Drinking and nightlife

Top ChoicePub in Padang

Bat & Arrow

Overlooking the river in the colonial quarter, this sprawling, graffiti-splattered 'ruin pub' feels a bit like a bombed-out building, but instead is Padang's top traveller hang-out. The beer garden fills up...

Top ChoiceRooftop Bar in Pekanbaru

Sky Garden & Lounge

Escape Pekanbaru's grind and head up to the top of Sumatra's tallest building to enjoy a cold beer or cocktail with 360-degree city views. Its outdoor bar has a luxurious feel with contemporary furniture and palm...

Cafe in Bengkulu

Edu Coffee

One for coffee aficionados, Edu Coffee is a microroastery that sources arabica beans locally as well as from across the archipelago. It has all the tools of the trade to prepare the perfect cup – AeroPress, V60,...

Cafe in Banda Aceh

Warung Kopi Solong

Banda Aceh’s most famous coffee house has been doing business since 1974. It’s an excellent place to try kopi sanger (coffee with condensed milk) – strained through a sock! Mie aceh (Acehnese noodles) and other...

Cafe in Bukittinggi

Taruko Caferesto

Around 4km west of Bukittinggi is this tranquil cafe set in an attractive thatched building overlooking ridiculously picturesque countryside – complete with bubbling brook. It's a perfect spot to while away a few...

Pub in Medan


Offering respite from the horrendous traffic is this two-storey pub with an outdoor Astroturf terrace for enjoying cocktails and cold beers (including frozen varieties and Guinness on tap). Inside is more of a...

Rooftop Bar in Medan

Level 02

Channelling a hip Jakarta rooftop bar is this vibrant open-air space that's a great spot for a balmy evening with Balinese craft beers, wine and well-priced cocktails. The food's a highlight, with the likes of...

Bar in Jambi

Sky Lounge

Jambi's finest spot for a drink is this rooftop bar atop the Aston Jambi Hotel. Enjoy fantastic city views while sipping on cocktails, beer or wine, or come for a meal served on the outdoor terrace or indoor...

Pub in Bukittinggi

De Kock Cafe

De Kock has a smoky salon atmosphere that's popular with both locals and tourists who come here for beers and a mixture of Western pub food (pizzas, steak sandwiches) and Indonesian dishes (mains from 25,000Rp)....

Coffee in Kersik Tua

Shelter Coffee

This hip little cafe is an unexpected find along this dusty road, and makes a good place to sample local Kerinci beans. It does pour-over filter coffee as well as lattes etc, along with noodle and rice dishes....

Pub in Bandar Lampung


In a town where a beer isn’t always easy to find, this spot is a bit of an oasis, opening up to a smart, leafy decor where you can prop up a stool at the bar and order a pint from its frosty taps. Otherwise grab...

Bar in Bukittinggi

Bedudal Cafe

Grab a beer and make yourself comfortable amid the wooden carvings and pop-culture posters and chat to the friendly youthful staff. There's a menu of pizzas, burritos and Indonesian mains (20,000Rp to 60,000Rp)...

Coffee in Berastagi

Biji Hitam

Pull up a rugged bar stool and enjoy a strong coffee (12,000Rp to 25,000Rp) and the hum of locals in conversation. There's plenty of choice, from filter pour-over coffee and espresso to Nutella latte, along with...

Bar in Danau Toba

Brando’s Blues Bar

One of a handful of genuine bars in Tuk Tuk, with pool tables and occasional live bands, that gets particularly lively on weekends. Happy hour is a civilised 6pm to 10pm and you can take to the small dance floor...

Coffee in Bandar Lampung


Comprising no more than a couple of chairs, a turntable and a cassette deck, this hipster coffee shop specialises in beans from across Sumatra. Get a takeaway or grab a seat out front to enjoy its pour-over...

Bar in Medan

The View

Head up to the top floor of the Grand Swiss five-star hotel for cocktails (from 97,000Rp), beers (48,000Rp) and shimmering city views. There's live music most nights from 10pm, including a traditional Batak band...

Coffee in Sungai Penuh

Roemah Kayo

A great spot to grab a quick coffee for the road is this 24-hour cafe that does V60 pour-overs and espresso using local beans. It shares space with Hotel Jaya Wisata in the centre of town.

Coffee in Bukit Lawang

Cafeteria Gua Lawang

For something different, check out this cafe that's built within a natural grotto, with murals on the walls and strong Gayo Aceh coffee and cheap beers. It also does local and international food if you're peckish.

Coffee in Berastagi

Kopi Ta Kopikaro

This cool little cafe plays local indie music and serves excellent coffee using beans sourced locally (and from across Indonesia), made by friendly baristas who know their stuff. It also does simple local meals.

Cocktail Bar in Medan


With its long and glamorous list of cocktails (135,000Rp) and equally glamorous people, swanky Traders is the place to be seen in Medan. There are cold beers on tap, along with a semi-decent wine list.