Top Things to Eat in Yogyakarta Including 5kg Meatballs

Top Things to Eat in Yogyakarta Including 5kg Meatballs

We all travel for different reasons. In Yogyakarta, those of us who seek out adventurous thrills in our travels can do so at Timang Beach, where travelers get to zip across choppy waters in a rickety wooden cable car. Others see Yogyakarta as a haven for nature; the ethereal “Heaven’s Light” at Jomblang Cave, for example. 

Of course, there are also plenty who travel to Jogja for the lively arts and music scene.

However, underlying this bustling is also a buzzing foodie central, some which are true blue Jogja cuisines. Here are seven dishes to try when you’re there! 

1. Gudeg – Stewed young jackfruit

things to eat in bandung

Image credit: Wikimedia commons

Of course, we’d have to start off this list with Gudeg. How could we not!? As Yogyakarta’s most famous dish, with travellers from far and wide makeing it a point to sample it when in the city.

You’re probably wondering what is Gudeg? It is eaten as a side dish alongside rice and other meaty additions, so it’s no wonder as to why many mistake it for pulled pork.

But those seemingly meaty shreds? They’re young unripe jackfruit!

Image credit: Alpha on Flickr 

Chunks of unripe jackfruit are stewed for hours in coconut milk, palm sugar and various herbs and spices like candlenut and galangal. 

2. Jenang – Smooth starch porridge 

Image credit: Wikimedia commons 

The Javanese have a sweet tooth, and this is beautifully exemplified in Jenang –  a smooth starch porridge of sorts. It’s smooth, gloopy and lightly sweet. 

There are multiple different types of jenang. Some are made with cassava, some with sago flour and some with rice flour. At Jenang Bu Gesti, various types of jenang are served in cups of banana leaves.

The porridge is more than just a snack or a meal too, it’s closely intertwined with Javanese culture. There’s even a whole festival dedicated to it! 

3. Giant Bakso – Springy beef balls 

Ask anyone what food they associate with Indonesia, and bakso is likely to make the list. In Yogyakarta, these savoury beef balls are taken to new heights.

At the famed Bakso Klenger Ratu Sari, bakso sizes reach up to a monstrous 5kg! Diners can choose from the regular sizes, or opt for sizes ranging from one to five kilos.

Use the aptly-sized giant utensils to slice off chunks of bakso starting from the top. Inside, a spicy filling of hard-boiled eggs, sliced beef and oozing sambal (chili sauce) awaits! 

Bakso Sumsum is another popular trend in the world of Jogja’s bakso, where large cow bones chock-full of marrow are served inside the delicately savory broth, complete with straw for you to suck out the goodness! 

4. Jadah Tempe – Glutinous rice patties and fried fermented soybean cake 

things to eat in bandung

Image credit: Wikimedia commons

Yogyakarta is home to Indonesia’s most active volcano – Mount Merapi. On her slopes lie Jadah Tempe Mbah Carik, where the unassuming Jadah Tempe is served.

There are two main components to Jadah Tempe. Glutinous rice and marinated fried tempe (fermented soybean cake). The glutinous rice is sticky and full of coconut fragrance and shaped into flat patties to form Jadah.

The slabs of tempe are marinated in palm sugar and other spices till fully infused, then deep-fried. Together, the contrasting textures offer the best of both worlds! 

5. Lumpia – Chicken and vegetable spring rolls 

Craving good ol’ street food? Head on over to Lumpia Samijaya for the best lumpia around. Lumpia are essentially spring rolls, and for over 40 years, this roadside stall at Yogyakarta’s major shopping street Malioboro has been frying up some of the best ones around!

Inside the rolls of crispy lumpia skins is a filling of chicken and vegetables, granting travellers with a filling treat after their evenings of exploration. Lumpia Samijaya is also famous for their “special” with quail eggs in the filling!

6. Soto Ayam – Hearty chicken soup 

Image credit: Wikimedia commons 

You can think of soto ayam as a hearty chicken soup of sorts, and the one at Soto Kadipiro is aggressively raved of by locals and domestic tourists alike. 

Intensely savoury and comforting, the soto ayam here sees a lightly golden-hued chicken soup scooped over chicken shreds, tender cabbage and crisp soybean sprouts. Fried shallots are sprinkled on top for added depth of flavor. 

As for the accompanying sambal (chili sauce), you’d be hard-pressed to find any other soto ayam place serving up the same kind. Think tomatoes, chilies and vinegar! 

7. Bakpia Pathok –  Flaky mung bean pastry 

Image credit: Marc on Flickr

Yogyakarta is also renowned for bakpia pathok. You might be familiar with this pastry, as there are similar versions throughout the entirety of Asia. If you’re Singaporean or Malaysian, perhaps you might know it as tau sar piah?

One bite into these popular bite-sized pastries, and the pastry crumbles into its flaky layers. On the inside, a filling made from mung beans lends a salty-ish flavor and a fluffy, almost powdery texture. These days, more modern flavors such as chocolate and cheese are available as well. 

Image credit: Wikimedia commons

In Yogyakarta, bakpia pathok are named after the Pathuk suburb where they originated from. They’re wildly popular as souvenirs, just like the Amanda Brownies of Bandung!

About Author

Shen Lee Ng
Shen Lee Ng

A world record holding powerlifter and wannabe patissiere, Shen currently spends her days as a social media manager, English teacher and content (the fun stuff) and copywriter (the drab stuff). Her only goal before she starts the treacherous journey that is college is to inspire those around her and to eat as many as opera cakes as possible.


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