Visit Indonesia and Try These Ten Best Eats
So, you’ve been thinking about an incredible trip to Southeast Asia. But with so many fantastic destinations to visit, how do you pick the best?
Take a tip from us: Visit Indonesia.
It’s is a culturally rich, beautiful country with tons of amazing adventures for travelers to experience. Bali, a province of Indonesia, is a tourist hotspot and popular Spring Break party destination.
However, there are many other places in Indonesia that are worth visiting as well and, truth be told, the entire country has some seriously vibrant cuisine to try.
Before we get into the mouth-watering delicacies that Indonesia has to offer, let’s look into some more reasons why you should consider visiting this awesomely beautiful island country.
Just a Few Reasons to Visit Indonesia
From beautiful scenery to rich, diverse cultures to awe-inspiring animals, there are countless reasons to visit Indonesia.
The following three? They’re a mere handful:
Jakarta is Indonesia’s capital. It’s got a population of ten million people, and is the embodiment of a “melting pot.”
Jakarta is known for being the shopping capital of East Asia. Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia are just two grand malls the city has to offer. The weather is notoriously comfortable (especially from June to September).
And if you’re a fan of fun nightlife, the bars, and nightclubs in Jakarta will not disappoint.
Okay, maybe this isn’t the most exciting reason to visit Indonesia. But the Komodo dragon, our earth’s largest known lizard, is native to five of Indonesia’s islands.
The beautiful Sumatra is often overlooked by tourists seeking to travel to Indonesia. However, there’s nothing but adventure on this jungle island.
You can hang out with orangutans and elephants on Sumatra, and bathe with them on the shore in the morning. Follow with a cup of famous Sumatran coffee, and it’ll probably be the coolest morning you’ve ever had.
The jungle is so beautiful and unlike anything else in the world. Don’t forget to stock up on some photo gear to properly document your trip to this beautiful island!
While the nature, nightlife, and historic destinations you’ll encounter in Indonesia are well worth the trip, the cuisine will also steal your heart and leave you wanting more.From beautiful scenery to rich, diverse cultures, there are countless reasons to visit Indonesia.Click To Tweet
Let’s check out the ten best dishes from Indonesia that you simply have to try when you visit!
The Top Ten Best Indonesian Dishes
It’s finally time to dive into our list of fantastic Indonesian dishes. We recommend grabbing a pad and paper, or maybe taking some screenshots.
You also might not want to read this list on an empty stomach.
Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)
Fried rice may sound a bit simple but trust me, there’s nothing quite like nasi goreng. This dish typically includes chicken, veggies, shallots, garlic, chili, sweet sauce, and a side of crackers.
If you’re unlucky enough to not be able to visit Indonesia anytime soon, nasi goreng is actually very easy to make.
Soto betawi might as well be considered the chicken noodle soup of Indonesia. This savory, creamy soup is a delicious choice for particularly chilly Indonesian nights.
Soto betawi is typically made with beef, milk, and robust spices that give it a distinct flavor.
Not only is nasi campur a delicious part of Indonesian cuisine, it is also the country’s national dish!
Nasi campur is similar to Indian thali in that it is a sort of “sampler” meal. A mound of white rice typically sits in the center of a large leaf while surrounded by various items, including chicken satay, rendang, veggies, unique salads made with native vegetation, and prawn crackers.
The literal translation of rengang is “dry curry”. But don’t let that put you off. It may sound a little odd to visitors, but it is actually any incredibly delicious meal.
Beef, chicken, or goat are stewed in coconut milk and Indonesia spices until the meat has absorbed all the flavor and is completely dry. The result is a chewy, savory, spicy, intensely flavorful meat that pairs well with rice or light greens.
You can find this staple of Indonesia street food just about anywhere in the country. It is cheap, cooks quickly, and is absolutely divine in taste.
Satay is typically just barbecued chicken on a skewer with sauce, but there are other types of satay. Beef and sometimes pork (Indonesia is a Muslim country, so you’ll have to check out Chinese-owned restaurants to find pork satay) satay exist and some variations are skewers on lemongrass sticks for an extra pop of flavor.
Soto Mee (Also Known As Soto Mie)
This noodle soup is another bone-warming delicacy that is perfect to try during Indonesia’s colder months. This broth-based soup is made with beef or chicken stock, rice noodles, sliced spring rolls.
If you end up in Jakarta on your travels, check out the Mangga Dua Mall– one of the best soto mee joints is inside.
If you’ve been soaking up all the flavors of Indonesia on your trip and are feeling a little spoiled, gado gado would be a nice light meal to try.
Gado gado is a simple Indonesian salad with veggies, fried tofu, a hard boiled egg, and peanut sauce. Veggies in gado gado typically include potatoes, beans, cabbage, corn, sprouts, and spinach.
