They’ve nailed the coffee, the flavour and the good times. Canggu and Berawa have a host of cafes and restaurants fit for every traveller and loved by the locals as well. This month Luiz Sanchez revisited some of his favourite local haunts and a few new places that he’s hungry to revisit!
Welcome to Neighbourhood Food, a new and welcome addition to Berawa’s vibrant dining scene. Neighbourhood sets itself part from the many Instagram-focused places in Bali by focusing on quality, value, and ambience.
For healthy food lovers I recommend the Shades of Green, a hearty meal filled with kale, broccoli, pea mash, zucchini, eggs and so much more. Their menu is full of creative options, featuring something for everyone. Craving lots of protein? Try the Big Neighbour. Craving a greasy burger? Have their cheeseburger, it is scrumptious and very filling.
Neighbourhood succeeds because they are clearly passionate about the food they serve. It is pretty, sure, but their flavour combinations really stand out in Bali’s oversaturated Instagram-centric market that emphasises a good picture over honest and often fabulous food. Neighbourhood is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunches and everything in between.
Jalan Pantai Berawa No 99bb/ +62 818 0877 4367
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Fat Mermaid has been around for about two years now and their menu has been consistently decent. Not only is their décor really nice, but they also have really good live music on weekends as well as markets on Sundays. The whole atmosphere of the place screams playful and whimsical, from the colourful interiors to the names of the dishes themselves.
The nice thing about Fat Mermaid is the variety. After eating there at least a half dozen times, and tried something new every time, I can say they’ve done a good job creating a menu that not only appeals to a wide audience but whose quality is pretty uniform across the board.
A big draw here though are their cocktails and the rooftop view. It’s not unusual to come for dinner with some friends, order a few drinks, then find yourself hours later stumbling out on your way to a nightclub.
Jl. Nelayan No.33, Canggu | +62 361 9067001
Front Café sets the standard which all other cafes in Pererenan must meet. A tiny hole in the wall that is only open for breakfast and lunch, Front’s coffee rivals that of Cactus see below) and their food is to die for. Their menu is tight and features such dishes as fried eggs with bacon and maple syrup, smoothie bowls, and burgers.
Their biggest draw to me is their pulled pork eggs benedict. Front covers it with a great hollandaise sauce which complements the pulled pork perfectly!
Jl. Pantai Pererenan No.72, Pererenan/+62818-871-688
Good food, great coffee, cozy atmosphere, and a great meetup spot. What more could you want from a café? Their menu is an interesting mix of north African, European, Indonesian and American cuisines that works really well. Craving a typical English breakfast? They got you covered. Looking for a healthy salad? They got that too. Smoothie bowl? The prettiest bowls this side of Seminyak. Moroccan-inspired omelet, a decaf piccolo late, followed by a tall glass of juice? Check, check, and check.
Cactus closes early, so get in by 2 30 p.m. for their last order. And while you are at it, try their Moroccan omelet, you won’t regret it.
Jl. Pantai Pererenan No.78, Canggu/+62823-4005-4016
Human Bean is one of the best places to sit and work from in Pererenan. It is really spacious and has amazing coffee. Their menu also features many great dishes such as their pulled pork burrito and their raspberry almond butter smoothie bowl. The vibe is also really nice, with lots of local expats frequenting the place with their dogs.
Human Bean is super Instagrammable for sure, but its real draw is the food, the coffee, the people, and the space to work or meet friends. While you are there pick up the rainbow falafel wrap, or try their huge pancake stack!
Contact information: Jl. Munduk Tengah No.9, Pererenan/ +62812-4690-1644
Two Fingers is Mexican street food at its finest. Think bite-sized tacos, jalapeno poppers and grilled skewers. Forget about cutlery and dig in with your bare hands, the way food was meant to be eaten! Two Fingers has a killer selection of soft-shell tacos, ranging from chorizo and baja fish to babi guling and tempura prawns. It took me 3 visits to work my way through their taco menu and the ones that stand out the most to me are the charred Spanish chorizo, the Korean fried cauliflower and the Peking duck tacos.
Their cocktails are nothing to scoff at either. I have a particular soft spot for bitter and fruity cocktails, so it should come as no surprise that my favourite is the ‘dark and stormy’ cocktail. Are you strapped for cash? Fret not for they do 15k tacos every Monday and Saturday!
Contact information: Jl. Pantai Berawa No.101A, Tibubeneng/ +62819-0699-2244/ email@example.com
Two Fingers | Cali – Mexican.
