junglefish ubud bali


Ubud hangs for the not-so-hippie

Published April 5th, 2016

Spiritual overwhelm? Green juice overdose? Can’t face another “Namaste”? The Bali region of Ubud has been known forever for its healing, hippie vibes, and if you’re in search of just that, it certainly doesn’t disappoint. However sometimes, even those of us with the most Zen of intentions, who drink a green smoothie and jump in a yoga class once week, drink locally brewed organic coffee on weekends and are partial to the odd raw dessert, can find ourselves overwhelmed by Ubud.

Ubud is stunning. Full of energy and not really like anywhere else. So I would never suggest anyone skip a visit. However, when you find yourself ill at the thought of another quinoa salad, turmeric elixir or chanting circle, here are my top picks for where to find a little normal amongst the crazy-beautiful that is Ubud.

Kismet Restaurant & Lounge

More hipster than hippie, this intimate restaurant and lounge bar in Ubud is uber cool - styled to perfection with copper and leather, dark lighting and relaxed sounds with hands down the best cocktails in town - maybe even Bali. Expertly mixed and balanced to perfection, there’s not a bad selection to be made. Hint: order the passionfruit margarita. While it still has a vegetarian menu ( let’s be real, this is Ubud), but you know when a place has box in the bathroom labelled ‘Sh*t you overhear in Ubud’ with a pencil and paper provided, you know they get you.


BBQ Skewer party: tempeh, tofu, mushrooms, mixed veggies #BaliStyle

A photo posted by Sah D'Simone (@sahdsimone) on

Open from 9am daily for a late, and delicious, breakfast - you know, because not everyone is up a dawn meditating and drinking kombucha – through to late into every evening, Kismet serves lunch, dinner and next-level good tapas-style snacks. If you’re anything like me, you might just find yourself hiding out there daily. There is nothing wrong with living off a diet of to-die-for edamame and tequila-based cocktails - just saying.

Where? 27X JL. South Goutama, Ubud

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Jungle Fish

Pool clubs are half the reason most of us come over to our precious Balinese playground for chill days in and out of the water with friends, cocktails, tapas and that signature soundtrack of Bali beach club house. Until recently, this was purely the domain of the beach areas, Seminyak, Uluwatu and the like. That is, until some geniuses picked one up and placed it square in the middle of the Ubud jungle and rice fields.

Jungle Fish is everything you love about pool clubs with the ocean view swapped out for lush jungle, which makes for a uniquely Balinese, or uniquely Ubud experience. Work your way through the decent cocktail menu (or use the morning as recovery if you spent last night at Kismet), and sample the delish fresh juices while you float around. The food here is amazing. Modern Mediterranean, and non-veg. So those of you who have been a little meat-starved, go nuts.

Expect to pay a minimum spend on your way in of 150,000 Indonesian rupiah, (around $AU15), but if you’re coming for some food and drinks - easy done. And for this they’ll throw you a pool towel to use for the day. If you’re bringing a crew with you, definitely ring ahead and reserve yourselves a cabana or swinging lounge for the day. But if it’s just you and your sidekick, head over early and grab yourself a sun lounge.

Where? Chapung SeBali Resort & Spa at Jl. Raya Sebali, Keliki, Ubud

If you’re planning your next Bali trip, and can’t decide if you’re ‘Ubud enough’ for Ubud. Head up there, take a yoga class, drink green things, get all up in a kirtan or ecstatic dance night… and then go for cocktails and eat a burger. Namaste.

Can't resist the thought of beaches, bars and cheap and tasty food? Check out our Black Market Flights to Bali.


Melissa Llewelyn

Swapping high-heeled corporate life for barefooted gypsy-esque wandering, Melissa leapt from her travel marketing career, completed her yoga teacher training in Ubud, Bali, and spent 2015 exploring Southeast Asia, indulging her obsessions in a constant pursuit of salt, sun and yoga and decadent textiles. She now spits her time between Queensland and Bali teaching yoga and writing.