Local Food

I know this blog will fall into the ‘well duh’ category for seasoned travelers, so this is for the rest of you.

In Ubud I did a comparison of ‘local’ food vs. tourist food. I ordered the same thing (Nasi Campur) for lunch two days in a row at two different restaurants.

Restaurant 1, Warung Makan Teges: $2.25, all other customers were Balinese when I was there.

Restaurant 2, Sari Organics: $5.50, all customers were westerners when I was there.

Can you tell from the photos which was which? Which would you rather eat?

Local version:

  • Much more flavor / spices
  • More meat
  • Everything pre-cooked, and served room temperature

Westernized version:

  • Healthier ingredients, less fatty
  • Cooked up fresh
  • Very mild spices / rather bland

Overall I preferred the local version, since I like spicy food. But both were good in their own way. And cheaper is always better, especially on a long trip.

Both restaurants had similar atmosphere and cleanliness. If anything the local restaurant might have been slightly nicer. You can also next this dish for around $1.50 at local places that are not as good and/or nice.

In general this difference between local and tourist food was the same everywhere we went, tho tourist food can be WAY more than 2x local food in many places.

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