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Bali is a heavenly destination for foodies. But it's also a hot-shot for an all-day good choon and dance-off. Whatever your taste buds (or musical insides) are craving, this little beauty has a food, drink and beach bar scene to quench, serve and satisfy. Here are 9 of our favourite spots.
Welcome to your new favourite hangout. Finns Beach Club. Where everyday’s a Sunday sash. Rock up, roll out and whittle away a few hours with Champagne in your hand and Bali’s best surfers in eyeshot. Fronting the ocean and just ten minutes from Seminyak, Finns dishes up enough laid-back beats for an all day dance-athon, with a swim-up pool bar, underwater speakers and inviting day beds freckling the beachfront. Come nightfall Finns ensures every punter has a guaranteed sunset view, which you can enjoy before dinner and, feet permitting, barefoot dancing in the sand. Well into the early hours we might add.
Because you didn’t book a trip to Bali so you could gorge on a burger, try a traditional Warung and get to grips with an entire tongue-assaulting medley of Balinese flavours. A Warung is a small family-owned business which will open its doors to foreign folk and usher everyone inside for a big bowl of Mee Goring. Made by mama, passed down from nana. Albeit a smidge touristy, Seminyak’s Made Warung still serves a damn fine Balinese dish. A beauty since 1969, it’s a veteran of all things authentic. Having blossomed from a traditional roadside warung into a chic city restaurant, the menu is flush with traditional Balinese fare, while the atmosphere is one you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
One of the greatest cocktail bars to hit the Balinese beachfront is at La Laguna in Canggu. Nothing shy of a glorified gypsy caravan park, the entire locale is littered with reclaimed gypsy-mobiles. Amidst the traveller’s whispers and tarot cards, you’ll find two of Bali’s greatest assets: a cocktail list and a golden beach. Bohemian poofs are scattered across the shore-fronting grass, so you can rock up and sit down for a freshly shaken mojito.
Outta the way! Very important person coming through. Or at least that’s how you’ll feel in the seductive inner sanctuary of one of Bali’s trendiest bar lounges. The Moonlite Kitchen and Bar offers a dangerously captivating rooftop position overlooking a gorgeous stretch of beach. With an open air deck, culinary delicious-ness and Indian Ocean views, this one’s 100% good for your soul. Pop your derriere on an outdoor sofa (the posh kind you see in house and décor magazines) and indulge in a cocktail; we like both the Strawberry Glacier and the Stubborn Mule, and not solely for their names. As for dining, you can feast beneath a crystal conservatory which resembles the intricate glasswork of a modern airport; look across and you’ll fall into the sunset, look above and you’re ensconced in a starlit sky. Like we said — good for your soul this one.
Maybe you want to inject a little caffeine into the first crinkles of a brand new day, in which case, there’s Single Fin’s Revolver coffee. Or perhaps you just want to experience Bali’s most infamous Sunday session. Which would mean Single Fin is also your venue du jour. Clinging to an Uluwatu cliff bluff, the outdoor balcony enjoys an elevated outlook across an endless series of wave breaks - and surfers attempting to conquer them. Cocktails are served in mason jars and the Bintang’s are dished out like ice-cold gifts from the gods. Kick back and enjoy the acoustic jams, or simply load up on share plates, authentic pizza and beer-induced chat with the Balinese locals.
An upbeat little number in Seminyak, this cheap and cheerful Mexican bar and restaurant is a colour bomb of Mexicali shrines, Latin curios and a hundred heads knocking back Tequila. Between the fire dancers and juggling entertainers, you’ll find margaritas, Cuba libres and an entire menu of tacos and tapas. The music’s good, the tequila’s great and your agenda for the next day should be very, very empty.
Potato Head. The original all-day escape for the budding Bali traveller. Self-described as a destination for good times, it’s open from breakfast until late, home to two restaurants, boasts three bars, an infinity pool and a glorious ocean-fronting lawn. Considered something of a Seminyak icon, Potato Head has an almost cult-like following. Needless to say, talent of all kind floods here. From the chefs who dish up exotic Indonesian fare in Kaum, or international taste-faves in the main Potato Head Restaurant, to the resident DJs who know how to spin a disc like the best of them. It’s a non-stop open air medley of authentic Indonesia mixed with toe-tapping good sounds.
A riot of a good time can be had at the rainbow coloured La Plancha. Taking position on Mesari Beach at Seminyak’s southern end, this Spanish-themed beach bar and restaurant is named after a traditional Spanish way of cooking 'La plancha' which means 'the grill'. Open from breakfast onwards, inexpensive tapas can be ordered around the clock, while the smell of a minty Mojito is never too far away. Parasols of every colour litter the beachfront, accompanied by bright beanbags and Moroccan-style lanterns. Come nightfall, staff will stash away the seats and you can dig your heels into the sand for an all-night shindig of music, live DJs and rolling surf. Depending when you next see daylight again, La Plancha’s Spanish potato omelette will be ready and waiting to revive you.
Acclaimed chefs are as common in Bali as grains of sand in your underpants, and Ginger Moon boasts one of the very best. Dean Keddell will blow the taste buds off your tongue with his daring fusion of Asian come international creations. A modern eatery located in trendy Laksmana Oberoi Street, AKA “Eat Street”, his flavours and ingredients are regional, but his delivery is always unique. Right in the heart of Seminyak’s culinary centre, guests are treated to Indo and China taste sensations, with a distinct twist. And don’t even think about leaving without trying the Bali apple cider. That’s a sauce you want to get acquainted with.
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Sitting on Seminyak Beach with a Bintang is a must. La Plancha boasts photogenic beanbags and come sundown there’s acoustic music and that lovely ‘holiday’ vibe.
The most delicious Laksa can be found at Jackson Lily’s in Seminyak, along with all the other Indo-Asian menu items. It’s a casual, family-friendly eatery, with a striking interior and lots of modern aesthetics.
Secure a spot at the Balinese Cooking Class at The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa and master a handful of distinctly Indonesian dishes. You’ll really get stuck in, learn some unique techniques and get to eat it all afterwards.
For something slightly sweeter than a Bintang (but at the same reasonable price) try a Bintang Radler. It’s a lower alcohol beer with a twist of lemon juice - perfectly refreshing.
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