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The Indonesian Bartenders Association (ABI) celebrated its 2nd anniversary with a Bartender Flairxologist challenge at the 69 Tequila Bar located in the Grand Istana Rama Hotel on Jalan Pantai Kuta on 22 December 2014.  It was a lot of fun! Show your support and make a date for next year!


Original source: Jakarta100Bars

These rankings of Jakarta’s best bars, restaurants, lounges and clubs should be read with my article “Jakarta nightlife 2014” for more information.  I visited all the places listed below (and more), and I ranked them in the order by which I would recommend them to a friend.

I may have missed some great venues. Don’t blame me, just add a comment and I’ll revise if necessary:

Top 10 of the Best Nightclubs in Jakarta in 2014:

1) Empirica: From what I’ve seen, it is the most happening club in Jakarta at the moment. It is huge, attracts a beautiful/trendy crowd, and it is a really fun place to party. Easy number 1.

2) Immigrant: Still under renovation but we can expect great parties as soon as it reopens in June.

3) X2: Massive club, always packed but the music is very commercial and it is the same every week.

4) Colosseum (1001): The best lighting and nightclub design in Jakarta, but still missing the crowd.

5) Fable: Good crowd, a bit young for me though.

6) Potato Head Garage: Could be number one if they had events more often.

7) Dragonfly: Still crowded but not as happening as it used to be. Fewer special DJs.

8) Stadium: Used to be number 1. Maybe I’m getting too old for this now. The music is still great but the place could use a refurbishment as it is starting to look old. Update May 2014: Closed down following the death by overdose from a policeman inside.

9) Exodus: Middle size, new club. Good music and crowd but not full all the time.

10) Golden Crown: Most popular club in North Jakarta, it is not for everybody as there are many prostitutes and drugs. Full every night of the week.

Top 10 of the Best Bars, Lounges and Small Clubs in Jakarta 2014

Safehouse in Bellagio

1) Lucy in the Sky: Young and trendy crowd, good music, perfect place to chill before hitting the other clubs in SCBD.

2) SKYE: Highest bar in Jakarta, great view and crowd, happening events.

3) Awan Lounge: For hipsters, good music and unique atmosphere.

4) Safehouse: Bar with also a very good restaurant, young expat crowd, great music.

5) Cloud: Similar with Skye. Rooftop bar.

6) Cafe Mondo: Odd cafe owned by a Japanese in love with Indonesian music. Unique events and concept

7) 365: Same as Lucy and Awan Lounge but for Kemang.

8) Treehouse: Super-small bar with good music and crowd

9) Umbra: One of the newer bar/lounge/clubs in Kemang and the most active to organize events.

10) Red Square: Still super crowded, but more and more prostitutes and the music is a let down.

Top 10 of the Best Restaurants/Lounges to go to before Party in Jakarta in 2014: 

I considered mostly if the place is busy or not, and if the crowd is a partying crowd. I then considered the atmosphere (music and design). The food came in third. It is a blog about nightlife after all.

1) E&O: From the man behind Sarong and Mamasan in Bali, neat concept and design with a unique food experience.

2) Loewy: Good french food, with a busy bar area. Many Expats and girls. It is the best pre-clubbing pick-up place.

3) Luna Negra: Italian food with events organized regularly on weekends.

4) Bluegrass: They just had their renovation. Always busy and good food.

5) Cork & Screw: Wine shop with decent food. Less expatriates than the previous venues.

6) Social House: Ismaya’s ever successful wine lounge in Grand Indonesia. Very popular with Indonesians. If the food was better, it could be on the top.

7) Union: Disappointing food and difficult to get a table, but it is the busiest restaurant in Senayan. Upmarket crowd.

8) Canos: Spanish Tapas restaurant closed to SCBD nightlife. Only busy on weekend nights.

9) Potato Head: It suffered from the openings of many competitors in Pacific Place so it is not as crowded as it used to be. They were the first ones to have an open-air restaurant area concept for lounges.

10) Vin+: Mostly a wine shop with tables, it is often busy on weekends but the food is only average.Top 10 of the Best Sexy Bars and Sexy Clubs in Jakarta 2014

Inside King Cross Jakarta (thank you CZ for this picture taken at your life’s risk)

1) King Cross: Wherever you live in Jakarta, if you are a guy, it is worth the ride up to Kelapa Gading… Sexy dancers on 2 floors and live music..

2) Malioboro: It has 2 areas, Malio Club and Malioboro Spa Lounge. Both worth having a look but very expensive. Only sexy dancers.

3) Club 36: The only (?) coyote bar in Jakarta. Still super popular. Sexy/Sensual dancers from Thailand and Indonesia.4) Golden Crown Lounge: They have live music and sexy dancers every night. Always crowded.

5) Emporium: Upper class joint similar with Malioboro. Sexy dancers.

6) Illigals: One of the most luxurious spas in Jakarta but not happening. It has sexy dancers but not on a daily basis.

7) Classic Club: It has 2 areas: Classic Club (Sexy Dancers and Live Music, more expensive and fewer girls) and Terminal Classic (Sexy Dancers and Live Music, less expensive, more girls).8) Alexis: The most expensive and probably overrated venue in Jakarta. But it’s always impressive especially for new people in the city. No sexy dancers but the 7th floor is famous for featuring high class prostitutes from at least 7 countries.

9) Sumo Lounge. They have Sexy Dancers.

10) V2: Live Music and Sexy Dancers.

Note: In Jakarta dialect, Sexy Dancer means the dancers will get at least topless if not fully nude. If they do not get nude, they will be advertised as sensual dancers or fashion show.

Top 10 of the Best Expat and Traveller Bars in Jakarta 2014

Canadian band in BATS

1) Eastern Promise: Busy on week ends, good live music and food. Mixed crowd of younger and older expatriates, male and women, and always groups of Indonesian girls.

2) Molly Mallone’s: Newest Irish Bar in Senayan Arcadia, close to Red Square and X2.

3) De Hooi: Busiest expat bar in Pondok Indah area.

4) Murphy’s: First Irish bar in Jakarta, younger Expat crowd.

5) BATS: Mostly businessmen. Live music from foreign band and many prostitutes.

6) MO Bar: Not happening too much but nice design and music. Perfect for a quiet drink.

7) CJs: Similar with BATS but more expensive and even more prostitutes.

8) Tempus: Good live music and salsa events twice weekly.

9) Burgundy: Super quiet, but classy and with a nice view of Bunderan HI.

10) Jaya Pub: Oldest bar in Jakarta,  very friendly with regular live band

These rankings are completely independant and based on my own personal preferences. I did not accept any money nor invitations from  any of the bars, clubs or restaurants listed above. I am a male expat in my early 30s, so I imagine this  article will be particularly correct if you are also a male between 20 and 40. If you are a woman in your 40s, you will probably have to find another Jakarta nightlife blog.