This nutty, spicy concoction is very delicious. Rawon is a soup made with beef and keluak, a type of black nut.
Rawon is typically served with rice, bean sprouts, onion, or boiled eggs. The broth is very dark and rich, so a small portion of this soup is more than satisfying.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ve probably heard of or have even tried tempeh before. The protein-packed food item is made from soy beans that have been fermented and packed into dense, nutty loafs. Tempeh originates from Indonesia’s biggest island, Java.
Tempeh can be fried or eaten raw in an elegant salad. Try visiting famous raw vegan restaurant Fresh if you decide to visit Bali and ask for their tempeh toast salad.
This tasty treat almost tastes like meat, but it isn’t. Like tempeh, vegans and vegetarians have probably heard of nangka (jack fruit) before. The fruit is known for its savory, sweet, meaty texture.
Gudeg is a deeply flavourful and satisfying stew made from nangka, sugar, coconut milk, garlic, a whole lot of spices, and various types of meat. Gudeg is known as one of the richest dishes in the entire world
We can’t forget about breakfast on this list of Indonesian delicacies. Nasi kuning, also called yellow rice or turmeric rice, is a hearty breakfast food.
Nasi kuning typically involves boiling rice in coconut milk and turmeric. The rice is usually served along with eggs, coconut shreds, nuts, spices, and sometimes fried anchovies. (If you’re into that.)
Do you have a favorite Indonesian food (or recipe) that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Heather @TravelationshipPosted at 18:28h, 27 October
And try any drink with tumeric in it. I found their tumeric drinks to be absolutely delicious.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 11:55h, 28 October
Oh wow. Thanks for the tip! We will most definitely be on the lookout for drinks containing turmeric ?
Adam, Bite of IcelandPosted at 20:32h, 03 November
I’ve read your post right before my dinner. It was a mistake. All these dishes sound so yummy! I simply adore Asian food. I’d especially love to try rendang.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 21:30h, 03 November
Adam, oh no! Well, hopefully, your dinner was delicious. Asian food is the best. Yes, we recommend that you try the rendang – you will not be disappointed.
VyjayPosted at 05:44h, 04 November
The food really looks fresh and healthy. Interesting to note that Indonesia has its own version of the Indian Thali or platter. Vegetarian and Vegan options available are encouraging.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 06:33h, 04 November
Vyjay, Indonesia has so many more options than we ever imagined! All of the food that we tried was delicious. They definitely have quite an extensive list of vegetarian and vegan options.
SreeramPosted at 20:27h, 04 November
As a vegetarian my options are quite narrowed while on the road. I have tried most cuisines that you have mentioned on the post . Though Nasi Goreng is my all time favorite.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 07:35h, 05 November
Sreeram, we hope that you found plenty of options while in Indonesia. Nasi Goreng is quite delicious!
Nandyz SoulshinePosted at 09:02h, 27 November
nice food guide…surely will try gudeg when in Indonesia
The Travel NinjasPosted at 09:15h, 27 November
Hi, Nandyz. Thank you for the compliment. Yes, you should definitely try the gudeg when you visit Indonesia!
NicolePosted at 01:52h, 17 December
This looks like a magical and delicious trip to make. I love turmeric, too! Also, apes and elephants are my favorite things… it’s worth it just for the animals.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 01:55h, 17 December
Hey Nicole. You’re so right. Indonesia is a magical and delicious trip for us too.
Meg KernsPosted at 12:24h, 17 December
I’m such a square when it comes to trying new foods. I feel that if I were to have the opportunity to travel, it would have to be a ‘when in Rome’ type of feeling! I’d definitely try these ‘great eats’ if I ever have the opportunity!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 12:30h, 17 December
Hi Meg. That’s a great attitude.
Sondra BarkerPosted at 12:51h, 17 December
I love Indonesian food, so I’d love to have real authentic Indonesian cuisine!
The Travel NinjasPosted at 13:00h, 17 December
Hello Sondra. We love it too.
HouxPosted at 22:27h, 18 December
I have never enjoyed Indonesian food. It looks and sounds so very tasty! I will have to keep my eyes open at the next Food and Wine Festival and hope to try it.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 22:30h, 18 December
Hello Houx. We love it. Try for yourself. We’d love to hear what you think.
nehaPosted at 00:37h, 21 March
A wonderful list of cuisines that you have compiled here. I guess they cut across all taste buds and food preferences. Nasi Kuning sounds interesting – actually we have a version of it in India as well. I will definitely try out some of these when visit Indonesia.
The Travel NinjasPosted at 08:39h, 21 March
Hello Neha. Wow. we’d love to try the Indian version.