Looking for the best restaurants in Ubud? You have come to the right place! Honestly, I was not a big fan of Indonesian food in general when I first came here, but Ubud may as well have been on a different planet – the food options were amazing and I was sad not to get to eat everywhere I wanted. Or to eat certain dishes again and again. Yes, I’m looking at you, Gado Gado!
With that said, this is by no means a comprehensive guide to the restaurants in Ubud, but just a little overview of the places that I found and loved and some I cannot wait to come back for.
The best Ubud restaurants – according to me…
My first meal in Ubud became my favorite. Gado Gado at Warung Mendez. A warung is basically a small, usually family-run cafe and you can find them all over Bali. But not all warungs are created equal.
Warung Mendez is on Jalan Penestanan, an untouristy street, a 20-minute walk from Jalan Hanuman, one of the main areas in Ubud. I stayed at an incredible Airbnb there and Warung Mendez was literally the first place I saw leaving the house in search of food.
OMG. Sorry, but really – OMG. Their Gado Gado comes raw as a salad with a piece of fried tofu slathered in peanut sauce and a poached egg on top. I ate the same dish for the next 3 days in a row. How I managed not to eat it for lunch AND dinner I do not know.
Copper Kitchen & Bar at Bisma Eight
I usually don’t care for hotel food, I really don’t. Even if the hotel overall is great the food tends to be mediocre and overpriced. But then again, I knew Bisma Eight was a little different from the get go. That notion got confirmed when I found chicken liver parfait on waffles on the menu. Waffles for dinner!!
In addition to a simple modern menu with Indonesian and international touches, the decor is beautiful: you are either sitting on the terrace surrounded by billowing curtains or inside which resembles a greenhouse. Windows everywhere which means you not only get a nice breezy but can also see the stars above you.
For those lucky enough to stay there, the breakfast is something different altogether. I will tell you more in a complete review soon, but let’s just say it, once again, involved waffles.
The spaces works well for a nice boozy lunch but dinner is especially special here if the weather holds and super romantic.
Liap Liap & Folk Ubud
The newest family member of the Bisma Eight clan is Liap Liap in front of their pool restaurant Folk. Here you will find anything grilled and some great options that go far beyond your regular Satays.
The portions are huge and made for sharing. You must try the quail. I am usually not a fan of eating meat from the bone especially not when they are that tiny but man, that quail was good. Make sure to ask for extra pickles! I may or may not have told the chef that I liked his pickle which promptly made me blush and put my foot in my mouth but his pickles are truly so good.
If you are keen for a swim head to the backyard where the Folk Pool & Garden is located. The menu is a bit more basic – poolside dining is the name of the game here – and not as good. But the setting is amazing and perfect to cool off on a hot day in Ubud. You can either pay for a daybed which comes with towels, water and snacks or simply kick back in many of the sun loungers around the pool with a cooler of beers or pose with a cocktail on a swimming beanbag. Mind you, the crowd is unrowdy and chilled – even on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Check out their program as they have open-air movie nights too.
Milk & Madu
I was super excited to find a branch of my favorite Canggu restaurants, Milk & Madu, now in Ubud. And their interior here is extra special – someone needs to call Wes Anderson.
They still have my favorite dish – the lamb and falafel salad and some really decent pizza. As you may know, I am a pizza snob but their pizza is not bad at all.
Another great thing about Milk & Madu in Ubud? It doesn’t get too crowded (yet) – since it is a little tucked away they seem to have few walk-ins, you need to want to come here, which serves me just fine.
Locavore to Go
Everybody who knows anything about food and restaurants in Indonesia will mention this place: Locavore. Local, modern cuisine and a tasting menu apparently worth splurging on. I didn’t manage to get a table in time, so I had to make do with their downscaled deli version – Locavore to Go.
After feasting on a prawn hotdog with edible flowers I knew I had to come back. On my second visit, I ate their waffles with duck eggs, bacon and hollandaise. And yes, I almost died. But I would have definitely gone to heaven because this dish is worth not eating anything for the rest of the day.
