Best Food in Batam Recommendation 101: Must-try Indonesian Cuisines

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Best food in Batam: There are 3 things to experience in Indonesia – its beaches, watersports, and food. Batam Riau, like most of Indonesia, tends to a variety of local cuisines. Cuisines tied up best to its atmosphere – ones unsuited to try elsewhere.

An old friend, who grew up with me in Batam for almost a decade, came to visit me here. He stayed for a week. Having a partner in crime, we hit off some of the best cuisines Batam had to offer.

In 2023, this old friend and I packed up a trip to Vietnam!

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Some places guests took us out, the others we tried out ourselves – seafood, nasi Padang, bakso, and even a cheap yet amazing food court opposite Grand Batam! As someone who’s tried a lot around – here are Batam food recommendations for your next visit.

How to Get Around Batam

Most visitors to Batam come from Singapore, and most aren’t budget travelers. With no convenient means of public transport here, taxis are a fair option in Batam.

Apart from resorts, soothing beaches, shopping centers, and massages – food in Batam is an authentic experience.

I recommend renting out a car or opting for a tour package. This is the fastest way to get to your favorite restaurants. Luckily, Batam recognizes its visitors fond of the Padang Cuisine and seafood places.

With Bintan and Batam’s tourism rising over the years, many hotels offer transport services to make for a smoother trip. Request your accommodation if they provide transport. Some charge additionally.

Here are two of Batam’s well-known resorts that offer decent day-trip packages along with accommodation. Check them out on Klook.com!

Klook.com

If you know someone who can get you around Batam, then all you’ll need is to book a ferry, carry some cash, and you’re good to go! Book your round-trip ferry tickets to Batam for the best prices here!

What to eat in Batam: Variety of recommendation

One main reason to write this post is because of the variety of food the city offers. The luxury of choosing your dinner cuisine effortlessly. There are laidback seafood places, authentic Indonesian cuisine spots, Indian restaurants, Chinese delicacies, and many coffee and donut cafes.

From Singapore, Batam and Bintan happen to be the most nearby weekend spots and a lot of people come for its delicious cuisines at reasonable prices. Batam has numerous varieties of delicacies to check out and more keep adding up!

I’ve divided this post according to cuisine type. I’ve been to various spots for different varieties and here are the best restaurants I recommend.

Best Indonesian food and restaurants in Batam

The Padang cuisine comprises a variety of Indonesian precooked dishes that are served upon your choice. Batam has countless Padang restaurants. You’ll know an Indonesian restaurant by its typical plate arrangement one on another like bricks.

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Sederhana Padangneses Restaurant: Best Food in Batam

To name popular ones, here are some popular Padang restaurants to try out in Batam:

Best Padang restaurants in Batam

  1. Sederhana Padangnese restaurant
  2. Nagoya Food Court
  3. Ayam Bakar Taliwang Pelita
  4. Ikan Bakar Cianjur
  5. RM Mie Tarempa, Batam Center
  6. Bakso Restos (Mega Mall, Bakso Gres)
  7. Ayam Penyet Ria

Sederhana Padangnese Resto is best near Nagoya Hills and Kepri Mall. Get all your preferred meat dishes to your table. Rice is served alongside. Some must-try delicacies with rice are Ayam gulai (curry chicken), ayam bakar (chicken fry), and ikan bakar (fish fry).

As for Ayam Bakar Taliwang near Nagoya, its specialty is the sambal (chilly sauce). Indonesia (Java) itself is infamous for its sambal. The variety of spices that come together makes it a cultural explosion on our tongues.

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The Taliwang restaurant is known for its different types of sambal. I loved the usual sambal better, but some prefer this along with their meal.

Another post for you to read: Abang Island Snorkeling in Batam

Apart from Padang, Indonesia’s local noodles called mie goreng are something else to try out (Not the instant packet noodles). RM Mie Terampa is best to try out the local cuisine here.

I wasn’t fond of Bakso places until I tried it at Mega Mall, Batam Center. The soup and soft chewy meatballs along with the sambal and lettuce as served in most Bakso stalls make for another unique taste compared to Padang.

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Lastly, Ayam Penyet Ria is a recent franchise that I believe is in many malls today in Batam. The ambiance is far more modern than traditional Padang spots but the pricing is reasonable and worth a try!

Best Seafood Restaurants in Batam

With numerous seafood spots, it’s hard to pick out which ones are worth the price. After all, seafood isn’t cheap. One quick tip is to go for seafood spots by the shores. They always give off a more local touch to the cuisine.

But with large seafood restaurant chains popping up, there are amazing ones in the city as well.

