Indonesia Travel Guides

Cheap eats in Ubud: Local food, local prices

As long-term travellers, we do our best to keep our daily expenditure and general living costs as low as possible. One of the ways we do this is by consciously choosing where we eat. Whilst living in Ubud in Bali, we discovered some great go-to Warungs and cheap restaurants which helped keep our daily budget to a minimum.

How to find cheap eats in Ubud

It can be hard to find cheap eats in Ubud, especially as Bali in general is so tourist driven. There is also a heavy vegan & organic scene in Ubud and tourists are often willing to pay premiums for speciality restaurants. Small restaurants, normally family owned are called ‘warungs’ and these are generally the cheapest places to eat.

finding cheap eats in Ubud
Our idea of cheap eats is generally a budget between 20k – 35k IDR per person, including drinks

Even in some warungs we found ourselves being overcharged. We were once given a ’tourist menu’. I caught out a restaurant owner who accidentally handed me two different menus – One in English and one in Indonesian. Needless to say, the prices were more expensive on the English menu.

You will often pay a premium for location i.e. rice field views, waterfalls or close by to a temple. In these places we found the food to be vastly more expensive, lacking in taste, and sometimes a sneaky service charge was added to the bill.

Our favourite cheap eats in Ubud

During our stay, we managed to find a great selection of cheap eats in and around Ubud that offered us both amazing food, and great prices. If you are travelling on a budget, or living long term in Bali we highly recommend checking out these hidden gems!

Warung Sambal Locok

Jl. Raya Uma, Tampaksiring
Kabupaten Gianyar
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ayam Goreng Sambal Matah Warung Ubud
The eye-watering Ayam Goreng Sambal Matah, hot and coconuty!

Prices:
Ayam Goreng Sambal Locok – 15k | Ayam Goreng Sambal Matah – 15k | Nasi Goreng – 10k | Capcay – 10k | Plecing Kangkung – 7k | Fresh fruit shake – 7k

Specialities:
Warung Sambal Locok is famous for its super spicy ‘Locok’ sambal. And they don’t mess about with that chili – We always ended up leaving with our eyes watering and noses running! They also have a great selection of seasonal fruit smoothies for a very reasonable price.

Watermelon fruit shake Warung Sambal Locok Ubud
We found the cheapest fresh fruit shakes at Warung Sambal Locok, great view too!

Favourites:
Our ‘go to’ dish here was the Ayam Goreng Sambal Matah – A piece of chicken on the bone fried in coconut oil topped with a coconut and chill infused Sambal of garlic, fresh and roasted shallots and powerful green chills!

Vegetable-wise we recommend Plecing Kangkung (water spinach) with a special cold sambal made from ground red chili,  shallots, garlic, candlenut, kaffir lime and shrimp paste. Or Sayur Urap, which is a salad dish of steamed vegetables mixed with seasoned and spiced grated coconut.

Atmosphere:
One of the things we love most about Warung Sambal Locok is its setting. The restaurant is tucked away on a side road off Tampaskiring, surrounded by rice fields.

There is a beautiful garden, a pool for kids to play in, and plenty of private seating areas both traditional Balinese booths, and tables.

If want to walk off your meal, follow the road around to the left past the restaurant and you’ll catch an amazing sunset across the rice fields. The friendly locals gather here to enjoy the view, and stroll in the evenings.

Location:
Close to Gunung Kawi temple in Tampaskiring, just off of the road that runs adjacent to Tegalallang. From the outside, Warung Sambal Locok looks typically like somewhere catered towards tourists – but don’t be fooled, this place is really local.

Warung Sate Kakul

Jl. Raya Kangetan, Singakerta, Ubud
Kabupaten Gianyar
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Ubud restaurant grilled chicken pizza
Our pizza of choice was the chicken – super cheesy, a tangy tomato sauce and a good layer of vegetables and protein!

Prices:
Ice Tea – 5k | Fruit shake – 15k | F.R.E.A.K coffee – 25k | Ayam Bakar & Sambal – 15k | Side of Vegetables – 7k | Chicken Pizza – 30k

Specialities:
As the name implies, their signature is the Sate Kakul, which is escargo (snails) sate sticks, topped with Indonesian peanut sauce. We didn’t try them personally, but saw locals selecting as their dish of choice. Warung Sate Kakul have a F.R.E.A.K coffee franchise, specialising in fresh cold brew organic coffee made locally.

