Keen to find the best restaurants in Seminyak, Bali? Yes, yes, I know what you may think - why is she writing about Bali again and isn't Bali super crowded and touristy and is there any good reason you still want to go there? While all this may be true, I still <3 Bali and like spending time there. When I come to Bali I don't plan great adventures but enjoy certain creature comforts and sometimes that is all you need for a trip, right?
One of the things people regularly make fun of when it comes to Bali is the food scene - bowls here, vegan there, hipster that - oh how pretentious! Personally, I love the food choices in Bali because they tend to be healthy and diverse and in terms of budget there is something for everyone. Don't believe me? Check out my foodie guides to Ubud and Canggu to find some of my favorites.
Admittedly, Seminyak isn't really my favorite area. It is a more high-class version of Kuta by now but has lost its former hippie charm. The roads are horrendous as is the traffic (well, to be honest, traffic is an issue in most populated places in Bali) and unless you care for places like the infamous Potato Head Beach Club with its bikini-clad wannabe models and afternoon pool drinking sessions, this might not be the Bali paradise you envision.
I recently spent another week in Seminyak though because a) the location is convenient and b) it is home to the best yoga studio, Jiwa Yoga, where my friend teaches Bikram and I was in desperate need to spend a few hours on my mat and clear my head. In addition, restaurants in Seminyak are amazing and I was keen for some treats. So while Seminyak may not be the most picturesque, authentic or best version of Bali, I can definitely recommend it for a couple of days if only to eat.
The best restaurants in Seminyak
Right on the beach, entrance next to Petitenget Temple
Looking for a Seminyak beach restaurant? Head to La Lucciola which will tick all the boxes: sunset view, quick service, and a nice seafood pasta. Do make a reservation because with that view you will want to sit first row (I didn't...).
Mind you, this is one of the Seminyak restaurants which gets incredibly busy and is very family friendly. That is not a bad thing but it ain't for everybody. While the setting might be romantic I am not sure I would choose it for a date but rather for a fun evening with my girlfriends.
On the beach at the Alila Hotel, Jalan Taman Ganesha No. 9
Another Seminyak beach restaurant you shouldn't miss is Seasalt at the Alila hotel. The terrace overlooks the ocean and the setting is incredibly romantic, definitely a first date kind of place.
Their menu is as the name implies all about seafood and fish. With that said - my favorite dish of the evening was their tofu starter so yes, even vegetarians will be happy here. And if you are usually one to refuse the free bread and dip at a restaurant - don't! At Seasalt it comes with a built-in surprise and a bit of theatre.
Jl. Petitenget No.777
One of the things I regularly crave when traveling in Asia is a nice Italian pasta and since I am a pasta snob this can be quite a tricky one. This time I got lucky because Jiwa is located directly across newly opened Bottega, easily the best of the Italian restaurants in Seminyak, Bali. It was a no-brainer to treat myself to a bowl after class.
They make their own pasta which you can admire in a vitrine (in case you get your orecchiette and your tagliatelle confused) and pair with a variety of sauces. In addition, they have a small selection of different carpaccios and cured meats and cheeses.
Best of all? Inexpensive wine by the glass, another rarity in Bali.
Jalan Petitenget No.8L
The first place I rushed back to upon arrival was Grow. I fell in love with this place over a bowl of pasta with chili and clams and while they, unfortunately, have taken it off the menu, Grow is still worth a visit. Start with tuna ceviche in coconut milk and kefir lime and follow with a carbonara or a pasta al ragu.
The prices are definitely on the higher end for Seminyak restaurants but I dare say they are worth it. Oh, and don't be put off if it is empty - I have never seen the place full which says nothing about the quality of the food. Just enjoy that even a Bali solo traveler will get a prime table here on a weekend night.
Jl. Petitenget No.12X
Kynd is the ultimate hip vegan cafe in Seminyak and I think it is places like Kynd that give some people reason to make fun of the Bali food scene. To be honest, it is all a bit much: postcards to spread the 'kindness', oh so chic metal straws, fruit bowls with the word "happy" spelled out in melon slices, and of course, an Instagram-worthy wall outside. Mind you, the masses don't seem to mind - the place is always brimming.
