THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CAFES IN UBUD
Canggu may be where digital nomads flock in droves, but those looking for a bit more in terms of connection to Bali, and beyond tend to settle in Ubud.
On my first visit to Bali, I spent the first couple of days in Canggu, then went north to less-trafficked Seririt for a week with a friend, before spending a few days in Munduk, and eventually, making my way to Ubud.
I’d planned on staying a week or two, but once there, near immediately extended my first stay to over a month.
Ubud isn’t for everyone. It’s a spiritual haven, which is what I enjoyed most. Endless yoga classes, sound therapy with some of the world’s greatest healers, and a much chiller, relaxed vibe than any of the island’s other hotspots.
This isn’t to say digital nomads don’t live in Ubud- they most definitely do. One of the island’s largest coworking spaces is in Ubud, and more are popping up, along with an improving WiFi infrastructure.
In Ubud, I loved that I could go for a morning trek in rice paddies, drive through the jungle, work for a few hours, attend a sound healing session, workout at a real, nice gym, and head home for the evening to relax, or meet friends for dinner.
I felt balanced in Ubud, like there was time in the day for everything. And, fortunately, plenty of ace brew to help me accomplish all the items on my to-do list.
Canggu and Seminyak get their fair share of attention for all their cool cafes and eateries, but I actually preferred my haunts in Ubud. All around, they felt more authentic. Each seemed to have an owner with a story- something you don’t find as much in Canggu and Seminyak, where so much is foreign owned and operated.
Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoyed spending a few days of each trip in Canggu, but if I moved back to Bali tomorrow, you’d find me living in Ubud and frequenting the spots on my guide to cafes in Ubud for my caffeine fix, or healthy eats.
The Ultimate Guide to Cafes in Ubud: 14 Cafes You’ll Love
Seniman Coffee Studio
Best for: Serious coffee lovers
Brewing beans from across Indonesia, Africa, South and Central America, Seniman is the move for great brew in Ubud. Big fan of their cold brew varieties, in particular, and love that they sell beans and cold brew to go, making it easy to enjoy at home or hotel.
Best for: DIY smoothie bowls in a gorgeous setting
The DIY smoothie bowls are good (albeit overpriced), and the cayenne mocha I had was great, but what I really loved about Alchemy was their space. The wood details are just gorgeous, and I loved their small market with health offerings, fresh juices and every flavour of kombucha imaginable.
Lazy Cats Cafe
Best for: A home away from home
With a simple, but interesting breakfast and drink menu, plush chairs and sofas, and a location that overlooks one of Ubud’s busiest roads, Lazy Cats lives up its name. It’s a a cafe, bar and gallery serving as a place to come, savour moments, and be lazy. Their breakfast quesadillas were one of my favourite mid-week indulgences, and their coffee is so good, they sell their own beans.
Best for: A quiet atmosphere to work, sip great coffee and enjoy excellent food
Gangga is a bit out of town, which makes it tougher for most tourists to access. Read: It’s quieter. The staff doesn’t mind if you bring a laptop and stay awhile, and should you need a break from your work- take a stroll around their adjacent art gallery, showcasing work for purchase from locals. Oh, and their lattes are great, and smoothie bowls creamy delicious.
Monkey Cave Espresso
Best for: A pick-me-up cup while exploring town
Located next to the Monkey Forest, Monkey Cave was a near daily occurrence for me while I lived in Ubud- my co-working spot (Hubud) was across the street. Perhaps after so many visits, I’m a bit biased, but I just love the quaintness of this hip cafe. And, of course, their drinks are ace.
Best for: Digital nomads in need of a spot to work, eat and caffeinate
Although I belonged to a coworking spot in Bali, my membership was limited to a set amount of hours monthly. To avoid going over on hours, I routinely sought out cafes with stable, strong WiFi. Expat is as good as they come on that front.
It’s a huge, air-conditioned space with power plugs every few feet. The coffee drinks are solid, and everything else I tried on their menu was incredibly good- from avo toast to vegan chocolate cake to their vegetarian poke bowl.
I came here often on my second visit to Ubud, and also appreciated how friendly the staff was, as well as their willingness to let me hang out for hours on end nearly every day.
Best for: Trying Indonesian coffee blends
Smack dab in the centre of town, you’ll find funky Anomali Coffee. Here, you can try beans from java, Sumatra and Papua, as well as Balinese roast. Their espresso machines and offerings are top notch, an excellent stop for coffee reprieve while wandering town.
Best for: Aladdin meets Balinese jungle vibes
About 10-15 minutes outside of town centre, you’ll need to hire a taxi to get here or drive yourself on a scooter, but the trek is worth it. Famed for their full-moon parties, which you should also attend if you’re in Ubud during that time of the month, Askasha epitomises getting away from it all. Breakfast here felt like the ultimate slow morning treat, in the most beautiful environment. The drive out is stunning as well- you’ll pass plenty of lush jungle and rice paddies.
