A Complete Guide to Vegetarian Food in Bali

One of the things I need to plan for before any trip is whether I will get vegetarian food in that place or if I should take ready-to-eat packets from home to survive. Being a vegetarian in many places is hard. I’ve had cases where I had to survive on apples and bread just because I hadn’t realised the concept of vegetarianism in many places isn’t the same as it is in India.

But Bali? I knew I was relatively in safe hands. Even so, if you are like me, this post is for you. I’ve compiled a list of all the best vegetarian food in Bali, some of the best restaurants I came across in Sanur, Ubud, Munduk, and Nusa Penida. So, here’s a vegetarian’s (almost-vegan’s) guide to surviving Bali.

Vegetarian Food in Bali

So here’s the deal – I maybe a picky eater, but I make it a point to try the local cuisine in any new place. I may like it enough to eat it throughout my stay there or I may resort to my ready-to-eat Indian food after a few days. Balinese cuisine was somewhere in the middle for me. I was eating nothing but Nasi Goreng for the first week of my stay there. Then had a series of bad experiences during my stay in Munduk which completely turned me off it for the last few days.

Let’s talk about the best local cuisine you can try while in Bali.

 

Vegetarian Balinese Cuisine

There are two main Vegetarian Indonesian dishes you need to try when you are in Bali – Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice) and Mie Goreng (Fried Noodles). I had Nasi Goreng majorly throughout my trip in Bali and loved it. It’s filling, and you get a side of veggies along with it. 

Many places won’t mention it in their menu, but will serve egg on top of a “Vegetarian” Nasi/Mie Goreng so just make sure you tell them you don’t want any egg. I usually go through my “No Egg, No Fish” mantra whenever I order and it has worked out for me in most places. Also, unless told otherwise, I would give the crackers a skip since they can be mostly shrimp/prawn/egg crackers.

Another one of Bali dishes to try is Sayur Urab – steamed vegetables with toasted coconut, mostly served with a side of rice. Gado Gado is an Indonesian salad made of veggies, tofu, egg and tempeh in peanut sauce. Make sure to get it without egg for a vegetarian option.

Places I recommend: Organica Fresh and Tasty Food in Nusa Penida, The Botanist in Munduk, Artotel in Sanur.

Local Bali Desserts to try

Dadar Gulung: Rolled Crepes filled with a coconut and palm sugar mixture. Usually colored green with padan leaves. This can contain egg, so check before ordering. 

Pisang Goreng are basically banana fritters and can be either bananas dipped in flour and fried or banana puree mixed in flour and fried. These tasted very much like the Mangalore Buns you get in Karnataka, India. 

Banana Crepes – again can be made with eggs so check before ordering. These are usually served with the coconut, palm sugar mixture and/or icecream.

 

Now when you want something other than Indonesian cuisine, here are the some more options for food in Bali for vegetarians.

Smoothie Bowls

If you are staying in Ubud, smoothie bowls can be found nearly in every street. I’ve had some of the best dragonfruit smoothie bowls, Acai bowls, which are resfreshing, filling and healthy here.

Places I recommend: Acai Queen in Ubud and Together in D&B Villa in Ubud.

Mexican

Surprisingly, I came across a lot of Vegan Mexican restaurants in Bali and had some of the tastiest dishes I’ve had the pleasure of having. From freshly baked Nachos, Seitan filled tacos to the freshest Guac, there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan options for you to choose from.

Places I recommend: Coco’s Vegetarian Mexican in Ubud.

Vegan Gelato & Icecreams

Coconut based desserts are popular in Bali and I found so many places serving vegan gelatos and icecreams made with coconut milk. Tukies with their coconut icecream with toasted coconut (YUM!) and Gelato Jedi with their variety of coconut milk based gelatos were an instant favorite.

Places I recommend: Tukies, Gelato Jedi in Ubud and Gelato by Massimo in Sanur.

Coffee

Coffee plantation tour is one of the main tourist activities in Bali and while I don’t recommend it, especially the ones which serve you the highly unethical Kopi Lewak coffee, I do think that the Indonesian coffee experience is one that should not be missed. There are plenty of better alternatives – there are great cafés all around Ubud that you can visit to try the famous Indonesian roast.

Places I recommend: Seniman Roasters in Ubud. Their Seniman Oat is something I still dream about to this day.

Italian

Ubud is a vegan paradise so I wasn’t too surprised to find delicious vegan pizzas here. Though a little heavy on the pocket, these are tasty and a no-brainer when you don’t know what to eat.

Places I recommend: Pizza Cult in Ubud.

