Our favorite restaurants
Although Gili Trawangan has an excellent selection of good restaurants there is a handful where we end up more often than not. Those are the ones listed below. There are definitely other good restaurants around, so use this guide as a starting for seeking out your own favorites.
Ko-Ko-Mo is Gili Trawangan’s most upscale restaurant. Prices are higher here than on most restaurants on the island, but so are the quality of the meals that are created by Ko Ko Mo’s ambitious kitchen. Dishes are a mix of Asian and Western cuisines and the quiet ambiance of the beach location is perfect for a romantic dinner for two.
Ko-Ko-Mo also has a good selection of wines that will please even the toughest connoisseur.
The Night market
Not one restaurant, but rather a collection of small stalls, the Night market is a place where the local families gather to grill satays, prawns and fresh fish caught from the waters around the Gili Islands. There is a wide variety of local dishes here.
It can sometimes be difficult to get your hands on a table, especially for a large group, but the food is cheap and delicious, the atmosphere is cozy and this friendly setting serves to provide you with a unique local experience compared to the usual dining options on Gili Trawangan.
Despite being away from the main drag, Il Pirata is a popular restaurant whose pizzas attract the hungry crowds. With Italian owners and a smoky wood oven, it’s our guess that you won’t find a more authentic Italian pizza on any tropical island around the world. (On second thought, the pizzas from Vista Mare on Gili Meno could be another contender for the title)
The Vilondo team never leave the island without going past Scallywags for a decadent taste of their brownie and mint ice cream. Scallywags comes highly-recommended with its generous menu of meats, tapas and pastas. There is also a large selection of grilled fish and tasty seafood on the menu, if you are looking for a more nourishing meal.
Our go- to place for simple and tasty food, this café is located a little back from the beach (a stone throw from Il Pirata). Café Kecil has a little bit of everything; Thai, Indonesian, pastas and sandwiches. It is great value for money and the quality of the food and warm atmosphere is a slice above its competitors.
Other restaurants on Gili Trawangan
Beach House Restaurant
This beachside restaurant with barbeque seafood lets you pick your favorite from the fresh fish on display. Lobster, prawns, crabs as well as local and imported fish are among the many options. Meat lovers can ask to have a cut of Australian beef or some ribs put on the barbeque.
Ryoshi Japanese and sushi restaurant
Tir Na Nog’s sister restaurant and so far the only place on the Gili Islands to have sushi. If you have non-sushi lovers in your company, the menu from Tir Na Nog is available at Ryoshi.
Pesona Indian & Sheesha Restaurant
A centrally-located Indian restaurant. Ingredients are imported from India giving the curries, tandooris and chutneys a true Indian flavor. End your dinner in the lounging area complete with yoga mats and sheesha pipes.
A small, cozy Italian trattoria popular for their perfect grilled seafood and authentic Italian dishes. The owners are Italian and the bread and pasta is homemade.
La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita is a small café offering what very well could be the best coffee on the island, pastries, cakes, pizza slices and pastas, done the Italian way. This popular place is only open during the day and if you get there too late in the afternoon chances are that your favorites will be sold out.
Pearl Beach Lounge
Pearl Beach sums up everything that the Gili Islands are about. An elegant bamboo construction located on one of the islands whites stretches of sand, lounge chairs overlooking turquoise water and Lombok and good selection of foods and cocktails. The only problem, it’s so hard to get up from the loungers again.
Sand between your toes, candles on the table and the sound of the waves slowly rolling onto the beach. No need to look further if you a looking for the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. It is not just the location that makes Danima worth a visit, the Italian style grilled fish and seafood is also among the very best on Gili Trawangan.
Nightlife Gili Trawangan
The nightlife on Gili Trawangan can be anything from enjoying a drink to listening to one of the local reggae bands to dancing in one of the bars until sunrise.
Traditionally Monday, Wednesday and Friday have been the big nights for going out on Gili Trawangan, but in the high season, there are parties happening almost every night. Thursdays are the exception, since majority of the locals follow Muslim customs. During the observance of Ramadan there is also a restriction on the noise levels from the bars, which makes things on the island a little calmer; but never fear the bars will still be open for business.
If you want to stay out until the early hours of the morning, it depends on the weekday as to the best place to go. On Mondays, the Blue Marlin is the host of the party; on Wednesdays, the Irish Bar (Tir Na Nog) and on Fridays, go to Rudy’s.
Many of the restaurants around Gili Trawangan doubles as bars, so finding a place to enjoy an evening drink isn’t difficult, but the bars mentioned below are the liveliest places on the island.
The Irish Pub (Tir Na Nog)
Early in the evening Tir Na Nog operates as a restaurant, but as the evening progresses, less food is served while plenty of drinks start to flow on to the tables. The volume of the music is gradually turned up and the bartenders start the dancing while they serve the crowd that starts to gather.
Wednesdays, a DJ will be playing all through the night as the patrons pour in from the streets. Check the restaurant section for further details.
Blue Marlin is a dive center, but on Monday nights it transforms into the island’s biggest party venue; with four bars, a DJ and of course, lots of dancing.
Rudy’s Pub Gili
Practically an institution when it comes to nightlife on Gili Trawangan, Rudy’s is fairly lively on most nights, but especially on a Friday, when the locals and the tourists party it up together.
A note of warning: Even though Rudy’s is one of the islands most popular bars it also seems to attract some of the islands more shady characters and there are reports of Rudy’s serving cocktails containing methanol. Our advice is to stick to Bintang.
Sama Sama has live music on most nights, usually with local reggae bands playing. If you have some musical talent yourself, it’s not uncommon that you will be welcomed on to the stage to perform.
Top End Bar
Your best alternative if are staying in the north. If you are looking for a late night out you will need to head further south at around midnight, when the music is turned off. Until then, you can enjoy the perfect location on the beach while drinking cocktails and listening to reggae music in the lounge chairs.
The Surf Bar – Full and dark moon parties
Twice a month, according to the lunar calendar, there is a full and dark a moon party on the Gili Islands. The party takes place right on the beach at The Surf Bar, on the southern part of Gili Trawangan; the party rocks and DJ’s play dance music until the sun rises over the ocean.
Gili Trawangan villas
Gili Trawangan has a wide range of villas – from large opulent villas, sleeping several families to small intimate one-bedroom villas ideal for couples seeking a romantic hideaway. If you prefer to stay close to restaurants and nightlife, look for a villa in the south. If tranquility is your main priority you should have a look at the villas in the calmer north.
You can browse through some of Trawangan’s most popular villas in the gallery below or visit our Gili villas page:
All villas on the Gili Islands.