The best food spots in Gili T, Indonesia

Gili T, a food haven. Honestly, an everything haven. I’ve never quite experienced somewhere that transforms so much from day to night. The day brings crystal beaches, snorkelling with turtles, cycling around the island and shopping for shell necklaces. The evening is flooded with busy bars, tipsy backpackers and joss shots coming out of your ears (not literally. Unless maybe you want them to? We could figure something out).

One thing that stays the same, no matter the time of day, is the munch. Let me help you differentiate the good from the glorious.



The Banyan Tree

Gili T honestly wowed me with how many vegan and vegetarian options there were available. If the mere mention of vegetarian food sends shivers down your spine, I suggest you skip down to the next restaurant. Or perhaps just broaden your horizons (I hope you felt the shade). We sat down here mostly because we were sick of reading menus whilst almost getting run over by bicycles (Gili T gives Amsterdam a run for its money on how many times a day you have to dodge cyclists). But the munch was so good we went back again.

On both my visits I had the special buffalo cauliflower wings – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, am I right? Admittedly, I did add a side salad on the second visit, which I would definitely recommend. The wings are a little stodgy without it. Also, the purple wrap looked absolutely delightful. I didn’t get around to trying it, I simply mentally devoured it as it passed on a tray.

It goes without saying that the views are pretty spectacular as well.

   Where: HERE

   When: Classes 08:00 – 22:00 every day

  Price: $

Coffee & Thyme

If you want coffee, and you’ve got thyme, here’s your go to. I’m going to just stop for a moment here to apologise for my puns. They’ve gotten progressively worse throughout this blog. It’s about thyme I give it a rest. 

You may have heard me complain before about how breakfast is my least favourite meal of the day because I’m extremely difficult and don’t like eggs, cheese (apart from on pizza before you pop off) or avocado. Oh and I don’t eat meat. Do you see my self inflicted dilemma? So when I find a filling, savoury brunch that I like, I get extremely excited. It goes without saying that this brunch made me extremely excited. 

I former tofu-hating Maisie would have raised eyebrows at this suggestion but the Maisie of today says all hail the Vegan Taliwang Sandwich with tempeh and tofu. Look at her in her beauty. Firstly, it was huge. I genuinely could have had it for 2 separate meals. It was seasoned to perfection, there was so much sauce to go around, the tofu and tempeh was firm and a little crunchy on the outside (Maisie of today is still a silken tofu hater). I genuinely couldn’t fault it this breakfast. 

I also had a strawberry ice tea (ice tea is my new fixation) and it was wonderfully refreshing.

    Where: HERE

    When: 07:00 – 19:00

   Price: $$

Hello Capitano Lifestyle Café

NOW. I have a little bit of beef with this place. Let me tell you why. Upon their menu, lies a delicious sounding shrimp salad sandwich. Not once, not twice, but THRICE did I go in hoping to fill my belly with one. But they were sold out every day. So if you have the chance to go, and they have them in stock, for the love of shrimps will you please get one and tell me how it was. I must know.

So, one day I settled for a smoothie. It turned out that I didn’t settle at all. You know those drinks where you accidentally slurp the whole thing up in one without quite realising it? It was one of those. The ‘Pinetastic Mango’ was in fact pinetastic both by name, and by nature. 

Another heartbreaking shrimpless day, I opted for a smoothie bowl. Driven by my undying love for dragon fruit, I went for the ‘Butterfly’. This was dragon fruit, banana, yoghurt, and came with granola and some melon on the top too. Admittedly, I would have liked it a little colder/icier. But it was still a great smoothie bowl and I wouldn’t complain about having another. 

    Where: HERE

    When: 06:00 – 19:00 every day

   Price: $


Enjoy Gili Cafe & Resto

Do what the name says and enjoy Gili T. How, you may ask? Satisfy your tummies and your wallets with lunch at this Cafe and Resto. Most of the dishes here are around 35k (£1.85), and although I can only speak for the fish with lemon and butter sauce, it’s very delicious. In an apparent recurring turn of events, I got the same thing both times as it was simply delicious. 

They have a range of fish dishes, wraps, sandwiches and salads, all at a really low price. You’ll pay around a third of the price here to some of the restaurants by the beach. The staff here are so sweet too, they themselves will make you want to go back.

    Where: HERE

    When: 10:00 – 22:00 every day

   Price: $


Admittedly, I am going to recommend you two Italian pizza / pasta spots. Oops. What I would recommend first and foremost, is to head to the night market and try some local food. Or any of the authentic local spots along the way. If you want some cheap munch, you can get a Nasi Goreng (fried rice) for as cheap as 30K. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the names of the ones I liked, so go for some trial and error… you will hardly waste your money.

Francesco’s Pizzeria

I had heard of Francesco’s Pizzeria almost before I’d heard of Gili T itself. And if someone tells me there’s a good pizza spot, I simply have to test their claim. You know like when you were younger and your parents just had to eat some of your food to ‘see if it was poisonous’? That’s how I feel about trying pizza recommendations. I just have to. 

My choice was admittedly a little vanilla, but sometimes less is more with pizza. We opted for some bruschetta and a margarita pizza with an addition of prawns on top. I would have added some rocket too, but my friend doesn’t like it so I begrudgingly went without. 

With it being a Friday night, the restaurant was a little crazy. We had to wait a while to get in, we had to move tables half way through, and there was a little rush to get us out. Luckily we had a hot date with a Bintang or two so we didn’t mind. It also helped that the pizza was stunning. I’m such a sucker for a stone baked pizza and drizzled with some (an unacceptable amount) of chilli oil. She was a beauty. 

We resisted the urge to go back every day as we walked past. They also made sandwiches at lunch time which sounded equally as ‘drool-worthy’, but I didn’t get around to trying. So as with the shrimp salad sandwich, if you get around to going, I need to hear all the details. 

What I’m saying is, if you go to Gili T, I want a full rundown of every last thing that you ate. 

    Where: HERE

    When: 11:00 – 23:00 every day

   Price: $$

Regina Pizzeria

Regina Pizzeria is another popular backpacker spot, particularly with it being so close to the main party hostels. Contrary to its name, they do also sell pasta amongst other things (Who knew it’s not just pizza at pizzerias?). And because I’m not like other girls, I went for the Pappardelle Mushroom pasta. It was creamy, delicious, and very unfortunately over in way too little mouthfuls. Usually I’d blame this on myself for creating an unrealistic expectation of how big a pasta portion should be, because mine are quite frankly HUGE. But I would say this genuinely was a rather small portion. 

When staying at Gili Castle (a very good hostel if I do say so myself), they had a pizza night and ordered in Regina Pizzeria, so it was time for round 2. In the true spirit of a fun guy, I went for the mushroom pizza. I do hope you got my joke. The pizza was delicious, but I’d put Francesco’s above it. Don’t tell Regina.

    Where: HERE

    When: 17:00 – 23:00 every day

   Price: $$


Planning on heading to some of the other Islands in Indonesia? Check out my quick guide to Nusa Penida for some inspo! And as always, the Munch n Mooch Instagram has regular updates of all the best Munching and Mooching here, there and everywhere.

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