Bali has long been a popular destination for creative types, but for us reliant on the internet its reputation of poor internet connectivity precedes it. I was a bit sceptical to come back myself. Last time I was here (4 years ago) I had a hard time finding accommodation with wifi, and there wasn’t much of a cafe scene in the beach area.
I’m happy to report that the wifi situation has improved dramatically over the past few years. While the internet isn’t as fast as mainland Southeast Asia, I was still able to get work done without wanting to throw my laptop out the window in frustration. I used to have to ask if there was wifi on the premises, but now even the most basic guesthouse comes with wifi.
What has also improved in Bali are the cafes. Going from my previous experience in Bali I was expecting to find tourist restaurants filled with bogans watching Australian football (AFL and NRL) all day. Sure, there is still plenty of that around, especially in Kuta and Legian. Many of the new cafes though are as good as you will find anywhere in the world. If it wasn’t for the palm trees and tropical climate you could be mistaken for being in Brooklyn rather than Bali. The best of these cafes can be found in Seminyak but there are good cafes in all the areas listed.
In this cafe list when I say Bali I am referring to the urban conurbation of the southern beaches, from Canggu down to Kerobokan, Seminyak, Legian, Kuta, and Tuban (next to the airport). I have left out Ubud in this post as it is a fair distance from the beaches and there are so many cafes in Ubud that it deserves a separate blog post.
Bali Cafe Map
If you want to just find a cafe nearest to you refer to this cafe map.
Direct link to the Bali Cafes Map.
Down a little laneway and behind an unassuming door is this cafe that wouldn’t be out of place in Melbourne. In this dark wooden interior you could forget that it’s tropical Bali outside. Great coffee and one of my favourites.
Location: Jalan Kayu Aya/Gang 51, Seminyak.
Anomali is another popular cafe that takes its coffee roasting and serving seriously.
Location: Jalan Kayu Aya No.7B, Seminyak.
Upstairs is where it’s at here with its breezy covered rooftop space serving coffee and western food.
Location: Jl. Drupadi 1. No 2A, Seminyak.
A small cafe on Jalan Petitenget.
Location: Jalan Petitenget 888x, Seminyak.
More of a bar/restaurant but in the day time it is quiet enough and worth coming to admire the interior design.
Location: Jl. Petitenget Raya 77x, Seminyak.
Visitors to Bali should come here at least once if only to check out the architectural marvel of the building, which is completely clad in recycled wooden windows. It’s a bit pricey but as you can see from the location you are paying for the view. Sit by the pool and enjoy being in Bali.
[h/t to Dan @ TropicalMBA for this one.]
Location: Jalan Petitenget (on the beach), Seminyak.
I was on my way to another cafe when I passed this one, and with a name like that how could I not visit! With its thatched roof and free wifi its not really Melbournesque (the coffee wasn’t either), but handy for a place to work if you are near the Flea Market.
Location: Jl. Kayu Aya Square Unit 22 (Flea Market), Seminyak.
Big bakery cafe in Seminyak Square.
Location: Seminyak Square, Jl. Raya Kuta 65, Seminyak.
Another hip cafe in the Seminyak scene, it was packed when I visited.
Location: Jl. Kayu Cendana No. 7, Seminyak.
Cafe restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.
Location: Jl. Petitenget 45, Seminyak.
More of a restaurant than a cafe (it is a warung afterall) but a good place to work outside of lunch hours.
Location: Jl. Raya Seminyak 52, Seminyak.
Cafe Moka is a cafe/bakery chain with a few more branches around Bali.
Location: Jl. Raya Seminyak, Seminyak.
I am usually averse to working in places that have tablecloths, but when I visited Chat Cafe I saw more people with laptops than any other cafe. I’ve since been told it is a digital nomad hotspot.
Location: Jalan Kunti No. 18, Seminyak.
A cafe right on the beach (as in on the actual sand) and priced accordingly. There are several cafe/bars along this stretch of beach to choose from. Good location if you want to take a “digital nomad working on the beach” photo.
Location: Jl. Mesari Beach, Seminyak.
The Moose Espresso Bar
Another Aussie-run cafe bringing great coffee to Bali.
Location: Jl. Batu Belig, Seminyak.
At the end of Seminyak on the way to Canggu is this decent little cafe/lunch spot.
Location: Jl. Batu Belig No.80, Seminyak.
The best coffee I had in Legian was here (the beans are from Revolver so that came as no surprise). It is not a big cafe but there is also space on the other side of the lane. Good option if you are staying in the touristy area of Double Six Road.
Location: Jalan Arjuna (Double Six) 99x, Legian.
A little cafe oasis in a street filled with bogan tourist restaurants. Get your “mugshot” taken to be put on the wall (and your donation will be given to charity.)
Location: Jl. Padma Utara 5, Legian.
The Caffeine Coffee Shop
Reassuring to know that my coffee will have caffeine in it. Beyond the small street entrance there is a cafe set in a garden and old building out the back.
Location: Jl. Legian Kaja 462 Legian.
Australian style breakfast cafe on the touristy Jalan Melasti.
Location: Jl. Melasti Block 1 & 2, Legian.
The Coffee Library
I nearly didn’t list this one as it’s more of a restaurant and bar (with tablecloths!), plus there is a live band in the evening. The cafe section though is worth a look. It is the first cafe I have seen that offer coffee by Aeropress. They also offer French Press coffee.
Location: Jln Padma No 39, Legian.
