Street Food in Bali - A Local's Guide to the Best of Balinese Cuisine

Bali is an adventurous foodie’s paradise. With vibrant dishes which have no parallels in the cuisine of any other country, the street food in Bali is a major tourist magnet. Street food in Bali and its markets are known for not only their scrumptious food but for the theatrical cooking styles which provide a feast for the eyes.

Here are some of the dishes you must try to truly get a taste of street food in Bali:

1. Babi Guling

Babi Guling, Street Food in Bali
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One of Bali’s most famous dishes, no trip is complete without trying the Babi Guling. It is a whole roast pig infused with herbs and spices. Most places serve it with a side of sticky rice, crispy skin and peanuts, making it a filling, wholesome meal. However, being a predominantly Muslim country, very few places in Bali serve this dish. The best of these are mentioned below.

Where to find it: Warung Babi Guling, Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai No.256, Sanur, Kec. Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali
Timings: 11 AM – 7 PM

2. Fish Head Soup

One of the lesser-known wonders of Balinese cuisine is the fish head soup. Served with rice and fried mackerel on the side, this soup is a delight for seafood lovers. While you may not have heard about this dish from your guide, fish head soup is a local treasure. The amazing, yet unique flavour of the soup is not a dish for the faint-hearted.

Where to find it: Warung Mak Beng, Jalan Hang Tuah No.45, Sanur Kaja, Denpasar Selatan, Sanur Kaja, Kec. Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali
Timings: 8 AM-10 PM

3. Nasi Campur

Nasi Campur, Street Food in Bali
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Nasi Campur stands for mixed rice in Indonesian and true to its moniker this wildly popular street food in Bali is served as rice mixed with vegetables, meat and eggs. A staple meal of many Southeast Asian countries, Nasi Campur, is prepared differently by almost every vendor. The night market in Bali is famous for the best Nasi Campur in the city.

Where to find it: Sindhu Night Market, Jl. Pungutan No.2, Sanur, Kec. Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali
Timings: 4 PM-10 PM

4. Jaje Bali

A blanket term for a variety of pastries and cakes sold in the night market, Jaje Bali is an embodiment of what Balinese cuisine stands for. Topped with grated coconut and a generous amount of palm sugar, these delicacies are not to be missed. Sticking to traditional Balinese cooking, these cakes are made from sticky rice and flour. The banana leaf packaging gives it an extra kick of flavour.

Where to find it: Gianyar Night Market, Jalan Ngurah Rai, Ubud, Bali
Timings: 5 PM onwards

5. Bali Coffee

Balinese Coffee, Street Food in Bali
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Traditional Balinese coffee is unlike any other hot beverage you would have ever tried. Made using Balinese coffee beans, known to be among the best in the world, the delectable aroma from the coffee is sure to wake you gently. A popular drink among locals, the warungs are usually crowded right from early in the morning. To get the freshest quality brew, try to reach the shops right when it opens.

Where to find it: One of the many local warungs (small family owned eateries) in Sanur
Timings: 9 AM - 11 PM

6. Sate

Sate, Street Food in Bali
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Sate is one of the most famous street food in Bali and in the world. Literally translating to barbequed meat on bamboo sticks, Sate can be made from chicken, pork, goat, rabbit etc. Turtle meat sate is prepared only during special ceremonies. Usually served with sweet soy sauce or peanut sauce, this dish is a perfect evening snack. Most vendors in the night markets offer a side of rice along with it.

Where to find it: In Seminyak, across from Bintang supermarket
Timings: 5 PM-11 PM

7. Nasi Jinggo

Nasi Jinggo, Street Food in Bali
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Also known as Jinggo Rice, this dish can be found in every corner of Bali. Considered a quick and easy breakfast option, Nasi Jinggo comes in small portions and is a favourite street food in Bali amongst locals. Since it is prepared by wrapping the rice in banana leaves, most vendors sell it as it is. Served with eggs, fried noodles and chilli sauce, this dish packs a punch despite its size.

Where to find it: Nasi Jinggo Babi Kecap Jik Elle, Jl. Tukad Irawadi No.13, Panjer, Kec. Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali 
Timings: 8AM-11 PM

8. Bakso

Bakso, Street Food in Bali
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Bakso, in itself, is a meatball dish, made like a fish ball. It may be served as a snack or along with soup and noodles. While like Sate, Bakso is one of the most famous street foods in Bali, it can also be found in frozen, ready-to-eat packages. Usually made using beef mince, tapioca flour and salt, some variants may also use pork, chicken or shrimp meat.

Where to find it: Bakso Gerobak Biru, Legian, Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali
Timings: 2 PM-6 PM

9. Terang Bulan

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Translating to 'bright moon', Terang Bulan is a type of pancake unique to Balinese cuisine. Believed to have been invented by General Tso, a military leader of the late Qing dynasty, this delicacy has a rich past. It is made like a traditional pancake, with coconut milk and palm margarine giving it the characteristic Balinese punch. Usually sprinkled with crushed peanuts, sugar and sweetcorn kernels, this dish is as much a delight to the eyes as to the taste buds.

Where to find it: Sindhu Night Market, Jl. Pungutan No.2, Sanur, Kec. Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali
Timings: 4 PM-10 PM

10. Pisang Rai

Pisang Rai, Street Food in Bali
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A traditional Balinese morning snack, the Pisang Rai is made of coated bananas. Bali, being a tropical country, grows some of the best quality bananas, which factor into many of its dishes. The bananas are first coated in a homemade batter of rice flour, boiled/steamed and then toppled over with freshly grated coconut. It makes for the perfect snack to have with a cup of tea or coffee.

Where to find it: Morning Market, Jl. Raya Ubud No.14, Ubud, Kec. Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 
Timings: 6 AM-9 AM

11. Lawar

Lawar, Street Food in Bali
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A fairly large meal made of rice, vegetables, coconut, minced meat and herbs, lawar is found in many of Bali’s warungs. Lawar gets its distinctive taste from the young jackfruits used to make it. This may be served with a side of Babi Gulung or roast pig. Traditionally made lawar uses blood to make it, hence the red colour and the telling moniker.

Where to find it: Warung Nasi Lawar Sapi Odah (Segara Beach, Sanur) or Lawar Kuwir Men Sono (Sangeh, Abiansemal)
Timings: 7 AM-6:30 PM

12. Bubur Injin

Bubur Injin, Street Food in Bali
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This Balinese black rice pudding can be found in morning markets. Packaged in banana leaves, the pudding is drenched in coconut milk and tossed with shredded kernels of corn. Coconut shreds and thick palm sugar syrup garnish to top it all off, lending to the nutty yet velvety texture to the dish.

Where to find it: Morning Market, Jl. Raya Ubud No.14, Ubud, Kec. Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar
Food is the truest depiction of the culture and traditions of a place. The street food in Bali gives you a chance to experience what the elusive Indonesian island is all about, all the while, giving your tastebuds a wild ride. Make sure you take some time out on your visit and live the culture of Bali!

This post was published by Tanushka Lahiri

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