March 27, 2023

Your guide to the local street food scene in Jakarta, Indonesia

The most common street food in Indonesia is basko, or meatballs served with noodles, tofu, eggs, and sometimes fried meat.
Locals in Indonesia don’t typically go to restaurants when they eat out. Instead, it’s typical to take part in the local street food scene, where vendors sell delicious regional cuisine for every meal of the day.

Street vendors in larger cities like Jakarta offer a wide range of traditional foods from regions around the country. In smaller cities, the options will be more limited, but also more local. The most common street food in Indonesia is basko, or meatballs that are typically served in a bowl with noodles, tofu, eggs and, sometimes, fried meat.

Soto is another popular street food dish. This soup-like meal is made of broth and vegetables, and sometimes includes meat such as beef or chicken (and occasionally mutton or pork). This dish is usually accompanied by rice, and the many regions and ethnicities of Indonesia prepare them in the meal in their own ways.

Satay is also commonly sold by street food vendors. The dish is made of chunks or slices of meat – options range from chicken to goat, lamb, beef, pork or fish – grilled on bamboo skewers and served with spicy seasonings.

Visitors will also want to try nasi goreng, steamed rice stir-fried with eggs, meatballs, meat and vegetables, often flavored with sweet soy sauce. Nasi rawon, rice served with dark beef soup, is a dish that originated in East Java and made from kluwak nuts. It is typically served with uncooked mung bean sprouts, salty duck eggs and pecel, a mixture of vegetables and traditional crackers with a spicy peanut paste.

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