I just got back from my week-long trip to Bali and have been getting a lot of questions about how I was able to find so many vegan food and restaurant options while traveling. So I decided to put together this post about how I was able to travel all the way to Bali while still keeping up with my vegan diet!
First off, I booked my flight through EVA Airways with a layover in Taipei, Taiwan. When I booked my flight, I made sure to choose a special meal. They didn't have an option labeled vegan, but after doing a little research, I found out that their Oriental Vegetarian meal option is vegan. Just watch out for the butter they give you for the bread, they gave me Smart Balance brand on the first flight, which was labeled vegan, but after that they gave me some other brand that didn't have the ingredients listed. Also when I read the ingredients for the "non-dairy" creamer they gave me, I found that it had milk powder in it. Aside from that, everything else seemed to be vegan and I didn't have any stomach issues, which is almost always the case if I eat something with animal products by accident. When I got to Taipei for my first layover on my way to Bali, I was able to find a ramen spot in my terminal that had a sign advertising vegan ramen! I wish I knew the name of the spot but unfortunately I couldn't read the sign and forgot to take a photo of it. The ramen bowl was not only delicious but huge! It kept me full until I got my next meal on the plane.
I got into Bali around dinner time and was exhausted, so I ended up ordering room service at my hotel, The Hilton Garden Inn, which was a salad and fries. At the hotel restaurant, they had a couple vegetarian options, which I easily made vegan by asking for no egg or to swap the dressing for olive oil. My favorite option they had though, was these potato wedges which were served with a few different sauces, one looked like it had dairy, the other was regular ketchup (which I don't personally like), so after the first time I ordered them, I started asking the staff to only give me the BBQ sauce. My hotel was located in Kuta, which is close to a lot of vegan cafes in Seminyak and Canggu.
My first restaurant stop outside of my hotel was KYND Community, located in Seminyak, which was highly recommended to me on social media. I of course had to get one of their extremely popular açaí bowls with watermelon letters spelling out the word "Bali". KYND Community is completely vegan and literally looks like Instagram in real life with their cute pink and tropical decor. After that, I chilled on a local beach before heading off to eat my next meal. The second cafe I went to that day was in Canggu, and called I Am Vegan Babe. It's a little hard to find because it's on a smaller road and doesn't have a sign, but it was also extremely cute decor wise. At this cafe, I enjoyed drinking a coconut and eating a "prawn" salad bowl. I believe the vegan prawns were made from soy, because they tasted very similar to the ones I get at my local Chinese food spot that serves vegan options. Keep in mind that I Am Vegan Babe closes early, around 4:30pm.
The following day, I decided to try a restaurant for breakfast that was close to my hotel in Kuta, called Vegan Bali. To get to this spot, you have to walk through these tiny alley-way like streets, where only people and motor scooters can fit. So just be alert if you're planning on venturing to this spot, because you have to move to the side of the street in order for the scooters to pass by. Despite being a bit hard to find, this restaurant was also very cute, and the food was so good, it ended up being the only spot I returned to later in the week. I'd highly recommend trying their curry, I get hungry just thinking about it. The other meals I had were at my hotel, plus a can of original Pringles on my way back from visiting Uluwatu that afternoon.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Vegan Bali closed during the pandemic.
The next couple of days I went up to Ubud, where I ate at two very unique and delicious vegan restaurants that were recommended to me by a friend. The first one was Zest Ubud, where I had a delicious veggie bowl and slice of vegan cheesecake. This restaurant was up on a hill overlooking the beautiful jungle and was decorated with all kinds of interesting statues and huge tropical plants. It was a cozy, but still open and airy, spot that was perfect to get away from the afternoon rain.
The other restaurant I went to in Ubud was Sayuri Healing Food, where I had an amazing tempe burger on a matcha bun. At this spot, you take off your shoes and leave them outside the door. Thankfully they do have slippers you can borrow if you need to use the restroom. The table was very low to the floor, so my friend and I sat on cushions instead of chairs to eat, which was a little bit of a different experience. This spot was very cozy and a bit dark inside, so it was difficult to get any good photos. I loved both of these restaurants and would certainly visit them again next time I am in Ubud.
The next day I hung out in Canggu again and went to two different restaurants. The first one was Oma Jamu Vegan Cafe & Groceries. I sat at a table that overlooked a field full of banana and coconut trees while drinking a coconut and eating a falafel and hummus burrito. The Mediterranean inspired meal I had was light and delicious.
A little later that day, I went to a restaurant called Beach Garden - Organic Kitchen, which wasn't an all vegan spot, but had several vegetarian and vegan options. I ended up ordering a green juice and tempe salad bowl, which wasn't my favorite meal of my trip but it was still good, especially the pieces of sesame seed covered tempe. I loved the ambiance of this spot though, my friend and I sat at a booth table that looked like a little hut and was super comfortable, perfect for laying down and letting my food coma set in.
For my last full day in Bali, I went down to Uluwatu since it was by far my favorite area of the island due to the beautiful beaches and nature. Since I ate at my hotel before leaving, I only had one meal in Uluwatu, which was at a vegetarian restaurant called Muzz Kitchen. This spot had vegetarian, vegan and raw food options. I had a dish with curry which wasn't quite as good as the curry I ate at Vegan Bali, but the meal was extremely satisfying. The rest of my meals I had at my hotel, before heading off to Taipei (where of course I had the vegan ramen again, this time with spicy kimchi) and then back home to New York!
Finding vegan food in Bali was overall fairly easy for me. I used Google Maps to look up some vegan cafes close to my hotel, got recommendations from friends and social media, and read blog posts like this one before my trip. Towards the end of my trip, I would just type the word "vegan" into Google Maps to look up the closest spot with options for me. I had an amazing time in Bali and loved that there were so many food options for me. I can't wait to go back and try even more restaurants next time!