The Ultimate Celiac Guide: Gluten Free Bali

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gluten free bali in rice fields

Many people wonder if there is gluten free food in Bali? Bali is amazing and all you must do is read this article. And of course do a little bit of planning in order to be successful. I will tell you how to eat gluten free in Bali without getting glutened. If you have celiac disease or are eating gluten free for other health reasons, do not let it hold you back from traveling the world. I lived in Bali for two months. I did not get sick once.

Gluten Free Bali

I am excited to share with you my experience of eating gluten free in Bali. I have Celiac disease and was there for two months while I toured the island and had a ton of fun. I am going to answer all your burning questions:

  • Are there Bali gluten free restaurants?
  • Is there gluten free dining in Bali?
  • Is there gluten free food Bali?
  • Is there gluten free beer Bali?

Gluten Free in Bali

I must be honest, so you know exactly what to expect. There are so many places that advertise ‘gluten free’ items, but not many take the precautions needed for someone with celiac or an allergy to wheat. Now let me give you some examples:

  • I found places that would offer gluten free pizza, but there was an absolute cross contamination nightmare in the kitchen.
  • Gluten free crepes would be offered but would be cooked on the same space as the gluten filled crepes.
  • Gluten free breakfast bowls would be offered but the granola wasn’t using gluten free oats.
  • Fries would be offered gluten free, but the deep fryer was not dedicated to only gluten free things.
  • Offering gluten free bread but using the same knife for buttering everything.

There is good and bad with this. The good is that once you ask all the right questions, you can decide whether they can provide you a truly gluten free meal. The bad thing is that it takes a bit of detective work and planning to get things right, so you don’t spend your vacation sick and at home. In general, the people are very nice, but I don’t think they ever really understood what I was needing.

Gluten Free Restaurants in Bali

The best part is that there are 100% gluten free places that you can eat at, so do not worry. They even have delivery options, so you can get things delivered to you if you aren’t exactly close to the restaurants. That makes it convenient and easy for you, so try it out.

I had some amazing gluten free food in Bali, which made my time so much better. I know that I usually cook for myself, but I of course still eat my heart out at 100% gluten free places.

What is The Restaurant Scene Like in Bali?

There western restaurants seem to be popping up everywhere. While some may be able to serve you, many will have tons of gluten in their kitchens. You will have to make sure you ask questions before you try them out.

14 Day Gluten Free Bali Itinerary

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14 Day Gluten Free Bali Itinerary

I LOVE SPOILING MY SUBSCRIBERS

Sign Up And...

Would you like me to keep you posted on new articles and Gluten Free Products ?

*I consent to having GlutenFreeTraveller collect my data. This form collects your first name and email so we can add you to our newsletter list for awesome article updates. Check out our Privacy Policy for the full story how we collect and manage your collected date.

Where I Looked for Gluten Free Information Before I Went to Bali

I looked online at blogs, but I couldn’t find anyone who was really concerned about dealing with cross contamination. SO here I am, and I am bearing it all to help you out.

I did some extensive detective work before I went to message and email restaurants about how they dealt with cross contamination. Of course, you still have to go to the restaurant and verify everything again, but it can work out for you.

Based on my research of Balinese cuisine it may be possible to find some food from traditional restaurants as they tended to use rice with vegetables and meat. You will see family run ‘warungs’ where they purchase food fresh from their local market and serve it up to hungry tourists.

As you will notice as you travel around the country, you will see rice fields everywhere. You will definitely get some epic pictures for your Instagram account here. Anyway, they eat a lot of rice, because they grow a lot of rice and you will see it everywhere.

As always, you should always travel with your celiac card in the other language. The one I downloaded and printed was this indonesian gluten free restaurant card. It is a good idea to have multiple print outs with you just in case one gets left a restaurant or, so you can have them in different bags for all different scenarios.

How to Say Gluten Free in Balinese

Wheat –  gandum

Barley –  jelai / barli

Rye – gandum hitam / rye

Bread – roti

Gluten free – bebas gula

While it is important to know these Indonesian food phrases, you can still use google translate if you have a data plan. And many restaurants have free Wi-Fi. I have had conversations with people using Google translate.

