Mercusuar Cafe is a medieval wonderland with a gothic castle

Located just a 3-hour car ride away from Jakarta, the chilly city of Bandung is a haven for those wishing to escape the scorching heat of the capital city. Especially popular are the hills of Dago Pakar on the outskirts of the city, which has recently welcomed another newcomer in the shape of the magical Mercusuar Cafe.

First opened on August 14th, the 4-story building comes equipped with a gothic castle and a lighthouse on top that gave the cafe its name. As we’re still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cafe is still undergoing a trial period but we’re looking to be transported into their medieval wonderland once things are back to normal.

A gothic castle and a replica of a ship’s bow

mercusuar cafe gothic castle
Aerial view of the gothic castle
Video adapted from @mercusuarcafe

The first thing that came to our mind when laying eyes on the gothic castle is of course, just how much it resembles Hogwarts, the wizarding school from the Harry Potter franchise. If you’re getting the urge to bring out your robe and scarf already, know that you’re not alone.

mercusuar cafe medieval castle
The castle lit up at night
Image credit: @mercusuarcafe

At night, things get even more magical as the castle gets illuminated with the lights of Bandung visible from down below. We like that the cafe keeps the mood of the area as subdued as possible even with the lights on, as that feels more in line with the mystical vibe of the castle.

mercusuar cafe ship
Image credit:

Once you’re done taking in the views of the castle, head back inside and to the second floor where there’s a replica of a ship’s bow perched to the side of the building. While it’s tempting to reenact scenes from Titanic at this spot, the area can get pretty windy so check the wind conditions and hold on to the railings before posing for a photo on the edge.

mercusuar cafe dago
View from the lighthouse
Image credit: @evabun99

A feast for the eyes isn’t just the only thing Mercusuar offers, as the cafe part of the equation is just as fulfilling as the views.

Cafe with a scenic outdoor view

mercusuar cafe Bandung
The outdoor section of the cafe
Image credit: @fitribilqi12

With a semi-outdoor concept and window walls, we like the fact that you still get to enjoy some of the views even inside the cafe. They also serve a large variety of menus, mixing European fares with local favorites and even some Japanese cuisine.

mercusuar cafe pizza
Pizza Meat Lover with bolognese sauce
Image credit: @kokokuliner

You’ll have a selection of shared meals like Pizza Meat Lover (Rp. 75,000, ~USD5.09) or a warm bowl of Mercusuar Spesial Ramen (Rp. 60,000, ~USD4.07). For snacks, don’t miss out on Cireng Bandung (Rp. 25,000, ~USD1.70), a plate of deep-fried tapioca served with sambal rujak, or chilli sauce mixed with tamarind.

As the air is always chilly around Dago Pakar, it’s only appropriate to pair your food with a Bajigur (Rp. 30,000, ~USD2.04) drink. This hot beverage, consisting of coconut milk mixed with palm sugar and ginger, is a local delicacy perfect for cold, rainy days.

A medieval wonderland perched on the hills of Dago Pakar

Entry to the cafe costs Rp. 25,000, (~USD1.70) but in exchange, you get a voucher of the same value that you can use in the bakery inside the cafe. 

With its cool climate, food offerings such as a halal soju store, and now the medieval wonderland of Mercusuar Cafe, it seems we’re not going to be short of reasons to head to Bandung any time soon. Let’s hope we can get out of this COVID-19 pandemic as soon and as safely as possible so we can once again pay a visit to the Paris of Java.

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Cover image adapted from @bandungfoodsociety and @bandung.westjava

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