Favourites:
Our personal favourites were the delicious Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken) which comes with an amazing smoky marinade and small side salad and two different types of sambal. Ask for ‘da-da’ (chicken breast) or ‘kaki’ (chicken leg) if you like a specific cut.

If you are craving Western food (without the price tag) they do a mean 12″ pizza. These are not cooked in a traditional pizza oven, making dough a little on the softer side, however they are absolutely delicious. Bare in mind it is made from scratch, so if your starving you may need an appetiser!

Atmosphere:
Warung Sate Kakul is roadside, however the restaurant is set back in the shady forest behind. With a cool mix of old and new Balinese interior design, they have created a space with a really chilled vibe. No one would bat an eyelid if you spent the afternoon sipping Es Teh and enjoying the wifi.

Restaurant seating Ubud Warung sate kacul
The decor and atmosphere at Warung Sate Kacul is more ‘Ubud’ than the prices reflect

There is a choice of traditional raised floor seating or driftwood tables and benches. It is a quiet place, so you won’t struggle getting a seat. The Warung is run by a small group of incredibly hospitable Indonesian ladies who speak good English.

Location:
A 10 minute drive from Ubud centre, on the main road to Pepito Supermarket – Jl. Raya Kangetan towards Denpasar. Travelling here via Penestanan is very scenic.

Masakan Padang Putra Minang

Jl. Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar,
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Masakan padang food Rumah Makan Ubud Tegallalang
Padang food is cooked in the morning, and laid out on display in the window

Prices:
For 40k each, we were able to get a huge mixed portion of food. As an example:
Green vegetables, fish curry portion, prawn skewer, fried corn, herb & potato ball, curry sauce, rice and sambal (both green & red) and 1 Es Teh.

Specialities:
Putra Minang specialise in the Indonesian national cuisine of Masakan Padang. It is a culinary feast, with a wide variety of dishes to choose from including spicy coconut based curries, seafood, jungle vegetables, tempe, and of course a big dollop of sambal and nasi.

Favourites:
The thing we love about Masakan Padang food is it’s variety. At Putra Minang’s we enjoyed many of their dishes including beef rendang, deep fried prawns, fish curry and corn fritters.

Atmosphere:
Putra Minang is where the locals come for takeaway, and we generally followed suit. The dining area is very basic and if we’re honest, lacking a bit in cleanliness. We dined in a couple of times to enjoy the local vibes, but since it was close to our villa we generally got our food to go.

If you are in the Tegallalang area, this is a great little stop away from the pricey restaurants and crowds by the rice terraces. Come here instead for a more authentic experience and a very cheap lunch!

Location:
25 minutes from Ubud centre, on the main road towards Tegallalang Rice Terraces, before the market.

Warung Mek Juwel Nasi Campur Ayam

Sayan, Ubud, Gianyar
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Ayam Nasi Campur Mie Goreng Indonesian food
Nasi Campur: An Indonesian classic!

Prices:
25 – 30k for a bowl of Nasi Campur Ayam.

Specialities:
Many restaurants/ Warungs in Indonesia only serve in one dish, so you know it’s going to be good. Even though it is common and easy to come by, Warung Mel Juwel serve an exquisite bowl of Ayam Nasi Campur, which is the only thing on their menu.

Favourites:
The flavours incorporated into this one plate meal deal are set apart from all other Nasi Campurs we have tasted (and after 6 months in Indonesia, we’ve tried many!) Expect delicately spiced and succulent chicken, coconut lawar, egg, noodles, and the most insanely delicious green Sambal that was hot, salty and fragrant.

Atmosphere:
Warung Mek Juwel is inside a small family compound. The seating area is basic, but the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. A lot of local hotel and resort workers come here for lunch, so it can get busy at times. There is an open air kitchen, where you can watch three generations preparing the food. I loved seeing the grandmother working away with her giant pessel and mortar.

Location:
This tiny place really is a hidden gem. Tucked away on the backstreets of Penestanan, surrounded by rice fields and duck farms, Warung Mel Juwel is a bit of a task to find, but will be worth it.