As mentioned above, you should also have your celiac card with you at all times. We were in Bali for two months and since we did not have a data plan from back home, we found a tourist SIM card. We paid $30 CAD, but it was a bit sketchy and the internet was not always reliable. We are pretty sure the guy pocketed the money for our SIM card and they have weird rules that no one can really explain to you about where you get coverage.

Monkey
Monkey

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I want to be up-front and I only recommend products or services that I like, and it helps me deliver free content to my readers.

Balinese and Indonesian Currency

The currency used in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah. Looking at the recent exchange rate you will receive 100,000 IR for $8.50 CAD or $6.35 USD. When you receive your IR, you will feel like a millionaire and that always feels good.

There are many ATM scams going on in Bali and it even happens at ‘reputable’ banks. If you are really worried about it, you could keep less money in your chequing account and just transfer it to a different account. It is definitely a cash culture and some places were cash only.

After seeing so much of it happen, we learned a few tips for getting cash. When we went to an ATM we would cover the card the whole time with our hand and cover the PIN when you are entering it and making sure there isn’t a cover on the ATM that is scanning your card. Apparently, they put fake covers on ATM’s and have cameras installed everywhere to capture your card number and pin.

Bali Map

Bali Weather

The high tourist time is July, August, Christmas and New Years. We went in May and June and the weather was fantastic and there were still lots of tourists from all over the world. There were only a few days that it rained and when it did, it just rained for an hour and then was done.

Truly, Bali is good to visit year-round. If you are looking to get the best deal, it would be outside of the high season, which would be May, June and October.

How to Travel Gluten Free in Bali

1.) Mindset shift

The general understanding of celiac disease or the word ‘gluten’ in Bali is quite low. I did not find people understood what it was in the general or in the service industry. You will have to get comfortable with not being able to have an in-depth conversation with people at restaurants about celiac disease.

You will benefit from doing some of your own cooking. If you are interested in improving your cooking skills prior to travelling to Bali, try some basic cooking from cookbooks or a cooking class. Once you love to cook, this will not be an issue any longer.

2.) Get Packing

You can print out the Indonesian celiac restaurant card so you can use it out at restaurants.

I use a small chopping board, knife, fork, spoon, two perfectly sized plastic lunch containers, two small ice-packs and some spice mixes as well. Any gluten free snacks that you like to have, pack it all.

3.) Travelling to Bali

We flew from Vietnam to Bali on Air Asia. I packed a meal for the flight and happily ate it on the flight even though there were signs everywhere stating that I could not bring outside food onto the plane.

If you want to learn more about my experience for gluten free on Air Asia, check this post out.

We like to use Kiwi.com to find the best connections. Click below and start planning:

4.) Bali Accommodations

All you need to do is find a lovely spot with a kitchen.

Sometimes the pictures on the apartment rental has of all of the kitchen utensils included. Then you know exactly what you are getting.

If we aren’t 100% sure, we message the hosts to see before booking. If I don’t see a microwave and I think I will need one, I just send them a quick message.

Once we arrive, I just throw everything in the dish washer.

Since I already have some staples I packed in my suitcase, I have everything I need.

My best advice is to pack your essential spice mixes and a cutting board.

Booking.com

5.) Shopping for Healthy Food

You can find some interesting things at the local markets, so get exploring. While you may get charged a little bit more than locals, it is still fairly cheap. Exploring these markets is one of my favourite things to do.

There were also many fruit stands that you can get the fresh local items for purchase that were separate from the larger markets.

Is There Gluten Free Food in Bali?

Gluten Free Food in Bali at Supermarkets

We purchased meat at the supermarkets because I was not adventurous enough to buy it at the local markets. I also like to snack on junk food and I am a coffee addict, so we would frequent the supermarket to get these basic items. I used my trusty Nima Gluten Sensor to test food products to see if there was gluten in them.

My favourite grocery store that had many specifically gluten free items was Pepito. I found gluten free cereal, granola bars, almond milk, gluten free sausages and everything else I really needed.

I made a list of Gluten Free Products are available in Bali, just for you.

Gluten Free Beer in Bali

I did not find any gluten free beer in Bali. You can still stick to ciders or wine to if you’d like. Otherwise, you can see what each bar carries for any vodka or hard liquor.

Gluten Free Indonesian Food

Before travelling to a new country as someone with celiac disease you will wonder – is Balinese food gluten free?

