Candidasa is an increasingly popular tourist destination on Bali, thanks to its oceanfront location, which has some similarities with Kuta.
The location makes it an ideal place for restaurants and hotels to set up. Around an hour’s drive from Kuta, Candidasa is a popular lunch spot for people who are venturing to the eastern part of the island.
The Jakarta Post Travel has compiled a list of recommended places to visit, should you be looking for a bite in the area.
This restaurant is the product of an ambition to provide a classy establishment in the area, and is has done a great job at achieving such an image over the past ten years.
The food is of good quality and is nicely presented. Vincent’s specialty is the local ikan panggang sambal matah (grilled fish fillet with fresh Balinese chili), and it is very well executed.
The front area of the restaurant is designed as a chill-out lounge, with a bar and sofas. It has a very nice open-air backyard filled with trees, though its location is not on the beach.
While most of the other joints are blasting Bob Marley songs or retro music, Vincent’s playlist consists of music from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall and Ella Fitzgerald. It also hosts live jazz performances once every fortnight.
If you are looking for a seat by the ocean, then Puri Pandan, with its views overlooking the sea, is one of the best choices available along the coastline of Candidasa.
The restaurant is by the rocky beach, which can be covered at high tide. There is a dam-like structure that is a favorite fishing spot among locals, which you can walk on to go further out into the sea.
The Hot Dog Shop
The small shack situated beside Ari Homestay sells burgers, hot dogs and chips. Gary, the owner, who is a self-proclaimed “angry old fart”, built the shop beside his lodging business to make the spot a haven for backpackers and low-budget tourists.
However, despite the seemingly modest objectives, the place is one of the best burger joints around. The meals come with generous portions, for prices that are no higher than Rp 50,000 (US$4.41), which also includes free Wi-Fi. Those looking for alternative meals should pay attention to the amusing “no nasi goreng” (fried rice) sign.
Most of the time, the place is filled with Australian travelers looking for shade on hot sunny days. Gary also hangs out around at the shop, and is a good companion to chat with.
This restaurant is known by locals as one of the area’s pioneering seafood eateries. It is usually crowded with locals so, if you want to abide by the rule of ‘eat where the locals eat’, then Merta Sari is a recommended place.
It is not located in the town of Candidasa but, if you are traveling to the area from the south, you will definitely pass by the restaurant. Its location is not exactly on the main street, so it is wise to ask around. It is very close to one of the area’s landmarks, Pura Goa Lawah, a temple with a sacred cave by the sea.
If you are not convinced by the humble appearance of the place, then you should know that the restaurant was once visited by former Indonesian president Megawati Soekarnoputri — there are photos hanging in the establishment to prove it.
One package meal here costs Rp 30,000 (US$2.64), consisting of the island’s famous sate lilit (minced fish satay), vegetables, pepes (fish steamed in banana leaves), fish soup and rice.