Here’s Where to Eat Indonesian Food in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is lucky to have as many Indonesian restaurants as it does. Here's where to get your fill of gado-gado, soto betawi, nasi lemak, beef rendang and more.
We’re lucky to have not just one great Indonesian restaurant, but because of a relatively large Indonesian community, we have a whole host of them. See, Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation, made up of close to 300 islands, so the food traditions are rich, varied and, of course, very, very delicious. If you’ve had red sambal, the chili and garlic-based hot sauce that’s become increasingly popular here, go out and sample as many as you can. If you’ve tried rendang, the coconut curry that has become one of the country’s most iconic exports, it’s time to branch out and try a vegetarian tofu or egg rendang. The possibilities are endless, they’re always different from place to place, and Philly is an excellent city to familiarize yourself with all of it.
Of the Indonesian spots in Philadelphia, Hardena is probably the most famous. Tucked into a small, cozy space on a quiet block in Newbold, the Widjojo family has been making home-style Indonesian dishes since 2001. The menu changes regularly, but the collards, corn fritters, lumpia, and rendang are all required-eating — as is the chili sambal (always order extra).
Seulanga Indonesian Cuisine, Newbold
Seulanda opened in April specializing in Sumatran food, so the food sits on the spicy end of the spectrum. And if you see curried goat on the menu, order it. You won’t regret it.
Sky Cafe, Bella Vista
Pho 75 gets a lot of love, but right next door in the same shopping center is Sky Cafe, one of our favorite Indonesian spots in the city. It’s great for people who aren’t super familiar with Indonesian food because the menu has a ton of photographs, but some of our favorites include mie komplit, a bowl of homemade egg noodles that comes topped with mushrooms, chicken, barbecue pork, and meatballs, and the nasi lemak yam goreng, a plate of coconut rice and fried chicken.
D’Jakarta Cafe, South Philly
We’re particular fans of the soto betawi at D’Jakarta Cafe, a rich coconut and tomato broth with tender potatoes, beef chunks and tripe. They also have great seafood dishes, like a whole fried fish and shell-on deep fried shrimp with butter sauce.
Martabak OK, Graduate Hospital
Martabak is a street food found all over Indonesia most often described as a sort of big stuffed pancake. Here, they come in sweet and savory flavor combinations, most of which include cheese, and the folks behind the counter are happy to dole out suggestions and plenty of samples to newbies.
Jembatan 5, Bella Vista
Jembatan 5 opened in 2019, serving home-style dishes. They’re particularly beloved for their noodles, which include a variety of rice, egg, and fried noodles. The restaurant is family owned, and it really feels that way when you’re there. There’s always someone to recommend a new dish or help a first-timer choose.