Narrowing down the best restaurants in Bali isn’t easy. Creative people from all over the world have decided to call Bali home—some offering up the most exciting food in the archipelago. Fresh seafood is caught daily here, while fruit and vegetables grow gleefully in the volcanic soil and sunshine. Regardless of whether these local chefs add their own twists to delicious Indonesian food or recreate dishes from home, they enjoy plenty of inspiration in Bali.
Open daily at 3 p.m., Warung Dandelion consistently serves quality Indonesian food to a hungry crowd. The menu is simple and gets to the point, while prices are fantastic for such a popular place. Dandelion could work for a date night just as easily as a family outing. The garden setting is beautiful without being pretentious; you even get to watch giant rabbits hop around contentedly as you eat.
If Dandelion is packed (it often is), don’t worry: Warung Local, another great restaurant in Bali, is literally next door.
The labyrinth of streets in Poppies—Kuta's budget traveler-oriented neighborhood—seems more about sports bars and day drinking. However, there are a few exceptions. The ever-busy Crumb & Coaster began as a small café only a few years ago, but they quickly established themselves as the best place for (mostly) healthy, hangover-busting food. Lunch and dinner are available, too, yet it’s the breakfast and brunch that draw a daily crowd.
Set right on Echo Beach in Canggu, La Brisa is a scene. There’s always a real possibility of spotting local Instagram celebrities, aspiring wannabes, and gorgeous couples in their beachside cabanas. Don’t expect a pretentious atmosphere, though: Beachwear is acceptable dress at this popular club.
You’ll need to hit a minimum spend (varies) to hang out in some parts of La Brisa, but that’s easy to do in a massive restaurant complex that boasts delicious ceviche, multiple bars, beanbags, and a pool. The décor is impressive, and sustainability is a theme, as the entire structure was constructed with reclaimed wood from fishing boats.
For really special occasions, look no further than Swept Away at Samaya, a luxury villa operation. Flower petals, 100 candles, and a seven-course meal with wine will certainly set the mood. Outside, tables are arranged strategically apart along the river, some of which come with different perks and courses. A professional photographer is on hand to capture memories, so you can put your phones away.
Merah Putih (pronounced “may-rah pooh-tee”) keeps winning Michelin stars for their creative, upscale Indonesian fare. The beautiful wine cellar has some rare finds on display. Unlike the many open-air restaurants in Bali, Merah Putih is enclosed in glass—and the indoor garden with vaulted ceiling is just as impressive as the food. Those mesmerizing columns holding up the roof actually have a function: They capture rainwater that gets filtered and used.
You can find vegetarian (and often vegan) options on nearly every menu in Ubud. Moksa, located just outside of town, has a reputation for impressing even the most carnivorous meat eaters. Regardless of your dietary inclinations, you’ll leave Moksa with a smile—and feeling great.
Moksa does an impressive, slow-cooked paella that’s vegan, fragrant, and delicious. Along with inspiring culinary excellence, they teach cooking classes, yoga, permaculture, and martial arts on the premises.
Milu By Nook’s open-air atmosphere is cozy, casual, and centered on a verdant rice paddy. The food is as good as the vibe, and prices are reasonable. The menu is extensive, but unlike other restaurants that attempt to make everyone happy, Milu by Nook delivers. From healthy bowls and salads to sandwiches and seafood, everything is tasty. If you’re craving tuna or avocado, Milu By Nook offers plenty of delicious ways to get a fix. Just be sure to use mosquito protection if you go for dinner.
Raw food, local sourcing, and sustainability are real trends in Bali—but Seeds of Life in Ubud takes healthy eating to the next level. If you’ve just arrived, the food will kick-start your weary immune system before jet lag gets the best of it. The Seeds of Life Bowl contains a little dab of every superfood in the house (and there are many). Fortunately, the café proves that “healthy” doesn’t have to mean tasteless. You’ll never notice the milk is missing in those delicious baked goods.
If Seeds of Life is too busy, Soma across the street is another top choice for organic food.
With treehouses and a wooden pirate ship, Pirates Bay Bali in Nusa Dua is an island dream come true for kids and pirate lovers of all ages. The ambitious menu attempts to cover all preferences with American (chicken nuggets, anyone?), Dutch, Mexican, Thai, pizza, and seafood.
You probably shouldn’t expect culinary excellence with a menu like that, but did we mention they have a pirate ship?
This reservation-only restaurant provides some of the finest dining in Bali. An à la carte menu is available, but it’s always better to trust the chef. The seven- and nine-course dégustation menus with drink pairings will become a highlight of your trip to Bali.
Intimate and clean white, BLANCO par Mandif is part of the stunning Blanco Renaissance Museum (open until 5 p.m.). Go explore the art and manicured grounds before your reservation.
No room at Blanco? Mozaic by Chef Chris Salans is another famously good choice for fine dining in Ubud.