Batam food recommendation: Here are the must-visit seafood restaurants in Batam:

  1. Love Seafood Restaurant (Batam Centre and Tanjung Piayu)
  2. Golden Prawn 933 Seafood
  3. Rezeki Seafood Restaurant
  4. Harbour Bay Seafood Restaurant
  5. Kopak Jaya 007 Kelong Seafood
  6. Barelang Seafood Restaurant
  7. Cita Rasa Seafood Restaurant
  8. Wey Wey Seafood Harbour Bay

Another post for you to read: Amazing Nuvasa Bay Batam Beach!

Golden Prawn 933 has always been on my previous posts as it’s one of the oldest in the business here. To date, the seafood’s worth it here. Located in an offbeat seashore spot it is a sweet experience to enjoy spicy seafood.

I haven’t visited Piayu in Batam, but Love Seafood Batam Center is wonderful. If you’re going here, go with a group and get the buffet tray. We had heard of the buffet tray before, but when it came to the table – it was quite a sight.

Harbour Bay, is a tourist’s paradise with the Wey Wey Seafood and Harbour Bay Seafood Restaurants on the same bay along with the Mariott Hotel in between.

As for the other restaurants, they’re famous in their localities in Batam. For example, if you head to Nongsa, don’t miss out on the Rezeki Seafood restaurant. When passing through the Barelang bridges, some restaurants to keep an eye on are Kopak Jaya Seafood Kelong 007, Barelang Seafood Restaurant, and Cita Rasa Seafood on Galang Island.

Another post for you to read: Indonesia Visa for Indians: A Detailed Guide to Scoring One!

Top Indian Restaurants in Batam

With many Indians working in Batam, there are a handful of Indian restaurants that offer great dishes as well. They serve parathas, Gobi Manchurian, and even idli! You don’t get the street stalls that serve cheap Indian snacks (like hot samosas) as they do in Shivaji Nagar, Bangalore.

Being an Indian and with my family’s everlasting love for food we grew up with, I’ve visited most of these Indian restaurants in Batam. Moreover, these go out to vegetarians out there as well. Indian restaurants have better vegetarians in Batam.

Top Indian Restaurants in Batam

  1. Maharaja Curry House (or just Maharaja Restaurant)
  2. Taj Indian Cuisine in Nagoya (now Maharaja’s unit of Cabang)
  3. Martabak HAR Nagoya
  4. Taste of India, Batu Aji
  5. Empire Restaurant and Lounge

There are a couple more restaurants, but these are the well-known ones. Maharaja near Palm Springs here has been in Batam ever since I came to Indonesia (around 15 years ago). It’s expanded over the years and even locals love the biryani here!

Best food in Batam: Martabak HAR is another old restaurant chain in Nagoya that offers Indian and Indonesian cuisines. Empire Restaurant, Batam Center, and Taste of India in Batu Aji are newer places and worth the try. For Taste of India, get there for breakfast for hot idlis and uthapas!

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Batam Food Recommendation: Maharaja in Nagoya

Beer Restobars in Batam

Honestly, bars haven’t been that popular in Batam but over the years with tourism, they have a significant growth.

Towards Nagoya’s harbor side close to the Mariott, several luxury bars with live music reside by the bay. Some notable ones are Port House Resto &Bar, Nomad Bar, HW Dragon Bar, Dé Patros Café. There are quite some so just take a stroll and find your comfortable one.

To get a more authentic experience, I visited FreshBeer with my dad which brews its drinks locally. This place sits in an alley in Batam Center and serves exotic dishes of crocodiles and snakes. I wrote about this in a later section.

Pro tip: FreshBeer has a new spot called the Arch Alley which is a full-fledged restaurant and bar with an impressive clean ambience. It sits behind a series of shop complexes (Rezeki Graha) hidden from plain sight.

Another recent addition is the BlueFire Bar and Restaurant here which is more known for its nightlife.

Best food in Batam: Other Popular Cuisines

Over the years, the variety of cuisines the city has to offer has gone way high. There are Korean BBQ restaurants, Italian restaurants in Batam, and Japanese restaurants in Batam. As for Chinese food like Dim Sum in Batam has always been around (like the Shuang Hong Bak Kut Teh in Batam).

To check out Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese delicacies all in one place, visit the Grand Batam Mall. The fancy mall is a new addition to the city.

With many international restaurants coming, western and Italian cuisine has their own set of customers here. Quite some places have their recognition with the food.

