Perhaps the cheapest way to eat in Banda Aceh is to do it like the locals. At dusk, food stalls are set up on many streets in central Banda Aceh. There are a range of eats - fish, chicken, rice, noodles, assorted vegetables along with delicious fresh juices. There are also stalls selling roti bakar and other sweet products.
The local people are extremely friendly - I was advised on what the foods were and while eating, given a few lessons in Acehenese. Its always nice to be able to say thank-you in the local language - 'trimong geunaseh' to all the beautiful people who looked after me.
Favorite Dish: For a really refreshing juice, try a combination of terong belanda and apple.
I had really bad experience with pade hotel..i went with my family for a new year eve buffet dinner. We were promised for a bbq buffet with grilled lamb..however, the meats were cold, let alone tender, seafood were burnt, lousy services, only 1soda per person, food not being refill upon arrival,late refill..we paid rp150.000 per pax, which is very expensive for a dinner in indonesia,esp in aceh..even after my feedback the management,they just said that they cant do anything about it..when i push for refund, they only gave rp150.000 outof rp900.000 were paid..im really dissapointed with their services..
Favorite Dish: Burnt food,cold meat?
The Banda Aceh Tourist Authority (Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata Kota Banda Aceh) provided us with a Banda Aceh Culinar Guide. The booklet lists some two dozen specialties with attractive pictures, and we set out to try some. Alas, where to get these dishes? The list of restaurants in the booklet was not very helpful, where we inquired most specialties were not on the menu!
Some that we would have liked to try and could not find, are:
Ayam Tangkap = chicken fried with traditional herbs
Sie Masak Puteh = beef cooked with coconut milk, chili and traditional herbs.
Gule Pliek U = mixed vegetables including mlinjo nuts and leaves, cooked with fermented coconut.
Some small restaurants indeed did serve the following, but not as tasty as might be inferred from the guide booklet:
Ikan Kayu = dried tuna fish boiled in coconut milk and spices.
Udeueng Teupeuleumak = shrimps cooked with coconut milk, herbs and green chili.
At the Rex Peunayong food court facing Hotel Medan they serve a.o.:
Nasi Briani = rice steamed with sauce, meat and herbs.
But in the end we preferred to have supper at the night food market, a few paces north from Hotel Medan. Here one can get grilled fish, and the more common dishes like satay and nasi goreng. And of course the specialty Mie Aceh (spicy noodles mixed with shrimp, crab, egg or beef; much spicier than a Javanese mie goreng).
Like the Rex food court, the night food market opens by nightfall, then they start setting up the stalls. Which means they are open for business around 7pm.
Favorite Dish: Mie Aceh, Rp 10,000
Popular among foreigners who want a change from Indonesian food. Here you can get a good steak and even cold beer. Nice interior and friendly service.
Favorite Dish: Examples: Sirloin steak Rp 80,000, Beer (can) Rp 25,000 or Rp 27,500, Nicoise salad Rp 20,000, Beef or chicken soup R0 10,000, Coconut pie Rp 8,000 (December 2010 prices, add 10% tax).
A middle-of-the road Chinese restaurant, where you can get most common Chinese and seafood dishes. The ambiance is not attractive and the service just so-so, but the food is good. Go here if you do not want surprises.
Favorite Dish: Examples: Kailan with meat Rp 45,000, Meat with ananas Rp 60,000, Marquisa juice Rp 10,000 (2010 prices excl. 10% tax).
North Sumatra coffee is famous. Theo remembers in 1980 in Medan having chilled strong and sweet coffee sold in Coca Cola bottles, delicious and refreshing.
Banda Aceh is no exception. The Acehnese like to pass the time chatting with friends over a small coffee. In many warung kopi or warkop you can get a small glass of strong Aceh coffee for Rp 3,000 and a bigger glass for Rp 6,000.
The most popular is named after Ulee Karang district and perhaps the best in this area is served in Solong Coffee House. To tell the truth, we were herded there by a bellboy of Hotel Medan, but we did not regret it. Actually took home a few packets of Solong's ground Robusta coffee.
Later we saw in a roadside warung how the coffee is brewed. The coarsely ground coffee goes in a big cloth sack, so that it does not end up in your cup like it does in Java (kopi tubruk). They do not use a coffee pot, just hold the sack over the glass and pour the hot water in.
Favorite Dish: Coffee of course, also small snacks and ground coffee to take home.
Pace Bene has moved to a new location. Jl. Bhakti No.33A &33B, Kampung Laksana, Banda Aceh. Tel: 0651-31035.
They are now opened for brunch on saturdays. Lunch is served on the ground floor which was cooling even with the sun out. Dinner is served on the third floor, roof-top garden. Very relaxed surrounding.
Favorite Dish: I was pleasantly surprised to find a good Italian restaurant in Banda Aceh. We had a seafood risotto (which was very well-done ) and a red snapper with lime butter sauce (comes with a good serving of deep-fried potatoes and sauteed vegetables).
My Bread gets the attention of young people who missed to hang out in nice place but affordable. Since it opens its shop in prime location in the city, serving wide variety of bread, now the place also serves dine-in. They have home-made ice cream and pretty good bun.
Though Ulee Kareng is well known as place for good coffee and it has many coffee shops along the road, but Solong is still stand out among the coffee crowd. Though the place can be very hot during the day, but it always has a good loyal crowd to enjoy coffee. Try a black coffee, or opt for Acehnese version of coffee latte (black coffee with thick layer of milk—though this is condensed sweetened milk) They have variety of snacks and this is usually nice.
Favorite Dish: Coffee, sanger and snacks
Cibiuk serves Sunadanese food such as rice wrapped in banana leave. You can opt for baked wrapped rice, or just plain steamed rice. And you can try rice with fermented bean wrapped in banana leaves. Another nice dish to try is their barbeque fish and variety of sambal.
Favorite Dish: Sambal and Gurame cobek
Simpang Mesra is a eating place, well known as place for Ikan Bakar (barbeque fish) in the afternoon and evening. Along the road, you can find several places serving Ikan Bakar.
My favorite is Awak Awai.
I like the area and enjoying te breeze from the river. The government is now building pedestrian, plant more trees and constructs several resting places. It makes the area more pleasant.
Favorite Dish: Fish, squid and prawn! fresh catch from the sea in the morning
The restaurant is situated just before Lamnyong bridge. It serves Acehnese and Indonesian food. The restaurant can organize meeting or seminar package. The food is nice, though you better not in a desperate hungry when you come here. It takes a while before it comes to your table.
This eating spot can be very crowded during lunch and dinner time. Hasan is situated in Darussalam, next to the river. The special menu is Gule Kambing (lamb curry) serves with other dishes such as roasted beef with slices of chilly, onion and soya sauce.
Favorite Dish: Lamb curry
It is also situated in Peunayong. They have quite nice steak and nice atmosphere. The restaurant is quite small so that think again if you would like to have private conversation and decide to do it here. They have hotspot and also provide one laptop for people who wish to connect with a net.
Favorite Dish: Chicken steak
The restaurant situated in Peunayong claimed itself to be an Italian restaurant. The restaurant has a nice ambient in the evening, with candles and dining out under sky. It gives refreshing atmosphere (and romantic too) that makes this restaurant is well known among the expatriates working in Aceh. The menu is different everyday, and they will not give you menu book, instead, two people will carry a blackboard with day list of menu.
Favorite Dish: Their daily selection is pretty good