Canggu: Where To Eat And Drink In Bali’s Hip New Neighbourhood
Restaurants, cafés, and bars are on every corner in Bali's surf village-turned-trendy area Canggu. But with so many choices, it's hard to know where to start.
Step aside, Seminyak. Move over, Ubud. These days, it’s all about the Canggu dining scene. The surf village-turned-trendy town about an hour’s drive north of the airport is fast becoming the next big thing in Bali. The seaside spot is home to five-star hotels, cute boutiques, and airy yoga studios. But the thing it has most of is eateries.
Restaurants, cafés, and bars are on every corner in Canggu. With so many to choose from, picking a place to eat or drink can be overwhelming. Couple that with the fact new spots are cropping up every week, and it’s no wonder most people don’t know where to start.
Here are our picks when it comes to the Canggu dining scene:
Mason is the new kid on the Canggu dining block, located on Canggu’s main drag Batu Bolong. It only opened at the end of 2018, but has already become a favourite among visitors and locals alike. Any night of the week you’ll find its indoor-outdoor dining area, designed by well-known Australian architect Kelvin Ho, packed with a well-dressed crowd socialising beneath the golden hue of the many fairy lights.
Mason’s lunch and dinner menu has been designed by chef Nathan Sasi (of Nomad fame) and is, for the most part, made to share. There are small plates, dips and cured meats to start, and wood-fired meat meals for mains.
The Slow is also located on Canggu’s main drag. An art-gallery-slash-hotel-slash-restaurant, it was created by Tsubi designer George Gorrow as a place to slow down from the fast pace of city life. And it manages to make its guests and diners do just that with a minimalistic aesthetic, neutral and wood furniture, interesting photographs to take in, and plenty of greenery.
The Slow’s menu is full of surprises with chef Shannon Moran drawing on his travels to Europe, South America and Asia for inspiration. Think burrata with dried black olives and pomegranate, jumbo squid marinated in teriyaki and tiger prawns in a yellow mung dahl and you’ve got the idea.
Every single restaurant, café and bar in Canggu seems to be made solely for Instagram, and The Loft is no exception. Its Scandinavian-style interior, bright pink wall with a mural reading ‘You’ll see it when you believe it’, and beautifully-presented meals makes this place an Instagrammer’s dream.
The Loft is the sister spot to Bondi’s Vida Café so shares many of the same dishes on its menu including best-seller the Vida Bowl, a bowl packed with grilled haloumi, roasted coconut sweet potato, avocado, poached eggs, and purple cabbage.
Luigi’s Hot Pizza
The brainchild of Australian restauranteurs Maurice Terzini (Icebergs Dining Room) and Adrian Reed (Motel Mexicola), Luigi’s Hot Pizza follows a simple concept. It’s mostly all outdoors with its seating area of white painted picnic tables spilling from a large bar. Its walls are made from shipping container, and its menus, oversized and laminated, consist of only salads, pizzas, and drinks.
The simplicity works. Expect the thinnest of wood-fired pizzas and gourmet toppings, and strong drinks. Come on a Monday night, and you’ll find the place pumping.
Deus Ex Machina Temple of Enthusiasm
Just next-door to Luigi’s is Canggu landmark Deus Ex Machina Temple of Enthusiasm. A motorbike shop, mens’ clothing store, and restaurant all-in-one, it was one of the first venues to be built in Canggu seven years ago.
Today, the massive space right at the intersection of Canggu’s two main roads is busy most days of the week, and particularly on Sunday nights when they have live music in the outdoor courtyard.
A gallery, café, store and lounge (yes, Canggu venues are ambitious), Crate Café has a warehouse feel. Contributing to this are its unfinished walls and open sides that offer views out across rice paddies and passing scooters. Only open until 5pm each day, you’ll always find a long line at the ordering counter, but don’t worry – it moves quickly.
You can expect strong coffees (a mix of Indonesian beans from Sumatera, Java and Bali), Instagram-worthy meals and vegan-friendly options.
Vegans rejoice, this one’s for you. Give Café is the sister café to popular Kynd Community in Seminyak, offering an all plant-based menu. And they’re creative about it too. For breakfast, don’t go past the McMuffin Burger, an English muffin filled with soy Balinese ‘sausage’, vegan fried egg and avocado. Lunch more your thing? Try the ‘cheekan’ satay.
Dine here knowing you’re doing some good for the world. Every month the café donates to three charities they feel are making the most impact in Indonesia.
The Lawn is Canggu’s answer to Seminyak’s Potato Head Beach Club and the perfect spot for sundowners and sunsets. Come here any night of the week to watch the sky light up with purples and pinks as the sun sinks deep into the Indian Ocean. You can do so from the venue’s infinity pool or a straw mat on the lawn.
Though its menu is predominantly Indonesian-influenced, you’ll also find tasty Western dishes like truffled four cheese mac and cheese balls, and cauliflower steak on it too. Wash your meal down with a fruity cocktail from The Lawn’s long list.
(Lead image: Crate Cafe / supplied)
Published 04 February, 2019