Indian

One of the most vegetarian/vegan friendly cuisines in the world, you can find a lot of Indian vegetarian restaurants in Bali. I don’t last long before I start craving Indian, so suffice to say I tried a few Indian restaurants while in Bali. 

Places I recommend: Ganesha Ek Sanskriti in Sanur (The one in Ubud is not that great).

Coconuts… No, really.

We have covered coconut based foods, but what about actual coconuts? if you come to Bali and don’t have a coconut, have you really lived? These are HUGE, delicious and most importantly extremely cooling for the body in Bali’s hot tropical heat. Prices vary depending on the location, but when you are out sweating on the beach, it’s worth shelling out a bit extra cuz what’s screams vacation more than a coconut by the beach? 

Best Vegetarian/Vegan-friendly Restaurants in Bali

A cute doggo sleeps on the sofa beside me in a restaurant in Munduk
Sleepy doggo in The Botanist, Munduk

Vegetarian Restaurants in Ubud

  • Coco’s Vegetarian Mexican for surprisingly the best Mexican food I have tried anywhere. The owner is too sweet and friendly. We went there probably 4 times when we were there and he would always greet us with the widest smile.
  • Tukies and Gelato Jedi for dessert.
  • Acai Queen for smoothie bowls.
  • Seniman Roasters for the best coffee. Try their Seniman Oat while you are there.
  • Pizza Cult for some vegan Italian.
  • The restaurant, Together, in D&B Villa (where we stayed at for a few days) was also amazing and had the most amazing smoothie bowls. However, it’s a little out of the way from the main Ubud shopping streets.

Vegetarian Restaurants in Sanur

  • We were staying at Artotel in Sanur and the in-house restaurant there had some amazing vegetarian food.
  • Gelato by Massimo in Sanur always had the craziest queues whenever we passed by it. Had Gelato here twice – explained the queue.
  • Little Mars had a good variety of Vegetarian Indonesian dishes. Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng that we had here was really good.
  • Jalapeño is a tex mex restaurant in Sanur that always had a lot of crowd. They had good selection of vegetarian food that was good but nothing to sing praises about.
  • Ganesha Ek Sanskriti in Sanur is one of the best Indian vegetarian restaurant in Bali. Had the most amazing chole chat here – the kind I haven’t even had in India. 

Vegetarian Restaurants in Nusa Penida

  • There were a lot of vegetarian friendly restaurants that we found in Nusa Penida too.
  • Sunny cafe had good vegetarian options.
  • Organica Fresh and Tasty Food had some of the yummiest food on the island, though a little bit on the pricier side. We ended up eating here 3 times.
  • Indian food in Nusa Penida – not a lot of options but one can try Indian Food Chhoti Wala.

Vegetarian Restaurants in Munduk

  • Munduk is one place where I struggled a lot. The options are way less and since all the places are quite remote, we ended up eating at our hotel, The Winaposa, on both the nights. The restaurant here is highly rated for their non-vegetarian food. The vegetarian food is just ok; the desserts great.
  • The Botanist is AMAZING and a must visit after you have spent the day chasing waterfalls in Munduk. I had the cutest doggo come sit beside me while we ate here and it made my day.

Notes/Tips

  • Most people will understand when you ask for “Vegetarian” food in Bali, but be careful. When you see “vegetarian” in the menu, it may also include egg, so check before ordering.
  • In warungs,  you can say “saya vegetarian” which means “I am vegetarian” in balinese.
  • You can find good breads and muffins in the local supermarkets which can serve as quick breakfasts in the morning.
  • Google Maps and Happy Cow are two good places to search for vegetarian restaurants in Bali and the reviews are trustworthy.
  • You can also use apps like Grab and Gojek for food delivery.
  • The cheapest food can be found in “Warungs” (small eateries or their version of Balinese street food). But keep in mind that the number of vegetarian dishes in these warungs might be limited.

This post was last modified 4 days ago.

FAQs

  • What are some must-try vegetarian dishes in Bali?

    Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng, Gado Gado are some of the must-try vegetarian dishes in Bali.

  • Are there many vegetarian restaurants in Bali?

    Yes, it’s easy to find vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Bali, especially in the main tourist areas like Ubud and Seminyak.

  • Can I find organic and gluten-free vegetarian options in Bali?

    Yes, but mostly in the main tourst areas like Ubud.

  • Is it easy to find vegetarian options in non-vegetarian restaurants in Bali?

    Most restaurants list at least one or two vegetarian dishes in their menu. Many of the traditional dishes can also be turned vegetarian if you can ask them to skip egg and meat.

  • Are there any vegan-friendly cafes in Bali?

    There are plenty, especially around areas like Ubud where you will find plant-based smoothies, vegan drinks and desserts. 

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