Eating out in Yogyakarta, Java

Thanks to the stunning temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, Yogyakarta has seen a big rise in tourism over the years and is now second, only to Bali as a tourist destination in Indonesia. With this influx of visitors comes a greater choice of dining options. The establishments below are favourites from our time in ‘Jogja’ and are ‘must-visits’ on your journey in Java.

Bu Ageng (Warung Masakan Omah) Jl. Tirtodipuran 13, Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta

A selection of classic Javanese food at Bu Agung, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia

Our tasting dishes at Bu Ageng included white rice, beef tongue, shrimp and corn fritters, sambal, smoked freshwater catfish, and Nasi Campur (a rice dish with various items).

Although Bu Ageng is called a Warung, it is in fact more like a restaurant (no plastic stools found here). Chunky wooden tables and chairs are well laid-out in this large establishment, with an open and airy feel, yet shaded from sun, it’s a perfect place to grab a few plates of typical Javanese food and wash it down with a Bintang Beer or a spicy Teh Rempah (Javanese tea with lemongrass, cardamom other spices and sweetened with rock sugar). A friend and local ex-pat introduced us to Bu Ageng, if we’d have had more time, we would have returned for more.

  • Bakwan Ageng – Shrimp and Corn Fritters – 16,000
  • Nasi Campur Ayam Bakar Suwiran – Rice, Chicken, Vegetables, Sweet Potato Crisps, Dried Tuna and Chilli – 22,000
  • Nasi Putih – Boiled white rice – 5,000
  • Sambal Mentah – Chilli sauce with fried onions – 5,000
  • Lele Njingkrung – Smoked, fried freshwater Catfish – 9,000 (x2)
  • Lidah Masak Semur – Beef tongue in Soy Sauce – 17,000

Stunningly good Beef tongue marinated in a slightly sweet soy sauce at Bu Ageng

Our favourites were the beef tongue, shrimp and corn fritters and the smoked catfish.

ViaVia Travellers Café and Restaurant Jl. Prawirotaman 30, Yogyakarta

Seafood Nasi Goreng – one of our favourites at ViaVia

We loved Via Via and visited countless times during our stay in ‘Jogja’. Situated right in the middle of Prawirotaman street, it was only a few doors down from our accommodation at the Agung Inn. With its chilled atmosphere, superb dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner (including a varied Javanese and western menu) and great service, it is no wonder we kept coming back.
Here are some of our favourites:

Ceasar Salad at ViaVia Cafe and Restaurant in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia

Delicious Ceasar Salad at ViaVia

  • Any of the salads – The Caesar Salad and Goats Cheese Salad in particular – 25,000 Small (starter size)
  • Nasi Goreng / Bihun Goreng Istimewa – Fried rice with with vegetables, prawns, chicken, egg, side salad and prawn cracker (krupuk) – 30,000
  • Sapi Lada Hitam – Stir fried sliced beef with hot black pepper and celery leaves, paprika sauce, rice and a krupuk – 42,000
  • Sambal Goreng Sayur – A mix of sautéed vegetables in coconut milk, flavoured with a red curry and pepper sauce, rice and krupuk – 25,000

Sapi Lada Hitam – beef strips in a spicy pepper sauce with celery leaves and peppers (served on a Tuesday)

We also took part in one of ViaVia‘s cooking classes – another must on your list whilst in ‘Jogja’.

Pondok Cabe Jl. Tamsis 87, Yogyakarta
Another foodie heaven, we were very lucky to introduced to Pondok Cabe by a friend living in Yogyakarta. Without help from our Indonesian-speaking friend, we would have been rather stuck. However, after a little translation, we ordered quite a few dishes (Tapas style), as we wanted to try as much as possible. If you have a language guide or local friend, it is much easier, however we enjoyed every dish, so you could easily go for pot luck and see what you get. At these prices, it really won’t matter if you don’t eat it all (we paid 92,000 for 3 people including 4 soft drinks.)

Our tapas-style feast at Pondok Cabe with omelette, beef strips, tempe, sambal, chicken skewers, whitebait, chicken thighs and white rice

We ordered the following:

    • Tempe Goreng – Thick, deep fried slices of fermented soy bean cake (an absolute must, especially with a dollop of home-made sambal [chilli sauce]) – 2,500 (x2)
    • Paha Atas Bakar – Baked upper chicken thigh – 8,000 (x3)
    • Sate Ayam Anglo – Sticky satay marinated chicken skewers / kebabs – 12,500
    • Tahu Goreng – Fried soft tofu – 2,500
    • Empal Gepuk – Thin beef strip marinated in a sticky soy sauce – 11,000
    • Wader Goreng – Deep fried whitebait – 4,500
    • Telor Sponge Bob – A square shaped omelette – 3,500
    • Nasi Putih – Boiled white rice – 3,000 (x2)
    • Sambal Lombok Ijo – Home made green chilli sauce – 2,000
    • Sambal Tomat – Home made tomato and red chilli sauce – 2,000

Delicious marinated chicken skewers with a hot chilli dipping sauce at Pondok Cabe (Sate Ayam Anglo)


    • Our favourites were the Tempe Goreng (best tempe anywhere in Jogja), chicken thigh, satay chicken skewers and the sambals. We just couldn’t believe the price, again if we’d have had more time, we would have returned again and again, even if it was just for some Tempe Goreng and Sambal.

All food prices quoted are in Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) and were correct at the time of visit in June 2013.

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