Like the rest of Bali, Ubud has an impressive food scene. The food ranges from cheap local warungs to some of the trendiest spots in all of South East Asia. Bali is basically a convergence of all the most popular trends across the world on one island. Ubud lies a little more to the hippie side of the spectrum, but it is a fantastic place for foodies regardless.
I spent a month in Ubud and aside from the killer warung down the street from my villa, I did my best to diversify my meals as much as possible. I never ate at the same place more than twice which led to a lot of different meals at a lot of cool places. Here are some of the best restaurants I ate at in Ubud.
Warung Biah Biah
For local food in a seemingly more hygienic setting, Warung Biah Biah and Warung Biah Biah + are a great place to dip your toes into Balinese food. You can get ample starters for as cheap as 8,000 IDR ($.60) and massive meals for less than $2.
Another Warung located on the trendy Jalan Goutama, Melting Wok has a sparse menu. There are only about 5 things to choose from which means that they do those things pretty damn well.
Depending on what you’re wanting to do here, CP Lounge can be a good budget spot. Small plates of Western food are pretty cheap. The alcohol is where they get you, so as long as you aren’t planning on having a crazy night, you can sit down, eat, and play pool for free all night. The chicken wings and calamari are delicious and are in the 30,000 IDR range.
Clear Cafe is one of the nicest restaurants I have ever been to in my life. It was recommended to me by a Colombian model who prefers the finer things in life so I was fully expecting to shell out a lot of money to eat here. I was surprised when the food stuck mostly to the 70-100,000 IDR ($5-7) range. I would probably have to pay $30 for six french fries at a place like this in New York City.
Our squad of digital nomads went here for a “work and play” day once and it ended up being almost entirely a play day. Anywhere with a pool pretty quickly turns into simply a play day. This place is amazing. I wasn’t even mad that I had downed 2 mojitos before noon. Like most places in Bali, you pay more for the setting than you do for the food. Also like most places in Bali, you really don’t have to pay that much. It can get expensive if you pay for a bed or one of the nicer poolside tables. However, if you’re just there for food, drinks, and swimming, it is one of the best examples of luxury living on a miser’s budget.
Soma Organic Restaurant
The vibe of this place was so chill. I holed up in the back corner on some cushions and whipped my laptop out and got to work. This organic, vegan place is very vegan. The menu is entirely vegan and it reads like a textbook. There are a lot of options, the portions are pretty small, and sometimes, the food can be hit or miss. I enjoyed everything I got but I have to admit, vegan brownies have no place on this Earth.
Aside from the food, the garden-like feel of this place was awesome. A girl hopped on the piano and put on a killer show. People are just hanging out, lounging around, and living life here. It is such a nice vibe.
Another very organic, very vegan place, Atman is a restaurant-boutique hybrid with a killer view of the sunset. Although it stays away from meat, that doesn’t mean that the menu is limited. It has a wide range of things from Thai food to Mexican food to everything in between. They also come fully-stocked with a long list of rad appetizers.
They have massive jugs of their own kombucha at the front and although seeing what real kombucha looked like kind of unsettled me, I still had some and it was delicious. Don’t miss out on dessert here, either. Actually, just stock up on sweets while you’re here.
Splurge ($15 and up)
You pay $10 to enter your terrible dive bar back home. You can pay $10 to spend the entire day at Jungle Fish. This place is luxury. The infinity pool looking over the vast Balinese jungle doesn’t feel real. The food here is actually really good and although it isn’t too expensive, you do have the added 150,000 IDR fee just to enter the place.
I was very surprised that there weren’t more people here when I went. It is a little bit out of the way and you definitely need a car or scooter to get there from in town. It is very much worth the winding drive through Ubud’s hills and forests, though.
Bring your laptop and hole yourself in one of their various poolside seats.
This is where our group had our goodbye dinner and damn, was it a good place. The view during the day is incredible and it is a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset in a more secluded area. It is a bit outside of the main town of Ubud but it is worth the journey. The food was amazing and there is such a wide variety. Latin-Japanese is a weird hybrid but Sayan House made it work.
If I ever saw tacos and sushi on the same menu back home, I would 100% leave that restaurant immediately. That just screams food poisoning. I had the wagyu sirloin because apparently, that’s a thing I can just afford to regularly eat in Bali. It was amazing. The portions are relatively small and you will be left wanting more but it is a place you cannot miss out on. We ordered several of each appetizer and every single one was great.
Like I said earlier, apparently, Wagyu is a thing I can just afford to regularly eat. I dropped a clean 500,000 IDR ($35) at Batubara which seems extravagant but when I rattle off everything I had, all of a sudden it doesn’t feel so bad. I had several strips of steak, including Wagyu. We had every appetizer they had, ranging from seafood to mashed potatoes, to empanadas, croquettes, french fries, salads, grilled veggies. Top that all off with several glasses of sangria.
It was the best meal I had in Bali, hands-down. You know those annoying TV chefs that just overexaggerate every bite they have of some food and scream “ugh, heavenly!” *cough* Rachel Ray *cough*
That was every single one of us at Batubara. We let the chef pick our food for us which definitely contributed to the high price of our meal but if you stick to even two cuts, a few drinks, and an appetizer, then you should be able to keep costs more reasonable.
BONUS DESSERT RECOMMENDATION
Just because I love this place so much.