There are 100 great reasons to visit Bali. The tropical weather, culture, people, landscapes and…the FOOD! Local Indonesian, and more specifically, Balinese food is one of our favourite parts about travelling in Bali. In this post, we’ll be discussing our top 7 favourite Bali cheap eats. We won’t just tell you WHAT to eat though, we’ll also tell you WHERE to find the best cheap food in Bali!

Did you know that there is a wide range of amazing cheap food in Bali? The cheap food is one of the things that makes Bali such an affordable travel destination overall. And, it’s this low cost of travel that makes Bali worth visiting for any kind of traveller.

The best cheap food in Bali, Jump to:

Isn’t all food considered ‘cheap food in Bali’?

This is a fair question. After all, Bali is by all accounts a cheap place to travel and nearly everywhere to eat on the island is ‘cheap’ by Western standards.

However, the purpose of this post isn’t to share Bali’s amazing brunch cafes or perfectly put together smoothie bowls. It’s true that these places are affordable and you can eat amazing meals every day for great prices.

Despite being much more affordable than in the West though, these places aren’t cheap by local standards. So, the purpose of this post is to celebrate the best cheap food in Bali that can be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike…


Bali Cheap Eats – The top 7 cheap local foods in Bali

We always recommend trying out the local foods when travelling. This goes for any travel destination and any type of traveller.

Eating what the locals eat is one of the best ways to explore and quickly immerse yourself in the culture of your surroundings.

There are some commonly eaten dishes right throughout the country. Though, due to Indonesia’s diversity, most islands tend to have their own specialities too. There’s so much diversity in Indonesia that the government recently declared that they, in fact, have 5 national dishes…

In any case, the local food in Bali is cheap AND delicious…the perfect combination.


Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)

Bali Cheap Eats - Nasi Goreng, one of the best cheap food in Bali, at Warung Pondok Madu in Ubud.

Ah good old Nasi Goreng, one of Indonesia’s national dishes and one of our favourite Bali cheap eats. This dish is somewhat of an enigma, as there are 1000 different variations of it. It sometimes seems that every Indonesian cooks it in their own special way.

It’s one of the most widely available and common cheap foods in Bali. Which is probably why the locals love to eat it so much. Some say they eat it 3 times a day…

Generally, Nasi Goreng is a dish of fried rice, spices, vegetables and meat (or seafood), though vegetarian Nasi Goreng is a common option.

The vegetables used tend to vary from place to place. Sometimes, Nasi Goreng comes with an egg on top, other times it’s accompanied by sticks of satay with peanut sauce. On other occasions, you’ll receive the lot!

In any case, Nasi goreng is every traveller’s go-to option when they’re out looking for cheap food in Bali. It’s definitely one dish that will help keep your Bali travel budget on the lower side.

Typical Cost:
Vegetarian Nasi Goreng: 10K – 20K (£0.50 – £1)
Nasi Goreng Ayam (Chicken): 20K – 30K (£1 – £1.50)


Mee Goreng (Fried Noodles)

Mee Goreng, Mi Goreng or Mie Goreng is the noodle-based cousin of Nasi Goreng. This dish is similar, in that there is not really a set way to make it. What does this mean? It means that besides some of the ‘staple’ ingredients you’re never quite sure what you’ll get. Almost every Mee Goreng we’ve had tastes different to the last…

The staple ingredients of Mee Goreng are thin (sometimes thick) yellow noodles, garlic, onion, soy sauce and vegetables, like cabbage. Again, like Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng often comes with chicken (Ayam), chicken satay, seafood and/or topped with an egg.

The truth is, just like Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng is another of the most reliable and cheap foods in Bali. You’ll often find the two dishes side by side on a menu and they’re always the cheapest dishes!

Typical Cost:
Vegetarian Mee Goreng: 10K – 20K (£0.50 – £1)
Mee Goreng Ayam (Chicken): 20K – 30K (£1 – £1.50)


Nasi Campur (Mixed Rice)

Nasi Campur, or mixed rice, is one of the best cheap foods in Bali!

