Foods and Drinks You Must Try in Bali

By Kenya Barrett

Food, quite simply put, is the best thing on Earth. For some people, trying cuisines from all over the world is the top thing to do on their bucket list. Well, one place with some of the most interesting food and drink options on the planet is Bali. From suckling pig to “Kopi Luwak,” here are a few foods and drinks you must try in Bali.

Gado Gado

This Indonesian salad is the perfect option for those on a vegetarian diet. Although it is a simple dish that consists of tofu, cucumbers, bean sprouts, kidney beans, and tempeh, Gado Gado is still quite filling. What makes this salad super tasty is a peanut sauce dressing that gives the dish a nutty yet sweet and spicy taste. Omnivores who still want a bit more flavor to their salad can add a chopped boiled egg to the mix. Yum!

Babi Guling (Suckling Pig)

One of the most popular dishes in Bali is babi guling. The literal translation of this dish is “turning pig,” and it is referred to as such due to its unique method of cooking. Chefs in Bali prepare babi guling by using their hands to turn the pig while it is roasting over an open fire. The pig is generally seasoned with a combination of spices and herbs including turmeric, coriander, lemongrass, chili, garlic and shrimp paste, among others.

In the past, this dish had more religious ties and was only served at ceremonies or large celebrations. However, after Bali began experiencing an influx of tourism in recent years, visitors can now enjoy babi guling in several restaurants all around Bali!


Sate (pronounced sa-tay) is an Indonesian spin on kebabs. The main difference between the two, however, is the preparation. Sate is made with minced meat of your choice – generally, locals tend to use chicken, pork, beef, duck, or fish – then it is wrapped around a lemongrass stick and grilled. Some chefs grill the minced meat on bamboo skewers over a charcoal fire or coconut-shell charcoal to give it a more distinct flavor. The meat is seasoned with traditional Indonesian spices and is usually served with a lemon wedge and a side of spicy chili sauce or a sweet peanut sauce.

Bebek Betutu

This dish is especially unique to Bali. Essentially a smoked duck, bebek betutu continues to win the hearts of locals and tourists alike. To prepare this dish, you must rub the duck in a blend of spices. This can range from galangal and ginger, to garlic and shrimp paste. The most important part of the preparation is stuffing the duck with a variety of Balinese spices for maximum flavor. Although the duck can cook for as little as 2 or so hours, some traditional restaurants smoke the duck for up to 12 hours! Bebek Betutu is usually served with rice and vegetables on the side. Soooo good!


This dish is by far the most interesting dish that is unique to Balinese culture. Lawar is a combination of chopped meat, green veggies, and grated coconut that is simmered in coconut milk and spices. Depending on the animal that is used for the minced meat, it is tradition for the blood of that animal to be added to the lawar as an ingredient. This creates a gamey yet savory flavor that adds to the uniqueness of the dish. For those that prefer a vegetarian version of Lawar, you can replace the meat with jackfruit and remove the animal blood from the mix. This dish is generally served as a standalone meal, but you can enjoy it with a side of steamed rice.

Bubur mengguh

Bubur mengguh is a meal that is dear to the hearts of Balinese people, which means you have to try it! Essentially, this savory dish is reminiscent of porridge but has an interesting spin – it is topped with shredded chicken, roasted peanuts, and celery. Believe it or not, this dish is actually considered a breakfast meal. Ordinarily, bubur mengguh was served at ceremonies or traditional festivals, but now some enjoy it in the comfort of their homes. While this dish can be eaten alone, it is often served with urab, which is a veggie salad topped with coconut dressing.

Kopi Luwak

This drink is perhaps one of the most unique beverages in the world and is certainly the most interesting in Bali. Simply put, Kopi Luwak is a coffee that is brewed by using the eaten, partially digested, and defecated remains of coffee cherries from Asian palm civets. These nocturnal cat-like creatures roam the forested areas of the city in search of ripened coffee cherries to munch on. As the cherries are being digested, it is also fermented which allows the remains to be brewed for human consumption. Kopi luwak is described as earthy coffee, with musky aromatic notes and caramel and chocolate flavor hints.

Don’t be hesitant to try some of these tasty meals when you explore Bali for yourself!


Create Account

The contact email is associated with an existing account, please sign in to continue.
If you have a password, you can use it below. Otherwise, just use your email address and reservation number to login. If you don't have an account, you can create one today.