A Plant-Based Guide to Bali

July 19, 2017

This post is going to be a long one, I may have to split it into two – so stay tuned. I loved Bali. Bali was everything I wanted it to be, after longggging to go for well over a year and researching absolutely everything in significant detail. I know it may seem as if everyone on your IG feed is in Bali right now, but for good reason. Bali is the ultimate health food destination. There are countless little independent cafes selling the very best quality foods with imaginative menus. If you’re looking for a holiday filled with smoothie bowls, raw desserts and green juice whilst still considering your not-so-health-conscious boyfriend, then trust me – Bali is for you.

 

 

 

My Top Five Places to Eat

 

Café Organic

 

We visited Café organic three times within the course of ten days. We fucking loved it. I pretty much drooled over their IG page for weeks leading up to the trip so it without a doubt had to be the first stop. Café Organic’s menu is a dream - smoothie bowls, veggie burgers, veggie breakfasts and the most incredible juice and smoothie selection you’ve ever seen.

 

Every time we went I had the blueberry pancakes with coconut whip and oh my god, they were the most delicious things I have ever tasted. If I could eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be these pancakes. I would also order a smoothie bowl on the side, my favourite was the Afrika – a chocolate smoothie topped with PB, strawberries, bananas and granola – it also contained plant-based protein powder. Ben opted for a sweet potato and feta veggie burger that he raved about the whole holiday.

 

Price: **

Food: ****

Atmosphere: ***

 

 

Sisterfields

 

Sisterfields is the perfect example of the obvious Aussie influence in Seminyak. It’s always packed (accept around 5pm where it is spookily quiet in comparison) and a great healthy-ish spot to visit. The menu is filled with classics such as avo toast (opt for it without the feta + mushrooms = delish), burgers, smoothie bowls etc. The cacao banana smoothie bowl is basically a giant portion of nice-cream topped with chocolately granola, it’s amazing.

 

Sisiterfield’s isn’t vegetarian, but they have a few solid vegan options. The food is whole and hearty and the drinks menu is extensive (the green fields green juice was a real winner for me). I also recommend the fries, you get a huge pile and they were the best we tried out there.

 

Price: ***

Food: ***

Atmosphere: ****

 

 

Peloton

 

Peloton is located in Canggu, a short drive from the centre of Seminyak. Honestly, I kind of wish we stayed here instead as it instantly felt more peaceful and picturesque. There were also a host of cute little cafes and shops dotted around. It also has a couple of good beach clubs including Finn’s – ideal for sipping green juice by the pool as you watch the surfers catch the waves in the distance.

 

Peloton is completely vegan and without a doubt the best vegan café we visited. The food is fresh, colourful and flavoursome. We both went for the “tricken” chicken burger which came in a charcoal bun and accompanied by the most delicious sweet potato fries (they beat Café Organic’s hands down). We shared the jackfruit tacos, which were amazing dipped in sour cream and washed down with a PB smoothie for myself, and a freshly squeezed juice for Ben. A small fridge of cakes caught my eye, and I left with a vegan carrot cake muffin. Let me tell you, this muffin was the star of the show. It was moist and perfectly spiced – topped with the creamiest, sweetest cashew cream cheese frosting. The service is great and the space is fresh and clean  - definitely worth a visit.

 

Price: *

Food: ****

Atmosphere: ***

 

 

Shelter

 

We struggled with Shelter slightly. Whilst the space itself is one of the most beautiful we visited – think lots of hanging greenery, open space and perfectly illustrated blackboards, the service wasn’t great. The food was good though, Ben chose yet another burger, and I had a salad bowl with tempeh and soba noodles. However I did grab a peanut butter chocolate raw cheesecake to go – which, let me tell you, certainly made up for things.

 

Another plus side of Shelter, is that it sits on top of Nalu Bowls – one of the IG faves around Bali. A fairly simplistic menu of smoothie bowls, topped with fruit and granola, with the option to add more toppings if you wish. A type of bar on the side of the road, Nalu Bowls feels very chic and cool, the ideal spot to grab a quick breakie before a full day of doing – well, nothing. You can sit at the bar, or alternatively you can order a bowl whilst sitting it at shelter.

 

Price: **

Food: **

Atmosphere: **

 

 

Bambu

 

I honestly don’t think I can describe how amazing this place is. I looked a few reviews before had and it was highly recommended – don’t leave Bali without a visit to Bambu. The food is traditionally Balinese and so flavoursome – I started with a pumpkin curry, probably the best thing I ate all holiday, and followed with a type of veggie platter. Whilst not plant-based, Bambu still has a fab list of options for you, so you don’t need to worry about what you can or can’t eat.

 

The restaurant itself feels so romantic, the ideal date night destination. You’re lead to your table by walking over stepping stones, surrounded by a pool of koi carp. The waiters are so, so helpful and ready to answer any questions you might have about the food. The service is certainly exceptional.

 

Price: ****

Food: *****

Atmosphere: *****

 

 

Other Places Worth a Visit

 

Mamasan – We visited Mamasan on our last night. The food was good but nothing exceptional, however the place itself is quite cool and the interiors are pretty impressive.

