The diversity of races and the colonisation period of Indonesia had shaped the way Indonesia is right now. As the food haven of Indonesia, experience Medan through the culinary scene and taste the various local delicacy and street food in Medan, the best way possible
1. Curry Bihun Tabona
To say this Tabona Kari Bihun owns the best curry stall in Medan is not an overstatement. Known also as one of the most legendaries stall in Medan, this is a place you can’t miss! It’s been going for 80 years now, and this curry stall is not slowing down anytime soon with its flavourful curry broth. A balance ratio of the ingredients creates a perfect curry, not too watery nor oily yet also not too creamy like most curries.
The dish consists of juicy beef cuts (or chicken), blood cubes, boiled potatoes and boiled rice vermicelli and not to forget that mouth-watering orangy curry broth! To get a bowl of this heavenly perfection, you probably should go a little early. You cannot leave Medan without having Kari Tabona.
Address: Jl. Mangkubumi No.17, Medan Operational hours: 6.30 – 17.00
2. Soto Sinar Pagi
Established in 1962, this famous restaurant serves heavenly traditional Indonesian soup called Soto Medan. Many people line up to order as soon as it opens at 7 am (this place sells 500 bowls per day on average). You can choose to have your soto with beef entrails, meat or chicken shreds. The soto is served with warm rice for your carbo energy.
Soto Sinar Pagi has indeed grown into a household name that you can’t miss when you come to Medan.
Address: Jl. Sei Deli No. 2D/1 , Medan Operational hours: 07.00 – 15.00
3. Bihun Bebek Kumango
If you can only have one meal in Medan and duck is your thing – make time for this, you won’t regret it. Medan style rice noodle with tender duck meat served with a very flavorful rich duck broth. It is very tasty and special you cannot find any where else. The kingmaker here is the duck broth that is beyond delicious – a work of culinary art that’s only made possible after endless hours of preparation
Bihun Bebek Asie Kumango is known to use only Duck to make their broth; so could you imagine how intense and rich their soup is? The price may be quite pricey but you’ll see that it’s worth it. Pro tip visit early before everything solds out!
Address: Jl. Kumango No. 15, Kesawan, Medan Operational hours: 6.30 – 23.00 (Mon – Sat)
4. Mie Aceh Titi Bobrok
Locally known as the only place to eat good Mie Aceh (or the one that would pop up into our mind when talking about Mie Aceh), this place is always crowded with people. Mie Aceh is an Acehnese curried spicy noodle dish, specialty of the people from neighbouring Aceh province. Offering choices of beef, chicken, or seafood toppings, Mie Aceh Titi Bobrok is always crowded by food lovers charmed by its enticing aroma and spot on spices.
You can choose either a dry, watery or soupy dish, but every bite promises the strong spicy aroma of an authentic traditional dish. The authenticity of this noodle could not be questioned. Give this noodle a try — it could be a break from all the other noodles that may look similar to each other.
Address: Jl. Setiabudi No.17 D, Medan Operational hours: 11.00 – 21.00, 14.00 – 21.00 (Friday)
5. Selat Panjang Street
Selat Panjang is a famous culinary street at Medan open every night starting from 6-7pm where you can find countless of food stall. One of the must try are Mie Tiong Shim, Hainanese Chicken Rice and Martabak Piring Murni.
Mie Tiong Shim, serving with long thin noodles that are perfect for some noisy slurping, this comfort food is filled with chicken meat, sweet pork, fat wontons, and loads of fried shallot. Add the chopped pickled red chillies, and there you have it – the best Tiong Sim noodle in Medan.
Just a few blocks away, The Hainanese Chicken Rice’s, the fragrant smell is from the rich spices can be smelled. Even when we have the food takeaway, the rice stays as good as it is, not turning into mush like rice usually does.
Situated at the intersection between Selat Panjang Street and Bogor Street, this Martabak Piring is exceptionally busy at night, the aromatic scent of butter and sugar would have already hit your nose. Just approach the seller and buy some of those precarious snacks.
Address: Jl. Selat Panjang, Medan Operational hours: 08.00 – 22.00
6. RM Gumarang Jaya
Satisfy your craving for something spicy and salty with Nasi Padang from Gumarang Jaya. Founded in 1966, this restaurant sells Minang Cuisine or also known as Padang Cuisine. Nasi Padang is essentially a mini banquet of plain rice served with authentic curry sauce, crunchy cucumber, boiled vegetables, and generous green and red chilli. The must-eat dish to pair with your Nasi Padang is, of course, the giant prawn crackers and the deep fried chicken that are simply to-die-for!
