Restaurants in Denpasar come in a wide range of styles, settings and price ranges, and offer visitors a culinary journey through a wonderful variety of cuisines in this provincial capital city. Although you will discover that the restaurants here mostly cater to a local clientele compared to the touristy areas such as Kuta and Seminyak, which are only 30 minutes southwest from the city, you’ll be surprised by the wonderful places to eat in Denpasar especially if you’re keen on different regional and ethnic Indonesian dishes.
Even so, there are some good restaurants in Denpasar that offer an international menu, such as two Italian restaurants in town that deserve a mention. Of course, there’s the must-try ‘babi guling’ spit-roast pig and favourite local warungs that you should try at least once while on holiday. Here are our handpicked 10 best restaurants in Denpasar to help you try out the best places to eat in Bali’s provincial capital.
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Warung Gula Bali is one of the best places in Denpasar to enjoy what the locals refer to as ‘heritage cuisine’, from wholesome tossed vegetables doused in peanut sauce, seaweed salads with fish stock and Balinese desserts and snacks that are rarely sold elsewhere. This small restaurant has become a favourite for Denpasar residents, located at the end of an alley in Denpasar’s upscale urban area of Renon, far away from the hubbubs of the city. The main dining hall is a large antique joglo pavilion and underneath the open beam ceilings is a kitchen bar reminiscent of an olden day warung food stall. Specialising in mostly Balinese cuisine, Gula Bali gets quite busy during the weekends, with tables spread out in its joglo and down around the leafy gardens and shaded corners. Among the traditional desserts you should try include kolak or sweet gelatinous boiled bananas, bubur sumsum smooth rice porridge, daluman glass jelly drinks, and mashed steamed cassavas served with thick palm sugar-infused coconut milk. Prices start from a low of IDR 5,000 for a dish of ketupat rice cakes in peanut sauce.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
- Location: Jalan Merdeka II, Renon
- Tel: +62 (0)361 248 848
Since its humble beginnings in 1994, Warung Mina has expanded significantly with its collection of restaurants throughout the island that specialise in Indonesian seafood dishes. The flagship restaurant is located right on the corner of Jalan Tukad Gangga and Jalan Niti Mandala in Renon, Denpasar, several minutes from the Bajra Sandhi monument and Puputan Renon Square. Spilt across several different zones and surrounded by fish ponds, quaint raised pavilions and lush tropical plants, your dining experience here is augmented by soothing traditional Balinese bamboo orchestra and flute music creating an altogether soothing vibe. Must-tries are the fried or grilled gourami and prawns in sweet-sour sauce, served with a basket of steamed rice, and watercress salad mixes on the sides. Prices range between IDR 15,000-150,000.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: Jalan Tukad Gangga 1, Renon, Denpasar
- Tel: +62 (0)361 265 537
- Cuisine: Indonesian, seafood, grill
- Price Range: Affordable
D’Cost Seafood offers a unique approach to dining, presenting great Indonesian seafood selections in a no-frills canteen style layout. Part of an expanding restaurant group, the branch in Renon, Denpasar, features a large main building with a spacious car park, which can accommodate up to over a hundred diners. Although it is a great budget dining option, with a price range of IDR 5,000 – 85,000, the quality of the food is quite outstanding. Among the must-try seafood specials are the fried whole crab served with a sauce of black pepper and salted eggs, and the mango sauced fish fillet. Moreover, the spicy sambal sauces, tea (iced, hot or sugarless) and steamed rice are offered as all-you-can-eat!
