Guest article by Candy Tolentino.
One of my favorite things to do as a vegan is to travel and seek out vegan-friendly haunts in different cities around the world.
I have eaten delicious vegan food from New York to Los Angeles, all over Europe, and in different parts of Africa. I’ve even had the best-ever vegan cheese in Bangkok. I KNOW good vegan!
True story: I once took a detour on my trip from Cyprus to Paris just to visit an elegant raw food restaurant in Athens. I know most people visit Athens to see the Acropolis. I went to check out the raw ravioli!
So, as you can see, having meaningful culinary experiences during my travels is serious business to me.
The first time I went to Bali, I did no prior research and was just drawn in by a vegan Bali food retreat. I had no idea of the sheer volume and grandiosity of the vegan food scene there.
I have since traveled back to Bali three times and have simply fallen in love. In addition to all the luxury resorts in Bali, there is so much to be mystified by there, and the vegan food is certainly at the top of the list, at least for me.
In fact, I love it so much, I’m now hosting my own “Healing and Adventure Retreats” in Bali with vegan-friendly menus! But more on that in a moment.
I might have titled this piece “how I ate my way through Bali”, because that’s basically the long and short of it.
Vegan Bali: Kuta
I’ll start off in the super-touristic area of Kuta. I always begin my travels there, as it’s right next to the airport and makes a quick and easy stop after a long day of travel. I also happen to like the place, despite the fact that I don’t drink OR party late into the night.
Kuta is no Ubud, or even Canggu, where the word “vegan” practically lines the streets. Kuta is the hub of Australian tourism, with lots of hustle and bustle, but somehow still manages to exude a remote charm.
It’s very mainstream though, so imagine my surprise when, while walking along one of the busiest streets in the tourist area, I happened upon a sign that said “vegan and vegetarian specialties here”.
Indonesian food — with its signature tempeh, rice, tofu, noodles, curries, and many vegetable dishes — never leaves you never short on vegan choices no matter where you go. But to see a sign pointing out vegan specialties in this part of the island makes me very excited.
What excited me even more was what was to come when I ordered. Who knew that in a very mainstream, touristy restaurant, I’d find such an artfully-prepared, imaginative, healthy, gourmet vegan dish?!
I truly loved the creative blending of the couscous with the perfectly-grilled vegetables and the delicately-spiced vegan pesto on the side.
The salad with the “beet caviar” (who in the freak has ever heard of beet caviar!?) proved to be the absolute perfect compliment. I was awe-struck. Pure culinary pleasure.
Vegan Bali: Ubud
Of course Ubud — the spiritual, arts, and cultural mecca of Bali — has plenty of vegan food choices. There are too many to count, but here are some highlights.
Something about this restaurant just makes my heart sing. Sadly, it burned to the ground a little more than a year ago, but it has since been restored to perfection.
The menu is super vegan-friendly, and the food actually TASTES like it was infused with love. I’d say this is a must-go-to in Bali.
Clear Cafe “Made Raw Pizza”- inexpensive, satisfying, flavorful and fresh-tasting
My favorite thing on the menu? Dessert! Their vegan brownie a la mode is what living tastes like.
Alchemy is another raw-food hot spot in Ubud. It has great atmosphere, the best salad bar in the world (I know, I know, it’s a SALAD BAR, but it’s really good!) and genuinely well-flavored food that makes you forget you’re eating raw.
The raw Vietnamese spring rolls at Alchemy are perfect for a starter or snack.
Oh, dear Soma, where you can eat, lounge on real couches, play musical instruments and meet lots of traveling hippies. This popular Ubud hangout is a café, shop, and community gathering space all in one. Much of the menu is raw, and the focus is on fresh, local ingredients. Good intentions all over this place, and good food too.
Check out this Tower of Power at Soma!
Another great place to get a raw food pizza is at The Seeds of Life raw vegan café in Ubud. I eat a lot of raw vegan in Bali, maybe because of the heat, but also because it’s so plentiful and just darn good!
Where to Stay in Bali
Komune Resort & Beach Club
This eco-friendly resort is located on the lush East Coast of Bali. They make it easy to have a healthy holiday with a range of fitness & wellness, environmentally friendly initiatives like going single use plastic free, and plenty of plant-based menu options.
Komune offers three distinct menus, all of which include delicious vegan options. In particular, the Health Hub menu focuses on vegan and gluten-free meals made with fresh produce from their on-site garden and other local producers.
The pool at the Beach Club is available to children to use with adult supervision, while the outdoor pool with beach view at the Health Hub is strictly for adults only. Additional facilities include massage treatments and a spa.
I hope you enjoy food, adventure, and new discoveries as much as I do, and I hope to see you in vegan Bali!
About the Author
Candy Tolentino is a speaker, entrepreneur, author, and success coach who had to learn the hard way how to achieve success after losing everything. In less than a year, Candy recovered, going from financially broke, overweight, depressed, and aimless, to financially free, joyous, fit, and succeeding in several business ventures.
She now takes great joy in teaching others how to thrive, overcome setbacks, succeed in business, and live with meaning and purpose, so that they too may win the game of life ... at any age.