The next dish on the list of favourite Bali cheap eats is Nasi Campur. It’s another hard to define and variable ‘dish’. This should come as no surprise though, as the name literally translates to ‘mixed rice’. Or, more easily put, a heap of rice, with a mixed assortment of side dishes.

So what is Nasi Campur and why is it one of our top cheap eats in Bali? It’s a pile of steamed white, yellow or red rice, with a variety of dishes that can accompany it.

Typically, these side dishes include options like Rendang, Spicy Chicken, Fried Chicken, Fish, Vegetables, Salads, Tempeh, Tofu, Egg and Potato. However, the options aren’t limited to these and these options aren’t always available. Simple, right?

Luckily, Nasi Campur is usually served buffet style, so you can choose what ends up on your plate. As such, the cost of Nasi Campur is variable too and is influenced by the choices you make. Meat and seafood dishes are always the most expensive.

It could be said that the only true ‘staples’ of most Nasi Campur dishes are the rice and sambal (a spicy chilli condiment). You can ask for no Sambal though if you don’t like it ‘spicy’. So, it looks like rice is the only true staple ingredient.

The locals would NEVER ask for no Sambal though… 😉

Typical Cost:
Variable but usually between 20K – 50K (£1 – £2.50) per plate depending on the dishes chosen.


Nasi Jinggo

Nasi Jinggo is a dish you’ll most likely find at the side of the road instead of a restaurant. So, it’s more of a street food, or quick on the go food, rather than a full meal. But, it’s still one of the most delicious Bali cheap eats around.

You’ll find that Nasi Jinggo comes in small portions, wrapped in a banana leaf. Rice is the staple and the accompanying ingredients vary. Though they tend to include tempeh, shredded spicy chicken, fried egg, toasted coconut and sambal to add a bit of spice.

This one might just be the cheapest of the cheap food in Bali. Even the name ‘Jinggo’ is an old word for 1,500 or ‘one thousand five hundred’…the price it used to be sold at.

Typical Cost:
Gone are the days of 1,500 Rupiah Nasi Jinggo though. These days it goes for a massively expensive 5,000 Indonesian Rupiah. Which is roughly £0.25!!!


Satay Ayam (Chicken Satay)

Chicken satay is a popular food in Asian restaurants right across the world. Though true chicken satay can only be experienced on the streets and small eateries of Southeast Asia.

Bali, and Indonesia as a whole, is one destination that takes true pride in its chicken satay. In fact, it’s another of Indonesia’s recognised national dishes.

Chicken Satay is a simple dish that you’re probably well familiar with. These chicken skewers are lightly spiced and then grilled, usually over an open flame, for the perfect smokey flavour.

Satay, as street food is typically eaten on its own. However, it can be made into a meal by adding a mound of steam rice, side salad and peanut sauce condiment.

Along with Nasi Goreng, Satay Ayam is one of the most popular cheap eats in Bali amongst the locals. It’s another dish that locals tend to eat on a daily basis and sometimes, more than once a day! We can’t blame them though…it’s delicious.

Typical Cost:
Satay Ayam on the street: 10K (£0.50)
Satay Ayam as a meal: 20K – 30K (£1 – £1.50)


Ayam Betutu

Ayam Betutu (Chicken Betutu) is a uniquely Balinese dish that we consider an absolute must-try. It is a sophisticated poultry dish that takes a lot of time to prepare and is usually eaten at ceremonies. So, not every menu has it on offer and it can be quite hard to find.

Betutu is usually made with chicken or duck. However, we’ve personally only seen (and eaten) the chicken variation.

The meat is wrapped in banana leaf, slow-cooked and filled with a spice mix consisting of shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, galangal, nuts, chilli peppers and shrimp paste. During the cooking process, the meat absorbs all of these flavours and comes out with a perfect, juicy texture.

We must admit that this isn’t a particularly cheap food in Bali. It’s typically more expensive than the other mentions on this Bali cheap eats list.

