Staying in Tuktuk, Lake Toba and looking for some delicious food? You’re in the right place. Whether you’re in the mood for a local curry, some good old nasi goreng, or craving a simple burger or pizza, Tuktuk has you covered.
You won’t have to go far to find the best restaurants in Tuktuk because they’re everywhere. Some are located within the best Lake Toba hotels and guesthouses, others are standalone restaurants, and some of the very best (and most affordable) food comes from the humble warungs (small local cafes) tucked in amongst the souvenir shops.
We’ve been visiting Tuktuk for a decade and have lived here for over a year, and we’ve yet to find a bad restaurant in Samosir Island, so you can’t really go wrong. But to give you a head start, here are the top restaurants in Tuktuk Lake Toba according to us, our friends, and hundreds of tourists!
Let’s get stuck in!
Table of Contents
Best Restaurants in Tuktuk Lake Toba
Featuring a mixture of local and Western dishes, here are the top-rated restaurants in Tuktuk (all sampled by us just to make sure!) Read on to find the best cafes and restaurants with the yummiest food in the village. (Listed alphabetically, not by order of preference)!
The ambience at Horas Restaurant is as on-point as the epic views. Cute tables with colourful tablecloths, Tibetan prayer flags swinging in the breeze, a chill-out zone in the corner – and amazing panoramic views out across the lake.
And of course, the food is luar biasa (amazing). At Horas Restaurant in Tuktuk, you can find a nice mix of local and Western dishes, as well as some of the best Indian curries on the island!
There’s an emphasis on vegetarian and vegan eats here, and they make an effort to grow their own fruit and veggies where possible.
Try a strawberry smoothie (made with homemade yoghurt), munch on a hummus wrap, or try a delicious Indonesian rendang or Indian curry.
Top Tip: If you’re not vegan and have a sweet tooth, ask if they have any of their incredible lemon cheesecake on offer. It’s to die for (we’re addicted).
Head to Jenny’s any night of the week, and you may find it hard to get a table! This is one of the most popular restaurants in Tuktuk with domestic and foreign tourists – so much so, that it’s on our list of Most Awesome Things to Do in Lake Toba!
The menu has a wide selection of dishes – from delicious pizzas laden with cheese (our go-to Saturday night meal) to mouthwatering local seafood dishes and everything in between. There’s plenty of Indonesian food to pick from, but a good selection of Western meals as well.
While not the cheapest place on our list, the serving sizes are generous and the food is genuinely amazing, so we think the prices are very reasonable.
They have a good range of drinks here – from juices and smoothies to beer, wine, and cocktails.
Jenny’s Restaurant once had a lovely view of the lake, but unfortunately, a now-abandoned building project blocks the panorama. Nevertheless, the restaurant itself has lovely vibes and is a great place to eat a meal.
Top Tip: If you like seafood, we recommend splashing out on the lobster platters. Fresh from the lake and served grilled or fried, with sweet and sour or spicy Padang sauce, this dish will have your tastebuds dreaming of Jenny’s for years to come.
Juwita Cafe - Lake View
Serving mostly local food, Juwita Café has overwhelmingly positive reviews – and we can vouch for all of them! We often eat at Juwita Café – the food is full of local flavour and lovingly created from scratch by lovely Ibu Hadi.
The small restaurant itself is a nice spot for a meal, but the real treasure is the dining area in the garden behind the restaurant. The views of the lake here are just gorgeous; it’s a picturesque, quiet, and romantic place for a meal.
The prices at Juwita Cafe are reasonable and the food and ambience usually lead people back for a second visit (or third… or fourth)!
Top Tip: If you want to learn to cook delicious Indonesian meals like this back home, we highly recommend taking one of Ibu’s cooking classes.
Maruba Restaurant is a great little spot just off the main road that circles around Tuktuk. Walk through the entry area and you’ll enter a charming dining space with a backdrop of beautiful lake views.
The selection of food on the menu isn’t enormous, but there’s a decent range of Indonesian dishes and Western options. People particularly enjoy the local dishes featuring fish fresh from the lake.
