The Ultimate Guide to the Best Places to Eat in Gili Trawangan

Majo Private Villas

Just off Lombok’s coast, Indonesia’s tiny Gili Trawangan hides a world of culinary delights. Though smaller and calmer than your typical Bali culinary journey, Gili Trawangan’s rising popularity results in a diverse range of dining options that cater to many taste and budget. Hence you would find something to suit everyone, from beachside cafés serving fresh seafood to cozy restaurants offering international cuisines. You can also try to eat like locals with street food and local warungs that are awaiting to be explored. In this ultimate guide, we’ll spill the best places to eat in Gili Trawangan to ensure that your culinary adventure is as memorable as the island itself. 

Top Restaurants in Gili Trawangan

When it comes to restaurants in Gili T, you’ll be spoiled for choices. Here are some of the top spots that should be on your radar:

  1. Majo Private Villas – For a no-other dining experience, you might look no further than Majo Villas Restaurant. They have an exclusive menu that is specially crafted by blending Balinese and European food styles. The ambiance complements the cuisine perfectly. Bali’s leading French designer crafted the immaculate Euro-Balinese decor, ensuring a setting that fosters appreciation for good food, conversation, and relaxation. Open daily from 7 am to 10 pm, Majo Villas Restaurant offers an experience, not just a meal.
  2. Pearl Beach Lounge – Craving a fancy beachfront dinner? Pearl Beach Lounge at Pearl of Trawangan is the place to be. This stunning resort, with its wave-shaped bamboo structure, is hard to miss on your bike ride or walk. Dine on the sand or grab a table at the beachside restaurant. While it has a posh vibe, the menu offers options for all budgets. Many kinds of pasta, seafood dishes, flatbread pizzas, and more are under USD 7, with plenty of options for those who want to splurge as well.
  3. Warung Dewi – Eat like locals with the best local prices at Warung Dewi! This popular spot often has a line, but the wait is worth it for their delicious curries, stews, and the island’s best crispy tempeh. They offer takeaway for beach picnics, but also have a few tables for dining in. Also remember, if you want to have some to eat at the beach, make sure you bring your container to minimize your littering. 
  4. Karma Kayak – Escape the crowds at Karma Kayak, a tranquil restaurant nestled on Gili Trawangan’s north shore. Dine on the sand with the ocean mere steps away, perfect for a refreshing pre-meal dip.  Their menu offers a delightful mix of local specialties, fresh seafood, and tapas-sized plates, all very affordable.  Tapas are around $2 USD each, so order a few to share and savor a variety of flavors!  We especially recommend the melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin slices and the flavorful chicken sate.
  5. Pituq Waroeng – Vegans and eco-conscious travelers rejoice! Pituq Waroeng, a local favorite, might be worth a short trip away from the beach. This might be one of the best sustainable Gili Trawangan restaurants that helps the local community. This all-vegan spot puts a modern spin on Indonesian cuisine, offering small, affordable plates perfect for sharing. Plus, everything is sourced locally, and they’ve got a charity shop supporting the Pituq Community Foundation. Buy sustainable toiletries, second-hand clothes, and more to help Lombok rebuild after the 2018 earthquakes. Proceeds also go towards clean water and education for local communities.
  6. Jali Kitchen – Located in Jali Resort, this place serves the best fusion twist on Asian flavors. Unlike many restaurants, they offer delicious vegetarian options alongside mouthwatering Indonesian classics.  Their melt-in-your-mouth beef rendang is a local favorite, but be prepared—it sells out fast!  To quench your thirst under the Gili T sun, their selection of fresh fruit juices is equally impressive. Combine their flavorful food with a lovely ambiance, and it’s no wonder Jali Kitchen is a top spot to eat in Gili Trawangan.
Gili Trawangan Night Market
Gili Trawangan Night Market

Gili T is the heaven of seafood and street food, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the scene. The center of Gili T comes alive at night with its bustling market square, or usually known as Gili Trawangan Night Market. Here, tempting aromas will guide you through a maze of street food carts and vendors. Indulge in a variety of treats: sate (grilled chicken or seafood skewers with peanut sauce), the popular nasi campur (rice with an array of savory side dishes like vegetables, meat, and fried items), bakso (meatball soup with noodles), or pisang goreng (sweet and crispy fried banana fritters). Don’t miss out on fresh coconuts, tropical fruits, and other local delicacies as your delightful tropical treats! 

Planning Your Culinary Adventure:

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Thus keep these tips in your mind to make your food safari run smoothly and go according to your plan:

  • Book in Advance: During peak seasons, restaurants and accommodations like Majo Private Villas can get fully booked quickly. We encourage you to make reservations in advance, especially for popular spots, to avoid messing up your trip plan.
  • Consider the Open Hours during Big Days: After securing your accommodation, it’s also wise to consider restaurant operations during holidays and religious celebrations like Ramadan and Eid. As Gili Trawangan is a predominantly Muslim island, some restaurants may have adjusted hours or be closed entirely during Iftar (evening meal, typically around 5 pm to 7 pm) and Eid festivities.
  • Getting around the Island: Gili Trawangan is small and walkable, but it can be helpful to rent a bicycle or arrange transportation for longer distances or when carrying heavy luggage.
  • Respect Local Etiquette: While the island is relaxed, dress modestly at local establishments to be respectful. Light, airy clothing is recommended for comfort. Also, be mindful of cultural customs. Eating with your right hand and not pointing with your feet are considered polite gestures.

Gili Trawangan is a true foodie paradise offering a diverse culinary adventure. Don’t just book your stay, embark on a culinary adventure and satisfy your taste buds like no other!  This guide equips you with the knowledge to explore the vibrant food scene and savor the unique flavors of Gili Trawangan.