Jakarta Restaurants and Dining

(Jakarta, Java, Indonesia)

Cafe photographJakarta has a strong culinary reputation among the Indonesian islands, with restaurants and eateries to match the city's status. Visitors dining in Jakarta will find that they have the opportunity to sample dishes that have originated across the archipelago. Sumatran and Javanese cuisine is especially popular with tourists, and it garners the most praise from food critics and chefs as well.

The price of eating out in Jakarta is low compared with dining out in Western nations. The best deals are available from street vendors, although even the fanciest hotel restaurants in Jakarta can provide gourmet specialities at really very competitive prices.

Different picture of cafe

When to Eat / Opening Hours

As the nation's capital, Jakarta offers a lively dining scene that has something to offer every day. Street food is available into late hours, and some of the local cafés are open even later. Hotel restaurants are open every day and for every meal, though many shut down for a couple of hours between lunch and dinner. Despite the currents of Islam in Jakarta, alcohol is easy to find and local nightclubs stay open as late as 04:00.

What to Eat

Jakarta cuisine is a cross-section of the entire archipelago's culinary traditions. Dutch-influenced cuisine is known locally as 'betawi' (Indonesian for 'Batavian'). Local specialities include 'sop iga sapi' (a Dutch spare rib stew modified with local spices), 'kerak telor' (an omelette featuring coconut and glutinous rice, topped with shrimp), and 'ketoprak' (rice rolls filled with bean sprouts and tofu, and served with peanut sauce). Next to rice, soy and tempeh are two of the most popular ingredients at work in local dishes.

Photo of al fresco dining in the city

Where to Eat

It's no surprise that the dining on offer in Jakarta is the best in Indonesia. As the capital city of these 6,000 islands, Jakarta offers an eclectic blend of regional Indonesian cuisine and international fare served in a variety of environs.

Some of the finest food in Jakarta is found at the street level, where street stalls and mobile snack vendors dish up barbecued satay and Chinese noodle soups at incredibly low prices. Western fast-food restaurants are also on hand in Jakarta for a quick (and familiar) bite to eat. Meanwhile, the upscale hotels offer some of the finest international food. Many of these five-star hotels offer gourmet buffets that allow diners to sample international cuisine alongside regional, Indonesian favourites.

Dining at Jakarta's plentiful shopping malls or in air-conditioned food courts is especially attractive at lunchtime, when daytime temperatures can make eating at outdoor food stalls and cafés an uncomfortable prospect. Of course, hotel restaurants and other indoor establishments remain comfortable at all hours.

Indonesian-style cafés are very noteworthy places to eat in Jakarta city centre. These street-side establishments are sheltered by a canopy and are sometimes called 'kafe tenda' (tented cafés). These are especially popular once the heat of the day passes, or in between nightclubs after hours.

Thamrin Street boasts a variety of restaurants, but the best selection of fine dining is located in the Kemang district of Jakarta. Menus here draw on culinary traditions from every corner of the world. Look for South American, Lebanese, French and Italian restaurants operating alongside trendy nightclubs and live-music joints.