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Café Cruising in Canggu

Here I am in Canggu, Bali.

Let’s get this out of the way quickly, why is everyone in Canggu so impossibly good looking? Is it the Kombucha juice? The sunset Bintangs? The gold facials?

If there was a town or village that had managed to coin the phrase ‘casually coiffed’ it’s Canggu.

The girls manage to look incredible ALL THE TIME, even while surfing. Wearing bikini ‘parts’ that leave very little to the imagination, hair down and falling beautifully around their bosoms. I went surfing the other week and came out looking like a beached seal, my hair strangling me, T-shirt drowning me and looking like I was wearing a skull cap made of sand. I was rubbish as well. I’ll try again next year.

Daniel Craig topless types with beards and tatts drive through the infamous shortcut on insane custom spec bikes, with Pocahontas-pretty girlfriends strapped on the back and a surfboard on the side.

Pocahontas, Ariel, all the Disney characters are here actually…

It’s easy to forget you’re not in the Western world when sipping frozen margaritas in one of the many perfectly executed cafés or bars in your beach-dress, but then you get your scooter stuck in a herd of cows on the way home, and have to deal with a scorpion that’s found its way into your AC bathroom while you’ve been out, and you’re back in Bali.


 

Canggu, Bali

Canggu, Bali


 

Here are 9 things I learnt very quickly about Canggu:

  1. It’s actually pronounced ‘CHanggoo’ 
  2. What Kombucha juice is and that I don’t want to drink it.
  1. Canggu Shop & Bali Buda Shop.
    Wizard worthy concoctions of home-made bottled vegan coconut and almond milk, carrot and poppy seed seedless rye soya bread gluten free loaves.. you get the picture. *please note those products may not actually exist
  2. Old Mans.
    All walks of life; man and Bali-dog alike, meet here at this over-grown beach bar at sunset for happy hour. Witness your 1st Bintang become 10 in what felt like 30 glorious minutes.

5. There’s a very strong, developed café culture.
Having never been to Australia before, I was pleasantly confused at how incredible the coffee café scene was here. Then a friend from Sydney explained how it has leaked over from the likes of Bondi. Like Hinduism overspilling to Bali from the heart of India, it may be less profound, but I am so glad it’s here.

6. The shortcut… right, yes.
The first journey I went on in Canggu involved journeying along this narrow, long, uneven, deadly stretch of paving stones that is strangely referred to as a ‘road’. Surrounded by thick, muddy rice paddies, it’s beautiful but lethal. Falling off the road into the muddy bog of eternal stench is a daily occurrence for some poor hipster in Canggu. Rather than pity you, people enjoy this thoroughly, and if there were gold medals for falling in, we would all know someone who had one.
I’m looking at you Agust…

The ‘shit-cut’

7. There’s a Canggu community FB page and it’s enough to distract you from getting anything done ever again.
Who do you want to be online today?
The sort of person who helps someone find the coconut home delivery man, or who trolls other expats (particularly those self-righteous women types ay) from the safety of their AC windowless bedroom- (are you even in Canggu?!)
You decide. Jury’s out on the community page.

8.Vegetarian and even vegan food becomes a relatively good option.
I’m the sort of girl that will step over a vegan to get to the sticky ribs every time. Well, I used to be. I’m not saying I’ve switched completely, but with talent and variety so high in vegan/vegetarian cooking here, and animal protection laws so low, the transition is beginning.

9.You take up smoking and drinking beer again.
Gave up smoking before coming here? Yeah never mind. I don’t even really like beer – but I like Bintang, and apparently I like it every day.

While I should be surfing, I’ve instead been eating and drinking my way around the abnormal amount of outstanding cafés and restaurants on this small bit of turf referred to on the map as ‘North Kuta’, much to the annoyance of everyone living in Canggu.

So what cafés and restaurants have I been bothering this week?


 

Let’s start with Peloton Super Shop Café.

This trendy little biking number is 100% vegan. Yes you heard that right, I am raving about a totally vegan café.

This place looks great. Smart wooden interior with the simple and striking Peloton branding. And while it couldn’t really be described as a shop as such, it’s a great place to come for a bite of brunch and a great coffee. House milk is coconut or cashew, and an iced coconut milk latte with brown sugar syrup does the trick on a hot day (every day).

Top tip – sit upstairs there are fans breezing you from every angle.

I can also vouch for the buckwheat pancakes with creamed coconut, almonds, strawberries and coconut nectar. They serve scrambled tofu here (in place of eggs) and I haven’t been able to bring myself to try this yet, it’s a stop too far on the vegan train for me, but would be interested to hear your thoughts.

 

The Shady Shack – Betelnut’s baby sister.

Betlenut; King of the fresh juices and wholesome lunch options, has a newborn veggie sister. Visit ‘The Shady Shack’ for matcha lattes and avocado toast in their cozy shady garden. A friend of mine arrived in Canggu last week and has eaten almost every meal in there, I had to pry her off of their garden furniture to get her to try somewhere else. I’m looking at you Annie. Nice garden furniture though.

Shady Shack Canggu

Shady Shack Canggu

Shady Shack Canggu

Shady Shack Canggu

Shady Shack Canggu

Shady Shack Canggu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Satu-Satu Café, Berawa.

The thing I love the most about this little café is the staff. Genuinely really friendly and sweet, and for you keyboard warriors out there, they tend to not mind you sitting on your laptop here for a while, so give the bedroom a rest and come here to troll the Canggu Community page instead. A mixture of local and Western food, the interior isn’t anything original, but it serves amazing coffee at cheap prices and there’s AC. Try the Vitality Bowl with chia seeds and any of the Bali Beans coffee – hot or iced. Note – closes at 4pm.

A keyboard warriors green light

 

Warung Dandelion.

Smart but cutesy Indonesian restaurant, where of an evening you can sit in the garden with free-range bunnies brushing your ankles.
Fluffy and mostly friendly, this is the sort of place you want to go for a slightly special occasion, where Indonesian food fits the bill but you don’t fancy street corner warung-ing it with the rest of us.

Not too pricey at all though – and top marks for setting.

No rabbit on the menu- can’t believe you even thought there might be(!)
Try the veg & chicken kare (curry).

Dandelion Canggu

Canggu, Bali

no, really…

 

 

One Comment

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  1. Listya says:

    Nice read! And I think you can blend into one of the Disney princesses too!

    Cheers,

    Tya
    x

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