Judging by the decor you may think yourself in Brooklyn, not on a crumbling road on Bali. If you are keen to take some of their beautiful crockeries home, head next door to Kevala Home where their china comes from.
I discovered Pistachio on my last day in Ubud and was so glad that I did. Jalan Bisma is becoming one of my favorite areas in the city as it is less crowded than the city center yet you are within walking distance from all the sights and there are some great eateries.
Pistachio is new on the block and I love its typical modern Balinese interior: concrete floors, beautiful wooden furniture, and local fabrics. If you are not staying on Jalan Bisma it is best reached coming from the little alleys leading here from Monkey Forest and worth a trip. Especially since as they have a 50 % discount as an introductory offer on all food and beverages except alcohol and who knows how long it may last.
In addition to the usual hip cafe in Bali staples, they have some more interesting dishes, bowls, and juices. I ordered their Keto Salad for breakfast which came with delicious deep-fried feta balls, tofu, poached egg and lots of veggies. And of course, it all comes with a nice side of rice paddy views!
I came across Habitat while on a Monkey Forest date when we were looking for a place for breakfast first. It is right across the street in between the entrance and the parking and next to Hubud, one of Bali’s hip co-working spaces.
While I will say that it can get a bit loud due to the traffic and there were no monkeys anywhere (big con in my books!) I loved the interior and it makes some great breakfast fare. We ordered the corn fritters with poached eggs (almost as good as those at Balibalo in Seminyak) and their version of Eggs Benedict which are crumbed and deep-fried – perfect to fuel up before engaging in any kind of monkey business!
Fine Dining Restaurants in Ubud
On my recent trip, I finally managed to get a reservation at Locavore, hailed to be the best restaurant in Indonesia. After being awarded the best sustainable restaurant in Asia for 2019 I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about and splurged to take myself out on a fancy date.
Locavore offers a menu for herbivores or carnivores and you can choose to have 6 or 9 courses, but of course, this being fine dining you will also get various amuse bouches and petit fours. Even though portion sizes are small you won’t go hungry. Unlike regular fine dining restaurants, Locavore doesn’t offer wine pairing but a local cocktail pairing but also has a regular wine list.
Each meal starts with a traditional Balinese offering called Canang made out of flowers. In this case, the Canang was made out of edible flowers which get sprayed with hibiscus infusion, sprinkled with sea salt and then dipped into ginger flower emulsion. Cute and yummy!
Afterward, I chose the 6-course carnivore menu which included oysters & coconut, beef heart, lobster tartare, a carrot dish called “Orange is the New Black”, chicken, and a coriander ice cream sandwich. I was sitting at the kitchen counter and as a special touch, each dish was served and explained by the chef who made it.
To my biggest surprise, the chicken dish ended up being my favorite. Surprising maybe because I usually find chicken a bit boring and definitely not something I would choose in a fine dining restaurant. However, served with the most incredible black garlic puree and fake crispy chicken skin which tasted like a Dorrito (in a good way) it instantly became my favorite.
If you want to eat at Locavore, Ubud make sure to get a reservation a few weeks in advance as they book up quickly. Prices here are also quite steep at least for an Indonesian restaurant: for my 6-course carnivore menu with a bottle of water, one glass of bubbly and one glass of wine I ended up paying IDR 1,500,000 including taxes and tip. But it is well worth saving up for!
Mads Lange at Capella
I got to spent an entire afternoon at beautiful new Capella Resort and honestly didn’t want to leave – seems like the perfect place to spend a honeymoon in the jungle far away from everything.
Their restaurant Mads Lange offers various cuisines and is a great choice if you are keen to try some local dishes in style. All of their produce is free-range, organic, and of course, locally sourced. I recommend their Rijsttafel, an array of class Indonesian dishes which are served family-style and usually eaten with your hands.
It is the perfect meal for sharing and starts with a big tray of various sambals and condiments as well as peanut and puffed taro crackers. Afterward, you will feast on dishes like beef rendang (one of the best I have had – so tender!), Ayam Sisit which is shredded chicken with galangal, and morning glory with fermented tofu. Whether you are a carnivore, pescatarian or vegan there is something for everyone on a Rijsttafel at Mads Lange and it is a perfect introduction to the local food scene. Make sure to come very hungry! l
The restaurant, as well as the spa, is open to outside guests and Capella offers a shuttle a few times per day from Ubud center that you can use. Mind you, I highly recommend you book a room as well!
