Running from the famous surf breaks of Batu Bolong and Old Man’s to Jl. Raya Canggu, the thoroughfare to the sacred temple of Tanah Lot, Jl. Batu Bolong is gradually evolving into the area’s coolest street. A far cry from the frenzied crowds of Kuta and Seminyak, the two-kilometer strip offers perfect spots to sip coffee as you turn the pages of your favorite book, feast on some of the best dishes on the island, grab a cocktail, or stock up on the latest fashion. Here are some of our favorite venues along the trendiest street in Bali’s most happening hood.
From the other side of Canggu’s shortcut to as far afield as Jakarta, people are raving about Warung Dandelion. Set in a striking Javanese joglo, Dandelion specializes in Indonesian and Balinese dishes. The menu features well-known classics including nasi goreng and gado gado, alongside more unusual treats such as green papaya in fragrant Balinese spiced broth, and coconut grilled blue river prawns in lemon and basil sauce. While the food is stellar and the service is bound to remind you of home, what really sets this place apart is an army of fluffy bunny rabbits that roam the premises.
Presumably named after Canggu’s black sand beaches, Black Shores is Batu Bolong’s quintessential cocktail bar. The mixologists–apparently an internationally renowned bunch–have come from far and wide to serve you a bevy of fine-tuned concoctions such as the venue’s signature Shores Sour, a smooth fusion of Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey, fresh lemon, Canadian maple syrup and Aztec chocolate bitters. The place comes alive during Black Fridays, a weekly party featuring some of the finest local and international DJs. Don’t miss the daily 6-7 pm happy hour, when all Craft Cocktails come at you for 70k a piece.
Without a doubt, this is one of the coolest shops in Canggu, if not the whole of Bali. More like an art gallery, than a store, Paradise Pictures might just make you blow your weekly beer budget. From graphic art and maps, surf photography and vintage posters to hand-painted reproductions, the treasures on offer are bound to add a touch of chic to any Balinese villa, or kost. The goodies also make memorable gifts to take back home to your loved ones – most pieces come framed or unframed so taking them back home need not be a drama.
If you are cashed up – or just feel like splurging on something very, very different, why not try a 24-karat-gold facial at the Goldust Beauty Lounge? The 90-minute treatment is supposed to work miracles, leaving your skin rejuvenated, collagenated, and glowing. There are also substantially cheaper options such as the gold botox eye treatment and the gold collagen eye treatment. Don’t have enough dough to go for gold? Try out one of the spa’s other offerings, such as massage, scrub, or a good old mani-pedi.
A jewelry store that doubles as a studio, House of Alaia offers practical jewelry-making classes. Try your hand at crafting a silver keepsake during a three-hour introductory class or a tailored schedule of workshops. The small classes, of no more than six students, cover a variety of topics including tools, sawing, stamping and hammering, soldering, as well as sanding and polishing. The adjacent store stocks a selection of jewelry imbued with “sacredness, meaning, and beauty … so that the wearer feels connected to a greater healing vision and story, and spreading joy and peace.”
Adrenaline junkies, surfers, and yoginis unite. More than just a place to chill, Chillhouse is a retreat, surf camp, yoga studio, and a start of mountain bike tours. In addition, the tropical oasis offers stylish accommodation options–from single rooms to villas–organic meals, massage treatments and, of course, a ready-made social scene. Whether you are feeling up to a lot or nothing at all, this home away from home is what holiday memories are made of.
One of the most memorable hotels in Indonesia, Tugu Bali is set right on Batu Bolong Beach. What makes this spot so magical are the hundreds of antiques and artworks that grace the hotel’s lobby, rooms, and restaurants. From the 120-year-old giant statue of Garuda that greets guests in the lobby to the 307-year-old Buddhist temple that was dismantled and reconstructed on the hotel’s grounds, Tugu Bali offers an unforgettable taste of the archipelago’s yesteryear. Some might say the stay is expensive, we say it’s worth every rupiah.