Befor we talk about eating out in Ubud a few words about this place. The city of Ubud forms a kind of cultural and spiritual center of Bali. The town is located inland north of the capital Denpasar and the tourist centers in the southwest. But don’t take it wrong now because Ubud is very touristy. There are fancy restaurants and cafes, lots of shops and the traffic is enormous.
If you are looking for peace and quiet place, you should look for somewhere a little bit outside of Ubud. The surroundings are beautiful (see photos!). There are many rice terraces, beautiful houses, palm trees and rainforest. Here you can do nice walks, yoga and meditation. Although this is also possible in Ubud itself, I can hardly imagine that you can really come to rest there.
In my recent blog post about the Pemulan Bali Farm Cooking School, I have already shown one example of the many activities that can be done in and around Ubud. I once also took part in a herbal walk and afterwards the production of natural cosmetics and natural medicine. The main attraction besides the many temples and the palace is the monkey forest in the southern part of Ubud. I can especially recommend the part around the “Holy Spring Temple”. At the entrance to this part of the forest there’s a mighty, ancient tree with innumerable aerial roots and below it flows a small river through a gorge.
Would you like to cook Balinese yourself? Then I can highly recommend the classes at the Pemulan Bali Farm Cooking School. They are suitable for meat eaters as well as vegetarians and vegans. You can book the morning course including a market visit directly here. Or would you prefer the afternoon course from 12:15 pm – 6:45 pm? You can find many more cooking classes in Bali and around the world via Cookly*.
Eating out in Ubud
Unfortunately, I can only show you a small selection because the number of restaurants in Ubud is very large and the spectrum as well. So I picked out a few places that I liked and I’ll also show you one or two restaurants that looked promising, but then could not keep up with the expectations. If available, I listed the website, the address and opening hours of the place. In any case you get at least the location via Google Maps.
Have you ever been to Ubud? And if so, what are your experiences eating out in Ubud? Share it with us in the comments!
I would like to roughly divide the restaurants into three categories. The Warungs are usually simpler restaurants with predominantly Balinese cuisine and prices here are often very low. You will probably meet locals there which basically is a good sign for the quality. Ubud also has a strong presence in stylish, trendy restaurants with predominantly “healthy” cuisine. This category includes the Bali Buda, the Clear Café and the Mudra Café. The prices here are very high for Balinese standards, but still cheap for western ones. The third category are the typical tourist restaurants, where you get for example pizza or Mexican food. I would also classify the Gedong Sisi Warung in this group. Although it offers mainly local dishes, it is very much geared towards tourists. By the way, the category 2 as well because in general locals can’t afford the food there.
Through discussions with Balinese people we have learned that the hourly wage is at an average of 20-30 thousand indonesian rupees. A coffee or a small beer costs between 25 and 35 thousand rupees in most restaurants or cafes. If you compare this with Germany, it would be like a coffee would cost 12 euros.
Don’t be surprised if the bill is higher in the end than the sum of the individual prices. Often taxes and a service charge come on top of it. Usually you can find out at the bottom of the menu whether prices are inclusive or exclusive the extra charges.
There are branches of Bali Buda in Ubud, Batubulan, Sanur, Bukit, Kerobokan and Canggu. Eating out in Ubud very often is about healthy food whatever this means in the end. Bali Buda definitely belongs to this category but more about their food a little bit later. In Ubud they’ve also got a shop just around the corner from the restaurant on the main street. A great variety of healthy food is sold there and among other things, they’ve got a large selection of bread and pastries (mostly gluten-free). For Balinese standards, such a hip shop is of course unaffordable and even I found it relatively expensive there at least in contrast to the restaurant.
Bali Buda is, as well as practically all the following restaurants, designed for tourists and for western terms, the food is reasonably priced. According to their own information, the ingredients come from local organic farms and the bread is homemade. The mission is to offer the best that can be found to people who are looking for the best to feed themselves and their families.
Bali Buda’s menu is designed in the form of a newspaper, which also provides much worth knowing. You are welcome to take a copy home with you.
It starts with the all-day breakfast that has the focus on healthy dishes with lots of fruits on one side and egg dishes on the other side. It goes on with a large selection of sandwiches, sweet and savory food from their own bakery and of course smoothie bowls which can’t be missing nowadays. Next there are a lot of salads, soups, a few burgers and pasta dishes, but also Indonesian food like Gado-Gado and Soto Ayam and even Italian style pizza. The declaration is limited to the following three signs: wheat-free, gluten-free and vegan options available.
The drinks section is full of healthy juices, shakes and smoothies but of course you can also order coffee or tea. As a welcome drink, you automatically get a glass of flavored water.
What did we have?
We’ve been to Bali Buda twice for breakfast. On the photos you can see the avocado smash. First, the vegan version with crispy tofu and then the one with poached egg. The third photo shows the “Supercharger Smoothie Bowl” with banana, organic peanut butter, oatmeal, dates and coconut. We drank fresh juices and coffee along with that. Incidentally, I drank my first bali coffe in Bali Buda which is prepared the same way as Turkish or Greek coffee. That means the coffee grounds stay in the cup and in the case of Bali Buda in the pot.
