Traditional Foods of Bali, Indonesia

While Bali is world-renowned for its beaches, surfing, diving, and resorts it is also known for its amazing food. Everything is spiced to perfection, incredibly healthy, and offers options for vegans and vegetarians. Although we must admit, it would be pretty hard not to try the delectable peanut satay or babi guling. Here are the four dishes you have to try in Balinese cuisine.

Traditional Foods of Bali, Indonesia

Peanut Satay

These are the skewers of meat served at almost every restaurant that offers Balinese cuisine. They are sliced and marinated in coconut milk before they are grilled and then offered with a peanut dipping sauce. Usually, they have white rice as a side. Gapet over in Seminyak is purported to be the best on the island.

Babi Guling

This is the traditional take on roasted pork, and similar to Hawaii, the entire pig is roasted but over a spit in Bali, rather than a pit like in Hawaii. The pork is stuffed and slathered in aromatic spices which gives it that unique spicy and savory taste that Balinese food is known for. If you want to get the best cut of meat you have to be sure to get to the restaurant early enough, as after the lunch time rush there tends to not be much left. Warung Babi Guling Pak Malen near Kuta Point has some of the juiciest.

Nasi Goreng

Often seen as a breakfast food, it is comprised of savory fried rice with some spicy green pepper mixed in and a fried egg on top of it all. The accompanying sauce can make it spicy or salty depending on what you like. We suggest putting the sweet thick soy sauce, kecap manis over all of it. Bollero Resto Bar in Ubud offers a nice substantial one which will start your day off right.


If you are craving some greens, then this is the Balinese salad that will satisfy with that craving. The vegetables will either be steamed or fresh depending on the warung you are eating at. Usually it is a mix of cassava leaves, bean sprouts, spinach, sliced cabbage and green beans. Like a lot of Balinese food, coconut, garlic, and chili make up the main salad dressing components. If you are a vegetarian just be mindful that shrimp paste and fish sauce is used in a lot of Balinese cooking so you may want to ask if it is in any fried rice dishes. If you are leaning towards the pescatarian side of the spectrum then you are safe.