Jakarta Street Food Guide

Living in this capital of Indonesia is best for few reasons. One of it: Food sellers walk around my neighborhood with their pushcart or bicycle to offer and deliver meal or beverages directly to the front of my door starting from 5am until11pm. Here is my chronicle.


Indonesian main staple is rice. This dish of “bubur” is made by cooking rice with extra amount of water, garnished with fried soy beans and shredded fried chicken plus some other things on top of yellow curry broth. Not vegetarian friendly.

Price = Rp.7,000.


This dish is combination of small cuts of rice cake (ketupat made by cooking rice is coconut leaf wrappings), a piece of fried soy cake or tofu (tahu goreng) and vegetable curry made from shredded chayote (sayur labu siam). Non vegetarian can add hard boiled egg.

Those shrimp crackers (kerupuk udang) is not vegetarian friendly, you can skip it.

Add red chilli paste (sambal) to get more spicy and hot taste.

Price: Rp.8,000 (basic) or Rp.11,000 (with additional egg).


Kembang Tahu in a bowl consists of soft tofu chunks with hot ginger syrup. Perfect for snacking. 100% vegetarian.

Price: Rp.6,000.


Tapai is Indonesian dish made by inoculating carbohydrate source with the required microorganisms starter culture (a kind of yeast) to generate fermentation. My mom often bought fermented casava (tapai made from singkong or cassava), soft with sweet and sour taste plus a bit alcoholic aroma sensation. Sometimes she mixed it with flour then deep-fried became “rondo royal” (tapai cake).


Price: Rp.7,000 for 500 grams (enough for 2-3 persons as tea-time snack).

*11am = KETOPRAK

It’s also a dish of rice cake cuts and fried tofu chunks like Lontong Sayur, but this one got peanut sauce (with heavy garlic aroma) plus vermicelli (bihun) and boiled bean sprouts (tauge) for lunch. Vegetarian friendly without shrimp crackers.

Choose your spiciness level when order:
– Plain (gak pedas) = no chilli.
– A bit spicy (pedas dikit) = one chilli.
– Spicy (pedas) = two chillis.
– Very spicy (pedas banget) = three chillis or more.

Price: Rp.12,000

*1pm = BASO TAHU

This steaming hot dish is good for lunch. Noodles, vermicelli, meat balls (baso) and tofu with ground meat filling (baso tahu), doused with beef broth and garnished with celery leaves also tomato sauce and red chilli paste. There is no vegetarian option.

Price = Rp.12,000


Otak means brain in Bahasa Indonesia but otak otak means grilled fish cake (ikan = fish), served with peanut sauce dipping.

Price = @Rp.1,500 or Rp.20,000 for 15 pieces.

*5pm = SIOMAY

It’s a kind of Chinese dimsum. There are boiled/steamed potato, cabagge, egg, fish cake, also pare (Momordica charantia, known as bitter melon, bitter gourd, bitter squash, or balsam-pear) with peanut sauce, chilli sauce plus few drops of juice of squeezed key lime.

Price = Rp.10,000 for a dish consists of 10 small pieces.

*7pm = SATE AYAM

It is grilled chicken chunks on wooden skewer, garnished with peanut sauce, can add chilli paste for hot and spicy taste. Usually eaten with lontong (long rice cake wrapped in banana leaves) or plain steamed rice.

Price = Rp.15,000 for 10 sticks and @Rp.2,000 for lontong.


Nasi means rice, mie means noodles, kwetiau means wide thick Chinese noodles (Hanzi: 粿條). Goreng literary means fry but actually Nasi/Mie/Kwetiau Goreng is stir-fried rice/noodles/kwetiau with egg, spices, shredded fried chicken and meatballs, cabbage, lettuce, also chilli paste (when customer wants it hot spicy).

The serving is garnished with cucumber, pickled carrot and green chillis, plus shrimp crackers.

To get a vegetarian version, tell the seller:
– Gak pakai telor = no egg.
– Gak pakai ayam = no chicken.
– Gak pakai baso = no meatball.
– Gak pakai kerupuk = no shrimp cracker.
– Sayur aja = just vegetables.

To request spicy level:
– Gak pedas = not spicy.
– Pedas dikit = a bit spicy.
– Pedas = spicy.
– Pedas banget = very spicy.

Price = Rp.12,000.

*11pm = SEKOTENG

This cup of hot ginger ale is perfect to keep our body warm at midnight. A kind of snack not just beverage because there are mung beans, croutons, tapioca pearls then added with sweet condensed milk (high calories not good for people who wanted lose weight like me, hehehe…).

Price = Rp.7,000.


  • Exchange rate (end of April 2017): US$1 = Rp.13,300. Means Rp.121,000 or US$9.10 for all above meal in one whole day, eating/snacking every couple of hours.
  • Prices are 2x more expensive at food courts, 3x at restaurants.
  • I had above meal and snack not in one day but within three weekends.

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