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Vegan In Indonesia: A Delicious Journey


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Shaina Jacques



When it comes to food travel, few countries can rival the culinary delights of Indonesia. The vibrant and diverse Indonesian cuisine is a true reflection of the country’s rich cultural heritage and geographical diversity. From mouthwatering street food to fine dining experiences, Indonesia offers a plethora of culinary options for every palate.


But what about vegan travelers? Can they indulge in the flavors of Indonesia without compromising their dietary choices? The answer is a resounding yes! Indonesia has emerged as a vegan-friendly destination, with a growing number of eateries and food options catering to plant-based diets.


Whether you’re planning a trip to bustling Jakarta, the cultural hub of Yogyakarta, or the idyllic shores of Bali, you can embark on a delicious journey through Indonesia’s vegan food scene. In this article, we’ll explore the various regions of Indonesia and the vegan culinary experiences they offer.


From the moment you land in Indonesia, you’ll be greeted with the enticing aromas of sambal, tempeh, and fragrant spices. Traditional Indonesian cuisine is known for its bold flavors and generous use of herbs and spices. Popular dishes like nasi goreng (fried rice), gado-gado (steamed vegetables with peanut sauce), and sate (skewered grilled meat) are staples in Indonesian households.


But fear not, vegans! Indonesian cuisine offers plenty of plant-based options to satisfy your cravings. Many traditional dishes can be easily modified to be vegan-friendly by substituting meat with tofu, tempeh, or vegetables. Indonesian chefs have also embraced the global vegan movement, creating innovative plant-based dishes that showcase local ingredients.


In the next sections, we’ll delve into the vegan food scene in popular Indonesian cities such as Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya. We’ll explore the variety of vegan street food options, discover high-end vegan dining experiences, and uncover some of the innovative plant-based food brands that are making waves in Indonesia.


So, let’s embark on a culinary adventure through the diverse and mouthwatering vegan food landscape of Indonesia!


Traditional Indonesian Cuisine

Traditional Indonesian cuisine is a melting pot of flavors, influenced by various cultures such as Chinese, Indian, Arab, and European. The country’s vast archipelago and diverse ethnic groups have given rise to a remarkable culinary tapestry that showcases a wide range of ingredients, cooking techniques, and regional specialties.


At the heart of Indonesian cuisine is rice, which is a staple in most Indonesian households. It is often accompanied by various side dishes, creating a harmonious balance of flavors and textures on the plate. Whether it’s the beloved nasi goreng, a fragrant fried rice dish, or the comforting nasi padang, a sumptuous spread of dishes served with steamed rice, rice forms the foundation of many Indonesian meals.


When it comes to flavors, Indonesian cuisine is known for its bold and robust taste profiles. Spices play a crucial role in creating the distinctive flavors found in Indonesian dishes. From fiery chili peppers to aromatic lemongrass, galangal, and turmeric, these spices add depth and complexity to the dishes.


Popular traditional Indonesian dishes include rendang, a slow-cooked spicy beef dish that melts in your mouth, and sate, skewered and grilled meat served with a flavorful peanut sauce. However, many traditional Indonesian dishes can be adapted to suit a vegan diet.


For example, Gado-gado, a traditional Indonesian salad made with blanched vegetables, tofu, tempeh, and a creamy peanut dressing, is a vegan-friendly option that bursts with vibrant flavors. Another classic dish, soto ayam (chicken soup), can be made using vegetable broth and replacing the meat with tofu or mushrooms.


Indonesia is also home to a variety of traditional snacks and street food, perfect for a quick bite or exploring local flavors. From crispy tofu and tempeh fritters known as gorengan, to savory martabak, a stuffed pancake typically filled with vegetables, these tasty treats can be enjoyed by vegans too.


Overall, traditional Indonesian cuisine offers a wealth of vegan options, with its emphasis on fresh vegetables, tofu, tempeh, and plant-based seasonings. By exploring the traditional food scene, vegan travelers can experience the authentic flavors of Indonesia while staying true to their dietary choices.


