[canggu soundtrack. give it all]
Before arriving in Bali we were told by more than one friend that Canggu is probably the hippest (as much as we don't love that word) place to be right now. In amongst the lush green rice paddies, and between all the awesome waves, are tonnes of young, fun, interesting and creative people - from all over the world - who are flocking here to live the good life in this friendly corner of Bali. There is definitely a good energy here. We felt it immediately. So much so, that after spending our first night there…we then made sure our last couple of days would be spent here too. Only 20mins from busy Seminyak (far too busy and built up for us), Canggu is much quieter and less developed (so far, anyway). There are stacks of healthy and amazing food places, great coffee joints, cute interior stores, boutiques, old refurbed motorbikes, surf shops, bars, yoga studios and plenty of massage places to be found. We like the vibe here, a lot.
Here are some of our favorite things:
Crate: seriously good coffee, the way we like it at home (in melbourne). Friendly vibes and always busy. Amazing food as well. Open every day from 7am-3pm.
Peloton: only two months old, but so slick and professional it feels like they've been there forever. The coffee (by Revolver) is good, really good. They are vegan here though - so don't come looking for cow’s milk! Try their coconut milk latte. Delicious.
Quince: our all-time favorite Canggu find. Run by the most delightful Australian/Balinese couple, Quince is not only aesthetically stunning…but every single thing that comes out of their loving kitchen will blow your mind. The love that goes into each coffee can be tasted in every sip. This is a really special place, and our absolute favourite.
Betelnut: we ate here three times in three days! We cant get enough of this place. A rustic two story restaurant that is packed to the rafters every night. Its healthy, its amazingly fresh and delicious, and its crazy affordable. We love their Gado Gado, their Nasi Campur, their great salads, and their wraps. Try their delicious fresh juices and their raw desserts as well. In fact, try everything on the menu. We love it here.
Peloton: try this awesome new vegan cafe/artisan cycling store/event space for some seriously delicious, fresh and healthy vegan food. We love their Pantani Porridge (coconut and quinoa porridge served with sautéed banana, berry coulis, coco-nut nectar, fresh strawberries, and toasted coconut flakes) for breakfast, and their Fuel Good salad for lunch (Kale, Spinach, Purple Cabbage, Capsicum, Broccoli, Mild Chillies, Carrot, Beetroot, Green Onion, Toasted Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds, Sesame, Smashed Pumpkin and Hummus.
Crate: for coffee, breakfast and lunch. Its not only the coffee that is delicious here. Try their delicious (and big) breakfasts. We loved all their breakfast bowls (and their hilarious names). The egg dishes looked amazing as well. Its always busy and vibey and fun.
Quince: for their EVERYTHING - but especially for their coffee, their homemade lemonade, their quinoa porridge and their chicken baguettes (the best french baguette you will have this side of paris!). And their lovely chats.
Roti shop: we actually ran out of time to try this cute spot, but we hear its quite the bomb. We like roti. We like curry. And they apparently do both exceptional well. Very legit we hear. You might even think you’re in Sri Lanka. Worth a shot.
Bu Mi: get to this buffet type set-up on Batu Balong really early if you want to nab the freshest and best selection of their daily food offering. Traditional and delicious balinese options - we love their nasi campur.
Boulangerie Paris Baguette: now this - a french bakery in the heart of bali - was another one of our favorite local finds (and one we are somewhat reluctant to share)!!! A little slice of Paris in Canggu, seriously. We were given the tip-off by Michelle and Armed - the kind folk at Quince - as these are the baguettes they use for their lunch menu. So perfectly french (the owner apparently imports the flour from France), their baguettes are crunchy on the outside and soft, chewy (and hopefully still warm) on the inside. They are honestly heaven. Get there early - you wont want to miss out. And make sure you try the homemade baguettes at Quince as well - like i said earlier - they will not only be so aesthetically pleasing on your eye, you will also be able to taste the love in the incredible ingredients and delicious combos Michelle and Armen put together.
Old Man’s: for beachy vibes at sunset. Head here for a sundowner and a bit of live music if you’re lucky.
Lacalita Bar y Cocina: this super bright and colourful bar on Batu Bolong caught our eye on the first day we were bopping around Canggu. All open-air and delightfully welcoming, Lacalita Bar y Cocina is a fun and friendly mexican joint (and sister to Seminyak’s Lacalaca Cantina Mexicana) that does a seriously mean Jalapeño Margarita.
