Bali is known for its stunning beaches, picturesque rice terraces, and vibrant culture. However, what many visitors may not be aware of is that Bali has a thriving and dynamic burger scene. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the history, culture, and flavor of the best burgers in Bali, from their origins to the unique creations that can only be found on the island.
The History of Burgers in Bali
While Bali may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of burgers, the origins of this beloved food can be traced back to its colonial past. The influence of international cuisine has brought a variety of cultural influences to the island’s food scene, and burgers are no exception. From fast-food chains to gourmet restaurants, the burger has become a staple of Balinese cuisine.
The Influence of International Cuisine
As Bali has become a popular destination for tourists from around the world, so too has its food scene been influenced by a variety of cultures. The island’s cuisine has been shaped by Chinese, Indian, and European influences, among others. In the 1970s, fast-food chains like McDonald’s and KFC began to open up on the island, introducing burgers to Balinese tastes. These American-style burgers were an instant hit, and soon local restaurants began to put their own spin on the classic dish.
One of the most popular Balinese twists on the burger is the addition of sambal, a spicy chili paste that is a staple of Indonesian cuisine. Sambal gives the burger a unique kick that sets it apart from its American counterparts. Other local ingredients, such as lemongrass and coconut, are also often incorporated into Balinese burgers, adding a tropical twist to the dish.
The Rise of Gourmet Burgers in Bali
In recent years, a number of gourmet burger restaurants have opened up on the island, offering a range of unique and inventive creations that go beyond the standard cheeseburger. These restaurants often use locally sourced ingredients, such as Balinese beef and fresh seafood, to create burgers that are both delicious and sustainable.
One popular gourmet burger restaurant in Bali is Burgerz, which offers a variety of creative burgers, including the “Bali Belly” burger, which features Balinese-style pork belly and sambal mayo. Another popular spot is Boss Man Burger, which is known for its “Dirty Boss” burger, a towering creation that includes two beef patties, bacon, cheese, and a fried egg.
Overall, the burger has become a beloved part of Balinese cuisine, thanks to its versatility and adaptability. Whether you’re looking for a classic American-style burger or a gourmet creation with a Balinese twist, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings in Bali.
Top Burger Joints in Bali
Bali is known for its stunning beaches, lush rice paddies, and vibrant culture. However, it is also home to some of the best burgers in the world. From classic American-style burgers to gourmet creations, Bali has something for every burger lover. Here are some of the top burger joints in Bali.
Seminyak’s Must-Try Burger Spots
Seminyak is a trendy beach town that is famous for its luxurious resorts and buzzing nightlife scene. However, it is also home to some of the best burger joints in Bali. One standout is Burger Joint Bali, which is located in the heart of Seminyak and offers a range of classic and gourmet burgers. Their menu includes the classic cheeseburger, as well as more inventive options like the truffle burger and the wagyu beef burger. They also have vegetarian and vegan options, such as the portobello mushroom burger and the vegan lentil burger.
Another popular choice in Seminyak is The Butchers Club, which is a Hong Kong-based chain that specializes in dry-aged beef burgers. Their Bali location is a sleek and modern space that offers a range of burgers, including the signature dry-aged beef burger, the spicy jalapeno burger, and the vegetarian falafel burger.
Ubud’s Hidden Burger Gems
Ubud is Bali’s cultural and spiritual heart, known for its lush greenery, traditional arts, and yoga retreats. However, it is also a great place to find delicious burgers. One standout is Mama’s Burger, a family-owned restaurant that is tucked away in a quiet corner of Ubud. They offer a range of inventive and mouth-watering burgers, including the “Elvis Burger” topped with peanut butter and bacon, the “Mexican Burger” with avocado and salsa, and the “Mushroom Burger” with truffle mayo.
Another great choice in Ubud is Monsieur Spoon, which is a French bakery and cafe that combines French flavors with American-style burgers. Their menu includes the classic cheeseburger, as well as more unique options like the blue cheese burger and the foie gras burger. They also have vegetarian options, such as the portobello mushroom burger and the halloumi burger.
Canggu’s Burger Scene
Canggu is Bali’s hipster and surf town, where locals and expats mingle among the lush rice paddies and the beachside cafes. Here, you’ll find Betelnut Cafe, which has a loyal following for its burgers made with 100% locally sourced beef. Their menu includes the classic cheeseburger, as well as more exotic options like the “Bali Burger” with peanut sauce and the “Mexican Burger” with guacamole and salsa. They also have vegetarian and vegan options, such as the tempeh burger and the vegan cheeseburger.
