10 Amazing Foods You Need to Try in Indonesia!

  • 10 Foods You Must Try in Indonesia

From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, the food in Indonesia is incredibly varied and all absolutely delicous! There’s an awesome fusion of local Indonesian food cooked in traditional warungs and modern cafes serving all the healthy choices (yup all the smashed avo you could wish for!). and of course, being in indonesia it’s all incredible cheap – you can grab some street food for less than 50p and eat a local main meal for as little as £1. Aside from the delicou-ness, theres something else I adore about Indonesian food – I love much love goes into everything that’s served, no matter where you’re buying it from – and if it’s served in a banana leaf then even better!

Here are my top 10 foods you need to eat in Indonesia…(and some of my favourite places to eat them!)

(P.S : this list is not exhaustive of course – there are hundreds of awesome dishes to try in Indonesia – but this is a good place to start!)

10 Foods You Must Try in Indonesia
10 Foods You Must Try in Indonesia

1. Satay Tempeh

The Satay we had in Indonesia was hands down the best satay I’ve ever had – which makes sense because satay apparently originated in Java! The skewers of meat, tofu or tempeh are cooked over hot coals and served with the delicious peanut sauce! Tempeh (or tempe) is made from soybeans a bit like tofu, and is packed full of protein and fibre so is great for vegetarians.

Where: Visit Biah Biah in Ubud and try the tempeh skewers. They serve tapas style dishes, so t’s a great place to try lots of Balinese foods at once. (I loved these small potato balls too from here, but I can’t remember what they are called!)

10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

2. Grilled Corn

One of my favourite street foods in Indonesia was the grilled corn. The corn is brushed in a paste of butter, chilli, garlic, spices and lemongrass before being grilled and it’s so good!

Where : You’ll find it everywhere on street food stalls, but the best we had was on the beach front in Sanur.

10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

3. Gado Gado

Gado Gado, one of Indonesia’s best-known dishes, literally means ‘mix-mix’ and is exactly that! It’s basically a mix of salad, vegetables (often green beans, carrots and spinach), egg, potato, tofu and tempeh. I never had a gado gado that was made the same – but they are always finished off with peanut sauce!
Where: Everywhere – it will never be the same!
10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

4. Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng

‘Nasi’ /  ‘Rice’
“Mie” /  ‘Noodles’
“Goreng”/ ‘Fried’
As the national dishes of Indonesia, you’ll find both Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice) and Mie Goreng ( Fried Noodles) in pretty much every warung, food stall and restaurant during your travels and it’s not surprising – they are both delicious! In Indonesia, the fried rice and noodles are stir fried with onions, garlic, spices and a sweet, soy sauce called keycap. These are mixed with egg and a choice of meat or tofu and are often served a mix of salad, vegetables and rice crackers.
Where: Again, everywhere!
10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

5. Tropical Fruit

There is an abundance of incredible, tropical fruits across Indonesia and I don’t think there is a better way to start the day than a huge fruit salad of fresh dragonfruit, pineapple, mango, papaya and bananas. Tip: If you hate papaya with a passion like I did, then try squeezing lime on it first  – game changing tip from a local!


  • Cafe Vida in Canggu (pictured below)
  • Kafe in Ubud
10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

6. Smoothie Bowls

As well the incredible fresh fruit available, smoothies and smoothie bowls are really popular, particularly across Bali. These brightly coloured bowls are topped with granola, muesli, yoghurt and dried coconut!


  • Ginger and Jamu / Nusa Lembongan (pictured below is there ‘Hulk’ smoothie bowl – made with avocado)
  • The Cashew Tree / Uluwatu
10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

7. Pisang Goreng (Fried Bananas)

Pisang Goreng is basically banana, covered in batter and deep fried! So it’s really not the healthiest recommendation, but you have to give them a try at least once – they taste too good! We were introduced to these during breakfast on our Rinjani hike, and they gave us plenty of energy for our days of hiking! It’s a really popular choice for breakfast as is banana pancakes – and we ate our fair share of these too! There’s something so good about the bananas in Indonesia – they are super sweet!

Where: We were always served them on our organised trips, but they are popular at street food vendors or in restaurants as a dessert.

10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

I didn’t take a photos of these during our organised trips – but here are the banana pancakes!

8. Pepes Ikan

Pepes Ikan is a delicious, traditional fish dish, but if your not a fan of spice you might want to skip this one –  it has quite a kick! The fish is rubbed with spices, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed, giving it an incredible melt-in-the-mouth texture.

10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

9. Red Curry

Rendang curry is hugely popular across Indonesia (and elsewhere), but for me it was all about the red curry. This curry is full of flavour and colour and is made with a delicious combination of spices including turmeric, chilli, garlic and coconut milk.


  • I had the most amazing red curry with tofu, tempeh and loads of vegetables from The Fair Warung Bale, a non profit organisation funding healthcare for the local community.  The meal cost just £3, and provided healthcare for two people. This warung is in Ubud in Bali and is 120% worth a visit.
10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

10.  Drinking Coconuts

Paradise is… lying on a beach drinking straight from a coconut! Coconut water is really refreshing and is really good for keeping you hydrated in the Indonesian heat. You can pick up a whole coconut from locals selling them on the beach for as little as 80p!

10 amazing foods you need to try in Indonesia

I hope this was helpful if your heading to Indonesia – I plan to write a more detailed post about Healthy Food in Indonesia and also the Cost of Travelling Indonesia so keep posted for these! You might like to check out my Top 5 Things You Can’t Miss in Lombok and 5 Places You Can’t Miss in Bali here too. If you have any questions or comments, let me know – I’d love to hear what foods you loved in indonesia!

Thanks for reading,

Nicki x

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By | 2018-02-14T09:31:02+00:00 November 8th, 2017|1 Comment

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