As soon as I arrived in Bali last January, I was enthralled by the number of amazing vegan and vegetarian restaurants available. Following a strict vegan diet is not something that would interest me at this moment in life, however, I was surely overwhelmed with the creative input to produce a vegan dish. It really is intriguing and innovative, most of all tasty and fulfilling.
Here are my top 5 cafes in Ubud, Bali recommended for a scrumptious dose of super nutrition and relaxation (featuring my favourite, a Balinese cooking experience!)
Kafe Ubud was the first I stumbled across to grab myself a healthy lunch after the long travel from Kathmandu to Bali and the drive from Denpasar. The quirky bistro is very popular with travelers, expats and locals alike. It has a warm and vibrant atmosphere making it a great hangout spot to meet others. You can really sense Kafe’sethos of a healthy, environmentally-conscious lifestyle through the goodness of the food to the service, and the vibe.
Atman Nourish Kafe quickly became my regular spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This cafe is a branch of Atman Kafe just further up Jalan Hanoman. I found it perfect to chill out, get some work done overlooking the rice paddies, read a book or engage in conversation with other travelers. Their desserts are amazing too, displayed at the entrance of the cafe together with a selection of home-brewed kombucha and a boutique shop.
The Seeds of Life Cafe is a raw vegan cafe and tonic bar. I had the most filling and scrumptious enchilada, which left me very satisfied all afternoon without that terrible bloated feeling I usually suffer from! The smoothies and juices are also very exciting and the choice is very wide.
Sayuri Healing Food is a totally zen eatery and very popular with health enthusiasts. The menu has a vast selection of raw vegan food and they also have an awesome recipe book on sale by raw-vegan food chef, Sayuri Tanaka. In it, she shares eye-opening tips and tricks, and I personally regret not getting grabs on one but its also available on Amazon! Rock on!
Alchemy is definitely on every traveler’ss radar when in Ubud. It has a fine selection of raw vegan and organic foods. Unfortunately, I only made it there once as I was mostly hanging out in places near my guesthouse south of Hanoman Jalan (TIP: if you know how to drive a scooter it’s totally worth renting one at around 3 euro per day which allows you to explore many places around Ubud more freely. I did not. Fail!)
Nonetheless, I did get there (I found using motorbike taxis for short distances within Ubud quite safe and efficient for solo travellers) and had an awesome breakfast smoothie bowl. They had a tantalizing selection of different kinds of granola, muesli, fruits, raisins and more; topped up with a fresh smoothie and it was yummylicious!
Balinese Home Cooking Experience
Do join a Balinese cooking class at Green Kitchen. Totally worth it. We were picked up from Ubud and taken to another town to the local market. Here, was an abundance of fruit, vegetables, spices, herbs, roots, flowers and more. It was a wonderful experience to get in some daily local life of Bali. I feel like this aspect is very often overlooked when visiting a country. I say, if you haven’t experienced any local life, you haven’t visited the country.
We prepared a variety of dishes from scratch using this fantastic wood fire multi-stove. They included corn fritters (Pergedel Jagung), water spinach with spicy tomato sauce (Plecing Kangkung), Vegetables with homemade peanut sauce (Gado Gado) made by hand using traditional techniques for grounding, tofu Balinese curry (Santan Tofu), banana stalk soup (Jukut ares) and black rice pudding with coconut milk (Bubur injin) which took my breath away.
The Green Kitchen Bali is highly recommended. Great for groups too.
If you haven’t already visited Bali, you definitely should! It’s been on my bucket list for years, for no exact reason. Now I know why!