So you’ve spent some time in Ubud and checked out all the top dining spots listed in the magazines and guidebooks. The food is good, but the crowds are starting to get tiring and you’re looking for something a bit more quaint—something off the beaten track where you won’t be bombarded by hordes of backpackers, screaming babies and cooler than thou scenesters. We love finding hidden gems and supporting the locals who go out of their way to create friendly, intimate settings with great food and drink. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of our favourite hidden gems for getting your food and drink on in Ubud.
Located on groovy Gootama Street, this tiny cafe has just three small tables. However, what Warung Saya may lack for in size, it makes up for with character and damn good food. Amiable owner, chef and server rolled into one, Amier whips up flavorful Indian, Thai and Indonesian dishes including Phat Thai noodles overflowing with veggies, rich and aromatic Coconut Curry Chicken with basil, and sweet Banana Fritters. Come for the food, but we guarantee you’ll stay for Amier’s easy and laid-back gift of gab.
Jalan Gootama #8, Ubud, Bali | +62 857 9259 1969 (reservations highly recommended)
New to the Kutuh Kajah hood, AA Cafe is a small bamboo eatery next to the rice paddies that serves up Balinese and Thai food like Udang Asam Manis (sweet and sour shrimp), Thai Red Curry and grilled Pork Ribs. If the cushioned seating platforms on the first level are full, head upstairs for intimate wooden tables and great views of the scenic temple across the road. The friendly team of locals here will also deliver to your door in the Ubud area.
Jalan Tirta Tawar, Kutuh, Kajah, Ubud, Bali | +62 361 976 721
Far from the busy main streets of Ubud, Warung Jepun is a breath of fresh air in picturesque Taman. Pop in for fresh juices and smoothies, cold beers, delectable Indonesian and Western cuisine and the warm hospitality of the smiling staff here. The BBQ chicken and prawns win big points with us for the fresh ingredients, subtle spices and very reasonable prices.
Jalan Sriwedari #62, Taman Kajah, Ubud | +62 (0)361 972 254
Bebek Semar Warung
Ok, so technically this one’s in Mas, but the stellar views and fab food here deserve a mention in our off-the-beaten path list. Enter through the funky bar decked out in wooden everything, pass through a few rooms filled with eclectic antiques and you arrive in a breezy open-air space that looks out over rippling rice paddies. Try the Pepes Ikan (lightly spiced fish steamed in banana leaf) and a cold beer as you take in the serene scenery at Warung Semar.
Jalan Raya Desa Mas #165, Mas, Ubud, Bali | +62)878 8883 3348
Ubud’s favorite reggae singer and musician extraordinaire Kum has just opened Warung Bulan, a sweet little spot in the far back corner of the football field where you can great authentic Balinese, Indonesian and Chinese cuisine and chill in the tranquil garden with beers and good friends. We love the Pangsit—plump dumplings stuffed with ground meat and veggies, floating in a deceptively flavorful clear broth with roasted garlic and scallions.
Jalan Monkey Forest, Far Back corner of the football field