Kerobokan in Bali is quite the intriguing mish mash of places. You can find the famous Kerobokan prison, not that you would ever want to actually visit the place. Ample fairly awesome condos, rooms, villas and houses to rent and buy can be found in Kerobokan. And, you can also find some of the best food we had whilst in Bali… That is about it unfortunately.
Many expats love the area as it is inland from the rather pricey Seminyak in a hilly area with many rice paddies. It is pretty in parts but to get anywhere, in particular to the beach, you really do need motorised transport. Unfortunately, a bicycle probably won't cut it here as the roads are quite small and you will be sharing space with scooters, trucks, buses, cars, food carts… the works.
Scooters fitted with surfboard racks are a common sight and there appear to be many fine surf beaches in the area. We don't surf but if you do this could be a big plus for the area.
Perhaps this is just the case in the area where we stayed but the side walks were certainly in need of a lot of work. It was bad enough walking during daylight but at night time it was tremendously difficult. The holes in the alleged foot paths were bigger than us, and would go for at least 2m down. Not fun!
Negatives aside, this is when we tell you that some of the best meals we had in our two months in Bali were had in Kerobokan. Unfortunately, neither of the restaurants we frequented actually served Balinese or Indonesian food. Well, one did sort of but the food served was virtually unrecognisable compared to the typical versions for sale elsewhere.
First mention, La Libre Taqueria Mexican Restaurant. These guys have got the chicken burrito recipe perfect. Note, we haven't been to Mexico so we don't know if what we ate is how the Mexican's make it. But it was delicious.
Their chicken, tofu, beef or vegetarian burritos were big enough for two to share or, as we are piggies, just for one. They had the perfect amount of beans, rice, vegetables, bbq'd meats and sauce to make it just so tasty!
They also serve other great Mexican meals and beers in a really attractive restaurant that had funky Mexican themed cartoon artwork on the walls. The restaurant even offers home-delivery!
Second up on the best food we had in Bali list, and certainly not in second place is Bali Buddha Kerobokan.
This restaurant has a few different locations in Bali. We've actually been to the Nusa Dua shop and the one in Kerobokan. The Kerobokan location has a restaurant and a little health food take-home section. Even if you don't follow a strict vegan raw food diet, you will really enjoy the food here. The Nusa Dua location is much smaller. It's more of a take out joint than a proper restaurant.
During our seven days in Kerobokan, we headed to Bali Buddha pretty much every day. Some days, twice. It was that good. The juices were amazing, the red lentil soup, the minestrone soup, and the green soup were delicious. The raw food platter was extremely tasty and filling. Desserts, including some that were also raw, were to die for.
The little shop to the side provided baked goods like banana or pumpkin bread, organic fruits and vegetables, alternative medicine, and all things just lovely. Bali Buddha really is great!
Even if you aren't staying in Kerobokan these restaurants are worth the drive. Check them out! Bali Buddha even has a few community boards that people advertise various things on. We saw many advertisements for rooms, villas and houses, some stipulating how far they were from Bali Buddha. Handy!
Would we stay in Kerobokan again? Possibly. The international food makes this places but the many western style restaurants combined with the many expats mean that all things Balinese are gently nudged towards the margins. All the same we may return but only if we find our awesome dream Balinese home with ultra fast internet, a clean swimming pool, a usable kitchen, and maybe a maid to clean up after us 😀 Oh, and close to Bali Buddha and La Libre Taqueria.