If you’ve been following along on my Instagram page, you’ll know we just spent a week in Bali, eating allll the good food, doing yoga and soaking up the good vibes. We also spent a week on Gili Air, Lombok, which had similar vibes and is totally worth mentioning. Here is my healthy bali guide (written February, 2020).
What are the best healthy and plant-based cafes in Bali?
Ali and I are both huuuuge foodies (naturally), so we were super stoked to try all of the delicious plant-based and health cafes in Ubud, Canggu and Uluwatu. And let’s be honest, Bali is basically all about the food. While westernized health food is the go-to in Bali, we also tried a few local spots that totally get a noteworthy mention.
Best Cafes in Ubud
For the vibe, beautiful decor and top-notch nourishing food:
Zest (must try: ceremonial cacao), Alchemy (design your own nourish bowl from the salad bar), Kismet (must try: the Asian nourish bowl with Tempeh skewers), Bella by Sage (must try: happy hour 3-5pm for 33k plant-based Italian pizza, salads and drinks), Atman Nourish Kafe (must try: fresh juices with a view). I’ve also heard great things about Yellow Flower Cafe, Molecha Organic Warung and Moksa Ubud.
For cheap and delicious healthy food:
Wayan’s Coconut Juice Bar (must try: design your own juice, Indonesian fried rice with egg), Bali Buddha (must try: healthy snacks at their shop), Warung Bernadette (must try: tempeh & veggie noodles, watermelon juice), Warung Makan Bu Rus (must try: the coconut milk veggie curry), and if you make a stop up to the rice terraces, try By Cafe (must try: Italian tofu pesto wrap)
Things to do in Ubud: We loved the sound healing journey at Pyramids of Chi (highlight of our time here!), taking yoga classes at Radiantly Alive Yoga (but they’re all amazing!) and exploring the markets and cute little shops. This is also a great place to get a relaxing massage (we enjoyed a foot reflexology massage for about $10CAD for 1 hour). I recommend hiring a driver for the day to see all the attractions like the Rice Terraces, Pura Tirta Empul (The Holy Water Temple) and local waterfalls. We didn’t get around to seeing most of the tourist attractions and we felt fine with that. The best way to get around is by scooter (around $6 CAD per day), taxi, walking (everything is super close in Ubud central) or hiring a driver.
Best Cafes in Canggu
For the vibe, beautiful decor and top-notch nourishing food:
The Shady Shack (must try: Choc Top Smoothie, the Slushies, vegan cakes), Quince (must try: the fermented coconut pancakes), The Loft Bali (must try: DIY brekkie and iced lattes), Luigi’s Hot Pizza (must try: 5-7 pm happy hour $7 vegan pizza) and I’ve also heard great things about Leroy’s Vietnamese, Kynd Cafe and their sister restaurant, Give Cafe.
Things to do in Canggu: This surf town has more of a west-coast vibe than Ubud – it’s a bit more fast-paced and you’ll likely find more partiers out and about. We didn’t love staying in the city centre so I recommend booking a villa with a pool outside of the centre. This is a good spot to chill at the pool during the day, visit the temples at sunrise and watch the surfers (or catch a wave yourself!) at sunset by a beach bar. Our favourite beach was Old Man’s.
Best Cafes in Uluwatu
We only had two nights here and kept it pretty simple, but I loved the vibes at Yoga Searcher Cafe. We also heard amazing things about The Cashew Tree and Kelly’s Warung but ended up eating at restaurants close to our house most of the time.
Things to do in Uluwatu: besides relaxing the beautiful beaches, catching a wave or visiting the Uluwatu Temple (so many monkeys!), our highlight here was the Istana Detox & Spa. We spent an evening at the Istana from 5:30 pm-8:30 pm soaking in their infinity pool with the most magical sunset I’ve ever melted into. I highly recommend this experience! At $20 CAD, you get to enjoy the most zen vibes of this beautiful property, head into the sauna or steam room, dip into the cold pool (my favourite!), lounge on the grass and enjoy an evening fire looking up at the stars.
Driver Whatsapp contact for Ubud (Nyoman): +62 813-3872-0177
Driver Whatsapp contact for all of Bali (Sintra): +62 818-567-973
Where we stayed in Ubud Central: Nikuna Homestay
Where we stayed in North Ubud (5-minute scooter ride from the center, this was our favourite Air BnB): The Santosha Place
You can use my Air BnB link for a discount (for new users) or use the Agoda app to find cheap homestays in any area.
Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia
We spent a week on Gili Air and loved the vibes here! Similar to Bali but much quieter, this “off the grid” island is only a 20-minute boat ride from Lombok or 1.5 hour fast boat from the North of Bali. The entire island has no motorized vehicles, running on only horse-drawn carriages and bicycles. This gives the island a super relaxed feel. Just a heads up – the island is Muslim (Bali is majority Hindu) so the Mosque spread prayers throughout the island all day and night. We stayed in this bungalow and loved the location (much quieter), cleanliness and relaxed vibes – we booked through Air BnB the first few nights and then extended our stay for $15 CAD per night directly through the owner. There are plenty of villas and homestays around the island depending on what you’re looking for, what your budget is, etc. – I recommend booking a spot with air conditioning, a fan and a pool because even the ocean is insanely hot all year ’round!
What are the best healthy and plant-based cafes on Gili Air?
Gili Air had similar vibes to Bali, packed with plant-based cafes and tons of restaurants showcasing Italian food, seafood, Mexican and more. The island is full of local Warung’s, too, where we often enjoyed a late-night bite after sunset. Below are our favourite cafes from Gili Air.
Musa Cookery (must try: the jackfruit gyro), B52 Wave Coffee Bar (must try: their iced coconut milk latte or chocolate is amazing!), Pachamama Organic Cafe (must try: housemade yoghurt & granola bowl), Flowers and Fire (must try: breakfast shakshuka with housemade GF pita bread), Mama Pizza (must try: the marinara with arugula at sunset!) and Hello Lumbung Warung for innovative local food – this was our favourite spot on the island (must try: handmade pesto noodles with tofu, the sweet potato falafel in housemade pita, veggie tempeh curry). We also loved Warung Mexicana for cheap and delicious Mexican-inspired food made by locals (must try: the pesto falafel burrito).
Things to do on Gili Air
All the Gilis are super small, so the best thing to do is to chill out while you’re here! We loved biking around the island, relaxing by the pool, reading or working on our laptops at the cafes, chatting with the locals, etc. I also recommend getting a massage (around $15CAD per person) and booking a snorkelling day trip around the Gilis (around $10CAD per person), which we loved, and could have done more than once! My favourite yoga studio on the island was H2O Yoga and their green juice is a must-try, too! Yoga classes are around $12CAD per person and there are plenty of options for scuba diving on the island, too.
If you get the chance to visit these spots, let me know! Overall, Bali was the most touristy spot of our trip but we loved soaking up all the vibes. Can’t wait to visit one day soon :) XO