Vegan Food in Jakarta

Jakarta, the bustling capital city of Indonesia, is a vibrant hub for food enthusiasts. The city is known for its vibrant street food culture and a wide range of culinary offerings, including numerous options for vegan travelers.


As the culinary scene in Jakarta continues to evolve, an increasing number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants have emerged. These establishments are dedicated to providing delicious plant-based options that showcase the diverse flavors of Indonesian and international cuisines. Whether you’re craving traditional Indonesian dishes or international favorites, Jakarta has something for every vegan food lover.


For a taste of traditional Indonesian cuisine, head to local warungs (small food stalls or eateries) that specialize in vegan versions of classic dishes. You’ll find places serving vegan rendang, soto, gado-gado, and more. One popular spot is “Dharma Kitchen,” which offers a range of tasty vegan Indonesian dishes made with fresh ingredients.


If you’re in the mood for international flavors, Jakarta has a plethora of options. From Mediterranean to Mexican, you’ll find vegan-friendly restaurants that serve dishes from around the world. “Burgreens” is a beloved vegan restaurant in Jakarta that offers a variety of plant-based burgers, salads, and healthy bowls. They focus on using locally sourced and organic ingredients, ensuring a sustainable and ethical dining experience.


Jakarta is also home to several upscale restaurants that cater to vegans looking for a fine dining experience. “Sakti Dining Room” at Fivelements Puri Ahimsa is one such establishment, offering a gourmet plant-based menu curated by renowned chef Arnaud Hauchon. The menu features beautifully plated dishes made with locally sourced and organic ingredients, combining Indonesian flavors with innovative culinary techniques.


For vegan food on the go, Jakarta’s street food scene is a treasure trove of delicious options. Wander through the bustling food markets and you’ll find vendors selling tasty vegan treats such as pecel lele (fried catfish made with tofu or tempeh), ketoprak (a vegetarian salad with peanut sauce), and bubur ayam (chicken porridge made with mushrooms or tofu).


Whether you’re exploring traditional Indonesian cuisine or indulging in international flavors, Jakarta has a wide array of vegan dining options to satisfy your cravings. The city’s vibrant food scene is a testament to the growing demand for plant-based choices, making it a must-visit destination for vegan food travelers.


Vegan Food in Bali

Bali, often referred to as a paradise for food lovers, is a popular destination for those seeking a vibrant and diverse vegan food scene. Known for its stunning landscapes and spiritual culture, Bali has also become a hub for plant-based culinary experiences.


One of the reasons Bali has gained a reputation as a vegan-friendly destination is its strong focus on health and wellness. The island is home to a multitude of wellness retreats, yoga studios, and conscious living communities, all of which embrace a plant-based lifestyle.


Ubud, in particular, is a mecca for vegan travelers. This spiritual and artistic hub is filled with vegan and vegetarian restaurants that cater to diverse dietary preferences. Restaurants like “Alchemy” and “Clear Cafe” offer extensive plant-based menus with a wide range of smoothies, salads, raw dishes, and vegan desserts.


Another popular spot in Bali is Canggu, a vibrant beach town known for its surf culture and healthy living. Here, you’ll find cafes and restaurants serving up delicious vegan options. “Peloton Supershop” is a must-visit, offering a unique blend of vegan cuisine and cycling. Their mouthwatering menu features plant-based burgers, pizzas, and nourishing bowls.


In Seminyak, you’ll find upscale vegan dining experiences that merge gourmet flavors with a conscious approach. “Sarong” offers a dedicated vegan menu that showcases the best of Indonesian flavors with a modern twist. The restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to create exquisite plant-based dishes.