The prices here are a little higher than in similar spots, but the portions are generous. The staff are lovely and friendly.
Top Tip: Reviewers particularly love the Batak-style fish dishes!
Romlan Restaurant (Part of Romlan Guesthouse)
Romlan Restaurant might be easy to miss if you’re not staying as a guest, but it one of our DON’T SKIP recommendations in Tuktuk! This place has unbeatable food at a very good price.
The extensive menu features a huge all-day breakfast selection, delicious crepes, an endless array of sandwiches, salads, soups, pasta, pizza, burgers and much more.
]Traditional fish or chicken curries lie alongside Batak dishes like “Saksang” (braised pork), but there are plenty of vegetarian or vegan dishes to choose from too.
Even the drinks menu takes up an entire page – and don’t get us started on the cabinet that’s usually heaving with delicious cakes and desserts.
Not only does Romlan have some of the best food in Tuktuk, but they have lovely staff and tidy seating areas with stunning lake views.
This is one place you should make a real effort to experience at least once while staying on Samosir Island.
Top Tip: Save room for dessert – Romlan have are some of the best cakes on Samosir Island!
Another Tuktuk eatery that is seldom quiet is the large restaurant at Tabo Cottages. This spacious open area has plenty of tables indoors and outdoors and some cosy nooks to curl up in and enjoy your food and drink.
The menu has a wide range of local and Western options, with an emphasis on healthy, simple ingredients.
On Saturday nights, they host a buffet-style dinner at a set price per person. You’re likely to find delicious roast chicken and veggies, bread and soup, rice and local dishes, and cute little desserts to round it off.
The staff here are super friendly, and the atmosphere is always lovely, whether you sit indoors or take your food out to the lush garden area. Price-wise, things cost a little more than they would at some of the other local joints, but it’s definitely not unreasonable. The portions are generous and the food is high quality.
Top Tip: Take note of the display cabinet as you walk in – Tabo Cottages also runs a German bakery producing freshly baked bread (baguettes, flaxseed loaves and pumpkin buns) and cakes.
Today’s Café currently takes the prize for the best place to eat in Tuktuk (on Tripadvisor)! Personally, we also rate this cute little restaurant highly and eat here a few times a week.
The menu is pretty extensive, listing everything from roast chicken meals and toasted sandwiches to traditional Indonesian dishes like Gado Gado, nasi goreng, and spicy curries.
The fruit juices and smoothies on offer are super yummy too.
The serving sizes at Today’s Cafe are pretty generous – we usually order one main meal and two servings of rice, and that’s enough for the two of us. The prices are very reasonable and the ladies who run it are lovely.
The ambience is simple and bright. There are no lake views, but you can sit and watch the bustle of village life go past on the street.
Top Tip: If you’re feeling particularly hungry, order one of their Indo-style tacos (more like a pastry with various fillings) – they take up the entire plate!
Best Tuktuk Restaurants for Local Eats on a Budget
All of the places listed above feature local food on their menus, but if you really want to experience cuisine like a local, head to one of the small warungs (small restaurants) in Tuktuk.
These places exclusively serve Indonesian meals at a local price. This is your go-to place for “nasi bungkus” – rice, veggies, meat and sauce wrapped up in brown paper to take away.
At these local gems in Tuktuk, you’ll be paying around 20,000 IDR for a filling, flavoursome meal.
Rumah Makan Islam Murni
This local Tuktuk restaurant has an excellent range of spicy, freshly cooked goodies that changes every day. We’re talking vegetable curries in various forms, telur sambal (egg with a spicy tomato paste/sauce) fried chicken or fish curry-style, and even seafood from time to time.
Warung Muslim Bunda Syakira
You’ll find this little warung just before the local “supermarket” (Citra Shop) on the opposite side of the road. The range of food on offer is a little less extensive than the restaurant above, but they still have all the basics cooked to spicy perfection.
This spot is just for breakfast, so make sure you get there earlier in the day so you don’t miss out. Any time after 10 onwards, there won’t be much left to choose from.
Lontong is a compressed rice cake that comes with noodles, egg, sambal (spicy tomato sauce/paste) and sometimes a few vegetables with a yellow, soupy sauce.
