7 Bali Street Food Dishes and Where Locals Love to Eat Them

The idyllic island of Bali in Indonesia is captivating not only because of its white beaches, beautiful landscapes, and rich culture, but also for its traditional cuisine. In particular, the Bali street food here is an amazing experience if you’re a food traveler who craves traditional, local foods!

Throughout the island, the abundant array of street food choices available day and night is staggering. Vendors sell their treats from home made stalls on motorbikes and wheels. You’ll find plenty of good options at food courts and small family-owned businesses around the island as well.

Bali is a perennial bucket list favorite for travelers seeking connective, cultural travel experiences and the promise of tranquility. When it comes to food, it offers so many different ways of presenting classic and inexpensive street foods that locals and tourists alike love. 

Here’s a selection of 7 must-try street food dishes you absolutely have to try in Bali, tips on where to find them (that the locals love), and of course where to stay in Bali to make your stay all that you’ve dreamed.  

Bali street food is delish any time of day or night

Bali street food is delish any time of day or night

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About the Street Food in Bali



Trying local street food is a great way to slow travel any destination. And while Bali is full of high-end restaurants and amazing places to eat, your experience in Bali wouldn’t be complete without indulging in its vibrant street food choices.

The street food in Bali is unlike some other countries where foods to-go and street foods are available only in the evening. Bali doesn’t follow a specific eating schedule for their street food. Which is why — lucky for us — these Balinese foods can be found anywhere at any time of the day. In fact, western travelers may be surprised at the different foods available to go in Bali, especially at breakfast.

You can swing by just about any food market day or night during your trip to Bali and satisfy your appetite for authentic local Balinese foods. 


Babi guling, Balinese suckling pig, is one of the most popular streets foods

Babi guling, Balinese suckling pig, is one of the most popular streets foods




Bali Street Food — 7 Dishes to Try




1. Satay


Satay is a Southeast Asian dish originating from Indonesian cuisine made up of seasoned, skewered, and grilled protein (think sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish, other meats, or tofu) served with a dipping sauce on the side. It employs a rustic style of preparation by using skewers from the midrib of the coconut palm frond.

To cook it, satay is barbecued or grilled over a wood or charcoal fire and served with various spicy seasonings with a peanut base. 

One of the best satay stalls you’ll find to try satay is the Sindhu Night Market in Sanur, not far from the Sindhu beach. Locals and tourists alike flock to the night market because of its cheap delicacies and late hours — it’s open from 5:00 in the afternoon until 11:00 in the evening. The market is just 25 minutes away from Denpasar, 50 minutes away from Ubud, 50 minutes away from Kuta, and also 50 minutes away from the Ngurah rai Airport.

If you’re looking for a satay vendor more towards the south of the island, Satay Barokah in Jimbaran is the place to go. 


Where to Eat It:

Sindhu Night Market — Jalan Pungutan No. 2, Sanur, Kec. Denpasar Selatan, Kuta Denpasar

Satay BarokahJl. by pass Ngurah Rai No.18A, Jimbaran, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali







2. Nasi Jinggo (also known as Nasi Jengo)



Nasi Jinggo is one of the most popular street foods you’ll find in Bali. Usually a ready-to-eat combination of a handful of white or yellow rice, with side dishes like Sambal Goreng tempeh (peanuts, anchovies, and tempeh fried with sambal), serundeng (sauteed grated coconut), shredded chicken, and chili sauce, the combo sometimes consists of Mie Goreng (fried noodles) and eggs.

Nasi Jinggo is served in small portions and packaged up in a banana leaf and eaten on the go. This must-try Balinese dish is also often served during religious ceremonies like the Ngaben funeral rites, meetings, or birthday celebrations. 

Nasi Jinggo is so popular in Bali that you can find it in almost every corner of the island. You can venture out and find a seller yourself, or ask your hotel for their best recommendation and directions. The staff always knows where to find the best Nasi Jinggo as they often eat it for breakfast.

If you’re staying at a private Balinese holiday villa, ask your butler to get you the best around — another good reason private villas are a great option.

Typical Nasi Jinggo in Bali

Typical Nasi Jinggo in Bali


 

3. Rujak 


The term Rujak colloquially means a “mixture” or “eclectic mix.” It is a traditional fruit and vegetable salad dish known for its usually tangy and spicy flavor.

Rujak has this distinct taste because of its sweet, hot and spicy dressing made from ground chili, palm sugar, and peanuts. There are variations of Rujak within Indonesia, but the most popular one is the rujak buah (fruit rujak), which is mixed sliced fruit and vegetables served with a spicy palm sugar dressing.