I have yet to make it to the famous Locavore in Ubud, one of the best if not the best restaurant in Bali. As they only serve a set 6-course meal I didn’t feel like going there on my own – I think for such a dinner you will want company to enjoy it with. So I was incredibly delighted to learn that they have opened a new venue just down the road called Nusantara. They offer a unique take on Indonesian classics in a beautiful, modern setting.
Their menu offers a variety of smaller dish so you can order a few and share. Thankfully the waitress offered me a solo diner special that offers some of their favorites (according to any food intolerances you may have) on one plate so you can try a bit of everything. While I am usually not a huge fan of Indonesian cuisine this made me realize I might have been missing out on the good stuff as it featured some of the best squid, fish satay and beef brisket I have ever had. And whatever you order – do get some of their garlic chili sambal which you can order separately and could technically eat on its own – it is that good.
Another thing I really appreciated is their selection of great virgin cocktails and fancy iceteas. Being a teetotaler is the thing to be at Nusantara in Bali.
In lieu of a table at Locavore, I made it to Hujan Locale – a beautiful restaurant with modern colonial touches and a menu to match. Old classics from all around Indonesia are modernized here and served with some killer cocktails.
I am really bad when it comes to ordering food especially if I really like a menu – this one is extensive and everything sounds drool-worthy so it took me about half an hour and a whole basket of their yummy bread/cracker selection. Taking my time paid off – the fish carpaccio and prawn curry were some of the best dishes I ate during my three months stint.
The only downside is that you will have to pay prices to match their international, cosmopolitan counterparts.
Mexican Restaurants Ubud
I am a sucker for Mexican food – fish tacos, guacamole, you name it. Luckily there are some great options for Mexican restaurants in Ubud.
La Pacha Mama
One of my favorite Ubud Airbnbs is just across the street of La Pacha Mama which is a great option for vegan, vegetarian and fish lovers of Mexican food – they have a menu for everyone. The prices are on the high end but the portions are quite big and the margaritas are the size of your head.
While I wasn’t too impressed with the fish tacos that were deep-fried almost to a crisp, I do enjoy their jackfruit options as well as their quesadilla with smoked refried beans.
Since living for years with a Mexican I am quite picky when it comes to the Mexican food I eat so when I first went to famous Taco Casa Bali I was underwhelmed. Luckily I came across El Mexicano which first lured me in with their cool yet colorful interior. They make some great innovative margaritas to go with the funky interior and the food was not half bad. I think that my very own guacamole cannot be topped but theirs was rather nice as were my fish tacos.
Great Ubud Restaurants for every day
I realized that there are a few restaurants in Ubud which might not warrant a special trip or a special occasion but are a great choice for something yummy on a weeknight and if you are craving some creature comforts when staying in Bali for longer.
To be honest I was very skeptical when I first went to Rouge because well, it is very red. The interior isn’t my favorite but everything else is. The sushi is decent, the agadashi tofu great and they serve even the inexpensive local wine in proper nice wine glasses – you can tell the owner is French!
The staff is incredibly friendly and when I came the second time I was greeted like a long lost friend. Rough is the perfect place if you are looking for a good sushi restaurant in Ubud.
Umah is quite unassuming from the outside and I only tried it because my friend told me that they make a decent pizza and were located right across my Airbnb. I was pleasantly surprised because the pizza is not only inexpensive but rather good as is the pasta. You will also find local wine with the cheapest prices in Ubud here. The place is huge but at least in high season, the lines can get quite long. If you want to be seated without a wait come before 7 pm.
All in all, a great pizza restaurant in Ubud and for a cheap and cheerful meal!
Jalan Penestanan is a bit out of the way if you are like me and don’t drive a scooter so I scouted more options in the area. Eventually, I found Element and while it is a bit touristy I ate there a few times and enjoyed it. They make a decent pasta if you are craving something home, a good tuna burger and they also have 2 for 1 wine!
