Drinking and nightlife in Sumatra

  • Top ChoiceNightlife 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 nightly with surfers, backpackers and locals. Beer, pizza and pub food (mains from 40,000Rp) are on the menu, and there are pool tables, live music and even a half-pipe for skateboarders.

  • Nightlife 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, siphon, espresso machine and tubruk (unfiltered coffee); ask if owner Andy is around to see what seasonal concoctions he's brewing. They also do food and cold beers.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife 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 trees, and there's an indoor cafe with tempting cakes, charcoal bun burgers, bar snacks and Indonesian dishes.

  • Nightlife 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 dishes and snacks are also available. It's 2.5km east of the centre.

  • Nightlife 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 hours, or grab a coffee en route to Danau Maninjau. Indonesian dishes, pancakes and omelettes are on the menu, but it's more about the view than the food here.

  • Nightlife in Medan

    Bistronomix

    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 sports bar vibe, and its menu has pub classics along with some interesting dishes such as their chicken noodle burger, with pressed ramen substituting for the bun.

  • Nightlife 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 crab bao, lobster rolls, pub classics and the weekend brunch. There's an indoors area if you want air-con, plus an on-site wine store.

  • Nightlife 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 lounge. It attracts an affluent crowd and has regular bands and DJs.

  • Nightlife 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). Its second cafe around the corner does a decent breakfast menu.

  • Nightlife 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. The young owner/barista speaks good English. Its only downside is that it doesn't open early mornings.

  • Nightlife in Bandar Lampung

    Nudi

    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 a booth and a cocktail, or head to the rear dining area for pub food and Indonesian mains.

  • Nightlife 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) along with bar snacks.

  • Nightlife 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 several types of tea and bar snacks.

  • Nightlife 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 during the reggae and house sets.

  • Nightlife in Bandar Lampung

    Flambojan

    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 filter brews, cold drip or a latte.

  • Nightlife 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 on Friday nights.

  • Nightlife 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.

  • Nightlife 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.

  • Nightlife 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.

  • Nightlife in Medan

    Traders

    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.