Bali is also renowned for its vibrant and colorful traditional food markets, or pasar, where vegans can immerse themselves in a feast for the senses. Try the famous Balinese dish called nasi campur, which typically consists of rice accompanied by a variety of vegetable-based side dishes. These markets are the perfect place to sample authentic flavors and interact with the local community.


If you’re in Bali during the weekend, make sure to visit the “Samadi Bali Farmers’ Market” in Canggu, where local farmers and artisans come together to showcase their products. Here, you’ll find an abundance of fresh produce, homemade vegan treats, and plant-based products.


Whether you’re exploring the unique vegan cafes in Ubud, enjoying a sunset meal in Canggu, or immersing yourself in the local food markets, Bali offers an extensive array of vegan food options. The island’s commitment to wellness and sustainability make it a haven for those seeking plant-based culinary adventures.


Vegan Food in Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta, known as the cultural heart of Java, is not only a renowned destination for its historical sites and traditional arts, but also a haven for vegan travelers. This vibrant city offers a wide range of vegan food options that showcase the flavors of Javanese cuisine.


One of the iconic vegan dishes in Yogyakarta is tempeh bacem. This traditional dish features tempeh (fermented soybean cake) that has been marinated in a sweet and savory sauce made from palm sugar, tamarind, and aromatic spices. It’s a must-try for vegans looking to explore the local flavors.


Yogyakarta is also home to several restaurants and cafes that specialize in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. “Organic Corner” is a popular spot offering a variety of plant-based dishes made from locally sourced organic ingredients. From Indonesian classics like nasi pecel (rice with assorted vegetables and peanut sauce) to international favorites like vegan burgers, you’ll find a diverse menu to satisfy your cravings.


If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, try “Milas Vegetarian Cafe.” This cozy eatery offers a menu inspired by Ayurvedic and Balinese principles, with delicious options that cater to different dietary needs, including vegan, gluten-free, and raw food.


For an immersive food experience, make sure to visit the bustling Malioboro Street, where you’ll find an array of street food vendors offering vegan-friendly snacks. Try the mouthwatering gudeg, a traditional Javanese dish made with young jackfruit, coconut milk, and fragrant spices. You can also find vegan-friendly martabak, a stuffed pancake usually filled with vegetables.


When in Yogyakarta, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the local markets. Beringharjo Market, located near the Sultan’s Palace, is a great place to explore. Here, you can find an assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices, allowing you to create your own vegan meals using authentic Javanese ingredients.


In Yogyakarta, vegan travelers can immerse themselves in the rich culinary traditions of Java while enjoying a wide range of plant-based options. From traditional dishes to modern vegan cafes, Yogyakarta offers a delightful culinary experience for vegans exploring the city’s cultural offerings.


Vegan Food in Bandung

Bandung, known as the “Paris of Indonesia” for its European charm and architectural beauty, is also a haven for vegan food enthusiasts. This vibrant city in West Java offers a growing number of vegan-friendly establishments, making it a delightful destination for those seeking plant-based culinary experiences.


Bandung is home to a plethora of vegan and vegetarian restaurants that cater to diverse dietary preferences. “Loving Hut,” a global chain of vegan restaurants, has a branch in Bandung. Here, you can indulge in a variety of Asian and Western vegan dishes, from stir-fries to burgers and pizzas.


If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, head to “Tahu Susu Lembang.” This restaurant specializes in tofu-based dishes and offers a range of mouthwatering vegan options. You can savor dishes like tahu gejrot (fried tofu with spicy sauce) and mie tahu (tofu noodle soup) in a cozy setting.


Bandung is also known for its vibrant street food scene, and vegans can explore a variety of options. At the famous Riau Night Market, you’ll find vegan-friendly treats like siomay (steamed dumplings with peanut sauce), batagor (fried tofu or dumplings), and cilok (rice flour balls with peanut sauce).


If you’re in the mood for traditional Indonesian cuisine, head to the local warungs that offer vegan versions of classic dishes. “Warung Sopa” is a popular choice, serving a variety of vegan Indonesian dishes made with fresh, organic ingredients.


