My Bali diet goes something along the lines of scrambled eggs and deliciously crispy bacon in the AM, and alternating between Nasi and Mi Goreng for lunch and dinner. Sometimes I’d try something non-traditional, but the thing is, these two dishes always impress and satisfy. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it so to speak.
The past five times we have visited Bali, we have stayed in the Legian area. We usually stay in an apartment at the Jayakarta, but for this mother-daughter trip we stayed at the Swiss-Belinn and I highly recommend it. Legian is sandwiched between Kuta and Seminyak, and offers the best of both worlds. It is away from Kuta’s hectic hustle and bustle, but is not as upscale as Seminyak. I wanted to put together a list of my favourite places to eat and drink in Legian, as I couldn’t find something similar prior to my latest trip.
Wareong Tropical: for a cheap meal
My family and I have been going to Tropical for years. We are such good patrons that our faces are on the wall. If you have a spare few minutes try and find me in the photos on the back wall. Their meals are cheap and delicious, but it’s their cocktails I enjoyed this time. At 50 to 60,000rp (about $5 to $6AU) they are well priced. As soon as I saw they made a fruit tingle, I had to get one, as this was the first cocktail my brother introduced me to when I was 18. It was so good I had 2, and could have had 3 if I didn’t have a hot stone massage to get to (#baliproblems).
Jl Werkudara No. 526
Sammy’s Bar and Restaurant: for cheap cocktails
Sammy’s is one of my favourites because of its excellent service. On arrival you are given an ice cold towel, which is heavenly in the wet season. Stick that baby on your neck and feel the instant relief. Each table also gets some peanuts to nibble on while deciding what to order. But wait, there’s more. Sammy’s also do a huge selection of 50,000rp cocktails, which are on par with their Aussie counterparts. Their Nasi Goreng includes chicken satay, and their peanut sauce was so good I still remember it. That pretty much means it’s the best peanut sauce in Bali.
Jl Padma Utara No.5
Rama Garden Restaurant: for their Nasi Campur
Thanks to our friends staying at this hotel, we had a memorable lunch at this restaurant. Whenever I see Nasi Campur (pronounced Champur) on the menu, I tend to order it. It is a selection of different Indonesian specialties, and I love just digging into each dish to see what it is. The only downside is that there is usually one spicy dish, and I do not do spicy.
But back to Rama. Usually the dish is just served on one plate like any other, but at this restaurant they actually brought a massive tray out of the kitchen and placed it in front of me. I thought it was carrying everyone’s dishes, but no, just my lunch. I feasted on Gado Gado (salad with peanut sauce), crumbed prawns, beef rendang, egg and more. I obviously highly recommend this dish and restaurant. They have theatre seating to watch the footy on the big screen too.
Jl Padma // Website
Poco Loco: for Mexican
Poco Loco is an old favourite we have visited a few times, because I am obsessed with Mexican food. Perhaps the restaurant’s best feature though is its resident joker, who is always there to entertain diners. But if you want something different for dinner, you will find the usual Mexican staples here. Think fajitas, chimichangas, and tacos.
Jl Padma Utara // Website
Kumala Pantai Ristorante Italia: for ocean views
Located on Legian Beach, Kumala Pantai was where we went for my birthday lunch. I like their outdoor seating under the trees, but I love their Nasi Goreng. Their take on the traditional meal includes a prawn cracker as big as your hand and some delicious fried chicken. There are plenty of restaurants along the beachfront with ocean views, but this is definitely my favourite. Plus seeing as it is an Italian restaurant, you will be pleased to know the pizzas are big and look delicious.
Jl Werkudara // Website
Sendok Emas Restaurant: for Bintang on tap
The new kid on the Legian block, my mum and I continuously walked past this restaurant, so decided to give it a go one lunchtime. It gets points for its beautiful interior, excellent staff and the fact it is the first place I have ever seen Bintang on tap. We didn’t even think that was a thing. The restaurant also has a daily happy hour, which had pretty good 2 for 1 deals.
Jalan Werkudara No. 524 // Website
Legend’s Bar: for FUN
We have been visiting Legend’s for years. It is such a fun place that has a great live band, and the most hilarious variety night on the island. I’m talking the staff dressing up as Elvis, drag queens and Michael Jackson. I even had one staff member slow dance with me one night and pose for a “prom photo” afterwards. It is the bar to visit when you want a fun night. Legend’s also do 2 for 1 cocktails, and have a Plucka Duck cocktail, which is basically a Long Island Iced Tea inside a duck. You’ve been warned.
Jl Sahadewa No. 9 (Garlic Lane)
Mozzarella: for a classy meal
There are two Mozzarella restaurants in Legian, but we had never eaten there until this trip. Its food is a little pricier (starting from about $10AU for a meal) but the presentation and taste is on par with any Australian restaurant. The menu includes Indonesian and Western dishes, and I went for something different in the beef shank with fettuccini. It was perfect, with the meat falling off the bone. A visit here gives you a reason to dress up just a tad. And by that I mean flats instead of thongs (or flip flops for my North American readers).
Jl Padma No. 9
Jerry’s Beach Bar: for Bintang on the beach
Oh, Jerry’s Beach Bar. I seriously look forward to watching the sunset over the water everyday from Jerry’s. We have been going to the same beach bar since we first started visiting Legian seven years ago. The owner and a lot of the beach sellers have basically seen me grow up in my 20s, and they always remember my family. Jerry’s English is excellent and when he isn’t busy he loves to sit down and have a chat. Being on the beach, you will be constantly bombarded by sellers wanting you to buy their jewellery/get a tattoo/have a massage. Just get ready to say no thanks a few times. Jerry also sells Bintangs, soft drink and a pre-mixed vodka concoction.
You will find Jerry’s Beach Bar to your left when heading onto Legian Beach from the entrance directly in front of Jayakarta.
Bella Vista: for coffee
Finally, for all those people who need a decent caffeine hit in the morning, check out Bella Vista. The coffee shop also does excellent smoothies, juices, and offers the all important beer too. There is an adjoining bakery, where we may have picked up a delicious slice of chocolate cake for my birthday. I also had a lemon, lime and bitters, and it was perfect. The staff were really friendly, so I think this may become a regular spot when we return to Legian.
Jl Padma Utara No. 2B // Website
Legian = The BEST
Legian isn’t a well-known area of Bali, but it really is a great place to stay, eat and drink. I will always return there, especially so I can visit all of these places again and again. Remember, before travelling internationally, you should definitely purchase travel insurance. Bali belly is no joke (take it from the girl who gets it all.the.time). It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
• 10 things you need to pack for Bali
• The best hotels in Legian
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