FAQ'S                                              FOOD AND DRINKS



  • What kind of food can I expect on Flores?

The standard Indonesian food like nasi goreng, mie soup and soto ayam are widely available. In every small town you will find the padang restaurants (the ones with the curtains in front) where you can eat rendang and curries. A local dish is ikan kuah, a fishsoup with a fish head.

In Larantuka, Maumere, Ende, Riung and Labuan Bajo you can eat delicious seafood.


  • Is there a lot of choice in restaurants?

When you expect a Bali scene then you will be disappointed. Only in Labuan Bajo are a decent number of good restaurants of an international standard. In other places you will find a few resto's for travelers.


  • So where to eat then?

Usually the best local food is sold in warung or local restaurants (see also the relevant sections)
Pasar malam near the harbour for barbecued fish, Talago Indah padangfood,  Golden Cafe north in town.

Fish restaurants, Amira in the citycentre for lunch, the night eateries near the river or at the resto of your resort east of Maumere.

Mopi's resto is popular with travelers and they often have live music (until 10 pm since many guests want to visit Kelimutu for sunrise).
Bintang resto next to the homestay offers a good menu as well.

There are many small eateries in Ende like padang resto's, warung Bangkalan, Resto Pari Koro, Sambal Cobek on jalan Kelimutu or the ones which operate at night at Pantai Ria.

Delmar cafe, Resto Nirwana, Plankton Cafe, Murah Meria, Pato Resto.

Maibeth, Dito's, Lucas, Milonari resto, Anugerah, Taman Kartini or near the market.

If you travel from Bajawa to Ruteng vv the best bet is Siquarra Resto with a nice view, good food and very friendly and caring owners.

Like in Ende also a lot of choice in Ruteng allover the town centre. Chacha is a nice place, Spring Hill Resto is very good and Alline serves pizza. 

There are a few decent warung in Lembor including Joyo Pangestu. However
Osenlen resto is just a 5 minute drive outside Lembor (coming from Ruteng) in a better environment just next to a waterfall.


Most choice of the island.
Pasar Kuliner near the waterfront serves fresh seafood, a few very good Italian restaurants like La Cucina and Made In Italy. Also worthwhile are Happy Banana and Green Cherry, Senja Eatery and numerous smaller both international and local eateries.

  • Where can I eat other dishes than Indonesian?

In Larantuka, Maumere, Moni, Bajawa and Ruteng are a few so called tourist restaurants where you can order steak, spaghetti and French fries. Labuan Bajo has some more international cuisines and for some reason there are many Italian restaurants.


  • I am a vegetarian. What am I supposed to eat on Flores?

A popular vegetarian dish is gado2, vegetables al dente with a peanut sauce. In padang restaurants you can order tempe or tahu, with vegetables and rice. Fried noodles with vegetables and an egg is also an option. And in Labuan Bajo also pizza’s or pasta’s are served.


  • I am a vegan. What am I supposed to eat on Flores?

To be honest this isn't so easy. When ordering dishes make clear that there is no terasi (fish sauce/seasoning made from shrimps) in your meal. In pancakes eggs and sweet milk are used, so also not possible. When ordering food try to make your wishes clear, not only once but several times so that it is well understood.


  • I am allergic to cow’s milk. How should I explain?

Good news. In Indonesia food is hardly prepared with cow’s milk so the risk is almost zero. If in doubt just tell the waiter:

“saya alergi susu sapi, tolong, jangan pakai susu sapi”

  • I am allergic to fish and seafood. How should I explain?

The fish and seafood is easy to see but many dishes in Indonesia are prepared with terasi, a paste made of shrimps. Don't forget to tell them:

“saya alergi ikan dan makanan laut, tolong jangan pakai terasi"

  • I am allergic to nuts. How should I explain?

Candlenuts (kemiri) are often used in Indonesian dishes. Tell them:

“saya alergi kacang-kacangan, tolong jangan pakai kimiri dan kacang”


  • I am allergic to peanuts. How should I explain?

And this is the contrary as many dishes are prepared with peanuts. To avoid say:

“saya alergi kacang tanah, tolong, jangan pakai kacang tanah”

  • I am on a glutenfree diet. How should I explain?

Many Indonesians are not familiar to grains like rye and barley. Most gluten products in Indonesia are made with weath. To avoid say:

“saya alergi  gluten, tolong, jangan pakai tepung, sos atau kecap” 


  • I am allergic to soy. How should I explain?

Tempe and tahu (tofu) are made of soy. Also kecap (soy sauce) is made of soy. If you don't want any soy please say:

“Saya alergi kedelai, tolong jangan pakai kecap”


  • Can I drink water from the tap?

No, water from the tap is not safe. Please buy bottles of mineral water. The brands Aqua and Ruteng are most sold on Flores.


  • Is bottled mineralwater available everywhere?

Yes you can buy mineralwater everywhere on Flores. The most selled brands are Aqua and Ruteng (from Flores).


  • Is buying and drinking alcohol a problem on Flores?

No, not at all. Beer is available everywhere. In Labuan Bajo, Maumere and Ende are real wineshops and and many of the supermarkets in Labuan Bajo who sell (import) liquors. Moke (arrack, made from palmwine) is widely available from farmers and along the road (Aimere and near Labuan Bajo) and also part of the tradition on Flores. And, this has to be said: it is safe!


  • Is arrack sold on Flores safe?

Yes, and no horror stories on Flores like elsewhere in Indonesia like on Java and Bali. Like said, arrack is part of the tradition.


Any information missing? Please contact me.

Gado2 in Cha cha resto in Ruteng


Anne Mieke  -AM PHOTONESIA©-