Friday, August 20, 2010

Backpacker Guide to Cheap Eats in Ubud

Almost imperceptibly over the last few years — as Bali’s tourism numbers have ramped up even higher — restaurants in the island’s cultural hub of Ubud have become ever flashier and upscale, with the price of a meal approaching what used to be the cost of a month’s lodging. And judging by the ultramodern makeovers of some of Ubud’s old standbys — Ary’s Warung, Jalan Monkey Forest’s Gayatri Cafe — the inexpensive meal for the traveler on a budget has become a thing of the past.

Or has it?
Taking a spin around town — when the traffic permits — with an eye peeled for the out-of-the-way and the overlooked, it is still possible to find local warungs that serve up good fare at reasonable prices.

So, if you find yourself in the Bali heartland and need to fill your stomach without emptying your wallet, here are some of Ubud’s eating establishments where meals go for Rp 20,000-50,000 ($2.25-$5.60) a head.

Expect to pay a little more if you choose to quench your thirst with a cold Bintang.

Lada Warung Top of Jalan Hanoman, on the right

My wife says this used to be a tiny hole-in-the-wall, but a revamp has turned it into a breezy two-story restaurant with a Mediterranean feel.

The whitewashed walls are adorned with antique pictures of Bali, while ceiling fans turn lazily above the wooden tables and chairs, and tile floors.

Traditional Indonesian entrees range from Rp 15,000-25,000. Nasi goreng and mie goreng go for Rp 22,000-24,000.

Full article by Thomas Hogue

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