Best Western restaurants in Batam:

  1. Al Raha Resto and Cafe
  2. Bite Restaurant
  3. Kez’s Bakery and Restaurant
  4. Goji Kitchen & Bar
  5. Piccola Stella (Italian Restauran in Batam)
  6. Teras Cafe (Best steak in Batam)
  7. Kez’s Bakery and Restaurant
  8. Nomad Bar

If not restaurants, many resorts offer Western meals. I had an English breakfast at Kiki Beach Resort on Galang Island, Batam. It was quite worth it!

Must-Try Street Delicacies of Batam

Have you seen that J.CO Donuts franchise elsewhere from Southeast Asia? How about Roti’O sweet bread? Indonesia offers some bakery items and cheap street delicacies that you find nowhere else. These donuts are so good that I got a box back to India!

You’ll find J.CO Donut shops in most malls. Make sure to get the infamous Tira Misu donuts, nobody dislikes them. So are Roti’O stores.

At the supermarket sections of malls and in most food courts here, look for the local curry puff and rissoles stalls – they serve it with chilies and it’s quite a blast!

Cheap Local Delicacies in Batam

  1. Curry Puff
  2. Kentang Risole
  3. Ayam Sate
  4. Pisang Goreng
  5. Nagasari Pisang
  6. Kue Putu

Curry Puffs and Rissoles: They’re small cheap stalls with mouthwatering delicacies. These typically have potatoes, eggs, chicken, and vegetable fillings. They’re all oily, but don’t miss it out – they’re worth trying!

Some other things to try out are Ayam Sate (meat on a stick with spicy sauce), Pisang Goreng, and Nagasari Pisang. You’ll find these throughout the city. In malls, if a small food court stall is crowded with people waiting for their order, it’s bound to be one of these!

Last but not least the Kue Putu (Steamed Coconut cake) has a special place in my heart. You’ll find most of these on the Barelang Bridge. One sells an ice cream off his bike, and the other has steam hissing from the metal box at the back. These green cakes come with coconut grating made with bamboo pipes.

Coffee Shops and Cafes in Batam

When I visited my parents in Batam in 2019, there were restaurants, JCO, and a few cafes here and there. Fast-forward 3 years and boom! By 2022 post-pandemic, countless Insta-worthy cafes opened up in every place. What’s more, is that people love cafes!

We went to a small cafe – Casa by BatamLiciouz, Teluk Tering near Sekolah Kallista to try out. Where there stood nothing, but grassland earlier is now built up with neat tiny cafes all around the city. We got Teriyaki Chicken rice bowls and a few others for dinner, and it was great!

For cafes in Batam, get around here for coffee shops and Dim Sum stalls. There are many places still coming up with cafes.

Read about Bintan, another island close to Batam with more offbeat experiences away from city life.

Batam Food Recommendation: Fresh Beer for Spicy Crocodile

Best Food in Batam: My dad had told me of a place that serves crocodiles. So, I visited for the first time this year – Fresh Beer Batam. Located in an alley in Batam Center not far from Mega Mall, it has a peaceful touch to the spot.

Bintang Beer is Indonesia’s popular beer, but people come here for Fresh Beer’s own brewed drinks. But what’s more exotic than its brewery is the menu. You’ll find farmed crocodiles, snakes, deer meat, and bats. It makes up for one of Batam’s exotic places.

Unfortunately, crocodile meat was already sold out when I visited, so I got roasted deer meat instead. It wasn’t that great, to be honest. But if you’re looking for something exotic to try, Fresh Beer Batam is your spot!

barelang seafood restaurant
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Where to Stay in Batam?

For packaged tours, there shouldn’t be a problem. If not, there are all types of accommodation to choose from in Batam – be it for budget travelers or luxury.

Though there are many accommodations for budget travel via Booking.com, Airbnb, and Oyo – I’d recommend luxury. Batam’s one of the few treasures where you can still get luxury resorts for cheaper rates. So stay by the beach, you won’t regret it!

I handpicked a few decent resorts that I’ve come across, and a few I stayed at in Batam, these are my favorite ones on Klook.com. They get sold out quickly during the holidays so book them early!

Klook.com

Best Food in Batam: Tailpiece

Talking about local cuisines, foreign delicacies, and seafood is a never-ending discussion. Especially when it comes to Batam. But this sums up a brief idea of the best food in Batam – my Batam food recommendation.

I didn’t emphasize specific Korean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants as I tried many of these places myself. But if you’ve got a good recommendation yourself, feel free to use the comment section below. I’d love to hear!

Like Fresh Beer, I bet there are more exotic restaurants here. But that’s one I’ve tried so far. Batam is no doubt, a paradise for non-vegetarians. Tell me about your food experience in Batam.

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Manas Patil

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