Bandung is also home to several specialty cafes that cater to vegan travelers. “Fillo Coffee & Pastries” is a cozy coffee shop offering a vegan-friendly menu that includes a variety of plant-based cakes, pastries, and specialty coffee drinks.


For those interested in eco-friendly and sustainable dining, “Maggie’s Dine & Cakes” is a vegan cafe that promotes conscious eating. They use local and organic ingredients to create delectable vegan dishes with a focus on minimizing waste and environmental impact.


Whether you’re exploring the vibrant street food scene, dining at vegan restaurants, or savoring traditional Indonesian flavors, Bandung offers a wide range of vegan food options that will satisfy your taste buds. With its charming atmosphere and culinary diversity, Bandung is a fantastic destination for vegans looking to indulge in delicious plant-based cuisine.


Vegan Food in Surabaya

Surabaya, the second-largest city in Indonesia, offers a vibrant and diverse culinary scene that caters to vegans. While Surabaya is renowned for its bustling street food culture, there are also plenty of options for vegan travelers seeking delicious plant-based meals.


Surabaya is home to several vegan and vegetarian restaurants that serve a variety of mouthwatering plant-based dishes. “OMAH Aum Vegetarian” is a must-visit establishment, offering a wide range of Indonesian vegetarian and vegan classics. From nasi gudeg (young jackfruit stew) to pecel (steamed vegetables with peanut sauce), you can savor the authentic flavors of Surabaya.


If you’re looking for international flavors, “Evergreen Vegan Restaurant” provides a menu that incorporates Asian and Western cuisines. From stir-fries to pasta dishes, you can enjoy a variety of vegan options in a cozy atmosphere.


Surabaya’s street food scene is another treasure trove for vegan travelers. Explore the local pasar (markets) and you will find vendors selling vegan-friendly snacks such as lontong sayur (vegetable-stuffed rice cakes) and tahu tek (tofu stuffed with vegetables and peanut sauce).


A popular destination for vegan food in Surabaya is the Tunjungan Plaza Food Court. Here, you can find a wide variety of vegan-friendly choices, including vegetarian versions of Indonesian street food classics like bakso (meatball soup), mie ayam (chicken noodle soup), and gado-gado.


In recent years, Surabaya has also seen an increase in health-conscious and vegan-friendly cafes. “Crematology Coffee Roasters” provides not only a selection of specialty coffees but also vegan-friendly brunch options like avocado toast and açai bowls.


For those in search of vegan comfort food, “Vegan Degusto” is the place to be. This quirky and cozy restaurant offers a variety of vegan burgers, pizzas, and pasta dishes that will satisfy any cravings.


Surabaya may not be as well-known for its vegan scene as some other cities in Indonesia, but it offers a range of options that will delight vegan travelers. From traditional Indonesian dishes to international cuisine and street food delights, Surabaya ensures that vegans can savor a variety of flavors while exploring the city’s vibrant food culture.


Vegan Street Food

One of the most exciting aspects of food travel in Indonesia is the vibrant and flavorful street food scene. Indonesian street food is a true reflection of the country’s culinary heritage, and even better, there are plenty of delicious vegan options to explore!


When it comes to vegan street food, tempeh is a star ingredient that you’ll find in many dishes. This fermented soybean cake is a nutrient-rich and protein-packed staple in Indonesian cuisine. Look out for tempeh goreng, deep-fried and served as a tasty snack or added to stir-fries and curries.


If you’re into spicy and tangy flavors, sambal is a must-try. Sambal is a chili-based condiment that adds a kick to any dish. From sambal matah in Bali to sambal terasi in Jakarta, you can find various regional variations of this fiery chili sauce to accompany your street food feast.


In Bali, don’t miss out on trying the famous vegan-friendly dish, nasi campur. This mixed rice dish features an assortment of vegetable-based side dishes, tofu or tempeh, and flavorful sambals. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy a variety of flavors and textures in one plate.


