10 years ago, Seminyak was the trendy hotspot of Bali and Canggu was its sleepy neighbor, known for its rice fields villas and a few good surfing spots like Echo Beach. But oh how things have changed. With several world-class surfing destinations, amazing restaurants, strong cafe culture, and great shopping, Canggu has become the new uber-cool place to be, in particular for foodies. You could easily spend a month exploring the restaurant scene in Canggu, trying all the delicious vegan options, colorful smoothie bowls, and other super fresh, farm-to-table meals, but if time is of the essence, I gathered here 6 cafes and restaurants you must try while you are in Canggu.
MILK & MADU BEACHROAD
Best for Breakfast & Lunch
Location: Jl Batu Bolong N0.88a
Timing: Open every day from 7 am to 10 pm
A bright and airy cafe, with a green little playground for kids, Milk & Madu serves amazing all-day breakfasts in a chilled-out atmosphere. The crowd here is very typical of Canggu, a fun mix of surfers, digital nomads, and other tourists. The service was a little bit patchy, but the staff is really sweet and the food was amazing. Try the pancakes: fluffy on the inside, slightly crispy on the edges, it was definitely the best pancakes I had in my life! Surprisingly enough, Milk & Madu also has a serious Japanese whiskey menu and some very decent wines, so it might be worth visiting in the evening too! Milk and Madu has 2 restaurants in Canggu and 1 in Ubud.
Best for Casual lunch and dinner
Location: Jl Munduk Catu
Timing: Every day from 12 pm to 11 pm
You know when you enter a restaurant and wonder what can possibly have gone through the designer’s mind to create such a quirky place? This is the first thing I thought about stepping into Penny Lane. The space is huge and the architecture impressive: a mix of super high stone walls, arched glass ceiling, and a breezy backyard. Complete this with hanging greeneries, alternative wall art, and a massive vintage chandelier and you get yourself a pretty epic restaurant in the heart of Canggu. And good news, the food is pretty good too. We tried the chicken parmigiana (cheesy and delicious) and the Mykonos salade (with yummy melting caramelized pumpkin) and a couple of delicious (and interestingly named) cocktails: the Chanel N5 and the Kim Karpassion Pornstar. The music was very 90s hip-hop, the service was super fast and the staff friendly. What else can we ask for!
Best for: Breakfast
Location: Jl Canggu Padang Linjong 49
Timings: Every day, from 6 am to 5 pm. Last order at 4.15 pm
Crate Cafe is a kind of institution in Canggu, since its creation in 2014. Located in a warehouse in a quiet lane just off Batu Bolong, Crate Cafe has a serious industrial artsy vibe and is crowded with the who is who of cool people. Lots (too many?) of choices on the menu including smoothy bowls, avo toasts, sandwiches, chia seeds porridge, and lots of juices, smoothies, and coffees. There are quite a lot of vegetarian and vegan options too! Show up late and the queue can be daunting, but it moves up surprisingly fast.
The portions served here are insanely large, and the food is quite photogenic but flavor-wise, our orders were a bit bland and it took forever to reach our table. I would still love to give it another shot, coming in earlier when the staff might have a bit more time on their hands! After all Crate Cafe is one of Canggu’s most famous restaurants, so there must be a reason! While you wait, don’t miss their adjacent concept store.
Best for Epic date night & serious foodies gathering.
Location: Jl. Tanah Barak No.55-57
Timing: Every day from 6 pm to midnight
Where to even begin? Santanera was the best meal I had in years, plain and simple! And I am Frech, living in Dubai, so I know a little bit about good food! With 2 Colombian chefs at the helm, Santanera reimagines dishes from Latin America, Europe, the Mediterranean, and beyond.
Start with some of the Bacados, some single-piece delights (try the Zucchini flower !), and continues with some main courses to share: we had the char-grilled octopus and heirloom cucumbers & palm heart and it was absolutely delicious! The cocktails are also a must-try (l loved the spiced rum-based Tepache Highball) and the wine list is very decent too! Atmosphere wise, it is very cozy, with a dark red leather sofa and velvet chairs, kinda kitsch oversized fringy lampshades, marble countertop tables, and floor-to-ceiling (2 floors high actually) windows! An absolute must-try restaurant in Canggu.
Best for Casual date night
Location: Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.39a
Timing: Every day from 12pm till late
Mason is the perfect mix of great food and a casual outdoorsy atmosphere for a fine date night without fuss. We started with the Burrata, which was to die for, and continued with the organic pulled beef burger and wood-roasted lamb shoulder, both melting into your mouth! The red wine was excellent and also I didn’t try any, I heard the best things about the cocktails! Book ahead to make sure to have a table. You don’t want to miss this gem of a restaurant while in Canggu.
Best for Chic beachside snacks
Location: Jl Pura Dalem
Timing: Monday to Thursday 3 pm to 10 pm, Friday 12 pm to 11 pm, Weekend 12pm to 10 pm.
Have you even been to Canggu if you haven’t spent an afternoon in a pretty beach club? I don’t think so! Facing the famous surf spot of Batu Bolong, The Lawn features a stunning infinity pool, chic sunbeds, and a delicious menu of gourmet snacks and cocktails! We loved the burrata tartines, the salt and pepper squid, the pina colada, and my personal favorite cocktail, the Jungle Bird (White rum, Aperol, pineapple, passion fruit, citrus, yum!). To spend the day on one of their beautiful pool bed, you need to spend a minimum of 2M IDR (140 USD), a bit hefty for a couple, but very easy for a group of 4.
The whole atmosphere is quite chic and the view at sunset is amazing! Definitely one of the best beach clubs and seafront restaurants in Canggu. Top tip: Once you are done lounging in the sun, head upstairs for dinner with a view at Skool Kitchen.
You will surely notice that all of these Canggu restaurants and cafes are located in the Batu Bolong area because this is where I stayed and I really enjoyed walking to each of these restaurants instead of taking the car/motorbike. In the same area, if you want to have a no-frill snack facing the ocean, there are a bunch of casual restaurants and cafes at the end of Jl Batu Bolong. We had breakfast in Sand Bar and lunch in Beach Bums and in both cases the food was good and the view & vibe were great. These are also good places to get some work done: you will see plenty of people on their laptops there. The last piece of advice: don’t forget to book restaurants ahead. We visited Canggu during a relatively quiet time and still many places were fully booked, in particular for dinner. Don’t take the risk of missing any of these beautiful Canggu restaurants, and book ahead!
I hope you enjoyed this guide to my favorite restaurants and cafes in Canggu and will get to try some of these gems by yourself soon. I am planning to come back to Bali very soon to discover even more beautiful restaurants, in Canggu and beyond!