9 Must-Try Foods in Bali

9 Must-Try Foods in Bali

Last Updated on October 20, 2023

Referred to as the ‘Island of the Gods’ and the ‘Land of a Thousand Temples,’ Bali is one of the top tourist destinations in Indonesia. This spiritual land offers a plethora of activities and stunning beaches that seem out of this world. But aside from its pristine shores and the warm hospitality of the Balinese people, you can’t complete an unforgettable escape to this hotspot without trying out its unique, mouth-watering foods in Bali.

Bali’s cuisine is an exceptional fusion of Indonesian and Indian cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, flavorful ingredients and bold spices. It’s a delicious and satisfying reflection of the island’s vibrant culture and rich culinary heritage. So if you’ve booked a trip to Bali with leading agencies like Hoot Holidays, venture out of your comfort zone and try these delectable local foods.

Babi Guling

Babi Guling, or “suckling pig,” is a hidden treasure, rarely found beyond the island’s borders due to the predominantly Muslim population in Indonesia. It is a succulent pig slowly roasted over an open fire, turned by hand to perfection. While it’s originally reserved for festive occasions, the surge of tourism in Bali has made babi guling a must-try dish, readily available in restaurants and food outlets.

Ayam Betutu

Ayam Betutu, a classic delicacy, is a spice-marinated chicken dish cooked either by steaming or roasting. This dish comes with a side of vegetables, rice, and chili sambal or sambal matah, giving the taste buds an electrifying boost. The rich and savory taste has made it a favorite among locals and visitors. 

Klepon

Klepon is a bite-sized ball of glutinous delight. It is rolled in grated coconut, giving it a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. What makes Klepon unique is the surprise in the center. With each bite, you’ll discover a sweet filling of melted palm sugar, adding a burst of flavor to the soft and chewy texture of the rice flour. It’s a treat perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without being too heavy or overwhelming.

Gado Gado

Gado gado is an excellent salad dish for vegetarians. But with its taste and nutritional value, gado gado is good for everyone, regardless of age and preference. This dish comprises tofu, tempeh, bean sprout, cucumbers, kidney beans, and eggs. Gado gado is topped with a unique peanut sauce to make it sweet, spicy, and salty.

Nasi Jinggo

If you’re looking for a flavorful one-meal dish, you might want to try nasi jinggo. This dish is typically a savory medley of fried noodles, boiled eggs, shredded chicken, tempeh, spicy sambal, and shredded coconut—wrapped in a banana leaf. The spicy sambal adds a fiery kick to the meal, making it a bold culinary experience. According to the locals, nasi jinggo isn’t just a tasty dish—it’s a way of life because it’s cheap but sure packs a big punch. 

Mie Goreng

Mie goreng, or stir-fried noodles, boasts a rich, flavorful taste with a mild spice undertone. The Indonesian stir-fried noodles dish drew inspiration from the Chinese recipe chow mein, hence the similarity in appearance. Comprised of noodles, vegetables, soy sauce, and various meat options, it’s no wonder why this quick and easy meal has become a household favorite. Thanks to its immense popularity, manufacturers have even created a brand called Indomie. We recommend that you learn how to prepare this scrumptious dish, just in case you find yourself craving it after leaving Bali.

Sate

Sate, or satay, is among the most common street foods in Bali. Sate is made by skewering and grilling small pieces of meat, typically chicken or pork, over an open flame. It’s often served with a side of peanut sauce and rice, making it a flavorful and satisfying meal. You’ll find vendors selling sate from smoky carts throughout Bali, although you can also find it served in high-end restaurants at a reasonable price. While sate is a common dish, certain types of sate are only served during special events.

Laklak

Laklak is a type of Balinese cake made from rice flour. Laklak comes in two colors, white and green. Bakers use pandan leaves to add green color and mild aroma to green laklak. These cakes are eaten for breakfast, though they are a healthy snack that can be consumed anytime. Finding laklak in fancy restaurants is challenging. But you can easily find it in traditional markets. Be sure to give these tiny cakes a try before leaving Bali.

Fish Head Soup

Fish head soup is considered Bali’s delicacy. To prepare this dish, the whole fish is cooked, except for the scales. The fish is boiled in a fragrant broth with special spices, and cucumber is added to give the soup a refreshing touch. Completing the meal are crispy fried fish and a bowl of rice. If you’re a fish lover, you definitely need to try this recipe.

Conclusion

Bali offers a remarkable culinary experience with its diverse range of mouth-watering delicacies—from snacks to full meals and desserts. Exploring the culinary delights of Bali is not only a treat for your taste buds but also a way to immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of the island.

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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