Gili Trawangan Restaurants & Cafés
Below is a list of some of our favourite restaurants, cafés and cheap eats on Gili Trawangan. This list is by no means exhaustive – just a few recommendations to get you started.
If you're up for some fine dining, Kokomo, located on the beach toward the south of the island is currently the island's premier fine dining establishment. Prices are a little more than most on the island, but still much less than you may expect to pay at home. They also offer a sophisticated bar with tapas menu and one of the best wine lists on the island. We love their super fresh sushi, duck ravioli, seafood antipasto and the beef carpaccio.
The relatively new Pearl of Trawangan, on the beach just before Kokomo, also serves up some delicious offerings in a beautiful setting. Note they also provide sun lounges, Wi-Fi and pool access when you purchase food or beverages to the value of 100,000Rp (that’s less than $10 AUD or USD based on current exchange rates). Their tapas plates are a favourite for sharing and the beachside bar and lounge is a popular place to hang out during the day.
BEACHside SEAFOOD BBQ
The Beach House and Scallywags in the 'Sentral' area of Gili Trawangan (about 5 minutes walk from Amalika Villa) have great seafood BBQs each evening, serving up an array of fresh fish, shellfish and prime meats with a great healthy salad bar. A little further north we experienced some super fresh barbequed fish at Horizontal – a newly renovated uber groovy lounge, shisha bar and restaurant about a ten-minute bike ride away. All the above places are located on the beach.
Cheap eats at the art market
The Art Market located at the pier (locally known as Pesar Seni) comes alive from about 6pm until late each night, with local vendors serving up local style seafood and satay at cheap prices.
Most people start with a plate of nasi (rice) and then pick and choose from a wide variety of delicious local vegetable and meat side dishes. This is a great option for vegetarians as well, as there is a wide selection of tasty and interesting meat-free dishes. You can also choose from a range of satay skewers or frieshly-caught seafood and it will then be barbequed over hot coals.
A number of other tasty local dishes are available at the Art Market, including Gado Gado (steamed vegetables in peanut sauce), Soto Ayam (chicken soup) or Bakso (meatball soup with vegetables). Don't forget to ask for a spoonfull of Sambal (a freshly-made chilli sauce) – every store has its own unique recipe and some are more fiery than others!
Great fish & Chips
Just around the corner from Amalika you'll find Snapper Corner – we recommend their fish and chips (beer battered snapper with big chunky hand-cut chips). They will also home deliver for a small surcharge.
If you decide to venture to the northern tip of the island, you can't go past a wood fired pizza at Coral Beach One (further up from Coral Beach Two). Also relatively new to the island is Il Pirata – located about a 10 minute walk, or five minute bike ride from Amalika in a side street about 50 metres from the beach. Ask staff for directions. Trattoria has also opened on Gili T, located next to Scallywags on the beach.
We experienced the best pasta on the island at Blue De Mare, a little to the north. They only have a few tables, so if it's high season, we suggest you book! They have fabulous breads and a lovely atmosphere located on the roadside of the beach. Beach House and Kokomo also offer a number of delicious pastas. Try the lobster spaghetti at Beach House or the crab ravioli at Kokomo.
DELICIOUS HEALTHY Breakfast or lunch
Kayu Café has become a favourite on Gili Trawangan. It is located on the beach between the Art Market and the Harbour. Serving up super healthy and delicious food (currently breakfast and lunch only – coffee and cake in the afternoons) and offers air-conditioned comfort inside, beachfront tables, and also a terrace room upstairs. Great coffee, yummie food, healthy snacks. Not to be missed. We love the fabulous breakfasts and their falafel wrap or Halloumi salad are our all-time lunch favorites.
BEST COFFEE & CROISSANTS
La Dolce Vita, another relative newcomer to our island, has rocketed up the Trip Advisor charts as arguably the best coffee on the island – and it's not overpriced. Their croissants are simply delicious, and also very reasonably priced. They are a small establishment only a few metres from the beach in the road on the north side of the Art Market. They have a limited menu, but what they do, they do well. Their pizza slices and calzone are very good and they also do take away. Note at the time of writing they are closed on Mondays.
BEST SPRING ROLLS
A funky bar that plays reggae and popular tunes on the beach known as Flush Bar & Bungalows, makes the freshest and best spring rolls we've had on the island. They take a bit longer, but they're hot, super fresh, and very yummie. Vegie, chicken or prawn. We love the chicken!
Our one and only Indian restaurant (also a shisha bar) Pesona, is located only a five minute walk away on the beach. They have a good selection of well-priced meals and a great ambience.
Cheap & Comfy
About a hundred metres or so inland from the beach, a little to the north, you will find Café Kecil and Taman Thai. This is a groovy, relaxed caé serving up local style food during the day and some Thai delights in the evening. They also serve drinks. You can relax in the semi-open café or in the delightful garden area, which also has two barugaqs (gazebos). Prices are very reasonable.
About a block from Café Kecil is Taco Corner, a small café serving up Mexican delights with delicious fresh produce. Their tacos come with an array of ingredients beautifully presented ready for you to pile into your soft or hard taco shell.
You would be hard pressed to find a warung (local eatery) or restaurant on Gili Trawangan that does not offer a number of vegetarian dishes. The local population eats an array of delicious local vegetables so the choice is abundant. The Art Market (at night) offers local specialty vegetarian dishes, while Kayu Café close by also serves delicious vegetarian options for breakfast and lunch – we love their Asian omelette, falafel wrap or halloumi salad.
The Beach House in Sentral has a very good selection of vegetarian dishes – both western and Indonesian. Try their home made vegetable pie with potato mash and gravy or their local style 'eggplant balado'. Pesona, the island's Indian restaurant also serves up yummie Indian delicacies including vegetable curries, samosa and naan bread.