Cafe Moka vs. Starbucks in Bali

This morning while I was in the shower, I was thinking about Cafe Moka. Quite what made me think of it, I don’t know, but anyhow, Cafe Moka has opened a new branch on Jl. Raya Ubud.

One intersting thing is Cafe Moka, now has 3 outlets, one on Jl. Seminyak, one in Umalas, past Banjar Semer and now this new, large Ubud branch. It occured to me that maybe Cafe Moka was trying to become the Starbucks of Bali (there are Starbucks on Jl. Pantai Kuta, Jl. Kartika Plaza at the Discovery Shopping Mall, Jl. Legian, just down from Poppies II and Nusa Dua at Bali Collection, Nusa Dua.

Both Cafe Moka and Starbucks are handy places, if you ask me. In Bali I sometime need a spacious place, out of the dust, heat and humidity, to take a seat and organize myself. Both places sell coffee, but that’s really where the similarity ends. Starbucks wants to be the ‘3rd place’ in your life, after your house and your office. They create a ‘living room’ atmosphere, and it works. Cafe Moka is a combo of bread shop, cake shop, cafe and restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.




Starbucks has better coffee, but is more expensive. The new Ubud Cafe Moka has exactly the same menu as the Seminyak branch and is open 8am-11pm, as well. My recipe for a hangover cure is a Thon sandwich (footlong tuna, egg, lettuce, tomato, mayo) with a banana lassi. That gets me back to normal pretty quick, assuming I have the energy to drag myslef down there.

Cafe Moka and Starbucks are handy stop off places for busy tourists and expats.


3 thoughts on “Cafe Moka vs. Starbucks in Bali

  • Bob

    The advantage Starbucks has over Moka is a NO SMOKING section. If people want to kill themselves; fine; but don’t kill me with your smoke. It bugs me that selfish people deny me the opportunity to take in the fine aroma of fresh coffee and food, with their pretentious behaviour (like some 60’s smoking advertisement)of blowing smoke across the restaurant.

  • Rex

    My preference is for black Bali coffee, which is so cheap in Bali that it’s almost free. I live in Western Australia and can’t always get Bali coffee from a reasonably close shop, but we can easily get Java coffee and that’s what I drink here.

    I agree with Bob about the tobacco smoke. Years ago there was a coffee and cake shop on a corner on [I think] Jl Abimanyu in Seminyak, which was totally smoke free inside. The smokers could sit in a very pleasant outside area and this seemed to suit everyone.

    I eat and drink in Bali in places where I can choose a strategically placed table and then passive smoke isn’t a problem.

  • Boe

    ahhhhh, Cafe Moka, I remember as if it were yesterday that I was buying my daily purchase of delicious coffee éclairs.

    I have yet to experience the Bali Starbucks, or any Starbucks for that matter (Australia doesn’t have em)but I hear it is quite expensive.

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