Food on a budget
The cheapest meals can be found at markets, from street food vendors, and in small eating establishments, known as warungs.
Indonesia’s unique cuisine
Indonesian gastronomy is bursting with flavours, colours, and textures. Delicious spices from the nation’s Spice Islands can be tasted in a lot of local fare. While there are dishes that are popular across many islands of the expansive archipelago, visitors will still find a large number of regional specialties as they move from island to island. Indeed, the farther away one ventures within the country, the more different the food will become.
Unique cultural dishes
The different ethnic groups that inhabit Indonesia all have their own food traditions and age-old recipes, and past colonialism has made its mark on the cuisine in some areas. Javanese restaurants usually serve indigenous meals, made with locally sourced ingredients. Sumatran dishes may have influences from the Middle East and India. In Eastern Indonesia, meals may be similar to those found across Polynesia and Melanesia. Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish influences can be found in some dishes. Some meals are similar to those found in Malaysia. The nation has more than 5,000 traditional dishes to offer!
Staple foods in Indonesia are rice and noodles, and soup is also a favourite dish. Most meat is halal, making it easy for Muslim visitors to tuck in with gusto.
Being vegetarian in Indonesia
Diverse vegetarian dishes can be trickier to find in some areas, but there are generally fallback options of rice with vegetables and stir-fried noodles with vegetables. Dishes using soy products, such as tofu and tempeh, are often easy to find too.
Indonesia’s famous foods
Three of the most well-known and widespread Indonesian dishes are rending, satay, and nasi goring, a fried rice dish. The official national food is tumpeng, a tall cone of rice surrounded by various vegetable and meat accompaniments. Other popular dishes in Indonesia include sambal, soto, bakso, gado-gado, rawon, gudeg, and gulai.