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*Note: I was having battery issues on this trip and I wasn’t able to get as many photos as I would have liked, so unfortunately this post is bereft of hunger inducing photos.
It will be no surprise to regular followers of my travels that I love to eat, especially when I travel. This time as I was travelling with my Mum (who is very health conscious), I researched the healthy options that are available in Ubud and boy was I pleased with the result. Ubud, though generally considered to be the artistic and cultural heart of Bali, has become a hippy paradise. It is full of yoga retreats, health havens, healing huts and stocked to the brim with young, single ladies wearing patterned hippy pants, crystal necklaces and giant earrings.
But what I was most interested in was the cafes and restaurants serving healthy, organic, raw, vegan and vegetarian food. Now don’t get me wrong fair readers, though I was a vegetarian in the past, I have no plans to give up pork belly or crispy duck any time soon. But when you are travelling and eating out a lot, you can sometimes find yourself just craving a giant crispy salad or a giant freshly extracted veggie juice and this is why I was excited to explore the organic, raw vegan side of Ubud.
If you are looking to vitalise your body with some veggie powered goodness when you’re in Ubud there is no shortage of places that come highly recommended. These include Soma, Alchemy, Down to Earth, Sari Organik, Kafe, Garden Kafe @ Yoga Barn, Clear Kafe and Juice Ja Cafe. The only problem comes with trying to fit in a visit to all of them into your schedule, which I very sadly was unable to. But I did manage to get to the following.
Before we left Perth, I scribbled down the above list of cafes on a scrap of paper and tucked it into my suitcase. I did have plans of marking each of locations on a map to make finding them easy but life got in the way and I didn’t have time. So instead we decided to put on our walking shoes and just see which ones we bumped into. Having said that, Sari Organik is definitely not a place that you will ever just bump into, but it was the first on my list and we just asked some locals to point us in the right direction.
You turn off one of the main roads and follow a few signs until you find yourself on a path leading into the rice fields, which you will follow for about 20 mins (or 5 mins by motorbike) until you reach Sari Organik. It’s a bit of a hike, especially in the middle of a humid day, but seriously it is completely worth it. They have their own little organic veggie farm, which you can actually wander around and pick out the ingredients you would like for your lunch, and the view once you settle at your table is fantastic.
I had the Bodag Salad which was packed with capsicum, mixed salad leaves, grated beetroot, cucumber, tomato, feta, sun dried tomato, cashews, and carrot served with a tahini dressing. I also got them to add in some grilled chicken for me (they are not an exclusive vegetarian place), as I needed a protein boost for the walk back to the road, and it cost me around $5. Yum.
The Yoga Barn is my favourite place to visit for yoga classes and for great ayurvedic body treatments and massage but they also have a fantastic cafe on the grounds called Garden Kafe (formerly Little K). They do a bunch of raw desserts, ayurvedic meals, macrobiotic dishes and some amazingly refreshing juices and smoothies.
We had brekkie there one morning, after my Mum finished an early morning yoga class (while I slept in), and I got the bircher muesli (delcious!!) and a Belly Juice (aloe vera, apple, turmeric & honey – which was a bizarre combination but I am sure it was good for me). Over the week we also tried a bunch of their takeaway snack foods, which included some cashew and raisin cookies and some flax and sunflower seed crackers.
This is one of the tastiest places we ate but to be honest the people who frequent Yoga Barn and Garden Kafe can be a little cliquey and posey, and I constantly felt I was lacking in sanskrit tattoos and revealing yoga clothes.
About a 15 min walk from the Yoga Barn, we came across this place while we were wandering down Jl Hanoman in search for the Down to Earth Cafe. We came to this first and we were hungry so we stopped in for an early dinner. It was around 5:30pm and before the dinner rush so it was lovely and quiet and we got a comfy, cushioned bench seat on the 2nd floor. I got the fresh grilled tuna salad which came with a large chunk of beautifully cooked tuna on a bed of grilled veggies and mixed greens – around $7 – and finished it with a bowl of handmade chocolate gelato.
I would definitely go back to Kafe but it can get super busy so I would always try to get there early for dinner, or perhaps late for lunch.
This is my new favourite place to eat in Ubud. On a side street just off Jl Hanoman, this cafe sits above a shop of the same name which sells fresh organic veggies (if you want to try cooking yourself at home), some delicious pre made snacks, along with some clothes and general health & beauty products.
We walked up the stairs and settled into a comfy seat with a fantastic view over the rooftops of Ubud and there was the most amazing breeze flowing through the whole place. Perhaps it was this that made me fall in love with this place, or maybe it was the tasty black bean tacos I had, or even the piece of handmade lemongrass chocolate I finished my meal with. Whatever it was, I am in love and will be returning here time and time again in the future to work my way through the extensive menu.
On the top of my list for next time is the Dragon Bowl, which is a heap of veggies and tempe served over cold soba noodles. You can also build your own salad for around $5, by filling in a slip on your table.
*Note: The locations on the above map are only approximate
So I managed to get to four of the cafes on my list, which just means I will have to plan another trip there and next time, perhaps stay a little longer. We also had an outstanding dinner at Mozaic restaurant, but that was such an extraordinary experience, that it deserves it’s own post. Stay tuned.
Have you been to any of these eateries? What were your thoughts?
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