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Buddha Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 6 reviews )
Contact 0813-769-42477
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Central Tolping, Lakeside, 50 meters before Vanesha Guest House (at Samosir Island, Lake Toba), Sumatra, Indonesia,

Surprising find on Lake Toba, 10-15 minutes north of Tuk Tuk on the main road going towards Simanindo. The property, called "Sumatera Borobudur" is worth seeing in its own right, located right on the lake and filled with gardens and Buddhist statues - a rarity in this part of Indonesia. Handmade tempeh and mockmeats, soup specials every day, vegan versions of Indonesian specialties, homemade vegan coconut ice cream. Worth the trip and also easy to plan with a visit to Simanindo or the hot springs in Panguguran.

Category: Vegan, International, Take-out, Indonesian

Reviews (6)

First Review by enRoute

Delicious & Beautiful - Edit

Buddha’s Cafe is one of the most pleasant surprises hidden away at Lake Toba. The atmosphere is very peaceful and beautiful with lake front view and a large garden with Buddha statues and many types of flowering plants. There is a lot of attention to detail in the decorations on the walls and floor tiles. High standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Their curries are the highlight - all have their own distinct and delicious flavours. We loved the Eggplant Curry and the Tempeh and Pineapple Curry. Our top pick was the Sweet and Sour Tempeh. Their ice creams are actually more like sorbets and have a coconut base. However, the staff are so incredible that they made me a coconut-free sorbet on the spot because I am allergic to coconut. In fact, they modified most dishes without hesitation. We also tried their guacamole w/ home made crackers - it was delicious, though not authentic guac.

Their pancakes you can give a miss - I think they are made from rice flour because they are more layers of doughiness than what North Americans would call a pancake.

They are more expensive than other restaurants around Lake Tabo, but their food quality is superior, which is why we visited more than once despite its location being more difficult to get to.

Most dishes are vegan, but they have a few dishes with egg due to vegetarians requesting frequently. No dairy is served in any dish.

To get to it, you must continue past Ambarita in the direction of Simanindo. It’s not convenient to walk to so you should bike or drive. We did kayak there one day from Tuk Tuk - it took about two hours from Tabo Cottages. They also have a guest house.

Pros: Vegan, Flavorful, Beautiful Grounds

Cons: Pricier, Location is inconvenient


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Best food EVER - Edit

My boyfriend and I stumbled upon Buddah Cafe while motorbiking around Samosir. It's not far from Ambarita. It's a beautiful location, peaceful atmosphere and the most delicious food I've ever eaten at a really good price. The owner is sweet and her little boy just too cute. Even my non vegan boyfriend said "This tastes better than any meat I've eaten." I can't recommend this place enough, their ice-cream is amazing too. We ate here twice. Go here for excellent service, and out of this world food.
-January 2013

Pros: excellent food, good value, friendly

Cons: None


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Not worth a trek - Edit

It was nice to finally see a veggie place, but I wouldn't recommend heading out there just for this place; it's all right if you're passing. The food was okay, not bad and not fantastic, but comparatively very, very pricey.

Cons: Price, Location, Choices

1 Response

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a quirky and delicious haven - Edit

Wow, what a great place! I was quite surprised to come upon their welcoming "VEGAN CAFE" sign while riding out to the north part of the island.

Keep in mind that it's past Ambarita by a kilometer or so, maybe 5-6 kilometers from Tuk Tuk. It's really worth getting out there though, both to support this unique endeavor and to have some of the best food you'll find on the island. Fantastic homemade flavors, I went for several days in a row and had the specials every day - all were great! Plus homemade banana and carrot breads and coconut milk ice cream. The setting is absolutely beautiful and must be seen to be believed!

It's easy to spot from the road with its wall decorated with stupas and green tile roof. If you can't find it just call the number and they will help you out in perfect English. If you are on the island there is no excuse to miss this place! Combine it with a trip out to the wild and mystic northern tip of the island for a great day out.

Pros: very homemade, awesome setting, super friendly

Cons: a bit of a trek, somewhat pricey


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