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10 Best Bars to Meet Expats in Jakarta

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
The expat population in Jakarta has always been limited, both because of government regulations and because of the lack of attractiveness of the city. My guess is that if it wasn't for Indonesian girls, there would probably be close to zero foreigners around.

The upside of this situation is that the expat community is compact and rather friendly. It is easy to meet people as long as you are willing to socialize in the right places.

To help you with that, the following article will give you a list of the best bars in Jakarta to meet other expats.

Note: If you are single, you may want to meet Indonesian girls instead. Check my article Best Dating Websites in Indonesia for that.

Eastern Promise (Kemang)
Live music in EP Kemang
Also called EP, Eastern Promise is certainly the most famous expat bar in Jakarta. It has 4 distinct rooms: A small bar, a restaurant (serving Indian and British dishes), a sports café and a beer garden with live music. Weekends are packed with expats of any age, gender and nationality. Based on my observations, it is also a hunting ground for Indonesian cougars.

Eastern Promise is part of the Bugil's group that also owns Frank's (Kemang), De Burse (SCBD), Cazbar (Mega Kuningan), Double Doors (Puri Indah) and De Hooi (Pondok Indah). Each of these bars has a similar concept and I would recommend to try the nearest from your home.
Double Doors
De Hooi
De Burse
Molly Mallone's (Senayan) and Murphy's (Kemang)
Live music in Murphy's Irish Pub
Both of these Irish pubs were created by an Indonesian-Irish couple. They feature live music every day, live sports on every screens, International pub food (including Irish dishes) and various kinds of draught beers (Bintang, Heineken, San Miguel, Kilkenny, Guinness). Their prices are about 10% cheaper compared to the venues of the Bugil's group. I would say the crowd is more Indonesian as well (but I might be wrong).

Murphy's has a ladies night on Thursday with 50% off every cocktails for ladies

More information: Murphy's and Molly Malone's.

BATS (Sudirman - Hotel Shangri-La)
Before 10pm, BATS is a great American restaurant with some of the best steaks you can eat in Jakarta. After that, a live band (imported) starts playing Top 40 songs to an enthusiast crowd of expats, businessmen and Indonesian girls (many of whom may be interested by the size of your wallet).

More information: B.A.T.S.

Masters Sports Bars (Mega Kuningan)
This bar is still new but it is probably one of the best venues in Jakarta to watch sports, thanks to their massive projector screens. It is owned by a group of long-term expats (with also an Indonesian partner) who can often be seen talking with customers or playing pool. Very affordable prices and laid-back atmosphere.

More information: Masters Sports Bar

Aphrodite
Aphrodite is the first restaurant of the eponymous group (which is also behind Fez, Dungeon, Kinara and Liquid Exchange). It has always been popular thanks to the proximity of the Taman Rasuna towers that provide a never-ending supply of expats. Its restaurant is much-recommended if you are looking for affordable Western food, especially their lunch specials. They also have pool tables, live music and live sports.

More information: Aphrodite

Blok M
Though Blok M (and more precisely Jalan Falatehan) is long past its heydays, it is still a friendly area where you can meet other expats easily. You will find there a few hostess bars, a bit like those in Thailand or the Philippines, with plenty of working girls. It is rather cheap but not so clean.

More information: Blok M - Jalan Falatehan Bars

Basque and Loewy (Mega Kuningan)
Those two restaurants are under different management but they are both within 300 meters of each other in Mega Kuningan. The expats you'll meet there are usually in their 30s or 40s, single, and looking for girls. If that does not match with your profile, you can still enjoy their food: Casual French for Loewy and Spanish for Basque.

More information: Basque and Loewy

Paulaner Brauhaus
With its perfect location in Grand Indonesia, Paulaner Brauhaus attracts a mix of expats, travelers and many Indonesian Chinese as well (they are drawn by the non-halal pork menu). As it is part of the 5-star Kempinski Hotel, you can expect high standards for both the food and the service (but also rather expensive prices). Live music every night.

More information: Paulaner Brauhaus

Sports Bar @ B.A.T.S (Shangri La Hotel)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Just in time for the beginning of the Euro 2016, the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta has opened a sports bar within the famous B.A.T.S.

