What to Eat in Bali

Most people plan their first trip to Bali for the sun and beaches but they should definitely go back for the amazing food. Known for its surf worthy beaches, spiritual retreats and endless outdoor activities, Bali is also a foodie heaven if you know where to look.

1. Suckling Pig (Babi Guling)

Probably Bali’s most iconic dish, babi guling (also known as suckling pig) is one nose-to-tail delicacy that you have to try. It’s one of the Island’s most famous local dish, where pork is rubbed with turmeric, stuffed with a spice paste and then roasted on a spit over coconut husks or wood until super tender.

It’s usually served with rice, pork sausage, stewed vegetables, huge cuts of spice-rubbed, spit-roasted meat and the crispiest, crunchiest and most scrumptiously flavoured skin – all of which has been cooked to tender-perfection from hours upon hours of slow-roasting.

Recommended place in Bali:

a) Babi Guling Bu Dayu - Jl. Raya Kuta No.116, Kuta 19.00 – 02.00

b) Babi Guling Pak Malen - Jl. Sunset Road No.554, Seminyak, Kuta 08.30 – 19.00

c) Babi Guling Selingling Cepaka - Jl. Desa Cepaka No.33, Cepaka 16.00 – 23.00

d) Babi Guling Ibu Oka – Jl. Suweta Gianyar, Ubud 11.00 – 18.00 / Jl. Raya Mas, Ubud

11.00 – 18.00 / Jl. Tegal Sari No.2, Ubud 11.00 – 18.00

2. Nasi Campur

A local favourite, Nasi Campur means “mixed rice” is a dish you will find on most menus in Bali which consists bit-of-everything. It features a scoop of white rice accompanied by small portions of a number of other dishes, including meats, vegetables, peanuts, eggs, tofu, and fried shrimp. As there is no rule to how you make this dish, it will never taste the same twice. That is what makes it so fun – you never know exactly what you’re going to get.

You can find nasi campur in other parts of Indonesia as well but what makes nasi campur in Bali distinctive is the typical spices that are used in many Balinese dishes. For the best nasi campur experience, look for the buffet-style warungs that let you point to what you want to try from the glass cabinets.

Recommended place in Bali:

a) Nasi Campur Ayam Bali Sukreni - Jl. Kediri, Kuta 07.30 – 23.00

b) Warung makan Bu Kadek Wati - Jl. Gatot Subroto Barat, Kota Denpasar 07.30 – 14.30 (Mon – Sat)

c) Warung Wardani - Jl. Yudistira No.2, Kota Denpasar 08.00 – 16.00

d) Warung Nasi Campur Bu Made - Jl. Setia Budi No.20, Kota Denpasar 07.00 – 23.00

3. Sate Lilit Ikan

We’ve all tried satay before – you can find them almost everywhere in Southeast Asia. But not everyone has had the pleasure of tasting traditional Balinese sate lilit ikan (fish satay). Skewered and spiced, minced fish is grilled over charcoal or an open fire and the result is a slightly sweet, slightly spicy and totally delicious morsel moulded around a lemongrass stalk or wooden stick. It’s best enjoyed with a healthy dose of sambal – naturally.

Recommended place in Bali:

a) Warung Wardani - Jl. Yudistira No.2, Kota Denpasar 08.00 – 16.00

b) Laka Leke Hideaway Restaurant - Jl. Nyuh Bojog No. 32 Ubud 09.00 – 23.00

c) Sate Lilit Be Paseh – Jl. Pemuda III No.24, Denpasar Selatan 09.00 – 22.00

d) Warung Nasi Ayam Ibu Oki - Jl. Siligita No.27, Nusa Dua 08.00 – 21.00

4. Bebek Betutu

Unlike some of the other dishes on this list, Betutu is 100% Balinese and is probably one of the more unique dishes in Bali’s must-eat dish. Its steamed or roasted duck (bebek) in a rich bumbu betutu spice blend. Betutu is a specific spice mix of shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, wild ginger, galangal, candle nuts, chili peppers, shrimp paste, and peanuts all finely ground using a mortar and pestle.