Contributing Author: Cat
Hi everyone - Cat here. My diet is completely gluten free due to an auto-immune issue, so knowing how to get this option in Ubud is super important.
Just looking at the menus on Google Maps, Ubud might seem like gluten-free paradise. There are many cafés with gluten-free options on the menu. And with so many tourists visiting this beautiful place, it should all be fine, right? But then you walk into Zest, order one of their gluten-free pizzas… and come home with a stomach ache. You even use your Indonesian Celiac card, which explains exactly what wheat flour is and that you can basically eat anything else, but all in vain.
Unfortunately, many Indonesians (and westerners, for that matter) don’t understand what gluten-free really means. They might assume it’s gluten-free, because they don’t add wheat flour itself into the dish, or because they use gluten free bread, but then they carelessly add sauces or broths they don’t check the list of ingredients - soy sauce being the main culprit.
I feel your pain. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of five places we can absolutely 100% trust. As well as a template you can use when stopping at a random, cheap warung on the road.
1. Made’s Banana Flour Café
Made’s Banana Flour has taken gluten-free Bali by storm. With their breads, burger buns and pizza bases bought and used in most restaurants offering gluten-free options, they are very popular among the celiac crowd. Their bread is probably one of the best gluten-free (and vegan!) breads I’ve ever tasted.
I personally find their menu to be very carb-heavy and their desserts to be too sugary, so I don’t go there often.
Moksa is another very popular restaurant among vegans and celiacs. Their Laksa is an absolute favourite of mine and their Vegan Dill Pasta is delicious. All of their dishes are vegan and many of them are raw too, in case that’s your vibe.
3. Dayu’s Warung
My personal favourite, Dayu’s Warung was founded by Dayu (shocking, right?), who has been struggling with diabetes type I. As a result, she has adjusted her diet to gluten, dairy and sugar-free.
All of her dishes are very healthy and creative, such as tacos made out of rice flour. You’ll be in safe hands here.
4. La Blossom Café and Bakery
La Blossom is another café in Ubud that is 100% dedicated to gluten-free food.
They only have eight options on the menu, but they’re good choices. I personally liked the nachos and the schnitzel.
5. Kebun Bistro
A bit on the pricier side, Kebun Bistro is another place that really understands gluten-free diets. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. This is the place to go for your gluten-free pizza.
Other places to get some gluten-free pastries
KAFE has a gluten-free and vegan coconut cake, their low-carb keto plate is also very good and the only thing I can eat there.
Namaskara and Dharma café both have the same gluten-free brownies and doughnuts made of cassava flour, delicious!
If you want to join your friends at the popular Monsieur Spoon, there is one gluten-free cake on the menu, which I unfortunately haven’t been able to try, as it contains dairy.
Honeymoon Bakery has a great range of gluten free options; you can find them on Jl. Bisma and Casa Luna restaurant sells their products.
How to instruct Indonesians in local warungs
I’ve found the safest thing to do in local warungs is to just ask the owner for a custom order. I always ask for vegetables (sayur), chicken (daging ayam), and rice (nasi), without any sauces or broths, just salt, pepper, garlic and onions. Here’s what I say:
“Bisa minta sayur, daging ayam dan nasi aja? Tidak pake kecap atau saos ya. Garam, merica, bawang merah, sama bawang putih aja.”
Sometimes I’ll add: “Aku ada allergi.” Which means, I have allergies.
This usually does the trick, although cross-contamination cannot be completely avoided. I personally even carry around a bottle of my own coconut oil, asking them to use that instead of the palm oil or vegetable oil they usually use. I’ve never had a warung owner refuse this request.
Please comment or send your own recommendations below - I hope you enjoy some great gluten free meals in beautiful Ubud.
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