Yogyakarta on the island of Java is considered to be the center of Javanese culture. Being a favorite tourist destination, however, also makes it a melting pot of sorts, especially when it comes to culinary flavors. Check out the 10 best places to eat in the city, and explore the city not just with your eyes but also with your taste buds.
1. Taste authentic Javanese cuisine at Bu Ageng Restaurant
This unassuming restaurant is not your usual tourist destination. In fact, its menu of home-cooked and authentic Javanese dishes with a mix of Kutai Malay influence mostly attracts locals rather than tourists. The restaurant is owned by a local artist and is in fact named after the artist’s wife. The cozy ambiance of the place makes one feel that one is eating in a local’s home. While spicy Javanese food is mostly on the menu, among the must-try dishes are the Eyem Penggeng, which is grilled chicken marinated in coconut milk with spices, and Paru Masak Ketumbar, which is beef lung in coriander. Both are perfect with steamed rice, a little raw sambal, and perhaps some fried tempeh (soybean cake). Aside from this, you can also try the different types of rice dishes or nasi.
Warung Bu Ageng
Address: Jln. Tirtodipuran 13, Yogyakarta 55143, Indonesia
Contact Details: +62 274 387191
Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays; closed on Mondays
Website: Warung Bu Ageng
2. Dine with history at Omah Dhuwur
Located in the historical district of Yogyakarta, the restaurant can be found in a historical building in Kotagede. Close to the silver craft shops, the restaurant offers a cool respite after a day of exploring the city. Diners will enjoy a snack or a meal while exploring the building and its surrounding garden and fishpond. Dutch and Javanese architecture mix very well as can be seen all around the area. While the place is popular for events and accommodating big groups, small groups of friends and family are welcome as well. The restaurant’s menu includes traditional Javanese dishes, with a mix of international dishes as well such as a variety of pasta dishes and appetizers. It also serves up traditional Javanese drinks such as ginger tea and traditional coffee.
Omah Dhuwur Restaurant
Address: Jl. Mondorakan No.252, Prenggan, Kotagede, Yogyakarta 55172, Indonesia
Contact Details: +62 274 374952
Opening Hours: 11 am to 10 pm, daily
Website: Omah Dhuwur
3. Eat for a cause at Milas Restaurant
Vegetarian food is best found at Milas Restaurant, which is located in the tourist area of the city called Prawirotaman. The restaurant is situated in a kind of secret garden, which makes for great and fresh outdoor ambiance. The restaurant serves up different kinds of vegetarian (not vegan) cuisine, such as soups and salads made of organic vegetables and healthy sandwiches. Must-try dishes include the gado-gado, an Indonesian salad, and their organic local coffee. During weekends, an organic market features fresh organic produce including fruits, vegetables, and spices. When you dine in Milas, you also contribute to a local charity that helps out street youth in the city.
Milas Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: Jl. Prawirotaman 4 No. 127B, Parangtritis, Brontokusuman, Mergangsan, Yogyakarta 55153, Indonesia
Contact Details: +62 851-0142-3399
Opening Hours: 3 pm to 9 pm, Tuesdays to Fridays; 12 pm to 9 pm, Saturdays and Sundays; closed on Mondays
4. Rub elbows with local artists at Kedai Kebun Forum
Kedai Kebun is a unique place to go because it combines an art space, gallery, bookshop, performance area, and restaurant in one spot. Managed by a group of local artists, it provides a venue for art exhibits and performances for local artists primarily through the restaurant’s earnings. It sets a young, artsy, and hip vibe with its regular artist performances, while its food reflects a modern take on traditional Indonesian cuisine. When you dine here, you will surely feel how alive the local art community is in the city. Vegetarian dishes are also available. You can also check out the art shop and bookstore for interesting buys.
