Historic restaurants in Jakarta
The food industry is one of the few in the world where being ancient isn’t considered a negative, it’s practically a badge of honor. When you walk into a restaurant that proudly proclaims they’ve been around for 50 years, you know they must be doing something right to have lasted all those years without going out of business.
From a legendary Hakka restaurant hidden in an alley to the first Japanese restaurant in Jakarta, these 8 historic restaurants in Jakarta prove that great food transcends time.
1. Wong Fu Kie – authentic Hakka cuisine in a hidden alley of Glodok Chinatown
Wong Fu Kie Glodok’s interior is just as timeless as its flavor
Image adapted from: Adityawarman Arioseno
As part of the historical Kota Tua district, many of the historic restaurants in Jakarta’s Glodok Chinatown have been around for the better part of the past century. But none can quite match the sheer longevity of Wong Fu Kie, a small, family-run Hakka restaurant that’s been operating from the same place in an alley just off the main street since 1925.
A typical Hakka banquet at Wong Fu Kie
Image credit: @steven_wel
In keeping with Hakka tradition, Wong Fu Kie’s specialty lies in the various steamed and braised dishes they have on offer.
The recipe for Mun Kiaw Men came from the current owner’s own mother
Image credit: @nik3_chan
Much raved about is their signature Mun Kiaw Mien (Rp. 115,000, ~USD8.02), a heartful plate of soupy braised noodles served with dumplings. Also of note is the Pak Cam Khe (Rp. 125,000, ~USD8.72), a plate of steamed chicken spiked with extra garlic whose aroma will kick your nose into overdrive long before it’s served at your table.
Aside from being easier to reach, Wong Fu Kie PIK has a fancier interior and outdoor seating.
Image credit: @wongfukie
Wong Fu Kie has long been a favorite of the ethnic Chinese community and you can still see them flocking to the restaurant on the weekends for family lunches. Hence, be prepared for long queues but don’t worry as owner Tjokro Kusnadi is happy to take your orders and give you recommendations while you wait to be seated.
Recently, they’ve also expanded to a second location in the Pantjoran Pantai Indah Kapuk food court that retains their authentic flavor but in a much glitzier setting.
Wong Fu Kie Glodok
Address: Jalan Perniagaan Timur 2 No 22, RT.8/RW.1, Roa Malaka, Kec. Tambora, Kota Jakarta Barat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 11230
Opening hours: 8.30AM-5PM, Daily
Telephone: 021 6906374
Wong Fu Kie Pantai Indah Kapuk
Address: Jl. Golf Island Boulevard Pantjoran PIK Unit A02 Pantai Maju, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 14470
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 10AM-2.30PM, 5PM-10PM | Sat–Sun 10AM-10PM
Telephone: 021 50102285
2. Kopi Es Tak Kie – century-old es kopi susu from Glodok
As with Wong Fu Kie, Kopi Es Tak Kie’s unpretentious interior is a reminder of a bygone era.
Image credit: @ky_riadiany
Let’s get this out of the way, Kopi Es Tak Kie walked so the dozens of es kopi susu chains in the country could run. First established in 1927, founder Liong Kwie Tjong and his descendants have been serving the ethnic Chinese community of Glodok their caffeine fix for almost a century and we imagine they’ll continue to do so for quite a while.
Like with most modern coffee chains, you can get their iced coffee in a cute to-go cup.
Image credit: @_gracehosea_
Their trademark Kopi Susu (Rp. 25,000, ~USD1.75), available hot or cold, consists of just ground coffee and sweetened condensed milk — no palm sugar to dilute the coffee here. The result is a bolder coffee than what most Jakartan youths are used to and if you want to make one of your own at home, the coffee blend used is available for sale.
On the walls, there are photos and news clippings that chronicle the coffee shop’s history.
Image credit: @alex_sandrrr
While coffee is their metaphorical bread and butter, they also serve classic Peranakan cuisine from their kitchen. The Nasi Campur Hainan (Rp. 50,000, ~USD3.50), a local twist on the Hainanese Chicken Rice with the addition of pork char siu, egg, and sweet and sour sauce, is a crowd favorite and is considered comfort food for Chinese Indonesians.