The Deus Temple of Enthusiasm: for a drink on Sundays. This motorbike workshop/surfshop shaping house/gallery/bar/retail store has live music on Sundays and good vibes.
La Laguna: another one that we ran out of time to test out, but we hear its a bit of a boho beach bar kind of situation and one worth checking out.
Massage: day and night. On repeat. Our favorite (but certainly not fancy) massage was at the Canggu Day Spa - a very little and unassuming place on Batu Balong. Its not fancy, but our 1hr massage was heavenly (and only 100,000 rp or AUD10). Ask for Iluh. All the girls there are just the biggest darlings. They do a mean mani and pedi as well (for 170,000 or AUD17).
Another great option is Gold Dust. We didn't get a chance to try it, but we hear their 24K Gold Leaf facial is an absolutely heavenly indulgence.
Massage at Desa Seni: now this is a dreamy experience. Desa Seni is just a dream to begin with, but the spa itself is so lovely. Wonderful therapists and lovely, simple treatment rooms. You choose your oil at the beginning of the massage and then enter into an hour of bliss. Try their signature treatment, its brilliant.
Private massage with Era from Pineapple House: another awesome option. If you are lucky enough to snag a room at the Pineapple House, you might also be lucky enough to lock in a massage with lovely Era.
Yoga: so many options. We really enjoyed our class at Serenity. We also did a great Hatha 101 class (with Antonio) at Desa Seni. And don't miss Rachel’s (from Pineapple House) yin yoga class at Bali Fit (and if you are brave, do one of their other workouts below - see below).
Surf (of course). Not much to add here. Go down to Echo Beach. Get a board. Try your luck.
Workout at Bali Fit: we walked past this Aussie-owned gym on the first day we were in Canggu and admittedly we were a little frightened by what we saw. This is hardcore. But if you are brave, get in there and try one of their infamous workouts (we hear the hurricane session is the one to go for).
This is our favourite place to stay in Canggu. Perfectly located at the very end of Batu Balong, right on Canggu beach, this romantic hotel has an old-world charm and is filled with Indonesian antiquities. Its 22 villas and suites, bursting with colour and character, are set amongst lush green gardens and lotus ponds. The service here is incredible. Staff are so attentive and kind. On arrival, not only were we offered a welcome drink of our choice, but we were also gifted with a beautifully handmade flower arrangement (so cute!). There was a little welcome note waiting for us on our arrival into our room, and we were also offered a complimentary head and shoulder massage shortly after checking in. The location could not be more perfect. Opposite Old Man’s (a great spot for sundowners), right on the beach, and only 5-10mins walk up Batu Balong to all our favourite cafes and stores. This is our first choice when choosing somewhere to stay in Canggu.
Pineapple House (“rumah Nanas”): we loved finding this laid-back and super friendly beachy retreat on our last day in Canggu. We know where to come back to next time! Designed especially for surf, yoga, wellness and creativity retreats, Pineapple House is a big, open Balinese house with 3 bedrooms, situated right next to Desa Seni (so perfect for joining in their daily yoga classes). Run by an incredibly warm and friendly Brit - Rachel - and managed by the ever-so-lovely Era from Bali, this is a really awesome place to stay. With a big open kitchen and living area, around a sunny pool, its a really friendly place to stay. Era is also an expert masseuse, so don't leave without trying one of her massages. And make sure you rent a scooter. Like Desa Seni, its a little far from the beach (too far for walking anyway) and the action along Bat Balong. Oh and try Rachel’s yin yoga class at Bali Fit on Mondays!
An absolutely gorgeous and relaxed village resort set amongst the green rice fields of Canggu. A true cultural experience, and one that showcases all things eco, organic, health and wellness. There is a lovely energy here. Choose from all sorts of cute and charming accommodation houses (traditional “joglo” and “gladak” houses), do some incredible and uplifting yoga classes (multiple times daily) in one of their open-air yoga shalas, eat in their deliciously healthy and organic cafe, and try out some of their beautiful spa treatments at their onsite spa. Its a really lovely bali experience (just make sure you rent a scooter, as its quite far from the beach and all the action on Batu Balong).