Recently, I had the pleasure of spending a week in Bali with my husband, and explored new and nourishing vegan fare. As always, I was a little worried about leaving the comfort of my kitchen, but I was pleasantly surprised! Here are my top 5 vegan eats in Bali:
If you are in Ubud, or you are near Ubud, you must find a way to get to Clear Café. In fact, the sooner you go, the better, so you can go back again and again. Clear Café is an amazing vegan-friendly eatery with both raw and vegan options on the menu. I was very excited about their nut-milk chai latte—they boast it’s the best in the world, and I found this to be not an entirely unfounded claim. I also had the most wonderful raw burrito with fresh guacamole on the side. Unfortunately, I was only able to eat here once because of poor planning – do not make the same mistake! There are too many options on the menu to discover it all in just one sitting.
Seminyak is a hub for high-end shopping and restaurants in Bali with many of the larger beach resorts and late-night spots. There are quite a few vegan-friendly restaurants in this area worthy of exploration, but the one that must not go unnamed is Earth Café. Whoa! Earth Café is part restaurant and part grocery store, with many delectable raw treats and dry foods to take on the road. Their menu offers smoothies, juices, and really excellent plant-based meals. Their signature offering, the nutritious dragon bowl, is not to be missed. I had actually left my phone here (oops!), and the staff were kind enough to keep it safe until I found my way back. Forgetting my phone was really my excuse to eat more of their yummy food.
- Tropical fruits, EVERYWHERE!
What’s great about traveling to the tropics is the abundance and quality of fruits. On this trip, I was on a mission to try as many new tropical fruits as I could. I even considered eating nothing but fruit during this trip, but surprise, surprise, I got too hungry. Some of my favorite new fruits included mangosteen, a fleshy, sweet fruit with an extremely pleasant tangy flavor, and passion fruit, which goes extremely well in a sparkling wine cocktail—who knew! Other local fruits to eat as much as possible: snake fruit, jackfruit, rambutan, tamarillo, papaya, starfruit, dragon fruit, and if it’s in season, durian (lovingly referred to as the ‘king of fruits’).
Fresh is a new raw and vegan restaurant in Ubud located at Taksu spa. Overlooking the serene, lush courtyard of the spa, Fresh offers up a vast array of nutritious options, presented thoughtfully and artistically. We had a wonderful table by the window when a torrential downpour struck, and it actually felt good to be stranded at such a delicious place. While we waited for the rains to subside, we decided to dip into their exciting dessert menu—all vegan and all beautiful creations that should not be missed. We enjoyed the key lime pie, served with many delicious fresh cut fruits decorating the plate.
The Yoga Barn in Ubud is a haven for yoga lovers and vegans alike. They offer popular yoga classes for all levels during the day, and have many impressive studios. We opted for the 90-minute Yin Yoga, and worked up enough of a sweat to truly appreciate the food. First, we quenched our thirst with some fresh young coconut at their juice bar, where they also offer fresh pressed juices. Upstairs is the café, offering many raw and vegan delights. The organic black fried rice with veggies and tofu is both a vegan and omnivore-favorite.
Traveling on a plant-based diet is not difficult if you’re prepared. A little research and the means to get around is key. While I’m always surprised to find the under-the-radar vegan restaurants in the most unexpected places, I’ve come to realize that vegans and vegetarians abound.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of vegan goodies in Bali, so I’d love to hear your recommendations! Please share them in the comments.