Yogyakarta, or commonly known as Jogja, is considered by many as a vibrant city, rich in culture that boasts numerous unique attractions for its tourists. Since the city is home to many young students and sees many curious western tourists come and go, it comes as no surprise that the small city of Jogja features many budget and vegan-friendly restaurants.
If you are already in the area or plan to visit Jogja soon, here we list the top 10 must-visit vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in Jogja.
1. Fortunate Coffee
Located not so far from the iconic Malioboro Street, it's a cozy place to grab a hearty lunch, dinner, or even to work on your laptop whilst enjoying unique coffee creations and listening to calming, easy-listening music. Beyond their famous aromatic coffee, they serve up western, Indonesian, and Asian vegan dishes ranging from bread, dessert, snacks to main courses. There's a small library for those who want a good read up on veganism or indulge in board games. Their signature dish is an addictive pizza with a black crust made from black sesame seeds. They also sell dried goods, seeds, nuts, and other vegan goodies.
2. Loving Hut
Loving Hut is probably the most well-known vegan cafe on this list. They have two branches that are both located in a student-friendly neighborhood. They serve up predominantly Asian cuisine, from Tomyam, Kwetiau to Japchae, and Nasi Lemak. Mushrooms and soybeans are the main ingredients in their dish. Fancy a quick, filling bite in between classes? Try their buffet, which mostly offers fresh Indonesian dishes, such as crispy mushrooms, sweet tempeh, soybean satay, sauteed broccoli, etc.
3. Lovelyn Vegan Kitchen
This tiny "hole-in-wall" type restaurant situated in a local neighborhood is a well-hidden secret. It is owned by a lady who loves to experiment with homemade mock meats and other new vegan dishes. She makes most of the food from scratch, and the taste shows. There's plenty of variation, and the prices are very reasonable. Her homemade Bakso and Pempek are a must-try!
4. Simple Plant
This restaurant may be quiet a drive from the city, but it's totally worth it! Surrounded by green trees right alongside the river, the breeze is strong enough to keep the mosquitoes away. They grow their own vegetables, and the food uses no MSG or palm oil. From the infamous Indonesian dish Jamur Geprek to burgers and steaks, and cold coconut to beers, they have a huge menu range. There's a small shop and donation corner for animal welfare organizations in Jogja. While eating there, you will meet their adorable pet pig and many cats and dogs.
5. Milas - Vegetarian
If you want to experience fine dining in a tranquil garden, with the sound of trickling water flowing from the fountains, while sitting comfortably inside the little bamboo huts, this place is great for you. Milas offers vegetarian food with plenty of vegan options. They have a cute little shop selling vegan goodies and handmade souvenirs. Their menu is in both Indonesian and English, and if it's not enough, their attentive English-speaking staff will be very happy to assist you.
6. Padang Vegan Damai
Who doesn't love a good Nasi Padang? Padang Vegan Damai is an absolute treasure, located in a food court on the third floor of Malioboro Mall. They serve 15 different set-menu of Padangnese food that costs around 25K IDR. You will get rice, boiled cassava leaves, jackfruit curry, fresh sambal, and vegan protein of your choice.
Jejamuran is heaven for mushroom lovers, hence the name Jejamuran which means mushrooms in Indonesia. While it is not entirely vegan, we can all agree that mushrooms are a versatile vegan mock meat, and thus, vegan options here are plentiful. You will hear the calming sound of gamelan and relaxing Javanese vibes once you step inside the restaurant. Expect to eat many different kinds of mushrooms with different cooking techniques. From deep-fried to soup, and from skewers to other traditional recipes. The savory, earthy flavor and juicy textures are better than the real meat! They have a little souvenirs shop and a mushroom museum!
8. Somayoga Vegan
As a vegan, you may want to try as many traditional Indonesian foods as you can, but sometimes the options are limited. Somayoga is a 100% vegan restaurant serving up traditional Javanese dishes. You can try the healthier version of Bakso, Soto, Rawon, Satay, etc. The restaurant is situated in a Joglo building, a traditional Javanese house made out of wood material. Enjoy eating while looking at the calming rice paddy field next door. They also serve dessert, with carrot brownie as the best-seller.
Veganissimo is located in the middle of a culinary village, which is a little bit out of the way from the city center. This family-owned warung serves up Indo-Chinese home-cooked dishes. This place is a great bang for your buck, considering the taste, the portions, and the healthfulness of many dishes. Owned by a Buddhist family, all the foods are vegan, and they don't use onion or garlic for seasoning. The warung is right outside their home, and there's an option to sit on the chair or 'lesehan', which is sitting in the cushions on the ground.
10. Vegan Lusidus
If you are on a tight budget and looking for delicious quick vegan food, then head to Vegan Lusidus. It is a simple restaurant that offers predominantly Indonesian vegan food with different variations of mock meat. Just beware with their spicy Indonesian-standard sambal, if you're not into spicy, just tell them to tone it down a little bit!