My Favorite Places To Eat & Stay in: Bali
As I write this, so many memories are turning pages through my mind of an amazing adventure to Indonesia. Some not-so-perfect memories too, like missing flights, getting flights cancelled, paying for new flights and not being refunded, emergency landings, lost luggage and food poisoning. Lets just say it really was quite the experience.
I remember booking my ticket on Hong Kong Airlines, an airline I had never heard of and my Mum was begging me not to take that flight… I didn’t understand why… but by everything from the gross Chinese sausage that I got offered to being asked if I could share a room with another passenger for the night in Hong Kong made me so miserable and I remember sitting on the runway in Japan, thinking what have I done… This was one big mistake. When I arrived in Bali and got to the house with Tomas, I all of sudden felt that yes, all the negative had already happened and that the trip was going to be so much fun, and it was! Keep reading to find out our favorite places we hung out at.
My earliest memories as a toddler stem in Bali, learning to surf with a pink roxy rash guard on, with my sister. Others include flying kites on the beach at sunset there, bringing the kites back home to Barbados and flying them in our backyard. Other memories include tons of shops surrounding the streets, and hiding between sarongs. I was so excited to go back, as the last time I went was way back in 2014. It’s safe to say a lot has changed - good and bad.
Accommodation in Bali Is widely available regardless of what your budget is, and usually, it is all clean and comfortable. Service in Bali is always amazing because of their warm, hospitable personalities. My forever favorite place to stay is at my grandmothers home in Seminyak/Legian area which can be rented of course ;) it is in the perfect location if you are a surfer because it is in the middle of Canggu & the Bukit (Ulus, padang, bingin, impossibles etc.) If surfing isn’t your thing, It is also in the heart of shopping, and eating. Of course with miles of beach in front of the driveway. The same staff have worked at the property form the time I was a baby, so coming back is always so exciting. The staff are incredible people with the most genuine intention of making sure you have everything you need if you are staying there. They also make the best banana pancakes. Expect fresh fruit, smoothies, amazing home cooked meals, arranged massages, and plenty of pool time to read a book and wind down.
If you do a day trip to Nusa Lembongan, which I really recommend if you are looking for white beaches, crystal clear water, surfing, cliff jumping, and good restaurants, Syron Huts is 100% the place to stay. They are these adorable wooden bungalows run by the most amazing family who made us feel like we were right at home. Syron Huts is such a bargain if you are on a budget but want something clean and comfortable at the same time. The food and drinks were also really good! Its location is right next to a yoga studio, their spa (best massage in the area) , and a 2 minute walk to the beach. Or if you want to explore like we did, they can organize a scooter for you to have while you are there. They will organize literally everything for you if you are going from Bali (transportation to the ferry in Bali from you hotel or villa, ferry ride, transportation to hotel and everything in between that). View the property here
The restaurant and bar industry has always boomed in bali, but now, with artistic minds flocking there, its the best it has ever been. Vegan cafes are a top hit for many people there, and for myself too. With restaurant owners from Europe, Australia, South America and North America, every single cafe/restaurant/bar has it’s own unique taste - both in it’s food and atmosphere.
Here are some of my favourites:
Betelnut - Located in the hip town of Canggu, where influencers, bloggers, models and artists call home, is also home to Bali’s best dining options - Betelnut being one of them. Betelnut has something for everyone, which is what I think makes people come back every time. They have a wide selection to choose from, of course with the most flavorful, local tastes. In the mood for a grand slam breakfast? you can get that here, or even if you want a fresh coconut and smoothie bowl, this is you place. I highly recommend getting the Snuggler - you won’t regret it.
Gypsy - A bohemian vibe cafe that has amazing smoothie bowls, of course with an artistic flare in each dish. We loved this cafe for an after-surf refuel. Located conveniently in Canggu, this is the perfect place to grab a bite and meet up with friends in the area. If you are a fish-eater, they have an amazing fish sandwich, and their sushi is also super good. Their dragon fruit bowl though, seriously the best ever.
Sea Circus - This completely “The Little Mermaid Vibe” as a bright art-infused cafe sits along the coast in Seminyak, attracting a young generation of guests, that want to have their moment of glory inside the beautifully designed cafe, and eat the most scrumptious Vegan/Non Vegan food (pics or it didn’t happen). This has to be the most picturesque restaurant in Bali in my opinion. You MUST get their summer rolls, jackfruit taco and fish tacos… Still thinking about it up to this day.
Sage - The best vegan dining in Bali. Located in Ubud, this simple yet original cafe sits alongside the jungle of monkeys, and tree tops. Oh, and lets not forget their Vegan chocolate cake, its probably one of the best chocolate cakes i’ve ever had. It’s hard to find good vegan desert sometimes because dairy is used a lot of the time, but Sage will have you covered. Ice cream person? They have Vegan cookie dough ice cream. *mindblown*
Watercress Cafe Ubud - A hip cafe located in Ubud, with the best fish sandwich i’ve ever eaten. No joke. They also have an incredible lemon Ice tea. I didn’t have my camera at this time, which i really regret because everything was so delicious. The prices are quite expensive for Bali standard but it really is good food, and an even better location.
Our Favorite Things To Do In And Around Bali
Go to Ubud. Get away from the coastal crowds and head inland for a more mellow experience, where you can swing above tree tops, swim under waterfalls, walk through rice terraces and visit markets.
Ubud Market - The bustling market in Ubud is the place where you can find anything. When I say anything, I mean anything. Think home decor and tons of clothes & accessories. Dream catchers, woven clutches and white beaded home accessories flood the streets, setting up the perfect bargaining scenario, to try and get a good price on whatever you may fancy.
Watch a traditional show - We watched a fire show in a temple in Ubud and was super interesting & cultural. The costumes and makeup are all super unique. A must do when you are in Bali.
Tegallalang Rice Terrace - Touristy but really beautiful. Pay a small entrance fee to enter the fields and roam around the fountains, and terraces. You can get you Insta-Swing pic here - if you really want to spend money on that.
Visit the monkey forest - Ubud’s monkey forest is a really nice outing, where you can walk through the jungle and observe the playful monkeys. The animals are all treated well here, as they are observed from the side and are not to be touched. Unlike the elephant sanctuary - that was a 0/10 from me.
Sunday’s Beach Club - A really hip (and pricey) beach club with a stunning beach and the world’s best elevator ride. The food is really good - think lobster baos. The drinks and cocktails are also really good too. I loved the beach here as well as the food, however it’s just not worth what you pay to get in, and the trash on the reef at low tide is not really too enjoyable to look at. I picked up tons of trash, and straws from the beach club itself.
That’s it for my favorite places to eat, and stay in Bali and around the area. These are really all of my favorites, and I know if you try these recommendations out, you won’t be disappointed. Bali is super touristy and quite crowded, so expect those crowds, expect restaurants and cafes to be full and don’t hesitate to get on a ferry to one of the other islands nearby, either option, you will have an amazing time! Feel free to send me a message if you need any recommendations, tips or ideas :)