So you’ve just arrived in Jakarta and it all feels a little overwhelming with the traffic, chaos, language barrier, and then where do you even start to know where to go to eat or hang out here? Well, I have decided to slowly start making a list of places that WE like to go to eat and hang out at.. they may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s just a few suggestions to get you started as you are bound to be asked thousands of times by friendly locals “sudah makan?” (already eaten?), and they will also want to know if you like Indonesian food and what is your favourite, there seems to be a complete obsession with food here.. and rightly so, there’s lots of great food to eat for us vegetarians and an overload of choices for meat eaters.
Please feel free to give us your recommendations of your favourite places so we can check them out and add them to the list 🙂
Jl. Jend. Sudirman No.8, RT.1/RW.3, Gelora, Tanah Abang, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10270
This is a great place to take the kids! You feel like you’re in the jungle from the moment you enter their front doors, with vines all over the ceilings and there are animatronic animals hidden around the place. You can sit at the bar and have a drink while sitting on animal themed chairs, or sit in the booths and enjoy your surrounds. There are Asian, Mexican, Japanese, Arabian, or Western dishes available but the only downside is that they don’t really cater to vegetarians… but I still managed to eat and have a fun time with Samudra while he ran around exploring.
RUMAH KAYU ANCOL
Jl.Lodan Timur II No.7 Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, RW.10, Ancol, Pademangan, Kota Jkt Utara, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 14430
We attended a gorgeous birthday party at this restaurant and the kids absolutely loved it! Set inside a real plane by the beach in Ancol, we quickly settled into the comfy chairs and lost hours eating so much delicious food while the kids had such a great time playing in the cockpit and pretending to be pilots for a day. It is also a great location for walking around and exploring outside once you have finished your meals, with the entrance to the gondola ride over the bay very close by.
No., Jl. Benda No.12, Ps. Minggu, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12560, Indonesia
I have passed this cafe many times when I have walked along Jalan Benda but had never been inside until recently. It seemed the perfect place to meet up before going for a cream bath and massage at Mi Casa as it is directly across the road on Jalan Benda. With a delicious selection of tarts and pastries, bread and drinks, it has a lovely chilled out and relaxed vibe and the owner and staff are so friendly and welcoming. We even ended up with free taster pastries and a delicious olive bread to take home! As soon as we finished our afternoon of decadence at Mi Casa we headed straight back over for more pastries to top off a beautiful day..
BURGREENS ORGANIC EATERY
Jl. Flamboyan No.19, Ciputat Tim., Tangerang Selatan, Banten 15412, Indonesia
I had been reading so many reviews about Burgreens, and after visiting their small cafe in Tebet, I really wanted to visit the bigger cafe out in Bintaro. Unfortunately following the directions on Waze we ended up in completely the wrong location and were about to give up due to the ridiculous traffic, when we started heading into what seemed the middle of a forest in the middle of nowhere.. I was sure Waze must be taking us in the wrong direction again, and just as we decided to go home, we looked up and saw the Burgreens sign amongst all the greenery. It turned out to be such a lovely and peaceful location, with vegetables growing in the garden across the road.. it didn’t feel like Jakarta at all! Such a nice little escape and well worth it if you’re a vegetarian/vegan and looking for some delicious food. Everything here tastes so good and fresh! I highly recommend the spinach or lentil nuggets and the burgers… They offer delivery as well as eat in and can cater for events also. YUM. This is my favourite cafe in Jakarta to eat at.
KOMUNAL 88, KEMANG – Ampera Six Building, Jl. Ampera Raya No. 6, Kemang, Jakarta
This little cafe on Ampera Raya seems to be the place to be at the moment with it’s great atmosphere and delicious food – I highly recommend the bakery items also as they’re baked on site and are melt in your mouth fresh! If you want to go for a meal, best you book in advance to make sure you can get a table – 021 7194673. Outside of meal times, it’s a great place to hang out and slowly sip on a cup of something yummy..
KEDAI KEMANG – Jl. Benda Raya No. 89, Kemang, Jakarta
Believe it or not, I DO get out of Kemang, and frequently, but just haven’t been taking photos when I’ve been out so haven’t posted much for places to go outside this area. Back in 2010 I used to live in W Residence on Jalan Benda and this cafe is where I used to go almost every day for hours on end as my office space to sit and edit photos or work on my designs. I hadn’t been in a LONG time until recently and was reminded how much I used to love this place. It used to be filled with designers and creative people working on projects and I just love the atmosphere with the antique furnishings and relaxed atmosphere. It also used to be incredibly popular for pre-wedding photo sessions which is always fun to sit and watch. A nice chilled out little cafe to escape the chaos of Jakarta.
