TwentySixteen was quite the tahun! Whilst the rest of the world went mad, Canggu seemed almost perfectly preserved from Apocolypse Trump (ok, there was Starbucks, but we did say ALMOST) with progress and endless possibility in abundance. New hipster hangouts sprouted like magic mushrooms during wet season, and things got a little extra (we’re looking at you Salumeria, Ji Restaurant, Finns).

We spent our year scooting around the hood trying to keep up with the almost-daily “new in the Gu’s”, and reporting back with our findings. You followed us in our tracks, you hit like, you right-swiped, all of that.. and now, you voted with your thumbs – risking both life & limb with exploding handphones – to tell us who your faves were for 2016.

So without further ado.. drum roll please..


People’s choice: Finns Beach Club


Canggu levelled up this year with the opening of Finns Beach Club in July. Boasting two pools, five bars, sunbeds for dayssss and all-day, every-day parties, Finns is Bali’s newest, biggest beach club – and it’s ours, right here in the Gu.

Choose your adventure; the upstairs Finns Lounge is a little extra – cocktails & tapas. The beach front bar is the best spot to surf check with a cold beer. Grab a lounge by the pool and sip martinis with the crew, or head over to the newly opened Semara Beach House lawn. A huge, family-friendly grass expanse, with slack line walking, boules, volleyball and hammocks suspended between towering palms. Our fave new arvo chill zone.

Finns, its really no wonder you stole the hearts of Canggu – cheers to many more all day parties, errrrday, for many years to come!

Editor’s Choice: Salumeria


Canggu did a little maturing in 2016, with the opening of Salumeria Tanah Barak. Something a little more sophisticated than Canggu’s beach bar scene – Salumeria is where one goes for all things cured, smoked and cultured.

Salumeria slices up spuntini fresh from the showcase, served with Campari spritzers that will get that pre-party buzz on (pssst! served two-for-one from 4pm-5pm).

A light menu of salads, antipasti, crudo and panini, enjoyed to chilled tunes and a rice field view – you won’t find any smoothie bowls, free tattoos or gluten-free anything in this Hipsterville hotspot – nope. Rather you’ll savour artisan Indonesian cheeses, local salumi, and the dirtiest martinis on the island. It’s a little extra, and it’s about time.


People’s choice: La Baracca

Image: Bali Interiors

When the La Baracca crew pressed copy & paste on their Pettitenget Pizza Bar, the people of Batu Bolong let out a collective cheer. I mean there’s only so many times in a day one wants to cross that shortcut, let’s be honest.

Dishing up crispy-based, wood-fired, proper Italian pizzas and pastas as good a you’d get in any traditional trattoria back in Italia. With gluten-free options to boot, they know what Canggu wants, and are serving it up piping hot to roaring crowds every night.

La Baracca was the first eatery to make the Tanah Barack strip cool. Joined sooner after by its equally hip Shady Shack & Salumeria neighbours – it’s Canggu’s newest little “eat street”, giving Batu Bolong a run for its rupiah.

Editor’s Choice: One Eyed Jack

Image: Bali Interiors

Image: Bali Interiors

An uber hip Berawa night spot, One Eyed Jack was the first place in 2016 to give us girls an excuse to slip on some heels, for a change.

A Japanese Izakaya and Sake bar concept, OEJ’s is where you’d go for a girls night out – nibbling on dainty shrimp taco, spicy tuna bites and sipping on sweet sake infused martinis.

Jacks got us hooked on his delicate sashimi, addicted to that rock shrimp tempura and dreaming of soft shell crab. There’s not a single item on this menu that doesn’t rock our socks off our sandals.

One Eyed Jacks is the kinda hangout that makes any occasion special, be it date night, birthday, or even just a nice early dinner with the fam. Everyone’s welcome.. irasshaimase!


People’s choice: The Shady Shack

Shady Shack

Charge up your iphone and get ready for Canggu’s most instagrammable café. The Shady Shack is a vegetarian hotspot dishing up food that looks as good as it tastes.

Things are done a little differently at the Shack – onsen eggs are delicately slow poached for 64 minutes at 64 degrees, and served upon a bed of smashed avocado – because, hipster. Smoothie bowls come in a range of colours and topped with mandala layouts of fruits & nuts – for those who like to eat themselves a rainbow for breakfast. Lasagna is made of layered tomato, eggplant and a cashew cheese that will make you consider veganism for at least the duration of your delicious meal.

Shady Shack is Canggu, in a (coco)nut shell. And we kinda LOVE it.

Editor’s Choice: Nude Cafe


A dishonourable mention goes to Nude Café in Berawa. A cool café concept stripped totally bare – Nude Café serves up everything that we want, and nothing that we don’t.

Half open-air and overlooking the neighbouring rice field, and half air conditioned with an abundance of power points and strong coffee – Nude Café just gets us.

Half goreng-ed with burgers, wraps, THAT potato rosti stack or an epic eggs bennie, and half “nude food” with zuchinni pasta, raw pancakes or the dehydrated papaya rolls – there’s something for everyone.

It’s sexy, it’s something different. It’s nude, and we need a bit of it in our Canggu lives. Get it off at Nude.


People’s choice: Happy Chappy Express


When the Happy Chappys fam opened their second location in Berawa this year, we truly had no reason to ever have to trek to Seminyak again. Let’s be real, what else was taking us there?

Happy Chappy Express gives us all the gourmet gratification we sought from the Happy Chappys flagship, without the wait time. Yep, Happy Chappy Express is centred around the good old fashioned Chinese takeout concept. Sure you can dine in too, but there’s something about Chinese eaten out of a white oyster pail that just speaks to us, amiright?

