While it is easy to find a good restaurant in Surabaya’s modern city, it takes a brave soul to try some of the authentic recipes served by locals at street food stalls. If you want to eat like the locals, try the best street foods in Surabaya, Indonesia.
The Best Street Foods in Surabaya, Indonesia
Rujak Cingur Genteng Durasim
The use of cow’s muzzle in the sauce distinguishes rujak cingur from other rujak or Indonesian salad recipes. This distinct recipe hails from Surabaya and is a specialty of the legendary small warung in Genteng Durasim, which has been in business since 1943. The dish contains tempeh, tofu, vegetables, and various fruits.
Bakso Pak War
This modest street food stall serves delicious bakso, or Indonesian meatballs. Many locals come from far and wide for a bowl of the delectable meatballs, savory broth, and tasty condiments. Pak War may not have a building for his business, but he certainly makes the surrounding area into a crowded parking lot.
Are you a satay fan? Sate Klopo on Ondomohen alley is a must-try. What distinguishes it is the tasty grated and sautéed coconut known as “poya” or “serundeng” that covers the sate. Beef, organs, and fat are skewered and grilled over a charcoal fire. Furthermore, the spicy and sweet peanut sauce adds an incredible flavor. Sate klopo is typically eaten with rice or lontong (a rice cake).
If you want to try a different type of rice, try nasi krawu. Steamed rice, shredded beef, offal, “serundeng” (grated and sautéed coconut), and “sambal petis” (chili paste combined with the local spice “petis”) make up the colorful nasi krawu.
Bebek Tugu Pahlawan
This street food joint serves fried duck with delectable and somewhat addictive condiments. Tourists can select which part they want to order, such as the breast, leg, or innards. The juicy meat and delicious Madura condiment are popular throughout the city, so much so that you sometimes have to wait in line just to get a seat at the table.
One of the best street foods in Surabaya, Rawon is a traditional beef black soup from Surabaya that is popular throughout the country. Black nuts, turmeric, and various herbs and spices contribute to the strong flavor. Rawon Kalkulator serves one of the most popular rawon dishes in Surabaya, with the soup accompanied by delectable extras such as potato cakes, salted egg, and more.
Surabaya’s Lontong balap has a unique story behind its name. The word “Balap” literally means “race.” Previously, vendors of this dish with heavy baskets competed for customers in Wonokromo market. The main ingredients are lontong (rice cakes), bean sprouts, fried tofu, and “lentho.” It comes with fried shallots, sweet soy sauce, crackers, and shell meat satay, as well as clear broth.
Tahu campur, originating in Lamongan, is a delectable soup dish. The dish contains tender beef, fried tofu, cassava balls, bean sprouts, lettuce, and yellowish rice noodles. These are combined with hot broth and fried shallots. Tahu campur is traditionally served with prawn crackers. Sweet soy sauce, chili sauce, and a squeeze of lime are optional.
Do you have a hankering for green vegetables? You should try pecel semanggi, a Surabaya specialty. It’s a salad with blanched “semanggi” leaves, bean sprouts, “turi” flowers, and a spicy peanut sauce topping. This traditional food is becoming increasingly scarce, with only old ladies on Surabaya’s streets selling it. Instead of a spoon, the locals usually scoup the food with a “puli” cracker.
Sop Kaki Kambing Bang Oya
The succulent goat legs and mutton pieces make for a delicious and filling dinner, while the savory broth will keep you warm while out and about in Surabaya at night. The goat’s leg soup is so popular that it has several locations in Surabaya and Malang. You can order and customize your own portion and what it consists of, whether you’re in for a big meal or just a small taste.
Nasi bebek (duck rice)
Nasi bebek is simply steamed rice with deep-fried duck and spicy “sambal” sauce, but it is delicious. It is served with fresh vegetables known as “lalapan,” which include cabbage, string beans, and Thai basil. The spicy sauce can be dipped into the fried duck. When eating it, use your right hand to enhance the flavor. Surabaya has hundreds of duck rice restaurants where you can get a delicious meal.
Are you a fan of hot noodle soup? Please give mie pecun a shot. The word “pecun” in Indonesian means “Pedas Bebas Racun.” It means “the noodle is extremely spicy but not poisonous.” The dish’s main ingredient is instant noodles, but it has a unique twist. The additional ingredients, such as the egg and green vegetables, are cooked alongside the noodles.