Many buildings in Bali are open-plan. They have a roof but often no or only partial exterior walls which also applies to many restaurants. In the case of Bali Buda in Ubud one sits on the covered roof terrace of a house. I want to let you know that although there are fans in most places due to the open design you usually won’t have air conditioning.
Info – Bali Buda Ubud
Address: Jl. Jembawan 1, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
The Clear Café is certainly one of the coolest restaurants in Ubud. Before entering you have to leave your shoes outside. Incidentally, this is a common practice in Bali when you enter a house but for restaurants that’s rather unusual. Then you go through a round wooden revolving door which reminded me of a Hobbit house. Inside the building, which is open on two sides, a lot of natural materials were used. Handrails are made of twisted branches, for example. On the left side there is a long pond with fish. You either sit at a normal table or on cushions at low tables or on sofas.
Food and drinks
The selection in Clear Café is large and I suggest to take your time browsing through the menu! Since there are very few standard dishes, I personally had to read a lot to understand what’s in all the drinks and food. That’s how I found out from which region of Bali individual ingredients are sourced.
The beverage selection alone is stunning. There is filtered flavored water, ice tea, hot drinks from cocoa to espresso, shakes, juices, smoothies, power drinks and more.
Breakfast can be divided into three areas. Cereals, pancakes and egg dishes. From 11 o’clock you can order from the lunch and dinner menu. There should be something for everyone here. It offers soups, sandwiches, wraps, salads and small dishes. “World Flavors” includes food from Indonesia, India, Thailand, Mexico and the Middle East. From the latter one comes the Dragon Bowl on the first photo and on the third picture you can see the Indian Golden Temple curry with saffron rice and mango chutney. The menu continues with “Clear’s Favorites” including sushi, seafood, pasta and a variety of other dishes followed by “Raw & Macro”, “Cool Kids” dishes for kids, loads of side dishes and a nice selection of desserts.
The labeling of the dishes consits of the following: V for vegetarian, Ve for vegan, VO for can be veganized, thumbs up for Clear’s favorites, Nf for nutfree and a chili pepper for spicy. For allergies, it is best to contact the service staff.
Info – Clear Café
Address: Jl. Hanoman No.8, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Although I’ve only been here once, it has become one of my absolute favorites in Ubud. The photo of the Macchu Picchu Bowl says it all, right? It was very delicious but the avocado toast was also very tasty and the coffee pretty good.
The Mudra Café is very small and if you don’t look carefully, you might easily walk past it. If I understood correctly, it only accommodates 15 people. In exchange it is a very cosy place and has a relaxed atmosphere. Mudra Café is located in a quiet side street and through the green curtain of plants it is additionaly shielded from traffic. The flower decoration on one of the steps that you can see on one of the pictures says it all. Everything is done and made with love here and therefore the service staff is also very friendly.
Info – Mudra Café
Address: Jl. Goutama Sel. No.22, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Warungs are basically the classic Balinese restaurants where mainly traditional dishes are cooked. Of course, that’s not always true. The Gedong Sisi also offers Chinese food, as well as pasta, pizza and some other international food. It is not as cheap as most other warungs where you usually get a main course for 20,000 – 40,000 rupees (about 1 to 3 euros). This is probably due to its location in the main street near the palace and opposite the market where many tourists are around.
What did we get?
Nevertheless, we ate well at Gedong Sisi and comparatively cheap. First of all, we took advantage of the happy hour and drank a mojito as an aperitif. But I tell you when it comes to cocktails, Bali is generally not a good place. If you want to drink alcohol I recommend to stick to beer! The best known domestic brand is Bintang. As a starter we had Lumpia Sayur (spring roll with vegetables) which was delicious and a pretty good start. As main course José had Nasi Campur which is a compilation of Indonesian dishes. It comprised beef stew, Balinese chicken fricassee, minzed chicken satay, Balinese mixed vegetables, sambal sauce and steamed rice. I had a vegetarian curry with rice dumplings.
In contrast to the hip and healthy restaurants Gedong Sisi Warung has almost no explicit vegan dishes, but many vegetarian dishes can easily be made vegan. In most cases it is enough to tell the staff to leave out the eggs. Incidentally, this includes the typical Indonesian dishes Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng, which are made with eggs in the traditional version.
The atmosphere is – as you can see on one of the pictures – a bit more beautiful than in ordinary warungs and since the restaurant is, as I said, located in the main street, it is well visited.
Info – Gedong Sisi Warung
Address: Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Opening hours: Mon – Sun 9 am – 11 pm
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We ended up here more by chance while looking for another restaurant. The Lazy Cats looks very cool and combines art and cuisine. Just looking at it can make you feel like you are in Berlin because of its style. As you know, there is a lot to argue about art, but unfortunately their art of cooking did not convince us. The Lazy Cats is probably more suitable for a relaxed coffee or cool drink and more the place for cozy talks or a vernissage but I can’t recommend it for eating out in Ubud.
Our choice of food
What you see on the following pictures are the BBQ Tempe Burger and the Cheeseadilla.
Info – Lazy Cats
Address: Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
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