While Sanur does have a fair amount of restaurant options we found only a handful of them to be worthwhile. The area is full of overpriced and mediocre businesses catering to the older tourist crowd. The Sanur night market is an exception to this disappointing trend. The market is a staple for cheap and delicious Indonesian street food for locals and bule alike.
The market has around twenty stalls selling different foodstuffs and curiosities. There are many options for food here and I recommend you explore them yourself. You could get a great nasi campur or gado gado salad here for less than $5 USD. We usually went straight for the sate stall, then had a fried plantain or two for dessert.
Chicken sates are ubiquitous in Indonesia. The pieces of chicken are skewered on little wooden spears and roasted over a coal grill. Like almost every meal in Asia, it is accompanied by rice. You’ll also receive a nice portion of delicious peanut sauce to dip your sate in. The good sate stalls will serve their peanut sauce with chopped raw shallots on top. The shallots provide a nice contrast of taste and texture to the rest of the meal. Sate is also commonly served with a rich lamb curry. This curry has a thin consistency, like a soup.
After gorging on sate, we usually meandered over to the fried stall. This woman had a huge wok in which she fried a number of things. I’m not crazy about sweet and fried foods, but we did enjoy a few fried plantains for dessert.
The market has a lively and bustling ambience. It’s a great place to engage in some quality people watching while you have your meal. Most nights there was dangdut, a kind of Indonesian folk music, playing from a boombox in one of the stalls. The place feels absolutely authentic and foreign to a Westerners like ourselves, which is part of why we enjoy it so much. If you find yourself hungry on the east side of Bali one could do much worse than eat at the Sanur night market.
The market is located near the north side of Jl Danau Tamblingan, the main street in Sanur. Look for it in the dog leg of this road. You’ll pay a few rupia to park your motorbike right outside.