I'm a travelling mother of one, from the UK but now living in Indonesia. Looking forward to sharing day out ideas with you.
Published July 8th 2019
It's tasty, it's cheap and what's more there's no meat
When I wanted to write this feature I was looking forward to trying out lots and lots of options and treating myself. Sadly Bandung isn't great for vegan restaurants. What I've found is only two pure vegan restaurants. After that you need to either look for vegetarian restaurants or places with vegetarian/vegan options.
Just be warned on that note, if you're a strict vegan or vegetarian some places that offer options make me nervous. Venues don't always have a full understanding of the dietary requirements. For example, most things with sate sauce will have shrimp/fish oil in it. Or sambal, nasi goreng and other dishes can have 'terasi', which is again made from fish. I've also had a veggie option served to me with prawns in it or another made from a meat stock, as they weren't consider real 'meat'!
With all that said here are my top picks:
Kehidupan Tidak Pernah This has to be the number one spot for price and variety. Located in the centre of Bandung, both locals and tourists love it. There's lots of parking for mopeds but not a lot for cars. As you enter, you'll find bulk product for sale and then a bit further along TV screens with inspirational messages.
Make your way into the main eating area and to the centre of the room. As you approach the counter rice is in the middle and then depending on who serves you, you will either go left or right. You'll find the selection is the same on both sides. You can get up to 4 portions for the set price from the bottom two rows.
Anything from the top row is slightly extra but I really recommend the mushroom sate sticks, they are around 6,500 IDR each. They also do an a la carte menu which is displayed behind the counter. At the end of both lines you'll find free drinking water.
Some of the serving staff speak English, but they all understand if you would prefer items that aren't spicy. Just so you know, this place can cater if you require food for an event.
There's low-playing background music and it has waiter service. The food's still very good and I felt it was reasonably priced. They have a good range of local and western dishes and a nice selection of teas and coffees. We had a starter to share, two main meals and two drinks which only came to 125,000 IDR. They also offer breads and desserts and have a strong wi-fi. It's part of a chain but I haven't visited the others in the rest of Indonesia, so can't compare. Finally, it has no car parking area but a little space for mopeds and is found near the centre of Bandung also.
Sadly, that is it. These are the only two true vegan places in town. On a positive note there is another option.
Mom's Bakery This is an artisan bakery and has a really fresh and homely feel to it. There's parking out front and inside plenty of seating. The first counter is for meals and snacks. Although they offer meat, they have clearly labelled vegetarian options and even falafel sandwiches. The other reason it's a good choice is that they do big healthy looking salads and some of their bread is also vegan.
As you walk a little further in there's the bakery part. The ordering system is a little unusual. You need to complete the forms pictured, which are found above the sandwich prep counter, with your food and drinks order and then hand them into the cashier. If you are just wanting to buy from the bakery then you don't need to do this. I would say the prices are a little bit more expensive but it's not somewhere I would eat every day, so for a treat it was good.
On a side note, I really like this place and what I hadn't realised was how close it was to the Bandung City Hall Park/Bandros Bus or the Traffic Park – both of which I have written about. From now on I will definitely be getting a small picnic from there to have in these parks.
Finally, you can also find juice bars or smoothie places, like Hummin' Hub, towards the north of Bandung.
I did try other places but they either had closed down or I couldn't contact them to find out opening hours etc. If you find any other options I welcome your comments and am happy to update this feature.