Bali Indian Vegetarian Food Guide!

If you're planning a visit to Bali but worried about availability of vegetarian food, this post is just for you. Based on my experience of visiting Bali for 3 times, once each in 2016, 2017 and 2019, I have compiled this post detailing the ground reality in Bali and tips to make your life easier if you're strict vegetarian.

Quick Summary
Good things
Points to note
1. Rice is available everywhere
2. Many Indian restaurants in Bali- Mainly Kuta and Ubud area
3. Easy availability of tender coconut, banana, watermelon n other fruits
4. Can order online (Grab Food/Gojek etc)
 1. Hardly any Indian restaurants in nearby islands like Nusa Penida, Lombok, Gili etc
2. 100% Pure vegetarian is hard to find. Most are veg+ non-veg restaurants
3. Hostels with kitchen access is hard to find. No kitchens like in west.


1. Lots of Indian Restaurants
Bali gets lots of Indian tourists, so there're many Indian restaurants. We visited two of them last week- Sitara in Ubud (they also have another outlet in Kuta) and Golden Saffron in Kuta. During my 2016 and 2017 visits had been to few more like the Queen's Tandoor, Kuta, Ruchira Indian Cuisine, Indian Dhaba in Nusa Dua and so on

So with some planning w.r.t your stay and daily site seeing, it might be possible to visit an Indian restaurant at least one time per day and have your stomach full of Indian food. Be prepared to spend at least INR 500 per person per meal.

2. Rice based dishes
Rice is at the core of Indonesian cuisine so almost every restaurant serves rice, along with various accomplishments. If you don't like Indonesian side dishes, carry supplements like Puliyogare mix, pickle or anything that you can mix with boiled rice to make your own dish. Buy a bowl of steam rice, customize to your taste and consume. Curd will be available in most supermarkets in Bali with some difficulty. But we didn't find proper curd in Lombok supermarkets.

3. Order online on Gojek or Grab App
Online food order is getting popular in Indonesia just like India. If you are far from a restaurant or don't want to spend on transportation or don't have time, install Grab app or Gojek app and order food online. You will probably need a local sim card which you'll anyway take upon arrival. Once you set it up, this is very convenient way to get some food delivered to your hotel. You will face some language problem with delivery guy if there's something to call and talk but your hotel staff will probably help you out. Having Gojek/Grab app will also help you commute locally in low cost (bike taxi)
4. Secondary foods:
There're lots of supermarkets in Indonesia- Alfa Mart, K Mart and so on- these shops sell quick moving items, including bread/bakery items, fruits like banana, watermelon, apple etc. You can grab some of them before heading on a day trip or if you're not very sure of finding a proper restaurant that day.  Fresh tender coconuts are also easy to find and very refreshing. Coconuts keep you hydrated and energized for several hours.

5. Try Indonesian Veg food
Most Indonesia  restaurants do serve vegetarian food. You can get vegetable spring rolls, Tofu, some paneer based items, vegetable soup, vegetable curry, vegetable pakodas, fried peanuts, sea weed and various locally popular vegetarian items. Try a few of them- you will definitely like one or two of them if not all.


6. Fine Dining
Many premium restaurants do serve specialty vegetarian dishes- like this egg plant milanese with potato puree and charred broccoli and herb salad we had at the Sundays Beach Club. Will be a bit heavy on the pocket but depending on your budget and preferences might be worth trying out.

What to expect in hotel breakfasts?
Unfortunately hotel breakfasts are not very likely to have lots of Indian veg items for breakfast.  A few luxury hotels we stayed- Sthala Ubud, Kuta Heritage Hotel etc did have a vegetarian section with a few Indian items. But this will be hard to know in advance as description of breakfast items are not very easy to locate.
For breakfast you can count on standard items like cereals, bread toast, fruits & bakery items.

At the live counter you can usually request for some fried rice without egg or noodles without egg/non-veg to be made. Most hotel restaurants usually provide them, particularly if they've already planned for fried rice/noodle and they have to just make some pure vegetarian version of it for you. You may also get to try some Indonesian veg items like Gado Gado (A salad with some rice).

I have reviewed several Bali restaurants on Zomato- you can check them here and as per Zomato I am one among top 100 reviewers in Bali.

Nearby islands: Getting Indian Veg food could be a bit difficult in islands off Bali- like Nusa Penida, Lombok, Gili etc- but option #2 to Option #6 can be tried all over Indonesia. Ami Bhat tried getting curd from nearby supermarkets in Lombok but only some sweet lassi kind of stuff was available. We have also left a feedback with Lombok tourism authorities that more Indian restaurants are essential to attract more Indian tourists. Hopefully there will be more options in near future.
Points to note:
  • Many consider fish and egg also as vegetarian. Be careful, do not assume anything, cross check when in doubt.
  • Beware of some rice crackers which might be containing prawn or other non veg elements.
  • Most Indonesian restaurants serve a plate of fruits in the end for desserts. Ice cream you will have to buy separately. Indian Buffet/thali might include some desserts/ice creams.
For my complete Bali travel guide, check this post.

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