Indonesian street food is a wonderful mix of local, Chinese, Straits Chinese (Peranakan) and Dutch influences. Here are the must-try street food stalls in Jakarta, Indonesia’s lively capital.
One of the most beloved street eats in the city, Santiga is open all night long, serving fresh seafood grilled or stir fried. Diners sit at low, plastic-covered tables, and are presented with delicacies such as boiled cockles with pineapple sambal sauce, kepiting saus padang (spicy crab) and perfectly breaded fried cuttlefish. Most importantly, Santiga is unusually clean, by Jakarta street food standards, so you can enjoy your seafood without sorry,
Santiga Seafood, Jalan RS Fatmawatih 42, Jakarta, Indonesia, +62 815 14104327
This roadside cart is one of the best places for gorengan, or fritters. Nearly everything is deemed fit to be battered and deep fried here, including pineapple, tempeh (fermented beans), breadfruit, and mashed potato. Stop at Aneka Gorengan for an indulgent mid-day nibble, or for a tasty distraction while stuck in Jakarta’s notoriously bad traffic.
Sate Khas Senayan is one of the many street food names in the city that have evolved into casual restaurants thanks to their enormous popularity. The speciality here is sate (or satay), meat skewers dipped in delectable peanut sauce. Other good options at Sate Khas Senayan are the Nasi Pecel Komplit set (rice, salad with peanut sauce and prawn crackers), and Tahu Telur, crispy fried tofu with peanuts, beansprouts, and spicy gravy.
Sate Khas Senayan, Jalan Pakubuwono VI 6, Jakarta, Indonesia, +62 21 7269032
Kwetiau, a type of flat rice noodle, is an example of the Chinese influence on Indonesian cuisine, and there are analogous dishes in neighboring Malaysia and Singapore that make use of the same type. At Kwetiau Bagan Bandengan in Jakarta, the noodles are stir fried in homemade chili sauce, and topped with tiny shrimp and bean sprouts. There are a number of stalls in the area selling Kwetiau Bagan, but Bandengan is arguably the most authentic and best replicates the flavors of Bagansiapiapi (a predominantly Chinese coastal town in Riau).
Gado Gado Bon Bin Cikini has been around since the early 1960s, and has retained its old-fashioned, lovingly prepared flavors. Still run by the same elderly couple, the stall specializes in gado gado, an Indonesian salad comprising fried tofu, tempeh, crispy blanched vegetables, eggs and tapioca crackers, topped off with a sweet peanut sauce. You can choose to add lontong (banana leaf-scented rice cakes) to your salad, turning it into a substantial meal.
Gado Gado Bon Bin, Jalan Cikini IV 5, Jakarta, Indonesia, +62 21 3141539