I’ve had many people send me emails lately letting me know that they have a trip planned to Bali and wanting to find out where are my go-to places to eat here are! Last time I came to Bali I wrote an article on my favourite places to visit in Ubud. They are still the same and you can find them here.
This time around, I have been based in Canggu, which is just north of Seminyak. It is a gorgeous little beachside town, filled with surfers, amazing sunsets and a plethora of funky, hipster cafes. There is a strong and growing health and wellness vibe here in Canggu and more and more healthy cafes and yoga studios are popping up week to week! There are some real gems here and vegan eating is easy and thoroughly enjoyable. Here is a list of the places that have nourished and sustained me during my time away. Enjoy!
Betelnut is the original place to go in Canggu for healthy, tasty fare. It’s been around long before Canggu was put on the map as a must-visit location. Its menu is fun, fresh and diverse and certainly a place you can take anyone- both veggie heads and the more carnivorous will find ample of options at this easy-going, laid back place. Think big fresh salads, huge wraps, veggie burgers, mezze plates, rice paper rolls and falafels. My favourite here is their Gado Gado – a big bowl of raw veggies with tofu, tempeh and a great peanut sauce. They serve yummy smoothies and juices, as well as kombucha and vegan ice-creams. Their dragon fruit smoothie bowl is very popular, as are their huge slices of cake, which, unfortunately, or fortunately for some, are old school, real cakes (you know how cakes used to be made with dairy and wheat and sugar?! Crazy I know!) Friendly staff, speedy service (it’s my go-to place when I’m starving!) and a great view of the rice fields from the balcony.
THE SHADY SHACK
The Shady Shack is Betlenut’s little sister. She is the new kid on the block and already you have to elbow people aside for a table! But it’s worth it! Their food is a little next-level when it comes to veggie dining and yes, its all veggie, but in a way that attracts everyone in Canggu and beyond! They serve us a crazy menu of smoothie bowls in the morning, plus lots of fresh and tasty cooked breakfasts, they do serve dairy, so plenty of egg dishes and halloumi, sourdough bread, fresh greens etc. For lunch, my favourite bowl is their sushi bowl with edamame, brown rice, tofu, pickles, shitakes and a miso dressing. My favourite plate is their falafel plate with pomelo salad, tabouli and a tahini dressing. This place is busy from dawn to dusk and the best part: all of their very impressive cakes are raw!
Despite The Shady Shack being a veggie paradise, my favourite place in Canggu is Avocado Café. I just love this place. There’s no ‘scene’ here, just lovely people, lovely food and a lovely vibe. I love that they serve you cold water the minute you arrive and that your meal comes with floral fabric napkins. I love that they make everything from scratch, including the best vegan carrot cake ever to exist on the Earth (I have a slice in my fridge as I write this!) They do have meat options but lots of vegan options too. I have been obsessed with their Vegan Salad which features a heaping of fresh salad ingredients, topped with delicious tempeh, seeds, lime, a side dressing of your choice and a slice of homemade gluten free bread. It’s basically two meals for me! Another handy tip is in their fridge they have ready to go soups, chia seed puddings, bliss balls and turmeric drinks that have been great to have in the fridge at home. They also will take back the jars to re-use. Everything here is organic and made with absolute love.
Samadi is a beautiful, community-orientated space that offers daily yoga classes, retreats and teacher trainings. They have a great yoga shop and a fabulous weekly Sunday market that is a must-visit! Their café is open from 8am-3pm and serves healthy veggie cuisine, all organic and incredibly flavoursome. It’s a little different which I love. They have lots of Indian inspired dishes and also Balinese inspired dishes- their green mango salad is heavenly. You can also build your own salad out of a huge list of yummy ingredients which I love doing! They make their own kombucha and serve their coffees with homemade coconut milk. And best of all- they have real chai tea! Despite the heat, I’ve managed to enjoy a pot or two and it is fabulous. Tucked away from the main drag with roaming geese and friendly dogs, its another favourite of mine.
Alkaline is part of the Serenity Eco Lodge, a yoga school that offers retreats and teacher trainings all year round. They have accommodation on site and their classes are open to the public also. Their café is very old school! It’s very reasonably priced and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. It can get very busy if there is a group on, which is often. I enjoyed their nori rolls which was exciting as I am a sushi addict and it is actually the only place in Canggu that I have found sushi! They offer some raw desserts and alkaline water. It’s a cute place away from the busy area of Canggu, a good spot for a big cold coconut after a sweaty yoga class!
