Local Food

Fried Rice and Water Spinach in Oyster Sauce

Probably one of the most chilled-out places to eat in crazy Kuta, a group of small Warungs  (Indonesian for restaurant) located a few meters inside an alleyway make up for what people know as the Kuta Night Market. Do not let the name fool you as the restaurants are open during the day too. The food here is as real and authentic as it can get in Bali with the prices being quite cheap. You could have a plate of rice and vegetables/meat and a juice for as low as 20,000 – 30,000 IDR. Tasty local food with cheap prices makes this place a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Bali is a big place with a lot of fantastic choice of bars and restaurants. There might be some even better than the ones I have listed. During my six trips to Bali, these are the five places where I have had the best local food. Indonesian food as such is very diverse with different regions having their own special foods. Trying out the local foods of a region is one of the reasons why I travel. Most people call it an incentive but some people might not take to local food that much. However, getting to taste the local food surely makes our travels quite memorable.


29 thoughts on “Five places for best local food in Bali

  1. Ami

    Loved the Nasi goreng and misi goreng there. I think I did go to the Seminyak one… Tried this drink called Sirsak… It was yummy. Thanks for making me relive that

  2. Alberto C.

    I’ve just realised after reading your post that I’ve never tried Indonesian food! Based on your pictures and the great description of each dish, it looks like I’m missing out! The Warung Mina looks delicious, I love fish so I’m sure I would like it!

  3. EG III

    I agree 100% that it is a necessity to try the local food when traveling. It’s part of the reason why I gave up being a vegetarian because I felt as if I was missing out on many staple dishes during my travels. I often struggle with taking food pictures but your images are beautiful and you can see the care put into each plate. I’d love to try some of the Legian Street seafood!

  4. Ana Ojha

    Bali is top destination on my wishlist for South-East Asia trip and its food looks incredibly delicious! Thanks for sharing the great list and I’d love to explore the food of these places!

  5. Janine Good

    I love Asian food and these local Indonesian dishes look amazing. I have seen so much of what Bali has to offer and I hope to get there at some stage. The rice looks absolutely divine. One of my favourites.

  6. Frenchie on the road

    I’m not familiar with Indonesian food but this Chicken Betutu looks yummy! It seems that you found perfect places to eat in Bali. 6 trips in a short period of time, you must love it there!

  7. iamsuanlee

    One of my friends is always saying that even making the usual indo-mie noodles out of the two minute packet is done in a special way when made by an Indonesian. And it tastes amazing! I can only imagine what other delicious cuisines and flavour are experimented with in Bali if even a two minute noodle packet prepared by her can be a bang of flavour! The best part of travelling is the local food and you have such an awesome guide that shows it!Would love to try the chicken betetu as you have described it to be the best!

  8. Komang Ayu dari Bali

    I stayed in Bali but I’ve never eaten at all the places you mentioned. In Bali there are plenty of places to eat, even the menu is almost the same. But I prefer to eat at the Lebih Beach and Jimbaran. I love seafood. Hehehe …

  9. carmyy

    Nasi Campur looks like it’d be my favourite! I have been itching to go to Bali but never actually thought to research the cuisine! Good thing everything looks delicious 😉

  10. anjuprakash

    Trying local delicacies is one of my favorite ways of sampling the culture of the place, but being vegetarian makes it hard sometimes. This spread looks so delicious, but sadly i dint see very many vegetarian options!

  11. Sarah @ Expat of the World

    Mmmmm all looks super yummy, and pretty healthy too! I love how the rice is always in a little mound, it reminds me of food in Maldives.

  12. Léa

    The pictures in your post make me so hungry! It also reminded me of the food I used to eat when I was in China, sooo delicious !!

  13. verushka

    I have never tasted Indonesian food but these look and sound delish. Bali is on my Bucket List especially as South Africans don’t need visas. Is the food very spicy ?

  14. gobeyondbounds

    Trying local delicacies is our favorite part during travel, but its challenging enough to find the best places. Thanks to your post. Bali is high on our list. And whenever we make it we will make sure to try these foods 🙂

  15. Joanna

    You seem to have found some delicious places where to eat in Bali. The food looks simple but delicious! I would love to try the slow grilled duck, the name is intriguing. I would not leave Bali either without a trip to the night market, that’s where the best local food is.

  16. The Tiny Book

    Spicy food has always been among my favourite. I’ve never tried other than Balinese chicken, but in the States… I guess the experience in Indonesia is a million times more worthy. There you go, another reason to visit Bali!

  17. chasingbleu

    Ahhhh, it’s such a dream to visit Bali one day!!! I haven’t tried Indonesian food, but one of my mentors said that it’s good to try at least once in your life. You just don’t know how much I appreciate this introduction of all the local foods there! Makes me want to try them myself, too. *.* I plan to travel internationally in a couple of years, and I’ll definitely make sure that I get to taste the best cuisines in every place, too — Bali included!

  18. Chardy Baldyosa

    I’ve always known how beautiful and diverse Indonesia’s culture is. I was supposed to visit the country a few months ago but was cancelled because of school. Food is really one of te biggest selling of Indonesia right? The photos of them look beautiful. Wished you added more though.

  19. Sriparna

    Being a huge food-o-holic, I always prefer trying out the local specialties of every place I travel… and it’s always amazing! I pro (as well as con), in terms of food, in any famous tourist place is (more often than not) they are always outnumbered by the world’s cuisine serving restaurants than he local ones… I love each and every dish you’ve you’ve tried out here… mouth watering pictures, no doubt 🙂

  20. Chessica Mirasol

    I have never tried Indonesian food in my life. Needless to say, I also haven’t been to Bali. Your article makes me want to try the food now and start planning a trip to Bali. The photos look great!

  21. Miera Nadhirah

    this is sure an amazing list as to where to eat in Bali.. I was in bali half a dozen years ago and I hope to go back there sometime next year….and this will definitely come in handy

  22. Thelittlelai: Beyond limits

    Truly Indonesia is a must visit country aside from their beautiful island and tourist destination, they have and served a boat load of delicious food. This encouraged me to visit Indonesia very soon. I’m likewise a food lover that whenever I go or visit to a place the first thing I do is looking for a local food.


  23. Samantha

    The local food in Bali looks so drool-worthy! I love being able to travel all over (especially in Asia) and try the local cuisine. Coming from Canada I was so used to Western-style food… but luckily my dad made some of his local foods (he immigrated to Canada from Guyana) so he made lots of curries, too.

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