If you think the sunset is hot in Bali, there is a little community in the southwest that is off the charts sizzling and it is called Canggu (ChangGu). As a barefoot paradise, life does not get much better than Canggu, which starts a little north of Seminyak’s Petitenget and claims about five kilometres of beach front and inland rice fields.
It has some epic surf breaks at starting at Berawa, up to Batu Bolong’s Old Man’s break then up to the world famous Echo Beach. But the good vibes do not stop at coconut wax and wet suits. The area is a simmering with hip little stores and a café scene that is possibly the most unique on the island.
Hipster vegans are well catered for with pumping diners such as Peloton Supershop in Berawa where they make everything from cashew cheese to almond milk. The salads are sensationally crisp while the macaroni cheese is creamy and delicious. Don’t miss out on the white coffee that is finished with coconut milk. Dreamy.
In Berawa, peeps on a diet that restricts all animal products are lucky. The Savage Kitchen in Canggu Plaza knocks out a wonderful range of salads and roasted veggies and sweet treats alongside tender steaks, luscious fish and spicy merguez sausage and there are vegan cocktails and juices. Yes, vegan cocktails. With vodka and creative mixers.
Then there is Finns Beach Club on the beach of Berawa with two restaurants, a couple of bars and at the centre a massive pool flanked by sun loungers. This is no ordinary beach club where you laze the day away. Finns has morning personal training sessions on the beach plus night surfing with powered up mega lighting. Talk about an entertaining way to watch the sun sink into the ocean while sipping a super chilled beers or classic cocktail.
Among the dozens of tiny cafes in Berawa is Milk & Madhu café that embraces our vegan friends while dishing up tasty egg filled breakfasts and lunches of lamb stuffed wraps and juicy burgers with lashings of fresh veggies. They do an awesome lave stone pizza at night, too.
The infamous Canggu shortcut
Across the narrow brick road – or the ‘shortcut’ to locals and ex-pats’ is Batu Bolong, which is an amazing cross between hipster, blissed out hippy and well-heeled jet set.
Where else on the island can you find perfectly baked croissants, French baguettes and pain au chocolate at Monsieur Spoon just metres away from a Campari purveyor that specialises in Italian Spuntino – a small plate usually packed with fine cheeses and cold cut meats. These delicacies are paired with cocktail crafted from Campari at Salumeria Tanah Barak. This chic café is next door to the Shady Shack, which delivers outstanding vegetarian café food in a beautiful old house and rambling gardens. Think raw desserts of cheesecake and vegan carrot cake. This is a perfect place to chill for hours looking at the fields opposite.
For a super health conscious hit step into In The Raw and have a juice that may well be made from fruits and veggies grown in the cafes organic gardens in Bali’s beautiful hills. Be prepared for some unusual combo’s but be certain that these cold pressed beauties are packed with goodness.
An eternal favourite is Betelnut cafe, which was a pioneer of the food scene in Batu Bolong and a reliable source forbreakfast wraps, fruit bowls, and smoothies while the lunch and dinner menu stars some smoking’ curries, stir fries and opulent burgers.
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