They’ve since expanded with additional outlets in Pantjoran PIK and Taman Anggrek Mall but there’s no replacing the old-timey ambiance of their humble abode in Glodok.
Address: Gang Gloria, Glodok, Jl. Pintu Besar Selatan III No.4-6, RT.7/RW.6, Pinangsia, Kec. Taman Sari, Kota Jakarta Barat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 11120
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 6.30AM-2PM, Fri–Sun 6.30AM-12.30PM
Telephone: 021 6928296
Website | Instagram
Check out our Kopi Es Tak Kie Glodok video here.
3. Kikugawa – first Japanese restaurant in post-independence Jakarta
Historic restaurants in Jakarta don’t just serve Indonesian and Chinese food – this unassuming house is actually Jakarta’s oldest Japanese restaurant.
Image credit: @nseika
It’s hard to believe now with sushi and ramen joints popping up all over town but there was a time when Japanese food was as rare as unicorns in Jakarta. It wasn’t until 1969, around the time when relations between Japan and Indonesia began to normalize, that locals finally could have a taste of quality sushi thanks to Kikugawa.
The name comes from the late owner Terutake Kikuchi, a former Japanese soldier who elected to stay in the country after the occupation. He might not have had the proper background, but the quality of the food on offer proves that he knew his way around the kitchen.
There’s plenty enough in the Ume Set to serve two
Image credit: @comfoodzone
For a proper taste of Kikugawa, we recommend trying out the Ume Set (Rp. 149,000, ~USD10.40), a delightful bounty of salmon sushi and sashimi, shrimp and vegetable tempura, yakitori (grilled chicken skewer), Japanese hotpot sukiyaki, and a bowl of miso soup.
Never walk out of Kikugawa without trying their Salmon Gyoza
Image credit: @bella_tisa
We’re also a huge fan of the Salmon Gyoza (Rp. 54,000, ~USD3.77) as it’s quite rare for salmon to be used as a filling for this fried treat.
To this day, Kikugawa still sits in their humble, original home at Menteng, one of the oldest residential districts of Jakarta.
Address: Jl. Cikini IV No.13, RT.15/RW.5, Cikini, Kec. Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10330
Opening hours: 11.30AM-3PM and 5PM-9PM, Daily
Telephone: 0857 19545602
4. Gado-gado Bon Bin – classic Indonesian salad with a recipe from 1960
The signage proudly proclaims that they’ve been around since 1960
Image credit: @soekantoniken
Literally just down the road from Kikugawa is one of Jakarta’s most historic street food stalls that dates back to 1960, Gado-Gado Bon Bin. Known for serving one of the meanest gado-gado, Indonesian salad drenched in peanut dressing, in town, the name serves as a callback to the Jakarta of old.
You see, bonbin is Indonesian for “zoo” and while presently there’s no zoo of any kind nearby, there was one back in the 60s. The area Jakartans now know as the Taman Ismail Marzuki cultural center, merely steps away from the gado-gado stall, used to house the Jakarta Zoo before it was moved in 1966 to its present location in Ragunan.
The subtle sour notes of the peanut sauce dressing are what sets Gado-Gado Bon Bin apart
Image credit: @kudumampir
The nostalgic name isn’t the only thing carried over as they still use the same OG recipe for their Gado-gado Lontong (Rp. 36,000, ~USD2.51). The peanut sauce, known for being less thick than the usual, is the star of the show here as it’s mixed with sugarcane vinegar, which gives the sauce its subtle sour notes.
The pink cendol is just as refreshing to the eyes as it is to the throat
Image credit: @bella_tisa
For drinks, we like the Es Cendol (Rp. 15,000, ~USD1.05), a cold dessert drink made from rice flour jelly, coconut milk, and sweetened with palm sugar. While the typical cendol uses green jelly, Bonbin’s take is coloured shocking pink instead, which never fails to put a smile on our face.
