Top Foods to Eat In Bali

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Bali has a huge variety of cafes and restaurants, serving both Indonesian and international food. For better or worse, some American chains have established a presence here.....
Bali has a huge variety of cafes and restaurants, serving both Indonesian and international food. For better or worse, some American chains have established a presence here, although almost exclusively confined to the southern tourist areas. You will see KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Starbucks. Interestingly, the menus are often highly adapted to the local tastes. The menu at Pizza Hut looks nothing like one you find in western countries. Here we listed some best native foods to eat in Bali.
Try the smaller local restaurants rather than touristy ones; the food is better and cheaper. Be sure to try the ubiquitous Indonesian dishes nasi goreng (fried rice), nasi campur (pronounced nasi champur, steamed rice with various vegetables and meats), and mie goreng (fried noodles). These dishes should rarely cost more than Rp 25,000 and are often considerably cheaper.

Foods to Eat in Bali

Actual Balinese food is common on the island but it has made few inroads in the rest of the country due to its emphasis on pork, which is anathema to the largely Muslim population in the rest of the country.

Authentic Bali Cuisine

Babi guling — roast suckling pig. A large ceremonial dish served with  rice that is usually ordered several days in advance, but also often  available at night market stalls and selected restaurants. A very  notable outlet for babi guling is Ibu Oka’s in Ubud. A pilgrimage that  needs to be made by many, thanks to Anthony Bourdain, but the  numerous stalls around the island also offer an equally delightful    experience for half the price of Ibu Oka’s.

Satay lilit – minced seafood on a lemon grass stick, grilled over  charcoal

Bebek betutu — literally “darkened duck”, topped with a herb paste  and roasted in banana leaves over charcoal. The same method can  also be used for chicken, resulting in ayam betutu.

Lawar — covers a range of Balinese salads, usually involving thinly chopped vegetables, minced meat, coconut and spices. Green beans  and chicken are a particularly common combination.

Sate lilit — minced seafood satay, served with wrapped around a twig  of lemongrass.

Urutan — Balinese spicy sausage, made from pork.

Other local foods

Ayam panggang bumbu bawang mentah — Grilled chicken with  sliced shallots, chillies and lime

Ayam panggang bumbu merah — Grilled chicken with red chili and  shrimp paste sauce

Ayam tutu — Steamed chicken cooked with Balinese herbs and  spices

Tum ayam/ketopot — Sliced chicken mixed with herbs and spices  and steamed in banana Leaves

Ikan kakap bakar bumbu terasi — Grilled snapper in local hot spices

Sudang lepet — Salted dry fish

Pepes ikan laut — Sliced fish mixed with herbs and spices grilled and served in a banana leaf

Pelecing kangkung — Water convolvus with shrimp paste and lime

Pelecing paku — Fern tips with shrimp paste and lime

Budget for Your Dining in Bali:  A meal in a basic tourist-oriented restaurant will be around Rp 20,000-50,000/person. In a local restaurant or warung the same meal might be about Rp 15,000 or less. Simple warungs sell nasi bungkus for as little as Rp 3,000-5,000. One very reliable option is nasi campur for about Rp 10,000-15,000. Note that rice is often served at ambient temperature with the accompanying food much hotter, this is common practice in Indonesia.

Check our other post on Relax in the midst of best Spas at Bali

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