The progenitor of raw juicing and healthy eating in Bali, how could you not love Mark Baker and his wild entrepreneurial spirit? Beach Garden features a large menu of scrumptious recipes all of which is backed by a zero waste and healthy living philosophy. With their new juice bar ‘In the Raw’ just opened, there are plenty of fresh updates on the horizon, and I for one am excited to come back and try all the new goodies on their menu.
Beach Garden is the perfect pit stop for surfers looking to get an energy boost after a long surf sesh, or for people looking to develop a healthier diet without sacrificing flavour. Personally, I recommend their beef ragu penne and one of their signature cold-pressed juices to wash it down. They also offer a great juice detox program, so if you’ve overdone it, you know who to call!
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.103, Canggu/ +62812-3749-6861/
Sensorium is a culinary journey into the childhood of its owner and head chef William. A healthy fusion of Asian and Australian cuisine, William provides his patrons with a healthy mix of childhood nostalgia and cutting-edge dishes that leave a lasting impression. From their thin-crust pizza-inspired quesadilla to their ramen with chicken roulade and their signature ice-cream sandwich, every dish is meticulously put together and brimming with flavour.
Sensorium is a must-try lunch spot, with a tight menu that has something for everyone. I recommend their Ramen, arguably the tastiest ramen I have had in a long time.
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.31A, Canggu/ +62811-388-046
La Vela is a real gem in Berawa. Located on Berawa beach, hidden behind the area’s main parking lot with a perfect view of Bali sunset, dining at La Vela can best be described as an experience. Using only the freshest locally sourced ingredients to create high-quality dihes, La Vela is a sort of love-letter to Mediterranean and Asian food. It is at once a great place to spend a few hours sipping all their wonderful cocktails with friends, and a romantic dinner destination.
I highly recommend their red snapper with zucchini and polenta, which not only tasted great but was almost too beautiful to eat. The same can be said of their deserts and virtually every dish they serve; works of art meant to taste as good, if not better, than they look.
La Vela is open every day from noon until late. Next time you want to go watch a great sunset and get silly with some friends I would highly recommend you give La Vela a go. Book one of their day beds, stretch your feet out in the sand, and I promise you will not regret it!
Contact information: Jl. Pemelisan Agung, Tibubeneng | +6281 139 409 992 firstname.lastname@example.org
New Zealanders claim to make the best pies in the world. Sit down Australians this is not up for debate. I was pleasantly surprised to discover, I Make the Pies nestled in the heart of Canggu, makes really decent and authentic New Zealand pies.
To be perfectly honest I have a soft spot for mince and cheese pies, and these guys make one hell of an M&C pie! Plus, if you get there before 10 am coffees are only 20k, making their cappuccino one of the cheapest in town.
This is a no-frills experience. You aren’t here to take Instagram pics or be seen in a hip spot. This is a place to get your pie fix on, and it has yet to be beat.
Contact information: Jl. Tanah Barak No.8, Canggu | +62 813-8181-8025
Burgerland is a relatively new addition to the Canggu scene. It’s part of an ambitious Neverland project which will incorporate a yoga studio, Japanese restaurant, a buffet, Balinese cultural events and a nightclub.
This is not a fancy place. They do burgers, a hot dog, some fries and that’s about it. Their décor is rustic, made entirely out of reclaimed wood, and their burgers are pretty decent. They also do cocktails and have a number of different specials depending on the day of the week, making it a pretty affordable place to grab a bite.
Burgerland’s biggest draw is its location. Being on Batu Bolong you are likely to drive past it, and if you are craving a burger after a big night out its the perfect stop for a greasy post-boozing meal. Sometimes, I just want that.
Contact information: Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong St No.8b, Canggu. | +62 822-3727-9312
Forever stylish, the artful designer bar, kitchen and studio hotel has welcomed Chef Daniel Medcalf to the team. Expect food that is as fashion-forward as it is timeless. Classics include their lamb flatbreads ( fantastic bar food), perfectly grilled king prawns with seaweed butter, crispy truffled potatoes with vegemite mayo ( one for the adventurous, somehow it works beautifully), and the Korean fried broccoli that will never come off the menu, and one bite tells you why!
Regular specials appear like the meltingly tender sous vide pork neck with apple butter we tried on the night. The open bar and dining room is also where part of their fabulous art collection resides so there’s never a dull moment. A Byron Bay native, Medcalf arrived in Bali from Sydney’s Icebergs and the Dolphin Hotel. After a short stint at Da Maria it looks like he’s found himself a forever home here at The Slow. If you still have space, try Chef Daniels’s modern take on the classic pavlova, you won’t be disappointed.
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