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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 10 foods to try in Jakarta - The must-try local flavours
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Top 10 foods to try in Jakarta - The must-try local flavours

One of the best parts of exploring a new place is experiencing its food. These are some of the best dishes to be found in Jakarta, so you can have a taste of the local life – literally.


Kerak Telor

Kerak Telor is egg crust. It is a must-try and is unique to Betawi. Although it looks like an omelette, it is not just egg. It is a mixture of egg and rice that is slowly cooked to perfection on a bed of hot charcoal.



Perfect for vegetarians, Ketoprak is basically a rice cake served with peanut sauce. It is a dish that is both sweet and spicy, made of chunks of tofu, Indonesian rice cake called "longtong", vermicelli, bean sprouts, sliced cabbage, boiled egg, and peanuts. The dish is usually served with a spicy sambal and rice crackers for that added crunch. You can find this at any restaurant or hotel apartment di Jakarta.


Soto Betawi

If you are a lover of spices and meat dishes, then the soto Betawi will be right up your alley. It is a thick broth made of coconut milk and beef while galangal and lemongrass adds fargrnce and flavour to it. The dish is usually served with a bowl of rice.



Gorengan are delicious snacks found at every corner of any street, be it near the luxurious Citadines Rasuna Jakarta, or charming little B&Bs. Gorengan literally translates to "fried food". It can be based on anything from cassava, banana to tofu.


Ketupat Sayur

Perfect for breakfast, the Ketupat Savur dish consists of eggs and rice served in a spicy broth. The rice is actually compressed rice cake called "ketupat", which is then soaked in a soup made of coconut milk. The condiments include string bean, green papaya, and young jackfruit.


Nasi Uduk Betawi

Ideal for lunch after a long day of walking and exploring, this coconut rice dish is a local speciality. The Nasi is extremely fragrant due to the lemongrass added and is usually served with a spicy peanut sauce, vermicelli noodle, a spicy sambal, a bean stew, along with a fried egg.


Laksa Betawi

A visit to Jakarta would be incomplete without trying the local version of Laksa. It is a broth that is rich in nutrition, which is quite different from its Malay cousin. It includes vermicelli noodles, boiled eggs, red chilli, galangal, and plenty of other fragrant spices.


Otak otak

While the word Otakotak may mean "brains", it is not just the brains of the fish that is served in this popular street food. It is a fishcake of sorts usually made from wahoo fish, perfectly paired with the local favourite, spicy peanut sauce.


Rujak Juhi

If you are a lover of seafood, this dried squid salad is sure to sate your cravings. Influenced by the Chinese, the salad is fresh, crunchy, and full of flavour. As is the Jakarta way, it quite filling as well, due to the presence of noodles in the salad among other things like tofu and peanut sauce.


Martabak Manis

The first dessert on this list, Martabak Manis is a sweet pancake. The stuffing is usually made of chocolate, cheese, nutella, peanuts, condensed milk, or any other form of sweet indulgence.