I could write a love story about coffee & food. A young iced latte meets a strong dark roast and it’s love at first sight, they live happily ever after at a trendy cafe that is regularly Instagrammed by hipsters. I love the search of a great restaurant or cafe, and the satisfying meal to signify success. I use everything from Trip Advisor to Pinterest to Instagram to travel blogs to seek out some good eats in a new city. I’m happy to report that Yogyakarta on the island of Java [yes, just like the coffee] in Indonesia did not disappoint.
Our first meal in Yogyakarta, or Jogja as the locals call it, was at Epic Coffee. This place is an Instagram gold mine. Exposed brick, check. Open coffee bar with fancy espresso machine, check, Whimsical signage, check. And thankfully the coffee didn’t disappoint either. Not only can you choose the roast, but also the brewing method. Would you like a single-origin dark roast brewed by slow-drip? Or would you like the nutty, woody blended roast prepared by a chemex brew? The amount of options is incredible. Disappointed that on the morning I went, they were out of a few, so I needed up with a smooth iced latte. Still tasty! While waiting for coffee or food, you could browse the attached Epilog Furniture store, for your own trendy home decorating needs. This place was one of the first I found via Instagram and it was a great introduction to the java on Java.
For dinner, we ventured out to Doodle Burger. After a few wrong turns and misdirections, we found this gem nestled between other restaurants and cafes. But Doodle Burger is a standout. They offer beef, chicken and fish burgers, all which are wonderfully served on multi-colored hamburger buns. Yes, you read that right. After choosing your meat and toppings, you can choose between a White, Red, Brown, Turquoise, or Pink bun. Seriously. We tried a chicken burger and a beef burger, and they were both knockout, served with their special Doodle sauce. Oh, did I mention the colorful buns? It’s an Instagram dream come true…
The next day, we enjoyed brunch at Coffee No. 27 and it’s adjoining restaurant, ESCO. What a find! I adored the coffee shop, styled to perfection including a wall display of Scrabble tiles spelling “I Drink Coffee for Your Protection”. Adorbs. The coffee float was delicious and refreshing. The french toast with apple crumble and maple syrup was out of this world. My husband had to pry me from this place. I was about to camp out and never eat another meal elsewhere.
Dinner that night was at a Vietnamese restaurant called Indochine. We were a little nervous upon arrival because it was completely empty, but then we realized we were just pre-dinner rush and enjoyed the restaurant to ourselves for awhile. The tempe spring rolls are enough to stop by this place. But on top of that, the pad thai [yes, I know it’s Thai not Vietnamese] and the red chicken curry were just as good. Best kept secret in Jogja, maybe?
Our final meal in Jogja was at Hakone Ramen House, a Japanese restaurant. The sushi was excellent and ramen earned it’s namesake. But the desserts were something special. A green tea ice cream cone with fruit loop cereal around the cone. A chocolate milkshake top with cotton candy and chocolate wafers. They were absurd. They were delicious. A great spot to close out our time in Jogja.
Jogja is a city more than restaurants, cafes and coffeeshops. It’s a city with culture and history. It’s city with creativity. It’s a city brimming and spilling over with people. It’s beautiful and vibrant. From ancient ruins to trendy coffeeshops, to historic landmarks and chic shopping, it’s a city on the move. I think that Yogyakarta is the world’s best kept secret, but I think that secret’s about to slip out.