Indonesia: One Bite, Sip, Coconut at a Time

August 01, 2015 1 Comment

My name is Amelia Whelan and I live on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i. For the past two months I have been traveling throughout Indonesia, exploring Bali, immersing myself in the culture, the sunshine, the food, the traditional balinese ceremonies and the yoga.

Here’s a little look into some of my favorite spots to eat in Bali. I am in-love with food and focus my diet entirely around an abundant plant based lifestyle. Fortunately, this was easy to do in Indonesia, where fruits, vegetables and raw vegan desserts and plentiful and affordable. 

Earth Cafe, Central Ubud

Earth Cafe is an organic vegetarian cafe and health food store. It is owned by “Down to Earth,” which is also one of my favorite places to grab a bite in Hawai’i. Earth Cafe quickly became one of my go-to spots with friends while in Ubud, because it was so close to our Homestay and yoga space while spending our first month there. The menu is so incredible and contains a large variation of options, from big raw salads to vegan and vegetarian “soul food,” such as tempe curry, portobello mushroom burgers and fries and molten lava cake. Lacey and I usually went there for breakfast, which often consisted of gluten free granola, fresh fruit and home-made cashew or coconut milk, or “Bubur Injin,” which is a local balinese breakfast/dessert dish made with sweet black ride and coconut milk. One of my absolute favorites was the “planet plater,” which is based primarily off of macrobiotic principles and contains fresh vegetables, seaweed salad, gluten free grains and warming spices. This platter was perfect for a post workout meal for rainy mornings in Ubud. “Paradiso” is a building attached to Earth Cafe and is actually one of the coolest movie theaters I’ve ever been to. Paradiso is the first organic vegetarian dine in movie theatre, which means you can watch movies on their customized big screen while lounging on coaches and pillows, having your meal delivered to your seat. The lighting is dim and the vibe is incredible. Such a fun movie-night scene with friends when in Ubud.

Seeds of Life Raw Vegan Cafe, Central Ubud

Never have I ever been so lucky enough to experience such filling, delicious and affordable raw vegan cuisine. This restaurant is so incredible and is such a cool place to sip on house made medicinal herbal tonics and people watch on the upbeat streets of Ubud. This small cafe has outdoor seating, as well as a comfortable lounge-style second floor that serves as the perfect sunset look out. We would often walk to Seeds of Life debating what to order on the way. Should we have two pieces of the warm Mexican lasagna, or share one and get an olive, cashew cheez and sundered tomato pizza? The combinations are limitless and the food is unforgettably good. The desserts take the cake. Literally, I mean that, take the cake, the whole thing its that good. From raw carrot cake with home-made cashew coconut frosting, to mocha chocolate “cheez-cake” with cookie crumble crusts, to a dozen unique raw chocolates and “bliss balls,” this cafe creates the sweetest treats in all of Indonesia. I considered bringing one of their 12” raspberry pies with me on the plane home from Bali. I truthfully regret not doing so.

Alchemy Raw Vegan Cafe, Jalan Ubud

This cafe is honestly one of the reasons why I traveled to Indonesia for the summer. I was fortunate enough to come across alchemy on Instagram over one year ago and fell in-love instantly. Alchemy is famous for two things - their well renowned holistic clinic tucked away behind the cafe, and their 12’ make it yourself salad bar. The food is incredible. Seriously. I am not a raw vegan, because I find it to be limiting at times, especially in social situations. Alchemy cafe, however, proved my theory wrong. Their menu offers house made B.L.T. sandwiches with crispy eggplant “bacon” and avocado, vietnamese spring rolls dipped in the creamiest tahini dressing and insane amount of fresh made, cold-pressed green juices, tonics, desserts and teas. I often would walk to alchemy for lunch with friends and find myself staying for hours on end, just in-time for dinner on their back porch. Other than breakfast and lunch, which were my favorite times of the day to grab a bite at Alchemy, their breakfast buffet is also so tasty and unique. They swap out their salad ingredients for fresh fruit, homemade granolas, cereals, chocolates and fresh made “mylks” for their customers to create the most flavorful balinese breakfasts. Heres a bowl i created with Buckwheat-Granola, Bananas, Strawberries, Chocolate covered Cashews housemate Spirulina “mylk.” The atmosphere is so lively and engaging. People from all over the world come to alchemy to sip on their probiotic drinks, converse and play some tunes on the numerous guitars laying around the seating area. Alchemy’s holistic clinic was so inspiring and beneficial. I met with many of their employees during my time in Ubud and was fortunate enough to get some treatments done myself. Nothing like making certain to look, feel and eat your best while traveling abroad.


Nalu Bowls, Uluwatu

I was too thrilled when I discovered this adorable little acai bowl joint on the cliffs of Uluwatu. This fun, fruity, island style cafe offers the yummiest bowls with the most incredible view.
I would custom order a Pitaya, Mango, Banana and Coconut Milk bowl and enjoy it overlooking Ulus surf break with friends. The offer numerous bowls and are well known as a popular spot for surfers to enjoy some grindz in-between sets. During my stay in Uluwatu, the swell was exceptionally large, so I found myself a Nalu’s a little more often than I would’ve liked to admit. Here’s a photo from a breakfast my mother and I shared during one of my last weeks in Bali. Needless to say I ended up eating mine and then half of hers. Just the way I like it.


Coconuts are sold just about everywhere in Bali. Restaurants, Cafes, Markets, street vendors and even bars. They are most commonly served with lime and a straw. Once you finish the water from the coconut you bring it back to the nearest man with a machete and ask to have it split in half, so that the flesh can be enjoyed with a spoon. My only recommendation is that you make it a point ask for your coconut served cold. There is such a large demand for these babies that most restaurants are unable to store all of them in the fridge, and usually bring you one at room temperature.They range from 15,000 to 25,000 rupiah, which equates to approx. $1.20-$2. They are worth every cent and taste even sweeter when enjoyed by the pool.

Mahalo for joining me on my journey through Bali. I hope your next trip to Indonesia is as delicious and vibrant as mine.

You can follow me on IG at @SaltSandandSmoothies to read more of my Bali story and see some photos along the way. Wishing you all the most beautiful summer spent in the sun and by the sea.



1 Response


August 11, 2015

Love this write up, Amelia! We follow you on Instagram so I was excited to see what you chose for your fave spots in Bali. We absolutely LOVED all the healthy options in Ubud and want to go back soon! Check out our write up that also includes some restaurants:

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