The Best Bars in Jakarta

In Indonesia, bars are a hub of nightlife activity that showcase the city’s frenetic energy and offer locals and visitors alike a chance to relax with a well-crafted cocktail. From rooftop bars overlooking cityscapes to elite socialite lounges and subterranean clubs spinning the best underground beats, Jakarta’s burgeoning bar scene is worth exploring.

The first alcoholic beverage in Indonesia was likely made of palm wine, also known as tuak. It was used in the 9th century as part of religious ceremonies and later grew in popularity throughout the archipelago. The existence of tuak is reflected by panels in the 9th century Borobudur bas-reliefs showing drink vendors and warung (small restaurants). The arrival of Islam, which supplanted Hinduism and Buddhism as the main religion of Java, resulted in a ban on drinking alcohol. However, tuak was replaced by tikar sasap, which is still widely consumed in Bali.

Some of the more famous bars in Indonesia include Pantja and The Cocktail Club. Both are listed in the 50 Best Bars Asia, a distinction that shows just how far the bar industry in Indonesia has come and is a source of pride for the country.

This bar in Kemang is a favorite of middle-class Indonesians who come to enjoy the daily live music and cheap prices. It is usually busy all week and gets a little busier on weekends when the main room turns into a dance floor.