Every travel experience should include a food-tasting story. And in the colorful cuisine artistry of this Asian country, it’s a gastro sin not to taste even a single serving of ayam bakar. Getting a hand on the authentic dishes wouldn’t be a problem as I will help you find the best place to eat local food in Indonesia. Some foods may look weird, but letting your taste buds get lost in its flavors would be an experience you wouldn’t forget. So what are we waiting for? Let’s start scouting these restaurants!
1. Pinisi Resto
Pinisi Resto is a unique, boat-shaped place at the Ranbacali Lakeside. You would have to pay an entrance fee, as the restaurant is located inside a private resort adorned with wide tea gardens. This spot in Java, Indonesia can be a tour cum food-tasting experience. There is a hanging bridge going to the resto and you can choose on the three decks of the restaurant.
Prices are a bit expensive but it’s worth it given the tranquility of the place and the authentic food. After eating, you can visit the two attractions open to visitors. You should also book ahead of time as Pinisi is really flocked by tourists. Besides, who can resist such beauty while dining?
If you’re with friends, you can rent a tent and split the price between yourselves. It costs around $148 but given the privacy you’ll enjoy, it’s not a big amount to spend.
2. Lara Djonggrang
According to a local folklore, Lara Djoggrang is a beautiful princess in Java who has an unfathomable devotion to her King father. At present day, Lara Djoggrang is equally stunning, but in the form of a restaurant that serves authentic Indonesian cuisines. This exotic resto has a few rooms for private visits and special menus.
The foods here are inspired by different culture across Indonesia like flavors from Padang, Lombok, and Manado. Many visitors claim that this can be considered as the best place to eat local food in Indonesia due to the price and quality of food.
Aside from the gastro delights, the place itself has an undeniable charm. It used to be an old house but converted to imbibe the prestige of the folklore from where it is derived.
3. Bandar Djakarta
Being an archipelago, Indonesia is rich in shorelines, therefore, with seafood too. With that, Bandar Djakarta would be the best pick if you want to taste the local fish dishes in the Ancol area at the capital. Just make sure that you place a reservation ahead as this place gets really packed. Once you’re here, you’ll have the freedom to pick the seafood fresh from ocean together with a waiter. Just imagine a whole bucket of big crabs and shrimps and tell me that you didn’t drool over it.
The place is open for lunch and dinner and the price is just right for the quality of the seafood. I suggest that you visit at dinnertime as the place tend to become so hot during the afternoon with all the people flocking in and the scorching sun adding up to the temperature.
4. Merah Putih
If you have the budget for fine dining, dress at your best and head to Merah Putih. The place is gargantuan and the ceiling, I can say, is like the Sistine Chapel of restaurants. It’s sophisticated and definitely the best place to eat local food in Indonesia.
Merah Putih serves top of the line seafood dishes paired with their good selection of wines. If you’re staying in Bali, you shouldn’t miss this place. You have to book early as many visitors go here despite the fact that it’s a little expensive.
Expect a stunning dinner here while you are served with dishes all made from the local produce. Don’t forget to order a seafood meal like the soft shell crab and slipper lobster. Even if Indonesian flavor isn’t your favorite, you’ll enjoy a visit here.
5. Bunga Rampai
Merah Putih can be a little intimidating both in the budget and in the atmosphere so I’ll suggest that you try the Bunga Rampai. The place is a bit humble but still high-end and has a unique antique feel. It’s cozy and the local food is pleasing both in the taste and the way they plated it.
If you visit in time, you can enjoy the music from the three guys that will go from table to table for a song request. Don’t forget to dress at your best and it’s advisable that you come with someone for company. Order whatever you want but stay away from alcoholic drinks. Aside from the fact that you may get drunk, it’s also overpriced.
The top floor of this best place to eat local food in Indonesia is styled as a greenhouse that you can visit as well.
6. Seribu Rasa
Seribu Rasa means “a thousand flavors” and this place will treat you with the same explosion of yummy dishes. They serve authentic local dishes from appetizer, seafood, noodle, rice, vegetable, and dessert variations. If you want a little adventure, this place will be your best pick. Seribu Rasa serves the best tasting cassava leaves in the whole Indonesia in my opinion.
Bring someone who can splurge with you, as the food is too good to be eating politely. If you’re in a group, you may want to book a private room for a less guilty binge eating. The ambiance here is like a resort and modern enough to be relaxing.
What makes Seribu Rasa as the best place to eat local food in Indonesia is it’s a Halal-certified resto. If you’re looking for pork, you may want to try something else on the menu on this.
7. Abhayagiri Restaurant
If you’re staying at Yogyakarta, I suggest that you try the Abhayagiri Restaurant at the Sumberwatu Heritage Resort. The place is stunning with the view of the mountain and the food will seal the deal. You can actually enjoy a dinner while the sun sets. It also has a breathtaking view of the Prambanan temple.
You should try the delicious bebek and chicken or just join the banquet for more choices. It can be a bit expensive but you’ll be willing to spend once you are in the place. This would be great to try along with a friend.
Bali has endless secrets, and if you’re staying at the upscale Seminyak, you should discover the HoneyBees restaurant. It’s a humble place, more like a café but calm enough for you to enjoy a serving of babi guling, chicken wings, or pancakes. You can also try their fried ice cream for dessert.
This is situated in an atrium with a reflection poolside that adds glam to the place. If you’re looking for value for money, the HoneyBees won’t disappoint.
The best place to eat local food in Indonesia is something that will offer atmosphere and flavors at a reasonable price. The eight places I listed here would help you choose your fix of gastro delights wherever you are staying in the country. Which of these places would you want to visit? Share your choice with us!