There’s something going on up here in Ubud, and it’s something that we usually just see down in the far sexier Seminyak: new restaurants are springing up everywhere, all the time. Seriously—we took a nap last Saturday and woke up to a new Mexican restaurant down the street. And these aren’t same-same Bali cafes (though we do love a good cappuccino, duh). They’re incredible restaurants. Creative restaurants. And most importantly, deeeeee-licious restaurants.
Last year we wrote up this list of Ubud’s best fine dining destinations—and those spots are still killing it. But the gourmet trend has officially trickled down all over town. Ubud has moved beyond the era of “Vegan’s Paradise” (there are still countless options for our meatless friends, calm down, Jesus) and into the era of plain and simple “Food Paradise.”
Below, check out our latest Mighty 4: three favorite new Ubud spots for 2018 (and one sneak peak), all featuring dinners that stand up to anything down South.
If words like kimchi and bibimbap make your mouth start to water, your day has truly arrived (if those words are unfamiliar and make you giggle, you’re in for an amazing surprise). Roots takes all the bold, sour, spicy flavors of classic Korean food and repackages them into absolutely gorgeous, colorful dishes. Korean is moving into Ubud in a big way, and we couldn’t be happier—we’re also loving Don U, located just up the street from Roots.
Owners Mee and Sean arrived in Ubud after finding success with restaurants in Atlanta—their specialty is locally-sourced ingredients turned into international magic. And with their all-bamboo hideaway Roots, Bali and Seoul aren’t so far away. Try the Tang Soo Yuk—crispy mushrooms sweetened with delicious pineapple—then bow down.
Get there: Jalan Raya Sanggingan, just south of Bintang Supermarket
Need to know: Mee and Shawn also rent out two gorgeous villas just above Roots. Got family coming to visit? Holler at them.
Get in touch: www.rootsbali.com
Ubud’s classic Hujan Locale serves one hell of a great dinner, but they’ve cornered the market on upscale Indonesian and Pan-Asian food in town for years. Ibu Susu says: no more. After 5 years honing his skills in Melbourne, owner Ketut came back to Bali to build his dream restaurant—and his dream is our blessing. Ibu Susu translate’s to Mother’s Milk, as in: this is the nourishment we all need. We couldn’t agree more.
Ibu Susu’s menu is full of bright colors and bold, complex flavors—their spicy papaya and pomelo salad is like a rainbow in your mouth. Dishes like their steamed buns are pure satisfaction: fluffy, pillowy buns filled with smoky pork belly (ask for veg options, too—this mother’s milk is for everyone). Oh, and did we mention their cocktails? No? Well, here goes: they are f****ng amazing. Check out their julep with apple-infused whiskey poured over fresh snakefruit.
Get there: Jalan Monkey Forest, just east of Hubud
Need to know: Happy hour is buy one-get one on cocktails, 4-7 p.m.
Get in touch: www.facebook.com/ibususuubud/
Milk and Madu
If you’ve been bumming around Bali for more than a few days, chances are this name is familiar to you. Milk and Madu have been a Canggu staple for a long time—basically the definitive pre- and post-surf breakfast spot. They finally parked it in Ubud late last year, and the whole experience verges on perfect. First, the location: in the very heart of Ubud, so you’re never too far away. Next, the design: high ceilings, tons of light, spacious tables, blasting AC, and outdoor tables for pizza nights. And, of course, the food: Milk and Madu make excellent Italian-inspired comfort food, with big, fresh salads, poke bowls and the like thrown in for good measure.
We love to go full-on glutonous when we visit, and Milk and Madu has the goods: truffle macaroni and cheese, insanely rich feta cheese with grilled flatbread, beautifully-layered lasagna, and a whole separate menu for pizzas. So the choice is yours: go and order a smoothie bowl and a salad, or get cheesy and then work it all off with a yoga class. We know you’re going to Yoga Barn afterwards anyway.
Get there: Jalan Suweta 3
Need to know: Pizzas are buy one-get one every Tuesday night.
Get in touch: www.milkandmadu.com/
Our final pick on this list is a bit of a teaser: Dumbo is set to open next month, but we’ve seen the future and it tastes great. The spot will serve decadent brick-oven, wood fired pizzas for every taste: we even tried a sweet lemon dessert pizza. Doughy, hot, delicious. The team behind Dumbo is also responsible for The Elephant, one of Ubud’s most romantic dinner spots, so we’ve no doubt you’ll all be smitten here as well.
Check www.facebook.com/dumbobali/ for more info.