Outstanding burgers

What we say: 3.5 stars

Habitual is a small little day-time cafe tucked away in Bali’s Umalas, an area that’s starting to thrive when it comes to cute little food joints. Open for breakfast and lunch, it’s a pleasant pitstop — and if you love burgers, it’s worthy of a diversion if you’re staying in nearby Seminyak.



Decor is a soothing deep green with dark woods and exposed red bricks lending a slightly industrial vibe, and just a few tables and chairs inside and out. There’s no WiFi — yet, the waiter told us on our last visit — so cross this off your email catchup list while travelling, but that just makes the place a little more relaxing for now.


Classic burger with cheese — before.

Stop by for a coffee or tea — priced at around the 17,000 to 25,000 rupiah mark — paired with a muffin on the side or something naughtier. A good range of fresh and mixed juices lets you stay healthy if you want to — we like the sound of the watermelon/tangerine/lime.

Classic burger with cheese -- half way to after...

Classic burger with cheese — half way to after…

There’s a short but sweet range of all-day breakfasts. “Vicki’s choice” sounds enticing — roasted beetroot, wilted spinach, smoked salmon and poached eggs (65,000), as does the potato hash with onion, peppers, potato, roast beetroot, fried or poached eggs and bacon (70,000).

But the real reason to drop by here is for the burgers, which are made using good quality meat with no fillers. The classic burger is 150 grams of imported beef with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles, plus a generous serving and great shoestring fries. Cheese is an extra 10,000 rupiah and worth it. If you really need some extra fats, the mushroom and cheese version comes with caramelised onion, sauteed mushies, bacon and cheese. And if you want to keep with that healthy vibe, the chicken version with kaffir lime shouldn’t be too indulgent.

I’ve had the cheeseburger twice now — we live 100 metres away! — and the first time the patty was quite underdone, but in a good way, and my stomach didn’t rebel in the slightest. The next time it was more well done. Specify how you’d like it, and I’d certainly feel confident going rare again as the friendly American chef knows what he’s doing.

Blink and you'll miss it.

Blink and you’ll miss it.

There’s also a few pastas, soups and salads — warm mushroom, roasted pumpkin, and so on — on offer, plus a small range of bakery items if you’re just feeling peckish and need an afternoon pick-me-up.

If you’d like to keep local, head to Nook, just down the road further to the left on the shortcut road to Petitenget, where the nasi campur is excellent. Want something more broadly Asian? Head back toward the Umalas 1 turnoff to Warung Hotei, where you can tuck into Cambodian curries, Thai salads or Vietnamese spring rolls.

Contact details
Jalan Umalas 1 No. 12 B (past Warung Hotei, on the right) Kerobokan, Bali
T: (0361) 9181 801
Open: Open Tues-Sun 09:00-18:00
About the author
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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Jalan Umalas 1 No. 12 B (past Warung Hotei, on the right) Kerobokan, Bali
T: (0361) 9181 801

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