The new venue is located right after the entrance, before you walk down the stairs to the live music area. It is laid-back, ideal if you want to have some beers in a more quiet atmosphere. They also serve some popular foods such as French Baguette, Pizza Margarita, Turkish Kebab, German Bratwurst or Fish & Chips.

The most important games are displayed on a large screen by an LCD projector, while less important ones are on TV. There is also a pool table and a foosball table. June will obviously be focused on football/soccer games of the Euro 2016. You can also expect to watch NFL, AFL, NBA, MLB, Rugby, the Olympic Games, Formula One, Moto GP, etc when a special event will be scheduled.

The bar opens every day at 5pm and you have a happy hour until 10pm (50% off from selected drinks). On Mondays, you have 20% off on liquor bottles and on Tuesdays, all alcoholic drink mixes are priced at Rp100,000 net. Stay up to date on the current promotions by visiting Sports Bar @ B.A.T.S.

Overall: It is a nice addition to the main room of B.A.T.S, which tends to be so packed and noisy that I need a few drinks beforehand to enjoy it. My main concern is that the number of seats is limited so you should get there early to make sure you can sit. If the bar proves to be popular, they may have to add a few tables.

Sports Bar @ B.A.T.S 
Shangri La Hotel Jakarta
B.A.T.S. Jakarta
Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta (Level 1)
Kota BNI
Jalan Jend. Sudirman Kav 1

Phone number: +62 21 29 399 562

Queen's Head (Kemang)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →


Queen's Head Pub is one of the best restaurants in Kemang. It is an exclusive venue with an impressive design and excellent fusion food prepared by Blake Thornley, a New Zealand Chef who spent 5 years in Mozaic Ubud.

His Balinese experience has made him familiar with Indonesian cuisine and he incorporates several local ingredients in his Western dishes. For instance, the Grilled Pork Spare Ribs are prepared with tamarind and the Mixed Seafood Red Curry with kemangi (lemon basil).

Queen's Head is also a social hub for expats in Kemang. The bar is great place to visit for stylish cocktails and drinks if you don't feel like going to the usual Loewy or Basque in Mega Kuningan. Designed by the Bali-based Rob Sample (also behind Jenja Club), it has a relaxed, Seminyak-style vibe that fits well in Kemang. If you plan on going to clubs later in the evening, you can share a few of their excellent Sangria bowls.

Overall: One of my favourite venues in Kemang, it is a must-try if you live in the area.

Queen's Head Jakarta
Restaurant and Bar
Jalan Kemang Raya No 18c, South Jakarta (next to Nu China)
Phone number: +62 21 7196160

Facebook: Queen's Head

Double Doors (Expat Bar Puri Indah)

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Double Doors is a live music pub located opposite of Puri Indah Mall in West Jakarta. There are not many other expat bars in the area so it attracts a small (but growing) community of foreigners. I visited on a weekday at 6pm and the place was reasonably busy with a mixed crowd of young expats and Indonesians. There were some girls too, seemingly office workers.

The bar is part of the same group behind Eastern Promise, De Burse and De Hooi. The operate all their venues with a similar concept: Affordable pub food, regular events, friendly and outgoing waitresses, live music, and sports. They are not inside malls and they have a rustic charm that matches the traits of their Dutch owner Bartele Santema.

The place is built on 3 floors: The ground floor is the bar area, the second floor the live music room, and the last one is dedicated to sports (or it can be booked for private events).

Overall: I recommend you to visit Double Doors if you are looking for a place to socialize with other expatriates in Puri Indah area. They have a good live music schedule including jazz nights, rock and open mic nights. The current GM is actually a musician himself and he does not hesitate to play the piano. Check their facebook page for the up-to-date schedule: Double Doors Puri Indah.
Double Doors Bar & Restaurant
Ruko Sentra Niaga Puri Indah (in front of Puri Indah Mall)
Jalan Puri Indah Raya, South Kembangan

Phone number: +62 21 58356816

Opening hours:
Every day from 12pm to 2am (until 3am on Friday and Saturday).

Jimm's Sports Café Mega Kuningan

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →



Jimm's Sports Café is a sports bar and an expat bar in downtown Jakarta. It is not as famous and popular as nearby Cazbar, but you have friendly staff and many regulars, among which many Indonesians. Since most clients are American, British and Austalian, the sports you are most likely to watch are English Premier League, NFL, Rugby, AFL, etc... The TVs are not so big (50"), except during special events when they put a wide screen and a projector.

