Tana Toraja, in the highlands of Sulawesi, is one of the most famous tourism spots in Indonesia. This place is remarkably beautiful, so much so that even a ten hour bus journey from Makassar will not stop tourists from visiting this beautiful region. Yet it is not only the beautiful scenery that should amaze tourists – the delicious food from the highlands should also be appreciated.
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I would like to share with you my top five restaurants in Toraja that you should definitely give a try if you ever visit here. Oh, by the way, anyone who loves pork and buffalo will have a party here!
5. Cafe Aras
You can easily recognize Cafe Aras from outside; it is unique and different. They’ve done a great job with the decoration, with woven bamboo all over the walls. There’s also local artwork everywhere, which you can buy if you want – a great souvenir. There’s live music performances held regularly in the courtyard, too. There’s great Indonesian food here, but international dishes like pizza are on offer too, and they’re not bad.
This is a great place to chill out in the evening and meet up with locals. A lot of local guides actually gather here (don’t worry, they won’t harm you) and are always up for having a chat with tourists and maybe even serenading you. It’s also very valuable place to get information about the not so touristy attractions in Tana Toraja. Located on A. Mappanyuki street No. 64, Rantepao.
4. Pong Buri’
This is one of the best places if you want to taste local food from Toraja. Make sure to come early for lunch, because as soon as all of the food is gone the restaurant closes and Pong Tiku gets very busy at lunchtime. Located on Emi Sailan street No. 1, Rantepao.
3. Bambu Restaurant
The Bambu restaurant is located outside Rantepao, located on Sanggala’ Street. It’s a big restaurant, and it has a very beautiful view. The easiest way to find the restaurant is to look out for the mosque that is opposite it (there are almost no mosques around, so it is very easy to find in Toraja).
Besides the very friendly staff and the beautiful view, the Bambu restaurant serves very tasty food and drink. I especially loved the buffalo satay, it was so tender and tasty! You almost didn’t have to chew, it really melted in the mouth. The kangkung (water spinach) is also great, and don’t forget to taste their juicy tasty tamarillo juice.
2. Riman Restaurant
Riman Restaurant is located not so far away from Cafe Aras and next to Rimiko restaurant. When they served me a free desert they succeeded in winning my heart. Who is not going to be really happy when they get something sweet that they didn’t even order?
My friend suggested trying their classic pork cook prasmanan. It comes in very large portions and is really delicious. They also make a Torajan speciality, pork cooked in bamboo, but you need to order this dish in advance!
1. Saruran Restaurant
Saruran Restaurant is located right in the center of Rantepao (Jl Andi Mappanyukki No. 119 A), but not on the main street. It serves Chinese and Indonesia food, and it’s popular with local teenagers and young adults. The restaurant is also clean and they have good wifi, tasty food and drinks; all a plus. The staff are really friendly, and it’s a cheerful sort of place.