A YOGI’S GUIDE TO UBUD

Ali’s Art Store
Jl. Dewi Sita (near the Hanuman end)

Ali is a lovely guy, always up for a chat and can tell you where all his wares came from. He imports the most beautiful antiques from Java and Sumatra – the most gorgeous old ceremonial sarongs, metalwork, ceremonial bowls, candleholders, plates, traditional wedding jewellery. Tell him I sent you and he’ll give you a good price ;)

Ali and Bess - Ali's Art Store.

The Yoga Barn (and )
Jl. Raya Pengosekan

Go to classes with Emily Kuser for some big-hearted holistic yoga goodness (including hatha, yin, Tibetan meditation and a women’s circle!), or Denise Payne for a good sweat, plenty of handstands and tennis ball myofascial release yin classes. Also: ecstatic dance. Don’t think, just go. But make sure to turn up an hour (or two!) early to get a ticket for “the Dance”. The café does great food in general – I love their Indian thali plate, their cashew coffee, masala chai, and their tempe curry.

The Yoga Barn.

Sage
Jl. Nyuh Bulan no. 1

Delicious plant-based goodness in a quiet part of town. Everyone loves the Jackfruit tacos. I love the people watching.

Kismet
Jl. South Goutama (opposite Earth Café)

A classy, chilled, quiet refuge smack bang in the middle of crazy Ubud central. Go for the haloumi burger or the Dragon bowl with sate tempe sticks. And the Elvis vegan icecream for dessert. Also: ingenious little expanding hand towels and CHILLED WATER WITH CUCUMBER. Sometimes I would go just for the water.

The Elephant
Hotal Taman Indrakila, Jl. Raya Sanggingan (past Bintang, on the right)

Polenta chips at The Elephant.

A little out of town, but worth the drive for the homemade burnt sage butter gnocchi, with an entree of polenta chips, and steamed greens to share. They also do an excellent vegan larb. Ask for your coconut with ice and lime. Excellent food with a beautiful view in a quiet, spacious location. And yes, #iwenttoubudtoeatgnocchi

 

Cantika Zest
Jl. Penestanan Kelod

There are three Cantika Spas in Ubud, but Zest is my favourite. Book in for the facial, which comes with a hand and foot massage and a wonderful garden setting. They use all of their own house-made natural products (which you can also buy to take home). While you’re there, book the package of a body scrub and flower bath in Ubud’s most beautiful outdoor bathroom.

Alchemy
Jl. Penestanan Kelod no. 75, Ubud

If you’re into #rawvegan this is the place to be. The banoffee pie is next level (and I NEVER order anything that’s not chocolate!). Endless array of green juices, raw chocolates, and the best vegan BLT. Be sure to check out the breakfast bar in the mornings, and the salad bar at lunch time. Fresh, healthy and huge variety.  The biggest challenge is choosing toppings. And finding the best angle for your #plantbased post.

Iman Spa
Jl. Sriwedari No. 63X

Iman Spa

This place is owned by a magical masseuse (and lovely guy) called Nyoman. If you can get in with him, book for 2 hours. I’ve had a lot of massages in my time - and Nyoman is the best. If not, book with one of Nyoman’s assistants, who he has trained to deliver the same deep tissue bodywork that leaves me with a brand new body every time I visit. I almost don’t want to tell you about him, because it’s going to make it harder to secure my thrice-weekly massages when I’m in town ;)  

 

Hujan
Jl. Sriwedari No. 5

Owned by the same people who run Mamasan down south, this is the place to go for super authentic, delicious Indonesian food. You pay for the privilege (it’s expensive by Bali standards), but it’s well worth it for the best, freshest ingredients, excellent service, a lovely setting and to get to feel fancy for a night. The menu is extensive, but you can’t go wrong with the sea bass curry or the ikan pepes. If you’re a meat eater (or your friend/lover is sick of eating rice and vegetables), apparently they do an excellent beef rendang.

 

Gaya Ceramics
Jl. Raya Sayan no. 105 (ceramics shop), or further north along the same road (gelato)

Two of my favourite things: locally made ceramics, and gelato. Visit the shop for the most beautiful mugs, plates and bowls – they make beautiful presents if you can get them home unbroken! Then continue along Sayan Ridge for Ubud’s best salted caramel gelato. Located dangerously close to my accommodation last visit: there may have been a few late-night gelato sessions after long days of teacher training.