It's Time to Travelling: Best Cities to Try Local Food in Southeast Asia

It's Time to Travelling: Best Cities to Try Local Food in Southeast Asia

Recently, taste atlas, a travel guide platform for travelers to discover delicious food from different countries, released "100 Best Cities to Try Local Food" in May 2023. Some of the 100 lists include cities in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia itself is famous for its variety of food and spices.

On the other hand, street food is also a culinary destination in itself for countries in Southeast Asia. Walking around the city, enjoying the night atmosphere and culture of the local community while tasting street food will be an exciting experience for travelers.

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Out of the 100 lists recommended by the Taste Atlas, some of the lists listed below are from Southeast Asia.

Jakarta, Indonesia 

The capital of Indonesia, known for its diverse population and rich cultural heritage, has interesting street life. With street food vendors on every corner offering delicious dishes at affordable prices, you can enjoy a variety of traditional dishes with an abundance of spices.

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A must-try dish is kerak telor, a perhaps lesser-known street food made of sticky rice, eggs and spices. This food is a Jakarta specialty, has amazing flavors and is one of the recommendations if you are in Jakarta.


Bangkok, Thailand 

Known for its bustling streets, Bangkok offers an interesting mix of street vendors and traditional restaurants. Traditional Bangkok food has a strong flavor profile, with spices and a mix of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavors that will make anyone who tries it fall in love.

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Bangkok is not only famous for its beautiful temples and the Chao Phraya River that runs through the city, but also for its unique noodle boat restaurants that serve these dishes in small eateries along the city's canals. With a variety of interesting food and iconic culture, this is the main attraction of Bangkok.

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Some recommended dishes are Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong, Green Curry, Kai Jeow Pu and Massaman Curry. Strolling through the lively night market while tasting the local delicacies will be a special moment to experience authentic food with Thai flavors.


Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Yogyakarta, a city on the island of Java, is famous for its traditional arts and music, and is home to the ancient temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. With a bustling street food market, Yogyakarta's traditional cuisine is characterized by fragrant spices, delicious flavors, varied textures, and a predominance of Javanese food.

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Those of you who visit the city will easily find "angkringan", street eateries that offer affordable and delicious local dishes. On the other hand, one food not to be missed is gudeg, a sweet and savory jackfruit stew that is a symbol of Javanese culinary and cultural heritage.


Bandung, Indonesia

Although Bandung is not as popular as other cities in Indonesia among foreign tourists, it is a recommended city for those of you visiting Indonesia. With an interesting nickname, "the city of flowers", which means city of flowers in Indonesian, Bandung offers many local foods that you must try.

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You will find a lot of Sundanese food in Bandung, which is characterized by its simple and clean taste that will be very comfortable to eat in different situations. Some of the must-try dishes are batagor, siomay, martabak, soto bandung and surabi.


Padang, Indonesia

Have you ever heard of Rendang? The food that was once ranked as the #1 best cuisine in the world by CNN. Rendang is one of the authentic Padang foods that you must try. One of the unique sights when you visit an authentic Padang restaurant in Indonesia is the serving system. Visitors do not need to order anything because all the dishes are served at your table. Visitors only have to pay for the menu they eat.

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Not only rendang, you must also try other dishes such as dendeng, satay padang, gulai ayam, tambusu, ayam pop, and many more. Padang food is very famous for its spices and spicy flavors that are very appetizing. Padang is one of the culinary tourism destinations that you must try when you visit Indonesia.


Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Famous for some of the best street food in the world, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam is a foodie paradise. With thousands of street vendors on every corner, Ho Chi Minh City is a busy and bustling culinary center in Vietnam.

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While there are plenty of modern touches with trendy bars and restaurants in Saigon, the true soul of Vietnamese food still lies in traditional street food. It's fresh, fast, affordable, and most importantly, it's food that people love.

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Throughout the city, there are thousands of street vendors, stalls, and restaurants offering visitors a variety of delicious dishes. Some of the must-try dishes are Pho, Banh Mi, Bo La Lot, Bun Mam, Goi Cuon and many more.


Surabaya, Indonesia

As Indonesia's second largest city and the capital of East Java province, Surabaya offers an interesting reason to explore street food. With a population of around three million and at least 7 million in the surrounding rural areas, the city boasts a bustling metropolitan life. It's only natural that the city has begun to see cafes around every corner.

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But the fact is that the "ngafe" trend in Surabaya has not diminished the popularity of street food. Street food vendors have always attracted the attention of those looking for local cuisine amidst the many cafes in Surabaya. Good food at an affordable price is the best choice for anyone who wants to enjoy Surabaya's local cuisine. Some dishes you should not miss are Tahu Campur, Pecel Semanggi, Rujak Cingur and Lontong Balap.


Malang, Indonesia

Famous for its art, Malang is certainly an interesting city to visit when you go to Indonesia. You can find a complete range of tourist attractions from games, nature and mountain tourism to culinary tourism in this city. Malang may not be as popular as Yogyakarta among foreign tourists, but this city also holds a variety of beauties for everyone who visits it. From nature tours to Mount Bromo and various waterfalls, enjoying various games at Jatim Park Malang, exploring various cultural sites, to culinary tours.

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One of the famous culinary tours of Malang is Bakso (meatball). Bakso Malang have their own characteristics that make them different from other meatballs. Of course, Bakso Malang will be one of the foods that you must try when you come here.

Not only Bakso, you will also find a lot of Malang street food in many corners of the city in Malang. This will certainly be an interesting experience, enjoying the cool atmosphere of Malang city, accompanied by a beautiful view from the height of Malang city, accompanied by local food that makes the heart happy. Some other local foods you should try are Rawn, Mendol, Cwie Mie and Tahu Telor.

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