I tried a cheeseburger (Rp60k) there once and it didn't taste very good so you can avoid the food and stick to the sport and beer. If you don't want to take advice from this blog for food, you should know that the waiter told me they serve the "best nachos in Jakarta".

Overall, it is a decent bar, less crowded than other venues like above-mentioned Cazbar or Aphrodite, but certainly more laid-back.

The best days to visit Jimm's Sports Café are Thursdays for its Ladies' night and Saturdays for live music. They have a pool table free of charge for clients too + Wi-fi. On the photos I took, the bar seems quite empty because it was 3 in the afternoon during the week.

Opening Hours:
From 10am to 1am everyday.

Contact details:
Jimm's Sports Café Jakarta
Bellagio Boutique Mall
Kawasan Mega Kuningan Barat
Kav. E4.3, unit 06 08-09
Jakarta Selatan 12950

Website: http://jimmssportscafe.co.id
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sportscafejkt
Facebook: Sports Café Bar Jakarta

Email 1: sportscafe@sportscafejakarta.com
Email 2: marketing@sportscafejakarta.com
Phone number: +62-21 3006 6771

Molly Malone's Irish Pub

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars) →
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub opened in August 2012 on the ground floor of Plaza Arcadia Senayan. It is one of two authentic Irish bars in Jakarta, the other one being Murphy's in Kemang (same owners actually).

Molly’s is divided into two separate sections, a traditional Irish pub and a live music venue

Overall: With its location one floor below the infamous Red Square, it is ideal to kick start your weekend. There also have three comfortable VIP booths available to rent if you want a semi private area to enjoy the live music and soak up the party atmosphere.

Opening Hours : 
Everyday from 11am to 2am

Molly Malone (Irish Bar Jakarta)
Plaza Senayan Arcadia, Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia 10270
Phone: +62-21 579 01433
Email: info@mollysjakarta.com

Website: http://www.mollysjakarta.com
Facebook: Molly Malone Jakarta
Twitter: @mollysjakarta

Red Square (Senayan Arcadia) - CLOSED

By The Jakarta Team →

Update: Red Square in Senayan Arcadia is currently CLOSED. The management has re-opened in Panin Tower (see Red Square Jakarta 2016). Meanwhile, some of the previous owners have opened a new bar called Revolution in Lotte Avenue Mall (Ciputra World).

Red Square is one of the most popular bars in Jakarta for foreigners, and for many, it is the only place they go to for party in the city. Extremely busy on Friday and Saturday, it is so crowded that it is best to book a private table if you want to avoid suffocation. On other nights, it varies a lot: Thursday can be quite good, but from Sunday to Wednesday, it is empty the more often.

If you are a single, male expat looking to score with "normal" girls, this might be the most easy spot in Jakarta. Most girls aren't prostitutes (but more and more are), yet they are hunting foreigners with a lot of energy. This is probably why Red Square is so famous and popular. The other reasons could be the sexy dancers on special nights, the pumping house music (mostly famous western songs), their funky bartenders and the people dancing on the tables. 

The bar has a nice selection of cocktails, especially those with Vodka. The entrance fee is now around rp100,000 on weekends and the drinks are pretty expensive.

Here are two videos of Red Square (the first one at closing time, the second one on full party mode):
Red Square Jakarta
Plaza Senayan Arcadia
Unit X210-211 Jl. New Delhi No 9
Pintu I Senayan Jakarta 12710

Phone number: +62 21 5790 1281
Fax. : +62 21 5790 1286
Email : redsquarejakarta@gmail.com
Website: Red Square Bar Jakarta
Facebook fan page: Red Square Fan page

Red Square Balikpapan
Hotel Sagita Jl. Mayjend Sutoyo No. 69
Balikpapan 76113 Indonesia
Website: Red Square Sagita Balikpapan

Phone number: +62 542 820 300
Fax: +62 542 820 333
Email : info@hotelsagita.com

Red Square Bali (CLOSED, replaced by 88 Club):
Pullman Legian Nirwana
Jalan Pantai Kuta Legian, Kuta, Bali 80361
Website: Red Square Bali

Phone number: +62 361 767540
Fax : +62 361 767541
Email: redsquarebali@gmail.com

Similar clubs (small urban afterwork clubs for young executives and expats): Luv's bar & Dine, Only One Club, Flo Lounge (closed), Nu China.

