Photo: Come for the coffee.

Eat and meet

Food choices in Takengon are not too bad particularly for a small town in the middle of the central Aceh highlands, but you will probably need to brave some of the small warungs to get a decent meal. Still, a few places a step up from a warung are worth mentioning.

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Assyifa, on Jalan Terminal across from the row of barber shops, is a more modern choice than many of the average warungs. With shiny tiled floors, clean communal tables and a menu that’s a real mixed bag, it’s worth a look. Catering for the local market, they serve kebabs, burgers and hot dogs as well as fried rice and delicious nasi uduk (coconut rice served with a side dish). The juices here are also delicious -- try the tamarillo juice (jus terong belanda) for a sweet and sour treat. Prices start at 8,000 rupiah.

Hip Burger and Coffee is a typical high school/university hang out place with decent budget burgers and delicious coffee. Omelette sandwiches start out at 9,000 rupiah with the hip burger itself, the house speciality, topping out at 17,000 rupiah. If you’re craving French fries, they’re crisp and tasty here. Also on the menu is nasi goreng and some great juices such as avocado and chocolate. This place is recommended for a Western fix with free WiFi.

Rakan Singkite is a Chinese-Indonesian restaurant selling all kinds of Indonesian food including plenty of vegetable dishes, great juices and more healthy options than what is available on the street. What we like about this place is there is something for everyone -- especially when you throw beer into the mix, as the rest of the town is dry. Located next to the big pineapple at the roundabout which connects Jalan Lebe Kader and Jalan Asir-Asir, be warned that the owner told us that she planned to shut up shop by the end of 2014, but search this place out anyway in the hope that it’s still open by the time you get here.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Takengon? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

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