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Best Restaurants in Kuta, Lombok for 2024

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2 weeks ago

For years we’ve been hearing Lombok is the new Bali. And in many ways it’s true: Lombok offers a relaxed, quieter version of Bali where you can still find empty beaches and the prices are closer to normal Indonesian standards. And some of the best restaurants in Kuta rival those in Bali.

But, for me, my favorite thing about Bali is the high-quality dining scene. In fact, Bali is home to many of my favorite restaurants in the world (Mamasan, Hujan Locale, Potato Head). Naturally, when I’m doing any comparison between Bali and Lombok, my mind turns immediately to food.

I am here to reassure foodies that Lombok is home to a burgeoning and extremely dynamic food scene. In Kuta, you’ll find home-style warungs sitting side-by-side with trendy restaurants which wouldn’t be out of place in Seminyak – or even, Hong Kong or Melbourne. In short, dining in Lombok is quickly becoming one of the top things to do in this seemingly untouched paradise.

As always, if you want quality, it’s important to plan your meals. With that in mind, we have curated a guide to the best restaurants in Kuta, Lombok.

Breakfast or Brunch

Milk Espresso

If you have visited Seminyak or Ubud in Bali, Milk Espresso will immediately feel familiar to you. With an open-air relaxed (and often very hot) atmosphere, Milk Espresso offers the quintessential Bali-meets-Melbourne café.

Milk Espresso prides itself on high-quality coffee – and there’s no better way to escape the Lombok sun than an iced latte. Vegans and lactose-free travelers will be thrilled to find milk alternatives (soy and oat), while non-coffee drinkers have an endless supply of smoothies (or smoothie bowls) and even fresh coconuts on offer.

With great Wi-Fi and a small closed AC area, Milk Espresso offers a great workspace for digital nomads.

Milk Espresso has a strong brunch menu on offer, including salmon sliders, bagels and blueberry banana pancakes. Although I prefer coming for a mid-afternoon latte and cake (I’m a big fan of Milk Espresso’s extremely sweet and buttery cinnamon roll). You can also find a small concept store on site, selling the usual Bali-style array of ceramics, candle holders and jewellery.

Terra Café

Kuta’s only plant-based café doesn’t let down. While it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with excellent quality coffee and a strong brunch menu I generally prefer eating at Terra during the first part of my day.

Terra has both an outdoor terrace and an AC room (a rarity in the Kuta café scene).

Terra maintains a varied menu, leaning heavily towards Western favorites and some pan-Asian dishes (Thai curries, Indian thalis, nasi goreng). The Lombok-grown jackfruit burger is excellent, with a drippy vegan cheese and the most addictive barbeque coconut chips (I would go back just for these).

Lunch and Dinner

Felice’s

You won’t have a difficult time finding a warung to eat at in Lombok. However, as with any tourist-friendly town, the food quality is your primary question. Felice’s is a small, family-run warung (don’t be surprised when a 9-year-old is taking your order) which prides itself on fresh produce and a separate vegetarian menu.

Felice’s offers all your classic Indonesian specialities, including a very strong contender for some of the best mie goreng (fried noodles) this side of Bali. But for those looking to extend their palate beyond fried rice or noodles, Felice’s do make a stab at some fusion dishes including ‘pasta curry’ and the mind-blowingly excellent tofu-tempeh katsu curry.

Vegetarians will be pleased to know that Felice’s maintains a separate vegetarian menu and are extremely understanding of vegetarian and vegan dietary requirements. While most warungs will give you a clueless face or serve your dish with prawn crackers, Felice’s goes out of their way to accommodate you.

Jiang Nan

Jiang Nan is not your average Chinese fast-food joint. Once you pass through the lantern-decorated archway, you’ll soon realize this is an extremely tasteful take on the traditional Chinese restaurant.

I like to think of Jiang Nan as more akin to a Melbourne-style Asian fusion restaurant. While paying homage to traditional pan-Chinese flavors (Sichuan peppercorns, handmade dumplings), it adds a slightly fun, fusion side to them. Think turmeric mahi-mahi dumplings or mushroom kimchi and peanut bao buns. My personal favorite is the dan dan noodles, with the perfect balance of Sichuan spice, chilli oil and peanut sesame sauce.

Jiang Nan tends to be on the pricier side for Kuta restaurants, but I really think it’s worth the splurge.

Being from Melbourne and having lived in East Asia for many years, I have very high standards for Chinese food. Jiang Nan ticks all the right boxes for a lovely night out, including a limited Chinese tea menu – if you find yourself needing a break from the Bintang.

The Mexican In Town

Lombok is having a bit of a Mexican renaissance right now, but The Mexican In Town stands out well above its competitors. From the moment you enter the dimly lit courtyard and find yourself wiggling to the reggaeton tunes, you know that you’re in for a treat. The menu here, unsurprisingly, focuses on Mexican cuisine – with a slight fusion twist.

I have a blanket rule at Mexican restaurants: if chilaquiles are on the menu, I order them. And the chilaquiles verdes at The Mexican In Town would make any Mexico City eatery proud.

It’s worth mentioning that many of the other star menu items which take an innovative approach towards Mexican cuisine. Most notably, the tuna tataki topped with fried beetroot (it works, I assure you) and the Chimichanga deep-fried burrito with local Lombok jackfruit.

As you would expect from any quality Mexican-fusion establishment, the menu is paired with a strong cocktail, margarita and sangria menu for the ideal Lombok night out.

Inquire about The Mexican In Town’s weekly specials, including 50,000 IDR (US$3.10) sangrias on Wednesday and, my personal favorite, the Friday special 30,000 IDR tapas-style Mexican menu. Be warned: the tapas are quite large and three ‘small plates’ will be more than enough for one person.

UD Mandiri, Rumah Makan Rezeky

You’ll need to venture about 15 minutes off the main strip to find this gem of a Kuta restaurant. UD Mandiri isn’t your ordinary warung, but rather a warung buffet – and who doesn’t love a quality buffet! The food selection here is varied (and seemingly endless) and finally offers a warung which isn’t too oily.

You pay depending on what dishes you choose, but generally it’s very cheap and you’ll pay a little more if you go for any of the meat or egg dishes.

Vegetarians will be pleased to know that UD Mandiri has a strong vegetarian offering (and, more importantly, understands what being vegetarian means). You can usually find offerings of jackfruit curry, tofu, tempeh and mushrooms.


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