Even more importantly, their staff is incredibly friendly and they used to have a dessert called ‘apple crumble bread pudding’ which they, unfortunately, took off the menu. Mind you, I guess this still bodes well for their other desserts.
Daily Baguette is a small cafe and bakery and is great for expats or those missing some European delights. Cheeses, cured meats and of course, good bread is on offer. In addition, they have a lovely little pastry and patisserie section and make amazing lemon meringue pie in various sizes – the smallest one only costs 10k and is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up!
I stumbled across Bollero after my friend and I couldn’t get a table at Kismet and were looking for a quick dinner and some drinks in the vicinity. It was completely empty when we got there just before 7 pm, something that would usually deter me. Luckily it didn’t because they have an unlimited 2 for 1 happy hour and decent mojitos, great and cheap mie goreng with delicious peanut crackers, and lovely service. I was so happy for them when they filled up to the brim.
It can be hard to decide on a restaurant in the center of Ubud where you are spoilt for choice and with that, I definitely recommend Bollero if you are looking for a good, simple meal or a cocktail or two. The only downside was that it was one of the few places I have come across in Bali that still serves its drinks with plastic straws – make sure to bring your own or order your drink without it!
Raw vegan restaurants in Ubud
In a previous edition of this post, I kind of slammed famous Alchemy. My first visit there left me underwhelmed and confused by the hype it gets. But when I was craving something healthy on my recent visit I thought it was fair to give it another try since I stay within walking distance. I am glad I did because once I inquired which of their dishes are served hot and which are not I got a better understanding of their raw menu. The vegan sushi was quite nice and hit all the right ‘sushi spots’ in terms of flavor and their salad bar to create your own salad was great. I am still not a big fan of the ‘scene’ that hangs out here and there a so many raw vegan places in Ubud that are a lot more central. I probably wouldn’t travel to have a meal at Alchemy but if you are in the vicinity and crave something healthy give it try. However, be prepared to be hungry shortly after – at least I was.
Seed of Life
One of my vegan friends took me to Seed of Life for breakfast and while I was skeptical about how good a place could be without serving proper coffee, I was actually quite impressed.
I have realized certain meals work for me when they are raw – like a breakfast bowl or a salad – while others don’t. Sorry, raw pizza!
I decided not to tempt fate and forgo a cold breakfast burrito – it is also my theory that when a vegan menu item has too many “…” it is a bad sign. My friend recommended their crackers with various spreads and that was a very breakfasty and good choice as it simply resembled bread with jam. I also ordered a spirulina and extra virgin olive oil spread with was just the right amount of healthy but yummy.
They have a slightly excessive selection of ayurvedic juices and elixirs and the menu not only list ingredients but also the various health benefits. Some are reminiscent of a virgin mojito while others are seriously creamy and smoothie-ish and will probably fill you up for the whole day.
Ubud restaurants I need to come back for:
Room 4 Dessert – Jalan Sanggingan
I am more a savory than a sweet person so I don’t eat just to have dessert. But the idea of an entire meal consisting only of desserts is somewhat tempting. Mind you Room 4 Dessert sounded like a place to share and linger, not ideal when traveling on your own. Also, they have changed their menu and you can only have a full 8-course dessert menu now – perfect if you are looking for a fine dining restaurant in Ubud of a sweeter kind.
Cafe Pomegranate – Jalan Subak Sok Wayah
I have heard so many good things about Cafe Pomegranate and have still not made it there. Apparently, it has perfect rice paddy views and makes for a good ‘office’ for a few hours. Next time…
Kismet – 27x Jalan Goutama
This place came highly recommended by some vegan bloggers and seems like the perfect merge between a cool lounge and a healthy eatery. Alas, when my friend and I arrived at 6.30pm on my last evening in Ubud they were full. However, judging by the looks of it and their menu this is a perfect place for dinner with a group of friends which will keep everybody happy – I shall be back!
Have you been to Ubud and have any favorite places to share?
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