Bali Food

The scoop

Bali has an array of food options especially in the touristy spots like Seimiyak and Ubud.  From tradition Balinese to Western dishes you won’t go hungry.  Portion sizes are much smaller compared to the US, especially meat portions.  Also, we recommend steering clear of the Western dishes when eating at the local mom and pop joints.  They are great at cooking Balinese and Indonesian dishes but do not usually have the western food down.

Indonesian and Balinese dishes

The dish that you will see everywhere for any time of day is fried rice with a fried egg on top.

bali rice and egg with chicken skewers

Another staple is chicken or pork satay with peanut sauce.

chicken in peanut sauce with veggies

They also do a lot of curries, but do not expect a creamy curry they have more of a soup consistency but are still pretty tasty.

yellow curry

red curry

They also have a lot of fish dishes with rice. Barracuda, Mahi Mahi, lobster, you name it.

mahi mahi fish plate

Be careful because a lot of them come with the head.

lobster plate

They also have meat dishes served with rice and mixed vegetables.

chicken and vegies plate


We averaged ~$17 USD per meal over the course of the month in Bali.  We ate at some nicer places and a lot of local cheaper options.  We did not try much street food.  The trendy restaurants in Seminyak or Ubud will run you $10 to $15 USD a plate.  If the restaurant looks expensive for Bali, than it usually is.  When we went to the local mom and pop joints we were closer to around $3-$6 USD per plate.  Meat tends lean on the more expensive side and usually comes in small portions.

Western food usually runs $8 to $10 USD per plate and can be a gamble on the tastiness, usually on the losing side.  I have heard people talk about getting street food or other inexpensive restaurants for $1 USD per plate, but we did not see a lot of it.   You have to really look for the cheap local places to eat.


Bintang is the beer of Bali and runs you from $1 USD at grocery stores to up $5 USD at the trendier restaurants.  The taste is similar to an American pale lager, like Heineken, and has an alcoholic strength of around 4.7%.

bitang beer

Arak is their local liquor they make in Bali.  It can be made from a variety of ingredients such as rice, fruit or coconut flowers, but in Bali sugarcane is mainly used. Also called the “rum of Indonesia”, be careful when buying and consuming arak as if it is not brewed correctly it can contain methanol, making the drink potentially fatal.  Only drink Arak at reputable resorts and bars.  We tried it and the Arak with honey and lime is particularly delicious and are usually not expensive from $3 to $5 USD.

bali alcohol

What now?

How do you plan your Bali vacation?  Check out the Bali 14 Day Itinerary

What are the Bali highlights?  Check out the 10 best things to do in and around Bali

How do you travel in Bali? Check out the Getting to, from, and around Bali

Where do you stay in Bali?  Check out Lodging in Bali

Where do you eat in Bali?  Check out Food in Bali