BITES & BEVS: Canggu, Bali.
Growing up in Singapore meant three things for younger me: developing a confusing blended accent, eternal frizzy hair and lots of Bali holidays.
This beautiful little Island has since become my happy place. Every time I need a little R&R, I spend some time in Bali and always leave feeling nourished, sunned, and reconnected to myself.
Back in 2016 after completing my Nutritional Medicine degree, I packed my bag for a year of living the 'digital nomad' Bali life. I loved every second.
Competing for a top spot on my long list of reasons I love Bali is the food. Bali's historic surfer lifestyle and healthy beach babe visitors from around the world have made this little slice of paradise an epicentre for delicious fresh eats.
Personally, I am a Canggu girl through and through. Seminyak definitely has some incredible spots for food, nightlife and cocktails but I just love the 'old Bali' vibe that Canggu has to offer. I am totally blown away at how much these once quiet "out of the way" beaches have now become the hot new place to be as Bali development creeps up the coastline. Canggu is absolutely bustling with new amazing spots to drink and dine, with new ones opening every week.
Here are my absolute ride or die spots for a good meal in the 'gu.
THE SHADY SHACK
My one true Bali love. I swear I have at least one meal, snack, smoothie or dessert from Shady every day when I'm in town. Their menu is delicious, colourful and vegetarian - but meat eaters don't let this deter you! I promise you wont miss your meat, its just that good. I have yet to try a dish I didn't love.
Faves: Big Breakfast, Open Omelette, Kale Storm Smoothie, Green Juice, Big Boss Burrito, Nori Bowl, Ubud Raw Chocolate for dessert (the raisin/cashew flavour), Baked Cauliflower.
The Canggu OG. I remember my very first visit to the 'gu when Betelnut and Old Mans were literally all that was around. This all-day spot has stood the test of time for good reason. Options to please absolutely everyone, totally affordable and yummy as hell. They serve up Indonesian dishes, signature health food go-to's (avocado toast, smoothie bowls, green juices, tonic shots etc etc) and even have a fabulous Mexican menu. Usually I'm suss on places who try to please everyone, but this one takes the cake.
Home of my favourite lunch/dinner meal in the entire world: THE QUINOA BOWL. I'm drooling just thinking about it. A mouth watering combination of quinoa, chicken, pesto, onion, greens, cucumber and lightly pickled carrots. It is everything.
Faves: THE QUINOA BOWL (caps to emphasise importance), Red Chicken Curry, Chicken Summer Rolls (have a tofu option for veggos), The Big Betelnut salad, Naga Bowl (sweet AF smoothie bowl but so yummy).
The best way to taste Indonesia. This local gem serves up traditional dishes in stylish interiors and they pay attention to every detail. Gorgeous setting, ice cold drinks, fresh face cloth on arrival and impeccable service every time. My favourite place to bring visitors who want to delve into the local cuisine. They use only fair-trade and organic ingredients with no msg or palm oil.
Faves: the Karedok salad and Beef Rendang are a MUST.
FISH BONE LOCAL
This new addition to my must list is the fresh fish spot Canggu never knew it was missing. Their menu is designed to share with an impressive collection of dishes that get better and better every time. A great spot to go with a group (more people = more dishes to try!). When I go we usually get our own fish and then go crazy ordering all the sides. It may sound like baby food, but if you're even half as into sweet potatoes and I am you MUST try their puree. It's a mash game changer.
Faves: Ginger Sweet Potato Puree, Black Cod, Miso Eggplant.
This place holds such a spot in my heart. I stumbled across them on their soft opening on NYE in 2016 and have loved watching them grow since then. This is a venue to be reckoned with, it has it all. Swimming pool, fresh eats, live tunes, yummy coconut mojitos and wow do they throw a great party. Beautiful spot for afternoon lounging and absolutely breathtaking at sunset (great for the 'gram!). If you're lucky enough to be in town for any of their live music or parties, go go go! They put a lot of effort in to make each one a special event.
