Best restaurants in Sumatra

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Aceh

    Bixio Cafe

    Who would have thought Sumatra’s best Italian food was hiding in a remote corner of Pulau Weh? Sit by the lapping waves and dig into Luca and Eva’s wonderful freshly made pastas and gnocchi with fresh traditional sauces – but leave room for the divine tiramisu (35,000Rp). Find it in Long Beach, about 3km northwest from Iboih. There are also three appealing bungalows (300,000Rp) here for rent if you wish to linger longer.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in West Sumatra

    Korintji Heritage

    Set up as a social enterprise to empower locals, this fantastic new cafe in Sungai Penuh is set inside an atmospheric bamboo building overlooking the town and valley. As well as tasty Indonesian dishes, highlights include Danau Kerinci lobster (from 50,000Rp) and steaks (from 150,000Rp). It does excellent local, single-origin filter coffee, and has an on-site shop selling local delicacies.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in West Sumatra

    Waterfront Zalino

    This restaurant with a great lakeside location showcases some local seafood specialities, such as udang (freshwater lake shrimp), freshwater lobster and grilled catfish. As well as cold beer it also serves a delicious soursop fruit wine (both nonalcoholic and alcoholic varietals). It's around 1km north of Maninjau’s main intersection. Zal – AKA ‘Mr Porcupine’ – can organise all manner of tours, including fishing and trekking.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Danau Toba

    Maruba

    Overlooking the lake, Maruba is well worth seeking out for its peerless Batak dishes cooked by the talented proprietor. Barbecue fish, freshwater lobster, na neura (raw fish marinated with candlenut, lime juice and spices) and saksang (chopped pork cooked with spices and pig’s blood) are real local treats. A range of burgers and sandwiches features homemade bread and baguettes.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Danau Toba

    Jenny’s Restaurant

    Jenny’s has long been a standout on the northern edge of Tuk Tuk, with all kinds of breakfasts, noodles, curries and rice dishes. But the one dish that really shines is the lake fish grilled on charcoal right in front of you and served with chips and salad – available from early evening. Cold beer and arak cocktails are on the menu.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Padang

    Sari Raso

    Pick from a multitude of spicy dishes at this classic Padang chain, housed within a classy art deco colonial building. Do not miss the beef rendang; it's as good as it gets.

  • Restaurants in Banda Aceh

    Country Steakhouse

    Well hidden down an alley out of view is this cosy, wood-panelled restaurant that has a speakeasy feel, and specialises in Western food and cold beers. New Zealand steaks and lamb chops are the specialities, as well as fish and chips, burgers, sandwiches, pastas and Indonesian standards. They can procure pricey Australian red wine with a day's notice. Credit cards accepted.

  • Restaurants in Aceh

    Dee Dee’s Kitchen

    A popular fixture along Iboih Beach, Dee Dee cooks up an eclectic selection of dishes, from excellent homemade chapatti with guacamole to pasta dishes, crispy tempe tortilla wraps, tofu burgers, awesome brekkies and mie aceh (Acehnese noodles). Enjoy with views out to the sparkling Andaman Sea.

  • Restaurants in West Sumatra

    RM Selamat

    Padang food in West Sumatra rarely disappoints, and this cafeteria-style restaurant is famous for its authentic smoky beef rendang, among its assortment of delicious Minang dishes to choose from. The rendang routinely sells out midmorning, so pre-order to avoid disappointment.

  • Restaurants in Banda Aceh

    Ice Cream Gunung Salju

    This downtown place is a local institution notable for its delicious homemade ice cream. It has a heap of flavours, including local offerings such as avocado, durian and jackfruit, as well as all the usual suspects. It's a pretty local set-up with no English, and it also sells Indonesia dishes.

  • Restaurants in North Sumatra

    BPK Rumah Gerga

    A good place to sample local Karo cuisine is this shack restaurant with wood-crate-panelled walls decorated in murals. The speciality here is BPK (babi panggang Karo) – a delicious assortment of dishes comprising charcoal barbecue pork and rice, a blend of banana flower and tapioca leaves, green chilli sauce, pork soup and (optional) spicy pig blood. Try to get here before 5pm as they sometimes sell out of food. It's close to Nachelle Homestay, otherwise it's a 15-minute walk from the giant cabbage monument.

