My husband planned a trip to Indonesia for my 40th birthday in August of 2019. Two of the cities we visited in Bali were perfect cocktail spots. Ubud, located in the uplands, is quieter than other parts of the island and it’s often called the cultural capital of Bali. We also visited the Southern beach resort area of Seminyak, Bali. Known for incredible sunsets, nightlife, and luxury accommodations. A totally different dimension of Indonesia to experience. We found some amazing drinks and some of the best bars in Bali. I also learned a lot about arrack and had a few cocktails featuring this local spirit. You can learn more about that here.
Originally written in August 2020 and updated in August 2022.
Best Bars in Bali
1. Cocktail-paired dinner at Room4Dessert
Pictured above: the Kentucky mushroom (just like the chicken but better); one of the dessert paired cocktails; the Incidente stradale; and the mango puff.
Since we visited Room4Dessert, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It’s rare to have a dining experience that hits only high notes, with everything exceeding expectations, but this place pulls it off. (If you’ve binged all of Chef’s Table on Netflix, you might recognize the name of this place from the Dessert season, Episode 4.) Although, I’m not sure what’s not to love about a 21-course, mostly dessert-centric meal that features a cocktail pairing. The first seven courses were snacks, the second seven were desserts paired with cocktails, and the last seven courses were petit fours.
Each of the seven courses is served in a different location in the restaurant. This added to the fun and provided an opportunity to visit the gardens and the kitchen between sets of food. The highlight of the whole experience was definitely the staff. Everyone seemed genuinely excited and proud of the food, drinks, and restaurant. The owner/executive chef, Will Goldfarb, was also onsite and we had a lovely chat with him. This place was worth every penny.
2. Night Rooster
Operated by another incredible restaurant in Ubud, Locavore, The Night Rooster needs to be on your list. This chill bar features local ingredients in craft cocktails, along with small bites to eat. I had the Tuak & Jagang which was made from tuak granita, arak infused smoked corn husk, coconut vinegar, and mango blossom honey. Truly a unique cocktail – and very delicious! (The Night Rooster is currently closed while working on a new concept. Check their Instagram account for updates.)
3. Potato Head Beach Club
The Potato Head Beach Club is an upscale, ocean-front hangout spot in Seminyak. It features three restaurants, a giant pool, a sandy beach, and plenty of drinks. This steaming masterpiece is the Volcano Agung. This cocktail is made with light and spiced rums, pineapple-infused arak, curaçao, pineapple, raw honey, and citrus. It was the perfect drink to watch a sunset with.
Potato Head Beach Club also has a row of beach-front daybeds that you can reserve to watch the sunset, or to enjoy during the day. They also have a large lawn with daybeds and chairs for lounging. With waitstaff on standby, you can sit and sip all night long. Definitely one of my favorite bars in Bali.
4. Akademi Bar
The Akademi Bar, located in the Katamama Hotel, describes itself as the “center for mixology” and offers cocktail classes. I had the Hang Tuah, made with lemongrass gin, pineapple arak, Aperol, pineapple galangal ratafia, turmeric and tamarind cordial, and citrus juice. The drink was balanced and refreshing.
5. KU DE TA
We had the most amazing dinner at Mejekawi, located at KU DE TA. With a view of the waves lit by spotlights from shore, we enjoyed a five-course tasting menu. Highlights included the grilled coral trout served with chili paste, jicama, apples, and lime. My favorite part of the meal was the White Bloody Mary which is made with vodka, basil oil, pepper bitters, and tomato juice. It was spicy and delicious!
Other cocktail bars in Bali
While the trip included many of the best cocktail bars in Bali, I didn’t make it to all of them. Here are a few more places I plan to visit on my next trip. If you’ve traveled to Bali lately and have a recommendation, drop it in the comments!
Located in Ubud, Apéritif brings guests back to the cocktails of the 1930s. Head Mixologist, Panji Wisrawan will take great care of you. They also offer a masterclass on site. Details on the class are here.
7. The Shady Bars
Between July 2020 and May 2022, three concept bars opened in Bali. Each of the bars–The Shady Pig, The Shady Fox, and The Shady Flamingo–pays tribute to the underworld of Birmingham, London, and Los Angeles respectively. They offer guests entry to a different era through creative sipping lounges, live music, and inventive drinks. Tracing history, each of the bars is themed in a decade from the 1920s-40s, and soon the 1950s in France with the Shady Bunny. All bars feature house-made spirits and barrel-aged drinks.
Where to stay in Bali
8. Bambu Inda
The journey to the Moon House at Bambu Indah puts you in the right state of mind for what awaits you. This bamboo bridge comes after the most whimsical, handmade elevator brings you down one story. After the bridge, there are paths and steps that guide you to the river and rooms.
Bambu Indah offers almost 20 highly unique rooms. We stayed in the Moon House. They all celebrate local materials and the nature that surround them. The property grows as much of the produce needed by the restaurant and bar as they can. We had jackfruit and herbs growing next to our pool.
There’s a ridge where you can enjoy a delicious cocktail while watching the sun set over the river valley. One drink I would highly recommend is the Hidden Paradise cocktail. It is made with tequila, ginger ale, lime juice, ginger, and brown sugar. It was spicy and refreshing! They are a vacation-lovers dream.
Our suite at Katamama was a splurge that was worth every cent. All the rooms have in-room bars complete with tools, fruits, and mixers. I made us some lemongrass gimlets. The pool was calming and inviting.
Now you know where the bars in Bali are. I hope you are able to get to some beautiful places. Cheers!