Just like Indonesian food, Balinese food is incredibly tasty and authentic. With a wealth of spices, herbs and natural resources growing abundantly across the island, there is no doubt that a meal of a traditional Balinese dish is a promise of a thousand amazing flavours, textures and sensations.
If you’re ever in Bali and you want to indulge in some honest-to-goodness Balinese home-cooked fare, then you must take some time to visit these popular warungs that serve the most decadent dishes that are unrivalled. Most of these warungs have been around for decades, using recipes handed down from generation-to-generation and therefore producing truly one-of-a-kind dining experience. You can’t leave the island without tasting some of these!
Tip: You’ll know the food will be amazing when you see large crowds of locals queuing or eating at any particular warung. You’ll know for sure that the food is good when the locals agree!
- Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku
There are plenty of warungs that serves Nasi Ayam or ‘Chicken Rice’ here in Bali, which is a similar dish to Nasi Campur but Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku in Ubud is considered to be one of the island’s favourites. You can enjoy a portion of steamed rice with many delicious side dishes such as spiced chicken strips covered in sauces, deep-fried crackling chicken entrails, sweet-boiled eggs, chicken satay, stir-fried snake beans with shredded coconut and don’t forget to add to your dish one or more of the warung’s famous sambals! You’ll be sure to leave satisfied and dreaming for more.
Jalan Raya Kedewatan No. 18 Ubud | Ph: (0361) 974795
Photo by @veritasliberatis.
- Sate Plecing Arjuna
Throughout your travels here in Indonesia, you must have already tried the famous Indonesian satay. How about trying some delicious Balinese-style satay too? You can find these at Warung Sate Plecing Arjuna, in Denpasar. Here you’ll find Balinese-style chicken and beef satay that are marinated with a mix of herbs and spices, giving it a distinctly sweet taste. A portion of satay comes with a bowl of delicious meatball soup. If you’ve tried the Indonesian satay before, which come with spicy peanut sauce, the satay here at Warung Arjuna is served with a sweet & spicy plecing sauce, the warung’s very own secret recipe which contains tomatoes, chillies and fermented shrimp paste.
Jl. Arjuna No. 47, Denpasar | Ph: 0878 6778 9002
Photo source: Flickr. Credit: The Leonheart
- Babi Guling Ibu Oka
Babi Guling, or ‘Suckling Pig’ has become somewhat a culinary icon for the island of Bali. A whole young pig is stuffed with herbs, spices and vegetables before it is slowly roasted over a pit of fire containing coals and coconut husks, which gives it that very distinctive flavour. It’s a definite must-try if you enjoy or eat pork, and one of the most famous warungs for a dish of Babi Guling is the legendary Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka in Ubud. A portion will come with steamed rice, pork meat, crispy pork skin, lawar (vegetables and coconut cooked with pig’s blood), pork crackers, pork sate and sambal. Do remember not to overeat though, as too much pork can increase your cholesterol levels!
Jalan Tegal Sari No. 2, Ubud | Ph: 0361 976345
Photo by @alvin222.
- Warung Mak Beng
At almost any time of the day, there will be a long queue outside of Warung Mak Beng in Sanur. Most people say that they can’t get enough of what is available here.
Warung Mak Beng has been pleasing diners since the 1940s and it serves a single set menu of steamed rice with a generous portion of fried tuna or mackerel with its signature spicy chilli sambal as well as a delicious, spicy, and slowly-cooked fish soup filled with Balinese herbs and spices. The warung closes early and offers only a limited amount of dishes per day; get there early so you won’t miss out!
Jalan Hang Tuah No. 45 Sanur Kaja, Sanur | Ph: +62 361 282 633
Photo by @deliciousbali.
- Nasi Ayam Ibu Oki
If you’re in the Nusa Dua area and craving for some honest-to-goodness, satisfying and spicy chicken meal, then head here. The warung is located right opposite Hotel Santika in Nusa Dua and thanks to the big banner outside, it is easy to spot. Order a portion and it comes with steamed rice, ayam betutu, sate lilit, shredded chicken, fried chicken, vegetables, peanuts, sambal and Balinese boiled egg. If you’re not into spicy meals, simply choose the non-spicy version. Each portion will set you back IDR25,000.
Jl. Siligita Jl. Raya Nusa Dua Selatan, Nusa Dua
Photo by: trevallog.com
- Babi Guling Pak Malen
This is a great option for those who are staying around Seminyak and Sunset Road area. Pak Malen’s is so renowned that visitors from all over the world keep returning for their dish of authentic Balinese Babi Guling. Just like most Babi Guling warungs, a portion will get you steamed rice, pork meat, crispy pork skin, vegetables, pork sate and sambal. The warung serves limited portions per day so be sure to get here early before everything is sold out!
Jalan Sunset Road No.554, Seminyak
Photo by piggeeks.com
- Warung Ayam Betutu Men Tempeh
There’s plenty of delicious Ayam Betutu in South Bali but the next time you’re in West Bali, in particular the Gilimanuk area, don’t miss out on the chance to dine at the famous Warung Ayam Betutu Men Tempeh. The warung offers the most sought-after Balinese dish, Ayam Betutu, a steamed chicken marinated with a mix of Balinese spices and served with plecing kangkung or water spinach dish and fried peanuts. Most travellers are hypnotized by the succulent meat and its extremely spicy soup. The warung itself has been serving numerous plates of its Ayam Betutu since 1978. A portion of Ayam Betutu is priced at IDR 60K to IDR 115K, depending on the size of the chicken.
Terminal Lama Gilimanuk, Melaya, Jembrana | Ph: 0852 3844 4335
Photo by @deeana_dee on Instagram.