If dumplings are your deal, you want a wonton or you fancy a szechuan session – look no further than Happy Chappy Express.

Editor’s Choice: Montagu Sandwich Bar


If Montagu invented the sandwich, then Montagu Sandwich bar invented the sandwich, with a bar. Yep, literally sip on an Espresso Martini as you tuck into your tuna sambo. It’s got to be the BEST. IDEA. EVER.

New to the Batu Bolong strip in 2016, Montagu’s is open from early til late, with healthy breakfasts, delicious toasted paninis, grab-n-go sandwiches, hearty salads and the best biscuits and brownies we’ve ever tasted, EVER. No really – those fresh out of the oven choc chip cookies tho. Life changing.

The upstairs bar pours heavenly crafted cocktails from the best people-watching aspect on Batu Bolong, with an amazing view of sunset too. We LOVE!


People’s choice: Gelato Secrets

gelato secrets

Well its really no secret that Canggu is OBSESSED with this place. Freshly opened in Berawa, it’s a hangout that’s simply ice ice baby.. super cool on a blistering Bali day.

Gelato Secrets scoops up 100% natural artisan gelato, with moreish flavours like salted butter caramel made with pyramid sea salt from Bali’s East Coast, Bamboo charcoal & organic vanilla bean from Sulawesi or chocolate made from Tabanan Cacao beans.

Made from creamy natural cows milk and no eggs, it’s only a little naughty, and oh-so-nice.
A little birdy tells us that Gelato also contains less fat than most ice creams, so that third scoop is totally ok, right?

Editor’s Choice: Made’s Banana Flour


Nothing says Canggu hipster like gluten free Banana flour. So it makes sense really that this was going to take off in the Gu.

Now the Made’s treats are turning up everywhere – all of our fave Canggu cafes are now serving their gluten-free goods – from fruit tarts to coffee cake, bread loaves, pies & more. It’s as delicious as it is good for you, imagine that – banana bread without the bloating, and without the guilt! We’ll take ten, thanks!


People’s choice: The Roots


The Roots opening in Canggu meant the beginning of the revolt against paying $25 for a beard trim. Hipsters have more important things to be spending their rupiahs on afterall, like kombucha – and that s#*t don’t come cheap.

Thankfully, chops at The Roots do – with a styled cut, shave and massage setting you back no more than one red note. Yassss!

The Roots have kept our dudes looking dapper this year, and you all seem to be rather pleased, with this receiving an overwhelming majority of the votes. Well done you, Roots Barbershop.

Editor’s Choice: Maria Curau

maria curau

The day that Maria Curau opened in Canggu was the same day it was crowned the hipster hotspot of the globe. Byron Bay wishes it had a vegan nail spa.

Painting the fingers & toes of Canggu ladies and coconut milk bathing the tired feet of Canggu blokes, Maria Curau promises a bug-excretion-and-fish-scale-free spa experience. It’s non-toxic, cruelty-free, and offers uber-stylish mani/pedi polish designs.

If that wasn’t enough to make us fall in love with this sweet spa spot, it also hosts community events with a social conscience. Yep. Attend their regular events in support of The Ibu Ibu Street mums foundation, and have a mani in the name of Ibu Robin Lim’s Bumi Sehat. It’s feel-good pampering, and damn does it feel soooo good.


People’s choice: Billie’s Bali


That #islandlife got you good? Then Billie’s got you, girl.

Billie’s is where mermaids go to hunt for treasures to adorn their seaside lives. Full of girly gifts, soft furnishings in every colour of the rainbow, sweet Bali souvenirs, beaded baskets, and pineapple-shaped-everything, it’s really no wonder Billie’s has stolen the hearts of Canggu shoppers in 2016.

Editor’s Choice: Love Child Bali


Remember the times that creature comforts were just not something we had access to in Gu-town? Fast forward to 2016, and a girls gotta get her fleek on before hitting Finns Beach Club – you feel me sistas? Love Child Bali to the rescue.

Love Child is a style hub for bubs, babes and everything in between.  A curated closet of on-trend threads, leather goods, home décor, makeup & beauty accessories, organic baby care, gift ware and more, it’s a Bali boutique after our own hearts.

Like a flat lay come to life, Lovechild is the to answer your Canggu prayers. Upgrade yo’self!

About lani

Lani is an ex-Real Estate agent who has discovered that life does indeed exist beyond the borders of Sydney's Northern Beaches. (inside joke) After spending a decade contorting her poor toes into squished mutant shapes, she decided she would kick off her heels in search of any job that had her walking the streets barefoot. Fast forward four years and she has her feet firmly planted on the ground in Canggu. She now finds herself somewhat of a crazy cat lady, with tiny orphans crossing her path more often than her little heart can bare. Lani, her famous Bengal tiger-leopard-cat, her bazillion fur foster babies and her one Indonesian Bae are living happily ever after in Pererenan - where she spends her AMs scooting around to live report on everything that's going down in the Gu, and her PMs sharing it all to Gu Guide - shaking kittens off her arms as she types. This is a girl of balance. Balancing beers with box fit classes, stress with surf sessions, margaritas with mindfulness, cakes with kundalini yoga.. And so is life in Canggu. It was hard work that had her earn her title as GUru of the GU - she's road-tested every pussy accupressure & steaming treatment known to Canggu, she's tasted every cocktail, she's crashed a segway riding through the rice fields.. Nothing is sacred or secret to miss Lani. Keep up with the Cangg-ashians, with the help of this lady in the know. Got something Guey for our GG gossip girl? < Send to XOXO