We all know that Bali is the stereotypical Aussie’s dream getaway – cheap beers, wild nightlife, and scooters for all. But did you know that just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the International Airport, you can find yourself in a peaceful, vegan mecca on the outskirts of the jungle? That’s where the town of Ubud comes into play.
Our guide to the best vegan food in Ubud ranges from Indonesian cuisine with the likes of mie goreng and nasi campur (lots of it) to raw foods that burst with sensationally fresh flavours; and a whole bunch of other multicultural fare that has been perfected by the cooks and chefs of the Balinese town that is Ubud. Feast your eyes!
Moksa truly is a hidden gem, just a 10-minute drive off of the beaten track, or from Ubud city centre that is. The completely plant-based restaurant offers a ‘farm to plate’ concept and utilises the highest quality local produce, as well as sourcing from their own permaculture garden. The al fresco dining space overlooks the plot, where you can watch green thumbs tending to the crops – you can even see the cooks out in the garden picking fresh fruits and vegetables for your meal at times.
Moksa offers a mixture between raw and ‘warm’ meals; cooking the food as little as possible to enhance the ingredient’s natural flavours. Every single dish we tried was out of this world delicious – the newly harvested components really do make a galaxy of difference, with each bite taking your taste buds on a herbaceous journey.
The highlights of Moksa’s menu were: the Curry For Life soup, Ubud Souvlaki, Asam Laksa Noodle, Moksa Sampler, Balinese Rijsttafel, Lasagna Love, and the Not-Fish Cakes. They also make a delightfully thick hot chocolate and the zestiest of rejuvenating juices.
Address: Ubud II Kutuh, Jl. Puskesmas, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Located inside a housing community for artists off of the main drag, the outdoor eatery takes centre stage of a small courtyard; surrounded by frangipani and starfruit trees in a temple-esque setting. Siboghana is a family-run kitchen and offers authentic vegan Balinese food which is all home-cooked and made to order. You might be waiting a while for your meal, but it is most definitely worth your time.
Siboghana procures their ingredients from markets and local farmers, making for a magnificent culinary experience. The semi-outdoor kitchen is maintained by an elderly Balinese woman who intermittently adds wood to the fire to keep the pots bubbling away – she’s a joy to watch as you await your plate.
Siboghana Waroeng’s menu highlights include: the mie goreng (the best mie goreng we have ever had, that is), kare noodles (creamy curry noodles with potato and parsley), nasi campur (a variety of side dishes and rice), and sate jamur (grilled oyster mushroom skewers). Words wouldn’t do the flavour profiles justice – take a look.
Address: Jl. Made Lebah No.36, Peliatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Contrary to what Google says, Kismet has reopened for business after a two-year closure due to Covid-19, but within a new rooftop location just down the road from their previous restaurant. And thank God for that, because Kismet makes the most mouth-watering chick’n satays imaginable – they are the height of vegan meat without a doubt. The small, vegetarian terrace eatery sits above the corner of two main pedestrian streets, perfect for people-watching and taking in the sounds of Ubud’s slow, but fast town life.
The open-air restaurant offers quite the mixture of cuisines from Indonesian classics to Canadian poutine, and sushi cones to polenta lasagna. But the real standouts are the chick’n satay skewers with a rich peanut sauce (all made from scratch), and the Thai soup with bean curd, rice noodles, tofu and tempeh, sauteed mushroom and lemongrass in a spicy coconut milk broth. Their kitchen is also open from 11am until 10:45pm – heaps of time for snacking.
Address: Jl. Goutama No.17, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Now, we only visited Sayuri once towards the end of our trip, but judging from the ramen and gyozas we consumed, their other food can do no wrong. Sayuri offers both cooked and raw plant-based meals, with both indoor and outdoor dining spaces – cushioned ground level eating is definitely on the cards here. This establishment is on the newer and larger side of things, and even has a small health foods store and hefty dessert cabinet to satisfy your sweet tooth.
This ramen, however, will knock your socks off. Made with an ever-so thick sesame broth and topped with a variety of ingredients that explode with piquancy, such as teriyaki king oyster mushrooms, soy braised enoki, sesame-crusted tempeh, fresh seaweed, and even a genius vegan egg – all rounded out with a subtle chilli paste.
We can’t vouch for these dishes, but Sayuri Healing Foods also serve up Reuben sandwiches with eggplant steak, Norweigan-style gravlax with smoked papaya salmon, jackfruit rendang, and banana skin yiros – to name a few intriguing concoctions.
Address: Jl. Sukma Kesuma No.2, Peliatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
5. Sri Hari Laksmi Vegetarian (formerly Rama Vegetarian)
Located on the outskirts of Ubud city centre, this tiny eatery serves just a couple of dishes, but it’s a must-visit in our books if you’re on the hunt for a vegan version of Indonesian bakso soup, soto ayam soup, and nasi campur. Don’t be alarmed by Sri Hari Laksmi’s super old school appearance and way of food storage however – they’re like a street vendor, minus the street.
