When I visited Canggu for the first time back in 2012, there actually wasn’t all that much to visit. Just a few short years ago, Canggu was still a snoozy beachfront village characterised by surf breaks frequented by those in the know, seemingly endless rice fields and a handful of local cafes and restaurants – local institution Deus Ex Machina was one of the few expat hangs in the neighbourhood. My, how the times have changed! These days so many new restaurants and cafes are opening in Canggu on what seems like a weekly basis that it’s almost dizzying. Lucky for you, we have done the hard work for you and dined our way through the ‘Gu. Here are our current favourite restaurants in Canggu.
This chic as can be French bistro is hands down one of the cutest places in the Gu, with fabulous cuisine to match. Folie’s powder pink and baby blue décor is pure Instagram gold, but don’t let the photogenic décor fool you – the folks at Folie are very passionate about the food, too. Headed by chef Stephane Simond (a French national, bien sûr), Folie offers an incredibly ambitious menu ranging from French breakfast (those butter croissants though…) all the way to lunch and dinner, with highlights including scrumptious steaks, moreish salads and the gorgeous angel hair pasta served with Japanese scallops. We also love their afternoon tea – and not just for the photo ops, we promise.
Family friendly and fabulous, Milk & Madu has in recent years grown into something of a Canggu institution and you’ll rarely find this restaurant anything short of packed. During the past year, the restaurant has emerged like a phoenix from ashes after suffering a devastating electrical fire a few months back. Since then, Milk & Madu has gone through a complete renovation and is now back better than ever. Milk & Madu is a very popular spot for brunch (definitely try their ridiculously fluffy pancakes!) and also does fantastic pizzas. The restaurant has a cute playground so you can be sure that the little ones are more than welcome to join.
Canggu is filled with vegan/gluten free/paleo chic cafes and restaurants… but sometimes a girl just craves bread. Coffee and Oven is our favourite bakery in the neighbourhood and you don’t even need to visit the place to become a believer – scooting past on your motorbike and getting just one whiff of their fresh baked goods will more than do the trick. Coffee and Oven does an all-day menu spanning breakfast, lunch and early bird dinner (they close at 6pm daily) but in all honesty, we usually head over just for their bread, pastries and croissants.
Green Ginger Noodle House is a cute and cosy restaurant serving the best vegetarian laksa we have ever had, period. Located just across the street from our favourite Canggu yoga studio, Matra Bali, Green Ginger is the sister venue of the beautiful Elephant restaurant located further up north in Ubud. Like its more famous big sister, Green Ginger Noodle House specialises in incredibly flavourful vegetarian food that will charm even the most die-hard of carnivores. The focus is on rich flavours of Southeast Asian cuisine – seriously, try the laksa!
La Brisa is the place to go when you want to feel like you really and truly are on a dreamy tropical holiday. This gorgeous – and we do mean g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s – beach club is decorated with incredible shabby chic flair with direct views of Echo Beach. With styling so beautiful, you would be forgiven for assuming that the food is something of an afterthought. But you’d be wrong! Their pancakes are some of the fluffiest we’ve ever had and their caffeine game sure is on point. If you’re looking to dine at La Brisa, we definitely recommend hitting them up for a poolside brunch. At night, the place turns into one of the wildest nightlife spots in the ‘Gu.
While we love all the cute cafes and trendy eateries sprouting up all over Canggu, it’s somewhat sad to see how few local warungs remain in the neighbourhood as hipsterdom takes over. Bu Mi remains one of our favourite spots for good old fashioned nasi campur in a ridiculously central location right on the main strip of Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong. Choose between red, yellow and white rice, take a look at the local dishes offered in the glass cabinet, point at whatever looks good and voilà – lunch or dinner is served! Bu Mi offers a great variety of Indonesian dishes with lots of veggie dishes, tempeh and tofu on offer so it’s a great pick for vegans and vegetarians too – especially if you’re looking for the best deal in town!
While there are many, many hipster chic venues for diners to choose from in the Gu, fine dining remains something of a blind spot. If you’re planning a special night out, we recommend booking a table at the incredibly atmospheric Ji Restaurant located right on the precipice of hip Batu Bolong Beach. Housed in a 300-year old Chinese temple, Ji offers refined Japanese fusion cuisine that’s sure to win over even the snobbiest of foodies. For something slightly more casual, Ji also offers a gorgeous Sunday brunch buffet with views looking over the Indian Ocean. Beautifully paired with prosecco, this brunch is the dictionary definition of a Sunday done right.
Milu is the perfect restaurant for those evenings when you don’t want to settle for anything too casual but also don’t want to go for a stuffy fine dining experience. Milu is beautifully positioned to overlook the rice fields with boho chic décor that screams Instagram. Both their burgers and their nasi campur are incredibly yummy and their cakes are divine. If the menu or the décor feels familiar, there’s a reason. Milu comes from the same team behind the perpetually packed Nook in Umalas and Ingka in Kerobokan which happens to be one of our favourite breakfast spots on the island. In Milu’s case, the apple definitely didn’t fall too far from the culinary tree.
Simply put – come here for the sunsets! Positioned directly over Batu Bolong Beach, The Lawn is an incredibly photogenic venue dotted with palm trees and white parasols, creating a dreamy beachy feel like few others can. I personally prefer their casual poolside menu over the more formal dining options served at the restaurant. For good reason, the place gets packed during sunset so it’s best to book in advance to avoid disappointment, especially if you’re coming from outside Canggu. You can only book a table in the dining area, whereas the actual lawn with its pretty parasols works off a “first come, first served” basis. Pro tip: after you’ve been seated at your pre-booked table, ask to be waitlisted for the lawn and get ready for some unforgettable sunset magic.
If you’re looking for the best brew in the Gu, you’ve found it. Satu Satu Coffee Company serves incredible lattes, cinos and americanos brewed from local Balinese beans. Besides the coffee, we love their incredibly well-priced menu and lovely staff who are never too busy for a smile and a chat, even though the place gets packed on a daily basis. We love Satu Satu’s “build your own breakfast” options – and did we mention the coffee is incredible? If you love their brew as much as we do you can even bring it home with you as Satu Satu also sells coffee beans by the bag.