What to Eat in Bali

October 23, 2012 by

Eating & Restaurants, Local Recommendations, Travel Tips

Babi Guling, a Balinese specialty

Babi Guling, a Balinese specialty. Photo courtesy of rollanb via Flickr.

While visitors to Bali have access to many traditional Indonesian dishes, Bali has its own singular fare that is not heavily featured elsewhere in the country. This is primarily due to its heavy use of pork, which is not allowed in the diets of the largely-Muslim population elsewhere. That said, dishes such as babi guling, or roasted suckling pig, are widely available in Bali, many of which are truly delectable. Other local specialties include bebek betutu, duck roasted in banana leaves with herbs; satay lilt, a delicious minced seafood satay; and urutan, a wonderful, spicy pork sausage.

Being that Bali is an island, the seafood is fantastic. Sudang lepet, a salted dry fish, is quite popular, as well as ikan kakap baker bumbu terasi, a deliciously-prepared grilled snapper. Shrimp is also a popular choice and can be found in many dishes.

The best place to find authentic Balinese food is on the streets. Seek out roaming vendors called kaki lima to try delectable soups, noodles, steamed rice dishes and much more. They are ubiquitously inexpensive, and can often be found on the beaches, specifically at Kuta Beach and Seminyak.

If you have vegetarian dietary restrictions, there are some restaurants that are dedicated to perfecting meat-free dining. Halal-specific restaurants are also available, catering to the Muslim population. Padang restaurants, which, while not Balinese, feature traditional Indonesian cuisine, serve only Halal food and are very budget-friendly.

As always when dining Indonesia, take heed, as local spices are notoriously hot.

- John Reality

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Bali tours and things to do, Bali attractions, and Bali travel recommendations.

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