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If there’s one thing that might have the power to unite humankind, it’s coffee. As the owner of Watt Coffee in Jakarta, Alfred Agus knows this well. But the Sulawesi, Indonesia-born entrepreneur has already had many lives: He previously lived in Singapore and the U.S. and worked in the music industry. In 2011, he returned to Jakarta — Indonesia’s capital, located on the island of Java — and eventually began brewing beans. Here are his tips for where to find a buzz in this bustling coastal city.
Some must-visit areas in Jakarta are: The Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) area and PIK avenue mall in north Jakarta, where there’s the famed Toby’s Estate coffee shop and Sensory Lab cafe.
Visitors should also check out the Muara Karang area, which is filled with restaurants and cafes.
Noteworthy places in south Jakarta are the Kemang neighborhood, Senayan City mall, Senopati street and the Blok M business and shopping district.
In west Jakarta, there are a lot of rising cafes, including Dancing Goat Coffee Co., Say Something Coffee, Simetri Coffee Roasters, Monks and Calibrate Coffee. The malls to go to in this area are Central Park and Neo Soho Pomodoro City.
Menteng, or central Jakarta, is where my coffee shop is. I recommend going to Shophaus Menteng, a lifestyle-oriented establishment with multiple food and beauty services; Plataran Menteng, a fine-dining venue; and Indonesian eateries Tesate and Kaum.
For the best local malls, visit Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia and their famous rooftop bars.
Soak in the local foodie scene in: The Menteng area. Try nasi goreng gila, or “crazy fried rice,” which is a local specialty. For Spanish food, Plan B is a must. For cheap but awesome Japanese street food, go to Daitokyo Sakaba in Blok M.
A tourist activity in Jakarta worth the hype is: National Museum of Indonesia and the Kota Tua old city area. Jalan Veteran street is also a must, as is Monas national monument.