If you’re in Yogyakarta, keep an eye out for gudeg, a traditional Javanese dish made from young jackfruit cooked in coconut milk and spices. Served with rice and a side of krecek (crispy cow skin), you can opt for a vegan version without the krecek for a delicious plant-based experience.


In Bandung, explore the street food stalls and try batagor, a vegan-friendly dish made from steamed or fried tofu and dumplings served with peanut sauce. You can also find ketoprak, a vegetarian salad with rice noodles, tofu, bean sprouts, and peanut sauce, which is popular among locals and tourists alike.


In bustling Surabaya, explore the local pasar (markets) and seek out lontong sayur, a popular vegan dish. It consists of compressed rice cakes served with a flavorful vegetable curry and topped with crispy fried tofu or tempeh.


When enjoying vegan street food, make sure to keep an eye out for ingredients that may not be vegan-friendly. Some street vendors may use shrimp paste (terasi) or fish sauce in their sauces and seasonings. However, many vendors are conscious of dietary preferences and are happy to accommodate vegan requests.


Exploring the vegan street food scene is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and flavors of Indonesia. Whether you’re in Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta, Bandung, or Surabaya, the streets are lined with tantalizing and vegan-friendly treats that reflect the diverse culinary heritage of the country.


Vegan Fine Dining

While street food and casual eateries offer a vibrant and flavorful experience, sometimes you may want to indulge in a fine dining experience as a vegan traveler. Fortunately, Indonesia has seen a rise in high-end restaurants that cater to plant-based diets, offering innovative and upscale vegan dining options.


In Jakarta, “KOI Kemang” is a renowned fine dining establishment that offers a decadent plant-based menu. The restaurant combines international flavors with local ingredients to create beautifully plated dishes that showcase the creativity of the chefs. From elegant appetizers to exquisite main courses and indulgent desserts, KOI Kemang provides a culinary journey that proves vegan cuisine can be both sophisticated and flavorful.


In Bali, you can experience vegan fine dining at “Sakti Dining Room” within the Fivelements Puri Ahimsa eco-resort. The restaurant offers a gourmet plant-based menu curated by renowned chef Arnaud Hauchon. Each dish is thoughtfully crafted, using locally sourced organic ingredients, and presented in an artful manner. The serene and peaceful setting of the restaurant further enhances the dining experience.


Yogyakarta is not to be missed when it comes to vegan fine dining. “Bale Raos” is a hidden gem that serves Javanese royal cuisine in an elegant setting. While not exclusively vegan, the restaurant provides vegan options and can customize dishes to suit dietary preferences. Here, you can savor traditional Javanese flavors in a regal atmosphere alongside live gamelan music.


Bandung offers vegan fine dining experiences as well. “The Kiosk” is a chic and contemporary restaurant that serves a variety of vegan dishes inspired by Indonesian culinary heritage. The menu features a selection of beautifully presented dishes made from locally sourced and organic ingredients. From vegan rendang to sophisticated plant-based desserts, The Kiosk offers a memorable fine dining experience.


Surabaya also boasts its share of fine dining restaurants that cater to vegans. “The Cypress” is a high-end dining establishment that provides a vegan degustation menu, allowing you to savor multiple courses of well-curated plant-based dishes. The elegant ambiance and impeccable service make The Cypress a perfect choice for special occasions.


Indonesia’s vegan fine dining scene demonstrates that plant-based cuisine can be elevated to a level of sophistication and artistry. These restaurants not only show that vegan food can be delicious, but also challenge the notion that fine dining revolves around animal-based ingredients. For vegan travelers seeking an elevated and refined culinary experience, these restaurants offer a delectable journey through the gourmet side of Indonesian cuisine.


