Eating your way around Kuta, Lombok
KUTA is synonymous with the crowded, traveler-filled resorts on the Indonesian party island of Bali.
But we’re going to let you into a little secret: there’s another beach-side town called Kuta in Indonesia and it couldn’t be more different from the Balinese version.
Located in the south of Lombok island, Kuta is a surfer’s paradise where surf shops, surf schools, and untamed manes almost outnumber coffee shops and restaurants, but not quite.
If you’re heading to Lombok and want to stay clear of the party atmosphere in the north, then Kuta in Lombok is unquestionably the place to stay.
Just off Jalan Raya Kuta, the main street feeding eager travelers into the hidden gem that is Kuta are secret luxury resorts, yoga retreats, and some extremely cute homestays. They offer seclusion and tranquillity so close to one of the best beaches and surf spots in Indonesia.
The serenity found in Kuta is extended to the restaurants, bars, and cafes too. Each eatery has its own quirk and appeals to the hungry and thirsty who have had a busy day surfing, chilling or exploring the lush fauna nearby.
Some specialize in heavenly juices that restore your vitality, others serve up innovative dishes, and some supply the most soulful of soul food. One thing they’ve all got in common though is the authentically warm service.
Here’s where to make your stomach happy in Kuta, Lombok:
Ask any Kuta local where to eat, and you’ll likely get “Nugget’s Corner” in response.
Nugget’s Corner is driven with a passion to provide bold flavors to those with vegan, vegetarian, and carnivorous diets. They execute each dish with bistro-style presentation and pack in bold flavors.
If you’re a carnivore, we suggest the black chicken rendang served with red rice, zesty salad, and tempeh.
For the non-meat eaters, the deep-fried zucchini is fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and served with a fiery chili chutney.
It’s also a BYOB restaurant so you can pick up whatever your fancy on the way or enjoy one of the fresh juices on offer there.
- Address: Jalan Raya Kuta, Kuta.
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 07:00-22:30.
- Typical price for two: IDR210,000 (US$14.50).
Heavy night in the bars? Exhausted from surfing all day? Want somewhere to relax and recharge? Head to Kenza on the corner of Kuta’s crossroads to slurp and gobble up a menu of energizing superfoods.
Try the healthy vegetarian nasi goreng that mixes fried sticky tempeh with brown rice, then heap on red cabbage and a perfectly poached egg.
For the peckish but not ravenous, go for the trio of beetroot, pumpkin, and tahini hummus served with homemade sourdough.
The Mediterranean-inspired interior is open plan and airy with the sea breeze blowing wafts of delicious smelling cooking from the kitchen through the restaurant.
- Address: Jalan Raya Kuta, Kuta, Lombok.
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 07:30-22:00.
- Typical price for two: IDR280,000 (US$19).
If brunch is your jam, you’ll want to head to Rascals.
Rascals is actually a boutique resort just off Jalan Raya Kuta offering guests a three-tiered pool, luxury villas, outdoor bamboo showers, and the friendliest service in Kuta. However, unless you’ve booked a stay, you won’t get to experience the facilities, except for the warm smiles served alongside the tasty menu.
Brunch at Rascals includes fresh mango and raspberry sorbet pancakes, dragon fruit and muesli smoothies bowls, thick Nutella and banana on toast, and creamy scrambled eggs with sundried tomatoes and feta.
It is served with a complimentary fruit platter, selection of fresh juices, tea, and coffee in a beach-chic style restaurant.
- Address: 300 meters down an unnamed road next to Billabong store on Jalan Raya Kuta.
- Opening hours: Brunch served Monday to Sunday, 07:00-10:30.
- Typical price for two: IDR150,000 (US$10).
If you’ve only got one night in Kuta, Lombok we seriously recommend heading to Bamba where you’ll find soulful Asian street food with a Nordic twist.
The menu showcases the zesty flavors found across Asia from spicy Thai green curry to Korean ssam and Japanese tuna tataki with a sesame crust to stuffed bao.
The Nordic twist comes in the form of the chic-Hygge interior, a cozy Danish style concept. The low grey sofas and simple yet beautiful Wishbone chairs line the restaurant and copper and chrome lamps illuminate the space.
- Address: Bamba, Jalan Raya Kuta, Kuta, Lombok.
- Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 08:00-22:00.
- Typical price for two people: IDR300,000 (US$20).
Located along Jalan Raya Kuta, El Bazar is the highest rated restaurant out of over 500 in the area and its little wonder why.
The tastes of the Mediterranean have been brought to Kuta, Lombok in the most spectacular way via El Bazar and the Moroccan riad-style interior is the most colorful place to experience it.
El Bazar is driven by fresh ingredients, fusion flavors, and the best cocktails in town.
Its menu caters to all appetites and diets, from the classic saffron and lemon chicken tagine to the fried eggplant with honey and thyme.
If you’re thinking of heading here for supper, you’ll want to go early so that you can make your way through the cocktail menu which includes gin and dragon fruit infusions, simple lemon whiskey sours, and sweet mojitos.
- Address: 5 Jalan Raya Kuta, Kuta, Lombok.
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 07:00-22:00.
- Typical price for two (Inc. drinks): IDR350,000 (US$25).