Food of Jakarta - 25 Dishes That MUST Be on the Foodie's List

Jakarta! A culturally rich city that is full of splendour and pomp which will leave anyone in awe at its hospitality and goodwill of its citizens.

If you need a reason to visit here, then food would be a great one!! The streets here are laden with loads of fingerlickin' and lip-smacking good food, making any tourist or visitor come back for more! Here's a list of the must-try dishes of the food of Jakarta. 

1. Nasi Goreng

The most popular food of Jakarta is found in every nook and corner of the city. It is a lot more than just fried rice, to which loads of goat meat and vegetables are added. It is loaded with spices and butter making it a sumptuous meal. Traditionally, shrimp paste is added to make it all the more delicious.
Where to find: Republic nasi goreng, Kec. Mampang Prpt. (opens 10:00 AM to 12: 00AM)
Approximate cost: IDR 15,000 - IDR 37,000

2. Satay

Chicken is one of the most versatile meats on the planet, and satay is an almost emblematic food of Jakarta, and Indonesia. Satay is a dish where chicken marinated with sweet soy sauce is put on skewers and barbequed until it is grilled to perfection. It is served with peanut sauce topped with garlic flakes and serves as a good appetizer.
Where to find: Sate Padang Ajo Ramon, Kota Jakarta Selatan (opens 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM)
Approximate cost: IDR 20,000

3. Bubur Ayam

This is the epitome of all porridges present on the face of this earth! It is a porridge loaded with fried crackers, fried soybeans, tofu and finely shredded chicken. Adding chicken broth takes it to a whole new level in terms of flavour. Talk about an insatiable appetite!
Where to find: Bubur ayam barito, Kota Jakarta Selatan (opens 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 10,000

4. Martabak

Martabak is the Indonesian version of a pancake stuffed with a ton of toppings like Toblerone, peanuts, Nutella, chocolate sprinkles, butter, cheese and condensed milk. The pancake is folded in half and cut through evenly such that the toppings remain in the middle, causing the flavours to explode and leaving you in a state of contentment making you savour every bite of this dessert. This food in Jakarta was originally brought around by the immigrant Muslim population from the Indian subcontinent and has taken over the food scene in Indonesia by storm. 
Where to find: Martabak boss, Wahid hasyim street (opens 11:00 AM to  10:30 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 130,000

5. Nasi Padang

This is the ultimate food of Jakarta which one has to try when they go to Jakarta and is culinary experience not-to-be-missed!. It starts off with steamed rice among loads of other dishes ranging from beef rendang to fish head curry. An assortment of around 14 to 16 dishes is kept and you only pay for what you eat!
Where to find: Rumah Makan Sederhana, Melawai (opens 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 400,000 - IDR 600,000

6. Ikan Bakar

This loosely translates to grilled fish in English. A fish of your choice is selected by you, then it is marinated with turmeric, chilli and garlic sauces among others seasoning. It is then smoked with charcoal to make the fish gain a charred taste. The meat is tender and succulent, causing it to melt in your mouth. It is usually served with sambal.
Where to find: Ikan babar cianjur, Cipete (opens 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 220,000

7. Ketoprak

Food in Indonesia is decadent, rich, and always filling and Ketoprak is a great example of this. This dish is made up of rice balls, tofu, vegetables and rice noodles to which either an omelette or boiled egg is added. It is topped with fried crackers, peanut and soy sauce.
Where to find: Ketoprak Ciragil, Kebayoran Baru (opens 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM); Glodok-go to the intersection of Jalan Pancoran and Jalan Kemenangan, a food market is there where you can find amazing Ketoprak(opens 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 20,000

8. Beef Ribs

This scrumptious food of Jakarta works wonders as an appetizer. Massive chunks of beef holding onto the ribs are grilled to perfection and served with a rich, creamy peanut sauce along with the beef broth. The meat is tender and falls right off the bone. Rice can also be had with it as a supplement.
Where to find: Sop Konro Karebosi Kelapa Gading, Kota Jkt Utara (opens 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 60,000

9. Mud Crabs

Several variations of this such as smoked mud crabs, salted egg crab and chilli crab are available. The smoked mud crab is first fried in onion, ginger, egg, loads of different sauces and coconut milk. It's wrapped in banana leaves and smoked to infuse the charred taste into the crab. Truly, a mouthwatering dish!
Where to find: Wiro Sableng, Kelapa Gading (opens 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 3,00,000

10. Mie Ayam

In need of a different breakfast option? This is basically chicken noodles tossed in with loads of other vegetables, garlic, chilli and peanut sauces. This is a speciality of the locals and something that you should definitely look out for.
Where to find: Jalan Pluit Karang Timur Blok, Penjaringan (opens 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 40,000

11. Bakso

Bakso literally translates to meatballs. It can be served with egg noodles, flat noodles or vermicelli. Vegetables are tossed in to make it better. Then a broth is added too, leading it to be a fragrant mix of both noodles and soup.