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
- Location: Jalan Raya Puputan No. 88, Renon, Denpasar
- Tel: +62 (0)361 798 2888
A favourite Italian restaurant in the western outskirts of Denpasar, Il Pomodoro offers a wide selection of pastas, pizzas and delicious macchiato. The family-friendly restaurant boasts modern Italian design and interior styling, and makes for a cosy retreat from the busy Jalan Gatot Subroto traffic. Among the must-tries are the Pizza Venetiana, calzones and the thin-crust Pizza Sarda with generous slices of pepperoni on the top. The menu and recipes were conceptualized by an Italian chef, and the food quality is top-notch. The desserts section comprises a broad selection of gelato. The place is also a great spot to drop in for a refreshing afternoon break with a coffee or a cold beer.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 22:00
- Location: Jalan Gatot Subroto Barat no. 371, Denpasar
- Tel: +62 (0)361 413 882
Porky's is the perfect go-to place in town for anyone who yearns for cool and quiet settings to enjoy succulent, juicy pork ribs. This barbecue lovers’ diner is located near the end of the Jalan Cok Agung Tresna main road in Renon, Denpasar, and just across the road from the TVRI Denpasar television station. Although not a very large restaurant, there are two seating options – inside the main dining hall that is well decorated with colourful silk drapes covering the ceiling, and alfresco options on a shaded porch. The interior walls are covered with barbecue-related pictures framed in vintage style. The menu is dominated by pork ribs with choices of different sauces, and various other meat grills. However, alternatives include pastas and its takes on local favourites, such as nasi goreng fried rice topped with slices of traditional Balinese meaty sausages known as ‘urutan’.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
- Location: Jalan Cok Agung Tresna 118, Renon, Denpasar
- Tel: +62 (0)361 235 812
For a more localised pork feast, head to the main Simpang Enam roundabout in Denpasar. This always busy restaurant is one of the few places on Denpasar’s Jalan Teuku Umar to try Bali’s favourite traditional dish of babi guling. Although having evolved into a landmark catering to visitors rather than local residents, it maintains its traditional presentation of its rice dish, topped with slices of pork meat, Balinese style wrap-satay known as ‘sate lilit’, delightfully crispy skin, Balinese veggie salad mixes and a serving of traditional lard soup. At first glance the restaurant appears modest and quite homely, but the fast service and excellent food make up for it. The dishes are very rich in spices and flavours and are guaranteed to satisfy your cravings every now and then. Mind your cholesterol levels, though.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00
- Location: Jalan Teuku Umar 140, Denpasar
- Tel: +62 (0)361 221 278
Here’s one for beef lovers. Warung Leko specialises in ‘iga sapi penyet’ or beef ribs prepared in various choices served with its signature spicy chilli dips known as ‘sambel korek’. The restaurant is located on Jalan Cok Agung Tresna in the dining destination street of Renon, Denpasar. Besides grilled or fried beef ribs, there are choices of chicken, steaks, prawn, tripe, and meat fritters prepared and served in the same manner, as well as a selection of oxtail soups, rib soups and around 30 different preparations of beef – the main highlight here, which comes surprisingly juicy and tender. Although the restaurant looks upper class, the price range is quite reasonable, starting from IDR 36,000 per portion.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: Jalan Cok Agung Tresna no. 110, Renon, Denpasar
- Tel: +62 (0)361 3600 501
Warung Bendega is one of the first restaurants you’ll see along the Jalan Cok Agung Tresna dining street in Denpasar. Since opening in 1996, this Balinese-owned restaurant has consistently offered a good range of local cuisine as well as a variety of flavours from the Indonesian archipelago. The cosy interiors are complemented by Balinese style décor, and the menu offers a complete range, from the local favourite crispy fried duck, grilled seafood, the signature ‘ayam bakar Bendega’ roast chicken, to delights from neighbouring islands such as ‘rica-rica’ style grilled fish and the ‘flying gourami’ that looks like a flying fish striking pose on a plate. Dining settings include an alfresco option with outdoor gazebos, and there are meeting rooms and a grand pavilion available for large groups and private events.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 23:00
- Location: Jalan Kapten Cok Agung Tresna no. 37A, Renon, Denpasar
- Tel: +62 361 249555
An always busy spot, Ikan Bakar Cianjur serves up great authentic Indonesian cuisine, mostly Javanese and Sundanese selections, which are known for its healthy and fresh ingredients. Even though its name implies that it specialises in grilled fish, many of its regular customers tend to favour other different offerings on the menu. Among the must-try signature dishes is the ‘nasi liwet’, a delicious preparation of fragrant rice that is cooked using coconut milk. Others worth mentioning are the ‘kambing oven’ oven roasted lamb; beef rib soup, varieties of fish in any style (grilled, fried, baked) together with different selections of sambal chilli sauces – great for those who love spicy. Although it features a large parking space, the scene is usually always a hectic one. Prices range between IDR 10,000 and 75,000.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 23:00
- Location: Jalan Kapten Cok Agung Tresna, Renon, Denpasar
- Tel: +62 361 230 015
Sate Plecing Arjuna offers satay galore, run by a Balinese family of Hokkien-Chinese descent who owe their success to a family recipe. This little warung on the corner of Jalan Arjuna in Denpasar always has its roadside grills billowing, spreading the delicious aroma of cooked beef and chicken into the surroundings. The place always seems to be packed with diners during lunchtimes and over the weekends, with others patiently queuing for a free table. The little warung has become a Denpasar legend, with humble beginnings decades ago. What makes it special is the type of sauces it presents the satays with, namely a thin dash of soy and a blend of chillies, mixed together to form a sweet and spicy sauce. Servings of satays come with a plate of steamed rice and a bowl of meatball soup.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
- Location: Jalan Arjuna, Denpasar