Food Lover's Guide to Bali

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The culinary landscape of Indonesia is as diverse as its culture and geography, and Bali is no exception. Balinese food is time- and ingredient-intensive, with a heavy emphasis on spices, aromatics, and chili peppers. Here are a few foods and activities you won't want to miss.

Must-Try Dishes
Unlike much of the rest of Indonesia, Bali is predominantly Hindu, and one of the island's must-try dishes is babi guling, spit-roasted suckling pig. Traditional Indonesian meat skewers, called sate or satay, are made from chicken, beef, pork, fish, or even tofu, while the Balinese version is often made from minced meat mixed with coconut milk and spices before hitting the grill. Seafood plays a prominent role in the local food landscape—fish and shrimp come barbecued or in fragrant curries—while nasi goreng, Bali's take on chicken and rice, is often served with shrimp crackers, cucumber, and fiery sambal sauce.

Must-Do Experiences
  • Experience the ties between Bali's signature dishes and religious ceremony by taking in a sunset seafood dinner and traditional dance performance at the clifftop temple of Uluwatu overlooking Jimbaran Bay
  • Learn the craft of Balinese cuisine at a cooking class in Ubud or an intimate chef-led demonstration in a traditional Gulingan Village kitchen
  • Explore the street foods of Kuta on the back of a motorbike
  • Embark on a Balinese food safari through Seminyak, Jimbaran, or Ubud
  • Visit a small village to learn cooking methods from the locals
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