Plant-based Food Brands in Indonesia

As the demand for plant-based food continues to grow, Indonesia has seen the emergence of several innovative and exciting plant-based food brands. These brands are dedicated to providing delicious, sustainable, and ethical food options for vegans and those looking to incorporate more plant-based choices into their diets.


One prominent plant-based food brand in Indonesia is “GreenButter.” They offer a range of vegan spreads made from a blend of plant-based oils, creating a delicious and healthier alternative to conventional butter. GreenButter comes in different flavors, including original, garlic, and chili, and can be used as a spread, in cooking, or as a topping.


“Green Rebel” is another notable brand that specializes in plant-based meat alternatives. They offer a diverse range of products, including vegan burgers, sausages, and nuggets. Known for their high-quality ingredients and flavors, Green Rebel products provide a satisfying and guilt-free alternative to traditional meat-based options.


“Naked Inc.” is a plant-based food brand that focuses on creating dairy alternatives. From vegan milks to yogurts and cheese, Naked Inc. offers a wide range of plant-based options for those looking to transition to a dairy-free lifestyle. Their products are made from natural ingredients and are free from artificial preservatives and colors.


“LupiLu” is a plant-based ice cream brand that has gained popularity in Indonesia. They use coconut milk as the base for their ice creams, creating creamy and indulgent flavors that are completely vegan. LupiLu offers a variety of flavors, from classic chocolate and vanilla to more unique creations like matcha and salted caramel.


If you’re looking for plant-based snacks, “Quelly Snacks” has you covered. This brand focuses on producing vegan and gluten-free snacks made from locally sourced ingredients. From crispy mushroom chips to plant-based jerky, Quelly Snacks offers a range of tasty and guilt-free treats for vegan snacking.


Another notable plant-based brand in Indonesia is “The Honest Treat.” They specialize in creating vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free desserts that are both delicious and wholesome. Their offerings include a variety of cakes, cookies, and energy balls made with natural ingredients and without compromising on taste.


These are just a few examples of the plant-based food brands that are making waves in Indonesia. With their commitment to sustainability, ethical practices, and creating delicious plant-based options, these brands are helping shape the future of food in Indonesia and providing a wide range of choices for vegans and health-conscious individuals.



Indonesia is a paradise for food travelers, offering a myriad of flavors, textures, and aromas that reflect its rich cultural heritage. And for vegans, exploring the culinary landscape of Indonesia is an absolute delight, thanks to the growing number of restaurants, cafes, and food brands that cater to plant-based diets.


From the bustling street food stalls in Jakarta, the serene vegan cafes in Bali, the traditional markets in Yogyakarta, the specialty restaurants in Bandung, to the vibrant street food scene in Surabaya, each city has its own unique vegan offerings and experiences to offer.


Indonesia’s traditional cuisine provides a solid foundation for vegan options, with its emphasis on fresh vegetables, fragrant spices, and plant-based proteins like tofu and tempeh. By modifying traditional dishes or creating innovative plant-based variations, chefs in Indonesia are showcasing the immense possibilities of vegan cuisine.


Moreover, the rise of vegan-friendly establishments, including fine dining restaurants, shows that vegan food can be elevated to a sophisticated and gourmet experience that rivals any meat-centric cuisine.


To complement the restaurant scene, plant-based food brands in Indonesia are emerging, offering delicious alternatives to conventional meat, dairy, and snacks. These brands are committed to providing sustainable and ethical products, catering to the growing demand for plant-based options.


In conclusion, Indonesia is a delightful destination for vegan food travelers. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant street food scenes, indulging in fine dining experiences, or discovering innovative plant-based food brands, Indonesia offers a diverse and exciting culinary journey. By embracing the flavors and traditions of Indonesian cuisine, vegans can savor the authentic tastes of the country while staying true to their dietary choices.


So pack your bags and get ready to embark on a delicious adventure through Indonesia’s vegan food scene. From the bustling streets of Jakarta to the tranquil beaches of Bali, you’re in for a culinary experience that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more!