Having limited free time for exploring the local foods, I had to be selective in deciding which one to be prioritized. Rather than doing random picks, I followed the suggestions from my friends who had tried those Yogya’s most-wanted foods earlier. They’re literally a lot and not few of them were heavy ones so I had to be smart in allocating the spaces in my tummy.
Ok, I had my mind set, let’s go with the trio!
Address: Jl. Kebon Agung, Yogyakarta
Phone: (+62 274) 625 420
Operating hours: Mon - Sun 8am - 9pm
For those who have been to Yogya, you would definitely know this name, but for first timer like me, you should be very anxious as it seemed to be so famous and none of the people I met ever said it’s bad (honestly none even said it’s just so-so). Having tons of branches spread all around Yogya, this Soto was more than accessible; so you just need to find the branch that’s closest to where you stand. The one I went to, located at Jl Kebon Agung, a narrow road where so many food depots lined up. It’s so easy to find the outlet as it’s sizable and visible.
What’s offered was mainly Soto Ayam (IDR 12k), which was clear-type one. I needed to feel sorry, kind of under-estimating it in the beginning. Once I had my first spoon, I was like blown-away! Don’t mention I’m over exaggerating till you try it by yourself. Geez, never come in my mind in lifetime that soto could be this good! It’s like simple, not going too heavy on seasoning, but so indulging. Despite they did provide additional side dishes like marinated tofu, tempeh, corn fritters, quail eggs, crackers, and many more, I could have my palate already get its extreme satisfaction merely from the dish. With only approximately $1, I could get happily bloated <3!
Ayam Geprek Bu Rum
Address: Jl. Wulung Lor, Papringan, Yogyakarta
Phone: (+62 274) 551 406
Operating hours: Mon - Sun 8am - 9pm
Another pocket-friendly dish from Yogya, which perfectly described street-food concept as it’s indeed a simple tent-style stall located at the road side. I bet many university and high school students had this one for their daily lunch as it’s very affordable and coming in fulfilling quantity. You could get the signature menu, Ayam Geprek, with only $1 just like prior one.
It’s a self-service one, where the guest had to take the rice and the complementary dishes himself. That did mean take as much as you wanted that pay later. You could even request the number of chili you wanted to be mixed with your fried chicken without getting extra-charge. For me, to make the combination of flavors get richer, I let fried egg and fried tempeh accompanied my main dish. There were actually more options like various veggies, sauteed tempe, and many more.
I understood why people loved it so much, as I tasted the flavorful chicken, whose seasoning was well-mixed throughout the entire part of the dish. I could enjoy the marriage of crispy skin and tender meat as well till the last bite. Those who couldn’t take any spicy food might have their customized version with less or even no chili so you could be worry-free! Just beware of sweating heavily ;)
Warung Kopi Klotok
Address: Jl. Kaliurang KM16, Pakem, Yogyakarta
Phone: (+62 81) 2222 11635
Operating hours: Mon - Sun 7am - 10pm
Another infamous one, the long-standing Kopi Klotok, resided in a humble house-alike outlet. The place might look distant and silent, but once you went closer, you would find abundant cars, ranging from economical one till the luxurious pieces. Yes, the space was wanted by like almost everybody visiting Yogya. With its buffet concept, you could enjoy your self-service, taking the dishes in unlimited quantity if you went for their main courses. Their specialty was lodeh (veggies in coconut milk), ranging from eggplant lodeh, tempeh lodeh, and breadnut (kluwih) lodeh. Your lodeh won’t feel lonely as they did have companions to which you could pair them based on your preference. The selections were tofu, tempeh, and the most favorite fried egg. Besides plain rice, people did love to go for their Sego Megono, which was basically rice cooked with young jackfruit and coconut flakes, simply said kind of similar to Nasi Uduk.
Nevertheless, if you just came for light bites and coffee/tea exactly like myself, you were warmly welcomed by their forte, Banana Fritters (IDR 6.5k), served in the precise portion of 2 pieces. They’re like beyond-impeccable partner to your hot beverage, serving soft sweet ripe banana covered in crispy savory golden-brown batter. For people from the Eastern Indonesia like me, I would pair it with the chili sauce of the house and that’s totally my heaven on earth!
I went for both the signature beverages offered by the house, Kopi Klotok (IDR 5k) and Teh Tubruk (IDR 6.5k), both of which were AMAZING! I initially thought people were just overvalued these drinks but having my own sip finally revealed me the truth. The coffee was so aromatic and rich, with strong body and low acidity. Even for myself who wasn’t that much into black coffee, this cup was such a drug! No wonder, the process was indeed special, having the coffee being boiled without water till you got the burnt smell, then the water would be finally poured, led to the reaction where the coffee was peeled or what so called ‘ngelotok’ in Javanese - the history behind the name of the coffeeshop. This made the coffee fragrance and flavor went even stronger! However if you’re a total coffee intolerant, you still had the alternative of Teh Tubruk, which wasn’t less competitive even for an inch! It’s served in gigantic humble-style glass with all the leaves in there. You could spot the sugar put next to the glass, both the cane-sugar cube and the chunk of coconut sugar. I mixed both and I had my faultless warm cup to complete my gloomy rainy afternoon <3
If you just had your premiere visit to Yogya or you’ve been here multiple times but never went for their local foods, I would strongly suggest you to go with this trio and let your palate get fondled!