Another great choice in Canggu is Give Cafe, which is a plant-based cafe that offers a range of vegan burgers made with ingredients from their own permaculture garden. Their menu includes the “Beyond Burger” made with a plant-based patty, the “Mushroom Burger” with vegan cheese, and the “Falafel Burger” with hummus and tahini. They also have gluten-free options, such as the quinoa burger and the sweet potato burger.
Kuta’s Classic Burger Favorites
Kuta is the most popular tourist destination in Bali, known for its lively beaches, shopping malls, and water parks. While it may not be known for its gourmet cuisine, it is home to a few classic burger spots. One of these is Frankenstein’s Laboratory, which is a horror-themed restaurant that offers burgers with creative names like the “Dr. Jekyll” with bacon and blue cheese, and the “Mr. Hyde” with jalapenos and cheddar cheese. They also have vegetarian options, such as the “Vegetarian Monster Burger” with a chickpea patty.
Another popular choice in Kuta is Gracie Kelly’s Irish Pub, which is an Irish-style pub that offers a range of international and Irish-style burgers. Their menu includes the classic cheeseburger, as well as more unique options like the “Guinness Burger” with caramelized onions and Guinness sauce, and the “Irish Breakfast Burger” with bacon, sausage, and a fried egg. They also have vegetarian options, such as the halloumi burger and the veggie burger.
Unique Burger Creations in Bali
Bali, often referred to as the Island of the Gods, is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine. Balinese cuisine is a melting pot of different influences, including Chinese, Indian, and European, resulting in a unique blend of flavors that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. One of the most popular dishes in Bali is the burger, which has been given a Balinese twist by many of the island’s talented chefs.
Vegetarian and Vegan Burger Options
Bali is known for its health and wellness scene, and as such, there are many restaurants and cafes that cater to vegetarian and vegan diets. Many of these places offer unique and tasty vegan burger options, such as the Beyond Burger at The Shady Shack. This burger is made from plant-based ingredients and is designed to look, cook, and taste like a traditional beef burger. Another great option is the falafel burger at Bali Bowls and Smoothies, which is a delicious blend of chickpeas, herbs, and spices, served on a toasted bun.
As Bali is surrounded by the ocean, it’s no surprise that seafood figures prominently in its cuisine, including in its burger options. For a unique twist on the classic burger, you can try the tuna burger at Hog Wild, which is made from fresh, locally caught tuna, and is served with a tangy wasabi mayo. Another great option is the shrimp burger at Bo$$ Man Burger, which is made from juicy, succulent shrimp, and is served with a zesty lime aioli.
Fusion Burgers with a Balinese Twist
For those who want to experience the true flavors of Bali, fusion burgers that incorporate local ingredients and recipes are a great option. Two Trees Eatery offers a Balinese-inspired beef burger topped with peanut sauce and crispy shallots. The peanut sauce is made from locally sourced peanuts and is a staple in many Balinese dishes. Another great option is the pork belly burger at The Sayan House, which is served with Balinese spices and sambal, a chili-based sauce that is a staple in Indonesian cuisine.
Overall, Bali is a food lover’s paradise, and its unique burger creations are just one example of the island’s culinary prowess. Whether you’re a vegetarian, a seafood lover, or a meat eater looking for something new, Bali has a burger that is sure to satisfy your cravings.
The Perfect Burger Pairings
Best Sides to Accompany Your Burger
No burger is complete without a side dish, and there are plenty of tasty options to choose from in Bali. Satisfy your cravings with some fries or onion rings, or try something more adventurous like sweet potato chips or tempura vegetables. Slippery Stone serves up homemade fried potato chips, while Motel Mexicola offers grilled corn with cojita cheese.
Local Beers and Cocktails to Wash It Down
Bali has a thriving craft beer scene, and there’s nothing like a cold brew to wash down your burger. Try some local brews like Starfruit Pale Ale by Taproom Bali, or enjoy some classic cocktails like a margarita or mojito. Da Maria offers a range of cocktails with an Italian twist, while The Savage Kitchen has a tropical drink menu to quench your thirst.
Desserts to Complete Your Burger Experience
Finally, no burger experience is complete without a sweet treat to round things out. Bali is known for its decadent dessert options, such as Cake & Crumbs which offers a range of cakes and pies, or the unique ice cream flavors at Gelato Factory. For something truly Balinese, try the jackfruit crispy rolls at Locavore or the durian ice cream at Ibu Oka.
From classic burgers to inventive creations, the burger scene in Bali offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, a surf junkie or a culture vulture, there’s a burger and a side dish to satisfy your cravings. So, the next time you visit Bali, be sure to check out some of these burger joints and experience the island’s unique culinary culture.