Fave: Gado-gado zucchini noodles, coconut mojito (with no sugar).
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
COPENHAGEN. An adorable slice of Nordic style eats dishing up design-your-own platters, perfect for when you want a little sweet and a little savoury. If you go and the owners are around, say hello and give them a hug from me! Nadia is a close gal pal of mine and a boss babe superhero. She renovated Copenhagen, designed the menu and opened all whilst growing a little bubba in her belly. Her signature Cinnamon Rolls are magical.
OLD MANS. As if I could get through this post without Old Mans, Canggu's iconic beach-side watering hole. Gets rowdy on a Wednesday evening but during the day it's a wonderful spot to pop in after the beach for a cheap and cheerful meal. Almost all their meals are under ten bucks. Think delicious big salads, cold coconuts and yummy laksa.
MASON & BACKROOM. Mason is a new yummy dinner spot. Behind the dining room is a downstairs speakeasy-vibe bar called Backroom with pool tables, leather booths and delicious cocktails. Great for a date night; a little food, a little drink followed by a game of pool. Highly recommend their spicy rose margarita (I ask for no sugar - it doesn't need it!)
CAFE VEDA. Another good brunch/lunch spot for the health food focused. Unlike many of the other "healthy" Bali spots that focus more on the IG worthy displays (whilst disregarding taste and ingredients) cafe veda does the opposite. An impressive selection of tonics, salads, juices and smoothies to leave you feeling nourished and full every time. Huge portions, yummy juices, great superfood shots individually designed for different aches, pains and belly troubles.
WATERCRESS. My kind of buffet lunch! Design your dream lunch plate at their famous lunchtime showcase, a smorgasbord of organic colour, delicious fresh salads, baked veggies, and the fresh catch of the day. Served 11am - 3pm daily.
NINETY ONE. I stumbled upon this adorable but quiet little spot on my last trip and fell instantly in love with their crockery. They've nailed that Bali beach ceramic organic vibe that I just adore. The aesthetic is boutique and laid back but the menu is surprising and considered. Not as cheap and cheerful as the classics but everything I ate there was absolutely beautiful. Serving up nourishing brunches, wholesome dinners and divine cocktails with a Conscious Cocktail twist (probably the only place in Bali I didn't have to tweak my cocktail order!). The kind of place I'd love to take my mumma.
PELOTON SUPERSHOP. The only vegan place in Bali I think is truly worth its hype. They use simple and only locally sourced ingredients to create a colourful menu that brings both fun and luxury to plant based meals. Smoothies, salads, wraps and burgers - they have it all. This place looks the part and tastes the part.
PIRING DAWN. You may think Indian food in Bali sounds a little odd, but this place is a delicious local gem. So yummy, cheap as chips, and conveniently attached to a little gelato shop for if you get too spicy over dinner. The dishes are small so order lots to try.
ECHO BEACH BBQ. Last but certainly not least is Echo Beach BBQ. Sitting right on the sands edge at the end of Echo Beach, this local grill spot is almost always my very first dinner each time I visit. Basically how it works is you choose your fresh grilled fish (tuna steak for me please) and then there is an all you can eat veggie bar. Going at sunset and enjoying an ice cold Bintang for a Bali *cheers* is mandatory for me and always signifies the start of my holiday. There are 3 different BBQ stalls, I have tried them all and now strictly only go to the one closest to the top of the stairs leading to the sand. They have a local Urap Urap (bean and coconut) salad option that is next level yum with grilled fish.
You may be thinking I've left off a couple big names. Well, If I'm being totally transparent I truly think a lot of most common tourist spots are incredibly overrated, sloppy, overpriced and downright tasteless. If you're visiting Canggu and want to know more about where I would honestly avoid, let me know and I'll happily share with you my Bali don't list too.
Send me a message if you try any of these places out! I look forward to the fomo ;)
Shannon Rosie x