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.
My 12 Favorite Restaurants in Seminyak
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.
Another Seminyak beach restaurant you shouldn’t miss is Seasalt at the Alila Seminyak. The terrace overlooks the ocean and the setting is incredibly romantic, definitely a first date kind of place. If you come during the day it is great for an extended boozy lunch with your girlfriends.
For one of the best foodie experiences in Seminyak, book the Mineral Ritual at their spa which includes a 3-course lunch and feast on the likes of spicy tuna tartare, butterfish with butternut puree, and coconut with passionfruit dessert. While I usually think these all-inclusive lunches are a bit meh this one was anything but – big portions and so very yummy.
Their a la carte menu is as the name implies all about seafood & fish and all sustainable. With that said, even their vegetarian options are a crowd-pleaser!
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. Eventually, I got lucky because my yoga studio Jiwa is located directly across Bottega Italiana, easily the best Italian restaurant in Seminyak, Bali. It was a no-brainer to treat myself to a bowl after class and swiftly return the next evening to try a different one.
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. A highlight is their gluten-free pasta which is a little more expensive but very worth it. I find gluten-free pasta is hard to get right and this one is so good that you can’t even taste the difference to their regular pasta.
In addition, they have a small selection of different salads, cured meats, and cheeses as well as some classic Italian desserts.
Best of all? Inexpensive wine by the glass, another rarity in Bali.
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. When I first came here I kynd of (pardon the pun!) wanted to hate it: postcards to spread the ‘kyndness’, oh so chic metal straws, fruit bowls with the word “happy” spelled out in melon slices, and of course, Instagram-worthy walls all around. But then I discovered their vegan red velvet cake and other vegan delights and couldn’t help it – I was hooked. It is truly one of these Seminyak/Bali restaurants that show you how delicious vegan food can be and once you try it, you may just join the Kynd cult voluntarily.
Now they have expended their premises which is a good thing because the lines on the sidewalk were getting a bit out of control. Their old cafe has become Kynd Creamery while the new spot right next door offers a whole lot of indoor and outdoor space. Depending on the time of the day, there might still be a wait for a table but their super-friendly staff will try their best to accommodate you quickly and of course, you could always get a slice of vegan red velvet cake or two to go.
A little tip for the Instagrammers – they open at 6.30am so if you want to take pictures, come early especially for a spot in front of the famous ‘paradise’ wall. And if you want to take pictures of your food make sure to order something different than hot pancakes with ice-cream!
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!
This place regularly leads the lists of best restaurants in Seminyak which made me a little bit skeptical because as does Potato Head beach club. Mind you, I am happy I still gave it a go when I wanted a different take on typical Indonesian food.
First of all, I was impressed with their service because while the whole place looks incredibly chic nobody minded my Birkenstocks or gave me snooty looks otherwise. If you don’t have a reservation they will find a place for you in the bar area which suited me just fine. Alternatively, come and try their lunch menu during the day when Merah Putih resembles a chic greenhouse.
Let’s talk food. What does modern Indonesian entail? The food strikes a perfect balance of spicy, curry-ish, and comforting with fine dining when it comes to plating and ingredients. You won’t get a regular curry at Merah Putih but a quail curry, not just noodles but noodles with yabbies and sea urchin. 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 could with regular-sized dishes.
Compared to most other Seminyak restaurants, Merah Putih is definitely on the pricey side. If you wanted to give it a try first, check their lunch menu – portions are small but prices are a lot more manageable. If you want to go all out, check their dessert & cocktail combos in the evening which is a genius concept I think. Alas, I was too full because did I mention my amazing quail curry and the pork belly bao?
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.
One of my favorite cafes in Seminyak, Gourmet Cafe, has just moved and been upgraded and I am still not sure if that is a good thing. Before it was the perfect place if you needed to get some work done: comfortable seating, good wifi, the friendliest, most unobtrusive service, and the best coffee in Seminyak. It was never really crowded which was ideal if you wanted to spend a few hours working in peace and quiet while enjoying a fresh apple juice.
Now that it has moved it has become the new cool kid on the block and while I am happy for them, I am also a bit sad for me because it is always busy now. Mind you, the new setting is beautiful: think emerald velvet couches, palm print wallpaper, and touches of rose gold.
The menu has pretty much stayed the same and offers a great mix of healthy choices and more scrumptious options. And 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 – one of my favorites is the red rice salad with quinoa instead of rice.
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.
It was about to happen: even when in Bali, I would start craving Mexican food. As I have mentioned before I thought the food was the only redeeming feature about Tulum and I have been a huge taco fan long before my first trip to Mexico. There is no shortcoming of Mexican restaurants in Seminyak or tacos for that matter but the most famous is probably Motel Mexicola.
Motel Mexicola is colorful, loud and huge and not as hipster cool as I was led to believe. It is probably best if you are heading for dinner with a group of friends and want to sing along to some dubious music choices while drinking daquiries. All that is not a bad thing per se, however, if you are eating by yourself and just want a quick, quiet taco this isn’t the place for you. If you find yourself in the situation ask them for a spot outside so you can do some people watching while ignoring the Mexican Octoberfest atmosphere inside.
I ordered a tuna sashimi tostada which rivaled the ones I ate in Tulum as well as a crispy port belly taco and one with fried prawn which were both delicious. Needless to say, compared to Mexico the prices will make you weep but it was money well spent to cure my taco cravings.
And I will say, I wouldn’t mind going back with a group of friends for a fun night with some pitchers of margaritas and table dancing after dark (do they allow table dancing? I am not sure but it sure strikes me like the place to do it!).
I saw Balibola in the making last year and was immediately intrigued by their cool design. When I arrived back in Seminyak last week I was delighted to see that it had opened and was in full swing now.
The interior is colorful, a little retro and just a little bit too crowded to be uber-cool but that to me makes it cozy and approachable.
I assumed that the menu would be similar to all the other cool cafes in Seminyak but was pleasantly surprised by how different it was. Balibola praises itself to be for ‘flexitarians’ – you can have meat and fish but in moderation and the basis for most dishes is vegetarian or even vegan.
Before I ordered I looked at a table next to mine and was convinced the lady must have ordered a family portion of French toast because I have never seen a plate that big outside of the US. But no, portion sizes in general are, let’s say, generous at Balibola. I ordered corn fritters with smashed avo, crumbled feta and balsamic glaze which came with lots of pretty edible flowers and radishes. It was delicious and made me feel like home as my mother used to make me a corn fritter dish alas never for breakfast. While I can eat a lot, I couldn’t finish my plate which got me wondering what the big portions are all about here. I certainly would prefer a little less as I hate food waste.
What I liked about Balibola is that they strike a nice balance between healthy bowls and salads and proper treats like waffles with ice cream cones and chocolate sauce injections. Either way, you will get one for the ‘gram but the flavors still deliver!
When asking where to eat in Seminyak there is no way around Sea Circus. The fun and quirky canteen style eatery is a local favorite and for a good reason. It is loud, colorful and unfussy – perfect for a quick bite and when eating with a larger group or family.
Most tables are made for sharing but there is an entire window bar counter if you are eating by yourself. Mind you, when I arrived I was simply shown to a big table which I shared with some others and much preferred as I hate sitting on bar stools. The service is super friendly and fast despite the lunch rush hour, something I always appreciate.
The menu offers bowls, tacos, salads, and burgers – the usual Bali fare. I ordered a poke bowl with tuna and edamame and besides the fact that there were raisins in my bowl (like why??) it was so good. Especially the tuna portion was huge making this not so cheap lunch for 130k still good value for money.
Have you been to Bali? Any favorite restaurants in Seminyak I should try out next time?
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