You can dine in or get it “bungkus” (wrapped in paper to take away).
Best Places to Eat in Tuktuk with Epic Views
We’ve explored every nook and cranny of Tuktuk village on Samosir Island, and we’ve yet to find an unpleasant view! However, some panoramas are slightly more breathtaking than others.
If you’re looking for a great place to eat that has an equally mouthwatering view, here are our top picks.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more spectacular vista than that from Horas Restaurant. Perched above the lake, you’ll look out across to the mountains and Simangande waterfall (when it’s flowing!)
Watch the ferries cruise past and soak in the serenity while enjoying a delicious vegetarian meal or cold beverage.
Juwita Cafe - Lake View
The restaurant of Juwita Café is pleasant enough, but ask to dine at the open-air table out the back and you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. Surrounded by greenery and flowers, look out across the expanse of the lake, with Tomok off to one side. Just gorgeous.
The views from the common area/restaurant of Reggae Guesthouse are unmatched in Tuktuk. Framed by the bright pink bougainvillea flowers hugging the building, gaze across the serene bay to the hills of Ambarita and the mountains behind them.
Absolutely gorgeous – and the local food cooked by lovely Ibu Lucky is the perfect accompaniment. Enjoy a delicious heaped plate of vegetable curry or take on some spice with a local sambal dish.
The food is out of this world at Reggae Guesthouse, and cold Bintangs never tasted better than they do here.
Reggae Guesthouse has actually always been our favourite place to stay in Tuktuk. Join us for an extensive guided tour on our YouTube channel below!
Scenic Warungs All Over Samosir!
Looking for even more stunning views of Lake Toba? Head to the hills! There are dozens of simple but picturesque warungs just a short drive from Tuktuk Village.
Head up the hills beyond Tomok for 10 minutes, and you’ve got Parhallow Coffee Shop and Viewpoint (the location of this blog’s cover photo).
Even taking the scenic back route to Tuktuk will lead you past an array of coffee shops and warungs that have million-dollar views but budget-friendly menus.
Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Tuktuk Lake Toba
Vegetarian food is not hard to find in Indonesia. Nasi or mie goreng, cap cay, and gado gado are usually served without meat (although do contain eggs, so vegans take note.)
There are many delicious curries that can be meat-free as well, and most (if not all) of the restaurants on our list will offer these tasty dishes.
However, if you’re looking for some extra vegetarian options, we have you covered. Here are the best.
Okay, this one isn’t strictly in Tuktuk, but it’s only about a 10-15 minute scooter ride away, and deserves a special mention.
Head past the village of Ambarita and follow the main road, and you’ll come to a unique vegan restaurant with a lush garden setting filled with Buddhist statues, beautiful greenery, and a chill vibe.
Everything here is vegan. There’s an emphasis on local dishes, but they are made exceptionally well and full of flavour. There’s even an impressive selection of homemade icecreams and sorbets to cool you down on a hot day.
Prices are on the more expensive side here (by Indonesian standards), so not the place to come if you only have a few rupiah to spare for a meal.
Stroll down to the lakeside and appreciate the garden and statues while your ethical meal is being prepared.
The vegan rendang is a must-try!
Horas Restaurant (described in more detail in the main section above) serves great views and a nice array of vegetarian and vegan dishes, some using a meat replacement that tastes better than the real thing. Think vegetarian burgers, curries, wraps and more – all with those epic views to boot!
Silimalombu Eco Village
This beautiful spot requires a bit more of a journey, but it’s well worth the effort! Make your way to this Eco Village on the coast past Tomok to enjoy a 50,000 IDR all-you-can-eat buffet, primarily with vegan and vegetarian dishes (including a yum vegan pizza).
The trip there is idyllic, the setting on the lake is beautiful, the staff super friendly, and there are some pretty powerful mango wines to sample too.
Bear in mind that the last stage of the road trip is pretty rough and bumpy, so maybe avoid it if you’re not confident riding a scooter. Use a car and driver, or jump on one of the boat tours that include this great spot.