DIA.LO.GUE ARTSPACE KEMANG – Jl. Kemang Raya No. 99A, South Jakarta – http://dialogue-artspace.com/
The name DIA.LO.GUE is a clever pun and translates from Bahasa Indonesia to DIA = he/she, LO = you and GUE = I. LO and GUE are Jakartan slang words and usually only used among friends. (thanks to Chuzai Living blog).
This is a great place to go and hang out and I have to remember to go there more often as it’s always fun and inspiring to visit. There’s a shop at the entrance selling unique wares from talented local designers, from clothing and jewellery to cushions, prints and super cool bits and pieces, great for gifts and also a good place if you feel like treating yourself. There is an exhibition space leading on from the shop and there’s always either a beautiful photographic exhibition or artworks on display which makes me wish I had more time to go there more regularly to just soak up the atmosphere. The interior is like a work of art in itself and there’s a delicious cafe (I love their pizza), and a glassed-in area to chill out and soak up the sunshine and there are often some amazing sculptures on display there. They hold many events and workshops for creative people, as well as craft markets at certain times of the year and so it is worth putting yourself down on the mailing list and getting yourself in the know.
KOI KEMANG – http://www.koiindonesia.com/
Koi Kemang is a large industrial, but warm space, with three separate levels, also located in Kemang (YES, we do get out of the area!). Downstairs there is a smoking section and non smoking section, with a small and cosy bar space separating the two. There are tables and chairs as well as comfy couches to sit and chill out on and has some tasty but limited dishes for vegetarians and to die for dessserts.. There is a huge selection of wines on display and this is also a pricier option for dining, but cool to just sit and hang out sipping an iced mint squeeze too.
The second level is Koi Gallery with furniture and household decorations, and also some jewellery for those with a sizeable budget (I can only afford to look and dream).. and the top level also has some artworks on display and more furniture and the space can be rented out for private functions and includes a bar and a view towards the city.
MONOLOG – monolog-coffee.com/
Monolog at Pondok Indah Mall is located at the end of ‘The Street’ and will entice you with its selection of bakery goods at the front. Inside is really spacious and has areas for smoking and non smoking, as well as an outdoor balcony. The food is really delicious and there’s a relaxed atmosphere making it a great place to hang out. They even have a bar so it’s perfect for some afternoon or evening drinks as well as delicious breakfast and food menu. Monolog also have a cafe in the outside area at Plaza Senayan which is always pretty full with people which can only be a good sign..
FACE BAR – Jalan Kusuma Atmaja 85, Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10230, Indonesia
+62 21 31925037
What a gorgeous hidden treasure in the back streets of Menteng near Bundaran HI! The venue is very dimly lit but has a great relaxed atmosphere and many oriental decorations which bring a sense of serenity to the place. There are two restaurants here – Indian food downstairs and a Thai restaurant upstairs, and from the samples i’ve tasted, I definately want to go back there for a main meal! The cocktails are really tasty too and this is the perfect location for a catch up with good friends after work.
BLACK HOUSE – Jl. Cililin Raya No.3, Petogogan, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12170, Indonesia
JOGLO BEER – Jl. Madrasah No.14, Kemang, Jakarta
After fairly recent renovations, I’m loving the new bigger space at Joglo. It’s light and airy and quiet and perfect to escape to for food or some drinks. It is located next door to Waroeng Solo in Kemang so you can order food from down the hill and have it delivered to you in the bar. A great location if you want to be able to drink and chat without having to yell.
JIMBARAN @ InterContinental Midplaza Hotel – www.midplaza.com/
This is a lovely oasis in the heart of Jakarta, with a lovely green garden and seating areas placed over running water to add to the tranquility of the space. The Jimbaran Outdoor Lounge opened in 2014 and is a great space for after work drinks and tapas to catch up with friends after work.
JAVA BEAN PEJATEN VILLAGE
There are many locations for Java Bean throughout Jakarta, but I especially love the one at Pejaten Village as it’s quiet, yummy food and the staff are super friendly and lovely. I have been taking Samudra there since he was just a baby so the staff know him and love playing with him, giving me some peace to eat and drink without having to inhale my food to then run off and chase Samudra back to the table. It is also next to the Pirate Playground so perfect for leaving little kids in there to play while you take a breather at Java Bean. This is non smoking inside and has an outdoor balcony for smokers.
THREE BUNS – Jalan Senopati No.90, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12190, Indonesia
I can’t remember exactly but I think Three Buns just opened in 2014 in Jakarta and immediately had super long queues out the front to get into this burger cafe. It has a quirky interior which is a new style for Jakarta and attracted loads of people wanting to hang out and be seen. They don’t sell vegetarian burgers so I can’t speak about the taste of their burgers but they’re certainly popular!