Bali has become somewhat of a foodie haven of late. While Ubud has certainly become more touristy since the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon, it is still a relaxed and tranquil sort of a place (seriously, take a yoga class while you’re in town). It’s also quite the scene for fresh and delicious food – there’s a distinctly hippy, eco-friendly vibe. Food is also super cheap – so there’s no reason why you can’t eat and eat and eat and eat on your next visit. So, in no particular order, here are ten highly-recommended places to eat at in Ubud, Bali.
1. Umah Pizza, Jalan Bisma
I bet that isn’t what you were expecting for a “must-eat” in Ubud. It’s not even Indonesian food! But trust me on this, you won’t get a better pizza in Bali, than what you can get at Umah. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. And even better, a large margarita costs R35,000 – which is about AU $3.50. And there’s free delivery. We tried this delicious circle of heaven after a long volcano hike and thought it could just be carb cravings that was making it so delicious. But it was still amazing two deliveries later. I think the secret lies in the homemade tomato sauce. Anyway, the lines are huge for this place, so if your hotel (or villa) allows deliveries, I would highly recommend enjoying this in the peace of your own place, and by the pool.
2. Gelato Secrets
These gelato places are all over Bali – just look for the big, pastel pink signs. The decor is super cute, they ask that the wooden spoons be recycled in a special bin near the counter (Ubud is very eco-friendly), and most of all, the ice cream is delicious. Try an old fave, or be brave and try the Sulawesi vanilla and bamboo charcoal flavour – it’s really good!
3. Habitat, Jalan Monkey Forest
Located near the entrance to the famous Monkey Forest, this place is a heavenly oasis of bamboo and air-conditioning. The perfect place to escape the heat and relax with a yummy smoothie, this cafe also offers up a great range of Indonesian food and, randomly enough, Mexican dishes. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, everything is super fresh and healthy. If you’re feeling daring, try a cup of jamu – an Indonesian medicinal drink, known for helping digestion and immunity.
4. Watercress, Jalan Monkey Forest
I am never the type to order a salad. And generally it’s the last thing I would recommend anyone choose from a menu – especially with a menu as delicious as the one at Watercress. But this particular day I was feeling really hot and the last thing i wanted was a hot meal for lunch, so I did the unthinkable and ordered salad. I might have had slight burger-envy, but really this was probably the best salad I’ve ever eaten.
5. Burger Shop, Jalan Bisma
If you’re after an old-school, classic burger, then look no further than Burger Shop. There’s a wide range to choose from and my only gripe is that the ‘pommes frites’ that every burger comes with, were just a bit stingy for me. But otherwise, sign me up for another, because this burger hit the spot!
6. Cafe Wayan and Bakery, Jalan Monkey Forest
This place was recommended by one of our drivers and I’m so glad we paid a visit. Monkey Forest Road can be super hectic, but the land that this cafe is built on is huge, and once you’re seated, you’re so far away from the road you could be in another village altogether. Set amongst lush green gardens, it’s peaceful and cool, and a great place to eat some Indonesian food. My recommendation is to come with an appetite and save room for dessert. My pick is the dadar gulung – a kind of pandan crepe filled with coconut and palm sugar. Yum.
8. Happy Falafel, Jalan Hanoman
This place drew us in simply because it looked so cute from the street! Seriously, the cafe decor in Ubud is on point. Luckily, the food was delicious, too. This is the perfect place for a wrap or a burger – don’t worry, the menu isn’t all falafels! Forgive the photo – the falafel wrap doesn’t photograph well, but trust me, the flavours were all there! You pick what fillings you want in your wrap, and then sit back and relax – watch the traffic go past, or look behind at the rice paddy that’s just outside the kitchen.
9. Folk, Jalan Monkey Forest
Having popped up on my Instagram feed several times, I knew I had to visit, even if just for a drink. Which is what I did. The decor is cool, and I chilled here with a yummy smoothie while taking a shopping break. Smoothies are served with a bamboo straw and on a cloth coaster, so you can rest assured no pesky plastic straws or other rubbish is making its way to landfill (something I appreciate). Also, news just in, Folk are opening a pool and garden extension to the cafe. I guess that’s my new reason to book a trip back.
10. Satria coffee plantation, Tampaksiring
All over Bali you’ll be asked if you want to go to a coffee plantation. And everywhere you look you’ll see luwak coffee – this is the most expensive coffee in the world. So a trip to Ubud isn’t complete without trying luwak. We headed to the Satria plantation to see how coffee is grown and made. And then we got to sample a dozen different types of tea and coffee – everything from coconut coffee to lemongrass tea. Note: this tasting was free but if you wanted to try the luwak coffee you had to pay R50,000 (about AU $5). I enjoyed the tea and coffee tasting – although be warned, the tea you try is highly sugared, so remember that if you decide to buy it. The sugar-free teas don’t taste anywhere near as good. Personally … the luwak coffee wasn’t for me. I found it a bit bitter and it’s low on the caffeine scale. Happy to stick with coffee made the old-fashioned way.