Ubud is so busy that sometimes it feels impossible to escape the crowds. If you’re sick of generic takes on Indonesian dishes and listening to pop music then head down one of the quieter side streets and eat at a warung – you’ll feel a world away from the bustling centre and you’ll get to taste some authentic Indonesian cuisine. You’ll also have the chance to get some wildlife spotting in too!
After literally sweating my tits off walking around I can tell you that the best place to head to is Jalan Arjuna (just off the top of Jalan Monkey Forest). It’s quiet and there are several excellent warungs to eat at. The best two are Sinduk and my favourite, Budi’s. The food is cheaper than the beer and you can get a meal for less that £2. Both served the best food that we had in Ubud. Remember, the most expensive food is not always the best food in Indonesia! Down the side streets at night is also a great opportunity to hear Tokay geckos calling loudly to each other.
Heading out of town towards the Campuhan ridge, take a right before the aqueduct that crosses above the road, up the steep slope towards Sok Wayah (past Abangan bungalows). Keep walking and you will come across a few small places to eat. If you carry on for about 15-20 minutes then you will come to an excellent place called Jogo Organik. You won’t miss the tree house like seating! It’s an amazing place to grab a drink and look out over the rice paddys. There’s a number of bird species in the area and at night hundreds of frogs come out to call. It’s also perfect habitat for Malayan kraits (Bungarus candidus) so watch where you step!
Alternatively head up the Campuhan ridge and you’ll find plenty of hideaways to enjoy a meal or a drink but if you go in the evening, take a torch because the path is mostly unlit. Along the path expect to see geckos, skinks and huge orb weaving spiders.
If you insist on eating along the main road, the lotus garden is an excellent choice, although somewhat pricey (by Indonesian standards). You do however get to look out across a beautiful lotus pond and temple. Book ahead if you want the best seating.