Yellow Flower Cafe
Best for: Beautiful smoothie bowls with a jungle view
It took me a few tries to find Yellow Flower Cafe. Tucked above one of Ubud’s main roads, it’s not visible from the street. Instead, look for a small sign, and a set of stairs draped with vines. Once you climb to the top, you’ll follow another sign down a path to the right. A few minutes of walking, and you’ll come to a clearing with the most beautiful view of the jungle below, and a cozy cafe atop. It’d be easy to spend a few hours lounging on the comfy cushions here, sipping fresh juices, Indonesian coffee or indulging in one of their beautifully adorned smoothie bowls. All of their ingredients are individually sourced locally, as well. An all around stunner.
Best for: Great locally sourced and brewed coffee
FREAK stands for Fresh Roasted ‘Enak’ Arabica from Kintamani. Enak means delicious in Indonesian, which is fitting for coffee so great. It’s roasted daily, so coffee here is about as fresh as it gets.
White Ginger Warung
Best for: Affordable juices, eats and smoothie bowls
Warungs, family owned cafes, are dotted throughout the island of Bali. Most visitors skip them in favour of shinier establishments, and candidly, some are a bit hard to find/feel hidden. White Ginger, with a location along one of Bali’s main roads, is the spot for your Indonesian food fix, plus smoothie bowl fix at a good portion for your rupiah deal. Their WiFi is decent as well, and often, I found myself enjoying a smoothie bowl here while working my way through morning emails.
Best for: Health and wellness everything
There’s no place like Sayuri in Ubud. Located near YogaBarn, Sayuri draws the health crowd, big time. Everything on their menu is fresh, flavourful and packed with good-for-you ingredients. Whether you sit inside or lounge on one of their garden hammocks, it won’t take long for you to become a part of the community. And, if you’re only passing through Ubud, this is healthy eating at its finest- a must-visit.
Best for: Affordable, sustainable, delicious eats in town
I loved everything about Bali Buda and slowly worked my way through their menu over the course of nearly three months. The vegetarian focus, plus sustainability efforts were enough to draw me in, but the deliciousness of everything I tried kept me coming back for me. You can’t go wrong with anything you order- everything from smoothies, to fresh juices, to avo toast with tofu, to chia pots, and homemade ravioli is mouthwatering. And, don’t miss their store around the corner- one-stop-shop for health food and wellness beauty in Ubud.
Best for: Healthy eats in a chill space
A fantastic organic establishment, Kafe is well known within Ubud’s community for dishing out amazing veggie, vegan and raw bites at an affordable price. I ate at Kafe often, they were only a few minutes walk from my co-working spot, and I just loved their plethora of vegetarian options. And, for the days when I missed a bit of home, one bite of their California Burrito and it was like I was back in the US- think Chipotle, but better.
TonyRaya Art Lounge
Best for: Art and coffee
A friend who knew I was into cold brew and art brought me here. 15-20 minutes outside of Ubud’s centre, you’ll see signs for ‘TONYRAYA’, and a rectangular building adjacent. At first, it doesn’t look like much, but you’ll quickly notice all of the other scooters parked to the side and understand you’ve found a hidden gem. Boasting gorgeous gallery space, fresh salads (plus, loads of other eats), and great Balinese coffee, this is the move for weekend friendship dates.
Old Friends Coffee
Best for: Some of Ubud’s best coffee, off the beaten path
A short drive out of town, you’ll find Old Friends down a series of back roads. When I visited, it was pretty sleepy, but I have a feeling it’ll be more popular with time, as District (one of Bali’s coworking spots) just opened a new Ubud location across the street. This is the kind of place you order coffee and have a leisurely chat with the owner. Local goodness.
A Guide to Cafes in Ubud: Honorable Mentions
- Clear Cafe: Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner- a global offering of healthy eats in a beautiful atmosphere. Sit upstairs, by the terrace overlooking the front of the entrance to watch Balinese perform daily offerings while you sip coffee or eat
- Watercress: Good pick for breakfast, central to the Monkey Forest
- Blu Cafe: Advertised as the prettiest smoothie bowls in Ubud, and I can’t say they’re wrong- the bowls are beautiful. And delicious
- Earth Cafe: This spot would’ve made the actual list if I didn’t feel it was just a bit too expensive, especially in comparison to similar cafes in Ubud. Nonetheless, great for breakfast alfresco, and love their little market of healthy treats
- Dala Cafe: A friend told me these were her favourite smoothie bowls in Ubud, and while they weren’t bad- they weren’t the best I’d had. But, if you’re staying nearby, a solid choice for breakfast
- Kopitoko: An excellent spot to stop along the main road if you’re walking from town to explore Penestanan. Small, but just enough space to sit and enjoy a cup of joe
- Revive: Calm and cozy vibes all around. The kind of place you come on a slow morning to leisurely sip coffee with a friend, or a good book
- Zest: Big fan of Zest, but like Earth Cafe, thought their prices were just a bit too high for the quality of food. That said, an excellent pick for super healthy eats, savoury hot cacao, gorgeous smoothie bowls, or an open-air work environment
Have you ever been to Ubud? Would you add any spots to this guide to cafes in Ubud?
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