Is Bali Vegetarian and Vegan friendly?

When planning a trip to Bali, you may wonder if you’ll find vegetarian and vegan meals. Your anxiety is palpable since Bali is part of Indonesia, which is known for its meat-centric culinary culture and is predominantly a Muslim nation. 

You’re in for a surprise then! Bali is vegan friendly and is in fact a top vegan and vegetarian hotspot

Relieved and excited? Well then, this blog can be your guide to knowing Bali’s veggie delights. We’ve covered the island’s vibrant vegetarian and vegan scene, from mouth watering plant-based dishes to must-visit restaurants.


Why Is Bali Vegan Friendly?

Cultural Influence: Most of Bali’s population are Hindus. The religion promotes vegetarianism among its followers. This cultural aspect influences traditional Balinese cuisine, which primarily features fruits and vegetables. So, many traditional Balinese dishes are naturally vegetarian or vegan.

Tourism Demand: Bali is a favourite tourist destination. Many foreigners worldwide have adopted vegetarian and vegan diets as a way to reduce their environmental footprint and promote animal welfare. Naturally, to cater to foreigners’ preferences, Bali’s tourism industry offers several plant-based eateries to cater to this growing demand.

Entrepreneurial Expats: Bali has a huge expatriate community. Many expats have established vegetarian and vegan businesses with diverse plant-based options. Their entrepreneurial undertakings have helped make Bali a haven for vegans and vegetarians.

Yoga’s Impact: Bali is a popular yoga destination. The yoga culture emphasises plant-based diets as part of holistic health practices. As such, many yogic centres profoundly influence the island’s vegan-friendly culture. 

Wellness and Health Focus: Bali is reputed as a wellness destination. The island is known to promote healthy living. Many of its eating outlets source fresh and organic ingredients locally. This practice aligns with vegetarians’ and vegans’ preference of seeking nourishing plant-based meals.

Vegetarian Food in Bali

Bali offers several vegetarian options to tantalise your taste buds. We’ve covered seven must-try vegetarian dishes that showcase the rich flavours and cultural diversity of Balinese cuisine.

  1. Gado Gado: Gado Gado is a raw salad with multiple flavours. It has green beans, tofu, or fried tempeh. Peanut sauce is generously drizzled on it. This meal’s non-vegetarian version has a hard-boiled egg. But, you can request the restaurant’s staff to skip it.
  2. Dadar Gulung: Dadar Gulung is a sweet pancake flavoured with the aromatic extract of the pandan leaf. During the preparation, after the pancake turns crisp, it’s filled with sweet, shredded coconut and sprinkled with local palm sugar.
  3. Nasi Goreng: Nasi Goreng is fried rice with vegetables, a spice mixture, and soy sauce. This dish is traditionally prepared with meat. But you can request for the vegetarian variant. 
  4. Mie Goreng: This noodle dish is savoury. It’s prepared with tempeh or tofu. 
  5. Jus Alpukat: Jus Alpukat is a creamy milkshake. It’s made with avocado and coffee powder. It’s the perfect tropical refreshment.
  6. Lapis: Lapis is a flavourful steamed pudding dessert. It’s made from coconut and chocolate.
  7. Pisang Goreng: Pisang Goreng is a popular crispy Indonesian dessert. It consists of sweet banana fritters. Its batter contains flour, vanilla powder, rum, sugar, and butter. 
A vegetarian salad made in Bali

Vegan Food in Bali

While in Bali, we recommend you indulge in these seven delectable vegan dishes.

  1. Nasi Campur: This dish features a mix of vegetable dishes like crispy tempeh, marinated tofu, and vibrant stir-fried greens. It is served alongside fragrant rice and fiery sambal sauce. 
  2. Jackfruit Curry: This aromatic curry dish is slow-cooked with several spices and coconut milk. Young jackfruit absorbs the rich flavours of the sauce. 
  3. Tempeh Satay: Tempeh Satay is a popular Indonesian street food. The smoky and savoury grilled tempeh skewers are served with a delicious peanut sauce. This combination is a balance of sweet and spicy. 
  4. Vegan Nasi Goreng: In this Indonesian fried rice dish, jasmine rice is stir-fried with tofu, crisp vegetables, and aromatic spices. 
  5. Raw Pad Thai: Raw Pad Thai is a twisted version of the classic Thai dish. It’s made with fresh and vibrant ingredients. It contains spiralised zucchini noodles, crunchy carrots, and a zesty almond sauce. This meal is a light and nutritious alternative to traditional noodle dishes. It’s perfect for health-conscious diners.
  6. Vegan Sushi: Vegan Sushi is a blend of fresh produce and creative plant-based alternatives. Its creamy base is made of avocado and cucumber rolls. Mango and tofu nigiri give a perfect sweet-savoury balance. Vegan sushi can also include marinated mushrooms, pickled vegetables, or tempura-fried tofu. These ingredients add depth and texture to each bite. 
  7. Coconut Milk Smoothie Bowl: Coconut Milk Smoothie Bowl is a nutrient-packed breakfast option in Bali. It’s made with creamy coconut milk, ripe fruits and crunchy granola. Its tropical flavours include acai and dragonfruit.
💡 Pro tip: When dining in Bali, we recommend conveying your dietary preferences to the restaurant staff. Many establishments are willing to customise meals to accommodate vegetarian or vegan requests. Additionally, confirm with the staff that your meals’ oils, sauces, and condiments align with your vegetarian or vegan choices.

Vegan Festivals in Bali

Ubud in Bali hosts two annual prominent vegan festivals — The Bali Vegan Festival and Ubud International Vegan Festival

These festivals celebrate plant-based living, healthy eating and sustainable living. They offer cooking demonstrations, workshops, talks on veganism and environmentalism, and a sampling of innovative vegan dishes from Bali’s top restaurants and cafés. You can also enjoy music, dance shows, and art exhibitions.

A chef making vegan nasi goreng in Bali

Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Bali

Bali offers several restaurants catering to vegetarian and vegan eaters, including Apéritif Restaurant, Moksa, Queens of India, I Am Vegan Babe, Secret Spot, Kasto Italian Vegan Restaurant & Pizza, Zest Ubud, and Alchemy.

Vegetarian and Vegan Fine Dining in Ubud

For an extraordinary Vegan fine dining in Ubud, visit Apéritif. This upscale establishment offers a seven-course vegan and vegetarian degustation menu

Make sure to savour Chef Nic’s Mushroom Wellington. It’s a highlight of our menu! Another vegan favourite, Sensation White, is an innovative dish with a global influence and a hidden surprise in the middle. Our meal-enders are choreographed gracefully with a decadent dessert, Petit Fours. 

All meals on these menus are prepared with fresh, local ingredients. You’re in for an incomparable dining experience in Bali. Book your table.

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Lunch | 12noon – 2pm* Sat-Tue

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