Denpasar Street Food

Denpasar Street Food

Despite being part of the overall cuisine of Indonesia, the cuisine of Bali / Balinese is rather distinct, being predominately influenced by India, China, and Australia. As such, Denpasar Street Food is a heady mix of international food, although some traditional indigenous food still holds out strongly. As Bali is a popular tourist destination in Indonesia, there tend to be many cooking schools in Denpasar, ensuring the traditional food of the island will continue to grow in popularity.

Food in Denpasar can be found along the streets, in small cafes or kiosks, in mid-range restaurants and fine-dining establishments. Balinese cuisine is defined by the extensive use of fresh fish or seafood as ingredients, and beef is rarely consumed. Common ingredients used in many Denpasar dishes include pork, chicken, fish, rice, soy beans, lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumber, tomatoes, squid, shrimp / prawns, peanuts, coconut, galangal, shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, cumin, clove, nutmeg, sesame seed, candlenut, pepper, palm sugar, banana, rambutan, mango, jackfruit, chili and more.

Basa Gede or Basa Rajang is a typical Balinese spice mix used in many Denpasar dishes, along with other traditional and popular spice mixtures like Basa Genep and the ever-present Bumbu. These 3 spice mixtures often form the base of many traditional Bali dishes in Denpasar. Because of Bali status as a tourist destination, many food outlets rarely open for breakfast, opting to open during the more lucrative lunch and dinner times, with many staying open till the wee hours of early morning.


The iconic Bumbu spice paste of Bali is used to great effect in Daging Bumbu Bali, or Balinese Beef Stew. Cubes of beef, or sometimes pork, are slow cooked with garlic, shallots, coriander, kaffir lime leaves, salt, dried shrimp paste / belacan, candlenuts, ginger, galangal, bay leaves, water, tamarind pulp, sweet soy sauce and chili. This results in tender, flavourful meat, which is typically served with white rice. Daging Bumbu Bali tastes even better if refrigerated overnight!

Daging Bumbu Bali 01

Daging Bumbu Bali 02

Named after a musical showtune, Beer Bali Hai is a light, refreshing brew with a golden colour and well-rounded body, perfect for the summery climate of this part of Indonesia.

Beer Bali Hai 01

Beer Bali Hai 02

Mie Ayam Pangsit Rebus, or Indonesia Chicken Noodles, is a one-dish meal of yellow egg noodles, minced chicken cooked in spices, chicken dumplings and kai-lan / chinese broccoli. Seasoning spices used include vegetable oil, shallots, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, coriander, soy sauce, chicken stock, water and sesame oil.

Mie Ayam Pangsit Rebus 01

Mie Ayam Pangsit Rebus 02

A favourite of Denpasar locals, the Nasi Goreng Pete is essentially fried rice with petai beans, also known as stink beans for their peculiar smell. Beyond this main ingredients, a variety of other items can be added, such as eggs, diced chicken cubes, spring onions, chili, onions, salt, sweet soy sauce and shrimp / prawns.

Nasi Goreng Pete

Pisang Goreng Godoh Gedang, also known as Fried Banana Fritters, are a popular Balinese snack. While similar to the snack found in Singapore and Malaysia, the Indonesian version usually includes a sprinkling of sugar, and then dipped in palm sugar and eaten as a sweet dessert.

Pisang Goreng Godoh Gedang 01

Pisang Goreng Godoh Gedang 02

Kueh Lapis Legit / Spekkoek is also a popular cake / pastry in Denpasar, Bali. It differs from other versions across Indonesia by being slightly more airy and buttery.

Kueh Lapis Legit / Spekkoek