Yogyakarta’s extraordinary zeal for everything extends to its culinary scene, resulting in impressive restaurants ranging from the authentically traditional to modern contemporary establishments. Here are the 10 best.
View from Abhayagiri at night | @abhayagirifood via Instagram
Nestled on the hills of a charming village in Prambanan, stunning scenery is definitely on the menu of Abhayagiri Restaurant. From the terrace seating area, you should be able to spot the majestic Prambanan Temple, with Mount Merapi in the background — two of Yogyakarta’s best highlights standing out from the rest of the scene. Looking inside, you’ll see a luxurious take on the Javanese traditional design, with earthy but lavish interior down to every detail. Matching the whole ambiance, you can enjoy a hearty traditional menu, but they do have some international selections as well.
For those who want to experience the urban side of Yogyakarta, this rooftop bistro should be high on their to-dine list. Right from the iconic entryway, this restaurant reflects an elegant and modern design. It also serves a wide range of international food, whether you want to feast on something familiar or try something foreign or even fusion. The menu also comes with a list of bar food and drinks.
Dining at this restaurant feels like a local family has invited you to come visit their home and enjoy some of their everyday delicacies. From the homey traditional Javanese interior, gamelan music, to heritage recipes, eating becomes a full-on cultural experience. This restaurant offers smaller servings on cheaper prices, so this is your chance to sample everything that sounds interesting, from rice meals to refreshing traditional desserts.
Mang Engking Soragan Castle | @mangengkingsoragancastle via Instagram
Yes, you read it right. It’s a castle that serves food for us common people. The façade may say majestic medieval castle, but the inside is mostly airy and charmingly homey, the Javanese style. You can dine inside the castle, or out on one of the pretty gazebos by the fish pond. Food-wise, this restaurant is popular for its fresh seafood meals and other Indonesian fare. No matter what you order, make sure it comes with your selection of the famed chili condiments.
Rijstafeel at Rosella Easy Dining | @rosellajogja via Instagram
Many foreign tourists and weary urban-dwellers come to smaller towns like Yogyakarta to experience dining in a countryside, next to rice fields and brushed by the cool breeze. This restaurant delivers just that, only without neglecting the fancy, luxurious side. The open patio-style space blends well with the green surroundings, but on the table you’ll find elegant, romantic decorations alongside the meticulously prepared and well-presented food.
Calling all aspiring vegetarians: when mushrooms are cooked this well and deliciously, forgetting all about meat is easy. From soup to skewers and deep-fried snacks, everything here is made from different kinds of mushroom. The juicy texture and delectable umami taste will make you forget that it’s actually mushroom that you’re feasting on. Wash down with fresh juice and immediately feel better after your amazingly nutritious and delicious meal.
Housed in a traditional joglo house of the Javanese culture, this restaurant is like a time machine transporting you back to old-time Yogyakarta. This kind of wooden house is known for its iconic roof and breezy architecture, making the restaurant a well-sought option for any occasion: romantic dinners to weddings, meetings to gatherings. Food-wise, the traditional Javanese meals and beverages are as authentic as the building, and offered in different packages according to your needs.
Milas is popular on many fronts. For one, it’s a vegetarian restaurant serving delicious, natural food. It’s also an organic farm with proven quality, and a showroom for local handicrafts. The establishment has a charming multi-language library, and hosts an organic market selling the best produce from local farmers. The restaurant recreates classic Indonesian recipes with healthier vegan ingredients and takes up the challenge of serving tasty food without MSG flavouring.
Da Vinci Pizza by Mediterranea | @mediterranea_r via Instagram
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find perfectly authentic Mediterranean food nestled in an unassuming nook in Yogyakarta. Accomplished chef Camille (who insisted on being called Kamil for a more Indonesian feel) is from France and his big dreams brought Mediterranea into the world. His passion for food is reflected in the ambitious range of menu, from pizza to kebab. Beyond the food, Mediterranea’s charming interior will also transport you far away to a lovely home, like somewhere in Southern Europe.
Managed by the global brand Via Via, this restaurant in Yogyakarta carries the diversity of the world on its menu. From Norwegian salmon to rogan josh, Via Via caters to everyone’s taste, making it a popular choice among expats and foreign tourists. However, Indonesian meals still get special spotlight with ever-changing daily specials. One thing you can’t help but notice about this place is the strong artsy vibe in its decor, live music, handmade products, and overall experience.