Bali is known for its serene mountain views and white sand beaches, but it’s also a foodie paradise. From delicious gourmet meals to local treasures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here are ten must-try foods and drinks on your trip to Bali.
Babi guling, or suckling pig, is a very famous dish native to the area. The pig is hand-turned on an open fire and slathered in bumbu, a spice paste. It’s typically served with rice, blood sausage and long beans. This is traditionally a food served at religious celebrations, but can now be found all around the island because of its popularity with tourists.
Laklak is a cake made out of rice flour. It’s sweet and can be eaten as a snack or for breakfast. It’s sometimes white and sometimes green, depending on the way it’s made. Green cake is made with pandan leaves and gives the cake a light aroma. To try this bite-sized treat, look for it in a traditional market.
Banana Flour-Based Baked Goods
Sweet treats are especially delicious when made with banana flour, because it adds a sweetness to the dish. Banana flour is a saviour as a gluten-free option even in savory dishes as qwll. If you’ve taken a gluten test, and you know you need gluten free options, look for items made with banana flour on your trip to Bali. Bakeries and cafes abound if you’re in need of gluten free baked goods.
Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng
Why go for one dish when you can have two? Mie goreng is an Indonesian staple, consisting of fried noodles, veggies and a choice of protein. Nasi goreng is similar, but with fried rice instead of noodles. A fried egg is typically served on top and peanut sauce and pickled veggies serve as a tasty garnish. These dishes are served breakfast, lunch and dinner, so get your fill whenever you want.
If you’re looking for something from the sea, try pepes ikan. This dish consists of a whole marinated fish wrapped in banana leaf and then steamed. The banana leaf really helps lock in the flavor of the spices, like basil, tomato and pepper, used in the marinade. Pepes ikan can be made with any fish, but is typically made with mackerel, snapper or sardines.
According to legend, betutu was the king’s favorite dish. This dish consists of a whole chicken or duck stuffed with spices. Spices include shallots, garlic, chili and peanuts. This meal takes about eight hours to prepare. Much of that time is spent steaming the chicken or duck. It’s worth it though, as there’s flavor in every succulent bite.
Switching to drinks, for a refreshing rum-based option, try a mojito. There are many signature mojitos found all over the island. Mojitos are traditionally made with light rum, mint, lime and simple syrup. Signature twists include adding coconut water and flower garnishes.
Bali’s traditional wine is called arak or arrack. It’s a clear rice wine, similar to sake. It’s high in alcohol, ranging from 10-40 percent. This wine is great on its own, but can also be found in many drinks on the island. It adds a signature Balinese deliciousness to cocktails.
Bali is also a great place to find tasty jelly, or boba, tea. The tea traditionally consists of black tea, milk, ice and tapioca pearls. This sweet treat comes in many flavors. It’s a great refreshing midday pick-me-up and a must try.
Homemade Ice Cream
Ice cream can be found around the ice cream and is also a refreshing treat. This treat is often home-churned and made with natural ingredients that are native to the island. Plus, you’ll find unique flavors, like lemongrass and kamanggi or homegrown vanilla and coffee. Flavors can even change with the seasons, making ice cream a new experience, year round.
There’s so much good food to eat in Bali! Dinner, drinks or snacks, you’re sure to find something you’ll love.