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Dec 15, 2010

Jogjakarta's Culinary Countdown!

Jogjakarta is one of the provinces of Indonesia, located in Java. It is not only famous for its classic Javanese atmosphere, marvelous temples and mystical culture, it is also a place to indulge yourself with one of the ultimate pleasures of life: goooood cheap fooods :)

Mostly, I go to Jogjakarta once a year. And every single time i go there, i will always find new places, new restaurant, new culinary experience. Nevertheless, here's my ultimate must-try foods of Jogjakarta (yes, especially for you, first-timers).

1. Gudeg 

Jl. Widjilan in Yogyakarta is well-known as the place to find the iconic food of Yogyakarta; it is the home of Gudeg. Gudeg is made of young jackfruit, boiled with palm sugar and coconut milk - and of course, other Indonesian traditional spices. Usually, a portion of Gudeg comes with some side dishes: chicken, egg, tempe and tahu - you may choose whether you want them or not. The taste of Gudeg may differ from one area (in Java) to another area. My all time favourite is still Gudeg from Yogyakarta. Even in Yogyakarta, the taste of gudeg from one "warung" to another can be different; mostly it's the degree of sweet. For all of you who are not a big fan of sweet, the sweet taste of Gudeg is usually balanced with Krecek, a spicy "dried" stew made of crispy cow skin.

So, here's what Gudeg Yogya looks like...

hmmm.. guess this one got Sambal Krecek all over covering the Gudeg :P

Personal taste: Gudeg Bu Wiwik
I have tried several warung gudeg, either at Jl. Widjilan or some other area. The famous one is Gudeg Yu Djum --> it even has a FB page. But my personal favourite is Gudeg Bu Wiwik, the sweetnes is perfectly combined with the spicy krecek, oh so yummy! Well, everyone gotta have their own fave :)
Price: starting from 15.000 IDR

2. Bakmi Jawa
Bakmi Jawa! It looks like a regular fried noodle or noodle soup, but then again it's different. One of the characteristics is that the noodle is a bit more.. squishy :) Worry not, the taste is still fantastic. To look for the good bakmi jawa, I prefer not to go to big restaurants. Those little warung got better homemade bakmi jawa.

Personal taste: Bakmi Mbah Mo
It is said that Bakmi Mbah Mo is the legend and the icon for traditional Javanese noodle. To find this specific eating place is quite tricky. It's far from what we can call "a restaurant" and moreover, it is not strategically located, it has no street address! You will need to ask the local people for direction. The Javanese call the location as "mblusuk" (means: in the middle of nowhere).

the cooking process is very traditional, using arang and clay stove..

See, it doesn't even look like a restaurant.
Source: Flickr

Despite of its location, the famous Bakmi Mbah Mo draws attention from many visitors - esp. those who are curious of its so-called legendary taste. People come there with their cars, lining up like hell. When you're not so lucky, you may need to wait around one hour (yes people, ONE HOUR) to enjoy your meal. This is because there is only one stove used to make all the incoming orders. a traditional stove, that is.
Price: starting from 10.000 IDR. Yes, that CHEAP!

the authentic and iconic Javanese noodle at Bami Mbah Mo!

3. Mushroom
No, it is not like what you're thinking.
There are some vegetarian restaurants in Yogyakarta, and most of them are using mushrooms as their main ingredients.

Personal taste: JeJamuran
It's fair to say that this a vegetarian place with a twist! Located in Jl. Magelang, you can see the big direction board to go to JeJamuran. The place got a big mushroom farm on the back of the dining area with some mushroom on display, so I suppose the mushroom served is always fresh. And since this is an Indonesian restaurant, all the mushroom are served with a lovely Indonesian flavour.

 YES! Sate Jamur!

Price: starting from 8.000 IDR.
Sate Jamur: RP. 8.000,00
Tongseng Jamur: Rp. 8.000,00
Rendang Jamur: Rp. 8.000,00
Pepes Jamur: Rp. 4.000,00
Jamur Goreng: Rp. 6.000,00

4. House of Raminten
Jl. F.M. Noto no.7 (next to Mirota Bakery), Kotabaru. Phone: 0274 547315.

Now this is what we call quirky touch of Javanese culture!
When you enter the place, you will be welcomed by old traditional chariots.
here and there, you may find signboard with a saying "Kami semua ini SLB. Kalau agak lama dalam melayani harap maklum karena kami kenthir" which means "we apologize if we present a slow service, because we are crazy".

The waiters are all dressed in traditional clothing, offering tons of authentic food, and even more authentic drinks and herbal drinks (in Bahasa: jamu) - all worth trying! Take a look at House of Raminten's Facebook page.

House of Raminten, from the entrance.

5. Bakso
Yeah, I know... bakso is quite common as Indonesian dish. But I got a surprise for you!

Personal taste: Bakso Ito
I have known Bakso Ito back from my high school years in Yogyakarta. After all these years, Bakso Ito still serves good varieties of bakso. The location, Jl. Mataram 59, is easy to find - it's on the back street of Malioboro Mall/Ibis Hotel. Make sure, if you go there, to try its popular bakso goreng (fried meatballs). You can choose either to have the beef bakso or the pork bakso. If you come around 6 PM, sometimes they dont have the pork bakso anymore, it's a bestseller :)

Source: Bakso Ito

6. Bebek
Bebek is simply duck. There's a lot ot restaurant in Yogyakarta that are specialized in serving bebek, in various way: grilled, fried, with soup, etc. One of the restaurants is Bebek Bakar Yu Sri, located in Jl. Tentara Pelajar (between Jogja and Magelang); it preserves the traditional ambiance of Java since the restaurant is within a Joglo (Javanese traditional house).

Attention all travelers and Yogya-newbies, when you arrive in Yogyakarta's airport Adi Sucipto, don't forget to take FREE map of Yogyakarta at the tourist information point right outside the baggage claim area. But if you fail to take one, or perhaps to lazy to find it out hehehehe.. Here. Download and print this one instead.

Map of Greater Yogyakarta, with touristic spots.

This article was also featured in Tourism Indonesia, a paper by @babyfwenas :)


  1. Waaah dari segitu yang sudah pernah kuconba baru gudeg yu jum & house of raminten! Payah nnih... Lain kali harus mencoba yang lain ah... Makasih infonya!! :D

  2. @hayu: my pleasure :)
    Aku jg baru bisa post dikit2 nih soal Jogja. Lain kali pasti di-update! :D


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