Travel

10 Of The Best Ubud Restaurants To Book A Table At In 2024

By Penny Watson
5th Mar 2024

Once a lush sleepy corner of Bali, Ubud is now home to a thriving culinary scene that boasts some of Indonesia's top restaurateurs and chefs ready to tantalise those tastebuds.

From chic fine diners to more relaxed spots for an easy afternoon or evening bite, here are 10 of the best Ubud restaurants worth booking a table at in 2024.

Hujan Locale

Jl. Sri Wedari No.5, Ubud

Hujan Locale Ubud restaurant BaliImage credit: Hujan Locale | Instagram

On the top floor of a shuttered two-storey building, with a charming rooftop and temple outlook, Hujan Locale is the place to go to really feel like you’re in Ubud. The cuisine helps too. Chef and restaurateur Will Meyrick has taken his love for Indonesian flavours and given them a modern make-over but not so much so that they lose their authenticity. From a grazing menu of small and large dishes try grouper and chive dumplings, and beef satay padang before moving onto crispy whole fish served or Bali’s best slow-cooked beef rendang. For dessert taste test the Balinese affogato with coconut ice-cream and single origin local coffee.

Syrco Basè

Jl. Sri Wedari No. 72, Ubud

Syrco Base Ubud Bali restaurantImage credit: Syrco Basè | Instagram

Netherland native Syrco Bakkar has Indonesian grandparents, so when the call came to come to Bali to open a restaurant it felt like a natural step. Queue: Syrco Base, the two-Michelin starred chef’s exceptional new modern Indonesian restaurant. In a contemporary three-building complex with a central kitchen garden, it combines a long dining room and upstairs lounge, a chef’s table venue, walk-in bar (for more casual dining) and a boutique showcasing product lines (steak knives, ceramics et al) made by local artisans. The menu is firmly special occasion stuff with a choice of three seven-course degustation menus themed as ‘plant-based’, ‘heritage’ and ‘pure local’. Whichever one you choose, you’re in for an Indonesian-Balinese treat with a little Netherlands-Michelin star thrown in.

Pica

Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud

Pica Ubud Bali seafood plate at restaurantImage credit: Pica | Instagram

This excellent South American kitchen has the kind of five-star reputation that makes it a must-try Ubud restaurant. Led by Chilean chef Cristian Encina, the essentially simple dining room is softened by a homey décor of wooden chairs and art works with tealight candles and dimmed lights adding an intimate glow. The food is plated to pretty perfection with petals, micro-herbs and artistic swirls on quality ceramics that serenade the fresh ingredients. Pica’s menu is grouped into starters, empanadas, ceviche and a choice of mains so dinner could look thus: bbq octopus with corn chimichurri, Chilean beef stew empanadas, catch of the day ceviche with coconut milk, and 16-hour pork belly with chorizo and pickled shallots. This is staunchly wine terrain, with choices from old and new world regions.

Honey & Smoke

Jl. Monkey Forest Rd, 67B, Ubud

Honey and Smoke Ubud Bali plates in restaurantImage credit: Honey and Smoke | Instagram

In a twist worthy of a b-grade mini-series, Ubud’s Honey & Smoke bistro, specialising in wood-fired Australian fare, went up in smoke after a serious fire last year, which closed the venue temporarily. Happily it’s now back in action with a new fit-out and the same excellent cuisine, woodfire, smoke and all. This is another one of chef Will Meyrick’s conceptions and it works a treat. The kitchen sits on a busy Ubud street with open sides that make you feel part of the action. Upstairs it’s a more stylised affair, with a fun retro fit-out conjuring the heady days of rail travel. Both dining rooms serve food flavour-kissed by fire, from charred broccoli salad and wood roasted carrots to chargrilled octopus and slow roasted lamb. Smokin’!

Moksa

Ubud II Kutuh, Jl. Puskesmas, Sayan, Ubud

Moksa Ubud Bali plate and cocktail outdoors on balconyImage credit: Moksa | Instagram

Moksa cuisine not only tastes good, but it also feels good, largely because the people behind one of Ubud’s most popular long-timer restaurants have put so much heart and soul into. Set in casual pavilions in an elevated garden, chef Made Runatha’s menu is mostly home-grown from the restaurant’s permaculture garden, with cuisine that celebrates plant-based cooking techniques. Dishes such as Mongolian jerky and asam laksa noodle are so well conceived they might be mistaken for meat versions, but there’s no denying soyfish and chips, and tempeh ribs as alternatives to protein. Keep an eye on socials for Moksa’s culinary classes and farmer’s markets.