Kedai Kebun Forum
Address: Jl. Tirtodipuran No. 3, Yogyakarta 55143, Java, Indonesia
Contact Details: + 62 0274 376 114; Email - [email protected]
Website: Kedai Kebun Forum (in Bahasa)
5. Try the best fried kampung chicken at Tojoyo 3
Indonesia is known for its local breed of chickens called kampung chicken, which are essentially free range chicken that are not fed with commercial feeds. This results in chicken meat that is generally leaner than that of commercial chickens. Indonesia is also known for its fried chicken dish, usually with kampung chicken marinated in local spices that gives a distinct Indonesian flavor. If you want to try ayam goreng, or fried chicken, the best place to go is Ayam Goreng Tojoyo. Locals swear by it so it is usually packed during lunch and dinner hours. The best way to enjoy its deep fried goodness is with steamed rice, fresh veggies, and some sambal.
Ayam Goreng Tojoyo 3
Address: Jl. Urip Sumoharjo No.133, Klitren, Gondokusuman, Yogyakarta 55222, Indonesia
Contact Details: +62 274 552750
Opening Hours: 11am - 3:30am, Daily
6. Classic Mediterranean cuisine at Mediterranea by Kamil
Owned and operated by a French chef, this restaurant proudly serves freshly whipped up Mediterranean dishes. The bread it serves is freshly baked twice every day, while the salmon is smoked in house. They also have different types of pizzas cooked in a wood fire oven, and meat dishes range from kebabs and steaks to chops. Indoor and outdoor dining options are available depending on your mood. Among the must-try dishes here are the duck confit with risotto, which is a uniquely spiced duck breast cooked perfectly, and the crème brûlée, which guests say is to die for.
Address: Jalan Tirtodipuran No. 24 A, Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta 55143, Indonesia
Contact Details: +62 274 371052
Opening Hours: 8:30 am to 11 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays
Website: Mediterranea by Kamil
7. Indulge in seafood at Jimbaran
Ikan Bakar Jimbaran serves up the freshest seafood, cooked to your liking. Ikan bakar actually means grilled or barbecued fish or seafood, thus the restaurant’s specialty is grilled seafood. Before you sit down to eat, you pick out the seafood you would like cooked for you, as well as other side dishes such as rice and vegetables. As you wait for your food, you can enjoy the fresh air in their open air dining area. Guests rave about the grilled tiger prawns with jimbaran sauce and the king crab in black pepper sauce. The restaurant is quite busy, being very popular with tourists, so plan your trip ahead if you can.
Ikan Bakar Jimbaran
Address: Jl. Damai No.77, Mudal, Sariharjo, Ngaglik, Sariharjo, Ngaglik, Yogyakarta 55581, Indonesia
Contact Details: +62 274 4463983
Opening Hours: 11 am to 10:30 pm, daily
Website: Ikan Bakar Jimbaran
8. Feel right at home at Via Via
Travelers are raving about Via Via Restaurant for its cozy interiors and its continental food. If you are tired of eating rice, you can have your fill of good, freshly baked bread here, which you can enjoy with your sandwiches and other continental dishes. The place also has a lot of eye candy, because it allows local artists to display their works and crafts in the restaurant. Guests with children will also love the kids corner in the restaurant, surely to keep their little ones entertained. The restaurant features a changing and dynamic menu of Indonesian dishes, pastas, salads, steaks, tapas, and a sandwich bar. Breakfast is also a good thing to try here, with its hearty choices and freshly brewed coffee.
Via Via Jogja Restaurant
Address: Jl. Prawirotaman No.30, Brontokusuman, Mergangsan, Yogyakarta 55153, Indonesia
Contact Details: +62 274 386557
Opening Hours: 7.30 am to 11.00 pm, daily
Website: Via Via Jogja Restaurant
9. Try a Basque culinary adventure at Mi Casa Es Tu Casa
Finding a Basque restaurant in Yogyakarta may take you by surprise, but Mi Casa Es Tu Casa fits the bill. Aside from serving Spanish cuisine, they also cater to local tastes with their Indonesian dishes such as rice and chicken. The specialty of the house, however, is a bit stranger than your usual cuisine. With a local hunter sourcing out wild snakes, the restaurant serves up cobra and python dishes, which can be cooked with curry or fried. The restaurant’s unique ambiance mixes Spanish style interiors and Indonesia decor, which is quite a visual treat for diners.
