15 Best Balinese Food to Try: A Culinary Journey through Flavors and Traditions

Bali, with its rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, offers a delightful culinary experience that tantalizes the taste buds and reflects the island’s vibrant traditions. Balinese cuisine is a harmonious blend of aromatic spices, fresh ingredients, and traditional cooking techniques, creating a diverse range of dishes that cater to every palate. Embark on a culinary journey and savor these must-try Balinese foods during your visit to the “Island of the Gods.”

1. Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng, or fried rice, is a beloved Indonesian dish and a staple in Balinese cuisine. Made with steamed rice stir-fried with a medley of vegetables, eggs, and aromatic spices, it is often served with a choice of chicken, shrimp, or tofu. Nasi Goreng is a flavorful and satisfying meal that showcases the essence of Balinese flavors.

2. Mie Goreng

Similar to Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng is a delightful dish of stir-fried noodles, seasoned with spices, vegetables, and your choice of protein. This savory noodle dish is a popular street food and a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

3. Babi Guling

Babi Guling, or suckling pig, is a traditional Balinese delicacy that epitomizes the island’s culinary heritage. The whole pig is marinated with a blend of spices, including turmeric, coriander, and lemongrass, and roasted on an open fire until the skin becomes crispy and golden. Babi Guling is typically served with rice and a variety of side dishes, making it a must-try dish for meat enthusiasts.

4. Ayam Betutu

Ayam Betutu is a flavorful Balinese dish made with chicken marinated in a mixture of traditional spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and slow-cooked until tender and aromatic. The result is a tender and succulent chicken dish infused with the flavors of Bali’s distinct spice blend.

5. Lawar

Lawar is a traditional Balinese salad made from finely chopped vegetables, coconut, and minced meat or fish, flavored with a rich blend of herbs and spices. This dish is both refreshing and bursting with flavors, representing the island’s culinary complexity.

6. Bebek Betutu

Bebek Betutu is a variation of Ayam Betutu, where duck is used instead of chicken. The duck is marinated and wrapped in banana leaves, then slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in tender and flavorful meat.

7. Sate Lilit

Sate Lilit is a unique Balinese satay made from minced meat, usually fish, chicken, pork, or beef, mixed with grated coconut, coconut milk, and a blend of spices. The mixture is then wrapped around bamboo sticks and grilled to perfection, creating a delicious and aromatic satay.

Pais lauk mas (pepes ikan mas), a carp fish in spices and herbs cooked in banana leaf package. A popular Sundanese cuisine. The specialty cooking of Ibu Sulastri, Rawasari, Central Jakarta.

8. Pepes Ikan

Pepes Ikan is a popular dish of fish fillets mixed with a rich blend of herbs and spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed or grilled. The banana leaves impart a distinct flavor to the fish, resulting in a fragrant and delectable dish.

9. Gado-Gado

Gado-Gado is a fresh and vibrant Balinese salad made from a mix of boiled vegetables, tofu, tempeh, and hard-boiled eggs, all topped with a mouthwatering peanut sauce. This dish is a perfect choice for vegetarians and those seeking a healthy and flavorful option.

10. Dadar Gulung

Dadar Gulung is a delightful Balinese dessert made of thin green pancakes filled with sweet coconut and palm sugar. The combination of soft, sweet coconut filling and the slightly savory pancake creates a heavenly dessert.

11. Klepon

Klepon is a beloved Balinese snack made from glutinous rice flour filled with liquid palm sugar and coated with grated coconut. The sweet and sticky texture of Klepon makes it a delightful treat that satisfies any sweet tooth.

12. Pisang Goreng

Pisang Goreng, or fried banana fritters, is a popular Balinese dessert or snack. Ripe bananas are coated in batter and deep-fried until golden and crispy, creating a delectable treat enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

13. Es Campur

Es Campur is a refreshing Balinese dessert made from a mix of shaved ice, sweetened condensed milk, various fruits, and jellies. This colorful and delightful dessert is a perfect way to cool down on a hot day.

14. Kopi Bali

To complete your culinary journey, don’t miss trying Kopi Bali, Balinese coffee. Bali is renowned for its flavorful coffee, and savoring a cup of aromatic Kopi Bali is a must for coffee enthusiasts.

15. Arak and Brem

For those looking to try traditional Balinese beverages, Arak and Brem are two iconic choices. Arak is a local distilled spirit made from palm sap, while Brem is a sweet fermented rice wine. Both beverages offer a taste of Bali’s authentic drinking culture.

Embark on a culinary adventure and explore the rich and diverse flavors of Balinese cuisine. From savory dishes to delectable desserts and traditional beverages, each bite and sip will take you on a gastronomic journey through the heart of the “Island of the Gods.”


  1. Is Balinese food spicy?
    • Yes, Balinese food is known for its use of aromatic spices, and some dishes can be quite spicy. However, the level of spiciness can be adjusted to suit individual preferences.
  2. Are vegetarian options available in Balinese cuisine?
    • Yes, Balinese cuisine offers a wide range of vegetarian options. Dishes like Gado-Gado, Lawar, and various vegetable-based curries cater to vegetarians.
  3. What are some popular places to try Balinese food?
    • You can find Balinese food in local warungs (small eateries), restaurants, and hotels throughout the island. Ubud and Seminyak are popular areas known for their diverse culinary scenes.
  4. Can I find halal food in Bali?
    • Yes, Bali offers halal food options at several restaurants and warungs that cater to Muslim travelers and residents.
  5. What is the typical mealtime in Bali?
    • Balinese mealtime can vary, but lunch is usually served around noon, and dinner is typically enjoyed after sunset.
  6. Is it customary to tip at restaurants in Bali?
    • Tipping is not mandatory in Bali, but it is appreciated as a gesture of satisfaction for good service. Some restaurants may include a service charge, so check the bill before tipping.
  7. Are there food markets in Bali worth exploring?
    • Yes, Bali’s traditional food markets, such as Pasar Badung in Denpasar and Ubud Market, offer a fascinating glimpse into local ingredients and fresh produce.
  8. Can I find international cuisine in Bali?
    • Yes, Bali is home to a diverse culinary scene, and you can find restaurants offering a wide range of international cuisines, including Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and more.
  9. Is tap water safe to drink in Bali?
    • It is recommended to drink bottled or filtered water in Bali to avoid any potential health issues. Most hotels and restaurants provide bottled water for guests.
  10. What are some must-try desserts in Bali?
    • Some must-try Balinese desserts include Dadar Gulung (sweet coconut-filled pancakes), Klepon (palm sugar-filled rice cakes), and Pisang Goreng (fried banana fritters).
  11. Can I try traditional Balinese cooking classes?
    • Yes, many cooking schools and resorts in Bali offer traditional Balinese cooking classes, where you can learn to prepare authentic dishes using local ingredients and techniques.
  12. Are there any specialty dishes or delicacies unique to specific regions in Bali?
    • Yes, certain regions in Bali may have their specialty dishes or delicacies, reflecting the local ingredients and culinary traditions of that area.
  13. Can I find vegan and gluten-free options in Balinese cuisine?
    • Yes, Bali’s culinary scene caters to various dietary preferences, and you can find vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options at many restaurants and eateries.

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