bali food

Best 15 food dishes in Bali that you should try

Last updated on January 28th, 2020

Food in Bali has tastes from all over the world! But I’m more interested in presenting the local food from Indonesia and Bali. Tasting the local cuisine is experiencing some of the cultures. I want to point out, I tried eating at many places, and the most authentic tastes do come from a warung. Restaurants are very lovely for fine dining, but when it comes to typical Indonesian food, they’re best eaten at a local warung. TIP: the food can be spicy, so if you don’t like spicy food always mention “tidak pedas” which means not spicy. For drinks, they will add sugar! If you would like to have your drinks without sugar, mention “tawar”.

Babi Guling (signature food from Bali)

Babi Guling a must try food from Bali
A serving of Babi Guling by rollanb on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Babi Guling or in English a suckling pig is a local treat. Not many places in Indonesia serve pork because of religion, but in Bali, there are plenty of places where you can order Babi Guling. Often they pair this dish with Lawar and jackfruit. When ordering Babi Guling you will get different pieces of pork meat. I never got it hot warm, always a bit warm from being outside in the weather. However, it is a treat for the tastebuds.

Lawar (signature food from Bali)

lawar, typical signature food from Bali
Lawar by alkautsarcreative on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Lawar is finely chopped coconut and herbs (sometimes with meat). There is also red lawar, but chances are small you can find this. Red lawar is prepared using pigs blood, or chicken blood. I was lucky to try this at a Balinese household which cooked it for after a ceremony.

Satay

Satay street food from Bali must try
Typical street food from Bali by Artem Beliaikin on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

The satay is often a small piece of skewered meat and comes with some peanut sauce. The locals often barbecue this next to the road to sell. This is typical street food from Bali to try out. Satay can be made from chicken, pork, goat (kambing).

Nasi Goreng

Nasi goreng, very standard but delicious dish served in Bali at a lot of places
Nasi Goreng dishes by ekosaint on Visual hunt / CC BY

This means fried rice. This is a very standard food from Indonesia. Every warung has their own twist to it, which doesn’t make it boring to order different places. Even though I call it a very standard food, it does belong to one of my favorite food to eat in Indonesia because of it’s versatility and rich in flavor. At hotels they often serve Nasi Goreng at a free breakfast, however, my preference goes out to the nasi goreng from a warung.

Mie Goreng (Bakmi Goreng)

Mie Goreng with sambal matah a must try food from Bali
Mie Goreng with sambal matah by dionhinchcliffe on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA

If you like noodle-based food, you will love Mie Goreng. Mie goreng means fried noodles but, Mie Goreng is not fried. Like the Nasi Goreng this can come within different tastes and variants: vegetarian or with meat.

Nasi Campur

Nasi Campur a must try food in Bali
Nasi Campur by paularps on Visual hunt / CC BY

Nasi Campur can mean any kind of rice dish. It literally means mixed rice. Some warungs only have this and can be different everywhere since it’s just a mix of rice with something. Some warung offers a different kind of vegetables or meat than the warung next to it.

Ayam/Bebek Betutu (signature food from Bali)

Bebek betutu Must try this dish in Bali
Bebek Betutu by jultchik7 on Visualhunt / CC BY

Ayam is chicken and bebek is a duck. This meat is roasted and comes in a kind of spiced oily texture which brings joy to your mouth. On the side, there is often some raw herbs and a slice of cucumber.

Lalapan

Lalapan Bali food you should try
Ayam Goreng with lalapan philyusenda on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Fresh and often raw vegetables served with some sambal. This is if you like your veggies uncooked, crunchy and raw. It might sound weird, raw vegetables but it is quite tasty. But after tasting it with some sambal, I came to believe it is a pleasure!

Soto Ayam

Soto Ayam, chicken soup
Soyo Ayam paularps on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Chicken soup, in a warm country. Weird, not at all. Tasty, very much so. This is also one of my favorite dishes in Indonesia. Even though it’s a warm country all the time, I do look this soup. Soto Ayam can be served with egg or without. This yellow clear chicken soup is a delight and goes well with nasi putih (steamed rice)

Seafood

Jimbaran sea food dishes
different seafood dishes from Jimbaran by m0bile on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

Ok, this is an extensive thing. But in Jimbaran, there is just so much choice when it comes to seafood. Jimbaran specializes in seafood. The seafood market of Bali is based here. Every day it’s a fresh catch. So head over there, and enjoy a sunset dinner on the beach with freshly caught fish.

Bakso

Bakso a typical seafood from Bali
Bakso soup with beef (meatballs) closari on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

This clear soup with meatballs is a local favorite. You can order this on the street form a cart, and you get it in a plastic bag. Careful it is hot, not spicy just warm to hold. I can’t really describe bakso very well, but in Canggu, they have Bakso Rudi who is pretty good. Other than that, this is definitely a street food from Bali you should try. You will like it or not. I did not like it at the start, but it was just getting used to it.

Vegetarian

Luckily for Vegetarians, it is not hard in Bali. There are plenty of vegetarian choices. Mie Goreng and nasi goreng can be vegetarian, but there are also other choices. If you are a vegetarian keep in mind that krupuk contains fish.

Tempe & Tahu (Tofu)

Tempe vegetarian food in Bali
Fried Tempeh by Lablascovegmenu on Visual hunt / CC BY

These are soy-based food and excellent meat replacement. Fried Tempe and tahu (tofu) are very delicious, and a lot of warungs and restaurants serving local cuisine have this. If you never tried it, I can recommend it.

Gado Gado

Gado Gado vegetarian dish must try in Bali
Gado Gado by shankar s. on Visualhunt / CC BY

This dish is consist of boiled/steamed vegetables with some potatoes and eggs. On top of this, a peanut sauce which is good on almost everything. Some dishes lack vegetables, so if you want some vegetables, take Gado Gado.

Gorengan

Gorengan in Bali a must try snack
Gorengan anwarsiaksibuk on VisualHunt / CC BY

Like Bakso this as street food as it gets. It’s tempeh and tahu soaked in some flour-based mixture and than deep-fried. Delicious but also very oily.

How was your experience with the food from Bali?

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