Mi Casa Es Tu Casa
Address: Suryodiningratan MJ2/913, Suryodiningratan, Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta, 55141, Indonesia
Contact Details: +62 274 374940
Opening Hours: 8 am to 10 pm, daily
Website: Mi Casa Es Tu Casa
10. Sweet endings at Tempo del Gelato
Where else can you enjoy a sweet ending to your meal but at the best gelato in the city – Tempo del Gelato. This gelato place is popular among the locals and tourists as well. What better way to cool down after a hot day out in the city than to indulge in a scoop or two of cool gelato. Try the unusual flavors on offer such as dragonfruit, cinnamon, or matcha tea. Or you can always go for the refreshing fruit flavors. You will have loads of choices at the store.
Il Tempo del Gelato
Address: Jl. Prawirotaman No.43, Brontokusuman, Mergangsan, Yogyakarta 55153, Indonesia
Contact Details: +62 274 373272
Opening Hours: 11 am to 10 pm, daily
Facebook: Il Tempo del Gelato
Food experiences in Yogyakarta:
Great experiences are all parts of a holiday. An evening food tour in Yogyakarta is a fantastic way to get a good introduction to the city and the life of the locals. Stroll along the Malioboro and Kraton areas and get introduced to a good blend of appetisers, main course and an array of sweet treats: yangko (a dessert made of glutinous rice), gatot (from cassava), the city’s very popular traditional gudeg (sweetened boiled jackfruit), among many other things. What’s more? You get to try the lesehan style of dining which is commonly practiced in the island of Java and in Bali. It is dining with the locals on a woven straw mat, with sandals off and legs crossed. In this tour, you will surely get to try a lot of things you wouldn’t have done on your own. The package covers the cost for all food items that will be sampled during the tour. Don’t forget to bring your appetite and wear comfortable clothes!
Evening street food tour
Price: 21 USD
Duration: 4 hours
Yogyakarta is hailed as the cultural capital of Indonesia and well-noted for Batik fabric production. If you are passionate about food, this city is renowned for its remarkably simple yet rich and flavourful dishes, true to its strong ties to the indigenous people of Java. Get yourself invited to the home of a Javanese and capture the real essence of their cuisine. Start your day with a trip to the market and shop for locally sourced produce needed for the cooking class. Then, prepare the dishes you chose (soup, salad, main and sides) in a cosy environment. As you cook, your local host will fill you with stories about Javanese people, their traditions and heritage more than you would ever think is possible in just one sitting. Finally, sit down and taste the mouth-watering dishes you have prepared with your new foodie friends. We promise this gastronomic adventure will captivate you!
Javanese cooking at a local's house with market visit
Price: 18 USD per guest
Duration: 5 hours
Yogyakarta is the smallest province in Indonesia yet the centre of multi-cultural heritage and everything Javanese on Java island. It is famous for Batik production, puppetry and Javanese art. It takes its pride from unspoilt ancient temples and Sultan’s palaces, fortresses, and prominent streets such as Malioboro. With loads of delightful sights for tourists to see and do, it is always best start your day with a good breakfast. Book this tour and you will never go hungry. From a serving of either soto (clear meat or vegetable broth) or gudeg (sweet soy-based jackfruit) with sambal and krecek (beef skin) to fresh gandos (coconut-based pancake), churros, and to a selection of porridge. Cap the tour with a special cup of coffee. You’ll be blown away with the unique flavours as you wind through the hidden alleyways. Simple breakfast treats that will leave you craving for more!
Breakfast Street Food Tour
Price: 17 USD per person
Duration: 3 hours
Make your Yogyakarta trip a food trip
With these 10 best places to dine and eat in the city, you will truly agree that Yogyakarta is indeed a melting pot of cultures. You can indulge in Javanese and Balinese food, or take things in moderation with vegetarian food. If you are up for a culinary adventures, you have quirky restaurants to choose from. Yogyakarta has everything for everybody’s fancy.
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