Address: Jl. Cikini IV No. 5, Cikini, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat, Jakarta 10330
Opening hours: 10AM-5PM, Daily
Telephone: 021 3141539
Check out our Gado-gado Bon Bin video here.
5. Restoran Trio – Peranakan cuisine with a genuine vintage ambiance
Restoran Trio’s vintage ambiance and decor looks a bit like a movie set
Image credit: @ayuisme
The first time you walk inside the dining hall of Restoran Trio is quite a transformative experience as we don’t think the 21st century ever came to pass here. Everything inside, from the furnishing, the posters, and the specials board up on the wall, dubbed ‘Masakan Istimewa’ seem to harken back to the early days of the restaurant in 1947.
The flagrant disregard for the Indonesian Spelling System will require some deciphering on your part
Image credit: @antonsatya
Trio’s old-timey aesthetic is a nice break from the modern, minimalist coffee shops that have popped up all over town. We especially like the specials board, still using the old Indonesian spelling system but nevertheless useful as with over a hundred different menu items available, you’re going to need a guide.
The prawn spring roll is one of Trio’s most popular menu items
Image credit: @eatwithtoshiko
For starters, we can vouch for the Lumpia Udang ala Trio (Rp. 100,000, ~USD6.98), eight prawn spring rolls fried to golden crispy perfection served with sweet and sour sauce. We also have to give props to their Ayam Nanking (Rp. 145,000, ~USD10.12), a Peranakan delicacy of boneless fried chicken coated with shrimp served with a sweet and savoury sauce.
We know they can be divisive, but Trio is especially proud of their pickled cucumbers that fans should try.
Image credit: @ongkowidjaja
In what’s quickly becoming a recurring theme, you can find Restoran Trio still in its original location in Menteng, just a few steps away from Kikugawa. Current owner Lam Hong Khie inherited the business from his late father and while the food is still great as it’s always been, it’s the timeless decor that’s going to keep you coming back.
Address: Jl. RP. Soeroso No.29A, RT.2/RW.2, Gondangdia, Kec. Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10350
Opening hours: 10AM-2PM and 5PM-9.30PM, Daily
Telephone: 021 3141539
6. Bakmi Gang Kelinci – thin, flat bakmi with chicken and mushroom toppings
The business began from a food cart out of the titular alley but has since moved into this building in Pasar Baru
Image credit: @makananuleiy
As we’re a proud noodle-loving nation, Indonesians are especially fond of their bakmi, or Chinese-style wheat noodles. From high-end Chinese restaurants to street food stalls, you can find them in every corner of the city. If you’re looking for the cream of the crop among historic restaurants in Jakarta though, you’d want to head out to Pasar Baru, the home of Bakmi Gang Kelinci since 1957.
The thin, flat noodles are their specialty but the usual tube noodles and the wide bakmi lebar are also available
Image credit: @ririndaswito
Named after its original location in an alley just off Jalan Kelinci, or Rabbit Street, Bakmi Gang Kelinci’s calling card is its signature Bakmi Spesial AK (Rp. 28,000, ~USD1.96). The thin, flat noodles have a delightful chewy texture and a bowl of savoury broth is provided to help you gulp down all of the chicken and mushroom that rounds out the dish.
While the bakmi rightfully deserves most of the spotlight, their Ayam Goreng Mentega (Rp. 51,000, ~USD3.57), or butter fried chicken, is not to be overlooked. Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, the chicken is served with a sweet and sour dip made from a mix of soy and oyster sauce.
Just a few steps from Bakmi Gang Kelinci is Cakue Ko Atek, with cakues still handmade by the titular Ko Atek since 1971.
Image credit: @oji.ikhsan
Over the years, Bakmi Gang Kelinci has expanded to eleven outlets all over town, but we still highly recommend visiting the OG restaurant. Aside from the historical aspect, it’s also right next door to a classic street food stall, Cakue Ko Atek, and their savoury fried dough strips are the perfect souvenirs from your trip to Pasar Baru.