 

Jungle Fish – We took a day trip to Ubud and visited for lunch overlooking the amazing infinity pool. Hidden away in the middle of the jungle, Jungle Fish is definitely worth a visit, if only for the IG.

 

 

The Spicy Coconut – I really liked the Spicy Coconut, Ben wasn’t so sure. It’s completely vegan and their pancakes are so delicious and almost gooey in texture. Plus the tahini chocolate smoothie is a real winner.

 

Earth Café – Earth Café narrowly missed my top five. Completely vegan and very laid back, the café itself offers both raw and cooked food (I recommend the buckwheat crepes and chocolate cupcake), there is also a health food shop attached.

 

Sea Circus – We came here twice as they offered great veggie options. The atmosphere is lively and the interior is very beach hut-like. Go for the pulled BBQ jackfruit tacos, you won’t be sorry.

 

Bo & Bun – Another one that almost made my top five – the food at Bo & Bun is delicious and hearty, we left feeling stuffed. The vibes are cool and the service is fast. I had the crispy Asian salad, followed by the tofu stir-fry.

 

Motel Mexicola - There's a lot of hype around Motel Mexicola. It's a really cool place for a drink and the interiors are insane, but there is little to no vegan options. 

 

Madpops – Alerting all ice cream addicts, make sure Madpops is high on your list of priorities. Probably the best plant-based ice cream I’ve ever had plus the flavour selection is immense. I had the chocolate, peanut butter banana crunch, salted caramel and the unicorn swirl (not all in one go, may I add).

 

 

 

Chill Out

We stayed at the Tukad Villa complex, which is located just outside central Seminyak – but with a free shuttle and being an absolute steal of a holiday, we didn’t complain. We often headed down into Seminyak for the day, had lunch then chilled out for the rest of the afternoon. Our favourite place to relax was by the pool at the W Hotel. The staff were so attentive and the food was really great (visit the Starfish restaurant where you can grill your own tofu at the table). A bed for the day is around £60 (minimum spend), which you rack up pretty quickly in drinks and tapas.

 

We also really liked Potato Head, undoubtedly the most popular beach club in Bali. It’s not as relaxing as the W and you have to get down there pretty early to bag a bed – but the food is worth a visit in itself. When we were in Canggu, we spent the afternoon by the pool at Finns. It has a real party atmosphere even during the day, with live music and a busy bar. Honestly, the service isn’t the best but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. Other popular chill out spots include Ku De Ta, La Planca and the Lawn. Again, if you’re in Ubud – head to Jungle Fish for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

General Advice

 

Taxis

I got a bit obsessed with the taxi system in Seminyak to be honest. But I truly believe I've picking out the right taxi is an art (maybe an unhealthy obsession). My advice is to make sure you distinguish the fake ones for the real Bluebird company cars. The first night we were charged around £18 for a 15 minute trip, when we later found out, it should have cost around £3-£4. Now, I know this is super cheap and you shouldn’t stress if you get overcharged slightly – but make sure that you’re not being completely scammed by getting in an official taxi - cause this is what really stressed me out. The real cars are a light metallic colour, have white headrests, have the bluebird group written across the front window and the driver will have their licence on display.

 

The Flight

If you’re worried about the tedious flight from the UK, don’t be. It really wasn’t that bad. My advice is to opt for a short stopover time (we found our flights on skyscanner) and to pack your own food. Airplane food is awful, and full of shit – to be blunt. You’ll get off the plane feeling rubbish, which doesn’t help with the jet lag. Pack your own food and lots of snacks and make sure you take a water bottle or two. I bought a cooler full of veggie meals and snacks from Pret and ate them at meal times instead. Try to sleep as much as you can (lavender oil is a must) and smother your face in a rich moisturiser to avoid dehydrated skin.

 

Ubud

I highly recommend staying in Ubud for a few days. If you don’t, be sure to book a guide for the day to drive you around and stop off at a few places. We went with Aman Suya tours (www.amansukatour.com) and our guide was fab. Stop off at the rice paddies for the ultimate IG and a hike with an impressive view. We also loved the Tegenungan waterfall (get there early – it gets busy) and visited an incredible temple (the name escapes me – but I will find it!). We stopped off at Alchemy (highly recommended) for some raw carrot cake (which was to die for), a peanut butter cup and a very green juice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SEASONAL FEASTING & NORISHING INDULGENCE.

 

I'm Megan, nutrition coach and wellness enthusiast, recipe developer, content creator and avid nut butter addict. 

Welcome to my blog, where you'll find a selection of nourishing yet oh so indulgent recipes, recommendations on the most amazing places to eat in the capital (and across the globe) + endless nutritional information, tips and advice. 

Feel free to get in touch with any content writing requests,  food photography queries or blog collaborations. If you have any questions regarding nutrition coaching, send me an email at 

mmhallett@hotmail.co.uk to talk all things food! 

@MEGANHALLETT

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Institute of Integrated Nutrition Cert. Holistic Health Coach, studying Nutritional Therapist (College of Naturopathic Medicine), recipe developer, food writer and photographer. Cookbook AUTHOR.

Email me for any holistic health coaching enquires (visit the work with me page for more info), food or recipe writing projects -mmhallett@hotmail.co.uk