Traditionally, you’ll be served a number of cuisines right on the table — you pay what you eat. However, a more popular dining experience has emerged and all you have to do is get what you want wrapped up in the banana leaf and eat on the spot. The banana leaf fragrant that is used to wrap the rice will definitely add more aroma as well.
Address: Jl. Brigjen Katamso No. 29, Medan Operational hours: 09.00 – 18.00
7. Kwetiau Ateng
There’s a name in town that locals swear by for their fried flat rice noodles (fried kwetiau), and you know your tastebuds are going to be happy! Hailed as one of the top-ranking Kwetiau in Medan (in popularity as well as price), this restaurant has been visited by numerous celebrities and even government people — that’s how famous this place is.
Ateng now has multiple outlets and all offer the same signature taste, along with its jumbo prawns, sweet chinese sausages, big portions and sweet spicy sauce. Ask for that crispy pork lard to savour with your dish with and you’ll enjoy every bite of it. Fyi, they open until late nite 12.30, so if you are hungry in the middle of the night you know where to go!
Address: Jl S Parman No. 52A, Medan Operational hours: 08.00 – 00.30
8. Bakmi Hock Seng
One of the most famous noodle places at Medan, they serve Hokkien style noodle with fish ball, crab meat, prawn, fish cake and egg. They had been consistent with their taste and is never stingy with the ingredients. This bowl of noodles is a fiesta of all the best ingredients, prepared with either yellow noodles, kweitiau or beehoon.
Prawns, crab meat, oysters, fish balls, fish cakes and pork meat come together to give this dish its rich taste – and you the best meal of the day! It is no wonder they are still one of the locals’ penchant for breakfast!
Address: Jl. Gwangju No.17, Kesawan, Medan Operational hours: 06.30 – 13.00
9. Asan Chasio
Recognised as having the best Chasio in town, Chasio Asan is another household name that is spread across the city. With perfectly barbecued chasio (roasted pork) and roasted pork belly that’s crunchy, tender and sweet at the same time.
The meat is laid separately on a small plate along with eggs and thinly sliced cucumber, then drizzled with sweet honey-like sauce and paired with plain rice for the perfect all-rounded taste. Now this is one meal we can’t nitpick at. It is no wonder that this place is always crowded. Pro tip: You have to queue on Sunday so preferably visit this place on a weekday.
Address: Jl. Sun Yat Sen No 123, Medan Operational hours: 09.00 – 15.00
10. Es Krim Ria
Ice cream is always a good idea! This shop has been opened since 1936 and used to be a famous dating spot for the older generation. A humble ice cream shop serving classic ice cream with various flavors such as passionfruit, chocolate, red bean, chocolate, corn, etc. Corn and Passionfruit flavors are very recommended especially if you order the ice cream with blended avocado juice, soo good!!
Now, it may look like just a regular ice cream spot, this place is an unsurpassed existence for the locals.
Address: Jl. Surabaya No. 28 / 22 – C, Medan Operational hours: 10.00 – 20.30
11. Macehat Coffee
If you’re tired from walking and the sun is just burning you right up from the sky, stop by this beverage house that sells Avocado Coffee Float. At first glance, Macehat Coffee is nothing but a humble set-up of several comfortable seats in the homeowner’s backyard, but don’t be fooled!
One of Indonesia’s most popular beverage is probably Alpokat Coklat (Chocolate Avocado) but this one at Macehat Coffee, comes with a twist. Adding coffee in the mix, they create one of the trendy drink for us Medanese to enjoy. People can’t get enough of Macehat’s thick Avocado Coffee Float, topped with ice cream (who doesn’t love avocado?).
Address: Jl. Karo No. 20, Medan Operational hours: 10.30 – 18.45
12. Teh Susu Telur (TST) Pak Haji
Need an energy drink after a long walk around Medan? Come visit this place at the end of your day to sip a mix of tea, milk and raw egg — or as the locals call it “TST”, teh susu telur (tea-milk-egg). You will see the place full with people of all ages, hanging out in the night breeze of Medan while hugging their warm TST cup.
The owner said that he could crack at least 100 chicken eggs per night. The number will double on weekends where everybody is out having a great time and get energized! Who said late-night snacks were unhealthy?
Address: Jl. Puri, Kota Matsum IV, Medan Operational hours: 17.00 – 02.00