Eating in Bali
Updated April 2016
The island of Bali is mostly Hindu and, therefore, the usual Muslim restrictions on diet are outwardly absent, especially in the tourist areas. Most restaurants catering to foreigners offer a wide range of international cuisines (Balinese, Indonesian, Chinese, Malay, Japanese, Western, and many others).
You will find below a few restaurants recommended by our own staff and local western expatriates. They are not advertisements and are only included to give you an idea of cost per person for an average priced 3-course meal without drinks.
Imported drinks are very expensive. However, local beer (Bintang) costs around US$3 for a large bottle, which can be shared by two people to keep it from getting warm, and is better value than a small bottle, costing little less. The cheaper wine, mostly from Australia, costs around US$ 40 per bottle.
Benoa Peninsula and Nusa Dua
US$ 10 - Free transport from/to hotels in Nusa Dua area. Very nice, friendly atmosphere, with very good and inexpensive dishes - close to the Ramada Benoa Hotel. Traditional dancers, musicians, and singers in the evening show.
US$ 15 - Free transport from/to hotels in Nusa Dua area. Good quality, presentation, and ambiance. Live music.
Coco Bistro belongs to a restaurant chain with a presence in different areas of Bali: see www.tropicalbalirestaurant.com ; it shows the menus of the various restaurants.
Jukung Kuning Restaurant
US$ 15 - Indonesian menus including fresh sea food grilled in coconut shells in full view of customers. The tables and even the sand around them beautifully decorated with flower petals. A perfect, romantic beach location, facing the sea, under the stars. Free pick-up and return to nearby hotels. Great value!
US$ 40 - World-class food in different settings: indoors, watching the passionate work that goes on in the kitchen; choose the food, cocktail bar, or the intimate dining room; there is also an outside garden lounge. The Canadian Chef's long experience in Michelin star awarded restaurants in Europe and the USA comes through in the presentation and quality of the "tapas" and desserts, which are the essence of what is on offer in his restaurant. The menu is on-line: http://www.cucaflavor.com/all-menu/
Kuta and Legian
US$ 3 - A clean warung in Legian (Jl Padma Utara no.79) with no frill, for those on a budget. The fact that their menu is translated into English is a sign that they serve many tourists. If you think these are very cheap prices, bear in mind that many locals earn about US$5 a day. It is cheap only for tourists who can get great dishes, freshly prepared, for the price of a beer. Go early or expect to wait for table; it's that popular!. This is as near as you can get to an authentic local eating experience.
Black House Burgers
US$ 6 - Clean, unpretentious place with genuinely friendly staff and great hamburgers. A bit out of the way but worth the effort if you feel like a rest from Oriental food (you'll need a taxi, especially at night: 10 minutes from Kuta centre).
Don´t worry about the taxi fare: you'll be saving money with delicious hamburgers and fries costing around US$4. Closes at 10pm.
address: Jl. Raya Tuban blok B no. 16B - Tell the driver that it is near Bank Mandiri.
Hotel Karthi Bar & Restaurant
US$ 11 - Partly open-air restaurant near center of Kuta, serving nice food. Ideal for lunch-time where a single substantial dish and a large Bintang beer cost around US$ 7.
US$ 12 - Just across the road from the beach in Legian. Pleasant, indoor, but open-fronted restaurant offering a large variety of good international food, including, of course, local Balinese.
Pearl French Restaurant
US$ 40 - As the name suggests, expect French cuisine in a great ambience. Fine dining indoors or outside. The restaurant is part of the Bali Hotel Pearl. The menu is available on-line: http://www.balihotelpearl.com/images/menu%20anglais.pdf.
US$ 10 - A modern, air-conditioned Australian style café, with an inside and an outside, owned by Aussies and praised by most. Excellent food qualifies it as a restaurant. Try it for breakfast, brunch, or up to a late lunch. Closes at 5pm. Book in advance or be prepared for a long wait. See the menu: http://sisterfieldsbali.com/menu/
US$ 40 - A stunning restaurant with some tables on a large platform over an artificial pond, creating a spectacular atmosphere. Totally open sides give the impression of eating al fresco. It specializes in Indonesian food and is considered one of the best in Seminyak. There is a dress code, so dress smartly and leave the flip-flops back at the hotel.
In general, if you avoid the more expensive dishes, in the less expensive restaurants, you should get a reasonably good western style meal (appetizer, main course, and dessert) for US$6 to US$8, while pretty good Indonesian food will cost US$4 to US$6.
The above refers to restaurants catering for foreigners. Many locals will eat in more basic places (warungs) where a single dish may cost much less. However, the ambiance and the hygienic standards may be below what a western tourist expects.
NOTE: Often, you'll see "++" after the price of food and drinks. This refers to the service charge of 5 to 10% plus local tax of 10% that most restaurants and bars add to the bill.
The tax is applied on the total, including service charge. Therefore, if there is a 10% service charge, the tax amounts to 11% of the actual consumption bill, and the "++" amounts to 21%.