Not so long ago, travellers held a very real and viable fear that staying in Canggu meant driving into Seminyak for great food. With an ever growing round up of restaurants and cafes now on offer in Canggu, you may even hear of those camping out in Seminyak venturing into Canggu to eat. With something on offer from all of the world’s greatest cuisines and more breakfast options than you could fill a month long holiday with, this tiny beach town may actually be one of the greatest eating pockets in Asia.
Here we showcase the very best of the Canggu food revolution…
Warehouse style walls, tin bucket sinks, plants aplenty; it was hard to imagine the food outdoing the décor when the tribe at Little Flinders first opened their doors. But it does. You could stroll in for a bento box inspired breakfast of seasonal fruits, berry yoghurt, toasted citrus sponge cake and chia seeds. Doll up for a dinner of lobster spaghetti and sangria. Or just drop by on a lazy afternoon for a mushroom cappuccino. Whichever way you choose to sample Little Flinders you will not be disappointed.
A Bali institution with international fame, Betelnut is the embodiment of Canggu’s much adored laid-back and tropical lifestyle. Devouring one of the flamboyant Betelnut bowls bursting with photogenic fruits is about as important on a trip to Bali as catching a sunset at Uluwatu. The wooden two-story bungalow is popular round the clock – you could eat 3 meals per day there and still not be bored.
Peloton Supershop may be a café cum bicycle shop, but that shouldn’t scare off the non-cycling type – you need not wear shiny leggings with backside padding to look the part in this Canggu café. Their breezy upstairs setting is the perfect spot to waste hours sampling the bountiful vegan menu, inclusive of cinnamon spiced pancakes with grilled banana, creamy cashew lasagna, and a huge selection of soul satisfying juices and smoothies.
The tiny nook of Quince on Pantai Berawa is one of the most undiscovered eating gems in Bali. A food experience for the soul, this is a place where cutlery gets presented in a leather envelope bound by rope, and every dish served up is an artwork. Picture buttermilk pancakes with poached pear, creme fraiche, sage and walnuts; puff pastry galettes with oven roasted cherry tomatoes, thyme and herbed ricotta; and tubs of spiced milk homemade ice-cream. Plenty of vegan options and an adjoining textiles and homewares shop top off this incredible café brimming with its Melbourne heritage.
It would be easy to spend a few weeks in Canggu without sampling any Indonesian cuisine. Which is a crying shame, particularly given the existence of Dandelion. Set in an old joglo on Batu Bolong, Dandelion is not only an example of superb local cuisine that hasn’t been given the “fusion” beyond-recognition treatment, but an ambient, homely experience to boot. A candle-lit garden is filled with bouncing rabbits and fringed by rice fields, shelves overflow with old books, and the wait staff are eager to sit down and have a chat, knowing you by name after just one visit. Indonesian hospitality, décor and cuisine at its very finest.
Sashimi, gyozas, tacos and sliders; it’s impossible to imagine how these menu items could sit together with any coherence…until you visit One Eyed Jack. Going by the title of “Modern Japanese Izakaya & Sake Bar concept”, this very new addition to the Canggu restaurant scene has fast become a must-make-a-booking dinner haunt. The rock shrimp tempura and its indescribable spicy creamy sauce will be enough to send your entire table into a choir of pleasure. Some of the dishes are a little small, but that makes it all the more acceptable to order one of everything and have a share. Did we mention they flame grill limes for their mojitos? Bless you, One Eyed Jack.
When the team behind Betelnut Café decided to open up a vegetarian sister restaurant The Shady Shack, the Bali expat community finally had all the proof they needed that manifesting destiny is completely possible. They prayed, and they received. Bowls of soul satisfying foods sprout with the likes of nori seaweed, sizzling tempe, grilled halloumi and countless fresh vegetables. Perch yourself under a frangipani tree and waste a day sampling as your heart desires. And yes, that will probably include a fruity colourful breakfast bowl – they brought their trademark over from Betelnut (phhhhew).
Sure, you probably have at least 8 incredible Mexican restaurants on your regular rotation back home. But do they make margaritas with hibiscus flowers and Sumbawa honey? Do they have matador bullfighting costumes on the walls? And do they serve snapper and mango ceviche or Aztec lime soup? Well even if they do, they aren’t positioned right here in the pretty island heart of Bali, so you very much need to visit the good time guys at Lacalita.
Looking for the quintessential Canggu experience? It’s breakfast at Crate, a vibing café known for its cult following, many a good looking salt drenched customer, and team of baristas you’ll wish could serve you every coffee you consume for the rest of your life. But it’s not all about the great scene and good moods, they serve up an incredible spread of food and coffee, as well as a rainbow of smoothies that look like treats from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. A Bali must do.
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