5 Ubud Warung That Will Make Your Tummy Happy
In Indonesian, a warung refers to a small, family-owned business, usually one that serves food and beverages. For the most authentic regional cuisine, your best bet is to dine at one of these tiny eateries—not only will you be treated to an eating experience fit for a king at local-friendly prices, you’ll also be served homemade dishes prepared through traditional methods—and likely cooked by someone’s mother or wife. If you’re on a Bali tour package and are looking for the tastiest bites that the region has to offer, feel free to refer to our list of favorite warung eateries in Ubud.
Murni’s is one of the most popular warung in Bali – most cab drivers know the way by heart. Owned by the enigmatic Murni, a woman that has been called The Mother of Ubud, it has catered to a number of famous personalities, including the billionaire business magnate Richard Branson and the Hollywood actor Richard Gere.
Murni’s menu is a diverse affair that features Balinese and Indonesian dishes as well as Western favorites. In particular, their bebek betutu or Balinese duck is not to be missed. The establishment’s owners also assert that they make all their bread rolls, yoghurt, and pastries in-house, and do not add MSG to their food.
Up on the second floor, there’s a cozy lounge bar on the second floor that serves fantastic cocktails. Murni’s also has an impressive wine list that has been curated specifically to complement the menu.
Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka
Babi guling is spit-roasted suckling pig that has been slathered and stuffed with a spice paste unique to Bali. It is often served as part of a whole meal that also includes steamed rice, pork satay, and blood sausage. The method of cooking babi guling renders the pig’s skin almost glass-like, splintering at the slightest touch of pressure.
Babi guling is a popular dish in the islands, but no one makes it better than Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka. If you don’t believe us, you can take Anthony Bourdain’s word for it instead. The man himself visited Bali for an episode of No Reservations, where he was enchanted by the meal he had at the warung, declaring it the best roast pig he’s ever had up to that point. It’s no wonder, since the suckling pig is stuffed with a secret blend of spices that penetrates into the juicy meat.
Despite the Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka having three locations in Ubud to cater to the rising demand, diners can expect a long wait at all of them.
Warung Mendez sets itself apart from most warung in Ubud not just with their excellent food, but also with their commitment to be kind to the environment. In their bid to reduce waste, the warung only uses reusable napkins and cutlery. Dishes are also made with ingredients fresh from the market and are never laced with any MSG or preservatives.
Lovers of rice and noodles will find themselves well taken care of with Warung Mendez’s nasi magelangen, a plate loaded with both nasi goreng and mie goreng and features a fried egg, a serving of chicken satay, crackers, and pickles. For the less-adventurous eater, the eatery also serves an excellent pasta al pomodoro.
You & Mie
For the best homemade Chinese noodles in town, look no further than You & Mie, a small family-run establishment that foodies just can’t stop raving about. The space may be tiny, and seats are limited, but the cramped environment only contributes to the comfortable and intimate atmosphere of the warung.
You & Mie’s menu consists of only five main items, but all are done extremely well. The egg noodles are house-made, as are the steamed dumplings. The standout dish here is the fish noodle soup, topped with a generous portion of John Dory fillet and loaded with goji berries and black fungus. It’s a hearty dish that’s also delightfully well-balanced. Both powdered chili and chili sauce are available at the table for you to add to your heart’s content. Check them out in Peliatan.
Warung Tepi Sari
Located just a bit outside Ubud’s town proper, Warung Tepi Sari offer gorgeous views that are nothing short of soothing for the tourist in desperate need of a serene respite. Because of its relatively secluded location, most people take a bike over to the property to enjoy a filling breakfast or lunch.
Warung Tepi Sari’s al fresco dining area is the perfect spot to share one of the eatery’s signature pizzas with friends, while the covered wooden tables and chairs that dot the property are excellent places to do a bit of work while sipping on a refreshing smoothie or nibbling on a house-made pastry.
Besides the food at the Warung Tepu Sari, you can attend a session at the nearby yoga studio, check out the organic market in the area for some fresh produce, or learn how to make your favorite island dishes yourself by enrolling in a Canting Bali Cooking Class.
Be advised that while most upscale restaurants are happy to take credit card, most warung only accept cash, so don’t venture out with empty pockets. To get around town, most tourists rent motorcycles or bikes, but do note that Ubud is a hilly place and getting by on pedal power alone will be an exhausting affair after a while. In Bali, the bemo is the main mode of transportation. These are open-air minibuses that ply assigned routes. If you’d rather do away with the hassle of navigating altogether, you can hire a private driver; most hotels are happy to arrange this for you. Enjoy your holiday, and eat well!