Everything about Bali will invigorate your senses. The sights, sounds, smells and especially the food. There are so many wonderful dishes it’s difficult to narrow down the best eats in Bali. Whatever you choose to do on this famous Indonesian island, one thing’s for sure: A visit to Bali isn’t complete unless you try the cuisine. For those with an adventurous palette, Bali has amazing night markets, warungs (food stands), as well as world-famous fruit vendors.
The island’s residents are primarily Hindu and their culinary dishes are somewhat distinct from the rest of Indonesia. Unlike the rest of the country, Bali’s food has unique herbs, spices and ingredients. Most meals include fresh vegetables, fish or meat, and rice accompanies most dishes. Like most Hindu cuisine, beef is rarely used.
Here are some dishes you should sample while you’re in Bali. You can try them everywhere from the small warungs to high-end restaurants.
This dish is so popular that many warungs only specialize in babi guling (suckling pig). Before the pig is roasted, it’s rubbed with turmeric and then stuffed with a variety of spices like lemongrass, shallots, chili, more turmeric, garlic, coriander, shrimp paste and more. After a slow roast over an open fire, the crispy skin is removed and the juicy meat is cut and served with the flavorful stuffing. Balinese usually eat this dish with rice, fresh vegetables and sambal (described below).
A traditional Balinese dish, lawar is made of finely chopped meat, veggies and coconut mixed with tasty spices. Blood from the meat is added to the spices for extra flavor. Locals like to pair this dish with Babi Guling. Don’t mind if we do.
This beloved traditional meal is made with garlic and spice-stuffed duck, which is then wrapped in coconut tree bark and slow-roasted or steamed. Locals like to eat this dish with plecing kangkong (spinach leaves), crispy peanuts and sambal. Bon appetit!
Sate lembat is seasoned chicken or pork that’s been barbecued on a skewer. It’s usually found in street food markets and warungs served with rice and soy or peanut sauce.
Ikan bakar is charcoal-grilled fish seasoned with a spice-filled marinade. You dip it in a sauce of sweet soy sauce, lime and butter. The fish is wrapped in banana leaves and grilled. Ikan bakar is a staple at street food markets and warungs and is super tasty.
Sambal matah is a raw ingredient salad including lemongrass, shallots, garlic, kaffir lime leaves and ginger. It’s flavored with shrimp paste, chili dressing and mixed with chicken, meat or seafood. Yes, please.
Maybe you're the type to play with your food before you eat it—no judgment here! In fact, we're all for it. In our opinion, one of the best ways to experience a culture is through food. So let the locals lead you through culinary experiences where you can get your hands dirty!
The other cooking class also starts at a traditional market, where you’ll learn about the exotic produce and spices used in everyday Balinese kitchens. Next, you’ll be welcomed into a Balinese family compound where you’ll learn about the family structure and traditions. You’ll finish the class in the kitchen participating in a hands-on Balinese cooking experience.
Coffee brewing workshop
Indonesia’s coffee is world-famous and Bali is quickly becoming Asia’s coffee capital, and some of TrovaTrip’s Bali itineraries also offer a coffee brewing workshop! In this workshop, you’ll sample a variety of coffee and learn about the farm-to-cup production. After teaching you about the origins and roasting techniques of specific coffee beans, knowledgeable baristas will walk you through the brewing process. Cool beans, no?
Bali, here we come!
Between the scenery in Bali and the food, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time. If you’d like to learn more about travel in Bali, go here. We hope you’ll try the dishes we mentioned above while touring Bali. Go ahead and take your palette on an unforgettable culinary adventure and have the time of your life doing it.