Best Places to Eat in Tuktuk with Entertainment
Great views and delicious food not enough entertaiment for you? All good – some of the best restaurants in Lake Toba offer live music on certain nights of the week.
Head to the below spots to soak up some acoustic vibes while filling your belly.
Roy's Pub - Friday & Saturday Nights
Okay, Roy’s Pub is obviously a pub, not a restaurant, but they do serve pub food, so it counts! Open on Friday and Saturday nights, Roy’s has the best house-band you’re likely to find in all of Samosir- Jajabi Band featuring Sandro Simamora.
The music is great, the drinks are cold (and plentiful, with beer, wine and plenty of cocktails and liquor on the menu), and the food matches perfectly.
Line your stomach with simple yet delicious comfort foods like French fries, chicken nuggets, and nasi goreng.
Don’t be afraid to shout out your requests – Jajabi know an impressive range of songs – from old-school rock and roll to the newest pop tunes. Their Batak songs are to die for, but they also do an incredible version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Tabo Cottages - Sunday Nights & Special Occasions
Laid back Sunday evenings at Tabo Cottages in Tuktuk are gorgeous. The already great atmosphere gets even better with the addition of a live acoustic band singing a range of popular songs – some Western, some Indonesian, and some of those beautiful Batak ballads the area is known for.
We highly recommend popping in here at 7pm on Sundays to enjoy the dulcet tones of the house band.
Tataring Cafe and Resto -Thursday & Saturday Nights
Tataring Cafe and Restaurant always seems to be busy – especially on Thursday and Sunday evenings when the live band starts playing.
This restaurant has a nice range of Western and local meals, as well as a generous drinks selection. There are even some delicious mocktails to try if Bintangs aren’t your cup of tea, so to speak.
Head here after the sun sets, pull up a chair, and enjoy the great vibes and excellent music.
Best Sumatran Coffee Shops in Tuktuk Lake Toba
Coffee2Go is a cozy little cafe in Tuktuk with a big reputation. The coffee here is as fresh and Sumatran as it gets. The owner, Lamtiar, buys the beans directly from local sellers and grinds them herself in the shop.
Here you can savour the simple delight of a strong black coffee or choose from one of the many variations. Lam also has a nice array of snacks and meals to go with your drinks – from pancakes and avocado toast to yoghurt and muesli.
Romlan Restaurant (Part of Romlan Guesthouse)
Romlan doesn’t just serve up great food (more details in the main section above) – they also have a tempting array of coffee-based beverages.
Made from 100% Arabica beans, you can get your wake up call with an expresso, macchiato, Americano, latte, or mocachino (hot or iced).
There are even mouthwatering items like Iced Caramel Macchiatos and Hazelnut Lattes. Yum!
Roy’s Coffee has to win the prize for the hippest coffee spot in Tuktuk. Their Boho-style cafe is super cute, with gorgeous artwork created by an talented local artist.
There are cute lampshades, outlets to charge your phone with or plug your laptop in if you’re doing a spot of work, and lots of plants to add a green vibe.
And of course, there’s the freshly brewed coffee! Come and enjoy a latte, a strong black, or whatever else takes your fancy from the menu.
A lot of work goes into creating the perfect cup of coffee, and the Tabo Cottages team know the process from bean to cup!
The coffee served here is sourced from organic coffee farms on Samosir Island. These delicious beans are roasted and ground on the premises, so you can enjoy them at their freshest.
Enjoy a cup of fine coffee inside on a rainy day, or wander through the gardens to the lake shore and sip it while gazing out at the magnificent scenery.
Tataring Cafe & Resto
Tataring Cafe & Resto has such an extensive offering of coffee-based drinks that you’ll probably have to visit more than once.
Offerings include Americano, Espresso, Vietnam Drip, Moccacino, Caramel Macchiato, Matcha Latte and more. They even have avocado coffee, which sounds amazing.
Pop in to try delicious Sumatran coffee, and stay for the chill vibes. And don’t worry, there’s a great range of teas and other beverages for the non-coffee drinker.
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All that food – I had to send Peter out for the closest thing – Thai from our local !!!! xx