For visual appeal, it is sometimes served inside a coconut and topped with loads of other sauces.
Where to find: Bakso Kelapa Muda, Banten (opens 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 13,000

12. Bihun Bebek

This dish comprises of noodles with various spices, greens, chunks of tender duck meat and duck broth. The broth can be added as per your wish to noodles. It’s available in three different portion sizes: small, medium and large. Feel free to top it with fried crackers.
Where to find: Dua Nyonya, Kota Jakarta pusat (opens 7:00 AM to 2 :00 AM)
Approximate cost: IDR 90,000

13. Telor

This is a signature food of Indonesians. This can be made from 2 or more eggs. Minced meat and various spices are tossed in and mixed thoroughly with the eggs. The mixture is poured out as a filling into a crepe. This is then folded closed and deep-fried. It is topped with crushed peanuts and then served.
Where to find: Kota Jakarta pusat (opens 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 50,000

14. Nasi Lemak

One dish that is bound to catch your eye is this! It's found throughout Indonesia and is a staple food of Jakarta's locals. The rice is cooked in coconut milk and served with various curries and topped off with fried crackers. Oh and yes! It's traditionally served on a banana leaf.
Where to find: Penang Bistro, Kota Jakarta Pusat (opens 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 16,000

15. Kuay Teow

Are you someone that likes to eat large portions of food and stuff yourself to a point where you tap out? Then Kuay Teow sounds like your dish! It's got rice noodles, rice cake, shrimps, duck egg and sausage. Speak of a hunger saviour!
Where to find: Flow Jakarta, Kota Jakarta Selatan (opens 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 25,000

16. Pisang Goreng

These are fried banana fritters. They serve as a great snack and something to munch on when you want to have something light. They are quite sweet and are worth the price. Slices of bananas are dipped into a batter made from flour, eggs, salt and sugar. These are then fried until they gain a golden brown colour and are usually accompanied with Nutella, chocolate, and other sweet toppings.
Where to find: Pisang goreng madu bu nanik, Tanjung duren raya (opens 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 5,000

17. Es Kapal

Does memories of the classic childhood drink Milo still bring back delicious memories of one of the best malt-based drinks EVER? Somewhere between a drink and a dessert, this iconic food of Jakarta serves as a fitting end to one's meal. It is a combination of chocolate, ice and milk with various toppings such as nuts, rice Krispies and cocoa puffs.
Where to find: Es kapal milo asli, Kota Jakarta Pusat (opens 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 15,000

18. Sop Buah

Mmmm, another dessert on the list! This one's loaded with a bunch of fruits, jelly, coconut milk and cherries. Fruits added are red dragon fruit, apples, muskmelon, avocado and berries. Grated coconut is added too. The base syrup used is a mixture of coconut syrup and condensed milk. Its usually had on a special occasion.
Where to find: Es Buah Segar Pak Daud, Kota Jakarta Barat (opens 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 15,000

19. Fried Breadfruit

Breadfruit is an offshoot to a jackfruit. Fried breadfruit is considered a delicacy amongst the food of Jakarta. It is cut into sizable amounts and fried to a golden brown colour without any coating of batter onto it. Usually, it’s fried to a point somewhere between crispy and soft enough to dig in. It's starchy and quite filling. Best for a quick, light snack.
Where to find: Can be found in any marketplace
Approximate cost: IDR 2,000

20. Cincua

Considered of a light snack, Cincua is a jelly which tastes leafy and is added with crushed ice and brown sugar syrup. The ice gradually melts making the drink somewhat slurry and can be downed in one gulp. A great option to beat the heat!
Where to find: Cincua hijau serat, Penjaringan (opens 9:00 AM to 9:00PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 8,000

21. Jus Alpukat

Also known as avocado juice, this drink in Jakarta is a healthier option to go for if ever in need of a nice cool drink. Avocados have got several health benefits and are a great source of fats. They are quite popular in Jakarta and are consumed on a regular basis. Avocado pulp is extracted from the fruit and is diluted with milk. It's usually served with chocolate syrup and coffee powder. Definitely makes you long for more!
Where to find: Can be found in any marketplace
Approximate cost: IDR 6,000

22. Sekoteng

Everyone loves a nice hot bowl of soup. This soothing food of Jakarta made from barley, beans, bread, corn and pomegranate. The base used here is ginger water along with cloves, cinnamon and fennel. It’s boiled post which green beans, bread, corn and pomegranate are added.
Where to find: Saung Bandung Wedang, Kota Jakarta Barat (opens 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 10,000

23. Spaghetti Ice Cream

When it's time to cool down your taste buds, what better than ice cream? How about homemade ice cream?! A scoop of your choice is fed through a spaghetti look-alike machine which makes the ice cream looks like spaghetti. This is topped with chocolate, peanuts, jelly beans and crushed candies.
Where to find: Ragusa Italian ice cream, Kota Jakarta Pusat (opens 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 35,000

24. Chicken Feet Soup

Chicken feet boiled in a broth till it becomes tender and imparts its flavour to the broth. This also serves as a soup. Whatever meat is present on the bone can be yanked off with a hard tug and can be savoured along with the broth.
Where to find: Can be found in any marketplace
Approximate cost: IDR 9,000 - IDR 12,000

25. Popiah

Craving for a roll? We’ve got you covered! Popiah is a roll made from rice flour and stuffed with a filling of greens, carrots, sauces, pork and crab meat. It’s something that you can turn to for a light snack.
Where to find: Namaaz dining, Kota Jakarta Selatan (opens 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM)
Approximate cost: IDR 16,000
That’s all for now folks! A couple of things to be kept in mind while trying out these delicious dishes-
a. Peanut sauce is a must and is usually added to most of the dishes.  
b. Fried crackers are found in a majority of dishes

So now that we've covered the must-try food of Jakarta, taking those hunger breaks between your sightseeing tours will be a lot more exciting. From light snacks to wholesome soup bowls, Jakarta is a palate of the widest range of dishes. 

This post was published by Sufiyan