Address: Jl. Kelinci Raya No.1-3, RT.4/RW.3, Ps. Baru, Kecamatan Sawah Besar, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10710
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 7AM-9PM, Sun 7AM-7.30PM
Telephone: 021 3522288
7. Rumah Makan Surya – serving glorious nasi padang and rendang since 1960
As with most Padang joints, the food is laid out on the table like a buffet and you’re charged only for the dishes you eat.
Image credit: @fiascinating
With so many good options available among historic restaurants in Jakarta, picking the best Padang restaurant in Jakarta is a nigh-impossible task. If we were to take up that incredible burden though, we’re confident Rumah Makan Surya would’ve been able to crack the top 5, as with over 60 years of history, they must be doing something right.
And that something is their Rendang, oily with a proper dark brown hue and gravy that looks as sinfully appetizing as it should be. We think the gravy is actually good enough to stand on its own but it’s when you go in for a bite of the tender beef rendang that you finally understand why Surya’s been around for so long.
If you want to be like Rocky, order a glass of Teh Talua, a creamy concoction of tea and egg yolk that’s popular in Padang.
Image credit: @soybean1914
Another crowd favorite is the Gulai Tunjang, a goulash of beef tendons that’s also sometimes referred to as Gulai Kikil. Despite the bright red color of the stew, Surya’s take on the food is actually pretty mild and mixing the stew together with the rendang gravy into the rice is a must when you’re eating here.
Located at Bendungan Hilir, Surya tends to be more crowded on the weekdays as the restaurant is a lunch favorite of the white-collared from the nearby Jalan Sudirman. With most meals here costing around Rp. 25,000 (~USD1.75) each, we too would probably have as many working lunches there as possible if we could.
Address: Jl. Bendungan Hilir No.5, RT.10/RW.6, Bend. Hilir, Kecamatan Tanah Abang, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10270
Opening hours: 7AM-9PM
Telephone: 0813 10032485
8. Ragusa Es Italia – all-time classic affordable ice cream
To walk into Ragusa, as with the above historic restaurants in Jakarta, is to relive a sliver of Jakarta’s history
Image credit: @cj_eats
Since 1932, Ragusa Es Italia has been consistently providing a cold, sweet reprieve for Jakartans about to drown in the pools of their own sweat. Started by a pair of Italian brothers, Luigi and Vincenzo Ragusa, the business has since been passed on to their local partners but still using the same classic recipe they’ve perfected over the years.
There’s no such thing as too much sweetness with Ragusa’s Spaghetti Ice Cream
Image credit: @iatethembefore
Their specialty is the Spaghetti Ice Cream (Rp. 35,000, ~USD2.45), decadently sweet pasta-shaped ice cream with fruit jellies, peanut toppings, and a dollop of dark chocolate sauce to help balance the flavor.
Part of the fun is in seeing the memorabilia hung up on the wall
Image credit: @ragusa.jkt
Compared to most modern ice cream stores, Ragusa sticks mostly to tried and true flavors, with only the Durian Medan (Rp. 20,000, ~USD1.40) being the odd one out. Their philosophy of sticking with the classic also extends to their decision to not use any preservatives, hence why you’d want to finish your ice cream quickly before it melts under Jakarta’s sun.
Still, it speaks to the quality of the food that for almost a century, they still rank as one of Jakarta’s best dessert cafes.
Address: Jl. Veteran I No.10, RT.4/RW.2, Gambir, Kecamatan Gambir, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10110
Opening hours: 10AM-9.30PM, Daily
Telephone: 021 3849123
Check out our Ragusa Es Italia video here.
Historic restaurants in Jakarta
There’s more to Jakarta’s history than just its museums and old buildings of Kota Tua. With ancient recipes perfected throughout the years and their genuine retro ambiances, these historic restaurants in Jakarta showcase the rich heritage of the capital city through its diverse and distinctive flavors.
For more to eat after hitting up these historic restaurants in Jakarta, check out these stories:
- 8 vegan and vegetarian-friendly cafes in Jakarta
- 9 Middle Eeastern and Indian restaurants to try
- 8 Chinese hotpot restaurants in Jakarta