KAE (Kedai Asia Eropa)
Cafe/restaurant in inside a hotel lobby.
Location: Lobby of Grandmas Hotel, Jl. Sriwijaya No. 368, Legian.
There are numerous Starbucks in Bali (of course) but I have listed this one if you are in the heart of the Jalan Legian tourist area (not far from the Bali Bombing Memorial – Ground Zero Monument).
Location: The 101 Legian, Jl Legian, Legian.
Technically in Kuta but away from the tourist area, Espress cafe is one of the hippest little cafes I visited in my Bali cafe exploration.
Location: Jalan Dewi Sri 101, Kuta.
Bemo Corner Coffee Shop
Bemo Corner Coffee Shop is located in Deepest Kuta. You will see more Bintang T-shirts per square metre here than anywhere else in Bali. Some of the cheapest guesthouses in Bali are around this area so if you are here then Bemo Corner is a good option.
Location: Jl. Pantai Kuta No. 10A, Kuta.
There’s not much going on – cafe wise – in Tuban, but if you are down here then De Bali is a suitable cafe/restaurant to work from.
Location: Jl. Wana Segara No. 8, Tuban.
Mention Kerobokan to an Australian and they will most likely associate it with the prison and its celebrity Aussie inmates. Kerobokan is just north of trendy Seminyak and starting to get developed. No doubt this area will be concreted over in 10 years, but for now you can still sip on a coffee with a view of rice paddies.
[h/t to Travelfish for sending me here.]
Location: Jl. Umalas 1, Kerobokan.
Livingstone is a bakery cafe that is set in a light-filled space that looks like it was once a warehouse.
Location: Jl. Petitenget no.88x, Kerobokan.
Bungalow Living Cafe
This is a home interior shop with a cafe attached. The cafe has a hippy vibe that wouldn’t be out of place in Ubud.
Location: Jl. Pantai Berawa 35A, Canggu.
Restaurant/cafe place to work.
Location: Jl. Pantai Berawa 33, Canggu.
Oka’s Bakery and Cafe
A good cafe option on Canggu’s main road.
Location: Jl. Batu Bolong, Canggu.
A must-visit if you are coming to Canggu. This cafe is decked out with retro surf posters and paraphernalia and is a popular place to eat.
Location: Jl. Batu Bolong 34, Canggu.
A well-regarded bakery in Bali (there is a branch in Seminyak as well).
Location: Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong (Jalan Batu Mejan), Canggu.
Betelnut is a popular hangout cafe in Canggu set in a beautiful two storey building and another “must visit” for Canggu. Come here and you will see why Canggu is regarding as the up-and-coming area in Bali.
Location: Jl. Batu Bolong 60, Canggu.
The Townhouse Bali: Jl. Laksamana 151, Seminyak.
The Coffee House (Thai Kitchen) Jl. Raya Basangkasa 3A, Seminyak.
Buzz Cafe Corner Jl. Raya Seminyak and Jl. Kunti, Seminyak.
Triplo Coffee Jl. Kerobokan Raya No. 82, Seminyak.
Babar Cafe Jalan Raya Basangkasa 17, Seminyak.
Wow James huge value-bomb here, thank you so much!
You’ve been busy. Some good ones here and I’m glad to see some recommendations beyond Chat Cafe, which I consider pretty horrific.
Zoe @ Tales from over the Horizon says
Wow! So many cafes, great recommendations. 🙂
Capertee Valley says
It’s a shame a select few are ruining Bali’s name in the media, I love the place and providing you don’t go there around ‘schoolies’ time it’s a great place to work out of.
Also check out Bali Buda in Kerobokan! They may or may not have wifi, but they have lots of super healthy food! A great place to get your green smoothies and paleo eats.
Started going here last month — badly addicted to Kombucha tea’s and Tumeric juice now… but I guess there are worse things in life!
Thanks Tom for recommendations
Gotta love Melbourne 🙂
What a fantastic list. Who would have thought that Bali is a mini-Melbourne in the cafe stakes. Going through this list should keep ne busy on my next trip to Bali which starts tomorrow.
Love the Nook. go there almost everyday (I’m actually in that photo lol). That and Habitual – but Habitual has no internet, just a god damn good breakfast.
Great list though.
James Clark says
Ha! wow what a coincidence 🙂 I love Nook too and ended up there 3 times.
Insanely comprehensive post … was thinking about frittering away an afternoon at the Potato Head waiting for a bus to Java last winter, but it turned out that it left much earlier, so sad beans. I’ll have to come back here now after this post, wow!
working nomad says
Awesome post, probably the most.informative I have read on coffee shops! Yes Bali is popular with ‘bogans’ but maybe cut them a bit of slack, many are just on their family holidays and we’re all guilty of being tourists from time to time 🙂
Sweet list, not sure I could get any work done at Potato Head though.
Been before and love it, those beds are great for some sun-downers.
Cool concept James and hope you’re well.
James Clark says
Thanks Rob. Yes I couldn’t see myself working too often at Potato Head but nice to have a look.
this article is amazing. I just moved to bali and I can’t wait to try some of these cafes to work from. THANK YOU so much for putting this together!
Sophie Jones says
Thanks I’ve been searching for a cafe on the island that has a good internet because mine at home can be unreliable sometimes going off for full days at a time and definitely experiencing the “throw laptop out of the window” frustration when it’s running so sloooooow. I’m on my Bali cafe finding mission today!
Did manage to find any great new spots? Or updates to the list? Wifi mission tomorrow…