Rujak is frequently found at Gula Bali in Kerobokan. Here you can find spacious warungs built in traditional joglo style. You may choose to stay inside the warungs or eat outside where you can enjoy the fresh, open-air setting while devouring your serving of rujak.

Where to Eat It:

Gula Bali — Jl. Merdeka II No. 16, Renon, Denpasar


Sweet, tangy, and colorful Rujak, a popular street food in Bali

Sweet, tangy, and colorful Rujak, a popular street food in Bali






4. Bakso




Bakso is a famous Indonesian food found in the streets or restaurants around Bali and throughout Indonesia. Bakso is an Indonesian meatball commonly made from fish with a small quantity of tapioca and salt. Other variants can also include chicken, pork, ground beef or shrimp.


The term Bakso may refer to a single meatball or the complete dish of meatball soup usually served with yellow noodles and white vermicelli. 

The bakso at the street food center of Jl Dewi Sri in Kuta will quench your hunger and cravings for bakso with its numerous food stalls lined up next to each other. Unlike Gula Bali which can be noisy during peak hours, this Dewi Sri is more relaxed and quiet although you cannot escape the occasional rupture of mixed noises from vendors and customers alike as well.

Overall, the place looks like a traditional Asian food stall with lots of food options to choose from.


Where to Eat It:

Jl Dewi Sri — Jl. Raya Kuta No. 59 in Kuta


Bali street food vendor selling steaming hot bakso

Bali street food vendor selling steaming hot bakso

5. Sweet corn



Sweet corn is beloved around the world but grilled sweet corn is one of Bali’s most popular street foods, and there are many ways to eat it. A few variations are the Jagung Manis Keju (sweet corn with cheese), Perkedel Jagung (corn patties), Indonesian corn fritters, and Jagung Bakar Pedas Manis (sweet and sour corn). 


The Jagung Manis Keju is served by boiling corn kernels until soft, then scraping the kernels from the cob. The corn kernels are then mixed with condensed milk, butter, and mayonnaise and served over a cup, sprinkled with shredded cheese. It’s very similar to elote, the popular Mexican street food, but wrapped up in the flavors of Bali.



Perkedel Jagung is prepared by blending garlic, onion, and corn kernels into a smooth paste. The paste is then combined with celery, eggs, spring onion, salt, pepper, sugar, and bouillon powder and mixed well. The last ingredient to be added is wheat flour or cornflour. The mixture is now shaped into small, rounded portions before pan-frying it into the hot oil.



Indonesian corn fritters are somewhat like perkedel jagung except that you don’t need to blend the ingredients into a smooth paste anymore. You just have to mix all ingredients then fry it in the hot oil, not necessarily having to achieve the rounded shape. To vary the flavors, you can add cabbage or carrot slices or even anchovy and shrimp. 



Jagung Bakar Pedas Manis on the other hand is done simply by grilling the sweet corn. To add flavor, butter is brushed to its body while grilling from side to side. Afterwhich, chili sauce is brushed onto it, sprinkled with cilantro, and served immediately.

balinese-street-food-grilled-sweet-corn.jpg



Since sweet corn is popular and easy to prepare street food, you can find it at Jimbaran beach, Seminyak beach, or Sanur beach. You can walk by the shore and munch on a sweet corn cob since this delicacy is easy to hold and won’t make a mess when you eat it.

It’s a perfect way to enjoy a beautiful Bali sunset, and only minutes away from a cluster of amazing Bali vacation villas in Jimbaran.  


Where to Eat It:

There are many good places to find these sweet corn variations, but for the best fire-roasted sweet corn-on-the-cob experience, head to the beach in Jimbaran!




6. Babi guling (Balinese suckling pig)



Babi guling is a popular Balinese dish of roasted suckling pig. Before roasting over an open fire, the pig’s skin is commonly rubbed with turmeric, and the body cavity is stuffed with a basa gede mixture, which includes chili, coriander, galangal, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, shrimp paste, and turmeric.



This Balinese treat is usually served as a platter, with a chunk of juicy meat, a portion of crunchy skin, and a tablespoon of flavorful stuffing. It is often served during special occasions and formal gatherings although it can also be found in warungs (small family-owned food stall businesses) and traditional Indonesian casual eateries. However, because of its massive success, babi guling is now served in restaurants as well.



