Asia Foodie Travel Gili Air Indonesia

Gili Air Food & Drink – a guide

Where to eat in Gili AIr, a guide to what and where to eat and drink - Nasi Goreng - Gili Air, Indonesia - Where to eat on Gili Air

Gili Air, located off Bali and Lombok is a slice of paradise. Unreal clear water, dream-like snorkeling, stunning sunsets and laid back vibes make Gili Air one of my favourite places. And then there’s the food.

The food in Indonesia is delicious, and the food on Gili Air is as perfect as the idyllic surroundings.

Gili Air, Indonesia - where to eat - the traveloguer travel blog

I’ve put together some of the nicest food I ate on Gili Air, that I remembered to take a photo of! Below, you will find a list of places to eat in Gili Air, based on places I have tried.

Breakfast on Gili Air

Lombok Coffee, Banana Pancake, Gili Air, Indonesia - thetraveloguer travel blog

We stayed at Mawar Bungalows (and I highly recommend it!). Each morning, we had our breakfast on our porch. It was so nice to not even have to leave our hut and to enjoy a fresh breakfast while admiring the lush green view.

While Sean managed to try the eggs and toast, I could never say no to the banana pancake! Made fresh by the lovely mother who ran the bungalows, these thick pancakes contained a full banana – sliced in half – cooked into the batter. Ah-ma-zing!!

READ MORE: How to get to the Gili Islands from Bali

How to Get to the Gili Islands from Bali - Slow Ferry or Fast Boat? thetraveloguer.com

And then there was the coffee…Have you ever tried Lombok coffee? It’s so, so good. Thick and grainy (which doesn’t really sound that nice!), it’s so delicious. I was in heaven each morning on that balcony! I love how when you reach the end of a cup of Lombok coffee, you can see the coffee grains sitting at the bottom. Mmm, mmmm!!

 

Nasi & Mie Goreng

Nasi Goregny - Gili Air, Indonesia - Where to eat on Gili Air

Nasi goreng is my favourite Indonesian dish. A fried rice dish with vegetables, shrimp, kecap manis, garlic and chilies, and it’s such a tasty meal. Often served with a handful of prawn crackers and a perfect fried egg on top, it has it all!

I fell in love with it on my first trip to Jakarta, and was so excited to return to Indonesia to try it again. On Gili Air, there is no shortage of nasi goreng about. My favourite was from Chillout Bar.

The picture above is of mie goreng, which is the same as nasi, only with noodles.

Your first Indonesian lesson:

Nasi = rice

Mie = noodles

Goreng = fried

READ MORE: Snorkeling on Gili Air

snorkel gili air thetraveloguer

Seafood on Gili Air

It’s no surprise that the seafood on the Gili Islands is top notch. We had the nicest red snapper ever at Zipp one night. Then there was the rainbow fish. We had been snorkeling on GIli Air and had spotted the multi-coloured fish. Although a bit strange, we ordered it the next night. It was really good, and there as something kind of cool, and also kind of weird, about eating a fish we knew was so local and so fresh.

I don’t have any photos of the fish, as we were mostly eating in very dimly lit places so any attempts came out blurry and weird. But trust me when I saw, the seafood on the Gili’s is great!

 

Barbecues on Gili Air

Seafood Buffet, Gili Air - best food in Gili - thetraveloguer travel blog

Speaking of seafood, on Gili Air there are lots of seafood buffets. For 60,000 IDR, you get your choice of fish, or meat, which comes served with a baked potato, salad and vegetables. I chose traditional Indonesian spiced fish in banana leaf. My favourite was definitely Scallywags. It had a great selelction and a romantic setting.

Pictured above is the seafood buffet at Scallywags.

 

Gili Air Juices & Shakes

Watermelon Juice, Gili Air - where to eat in gili air

One of the best things about travelling around Asia is the amount of fresh juice everywhere. There’s not much better than sipping an ice cold juice or shake in the heat. I couldn’t get enough of watermelon and pineapple juices on Gili Air.

Coffee

Iced Coffee Gili AIr - thetraveloguer

I know I’ve already mentioned Lombok coffee, but hey, I’m going to bring it up again! Some places do a nice iced coffee in Gili Air. The one above is from Le Cirque, which is a very snazzy looking spot overlooking the sea. It looks too fancy for a backpacker, but eating there gives you all of the feeling of fanciness, without the cost of staying there! They do a nice nasi, and great iced coffee.

Western/ Backpacker Food

If you are craving some backpacker food, rest assured, you will find it in Gili Air. There are really nice pizzas, some good burgers and even Mexican food to be found on the isle.

One night, I spotted nachos on a menu in Raja. I had already had nasi for lunch, so I decided to give in to my weakness for Mexican and go for some nachos. They were a little…unusual, but not too bad.

nachos on Gili Air - food in gili isalnd

 

Where to Eat on Gili Air

While there is no shortage of great places to eat on Gili Air, here are some of my favourite spots to eat and drink around the island. I didn’t use addresses as the island is so small that you will find them easily. Most featured are located on the south east of the island and are very close to each other.