Rumah Makan Simpang Canduang

Jl. Cok Gede Rai No.103, Peliatan, Ubud
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Masakan Padang indonesian food Rumah Makan
The problem with Padang food is that you can easily get carried away. Bare in mind it is not an all you can eat buffet 😉

Prices:
We paid between 40-50k per person, which is a little more than usual, but the food quality here was outstanding.

Specialities:
Rumah Makan means ‘home food’ and this Padang is no exception. You can taste the fresh ingredients and flavours cooked with love. Simpang Canduang offer an incredible selection of chicken dishes, amongst other typical Padang food. It is worth noting that the food here is halal.

Favourites:
We kept coming back for their deliciously creamy coconut chicken curry. We also recommend the fish curry, fragrant mashed potato balls, jungle veg and their addictive homemade sambal which was the hero of all sambals we tried in Indonesia.

Atmosphere:

Masakan Padang food Indonesian window
If you happen to find yourself in this area, you’ll likely be shopping for cheap clothes or picking up a SIM card!

Simpang Canduang is conveniently located, simple Indonesian Warung. We often saw locals stopping for takeaway. The owners are incredibly kind people, and we liked supporting their business by eating here regularly.

Location:
On the main road just past the Indra Statue crossroads, heading South out of Ubud.

Waroeng Makan

Jl. Raya Bilukan, Sebatu, Tegalalang
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Mie Goreng puyung hay Indonesian food
The chef here is a wizard, and she is what makes these simple Indonesian classics shine

Prices:
Mie Goreng 14k | Nasi Goreng 14k | Cap Cay 15k | Puyung Hay 20k | Ayam Goreng 20k

Specialities:
Waroeng Makan have 5 traditional Indonesian dishes on their menu;
Mie Goreng (fried noodles) Nasi Goreng (fried rice) Cap Cay (chicken and vegetable soup) Puyung Hay (omelette) and Ayam Goreng (fried chicken)

Favourites:
We tried everything on the menu and highly recommend it all. Food is cooked to order, so you may have to wait a little while – but we promise it is worth it.

Atmosphere:
This is a really popular spot for all the locals in Sebatu, so it can get quite busy, but most people opt for takeaway. The restaurant area is small but immaculate. Since our villa was a 5 minute walk, we often took our food home to eat.

Location:
Waroeng Makan is a small family-run eatery opposite Indomaret in the sleepy village of Sebatu (where we lived for 3 months) halfway between Ubud and Mt. Batur. This is a great place to stop for a snack, and is close to the tourist village of Taro and Sebtau’s sacred water temple.

Pasar Senggol Payangan

Jl. Raya Payangan No.45, Melinggih, Payangan, Kabupaten Gianyar
View in Google Maps

Coconuts jackfruit fruit market
We enjoyed coming to Padar Senngol for lunch, dinner and for fruit supplies!

Prices:
We paid 25k each for a bowl of Babi Guling (including rice and all accompaniments). This was also a very affordable place we found to buy fresh fruit.

Specialities:
Without a doubt, one of the cheapest ways to eat in Asia is to hit the markets. We sampled many during our time in Bali but particularly liked Pasar Payangan for its variety.

The market is practically open 24hrs, but stalls tend to change throughout the day. If you are looking for fresh fruit, get there anytime before noon.

Favourites:
If you don’t want to pay restaurant prices, then this is an excellent place to try Babi Guling – Bali’s famous suckling roast pig. Many stalls at Pasar Payangan specialise in this dish. Aside from that, it is a great place to try many exotic Indonesian dishes.

Atmosphere:
There is a lovely bustling local vibe here. It’s a small market, so won’t take long to eat your way around!

Location:
This market is in the town of Payangan, along the main road. It is a 25 minute drive from Ubud centre, heading North.

Conclusion: Eat with locals

We really love eating in local establishments, in fact the less frills the better! It’s a great way to learn more about the culture, and to test our language skills.

Our recommendation is to opt for warungs just outside of central Ubud. Ones that offer simple menus, which only locals are eating in. The owners will often be very pleased that you, a tourist, have chosen to eat at their warung.

We hope our guide to cheap eats in Ubud helps you with your daily budgeting. If you have any further recommendations or questions for us, feel free to share in the comments below, we would love to hear from you!

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