As one of the world’s loveliest tropical paradises, Bali offers you beaches, palm trees, and ocean waves. But there is more to it! Among domestic tourists, unique cuisine is one of the main reasons to travel around Indonesia. Each region in this country offers different style and taste of cuisine. Bali is no exception. Go for its local specialties and your taste buds will be pampered like no other place can offer.
The problem with finding a legit local eatery is there are limited quality recommendations online. Modern restaurants offer you the coziness, but you will miss the traditional taste and ambiance you seek from local eateries. However, the latter option is often lacking in the cozy department. And then there’s Gula Bali The Joglo.
Before I found out about this place, I would always go for a takeout when my craving for Balinese cuisine kicked in. But now, I can hang out at Gula Bali The Joglo with my friends while enjoying great traditional food within a cozy traditional setting.
Good local food and cool traditional design at affordable prices!
Kuta, Canggu, and Ubud are probably where most people go to when they are in Bali. But I personally choose Denpasar because this place is less touristy. Therefore, it is more authentic and affordable, just like the food at Gula Bali The Joglo. From sweet to savory, this eatery offers you traditional, authentic Balinese food like tipat cantok, rujak kuah pindang, es daluman, and jaja Bali. I bet most of you don’t even understand the menu. So, here are a few hints for you!
Tipat means rice cake. So any dish with “tipat” on the menu means it’s a savory main course. Usually they are served with some boiled veggies, a hard-boiled egg, and crackers topped with peanut sauce. It is usually spicy. But if you prefer not to burn your tongue, just ask the waiter to make it not spicy. Rujak is something like fruit salad but extra hot and spicy with either sweet or savory dressing. And es is what you want to order for it’s a cool, refreshing kind of beverage.
If you feel like trying all kinds of dishes from the menu, don’t worry about burning a hole in your wallet. The food and beverages here are very affordable. Everything starts from 4,000 IDR (approximately 0.4 USD) and the most expensive food from their menu is only 20,000 IDR (approximately 1.5 USD). And don’t worry about the food quality either. The food is yummy for your tummy!
Joglo: a traditional, natural house design
Joglo or omah is a Javanese traditional house. Gula Bali The Joglo, just like its name, embodies this traditional architecture and design. Walking into this eatery, you will feel more like walking into a garden party at someone’s house rather than into a cafe. Some seats and tables are made of stones, others are made of wood. You can choose to sit inside with a roof above your head or outside where the sky is your roof and soil and stones are your floor. Since everything is natural, there is no air-conditioning, only fans. But who needs it when you are going for the authentic, traditional ambiance?
Gula Bali The Joglo is open every day from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is no prior booking needed. I suggest you visit this place before lunch time, because that is when it gets most crowded. Plus, they might run out their bestselling food. It took me three visits before I could get my taste buds on their famous singkong salju. It is a cooked soft cassava served with sugary coconut milk. Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
It is right in the heart of Denpasar, Bali
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
If you are traveling with an experienced local driver, finding this place should be easy. If not, Google Maps can always come to the rescue. It is easy to find. Gula Bali The Joglo is located in Renon, Denpasar. It is on Jalan Merdeka II. It is a five-minute drive from one of the most popular places in Denpasar, Lapangan Puputan Renon or Puputan Field, where Bajra Sandhi Monument lies.
On the eastern corner of Puputan Field, turn left to the north. From there, find a street to your right with the “Jl.Merdeka II” sign on it. Once you are on this street, just keep going straight as Gula Bali The Joglo is located right at the end. In case you get confused in finding it, there is usually a parking attendant standing by a few hundred meters away from the eatery. It is the only commercial lot on this street, so it is easy to spot.
Renon, Denpasar is one of the most orderly areas in Bali in terms of traffic and road infrastructure. Road signs and police officers are easily found to assist you in navigating, especially around the Puputan Field area. While you are here for the food, what else you could find in Renon? Scroll down to find out more!
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Renon: the history behind the heart of Bali's government
As mentioned before, Gula Bali The Joglo is only five minutes away from one of the tourist attractions you must visit in Denpasar. Located right in front of the Balinese Government’s Office, Bajra Sandhi Monument is a reminder of wars and struggles Bali had to survive throughout the Majapahit kingdom era, Dutch colonialism, and the country’s independence.
A tour around this monument and inside its library and exhibition hall costs 25,000 IDR (approximately 1.75 USD) for one adult. Tourist prices may apply. In this area, there is a running track, a picnic park, and a 3D museum called I AM BALI. Unlike Bajra Sandhi, this 3D museum offers modern contemporary 3D arts. One entrance ticket for domestic tourist costs 100,000 IDR (approximately 7 USD) and for an international tourist, entrance costs 120,000 IDR (approximately 8.4 USD).
Delve deeper into Balinese tradition and history here in Renon
You haven’t been to Bali if you haven’t tried the local food and learned a little bit of the island’s history. Renon, Denpasar is the closest, most accessible, and most affordable place you can visit to achieve this. A combination of traditional food at Gula Bali The Joglo and historical tour at Bajra Sandhi Monument is a great place to start exploring this tropical paradise!
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