One of the most famous places to try babi guling is in Warung Ibu Oka in Ubud, which became famous thanks to Anthony Bourdain’s coverage of the restaurant and its products. This restaurant is set in an open-air space across from the Ubud Royal Palace. It opens at 11:00 am, perfect for when travelers are starting to crowd the area for lunch, and closes at 6:00 in the evening.



Warung Ibu Oka offers babi guling and only babi guling and it was the first place we headed for when we visited Bali for the first time. It’s also very close to Villa Bumi Artura which is an amazing place to stay in Ubud.



Because babi guling is well-loved by everyone, you can expect a long queue of customers all wanting to have a taste of this cuisine, so it’s best if you could go there at an earlier time, especially during peak hours. 



Where to Eat It:

Warung Ibu Oka — Jl. Tegal Sari No. 2 in Ubud

Pak Dobiel — Jl. Srikandi No. 9 in Nusa Dua






7. Murtabak (also known as Martabak)



In Indonesia, there are two types of this delightful snack: Martabak Telur (pan-fried bread with eggs and vegetables inside) and Martabak Manis (sweet pancake with several sweet garnishes).

Murtabak, which means “folded,” is generally a spicy omelet pancake with bits of vegetables, like chopped leeks, chives, green onion, and minced meat. It is labeled as the ultimate guilty pleasure of many Indonesians because of its addictive and comforting taste. 


Making murtabak on a sizzling hot griddle

Making murtabak on a sizzling hot griddle


Available at almost every food court on the island, but the best Murtabak Manis can be found in Holland Bakery in Canggu. Established in 1978, Holland bakery is the pioneer in the modern Indonesian bakery business and aims to incorporate and preserve the authentic Indonesian taste in their nutritious products, and to make it the preferred staple food choice for locals and travelers alike.


Where to Eat It:

Holland Bakery — a leading Indonesian bakery chain with 22 branches all over the country


Egg lovers will fall in love with Murtabak

Egg lovers will fall in love with Murtabak



Is Bali Street Food Safe?



Bali faces a high demand for authentic dishes and delicacies, so locals and visitors can be sure that the food is fresh and safe.


However, because of certain inadequacies, like clean, running water, hygiene may sometimes be an issue. We highly recommend trying street food wherever you love to travel, especially in Bali.


Wherever you travel, you should always choose the vendors you eat from wisely and carefully. Follow our recommendations here or ask the locals. As with any restaurant in Bali — high-end establishment, ramshackle bicycle vendor, or street warung — if a place is crowded, you can assume the food is good.

Also, if you are not accustomed to eating street food, you may want to take it easy and slow at first since Balinese cuisine is generally hot and spicy; there’s a phenomenon called Bali Belly for a reason. ;-)





Where to Stay in Bali


There are many areas of Bali to stay in and so many accommodations to choose from — trying to decide on just one or two will make your head spin. We highly recommend these two luxury villas, one in the island’s cultural capital of Ubud, and the other in the southern playground of Jimbaran.

Ubud

Villa Bumi Artura

Looking to enjoy Bali with a group of friends or your extended family? This stunning 8 (air-conditioned) BR villa is perfect for a long-overdue multi-generational getaway. Steps from the Goa Gajah (the Elephant Cave), this gorgeous property is just a 10-minute drive from the Tegallalang rice terraces, Monkey Forest, Campuhan Ridge walk, the Royal Palace, and local Balinese dance performance venues.


Check rates and availability

The 8 BR Villa Bumi Artura in Ubud is perfect for friends or a multi-generational family gathering

The 8 BR Villa Bumi Artura in Ubud is perfect for friends or a multi-generational family gathering


Jimbaran and Nusa Dua


Villa Ohm

Villa Ohm in Jimbaran is one of the area’s top-rated villas. With 4 bedrooms, we can’t think of a better option for families — everyone has their own stunning private space with some of the most gorgeous tropical spaces in Bali. It’s close to the beach, 10 minutes from Nusa Dua, and 20 minutes from Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Check availability and more details


The stunning 4 BR Villa Ohm in Jimbaran

The stunning 4 BR Villa Ohm in Jimbaran







Have you been to Indonesia? Or tried Bali street food?


About the Author

Marlieke Kemp-Janssen lives in Bali and runs Nakula Hospitality Management, a Bali holiday villa rental and management company with an ever-growing villa assortment for travelers to Bali. Her vast experience in the industry gives her and her team the expert eyes to help you have an ideal Bali vacation. Follow them on Facebook and other social media.


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