The best traditional dishes to eat in Bali

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There’s no doubt that one of the many reasons to visit Bali is its incredible cuisine. For centuries, this Indonesian paradise has been known for its unique and flavorful traditional dishes, from flavourful mie goreng to traditional bakso — all sure to give your taste buds a wild ride. Plus, with so many dishes to choose from in Bali alone, it can be hard deciding which ones are absolute must-eat experiences for your Bali trip!

Restaurant and beach view in Bali.
Uluwatu Bali

That’s why we put together this guide on some of the best traditional foods you can find in Bali — including all the delicious details and facts. No matter if you’re staying in Uluwatu, Canggu or Ubud, you’re guaranteed to come across these delicious dishes.

1. Nasi Campur

Display of variety from fish, meat, rice etc. placed on a table.
Nasi Campur

If you’re seeking a delicious and affordable meal in Indonesian cuisine, then you definitely want to try nasi campur. This dish translates to “mixed rice” and typically features a variety of flavorful ingredients, such as fragrant rice, shredded chicken, Indonesian spiced beef, eggs, vegetables, and sambal sauce.

The beauty of nasi campur is that it can be customized to your liking and is often served in a buffet-style fashion, giving you the freedom to choose your favorite elements. It’s a popular dish among both locals and tourists, so don’t miss out on the chance to experience its mouthwatering flavors.

2. Gado Gado

Gado Gado is a traditional Indonesian dish that’s both casual and packed with flavor. Typically, it’s made with a mixture of cooked and raw vegetables like boiled potatoes, carrots, and bean sprouts. It’s then smothered in a rich peanut sauce that gives it a sweet and slightly spicy kick.

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The toppings can vary, but often include crispy shallots, sliced cucumber, and hard-boiled eggs. It’s a perfect lunch or dinner option for those who want something hearty, but not too heavy. Give Gado Gado a try and you won’t be disappointed!

3. Nasi and Mie Goreng

If you’re looking for a taste of Indonesian cuisine, look no further than nasi and mie goreng. These popular dishes are beloved across the country and can be found everywhere from street-side stalls to fancy restaurants.

Barbequed Meat street food in Bali.
Street side Grill

Nasi goreng, or fried rice, typically includes a mix of rice, veggies, and sometimes meat or shrimp, all tossed together with spicy seasoning. Mie goreng, or fried noodles, is similarly prepared but using noodles instead of rice.

Both dishes are full of bold flavors and offer a satisfying spicy kick. Bali is known for its delicious mie and nasi goreng, which you can find all over the island.

4. Babi Guling

Rice and meat curry served on the banana leaf.
Babi Guling

When it comes to traditional Balinese cuisine, Babi Guling is a must-try dish. This flavorful and succulent roast pig is marinated with a mixture of herbs and spices, giving it a mouth-watering aroma and taste that’s hard to resist.

The dish can be served either as a main course or as part of a family-style meal for a special occasion in Bali with rice, vegetables, and other side dishes.

You can find Babi Guling in many roadside restaurants or in a more formal setting around Seminyak and Kuta.

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5. Tempeh Manis

Balcony view with lager and Tempeh Manis.
Tempeh Manis

If you’re looking for a tasty and nutritious meat alternative, tempeh manis is a delicious option. This Indonesian dish is made from fermented soybeans that are combined with palm sugar and spice paste. The result is a savory and sweet flavor that will have you coming back for more.

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Not only is tempeh manis a great source of protein; it’s also absolutely delicious. It’s versatile enough to add to stir-fries, salads, rice dishes, and more. So go ahead and give tempeh manis a try – your taste buds will thank you!

6. Jagung Bakar – Grilled Corn

Grilled corn cart on the street.
Jagung Bakar – Grilled Corn

If you’re in Indonesia and looking for a delicious snack, be sure to try jagung bakar – also known as grilled corn. It’s a simple, yet satisfying dish that is perfect for a quick bite on the go. The corn is grilled over an open flame and seasoned with a variety of spices, such as salt, pepper, and chili powder.

The result is a crispy, flavorful treat that will leave you wanting more. Whether you’re walking through a busy market or relaxing on the beach, jagung bakar is the perfect snack to fuel your adventures. So be sure to give it a try!

7. Bakso

Bakso, which is an Indonesian meatball soup, is a popular dish in Bali with a meaty history. This flavorful treat has been a staple in Indonesian cuisine for over 200 years. The dish is traditionally made with a mixture of ground beef, tapioca starch, garlic, and spices. The mixture is then shaped into small balls and boiled in a flavorful broth.

Bakso can be enjoyed on its own or served in a soup with noodles and vegetables. This delicious dish has gained immense popularity not just in Indonesia, but throughout Southeast Asia and even around the world. For those who enjoy a savory and satisfying meal, Bakso is definitely worth a try.

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The best foods in Bali

With its unique and delicious dishes, Bali has much to offer in terms of culinary delights. From main dishes like Nasi Campur and Gado Gado to snacks like Jagung Bakar and Bakso, there’s something for everyone’s tastes.

View of Ceking Rice Terrace Bali.
Ceking Rice Terrace

Whether you are an adventurous eater looking to try new flavors or a more traditional diner looking for experiences that evoke home-cooked meals, Bali’s traditional dishes have something to offer. Get ready to explore the flavors of Bali with these tasty dishes – you won’t regret it!

Bio: Victoria

Victoria from Guide Your Travel.
Victoria from Guide Your Travel

Victoria is a travel blogger and writer from Germany who loves to explore the world, although she currently spends most of her time in Bali, Indonesia. Her blogs My Australia Trip and Guide your Travel focus on budget travel and discovering hidden destinations. Catch up with Victoria from Guide Your Travel on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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Pinterest images of Tempeh Manis and Nasi Campur Platter.
Pinterest images of Ceking Rice Terrace, Babi Guling and Barbecued meat.

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