Surabaya’s Legendary Foods That You Should Eat

Written By
Annisa Puspa Andira

Edited By
Fazrah LR Heryanda

Photo By
Fadhli Zaky
Abdurrahman Rabbani

Nasi Sayur Pak Djo

Jl. Embong Blimbing No.1,
Genteng, Surabaya


Opening hours:

11 am – 10 pm

Entering Embong Blimbing street, you’ll find a lineup of the Pedagang Kaki Lima-street vendor centers in Surabaya. Near the very end, there’s one of the still talk-about legendary foods called Pak Djo Asli with its specialties, including Nasi Sayur (Vegetable Rice) dan Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice).

Pak Djo Asli has served Nasi Sayur for Surabayan since the 70s. Nasi Sayur is a homely menu that consists of plain white rice doused with stir-fried from green mustard greens and sliced chicken. Added with a typical Nasi Goreng Jawa seasoning and its yellow-colored noodle, he managed to grow his business and expanding into branches. Pak Djo started selling Nasi Sayur in a wheeling stall, in 1990 has succeeded in establishing his first ‘depot’ that stood still stands today. After five years of his death, his wife, Hj. Romlah has taken his place to run the establishment.


Depot Nasi Campur Pojok Tambak Bayan

Jl. Ps. Besar Wetan No.5,
Bubutan, Surabaya


Opening hours:

5 am – 3.30 pm

Nasi Campur has been a delicacy for generations. A timeless dish, a great lunch companion, and comfort food that never goes wrong.  Across from Vihara Maharika Graha in Pasar Besar Wetan street stands another Surabaya’s legendary place Nasi Campur Pak Bayan, since 1960. Campur itself represents a literal meaning of the dish as it consists of rice, Yellow Spices Tofu, Javanese Marinated Tofu, Javanese Braised Eggs, Krengsengan Beef (Stewed Beef), Sweet Marinated Chicken, and classic Sambal Korek. What makes Nasi Campur Pojok Tambak Bayan special is the classic Sweet Marinated Sohun. It’s a chewy, sweet-savory taste side dish that perfectly complements greasy dishes. If you’re a light tummy, Nasi Campur Tambak Bayan could fill you up all day long, suchlike its taste that has never faded.


Soto Madura Tapak Siring

Jl. Residen Sudirman No.55 B,  Tambaksari, Surabaya


Opening hours:

5 am – 3.30 pm

Another traditional Surabaya foods that shouldn’t be missed is Soto Madura Tapak Siring. Surabaya sometimes gets confused with its Doppelgänger, between the one that widely known in Dharmahusada and the other low-key one in Residen Sudirman. This time, we decided to try the low-key one, which reportedly has been running for four generations.

Way before settling down in one spot, Soto Madura Tapak Siring has moved three times, from just a mini stall to a well-established eatery. Breathing into a mouth-watering aroma of beef broth, Soto Tapak Siring perseveres its loyalty to use firewood instead of the stove. Moreover, they served adequate portion rice on a banana leaf to minimize the rice waste. As it served, there are chunks of beef, boiled egg, then garnished with scallion and fried shallot. Its broth surprisingly light and non-oily but still distinctively giving a juicy taste. The combination of broth, spices, and side dishes, make Soto Tampak Siring as a rich symphony dish.