Food is an essential aspect of the existence of all life on this planet. It not just fulfils our basic physiological needs, but also helps in social interactions and developing social connections. Food is recognized as an expression of one’s identity and culture, all over the world, and has now become an indispensable aspect of cultural tourism. This role of food in cultural tourism is being referred to, as culinary tourism, which offers a competitive advantage to a country or a destination in terms of tourism boost leading to economic development.
When we talk about Indonesia, the food culture on all the islands is a product of many factors, such as the history, culture, environment, resources and nature. However, owing to its immense cultural and geographic diversity, the Indonesian cuisine is rich in variety and taste. With Indonesia, it is not just the traditional food that is valued by customers and tourists, but the socio-cultural values behind the food itself!
So, let’s dive-in and see what this diverse Indonesian cuisine has to offer! From popular hip new places to legendary establishments, here is our list of the 12 best restaurants in Indonesia.
1. Mozaic, Bali
Mozaic is the go-to destination for youngsters and families alike. With its innovative menu and excellent presentation, Mozaic has been gaining wide popularity. The chefs here typically combine traditional Balinese recipes and ingredients and the modern-day French culinary techniques, which makes their food unlike anything one can get anywhere else. It offers vegetarian and vegan cuisine and products that are gluten-free, thereby catering to their health conscious customer base. The Gindara Carpaccio by Chef Chris Salans is an incredibly famous dish at the Mosaic, known for its rich flavours and unique taste. To top it all off, the place has a lush green garden, a pool and an elegant outdoor seating from where one can see Ubud’s towering palm trees, creating the perfect ambience for a special night with your loved ones.
2. Bandar Djakarta, Jakarta
Bandar Djakarta is located near the seaside in Jakarta and thus has access to the freshest seafood. With modern setting, beautiful ambience and even beautiful surroundings, this restaurant serves some of the best seafood, such as fresh fish, clams, crabs and prawns. At Bandar Djakarta, there is no slow day, even with countless restaurants existing and coming up on the island, it remains in high demand, be it on special occasions or even regular days. In fact, it is considered to be the best place in Jakarta to try Thai food.
3. Locavore, Bali
Locavore is an incredibly popular multi-cuisine restaurant in Ubud, Bali, offering Contemporary, European and Asian cuisines and Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-free options as well. It is quite famous for the unique ingredients that they prepare their dishes with, resulting in a unique menu. The best part about this restaurant is that it operates in an eco-friendly manner. premium-quality ingredients (and even utensils) locally.
4. Pinisi Resto, Bandung
Pinisi Resto is a widely talked about restaurant in Bandung, owing to its concept dining. Located on a massive ship, surrounded by lake and emerald green trees, it provides diners with a tranquil environment. The Pinisi Resto serves not just Indonesian cuisine, but is pretty famous for its American and European cuisines as well. With its calm yet joyful ambiance, it becomes the perfect getaway for friends and family alike.
5. Lara Djonggrang, Java
Those who know Indonesian history and folklore would know where the name stems from. The Indonesian folklore talks about a princess named Lara Djonggrang, whose tale inspired the dining concept at this famous restaurant. At Lara Djonggrang guests are served like royals and their dining experience is both unmissable and unforgettable. They offer premium Javanese traditional food and other Indonesian cuisines along with serving Asian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free and Halal options as well.
6. Bunga Rampai
Famous for its Dutch architecture and delicious food, the Bunga Rampai is one of the top-most restaurants in the country of Indonesia. It offers authentic Indonesian food that is inspired by the traditional cuisines of all islands as well as their modern varieties.
7. Merah Putih, Bali
Bali is a gem when its comes to variety in food and the Merah Putih completely lives up to its hype. A popular choice amongst local and international tourists, it offers some of Indonesia's best recipes, both traditional and modern. With a translucent roof and glass walls, the diner gets an incredible view and an opportunity to bask in Bali’s natural sunlight.
8. Mediterranea Restaurant
The Mediterranea is a cozy and homely restaurant, inspired by French and Mediterranean cuisine. It offers delicious, authentic food that is just the right combination of flavours and is loved by locals and tourists alike. It specialises in Mediterranean cuisine offering mouthwatering meals such as the Da Vinci Pizza which is a customer favourite at the Mediterranea.
9. Seribu Rasa
The term ‘Seribu Rasa’ means ‘a thousand flavors’ and this restaurant lives up to its name by delivering just that. With a diverse menu and a wide variety of traditional feasts from Indonesia and Southeast Asia to choose from, this restaurant gives its own peculiar taste to the dish using their premium spices and ingredients.
10. Abhayagiri Restaurant
The Abhaygiri restaurant offers Indonesia, Asian, European and American cuisines. It is located in the countryside on the outskirts of Yogyakarta looking at Mount Merapi and Prambanan temple from afar. With elegant architecture and traditional Indonesian music playing in the background Abhayagiri offers a romantic dining experience.
Indonesia is a nation with a rich and varied cultural heritage which manifests in the food to give extremely delicious meals that are rich in flavours. So, if you’re someone on the lookout for places offering exotic meals, these restaurants definitely need to be on your list!