What to Eat in Yogyakarta When You Want Looks Like a local

One day my guest come home and told to me “Boma…I made a big mistake today cause I eat Mc Donald’ss for my lunch” than I just laugh and told her that she really made a big food mistake here in my town. Hi everyone my name is Boma and thank you for visiting my blog, I live in Yogyakarta since I was 5 and definitely love this place more than my hometown, Jakarta. No matter you are in first time, twice, three times or over but in case you want to visit Yogyakarta I recommend you to read my past article about 7 Freakin’ Awesome Things to do in Yogyakarta within 3 days, it’s brand new article that I made in 2018 and based on my own research related to my most wanted activities that my guest did during their stay in Boma House. Back to the main topic today I’m gonna share you about culinary that you should try if you want to eat like locals. There is always a question about what to eat here in Yogyakarta than I got some super good news or you.

No matter where you live try to go to Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Market) where Plaza Ngasem located, this place is so unique and you will meet how the locals live by selling a snacks, fruits, housing tools and or sure the most authentic snacks and breakfast. Officially Pasar Ngasem is the front yard or Tamansari Water Castle and for sure you must visit our King’s 2nd palace, if you live nearby Malioboro or Kraton than you can walk or ride with becak (the 3 wheels tuk-tuk) to go to Pasar Ngasem, it takes about 15 minutes ride with becak from Sultan Palace and cost about IDR35.000/becak (USD3). What you see below is the Plaza Ngasem, a nice courtyard where you can sit by and enjoying your day. If you lucky, our government often held some art performance in that stage too just like what they did for the FKY (Festival Kesenian Yogyakarta) a.k.a Yogyakarta Art Festival.

Now take a look what kind of local food that you can get:

Typical Local Breakfast for Everyone

This is what locals eat for breakfast and lunch, it consist of rice, brongkos (sweet-salt dark soup consist of tofu, bean, and egg) and fried chicken, than for another one I got rice, green cassava leave, and sunny egg than another one will be. I pay this awesome food for just IDR12.000 to IDR15.000 each and I ordered a glass of hot tea costs IDR2500, than I feel like in paradise, this all what you need to eat if you expecting eat like locals.

local food in yogyakartawhat to eat like local in yogyakarta


I uploading my Yogyakarta travel photos and sell it online, in case you interesting with the photos that you can buy it on shutterstock.

Typical Local Snack and Dish That You Should Try

Once I got my breakfast done, my wife ask me to go to Apem stall where located only few meters from us. Apem it self is typical local dish made from rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. It taste sweet and looks like Japanese Dorayaki, the old lady that I meet there begin her Apem business since 5 am and ended at 11 am, she sell this delicious snack for just IDR2500/each or about USD1.5…for me I need 2 or three!

apem best food in yogyakarta
apem authentic snack in yogyakarta
How to go to Pasar Ngasem?

Pasar Ngasem is located only 1 km from Malioboro street or Sultan Palace so if you life around that area you can take:

  • Becak (tuk-tuk_ for just IDR35.000 (you will need 2 tuk-tuk if you big body person)
  • Even more if you person who love walking you can simply walk or riding your bicycle
  • Or if you travel in group you may consider to book a car with driver so he can drop us you and waiting while you enjoying the ambiance

Recommended Place to Stay near Pasar Ngasem

Through live near Pasar Ngasem than you can go both to Sultan Palace and Tamansari Water Castle easily cause this location is about 200 meter to Tamansari and 800 meter to Sultan Palace. Here is my personal recommendation for you:

  • Neo Awana Plus – this hotel is only 1km to Tamansari and located in a town house complex with a lot of tasty street food at night. YOu may easily find meat ball, seafood or even traditional Javanese noodle
  • Ayaartha – located in the prime area which 1km from Malioboro and Sultan Palace, Ayaartha staffs are awesome and humble to serve anyone who come to their hotel
  • Cavinton – Cavinton is just 100 meter from Ayaartha and all rooms are quite large and feels so comfort to stay with family or friends

A good tips for me is…try to wake up earlier if you want to see how locals live cause we get used to wake up after morning pray around 4.30 am. I know for sure that you don’t need to wake as us if you not taking a Borobudur Sunrise Tour, around 7 will be fine if you just want to try local breakfast just like what I wrote here. Now I would like to recommend you some hotels nearby this area where you can stay and sightseeing around easily:

44 things to in yogyakarta

Here in Pasar Ngasem you will see how people of Yogyakarta live by!

Thank you for read my Trans Jogja story,

If you interesting in learning more about Yogyakarta, you may check my 44 things to do in Yogyakarta eBook, which include recommendation of attractions, hotel – budget accommodation, bets street food, and simple words to asking help or say greeting both in Bahasa and Javanese language.

Have you ever visit Pasar Ngasem before?

Share your experience below, I would love to hear from you now!


Professional wedding photographer and blogger since 2010 who put a concern to write a story about photography, traveling, culinary, and hospitality services

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