Gili Air is an amazing place to vacation! This small Indonesian island has gorgeous coral reefs, beautiful sandy beaches lined with shady palms, and is nearby Gili Meno, where sea turtles swim at Turtle Point. For more adventurous explorers, Gili Trawangan boasts the wreckage of an old ship near Mentigi Beach.
When you’ve planned a trip there, you’re more than likely already excited about the things to see and do. What gets more complicated is finding the best restaurants on Gili Air. Although this tiny island is packed with panoramic views that will make an Instagram influencer jealous, where to eat on Gili Air isn’t necessarily as obvious.
I have personally dined at as many restaurants on Gili Air as possible because I wanted to bring the best of the island to you for your trip. While you’re staying on the island, you absolutely must check out the Gili Air restaurants on my shortlist. Trust me – they’re worth it!
Will you also visit Gili T? Check out my guide to the best restaurants on Gili Trawangan!
Where to Eat on Gili Air, Indonesia – Best Local Restaurants!
Ruby’s Café is hands down my favorite restaurant on Gili Air. The locals tend to agree because there’s always a wait for a table. Trust me, the wait is worth it. This beautiful café has a brightly lit outdoor patio seating area and is located right next door to Scallywags Mango Retreat.
At anywhere from $6 to $11 a plate, they are extremely affordable for travelers on a budget while still being fresh and satisfying. They can handle special dietary needs, with multiple gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan offerings on the menu.
Ruby’s Café is actually run by Ruby, an extremely friendly and kind lady who even takes the time to make special meals and desserts from time to time. You absolutely must try her Rendang and her yellow chicken curry!
If you’re gluten-free, then make sure to mention it because they can prepare banana spring rolls with rice flour!
If you’re looking for some hearty food, check out Shark Bite. They make their bread fresh every day inhouse, and use it on their absolutely incredible shredded pork sandwich, among other things.
Their menu has a little bit of everything, and if you’re missing home you will love the atmosphere here, which feels very much like a traditional bar and grill. In fact, you can even get American style cuisine here! They serve sandwiches and salads, with amazing mac and cheese and options for multiple dietary needs.
Their menu is also pretty flexible and customizable. I added some chicken and feta cheese to the vegan lentil salad to make it a little heartier while still remaining fresh and healthy.
Sharkbites also has a fantastic location. They’re right on the waterfront and you can eat outside while you enjoy the meal with a view. In case you need to get some work done while you’re on vacation, they also have free Wi-Fi.
The rustic interior of Olala Café is really cool. Everything is fitted out in wood that looks like it has been handcrafted and lighting fixtures dangle from strings. They have daily specials printed on a chalkboard outside, inviting you into their amazing restaurant.
It’s got an incredibly affordable menu, too, so it’s perfect for grabbing a cheap lunch or dinner. The unfortunate part of this location is that there are quite a few flies, so be aware and bring some bug spray.
Their staff is extremely friendly, and they will welcome you with open arms and make recommendations based on your dietary needs and taste preferences. They have tons of fresh options for vegans and vegetarians, too!
If you’re looking for some local flavor, this is a great place to get it. With fried fish and tuna tartar, their menu is very locally inspired and their ingredients are all locally sourced.
One of the best restaurants on Gili Air is Musa Cookery. They have a very breezy open-air joglo in the center of the island, and are one of the best places in town for fresh vegan and vegetarian cuisine! In fact, they add superfoods to every single dish they make to maximize the nutritional content and vitality offered.
Their food is cooked with the highest possible quality of ingredients, including local organic fruits, Bali sea salt, and cold-pressed coconut oil. Nothing is deep-fried and all of their sauces, nut butters, jams, and dressings are made in house. They desire guilt-free, cruelty-free dishes that still taste like indulgent treats.
Musa is also available for breakfast, which is nice. A lot of the best restaurants are lunch and dinner only, so it’s nice to be able to go in and grab a smoothie bowl to start your morning off right!
Coffee is Thyme is absolutely breathtaking. They have a gorgeous outdoor seating area that is a perfect island vibe. Despite their name, they offer much more than just coffee, with fresh options for any diet. In fact, they have won a Certificate of Excellence every year since 2016!
The coffee is really good, with a perfect flavor balance and roast and some delicious frappe and latte drinks for tastes that run towards creamy and sweet. Starbucks is nonexistent in this corner of the world, so for those of you who absolutely must have your caffeinated frappes this place is going to be your favorite.
The bar area is completely open, so you can see where your drinks are being prepared and watch them make everything. It’s a super clean area that tastes great care to handcraft each drink.
If you’re craving some amazing Indian cuisine, then look no further than Nad Brahma. Their food is beautifully prepared, with vibrant color pairings and little details that make a world of difference.
This meal serves Indian fusion cuisine for vegan and vegetarian diets. One of the cool things about their kitchen is that they prepare all of their food in an open-air kitchen, so you can watch it as it’s being made. They pay attention to every element of your meal.
If you’re practicing Ayurveda, they have an overview of these foods on offer, as well as vegan and superfood options. Their mango lassi and chai teas are absolutely delicious!
This restaurant is actually owned by a Swiss lady named Rosie, who lived in India for years before settling down here. Her stories are amazing, and her entire staff is as kind and fun as she is.
If what you’re craving is a little bit of local flair, then drop by Chili Bar and Restaurant for a taste of Gili Air. Gili Air is well known for its Lombok chilies, which add amazing flavor to their dishes. While this restaurant has a lot of international cuisines, including American burgers that will satisfy your kids, they also have a whole menu full of local Indonesian favorites.
They are located on the sunrise side of the island, where you can often see turtles swimming by as you eat in their open-air restaurant. The beach is relaxing, the owner is friendly, the Wi-Fi is strong, and the sun loungers are free.
They have some of the friendliest staff on the island. In fact, if you hang out after their work, they will make a bonfire and relax with you on the beach. They also have 2 for one cocktails all day, so they’ve got the best happy hour on the island!
If you want ridiculously tasty doughnuts and pastries, then you must stop by Breadelicious. They are located in the center of town and are perfect for a morning coffee or brunch stop. They also make delicious smoothies!
Breadelicious has both indoor and outdoor seating, but their Wi-Fi is a bit spotty. The bread is extremely fresh and they have just the right ratio of bread and pastry to sandwich and filling. Also – you must try the raspberry pistachio cheesecake!
They have freshly squeezed juices and utilize perfect French pastry techniques when crafting all of their breaded items. The cinnamon roll is amazing, This brings European flavors and continental pastries to Indonesia.
They also have very friendly staff with a very chill environment that encourages you to relax and stay awhile. Even their quiche is delicious!
The last restaurant that makes the list of the best places to eat in Gili Air is Flowers and Fire. This is a unique dining experience you won’t want to miss. They have consistently good Wifi and some of the best smoothie bowls and vegan cuisine in all of Gili Air.
This beautiful, open-air yoga studio is crafted to be extremely relaxing. They are a beautiful retreat space in the center of Gili Air. They have a second-floor treehouse studio that offers a beautiful view of the village, and a second garden studio that overlooks their magnificent mango tree.
On top of offering drop-in yoga classes and workshops, they also have very consistent Wi-Fi, accommodations for travelers, and a whole food café. Their snacks are delicious and designed to give you the energy you need to get through the day. Their café can accommodate pretty much any dietary requirements you may have.
Which of these Gili Air restaurants do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
How to get to Gili Air?
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.