Having said all that with a slightly ironically crocked eyebrow - the food is really good. It is truly one of these restaurants in Bali that show you how delicious vegan food can be. Careful, you may just join the Kynd cult afterward.
Leave it up to me to ignore an Insta-perfect wall and fruit bowl and show you a picture of my messy plate. What can I say? I had to eat - it's called priorities!
Jl. Petitenget No.22
After all this healthy, vegan goodness it is time to balance the scales - on your way back from Kynd, you can pick up a dessert at Dough Darlings (also let's be honest, raw balls of something healthy just don't cut it). I will be the first to admit that I am usually not a pastry fan and donuts were at the bottom of the list. I may have made an exception for a cronut had I gotten one but other than that...meh.
But one day, I passed Dough Darlings, liked the name and thought to just check it out. What did I learn? I do like donuts, it is the glaze I don't like. Substitute regular sugary glaze with cheesecake frosting or chocolate ganache and I am game.
They also have a donut fish sandwich which looks like heaven and for you gluten-free people - yes, they got you covered too!
Jalan Petitenget 100x
This place regularly leads the lists of best restaurants in Seminyak which made me a little bit skeptical because as does Potato Head. Mind you, I am happy I still gave it a go when I wanted to try some of their traditional Indonesian with a twist.
First of all, I was impressed with their service because while the whole place looks incredibly chic nobody minded my Birkenstocks or gave me otherwise snooty looks. If you don't have a reservation they will usually find a place for you in the bar area which suited me just fine.
The food is absolutely incredible. I am salivating just thinking about my quail curry. Yumm. Sorry, I can't even write a coherent sentence anymore thinking about my meal at Merah Putih, it was that good. The menu is made up of tasters, starters, and mains. The tasters are tiny portions of something yummy. In my case, a lobster dim sum and a pork belly bao - perfect to have a nibble and try a lot more than you usually would with regular sized dishes.
They also offer dessert & cocktail combos which I think is quite genius. Alas, I was too full because did I mention my amazing quail curry and the pork belly bao?? Good enough reason to come back very soon!
To get in the mood, check out their menu here: www.merahputihbali.com
Jl. Petitenget No.18AA
Ever since my first meal at Lucky Bao in Cape Town I am obsessed with baos. There is something so comfortable yet exciting about baos - almost like having a burger. Unlike a burger, they are small enough that you can order two and they just seem a lot healthier too (lol, I know that is an illusion, but a girl can dream!).
Street Boi is a little roadside eatery so not really a place to linger but the baos are great as a snack or a quick lunch - I tried the pork belly bao (a must when eating baos!) and came back the next day.
Jl. Petitenget No.77
One of my favorite cafes in Seminyak, Gourmet Cafe, is the perfect place if you need to get some work done: comfortable seating, good wifi, and the friendliest, most unobtrusive service. On top of this, you will get the best coffee in Seminyak here.
Again, this is one of the places which never gets really crowded which is ideal if you just want to spend a few hours working in peace and quiet while enjoying a fresh juice. I love that I can get freshly squeezed pure apple juice here (I might be slightly addicted) as well as a good mix of healthy and yummy food choices. While the presentation might not be up to Kynd's standards, the portions are huge and the prices are decent. They seem to have a slight quinoa obsession which suits me just fine - ask them for the red rice salad with quinoa instead of rice!
Jl. Raya Petitenget 98x 2F
Need a sushi fix? Head to Kajin, one of the best restaurants in Seminyak. It is perfect for solo travelers too as you can sit at their long counter and watch the bartender or awkward couples on their first dates (yes, I may be speaking from experience). Do make a reservation just because they put beautifully calligraphed name cards up when you do.
In addition to the regular assortment of maki, sashimi, and nigiri they have some great salad, carpaccio, and terrikayi options and an amazing cocktail menu.
Where to stay in Seminyak?
As traffic is so manic in Bali I recommend you spend a couple of nights in Seminyak to try a few of these places and do some yoga. For budget travelers, I can recommend this Airbnb - EUR 16 per night and in walking distance from most of these Seminyak restaurants! Use this code and get EUR 25 off your first trip.
If you wanted something a little fancier I would book a room at the Alila, one of the best hotels in Seminyak - do go for an ocean view room on one of the top floors and don't miss out on their goodnight cookies before bed.