Sri Hari Laksmi’s bakso soup is our favourite in Ubud. The dish is made up of chick’n meatballs, fried tofu, rice noodles, shredded cabbage, fried shallots, and celery leaves in a strong celery, peppery broth – all at the ridiculously cheap price of $1.50 AUD. There’s no written menu at Sri Hari Laksmi, you’ve just got to ask, and you shall receive.
Address: Jl. Raya Teges No.12, Peliatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
6. Herb Library
Centralised, but on a quiet street, Herb Library is the place to be for nutritiously crafted cuisine, and it shows with every bite. The al fresco, undercover dining area provides a somewhat peaceful retreat, adorned with flowers and earthy tones and textures. The contemporary space offers a delightful plant-based menu with multicultural cuisine that uses local and seasonal ingredients.
You won’t find anything deep-fried at Herb Library, just very carefully curated dishes which pop with aromatic perfumes. We thoroughly enjoyed the ramen, or as it’s enlisted on the menu, the ‘ramentic special’ – a bowl full of yellow curry coconut broth with rice noodles, BBQ tempeh, fried tofu, marinated mushrooms, ‘oriental herbs’, fresh tomato, and nori. It’s not your traditional style of ramen, we’re unsure if it’s a ramen at all, but it sure is scrumptious.
Address: Jl. Jembawan, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Locavore is on a whole other level – it’s fine dining, it’s interactive, and it’s a treat yo-self kind of situation, and by that we mean, an 18-course experience. As each dish is brought out, the chef who created the morsel personally talks you through the ingredients that are used and where they came from. It’s an art show as much as it is dinner, and that includes the ultra-modern, slick dining room too.
Seasonal and hyper-local, high-quality produce is Locavore’s whole thing, even the furniture and glassware are all made in Indonesia. In 2019 they were named the Best Restaurant in Indonesia by 50 Best, and listed as No. 42 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. And although the restaurant is set to close on 15 April 2023, their new project is currently under construction and is set to open in June of 2023. Get in while you can, or wait it out for a whole new world of culinary adventure.
Address: Jl. Dewisita No.10, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Atop a big old hill, well and truly amongst the greenery; but surprisingly just a five-minute drive out of the Ubud city centre, you’ll find yourself at the tranquil Yellow Flower locale. With volcano views over a luscious valley, the eatery offers traditional, vegetarian Indonesian fare and multicultural cuisine in the cave-like space. Yellow Flower is run by a Balinese family who grow their own produce and support local farmers – and the unprocessed flavours really shine through.
We had the nasi campur, again, and this one was quite heavy on the coconuty tones which were present in a number of the samplers, you might just be into it though. Yellow Flower is equally about the food as it is the location; it’s a simply beautiful spot to lay back for a few hours while enjoying the birds chirping and absorbing the cooling energy of the vines that engulf the cafe.
Address: Jl. Raya Campuhan, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Firstly, Zest is huge and we were not expecting that – but the service is prompt and the food is great, so no complaints here. The restaurant looms on the edge of a hill, which means incredible views across the treetops of Ubud. Zest is a remote worker’s heaven, so nomads with laptops aren’t an uncommon sight. It’s another interesting spot for people watching – try not to guess what people are concentrating on behind their screens, we dare you.
The contemporary space provides a massive, fully plant-based menu with foods from across the globe – Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, American, Indonesian, Mexican, you name it. And yet, each carefully curated with a hint of plant-based creativity – take their jackfruit tuna sushi, for example.
We had the Vietnamese pho of rice noodles, coconut-crumbed mushroom schnitzel, spiralised carrot, and leek in Zest’s signature mushroom stock – and it was a tasty affair to say the least. Next on the list was the decedent chocolate mousse cake which was simply divine, followed by the most luxurious, creamiest, hot chocolate imaginable – the best dang hot chocolate we have ever had. If you order just one thing from Zest, make it that.
Address: Jl. Penestanan Kelod Jl. Penestanan No.8, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Right in the heart of Ubud lies this humble eatery, serving up authentic Indonesian meals at just a small cost to you. Take your shoes off, take a seat in the brilliantly blue space, and watch the world go by – it’s an inside-outside kind of set up. The menu is medium in size, but refined for the best, honing in on hero dishes such as gado-gado (steamed vegetables smothered in peanut sauce), nasi goreng (fried rice), and tempeh curry.
Wulan Warung’s menu highlights include the nasi campur, or as it’s enlisted, the ‘Wulan 7-Veg’ – a hefty serving of organic red rice with a mixture of crunchy, sweet, salty, savoury, saucy and spicy vegetable dishes. As well as the pineapple nastar cookie made up of a soft shortbread filled with chewy pineapple jelly – it was without a doubt, pleasant.
Address: Jl. Sugriwa No.1, Peliatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
There you have it – ten of the best cafes and restaurants for vegan food in Ubud. With our guide there won’t be a subpar meal in sight, or at least we’d hope. Put these Ubud vegan spots on your to-eat-at list – you’re already contempating a holiday, we can feel it. Happy snacking!