  • Restaurants in Lampung

    Pempek 123

    Tucked down a residential side street on the ground floor of an apartment building, this local haunt is a favourite for pempek (deep-fried fish cake made using tapioca). There's an array of choices, all accompanied with soy sauce and sambal, but for something with more varied flavour go for the tekwan ( pempek mixed with noodles, soup and greens). Its shelves are lined with dried fish snacks, condiments and local coffee beans for purchase. It's a short walk from the Krakatau Monument.

  • Restaurants in Medan

    Sibolang Durian

    If you haven't tried durian, then stop by this 'aromatic' open-air eating establishment dedicated to the world's smelliest fruit. It's not just some random street vendor, this is a brightly lit neon 24-hour temple to durian, with picnic tables full of locals eagerly scooping out the flesh of this gooey local treat. It's along the main strip, but you'll smell it before you see it. You pay by the weight, but it can be a little pricey out of season (which is generally December to June).

  • Restaurants in Aceh

    Tipsy Toby Cafe

    Sharing space with Bubble Addict is this lively hang-out in Gapang Beach where divers gather in the evenings to socialise over cold beers, bagel burgers, naan pizza, coffee and smoothies. There are weekly barbecues as well. It stays open later on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Upstairs is Flying Elephant Yoga, and accommodation out the back – including dorms (75,000Rp) or BYO hammock (25,000Rp).

  • Restaurants in Medan

    Medan Vegetarian

    No more food envy from vegetarians who miss out on those famous Padang dishes – here you'll get the full array of delicious mock beef rendang, satay chicken and coconut curries, and they nail the taste and texture. As with typical Padang food there's no menu, so point to the dishes you're after (no English is spoken). Socrates Vegan is another vegetarian restaurant a few buildings up that's more contemporary in style.

  • Restaurants in Aceh

    Monster

    A part of the Spanish-run Monster Divers dive shop, this relaxed beachside cafe does Catalonian-influenced dishes such as yellowfin-tuna burgers with brava sauce (spicy aioli), escalivada (smoky grilled vegetables) and creama catalana (egg custard pudding), along with salads and other international mains. Look out for their themed nights, when they cook up anything from paella to pizzas.

  • Restaurants in Bukit Lawang

    Waterstones

    This stylish restaurant sits directly on a dramatic bend of the river and features a mishmash of designer furniture and industrial light fittings. While its prices are high for what is fairly standard Indonesian fare, it makes a good spot for a late-afternoon beer and has a tasty rendition of guacamole and chips. There's live music Tuesday and Friday. It has a few rooms upstairs (from 175,000Rp), but only the jungle-facing ones are recommendable.

  • Restaurants in Lampung

    Kopi Oey

    With its birdcage lights, outdoor terrace and Shanghai glamour posters, this offshoot of the Jakarta-based empire conjures up an old-world vibe. The menu runs the gamut from fusion (spicy tuna spaghetti) to Javanese classics (sweet-and-spicy lamb tongseng) and cap cai (mixed vegetables) rice. It does good breakfasts, filtered coffees and a more eclectic range of beverages (egg coffee, iced grass jelly, hot turmeric).

  • Restaurants in Medan

    Tip Top Restaurant

    At this colonial-era relic, perfect for nostalgia buffs, only the prices have changed. Medan's oldest restaurant dates to 1934 and is great for a taste of bygone imperialism, with its regal white-uniformed waiters serving an array of Padang, Chinese and international dishes (though it's the old-school ice cream and desserts that are most worth trying). A cold beer on its streetside terrace is another reason to drop by.

  • Restaurants in Medan

    The Thirty Six

    With its polished concrete floors, low-hanging light bulbs and vertical garden, this is one of Medan's more stylish hang-outs. It does the likes of white truffle fries, seafood mac 'n' cheese, buttermilk waffles and pulled roast-beef sandwiches, but it's the juicy Big R Burger that's the standout. All-day breakfasts are another reason to come, as are the cold beers and speciality coffees.