Typical Cost:
The price is higher than other dishes in this post and costs around 60K – 100K (£3 – £5) a plate.

This higher price is due to the amount of the time it takes to prepare and cook. It usually takes between 24 – 48 hours in total to prepare. If you ask us, even though it’s slightly more expensive it represents great value for money. This dish gives you a whole world of new flavours to enjoy and is something you won’t find anywhere else.


Babi Guling (Suckling Pig)

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Babi Guling or ‘Suckling pig’ is another one of Bali’s best-known local dishes. Due to the majority of Indonesia being Muslim, the use of pork isn’t all that common other than in Bali. Knowing this, you could say that Babi Guling is a true Balinese speciality.

The pig is seasoned with a variety of spices and then spit-roasted. It’s a true ‘head to toe dish’ that is said to make use of the whole pig so you’re not sure which part of it you’re eating.

The meat is supposed to be killed, prepared, cooked and sold all in the same day. So, this dish is about as ‘fresh’ as it comes! Once cooked, Babi Guling is cut into slithers and served alongside rice and/or vegetables.

Again, like Ayam Betutu, Babi Guling is an important cultural dish for the Balinese. It was once mainly eaten at ceremonies. However, due to its popularity amongst tourists, it’s more commonly served at warungs throughout the island these days.

Typical Cost:
The price is on the slightly higher side around 60K – 70K (£3 – £4) per plate, but it’s still cheap enough to be considered one of our favourite Bali cheap eats.


Where do you find the best cheap food in Bali?

So, we’ve told you about our favourite Bali cheap eats and the dishes you should definitely try. But, where do you look when you’re trying to find the best cheap food in Bali?

There are SO MANY places to eat in Bali’s tourist hotspots like Ubud, Canggu and Seminyak that it can be hard to know where to go.

Beach clubs, hotels and restaurants all offer great menus with dishes from around the world. You won’t find the best Bali cheap eats in these places though.

Instead, you’ll need to keep an eye out for the places that locals like to eat. Where do the locals eat though? Either in Warungs or Street Vendors…

Warungs

A typical view of a local warung, where locals and tourists alike feast on authentic local Indonesian cuisines.

Warungs are small, usually family-owned, local eateries and where you’ll find the best cheap food in Bali. They’re almost a mini-restaurant or café. You wouldn’t be wrong in saying that almost every other building in Bali is a warung.

They all sell staples like Nasi Goreng, Mi Goreng and Chicken Satay. Though some, in touristy areas, also offer some western dishes too.

One dish might be the main focus and draw to a specific warung. To find the best Babi Guling, for example, you have to visit Warung Ibu Okah.

Whilst most warungs have a menu with prices, some are a self-serve, charged by the item, dining experience. This type of dining is the most authentic local eating experience that you can have!

Street Vendors

Street food in Bali isn’t as popular as other parts of Southeast Asia, but it’s still available to some extent.

You’ll often see locals pushing their small stall/kitchen down the road on wheels serving up food to other locals. The typical dishes they sell are Nasi Goreng, Bakso Ayam (chicken meatballs) or Soto Ayam (Chicken Soup/Broth).

Otherwise, you’ll occasionally see a vendor sat with a grill serving up freshly cooked chicken satay or freshly grilled corn. Nasi Jinggo is another local dish that you’ll find served roadside.


The best places to find cheap food in Bali’s tourist hotspots

To finish off this blog post, let’s get specific about WHERE you can find the best cheap eats in Bali. Below, we’ve listed some of the best places to find cheap food in Bali’s most popular tourist destinations like: Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak, Uluwatu & Amed.


Best places to find cheap food in Canggu

There are so many amazing places to find cheap local food in Canggu. Below are two of our all-time favourites!

Warung Local

 

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Great for: Nasi Campur with a great selection of side dishes to choose from. We LOVE their fried Tempeh, Honey Chicken and Spicy Tofu!

