When arriving in Canggu, it can seem a little sparse. But turn the clock back just a few years and you would have turned up with barely any accommodation options and just a few warungs to grab some grub. Today, there are more homestays, villas and surf retreats than you can shake a stick at. And the same can be said about your choices for food, with cafe’s, restaurants and even the odd patisserie popping up across town.
Without a doubt, the best breakfast in town is to be found at Batu Bolong, typically, at a place with no name. Thankfully though, it is easy to find, sitting just on the right of the main car park, with a big red sign that says ‘Surf photographer, check your photos here’. The cafe commands first class views of both Batu Bolong and Old Man’s, making it the perfect place to kick back after (or before) a surf and fuel up. Go for the banana or fruit piled pancakes or just grab a lassy, though get them to go easy on the sugar!
If you are living on a budget, lunch is an easy choice. Head to Warung Bu Mi, which sits just back from the beachfront, where you can pick up a really great buffet style nasi campur. Nasi campur literally translates to mixed rice, but simply gives you rice topped with whatever ‘sides’ from the buffet take your fancy.
Warung Bu Mi is one of the only eateries to offer red rice as part of the nasi campur and the buffet selection is second to none; don’t miss out on the marinated small green peppers or corn fritters and add their satay sauce for a kick!
You can get a meal for rock bottom at anywhere between 12-25,000 Rp ($1-2.5 AUD) dependant on how hungry you are.
If you’re craving homestyle food, there is another option just a few doors down. Betlenut Cafe describes its offering as happy, healthy, nutritious and delicious food, which is a very apt description. There is a fairly extensive menu with a selection of salads, juices, burgers, sandwiches wraps and daily specials, with the beetroot veggie burger a menu favourite and fresh wheatgrass shots to boot. Grab lunch here for about 50,000 Rp ($5 AUD).
Dinner brings the same dilemma as lunch. Indonesian or home cooking?
Pizza House has a basic menu, but gives the freshest and tastiest ingredients expertly wood fired to perfection. The pizzas are large with a crispy, thin base – wash down with a Bintang and Bob’s your uncle. Find it on the road behind Echo Beach Bali, you can’t miss it. Pizzas are between 60-100,000 Rp ($6-10 AUD). The place also has a really great vibe with a stage for acoustic cover music, which is the kind of music that they will pump out when there isn’t a live act. A laid back place with fast service, the Pizza House doesn’t disappoint.
For a classic oceanfront Balinese dinner with a view, head down to Echo Beach House for the daily fish grill. The full menu is available every day, but for something special, check out the fresh fish and choose between Snapper, Mahi Mahi, Calamari, Tuna, Scallops, Clams and much much more. All barbequed with a ‘special sauce’ to perfection and served with a luxurious buffet of salad, potatoes and rice, it is more than worth the 75,000 Rp ($7.5 AUD) that the barbie options average out at.
The cherry on top here is if you arrive early enough, you will have a beautiful sunset over the waves, which remain lit up into the night. Make sure you get one of the front tables for an unbeatable view. And yes, you can book! Top your evening off with something from the wine list to make it really special. The Beach House boasts a small wine shop which is a diamond in the rough in Indonesia.
If you are looking to kick your evening on a little after dinner, save yourself for Sunday night at Deus ex Machina, a motorbike store come cafe hailing from Sydney, Australia with its 3rd site in Milan. Sundays bring the crowds to a mellow and reasonably priced barbeque menu on top of the normal selection and you can chill playing pool or watching the lineup of live bands out the back.
You’ll be hard pressed not to join in the dancing with the happy, carefree, irresistibly contagious vibe.