Locavore NXT

Jl. A.A. Gede Rai, Gang Pura Panti Bija, Lodtunduh, Ubud

Locavore NXT Ubud Bali restaurant dishImage credit: Locavore NXT | Instagram

The Locavore group has a cult reputation as foodie people who take their sustainability seriously. Last year, chef-owners and culinary geniuses Eelke Plasmeijer and Ray Adriansyah’s closed their exceptional Ubud restaurant Locavore to focus on a new enterprise called Locavore NXT, a sustainable property with solar power, grey water waste, soil regeneration initiatives and worm toilets. It’s a heavily localised project involving a raft of collaborators, the end-product of which is a tasting menu exclusively using local ingredients – “no imports, no dairy, no wheat or gluten, less animal protein”. Book well ahead, and be prepared to feast, the tasting menu experience runs to 20+ courses.

Room4Dessert

Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Jedewatan, Ubud

Room4Dessert dessert plate BaliImage credit: Room4Dessert | Instagram

Room4Dessert is the lauded restaurant owned by American celeb chef and pastry legend Will Goldfarb. As is evident from the name, desserts are the main event, with Goldfarb’s kitchen cycling between tasting menus that fit with the Bali seasons. Foodies who sign up for the tasting experiences (that can run to 20 dishes) will witness technique and creativity rarely seen in this space. Paired with Bali’s exotic ingredients, many of which grow in the garden surrounding the restaurant, it’s a recipe for success. Expect syrup, foam and glacé’d treats and some savoury surprises too.

Zest

Jl. Raya Penestanan Kelod, 8, Ubud

Zest Ubud plate of fresh food at restaurantImage credit: Zest | Instagram

If ever there was a restaurant that embodies Ubud it’s Zest. Sitting high above a verdant forest planted by Zest’s founder, this beautiful restaurant is replete with trailing plants, wood furniture, batik napkins and serene copper Balinese statues. The plant-based menu is an “animal friendly celebration of the bounteous roots, fruits and shoots of our Balinese edible eco system”. Ergo, it celebrates food in all its tasty gluttonous forms, minus the meat. From club sandwiches (featuring daikon bacon) and shitake mushroom burgers, to Napoli pizzas (with ‘notzarella’) and jackfruit ‘tuna’ sushi rolls. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Restaurant Nusantara

Jl. Dewi Sita No. 9C, Ubud

Restaurant Nusantara Ubud Bali flaylay of plates on tableImage credit: Restaurant Nusantara | Instagram

By the same peeps who own Locavore NXT, Nusantara is the place to try a broad palate of exceptional Indonesian dishes. The name means archipelago, a nod to Indonesia’s 17000 islands and the 3000 or so national dishes that call them home. This regional diversity reveals itself on a menu that includes perkedel nike (corn fritters with salted fish and turmeric from North Sulawesi), babi goreng (fried pork belly marinated in shallots and ginger from Flores) and ayam bakar (grilled chicken with aromatic spices and coconut milk from Lombok). Balinese food gets a look-in too. Basa manis, for example is a mud crab dish with green mango moringa and coconut from Cemagi, near Canggu. Who knew?

Rüsters

Jl Raya Kengetan No. 44, Ubud

Rusters Bali Ubud sharing tableImage credit: Rüsters | Instagram

Rüsters has many strings to its bow with a coffee roaster, Indonesian boutique and furniture warehouse all in the one stylish complex. But the highlight is the restaurant for either lunch or dinner. With a lovely teak and rattan pavilion and a terrace overlooking rice paddies, this is a lady’s lunch or a date night kind of place, with just the right blend of casual chic. Start with tropical plant infused cocktail or Chilean chardonnay on the terrace then sit down to an a la carte menu that taps Euro and Asian influences including beef and foie gras wontons, crispy duck bao buns, Thai grill prawns and grilled lamb rack.

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