Per plate of food 25K – 40K IDR
Warung Local Location

Warung Bu Mi

 

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Great for: The all-round ‘Warung experience’. Warung Bu Mi offers many of the best Bali cheap eats in a self-service style.

Per plate of food 25K – 40K IDR
Bu Mi Location

More: If you’re heading to Canggu then you MUST check out our all-time favourite ‘Best Cheap Eats In Canggu‘!


Best places to find cheap food in Ubud

Next up, we want to share with you 3 of the best places to grab cheap food in Ubud.

Warung Pondok Madu

 

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Great for: Their unique ‘local pork ribs’ and other Indonesian favourites like Nasi Goreng.

Local Pork Ribs 75K-145K IDR | Nasi Goreng 35K IDR
Warung Pondok Madu Location

Warung Biah Biah

 

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Great for: The wide range of Bali cheap eats on offer. You’ll find everything from Nasi Campur, Nasi Goreng and Ayam Satay here.

Mie Goreng 26K IDR
Warung Biah Biah Location

Warung Ibu Oka

 

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Great for: They are undoubtedly the most famous place in Bali to pick up a plate of Babi Guling (Suckling Pig)

Babi Guling 50K – 70K IDR
Warung Ibu Oka Location

More: Heading to Ubud? Check out our ‘9 Best Places To Eat In Ubud‘!


Best places to find cheap food in Seminyak

Overall, Seminyak might be turning into a more ‘up-market’ location. There are still some great places to find cheap local food in Seminyak though…

Mades Warung

 

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Great for: All of the local Bali cheap eats. This warung is so good that it has been able to branch out and open in other locations!

Nasi Goreng 43K IDR
Made’s Warung Location

More: Cheap Eats In Seminyak


Best places to find cheap food in Uluwatu

On the whole, Uluwatu is very spread out and most of the eateries are on the more expensive side. However, there are still some great places to eat our local favourites in Uluwatu.

Kellys Warung

 

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Great for: A filling Nasi Goreng, overlooking the beautiful Bingin Beach and the Indian Ocean!

Nasi Goreng 50K IDR
Kelly’s Warung Location

Other cheap places to eat in Uluwatu

  • Miras Warung
  • Warung Bejana
  • Corner Cafe

More:
It turns out that many people prefer to write about Uluwatu’s swanky cliff-top restaurants and hip cafes. There’s nothing wrong with that as they’re great places to eat too. Though it means that we can’t find any good blog posts on cheap places to eat in Uluwatu…maybe we’ll have to go back and write about that!


Best places to find cheap food in Amed

Amed is a fairly small town and a town that most tourists don’t visit. So, finding information about great places to eat there can be a little difficult. We did, however, find some places that we enjoyed some great local food.

Warung Celagi

Great for: Delicious ‘Sate Ayam’ overlooking the volcanic black sand beach of Jemuluk Bay.

Sate Ayam 35K IDR
Warung Celagi Location

Other cheap places to eat in Amed

  • Sunset Point – Delicious local food with a perfect view of the sunset behind Mount Agung!
  • Warung Enak Amed – The most amazing Ayam Betutu we’ve ever had.

More: Top places to eat in Amed


Do you now know everything you need to about finding the best cheap food in Bali?

Hopefully, by now, we’ve shared with you everything you need to know about finding the best cheap food in Bali. We’ve told you about some of our favourite Bali cheap eats to look out for and shared some places to find cheap food in Bali’s popular tourist locations.

Unfortunately, it’s quite hard to find more reliable in-depth information about cheap places to eat in other areas around Bali. But…there’s a good reason for that. Many of the best cheap eats in Bali are found in small, local warungs. These places often don’t have Facebook or Instagram pages and that’s the beauty of them.

The best local food around can often be found by word of mouth, ask a friend, another traveller or the people who run your guesthouse! Alternatively, just pick somewhere and try it out. If you find somewhere great, enjoy the food…then let us know so we can go and try it too 😉

Have you visited any of our favourite places to find cheap food in Bali? Do you know any that we haven’t mentioned? We’d love to hear about them!

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