The Day I Found the Best Cafe in Ubud, Bali
The day I ran across Kecak Cafe (AKA the best cafe in Ubud) was unexpected. I had just checked out of my Airbnb in Ubud, Bali and went through a mini-heart-attack experience with an ATM. Plus, I had a heavy ass backpack on my back. I was ready to sit down and eat food.
Not just anywhere though. Due to already spending over my limit in Bali, I wanted to keep it cheap but good. I knew there were plenty of places like that in Bali… I just had to find it. And I did.
Whenever you’re walking the streets of Ubud, the majority of the restaurants will have a menu standing out in front of their business for you to look through before deciding to go inside. I ran across a menu that was just standing out by itself. Looking around, I didn’t see anywhere that went with the menu.
Turns out, the menu was cheap. The menu also sounded like it had pretty dang good food.
Behind the menu was a little alley way so I walked down to see if the cafe was there and by golly it was! If an alleyway to a little cafe doesn’t scream out “hidden gem,” then I don’t know what does.
The owner, a couple people that were related to the owner and a girl that had previously witnessed me have a mini-heart-attack at the ATM (weird coincidence, huh?) were the only people in the cafe.
It started out with me just ordering food. I ordered some original Indonesian food with some lemon tea. The meal costed me about $4-$5 in total and it was GOOD.
In the middle of me eating, I had started a conversation with the owner’s brother. He seemed pretty friendly so I started asking him about places to go around the area. You could tell he was a local and I know the best hidden gems are found by locals. He listed off a ton of places. Most were places I had already planned on going or had went to, but he also mentioned a place I had never heard of.
Once I told him I was unfamiliar with the location, he offered to drive me around everywhere I wanted to go that day. He was basically offering to be my tour guide for the day for a low price.
At first I was a bit sketched out. I’m a tourist in a place I’ve never been. Can you imagine all the crazy things that could happen if I trusted a stranger to drive me around the island while leaving my stuff behind at the cafe? But then I thought, why can’t I trust people more? Why can’t I take risks and see what happens? I had already taken the risk of leaving for Asia with hardly any money by myself and hadn’t regretted it one bit. So I decided to take the risk and trust this man.
I left everything at the Kecak Cafe with the trust of the owner (except my purse with my money and passport of course) and then jumped on the back of a bike with a man I had just met about 45 minutes prior. Sounds crazy, right?
Guess what? It was a great decision.
The man’s name was Blacky and the first place he took me was the Bali Swing in Ubud. I had been wanting to go to the Bali Swing since before I landed in Bali so I was extremely excited. He ended up making the trip more memorable because we ended up sitting and testing out different teas while he read my palm.
People around us were so intrigued with him reading my palm that the employees of Bali Swing were sitting down with us getting their palm’s read too. Half the time I couldn’t understand what was being said due to them speaking Indonesian but it was still a blast.
Read more about the Bali Swing here: Visting Bali Swing in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
The second place he took me to was the rice fields. Not only did he take me there, but he was my personal photographer and he didn’t seem to care. He was so nice about helping me get a photo in all the Instagram worthy spots.
Last but not least, we went to the place he suggested that the internet never seemed to tell me about. What place was that? Gunung Kawi Temple in Ubud. Gunung Kawi Temple is one of the oldest Hindu Temples in Bali. It consisted of giant rocks sculpted into the shape of temples. They were HUGE.
These rocks were designed along a river where some of the most worthy of people used to live.
While exploring this area, Blacky told me what he knew about each spot in the temple. With him being a local, this place wasn’t considered a tourist attraction but rather a place of worship. Throughout his life he had learned about what this place represented and the past of it all. I was lucky enough to have him there with me to learn about some of it. I was able to see it from a local’s eye.
Once we were finished at the Gunung Kawi Temple, we headed back to the cafe. My belongings had been left untouched and Blacky’s sister was there to greet me. Blacky even tried getting me to stay in Ubud another night because he had enjoyed going on adventures with me so much. But, I had to say my goodbyes because I was off to Kuta where I ended up meeting a bunch of other lovely people (but that’s a whole other story).
So why am I rating Kecak Cafe the best cafe in Ubud? Not because of the food (although the food is AMAZING you really should eat there), but because the people there are amazing. They treat you like family. I trusted complete strangers and they didn’t let me down. Thank you Kecak Cafe, not just for being the best cafe in Ubud but, for being a place I know I can trust whenever I’m back in Ubud.
Kecak Cafe Information:
Address: Hanoman Street No. 21 Padang Tegal, Ubud, Bali
Have you been to the best cafe in Ubud, Bali? Tell us about your visit in the comments below!
Need more to do in Ubud? Check out the Monkey Forest.