Surabaya's Best Dishes And Where To Try Them!

must-try foods in surabaya
| 3 min read

As the main gateway to East Java, Surabaya calls itself the capital of enchantment. The second largest Indonesian metropolis, famous for its culinary sites, allows travelers to make a deeper exploration into the local foods. Besides, Surabaya has an incredible food heritage that has been legendary for many decades. Although the city is situated near the coast where seafood should be the highlight, there is a wide variety of other good foods. Find out why the City of Heroes has worthwhile foods to try by reading the following list.

1. Sate klopo

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Are you fan of satay? You better try Sate Klopo on Ondomohen alley. What makes it special is the tasty grated and sauteed coconut called “poya” or “serundeng” covering the sate. The meat skewed and grilled over a charcoal fire is beef, organs, and fat. Besides, peanut sauce, which is spicy and sweet creates an incredible taste. Sate klopo is devoured with rice or lontong (a rice cake).

Sate Klopo Ondomohen Bu Asih

Address: Jl. Walikota Mustajab No. 36

Price: from 2.2 USD to 2.6 USD

Contact: +62 (031) 5474575

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Sate Klopo Ondomohen Bu Asih Surabaya

Here's a picture of the famous Sate Klopo Ondomohen Bu Asih in Surabaya! I love the taste because the meats are unlike other satays where we would always find excess gajih a.k.a. saturated fat amount... And their coconut seasonings are great too!!

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2. Nasi krawu

Krawu rice
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sanko used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are craving a different style of rice, you should try nasi krawu. The colorful nasi krawu consists of steamed rice, shredded beef, offal, “serundeng” (grated and sauteed coconut), and “sambal petis” (chili paste combined with the local spice named “petis”). There are two types of “serundeng” differing in color: red and yellow serundeng. It’s uniquely served in a banana leaf creating an amazing aroma.

Nasi Krawu Buk Tiban

Address: Jalan Kayoon 33

Price: from 1.5USD

Opening Hours: 24 hours.

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3. Rujak cingur

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Meutia Chaerani /... used under CC BY 2.5

Rujak cingur is the most popular traditional dish from Surabaya, so you are extremely recommended to try this food. It’s called rujak cingur since it uses “cingur” (the cow’s mouth) as the main ingredient. It’s actually a type of salad made of blanched veggies (spinach, string beans, and bean sprouts), fried tempeh and tofu, sliced cucumber, and the unique “cingur.” The green salad uses spicy peanut sauce with “petis” dressing.

Rujak Cingur Genteng-Genteng Durasim

Address: Jalan Raya Genteng Durasim no.29

Price: from 0.75 USD to 1.1 USD

Opening Hours: 11 am to 5 pm

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4. Rawon

Rawon Setan
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user christian r used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Originated in Surabaya, rawon is the specialty in East Java. It’s occasionally eaten during wedding ceremonies or traditional celebrations. The black soup consists of broth, diced beef, and steamed rice. The dish is so dark due to the use of “kluwek,” a spice that has nutty flavor. The beef broth is simmered with some spices including the “kluwek,” shallot, garlic, ginger, lime leaves, shrimp paste, and lemongrass. It’s usually eaten with fried shallots, baby bean sprouts, chili sauce, and prawn crackers.

Rawon Kalkulator-Taman Bungkul

Address: Jalan Progo, South Surabaya

Price: from 1.1 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am to 9 pm

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Good Tip

The traditional Chinese-Surabaya way of serving kompyang would be with sesame garnishes regardless of the filling's presence. In Surabaya, a kompyang can either be "kosong" (has no fills, yet rougher and crunchier exterior) or has meaty fills.

Normally, any kompyang with pork (babi) fills with seaweed will be best-sellers, especially the ones with chasio. However, some vegetarians and vegans do exist in some regions of Surabaya, such as any regions near Pasar Atom. Mushroom (jamur) fills with seaweed, like the ones I've provided here in the picture, exist as vegan and vegetarian-friendly options.

In case you can make it to Pasar Atom, it opens every day from 10:00 to 17:00 GMT +7 but they deliver too!

P.S.: The best place to order Kompyang Hongkong is when you're in Surabaya.

