Indonesia doesn’t have a single food specialty like other nations around the world. The diversity of the archipelago’s culture means each region has its own culinary delights. From street food to five-star restaurants, there is a hugely diverse range of eateries to choose from. Budget travelers can find plenty of safe and hygienic eating options that won’t break the bank. Many people opt for the Indonesian fried rice (nasi goring) which, despite being delicious, is rather predictable. Despite being predominantly Islamic, Indonesia still allows the consumption of alcohol. However, there are some places, like Aceh, that have banned alcoholic beverages.
Bars and Pubbing in Indonesia
Bali, Jakarta and Yogyakarta are among the best cities in Indonesia to head for a night out. Of course, Jakarta, being the capital city and largest metropolis of the archipelago, is home to many wondrous nighttime establishments. Blok M in the southern districts of downtown Jakarta is the best spot for clubbing. Expats are common to the area, as there are dozens of dance spots and lounges worth a visit. Most close at around 2:00 a.m., but there are some venues that shutdown earlier and later so check online before you head out. D’s Place (Jalan Falatehan 1 No. 1C Blok M, Jarkata) is a fascinating location that boasts a downstairs bar and upstairs dance floor with nightly competitions. Visitors should also check out the first vodka bar in Jakarta, Red Square (Plaza Senayan Arcadia, Unit X-105, Jalan New Delhi, Jakarta). Tourists looking for a drink and a game of pool will feel right at home at the Sportmans Bar (Jalan Falatehan 1 No. 8 Jakarta).
Bali is also a renowned night spot, filled with several coastal communities like Kuta Beach, bustling until the early hours of the morning. Jalan Legian is a popular place in the area to spend a night dancing and drinking. Poppies Lane II is another famous section of Kuta. 61 Legian (Jalan Legian, Kuta Beach, Bali) is open every night until 3:00 a.m. It includes fascinating dance performances, fire shows and live, electric DJs. The Bounty (Jalan Legian, Kuta Beach, Bali) is another late night drinking establishment and Piggys Pub (Poppies Lane 2, Kuta Beach, Bali) is one of the only venues in Bali that stays open 24 hours a day if you don’t want the party to stop.
Yogyakarta is one of the largest cities in Indonesia. Therefore, it contains a lively night culture that shouldn’t be overlooked. Republic Club (Jalan Malioboro 60, Yogyakarta) is found in Hotel INNA, and boasts live music and DJs most nights of the week. One of the more electric clubs in the city is Boshe VVIP Club (Jalan Magelang, Yogyakarta). It is bursting at the seams with revelers every night of the week and is popular with singles as there is no cover charge for women. Among the pricier places in the city is Embassy (Jalan Laksda Adi Sucipto, Yogyakarta), located in the Sheraton Hotel.
Dining and Cuisine in Indonesia
It isn’t difficult finding a good restaurant in most areas of Indonesia. The capital is a fantastic metropolis that contains many wondrous cuisines. For a good mix of options, Sailendra in the JW Marriott Hotel (Jalan Lingkar Mega Kuningan Kav E12, South Jakarta) offers Indonesian, Indian, Chinese and Japanese fare. For the best seafood in town, try Fischer Wharf (Jalan Dharmawangsa IX, Jakarta Selatan). Local delicacies can be found at Saung Galah (Jalan Wolter Monginsidi No. 77, South Jakarta), which is not only delectable, but cheap.
Surabaya is another fantastic culinary city. International foods are available, but why travel all the way to Indonesia without sampling some of the local flavors? Kartika Pujasera (Jalan Diponegoro, Surabaya) is a wonderful spot to try many regional dishes like bakso (Indonesian meatball), pecel (sauce made out of chili, tamarind, peanuts and coconut sugar), and gado gado (salad of boiled vegetables with peanut dressing). Hary Hary Restaurant (Jalan Musi 47, Surabaya) is not just a great dining experience for its delicious dishes, but is also housed in a delightful colonial dwelling. If Western food is what tourists are craving, then they should try Kafe Bromo (Sheraton Surabaya, Jalan Embong Malang, Surabaya).
Medan is one of the largest cities found in Indonesia, so it too boasts a huge array of restaurants to choose from. Many dining options provide local fare, but there is a long list of Western restaurants too. Koki Sunda (Jalan Hasanuddin, Medan) is a great place to enjoy Sundanese delicacies. Pagaruyung Alley (Jalan Pagaruyung, Medan) is home to a variety of Indonesian and Indian cuisines, including dishes like martbak telur (deep fried beef rolls). Garuda (Jalan Nibung Raya No. 163-165, Maden) is another popular restaurant serving the famous Padang curry dish.