Where to Eat on Gili Trawangan

The restaurant choices on Gili Trawangan are as endless as the offers of accommodation and boat trips.

Here are a few of my favourite dining experiences on Gili Trawangan:

Best Fresh Fish BBQs on Gili Trawangan

Gili Night Market

Toni waiting for his fish at Gili Night Market

Blue Marlin

This pleasant dive centre on the main road turns into a restaurant at night time offering a delicious barbecue of fresh fish.

The prices are reasonable and include the salad bar.

There are great tuna steaks, fresh whole fish and the tasty kebabs are to die for.

TIP: As with all the restaurants on Gili Trawangan, if you order fresh tuna, ask for it to be under-done or they will cook it dry.

TIP: Order less than you think you will eat because everything is served with homemade chips or rice and veg. Take your salad first from the salad bar and eat it as a starter while you wait for the fish. There’s not just the typical lettuce and tomato on offer but also hard boiled eggs, couscous and potato salad.

Average price per person: 100,000rp including drinks.
Ambience: Divers and a DJ.

Click here to visit Blue Marlin website.

Gili Trawangan Night Market

For an authentic experience try Gili Trawangan Night Market for fresh fish.

The small but buzzing night market near the harbour on Gili Trawangan is in fact not a market at all but rather an evening food court where vendors set up their barbecues and plastic tables and get to work on filling the air (and nearby clothes shops) with tantalising barbecue smoke.

Walk through the different food stalls and marvel at the size of the king prawns and delicious red snapper before you decide what and where you fancy eating.

Once you have ordered, be sure to sit at the tables belonging to the relevant food stall. If you sit at a table belonging to another stall you will be moved on.

Barbecues to look out for at Gili Night Market are:
– The centrally located family-run Warung Lalapan, offering a small selection of fresh fish with average prices. Entertainment is provided in the form of a young boy who acts like a manager, keeping everyone in check and moving the gatecrashers along.
Green Cafe BBQ has the cafe right there by the market, providing seating and toilet facilities. This is a popular barbecue spot with young backpackers as, even though the fresh fish is the same price as everywhere else, they also offer a buffet of curries, rice, spring rolls and desserts which is considerably cheaper.

Average price per person at Gili Trawangan Night Market: 100,000-200,000rp for fresh fish/seafood including drinks.
Ambience: Every evening the whole night market area is abuzz with young travellers. The area is the biggest backpacker hangout on Gili Trawangan during dinner time. It doesn’t get rowdy though and there is a nice vibe.

Best Pizza on Gili Trawangan

Okay, I know that pizza might be a bit of a surprising choice in Indonesia, just about as far away from Italy as you can get, but here on Gili Trawangan Island there are many places with a wood-fired pizza oven and the results are quite excellent.

Coral Beach

My restaurant of choice on Gili Trawangan for tasty pizzas with thin, crisp bases is Coral Beach, located 15 minutes walk from the main harbour.

where to eat on gili trawangan

Total chill out at Coral Beach

The setting is an absolute delight: you can eat inside the elevated huts right above the water with views of nothing but clear water and the odd fishing boat.

There is a choice of about 14 different pizzas ranging from the simplest margherita to the more complex specials using local seafood or beef.

NOTE: The mozzarella used on the Gilis is not mozzarella as we know it and while its odd flavour and texture enhance the more complex pizzas I don’t advise choosing it as a main ingredient.

TIP: There is also a good cocktail menu here offering some of Gili Trawangan’s better cocktails.

Average price per person: 120,000rp excluding cocktails.
Ambience: Romantic.
Location: From the main harbour walk 15 minutes following the coast north out of town.

Local Cuisine

Juku Restaurant

Directly opposite the main harbour, Juku restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike and caters to all tastes. This is quite possibly the place with the biggest menu and widest choice, from local and regional Indonesian dishes to Asian favourites to an international selection from all over the world including Turkish food and Mexican food.

Despite having such a wide menu they manage to handle the variety of dishes reasonably well and the food is good. The prices are very reasonable and the staff is friendly.

Average price per person: 70,000rp including drinks.
Ambience: This is a big place and is good for groups, where tables can easily be pushed together. You can also sit on the private dining platforms for a more intimate experience.

For something special

The Gili Islands are not cheap and it is often difficult to find good value for money but these are my picks for a little treat that won’t break the bank:

Sunset Bar

Just on the southwest corner of Gili Trawangan is the aptly named Sunset Bar where people can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and a magnificent sunset where on a cloudless day you can watch the sun disappear right into the sea.

Gili Sunset Bar

Playing with fire at Sunset Bar

There is unintrusive house music in the background and there are many tables all perfectly positioned for viewing the sunset.

Cocktails are expensive but food and beer are average prices for the Gili Islands and are good value considering the premium location.

The place is busy between 5pm and 7pm when the sky is awash with firy reds and deep purples and is practically dead before and after.

As soon as the sun disappears the fire show starts. The fire show, as you might have seen at other sunset spots around the world, consists of a young man skilfully dodging the flaming batons he twirls in the air. The show is great if you have never seen if before but is quite jaded if you have been to Pirates Adventure as many times as I have! Even if you aren’t bothered about the fire show it’s nice in the background.

Average price per person: Expect to pay 200,000rp per person if you have a meal. But it’s a nice place for just a beer and a snack. I recommend sharing the mixed platter for two, making a nice shared starter before heading back into town for a main course at Juku Restaurant.
Ambience: Chilled out, with anticipation created by the sunset and enhanced by the fire show.
Location: 15-20 minutes walk from the harbour. Head south and keep going until you see the big billboards showing silhouettes at sunset.

TIP: Make sure you have a flashlight otherwise the walk back will be in pitch blackness.

Pearl Beach Lounge

This perfect beach lounge oozes luxury and the first time you set eyes on the place it is with longing and regret that you probably won’t be able to afford the prices at such a beach club.

Pearl Beach Lounge, Gili Trawangan

Luxury at Pearl Beach Lounge

But look again because despite the spacious minimal luxury, the perfect location and the bright, cosy bean bags it is not very costly at all: you can stay all day under the big bamboo sunshade, lounging on the bean bags or sunbeds for a minimum spend of 100,000rp per person.

Don’t get me wrong, you can easily spend more than that amount here if you order meals, but we had a few beers and some fresh spring rolls of the kind we hadn’t found since Vietnam and we got to stay all day.

If you do decide to eat here the menu is very interesting, offering gourmet burgers and interesting tapas as well as the usual fare and the dishes, if a little on the small side, are beautifully presented and are very tasty.

Average price per person: 100,000rp minimum if you want to use the sunbeds.

TIP: This is one of the few places on Gili Trawangan where the tax and service are included in the prices displayed on the menu. Despite this, the waiters seem to expect an additional tip. They are accustomed to visits from people from big tipping cultures who over-tip here. If you don’t get your change make sure you ask for it as you have already paid the service charge.

Ambience: Total luxury. Needless to say the only local people you’ll find here are working here.
Location: From the harbour walk south for 10 minutes. It’s a massive place just after the clinic – you can’t miss it.

Click here to be taken to my Pearl Beach photo gallery.

Click here to visit Pearl Beach Lounge website.

Are you backpacking in Indonesia? Do you want to visit paradise on a budget? Coming soon on InMyShoesTravel: Gili Islands on the Cheap.

I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.

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