If you can find a local who can dine with you and help you navigate the restaurant scene in your area that would be ideal. Once you had educated them, you can take them out with you and find a traditional restaurant that you can build a relationship with, so you can eat out safely in Bali. Once all the spices and sauces are reviewed, you may be able to eat at your local Warung. Here are some traditional items that you can try:

Bubur sum-sum is a rice porridge with palm sugar and grated coconut

Bantal is sticky rice with coconut and fruit

Sayur urab is a mixed salad         

Babi guling is a roasted pig

My Favourite Gluten Free Restaurant in Bali

I frequented one restaurant almost every day while in Ubud. I loved the service and the food, so I must recommend it to you.

Ubud Gluten Free Kitchen is 100% gluten free restaurant. I was in heaven here. For their menu – Ubud Gluten Free Kitchen Menu. I pre-ordered items for when I had day trips and it worked great.

Hours of operation: Open daily from 7 am to 11 pm.

Location: Jl. Sri Wedari No.2, Ubud, Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Restaurants can change owners, chefs and menus: please contact the restaurant to ensure a gluten free meal can still be offered.

Get the Best Gluten Free Travel Guide and More….

  • Whether you are newly diagnosed or just need travel tips from someone who has done it before, Discover the Best Way to Travel Gluten Free.
  • 55 colored pages packed with personal recommendations and tips.
  • Invaluable resources.
  • Fillable worksheets.
  • Spanish AND French celiac restaurant cards.
  • Directly downloadable upon purchase.
Gluten Free Travel Guide Cover Page

Get the Best Gluten Free Travel Guide and More….

Gluten Free Travel Guide Cover Page
  • Discover the Best Way to Travel Gluten Free.
  • 55 colored pages.
  • Invaluable resources.
  • Fillable worksheets.
  • Spanish AND French celiac restaurant cards.

Things to do in Bali

There are tons of things to do in Bali. The best place to stay if you are looking for the best day trips the island has to offer is Ubud. It is in the perfect spot to go to many awesome locations for day trips. Alternatively, if you are just looking for beach and surfing, then Canggu is the place for you.

While we did so many fun things, my all-time favourite was snorkeling the USS Liberty ship wreck. A close second is doing a bike tour through villages, jungle and rice fields. Here is our awesome time snorkeling at the ship wreck:

Transportation in Bali

i.) Local Transport

If you are interested in exploring other areas of the island, then you can totally do some day trips. Each town will have what they call ‘local transport’ and there is also Grab. We were calling the local transport a little mafia, because they don’t allow other town’s local transport or Grab into their area. So, the Grab driver would double the price on the app, because he couldn’t pick up in that same area. Luckily it was cheap anyways and we understood that they couldn’t easily get another fare.

We found that most people would drive us sneakily, but it was very odd and not customer focused. They are advertising that the local transport keeps money in the town and they pay for local things. Who knows. There seems to be little scams everywhere, so I wasn’t sure if I believed them.

ii.) Hire a Driver

We found a driver that would drive us everywhere. We would book him for the day and we would go all over the island. This is nice, because you can leave things securely in the car if you were going to do something fun and didn’t need to take our bag with us. They are reliable and want to work with people more than once, so it is a win-win.

iii.) Scooter

The driving in Bali is pretty crazy. There are no rules and intersections are chaotic. We were happy to safely make it through one each time. We did scoot for about 10 days, but after that, we decided to just hire a driver, because it was air-conditioned and so much safer.

Eating Gluten Free in Bali

I am passionate about telling my story so others know what every country it is like. This makes your research so much easier, so I couldn’t resist. I was able to find restaurants and I loved shopping with the locals at their local markets.

If you are heading to Canggu, check out this Gluten Free City Guide to Canggu.

If you are already decided on Ubud, check out this Gluten Free City Guide to Ubud.

Just follow my simple steps and you can do it too!

You can do this and have a blast. Follow your dreams, you will not regret it. 

If you are considering a trip to Bali and have some questions, reach out and send me an email at GlutenFreeTraveller. Send me a comment below or email. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Cheers, I hope you enjoyed my lovely trek,

Brett – The Ultimate Gluten Free Traveller

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About Me

Brett Duncan Gluten Free Traveller

“Committed to inspiring people with Celiac to travel the world and explore the limitless opportunities to live Gluten Free anywhere.”

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