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5. Lontong balap

20170125 105849283 Lontong balap
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lasthib used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Lontong balap, native to Surabaya, has a unique story behind its name. “Balap” literally means “race.” In the past, the vendors of this dish carried heavy baskets vied for getting customers in Wonokromo market. The dish is made mainly of lontong (rice cakes), bean sprouts, fried tofu, and “lentho.” It’s served with clear broth along with fried shallots, sweet soy sauce, crackers, and shell meat satay.

Depot Cak Erwin-Indrapura

Address: Jalan Indrapura no.17, Krembangan

Price: from 0.2 USD to 1.3 USD

Opening Hours: 5 am to 12 pm

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6. Tahu campur

Tahu Campur 2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gunawan Kartapranata used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tahu campur, originally from Lamongan, is a delicious soup dish. It includes tender beef, fried tofu, cassava balls, bean sprouts, lettuce, and yellowish rice noodles in the dish. These ingredients are mixed with hot broth and fried shallots. Tahu campur is usually eaten with prawn crackers. You can add sweet soy sauce, chili sauce, and a squeeze of lime.

Tahu Campur Kalasan H. Abd. Mahfud

Address: Pujasera Warung 16, Jl. Nginden Intan Raya No. 16, Sukolilo

Price: from 1.3 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am to 9 pm

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7. Tahu tek

Tahu Telor in Surabaya
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sakurai Midori used under CC BY 3.0

The famous tahu tek mainly uses medium cooked fried tofu, offering an incredible mix of flavors (sweet, savory, and spicy). Besides tofu, the dish consists of several ingredients such as lontong (rice cakes), baby bean sprouts, fried or steamed potatoes, and sliced cucumber. It’s topped with sweet peanut sauce, fried shallots, and chopped chives.

Tahu Tek Joyo

Address: Jalan Raya Sedati Gede no. 54

Price: from 0.5 USD to 1.1 USD

Opening Hours: 4 pm to 10 pm

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8. Pecel semanggi

Semanggi seller
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Okkisafire used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Are you craving green veggies? You should try pecel semanggi, which is native to Surabaya. It’s a type of salad that mainly consists of blanched “semanggi” leaves, bean sprouts, “turi” flowers, and spicy peanut sauce topping. This traditional food is getting rare; only sold by old ladies on Surabaya’s streets. Instead of using spoon, the locals usually use “puli” cracker to scoup the food.

Bungkul Park (Street Vendors)

Address: Jl. Taman Bungkul, Darmo

Price: from 0.2 USD

Opening Hours: in the morning (no exact hour)

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9. Nasi bebek (duck rice)

Nasi bebek goreng Ubud Bali
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Midori used under CC BY 3.0

Nasi bebek is simply steamed rice with deep fried duck and spicy “sambal” sauce, yet it’s so mouth-watering. It’s served with fresh veggies called “lalapan” such as cabbage, string beans, and Thai basil. You can dip the fried duck into the spicy sauce. To make the flavor even better, use your right hand while eating it. There are hundreds of duck rice restaurants where you get a great meal across Surabaya.

Bebek Goreng Wachid Hasyim Jemur Sari

Address: Jalan Jemursari 17

Price: from 1.5 USD

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10. Mie pecun

Are you hot noodle lovers? Please, try mie pecun. In Indonesian, the word “pecun” stands for “Pedas Bebas Racun.” It means “the noodle is super spicy but poison free.” The dish basically uses instant noodles as the main ingredient but has a different touch. The additional ingredients like egg and green veggies are cooked together with the noodles.

Mie Pecun

Address: Jalan Anjasmoro, Sawahan

Price: from 1.1 USD

Opening Hours: 6 pm to 2 am

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Don't underestimate the tasty foods of Surabaya

Surabaya is not only famous for its top destinations but also its incredible cuisine. Perhaps you are reluctant to try the foods since some basic ingredients look extraordinary such as internal organs, weird spices, and a great amount of chili peppers. However, you can’t have a bad opinion of the food if you’ve never tried it. The specialties are indeed superb and highly recommended when you discover the City of Heroes.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Rofiq, hailing from East Java, Indonesia, is a passionate explorer who thrives on discovering new places, encountering diverse people, and immersing himself in various languages and cultures. His...Read more

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