1. Sea Food: Sea Salt, Alila Hotel
One of the best meals I had in Bali was at Sea Salt. While the location and decor was a big plus, I rave about this place for the food- a fusion of flavours that are paired well together, and ingredients that complement each other perfectly, creating a culinary experience you will remember and talk about for days. The dining experience begins with sea weed butter and bread, followed by cocktails for every taste and food that is filling yet light. It’s a part-outdoor, part-indoor fine-dining restaurant located at Seminyak beach, and you can choose the experience you’re looking for. Well-lit and elegant inside, while breezy candle-lit outside- take your pick! Dining here will cost you though, given its location inside a luxury hotel, and the quality of food they offer. For reference, a dinner for two including 1 starter, 2 main course and 2 cocktails cost approximately INR 6,500.
Recommended: Maki, Tiger Prawn, Lobster
2. Live it up: Motel Mexicola and La Favela
Both these places come heavily recommended online, making it to the top of every to-do and recommendation list you can find. Motel Mexicola is one of the most fun pubs you’re likely to chance upon, and worth visiting even if you’re staying outside of Seminyak. It’s a pub early evenings that transforms into a club from 10:00 pm onwards. The decor is exceptionally fun and quirky, with Mexico-themed deco in every corner, delicious food and cocktails, and pretty great music! You might struggle to find seating here, as it tends to get seriously crowded. La Favela is a through and through party place, another one that has great decor and great music.
Recommended at Mexicola: Shrimp Tacos and Margaritas.
3. Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch: Café Sea Circus
It’s a pop-of-colour-happy-place-disco-ball-bearing cafe that is ideal for a lazy brunch, or to work on the move. For those of you digital nomads who work on the move, this cafe is the ideal place to set up shop. The food is so delicious, it would take more than a visit to try everything they have to offer. Tones of pink, teal, orange and yellow come together to create a fun day spot that serves pretty great breakfast food, tacos and cocktails. Whoever said alcohol isn’t meant for breakfast obviously hasn’t visited Sea Circus. Also, their instagram page is all kinds of beautiful inspiration! (That’s how I ended up discovering this place. #JustBloggerThings)
Recommended: Chocolate Shake, Fairy Pancakes, Tacos and Cocktails
4. Beach Club: Potato Head, Mrs. Sippy
You’ve heard this everywhere, seen it on every Bali-traveling friend’s instagram story and read it on every recommendation list everywhere. Potato Head is one of the most chill beach clubs to hang out at, with a really great vibe and huge garden pillows to plonk yourselves on. It also has a pool and is located by the beach. It’s a sunset or day spot, and prices fluctuate accordingly throughout the day and during the week. The food is amazing and so are the cocktails, but the prices are through the roof, and in my opinion, a little bit ridiculous. The service is truly awful, and finding a place to sit is often a hassle during peak hours. Entry comes with a redeemable cover charge that is only good for two drinks or so, because the place is considerably expensive. That said, given its popularity, it’s worth dropping by for a couple hours around sunset.
Mrs. Sippy is THE place to visit if a pool party or a sundowner is on your mind. The ocean is next door and the pool is ready and waiting for you to backflip right into it.
Recommended at Potato Head: Calamari, Loaded Nachos and the locally brewed Stark Unfiltered Wheat Beer they have on the menu.
5. Indonesian and Romantic: Bambu
This restaurant is as beautiful as it is romantic. It’s an experiential fine-dining restaurant by a pool they’ve created inside. Bambu is an expensive place tastefully done, with a fancy menu and Indonesian food that can be customised to fit dietary requirements, including vegan options. The food is delicious of course, but the restaurant itself is a quiet, intimate place ideal for a date night.
6. Vegan: Kynd Community
One of the truly amazing things about Bali is the number of options available to vegans. The Kynd Community is one of the best vegan places you would find in Seminyak. Everything on their menu is 100% plant-based, and aside from serving breakfast and lunch, they also have cocktails on their menu, as well as an ice-cream parlour serving vegan ice cream and a mini-store with cute merchandise to take home. I only tried the ice cream here, and didn’t quite like it as much as the non-vegan parlour a couple doors down, but the chocolate ice cream was the better flavour, if one were to choose.
Recommended: Chocolate ice cream and waffle cone
7. A little something different: Shooters
This place hasn’t really picked up, and if you have limited time on your hands, you might want to skip it. But this All-American themed bar has an array of games and entertainment options to make you want to drop by with friends. Shooters has the vintage American fair vibe to it, with streamers and games to go with its carnival theme. They have mini golf, darts, a photo booth, an old candy floss machine, and games such as angry shooters, machine basketball, old machine video games and others. The limited menu ( for both- food and drinks) makes it a bit of a bummer, but if you have some time to kill, I would recommend it for the decor and the fun stuff they have around!
Recommended: Nachos, Hot Dog, Mac and Cheese, and the Hard Lemonade
8. Indian: Sarong Restaurant
Sarong is a fancy Indian restaurant in Seminyak, with beautifully draped curtains and tasteful decor inside a glass-and-wood balinese style cottage. Once you step inside, the decor is intimate but stunning, and catches the eye. It’s a lot to take in, but never overwhelmingly so. There are few tables, so a reservation might be recommended depending upon the travel season. The food does complete justice to the decor and vibe. The presentation is just as great as the flavour.
9. Ice Cream: Gelato Shack
This is one of those ice cream parlours where you feel like tasting everything! And once tasted, feeling like eating everything. Their gelato is fresh and creamy, and the sorbets are tangy and flavourful in every bite. We tried a lot of ice cream around Seminyak, but this place was my favourite of them all. And what makes an ice cream parlour the very best? It’s waffle cones. Once again, fresh and crispy with that delicious toasted scent of something that’s come right off the waffle iron.
Recommended: Strawberry Sorbet, hazelnut, mint chip, salted caramel, chocolate (of course)