WHAT IS THE MOST FAMOUS FOOD IN BALI? WHAT TRADITIONAL DISHES SHOULD I TRY IN BALI? ANY VEGETARIAN DISH IN BALI?
Bali, the Island of the Gods, is not only known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture but also for its delicious traditional cuisine.
Balinese food is a blend of rich flavors, aromatic herbs, and fresh ingredients. We absolutely love the food in Bali and Indonesia as a whole actually.
If you are visiting Bali soon and you wonder which dishes you should try, then read this post. We will take a mouthwatering journey through some of the best traditional Balinese dishes that are sure to leave you craving for more.
MOST FAMOUS DISHES IN BALI
1. Nasi Goreng – Fried Rice Delight:
Let’s start with something easy to get you accustomed to one of the most famous dishes not only in Bali but in most places in South East Asia: NASI GORENG!
Nasi Goreng means fried rice, and it is a staple dish found in every corner of the island. Cooked with a mix of fresh vegetables, prawns, chicken, or beef, and seasoned with aromatic herbs and sweet soy sauce, Nasi Goreng is a true explosion of flavors.
It is also one of the cheapest dish whenever you go to a local restaurant. So if you are traveling on a budget, you may eat many Nasi Goreng during your trip!
WHERE TO EAT NASI GORENG IN BALI?
Lilla Warung is a well know restaurants in Sanur for serving one of the best Nasi Goreng! We love the modernized Balinese setting, the exposed framework, the decor of bricks and jugs.
2. Ayam Betutu – The Royal Balinese Chicken:
A whole chicken is marinated with a rich blend of spices, including turmeric, ginger, galangal, garlic, and shallots, then wrapped in banana leaves and slow-cooked for hours in a traditional underground oven. The result is a tender, succulent chicken infused with an unforgettable medley of flavors.
WHERE TO EAT THE BEST AYAM BETUTU IN BALI?
Warung Ayam Betutu Pak Sanur has been established many years ago and remain a reference when it comes to this amazing dish! Don’t expect anything fancy at this place, as it’s rather simple but traditional.
The place is often full, which is a good sign!
3. Babi Guling – The Famous Balinese Suckling Pig:
A celebration in itself, Babi Guling is a must-try dish during your visit to Bali. You will sign everywhere written “Babi Guling”.
The entire pig is seasoned with turmeric, coriander, lemongrass, and other spices, then spit-roasted to crispy perfection. Served with rice, lawar (a mix of vegetables, coconut, and minced meat), and spicy sambal.
Babi Guling is one of the most popular traditional dishes in Bali! A must-try.
WHERE TO ENJOY BABI GULING IN BALI?
Warung Ibu Oka. This traditional restaurant is well known for serving one of the best Babi-guling on the island. Located in Ubud, this place attracts many people every day! The suckling pig is served in several preparations in small wicker baskets lined with food paper.
4. Bebek Betutu – Flavorful Balinese Duck:
For duck lovers, Bebek Betutu is a culinary masterpiece that cannot be missed. Similar to Ayam Betutu, but with duck, which is marinated with a potent blend of spices and then slow-cooked in banana leaves. The result is a tender and intensely flavorful dish that will leave you craving for more.
Bebek betutu comes with green vegetables and sambal, a red chili paste.
WHERE TO ENJOY A BEBEK BETUTU IN BALI?
Cafe Wayan in Ubud is worth a visit if you are visiting Bali! Gazebos are scattered throughout a lush garden dotted with delicate flowers, ponds and fountains. Come on Sunday evening, for the Balinese buffet which, in addition to the duck, allows you to learn about many local specialties.
5. Lawar – A Traditional Balinese Salad:
Lawar is a unique Balinese salad made from a mix of finely chopped vegetables, coconut, minced meat (usually pork or chicken), and rich herbs and spices. Available in various combinations, Lawar offers a burst of flavors and textures that showcase the essence of Balinese cuisine.
WHERE TO ENJOY THE BEST LAWAR IN BALI?
Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku. Hard to find more traditional than this small restaurant near Ubud. The wood and stone pavilion hides a dining room where regulars flock to taste again and again the only dish served here: a nasi capur and lawar.
6. Sate Lilit – The delicious Balinese Satay:
Unlike the traditional satay found in other parts of Indonesia, Sate Lilit is made from minced meat (often fish, chicken, or pork) mixed with grated coconut, coconut milk, and a medley of spices.
The mixture is then wrapped around bamboo sticks and grilled to perfection, offering a juicy and aromatic satay experience. One of the ultimate favorite traditional dishes in Bali for locals and tourists!
WHERE TO EAT THE BEST SATE LILIT IN BALI?
A Seminyak institution, Made’s Warung has been serving Balinese cuisine since 1969.
This iconic restaurant offers a diverse menu that caters to all tastes, with a dedicated section for traditional Balinese dishes. Try the iconic Ayam Betutu (spiced chicken), Sate Lilit, or the famous Nasi Goreng (fried rice).
With its lively atmosphere, live music, and delicious food, Made’s Warung provides a memorable dining experience.
7. Gado gado, the vegetarian option
Vegetarians’ favorite dish consists of crunchy green vegetables (beans, cabbage, bean sprouts…), hard-boiled egg, tofu, grilled shallots and two typical Indonesian elements.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean paste and lontong comes in the form of a small pressed rice cake cooked in a banana leaf. This mixed salad is generously drizzled with a peanut, chilli, garlic, tamarind and palm sugar sauce. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!
WHERE TO ENJOY A GADO GADO?
The chic and bohemian canteen of Ulekan in Canggu.
Ulekan hides in a pavilion of joglo architecture, traditionally reserved for Javanese aristocrats. This place is beautiful and worth spending a nice romantic evening in Bali! Ulekan serves some of the best traditional Balinese dishes including Gado Gado!
8. Grilled fish with Sambal matah: an unmissable dish in Bali
Bali is an island, and like many islands in the archipelago, many Balinese were fishermen before Bali opened up to tourism. Fish is therefore one of the basics of Balinese cuisine, and it is very easy to find very good ones on the island.
The typical Bali dish when it comes to fish is both simple and extremely effective. All you have to do is grill a fish (on the barbecue) and accompany it with the Sambal Matah.
This is one of our favorite dishes in Bali!
WHERE TO EAT GRILLED FISH IN BALI?
One of our favorite places to eat seafood is at Sardine in Seminyak. The food is excellent and the setting absolutely beautiful. They do serve modern dishes though but with a traditional touch!
IN CONCLUSION ABOUT THE BEST TRADITIONAL DISHES IN BALI
Bali’s traditional food is a celebration of the island’s culture and history, each dish a reflection of its vibrant and diverse community.
Exploring the best traditional Balinese food is not only a culinary adventure but a journey into the heart and soul of this beautiful island.
So, when you visit Bali, be sure to treat yourself to these delightful dishes and immerse yourself in the gastronomic delights that this paradise has to offer. Selamat makan! (Enjoy your meal!)