With numerous restaurants and cafés sprinkled around the Gili Islands’ beautiful coastlines, finding a place to eat isn’t hard; but it can be difficult to differentiate the places that take their cooking seriously from the less ambitious.
To make it a little easier for you, have a look at this list of our favourite restaurants on the Gili Islands. The list is not exclusive, and there are definitely other good restaurants on the Gili Islands, so use this as a starting point.
1. Ko Ko Mo (Gili Trawangan)
Rated on the food alone, Ko Ko Mo is THE best restaurant on the Gili Islands, and when it comes to ambience and atmosphere, few places (if any) can compete with Ko Ko Mo’s location right on the beach. It can be hard to choose from a menu that includes oysters, scallops, crab ravioli, lamb rack and tuna steaks so you might end up visiting more than once. Prices are high compared to other restaurants on the Gili Islands, but compared to similar restaurants around the world, the value is extremely good.
If you are a couple looking for a romantic dinner on Gili Trawangan, Ko Ko Mo is the perfect option.
2. Pearl Beach Lounge (Gili Trawangan)
Pearl Beach Lounge is a dream of a beach restaurant. A beautiful large bamboo structure, placed right on a white-sand beach, overlooking the deep blue ocean, makes the Pearl Beach Lounge, the perfect setting for dining in the tropics.
On the menu, you will find small snacks and finger foods like rice paper rolls and calamari that easily can be enjoyed under an umbrella in a sun chair or you can choose from the restaurant menu that has a good selection of classical western and Indonesian dishes. To go with it all, Pearl Beach Lounge has some of the island’s best cocktails – with or without alcohol.
3. Kafe Kecil (Gili Trawangan)
Kafe Kecil has long been our favourite spot for a quick no frills lunch (when I say quick that is by Gili standards, like anywhere else on the island there isn’t a lot of stress at Kafe Kecil). There is nothing extraordinary about the selection of dishes on the menu, and the food won’t blow your mind but, on the other hand, Kafe Kecil never disappoints; the prices are very reasonable and the atmosphere is pleasant, so we keep coming back.
4. Il Pirata (Gili Trawangan)
Pizzas are surprisingly popular on the Gili’s, and you can find several wood heated stone ovens around the islands. In our opinion, the one place that is a nudge or two above the rest, if you have a craving for pizza – Il Pirata. You can watch as the Italian chef does his magic of baking authentic tasting pizzas. You can enjoy his creations inside the restaurant or in the adjoining garden.
Get there early or make a reservation as the place is packed most nights, despite its location set back a little from the beach road.
5. Mahamaya (Gili Meno)
Mahamaya is without competition the best and the classiest restaurant on Gili Meno. Located on the beach on the quiet Gili Meno Mahamaya, it is the perfect place for dining under the stars to the sound of the waves lapping on the beach. The food is a fusion of Asian and Western, and you can watch as the chef at Mahamaya cooks your dishes in the open kitchen.
Even if you are not staying at Gili Meno it could be worth hiring a boat for the night to visit Mahamaya. There is something special about arriving on the beach in a boat for your dinner, and Mahamaya is worth the effort.
6. The Night Market (Gili Trawangan)
The night market isn’t a single restaurant, but a square of small family run stalls selling local specialities. Prices are extremely reasonable, and you can snack your way through grilled satays, prawns, and freshly caught fish for just a few dollars.
The night market can be busy, and if you are a large group, it might be difficult to find a table, but the relaxed atmosphere, the friendly stall owners and the good food makes it one of the most fun and authentic dining options on the Gili Islands.
7. Warung Gili (Gili Air)
If you are looking to experience traditional local cuisine, you should give Warung Gili a try. The small family run restaurant, located in the village on Gili Air, cooks classic Indonesian dishes served with a smile. Everything is freshly cooked, and a little more love is put into cooking, compared to some of the other cheap restaurants around the Gili Islands.
To find Warung Gili you need to venture about five minutes inland, down the small road next to the Scallywags Mango retreat.
8. La Dolce Vita (Gili Trawangan)
La Dolce Vita is a café rather than a restaurant, and it closes down at five every afternoon, but it is a good place to know about if you are looking for something different for lunch or a good cup of coffee.
The little shop is packed with delicious, Italian inspired home baked goods (unless you visit late in the afternoon when things tend to be sold out) like pizza slices, calzones, pastries, croissants, and baguettes. The coffee is good too, and cappuccino lovers rave about the cappuccinos served at La Dolce Vita.
Don’t miss out on some grilled seafood
The Gili Islands has dozens of places that barbeque fresh caught lobsters, prawns, and fish. I don’t have one particular favourite as most places have their wares on display; I recommend having a look at the places nearest to where you are staying, and go where the fish looks freshest and matches your preferences.
Rent a villa on the Gili Islands
There is no better way to enjoy the Gili Islands than from your own private villa. We have collected all of the islands top villas – find and book your villa on the Gili islands here.
New Comprehensive guide to the Gili Islands
After this post was written we have created a comprehensive guide to all three Gili Islands. The guide is packed with ideas to to things to do, dining advice, tips about when to visit a lots of quality photos.
Have a look at it here: Our complete guide to the Gili Islands.