As the wellness centre of south-east Asia, the vegetarians and vegans that flock to Ubud are spoilt for choice.
Full disclosure: I am an omnivore with an unfortunate intolerance to cucurbitacaea (cucumbers, melons, squash, zucchinis among others) and a genetic iron deficiency, so vegan food is never my first choice. Nevertheless, I have eaten at and enjoyed dishes at all the places on the list below, and these are the ones I would take a vegan friend to.
I have included a note on whether the restaurant/cafe is fully vegan or vegetarian. Most of these places have reasonable gluten free options, but we have another post on more gluten free specific restaurant options.
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On one of the busiest and noisiest corners of Ubud is this very charming sanctuary. There are only a few places to sit, but many patrons will be happy to share a larger table. The breakfast menu is a 50:50 split between vegan and vegetarian. The coffee is also excellent, and various milk alternatives are available. The lunch menu is more pescatarian, with good options for both vegans and vegetarians. Instagram. Open 7am - 9pm.
I love the Elephant for its amazing view and great coffee. The menu is substantial with beautiful, and beautiful looking, food and cocktails options for the evening (or brunch if thats your thing). I like bringing tourists here for the view over Campuhan ridge. Website. 8.30am - 10pm
The original Dharma is a cute and often crowded little spot underneath Bintang supermarket. It has a nice selection of vegetarian food, real milk available for the excellent coffee and a few vegan and gluten free options. The fancy new spot up the road has an amazing menu and a delightful little store. There is a sweet garden and plenty of places to sit - and the food and coffee remain excellent.
This is The Elephant's fun cousin, a great place for an evening meal and a cocktail. The pizzas are excellent, and the Italian menu is comprehensive. They also donate 1% of profits to Orangutan preservation. Pop in for happy hour at 5pm! Website. 5pm - 11pm
Pescatarian / Ayuvedic
A very vegan-friendly menu with loads of options is found in this pretty cafe in central Ubud on Jl. Goutama. Here you can find Instagrammable smoothie bowls, gluten free tacos and rosti for breakfast, a good range of vegan brunch options and very good coffee. Website. Open 8.30am - 10pm
Clear Cafe is enormous and has a proportionately large menu. The portion sizes are also huge so sharing is an option and you are unlikely to go hungry. The menu leans towards the vegetarian, but there are many vegan options. There are also a good number of fish based dishes for your protein hit. The drinks list is also extensive and excellent, and the location is very central. Website. Open 8am - 11pm except Fridays when it opens at midday.
In the fancy new Gdas Wellness Resort in Mas, Tangi is a very attractive upscale restaurant. The menu is varied and interesting although the presentation of some dishes could be improved. The emphasis is on wellness...so there are no obvious alcohol options. This is too bad for those looking for a more fine dining vegan experience, as this level of food is just not as appealing with a Kombucha. My vegan friends and I chose all three of the 3- course degustation (a very reasonable 280k pp) - highlights were the cobb salad, the black pepper 'beef', the very tasty 'fish' and an amazing chocolate brownie. The service was both exemplary and charming, and the (eye wateringly pricey) black-market wine elevated our experience (ask quietly). Website.
Vegan and vegetarian
Above the Penestanan turn-off is the popular Zest, with a large number of vegan and vegetarian options at any time of the day. I'm a fan of their cocktail list, and there are some very tasty and exciting dishes to try. If you are with friends, try out the amazing share plates. The deserts are also spectacular. Website. Open 8am - 10pm
A lovely spot looking over ricefields of Sayan, Moksa has a comprehensive vegan menu. The owner is very pleasant and understood my unique food intolerance, and was able to arrange a suitable and delicious dish that wouldn't kill me, so 5 stars for service. Website. Open 11am-8pm
This is a very popular vegan place in Nyuh Kuning, with some excellent dishes including loads of gluten free options. You can also order some of the homemade goods online. The bowls, burgers and burritos are large and delicious. Website. Open 8am-8.30pm
Bella by Sage
Sage (above) has created an Italian Vegan restaurant in Penestanan. All the Italian favourites have been given a vegan makeover, including gnocchi, fettuccine Alfredo, pizza and risotto. I'm told their vegan cheese is very high quality, and there are loads of gluten free options, including the pizza. Website. Open 9am-9pm
Sakti Dining Room
Vegan and Gluten Free
An upmarket vegan restaurant at the gorgeous Five Elements Hotel, Sakti has a gastronomic bent with emphasis on high quality and beautiful presentation. This is quite a bit more expensive than the other places on the list, but would be a special treat for your vegan or gluten free friend. Website. Open 7am-10pm
Swasti Beloved Cafe
Organic and Vegetarian
With many gluten free and vegan options, this cafe in the pretty grounds of the Swasti Eco Resort has a very comprehensive menu. There are a couple of non-vegetarian options, but their vegetarian meals are delicious and hearty. The coffee is also very good. Website.
Seeds of Life
Organic and Vegetarian
This place in central Ubud is convenient and fun with an exciting menu, although the idea of 'taoist tonics and Ayurvedic healing' turns me off. That being said the drinks are delicious and you feel healthier as they go down! The majority of the menu is gluten free. Website
The Farm - an inexpensive vegan buffet offered in charming pastoral surrounds, this place is cheap and cheerful and has a lovely view over the rice paddies in south west Ubud.
Alchemy - This is an Ubud institution but I'm not a fan of this enormous, overpriced vegan restaurant. However if you're a major wellness / western spiritual adherent you will find your people here.
Sawobali - On lively Jalan Sukma Kesuma, this Balinese vegan and gluten-free warung has a great buffet with loads of options suited to vegans.
Sayuri Healing Food - This is a raw food restaurant, with everything meat, wheat, gluten, dairy and soy free. The dishes are creative, and there are loads of events such as live music, kirtan and free yoga. Website. This is just not my sort of food, and it's pricey, but vegans and wellness types will love it.
Api Jiwa - Offers a fine-dining plant-based sample menu for R850k pp . Website
Le Gastronome - French/Indonesian fusion at the fancy Keliki resort; their vegan degustation is 5-courses for R450,000. Website
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