Chillout 

Happy Hour Cocktails at Gili Air - Where to eat on Gili Air - thetraveloguer

This was the first place we went in Gili Air. We took advantage of the two for one cocktails (50,000 IDR)) and sat back to enjoy our first Gili Air sunset.

They win my Best Nasi on Gili Air prize too! And believe me, there is a lot of competition. Nasi and mie goreng cost 25,000 IDR, or $1.80.

Le Cirque

Le Cirque has cool cabana to chill out on. The place is part of a hotel, and has snazzy decor. They do a great iced coffee and a range of food from nasi’s to sandwiches.

Scallywags 

Scallywags, Gili Air - places to eat in Gili Air

Although Scallywags is more expensive than some of my other favourites, the setting is just so pretty. It’s all white furniture and candles. When we were there, there was a wedding celebration taking place on the beach in front, and it was such a beautiful scene. We had the fish barbecue pictured earlier in the post.

Wiwin Restaurant

Pictured in the first photo, this place has such a comfortable vibe. It’s so pretty and so nice to sit there and relax after a hard day’s snorkeling. We had nasi goreng there, of course, and it was very good.

Zipp Bar

Nice beach barbecue and big menu. I had a pizza there once that was nice. It cost 45,000.

Neverland

Neverland, Gili Air - thetraveloguer travel blog
One of the locals we were friendly with brought us here. It is the best place to enjoy an awesome view. The all wooden building has two levels. We climbed a ladder to one side of the upper level and lay back on theh bamboo with a drink and those delicious peanuts to enjoy the sunset from a height. it felt like being in a tree house. Loved it. We didn’t eat there, but the menu looked good and was a little cheaper than other places we had been to.

Unzipped 

Delicious Gado Gado and great view of the sea. Iced coffee wasn’t great, but you can’t win ’em all!

 

Other bars and restaurants on GIli Air

gili air is so relaxing and beautiful. thetraveloguer.com

If you stroll around the island, you will find so many beautiful spots to chill out. Like the place pictured above, which I can’t remember the name of. We stopped here for a drink while cycling around the island. It’s amazing how beautiful the bars and restaurants around Gil can be. You can sit in paradise and enjoy fresh food and cool drinks for backpacker friendly prices. What more could you want, really?

 

Have you ever been to the Gili Islands? Let me know your recommendations in the comments below! 

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    mark wyld
    March 24, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Amazing destination, Amazing food and Amazing drinks, sounds like a great place to visit.

  • Reply
    Leticia from trucosviajeros
    March 24, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    The food looks amazing! Which was your favorite? I would have said banana pancakes, but the nasi & mie goreng looks really good too

  • Reply
    Abbie
    March 25, 2016 at 12:36 am

    All of that food looks delicious!

    how much was the coffee there???? It looks soooooo good

  • Reply
    Claire
    March 25, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I’m excited for my Indonesian leg of travelling now! The seafood sounds amazing, can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply
    Bernard Tan
    March 25, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Amazing place! am thinking of going to bali at the end of the year.
    Bernard Tan recently posted…5 Survival Tips for China Bullet TrainMy Profile

  • Reply
    Nancie Lee
    March 27, 2016 at 3:47 am

    Gili Air sounds awesome! I haven’t been to that area of the world yet, but would love island life. I’m not a seafood eater, so glad to hear there were choices. Would love to try the coffees! AND the banana pancakes. Yummy! Your photos are great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Jessica {The Bohemian Diaries}
    March 29, 2016 at 2:51 am

    I have never heard of this Indonesian destination, thanks for sharing!! It all looks so amazing and as a coffee fiend, I am anxious to get my hands on a cup!

  • Reply
    S
    March 30, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Oh, I probably shouldn’t have read this hungry haha. Everything looks delicious! But I have to admit what I would like most is to have some of these cocktails or shakes with this amazing view!

  • Reply
    Lily LA
    April 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Ahhhhh I miss all the lovely food and drink on the Gilis! I’ve been far too many times, but I still plan of coming back again.
    Lily LA recently posted…MUSEUMS OF WASHINGTON DCMy Profile

  • Reply
    Komodo Island Boat Trip - A day on dry land in Lombok - The Traveloguer Travel Blog
    September 7, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    […] a blissful week in Gili Air, we had to figure out how we could to get to Komodo Island and back to Bali again within a tight […]

  • Reply
    stephanie
    January 30, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    I was on the Gili’s last summer but was not that excited about the food.
    The food in Ubud was better in my opinion 🙂
    but the Gili’s are beautiful though.
    x
    stephanie recently posted…Travel guide: Chiang Mai, ThailandMy Profile

    • Reply
      Christine Maguire
      February 8, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      I agree, the food in Ubud was so delicious and fresh! 😊

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