Yogyakarta is famous for being tourism cultural city. The city has many cultural and historical tourism attractions. It is really fun to explore the city and blend in the culture. But your tour of Yogyakarta will not be completed if you have not explored the local culinary. Local culinary is indeed a main aspect to feel the real cultural atmosphere of one specific place. And in Yogyakarta, there are many kinds of foods and beverages that you could try. Here are some of them:

1. Gudeg

Gudeg is a vegetable dish made from young jackfruit boiled with coconut milk, brown sugar, and several spices such as shallots, bay leaves, garlic, coriander seed, galangal, candlenut, and teak leaves. The boiling process can take up to several hours and results with dark brown dish with sweet taste.

A Waiter is Plating A Portion of Complete Gudeg Serving (Source: Flickr. Credit: Agung Guritno)
A Waiter is Plating A Portion of Complete Gudeg Serving
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Agung Guritno)

The original version of Gudeg Yogyakarta is usually serves with other components such as warm rice, brownish boiled egg, sambal goreng krecek, and fried chicken or tempe. Sambal goreng krecek is a beef skin dish stewed with chili and spices untilthe texture gets very soft. Other condiments and extra dishes might be added as you wish.

In Yogyakarta, there are two variants of Gudeg; the dry one and the wet one. The most common one is the wet one. It has darker color and much sweetness on the taste. People outside Yogyakarta might consider it as too sweet. But wet Gudeg is still more favored.

On the other side, dry gudeg has lighter color and use less coconut milk. The taste is not as sweet as the wet one. People choose this kind of Gudeg when they think that wet Gudeg is just too sweet for them.

Gudeg restaurants and street stands are almost everywhere in Yogyakarta. But the center of Gudeg is located on Wijilan Village, inside the area of Kraton Yogyakarta. You can go there using taxi, pedicab, or andong (traditional horse cart).

A take-away Gudeg is usually packed in clay jar or besek (a box made from plaited bamboo). There is also another tin can packaged Gudeg that can last up to several months. The tin can Gudeg is not available on restaurants or stands in Wijilan. You need to buy it on the retail or oleh-oleh shop (a specialty shop that sells local goods to take home after vacation or to be given as gifts).


2. Angkringan

Angkringan is a humble street café that sells meal menu in very cheap prices. The main menu on Angkringan is Nasi Kucing (Cat Rice). Unlike the name, the rice does not contain cat at all. Nasi Kucing is a small wrap of rice with a little bit of side dish. There are two common menu of Nasi Kusing. One is sambal teri, small sea fishes sautéed with chili paste. Two is oseng tempe, a simple sautéed tempe.

Angkringan with Numerous Menus (Source: Flickr. Credit: Luwandiko Wismar)
Angkringan with Numerous Menus
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Luwandiko Wismar)

Besides Nasi Kucing, an Angkringan also provides several condiments as the extra dishes or snacks, such as fried tempe, fried tofu, fried chicken, chicken intestine satay, shrimp satay, chicken innards satay, quail egg satay, krupuk (crisp chips), and much more.

The beverages available are usually warm/ice tea, warm/ice orange extract, warm ginger drink, ginger tea, ginger milk, ginger milk tea, or simple milk tea. Several Angkringan also provide other menu of rice beside Nasi Kucing. It could be nasi goreng (fried rice), nasi uduk (rice cooked with coconut milk), nasi jamur (rice with mushroom), and much more.

Eating in Angkringan saves up lots of money because the prices are incredibly cheap here. Each wrap of rice costs only about $0.1 – $0.3. The beverages range around $0.1 to $0.3. The condiments are ranging on the price of $0.05 to $0.2. Angkringan mostly opens after sunset until late night. But some may open during the day as well.


3. Sego Pecel

Literally the word “Sego” means “rice”. Sego Pecel is a dish consists of rice and pecel. Pecel is a salad-like dish made from various vegetables, poured with peanut sauce, and then topped with fried shallots and peyek (savory cracker with nuts or seafood). The vegetables are usually beansprout, water spinach, long beans, cucumber, cassava leaves, and tofu or tempe. Some chilies might be added on the peanut sauce to enhance the spiciness.

A Stand of Sego Pecel at Jalan Malioboro (Source: Flickr. Credit: Meidian Citraning Nastiti)
A Stand of Sego Pecel at Jalan Malioboro
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Meidian Citraning Nastiti)

Restaurant or street stands which sell Sego Pecel usually also provide several extra dishes as condiments such as fried tempe, fried tofu, fried chicken, various choices of satay, and several choices of krupuk (crisp chips).

Sego Pecel can be bought in the street stands lining up nearby the Pasar Bringharjo (Bringharjo Traditional Market) located on Jalan Malioboro. You can also go to the humble restaurant of SGPC Bu Wiryo at Jalan Argo 10, Sleman.

Bu Wiryo’s Sego Pecel is quite legendary in Yogyakarta as it opened since 1959. During Sunday morning, you can also find several Sego Pecel stands in the area of UGM (Universitas Gadjah Mada), where the instant market happens. There are also several other Sego Pecel stands and restaurants throughout Yogyakarta. It is not hard to find.


4. Yangko

Yangko is a sweet snack traditionally from Yogyakarta that is similar to Japanese’s Mochi. It has soft and chewy texture, various colors, and various flavors. Yangko is made with flour combined with peanut, sugar, and natural food colorants. This chewy snack has a sweet flavor. While original Yangko only has sweet flavors, now Yangko has fruit flavors too instead of just usual sugary sweetness. Fruit extracts has been added to the batter to make it taste richer and more delicious. Common flavors of Yangko are durian, melon, and strawberry.

Yangko in a Bowl (Source : http://kuliner.panduanwisata.com. Credit: yustitita)
Yangko in a Bowl
(Source : http://kuliner.panduanwisata.com. Credit: yustitita)

Yangko is usually sold in carton box filled with 20 pieces of Yangko in various colors and flavors. The snack is available in almost any retail and oleh-oleh shop. Fresh Yangko is available on the street of Jalan Malioboro.

At this street stalls, the Yangko is not always packaged in a carton box. Some vendors allow you to choose as much as you want and you can even choose which color or flavors you want. Thus, we would recommend buying Yangko from these street stalls for a fresh and customized Yangko.


5. Wedang Uwuh

Wedang Uwuh is a traditional warm beverage from Yogyakarta. It consists of water boiled and served hot with herbs. Wedang Uwuh is served on a glass and all the herbs are also put in it. This results the glass to be filled with herbs and water. The word “wedang” means “hot beverage” and the word “uwuh” literally means “garbage”. It was named that way because the herbs look like garbage put in a glass.

A Glass of Wedang Uwuh (Source: Flickr. Credit: Dyah Ayu Paramita)
A Glass of Wedang Uwuh
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Dyah Ayu Paramita)

Although it may look unappealing, Wedang Uwuh has plenty of health benefits from the herbs used on it. Ginger causes your blood to move smoothly. Secang wood may reduce throat inflammation, clove cures gassy stomach and nauseous. Cinnamon is antioxidant. Nutmeg contains flavonoid and polyphenol. Lemongrass root eases up your metabolism. Last, cardamom strengthens your bones.

Wedang Uwuh is available at any traditional restaurant in Yogyakarta. You can also buy the instant package in retail or oleh-oleh shop.  The package contains all the herbs needed to make a glass of Wedang Uwuh. All you need to do is just boil it with a glass of water.


Yogyakarta still has lots of traditional foods and beverages that you must try during your visit. We would continue the list on the next article. So please check it out as well.

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