Absolute Café and Pool Bar (Jalan Jaksa)

By The Jakarta Team →


Absolute is one of the only bar in Jaksa with air-con. Lots of English teachers and journalists, and also some girls from Jaksa. Free pool table, darts, cheap beer, Premier League Soccer games on screen and always quite crowded by the same group of people. Nice.

For French speakers: More about Jalan Jaksa and the nightlife in Jakarta on our french blog: jakartateam.blogspot.com
Contact details:
Absolute Café
Jalan Jaksa No. 5
Telephone: 021-31909847
Open until 3am, sometimes after..

Aphrodite (Club Rasuna, near Pasar Festival, Jl Rasuna Said)

By The Jakarta Team →
Aphrodite is a bar and restaurant located not very far from the Taman Rasuna tower. As such, it is a meeting point for many of the expats living in the area, and you'll almost always find it crowded.

The menu is quite long, with mainly pub food. It is pretty decent and though more expensive than average, good value.

Many customers come to Aphrodite to watch sports: English Premier League, F1, Cricket, etc.. You can check the schedule here: Sports Schedule Bar Aphrodite. Personally, since I'm not a fan of anything, all these plasma screens tend to bother me. And it's even worse when no sport is on because they will put Fashion TV, making it very difficult to stay focus talking to your average-looking friends.

The best point about Aphrodite is that it is a popular hangout for some Indonesian girls as well, the kind you could meet in Red Square (looking for a foreigner, but not a pro). Thursday and Saturday is ladies' night, and the best night to visit if you are looking to party. Girls get free drinks from 8PM to 1AM. On most nights, you have a live band playing pop and rock songs.

You can check their website here: Aphrodite Jakarta and also their facebook: Aphrodite Group and Aphrodite Bar and Restaurant.
Opening Hours:
From Monday to Thursday: 6:00 am - 2:00 am
From Friday to Saturday: 6:00 am to 3:00 am
Sunday: 6:00 am to 12:30 am

Contact details:
Aphrodite Restaurant and Bar Jakarta
Club Rasuna - Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav 22 Jakarta 12920

Phone: +62 21 527 3307
Fax: +62 21 526 3265 

BATS (Hotel Shangri-La)

By The Jakarta Team →




An all-time favourite of Jakarta's nightlife, BATS is the bar of the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta. It is the equivalent of BRIX in Grand Hyatt in Singapore

It is very, very popular among expatriates, especially those who are already married. Easy to know why, considering the number of pretty, sexy girls. But the place isn't just about finding a partner. You can have a lot of fun partying there, because you will easily meet people in a relaxed atmostsphere.

BATS has a live band, imported from Quebec the more often and playing Top 40 songs. A bit annoying because it's hard to talk and hard to find a place to seat though, but at least you will be pushed in the crowd and on the dancefloor. The entrance fee is quite expensive, around Rp. 100,000, but they will serve you a very large beer. Good to go on Sunday or Monday because it is one of the few places still crowded. Very tasty steaks at the restaurant.

I shot a video of the live band:
Update 2016:
There is now a sports bar upstairs from B.A.T.S. More information: Sports Bar @ B.A.T.S.

Opening hours:
Monday – Sunday: 5pm to 3am
Dinner from 7pm to 10.30pm (last order 10pm)
Happy hour from 5pm to 10pm

B.A.T.S. Jakarta
Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta (Level 1)
Kota BNI
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav 1

Phone: +62 21 293 99 562
Official website here: BATS Jakarta

More photos taken in BATS (sent by reader):



BFC Café and outdoor restaurant - pool bar - (Jalan Jaksa street backpacker Jakarta)

By The Jakarta Team →

Outdoor cafe/bar in Jalan Jaksa, the street where you can find cheap hotels in Jakarta, with live music sometimes. Prices are very reasonable and there is a happy mix of foreigners and indonesians. Nice to drink a beer and talk to backpackers.
Contact details:
BFC Jaksa
Jalan Jaksa No. 10
Phone: (62-21) 31930605
Opened until 2AM