Ah Crate. The epitome of Canggu. Expect surfers still salty from their morning waves, yogis in their brilliantly coloured lycra attire, hipsters, grommets, backpackers, travellers and locals with their cute Bali dogs. This place is (I’m going to use a word I don’t really like but it’s the most appropriate one for this sentence) ‘heaving’ from when they open at 7am right through to 3pm. It’s THE place for breakfast on the Canggu radar! Nothing more than a ramshackle mishmash of concrete walls and crate furniture, the cool young staff dish out local coffee, florescent smoothies, huge breakfasts and the best smoothie bowls with stylish ease. It’s certainly not vegan, there are lots of meat dishes, but their smoothie bowls are the best! The Mangolicsious has been my go-to! I haven’t actually tried their savoury offerings, but I know they offer a massive quinoa salad and also good old smashed avo on homemade sourdough. Expect to make new friends and have people Instagramming your meal 😉
This little Hawaiian-themed place is on the main drag next to Betelnut but it’s easy to miss! I ventured in one day and I was so pleased I did! They have a super creative menu inspired by the traditional Hawaiin poke bowls. I can’t remember which bowl I ordered, they have four veggie ones and each one reads like a dream. All I know is that this bowl had every single one of my favourite foods in it- avocado, marinated tempeh, mango, sprouts, edamame, fresh greens, a gorgeous miso dressing and so much more! They present the bowls beautifully, a real work of art in an empty coconut bowl that you enjoy with chopsticks. They offer bowls with brown rice or quinoa and a huge array of tasty additions and combinations. The space itself is kitted out with all kinds of cute Hawaiian trinkets and you can’t help but feel the aloha spirit! Seek this one out- you won’t be disappointed.
As you can probably guess from its name, Bali Fit is a gym that has an attached café. I found it simply because when we arrived we were staying in a hotel across the road. Despite feeling slightly intimated by the muscly clientele, I really enjoyed this little place. Their focus is on wholefoods and fresh foods, catering to vegans and meat-eaters alike. The servings are huge and have lots of flavour, served by smiling staff and alongside a big jug of iced water (have you noticed how iced water get s big tick in my box?!) I love their House Salad (minus the feta, add pumpkin!) and their Cous Cous Salad with roasted vegetables. All their salads come with a big slice of homemade seed bread too. For breakfast, they do great smoothie bowls in little coconut shells and offer lots of superfood additions and also freshly pressed juices if you need a real pick me up.
As you may have picked up by now, smoothie bowls are a BIG thing in Bali these days! Everywhere has them, or tries their best to replicate them, but without a doubt Nalu Bolws is the most popular. Smoothie Bowls is all they do and the menu is named after famous surf spots like Uluwatu, Pipeline and Teapou. The bowls are thick and creamy and topped with granola, fresh fruit and coconut. You can of course add as many extras as you wish from goji berries to chia seeds to blueberries. While I thought this place would be my number one destination for breakfast, it wasn’t- it is certainly ‘sceney’ (which I try to avoid!) and their bowls are all a little over-the-top sweet for my taste. If you go though, try the Teapou which is their green bowl, have them make it on coconut milk instead of apple juice and switch out the granola, coconut and banana for some chia seeds (yep, be that annoying vegan/health freak!) It’s certainly a good way to stay cool though throughout the day.
Well, these are the main hot spots for Canggu. If you wander a little further, you will also find a few more gems that I should mention. Green Ginger is an incredible vegetarian Asian restaurant. If you go, you must get the dumplings and gyozas! They are both incredible. The food is fresh, clean and authentic (the chef trained in Thailand!) Also over the other side of Canggu is Bali Buda which has an excellent (somewhat old-school!) café with plenty of healthy vegan options as well as a brilliant health food store with everything from tempeh to fresh produce to quinoa, muesli, freshly made bread, chocolate, coconut yoghurt, superfoods, body products, household products and more. It’s your one-stop-shop for everything eco-friendly in Bali.
Last one, Peloton is a new entirely vegan café to have opened its doors recently. Inspired by a cycling culture, this groovy space really cares for the environment and promotes Earth-loving practices the best they can. My experience here wasn’t great to be honest, but I’m going to blame it on my mood! So check it out for yourself if you get a chance, I don’t want to sway your decision!
All in all, if you do enjoy healthy veggie fare, you will be spoilt for choice in this little neck of the woods. I can only imagine that with the unbelievable popularity of these places, more and more healthy cafes will continue to open their doors and be welcomed with open arms. Its been very exciting really to see the spread and enthusiasm of health and wellness on such a huge scale here.
Sometimes I feel like I am being biased because I do follow so many news feeds that make it seem like vegetarianism and veganism are taking over the world!!! But, even looking through real eyes, I do feel a huge shift is happening as people wake up and take more notice of what they are consuming and the effects of what they are consuming on themselves and the greater world. And with healthy food being so damn delicious, its really no wonder people are embracing this way of life more and more.