Ramadhan, despite being the month to abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset for Muslims all around the globe, is an awesome time to enjoy a culinary journey around Jakarta.
Head to these four great spots for a delectable experience:
Masjid Agung Sunda Kelapa
Jl. Taman Sunda Kelapa no. 16, Menteng, Central Jakarta
Whether it is Ramadhan or not, this huge mosque built in the 1960s is a haven for quick and affordable meals.
Right outside its gates, food stalls and carts can be found serving traditional dishes with prices starting from Rp 10,000 (US$1).
Here you can find rujak (fruit salad), sate Padang (Padang beef satay), batagor (fried tofu and fish dumplings), soto mie (noodles with rich broth), siomay (steamed dumplings), tahu gejrot (fried tofu served in a spicy vinegar), soto Lamongan (Lamongan-style aromatic chicken soup), mie ayam (chicken noodles), nasi goreng (fried rice) and bakso Malang (Malang-style mixed meatball soup).
During the holy month, food sellers are also allowed to set up stalls in the mosque yard, which is good when it is raining thanks to a huge tent covering the area.
Kolak (banana stewed in coconut milk with brown sugar), es cendol (rice flour droplets in sweetened coconut milk), es tebu (iced sugar cane drink), es kopyor (coconut drink), es buah (mixed-fruit iced drink), hot dogs and pizza are among the choices available.
The traditional gorengan (fried snacks), priced at Rp 2,500 are easily the most favored choice, with long queues of customers after the maghrib (dusk) prayer.
You can start your gastronomic adventure here at 4 p.m., during Ramadhan, the food hawkers sell up to 11 p.m.
Jl. Kramat Raya, Central Jakarta
If you love Minangkabau cuisine from West Sumatra and don't mind eating it on a sidewalk food stall, head to this particular street during Ramadhan.
With its long wooden benches and tables and various choices of West Sumatran spicy delicacies, the roadside eateries has earned its reputation as the place to be at dusk.
Nasi kapau is the main attraction here, which is basically rice dressed with curry combined with your choices of side dishes. There are more than 20 options of available starting from Rp 13,000 a dish.
Popular side dishes contain meat, chicken, fish, prawn, duck and eggs, all cooked and seasoned in as many ways you can imagine.
Next to the food stalls, you will also find dozens of street vendors selling popular Minangkabau-style snacks, such as lemang (glutinous rice roasted inside hollow bamboo sticks), kolak, tapai (fermented glutinous rice), bubur kampiun (a mix of cooked coconut milk, sticky rice and colorful glutinous sweets) and krupuk balado (spicy cassava crackers).
Lemang is the most expensive dish, priced at Rp 25,000.
There are five food stalls open from 1 p.m., until imsak (predawn), so you have plenty of time to visit if you are not keen on queuing with other visitors.
Jl. Bendungan Hilir Raya, Central Jakarta
Located at the heart of Jakarta's main business district of Sudirman, this street is arguably the most popular spot in the capital city to break the fast.
Offering more than hundreds of types of dishes, many of the sellers have been doing business for years and have long-time loyal customers who come year after year.
You can expect an abundance of typical Ramadhan delicacies from kolak to timun suri (yellow cucumbers).
The tents stand near the intersection with Jl. Sudirman, although food sellers fill the streets starting from the end corner of Pejompongan.
Sellers open their makeshift stalls at around 3 p.m., until deep into the night, when the streets will be really crowded. Walking is the best way to get there since traffic is always terrible.
La Piazza shopping center
Jl. Kelapa Gading Boulevard, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta
Ever imagine of breaking the fast with Middle-Eastern dishes, accompanied by remarkable music and decorations?
In La Piazza's 1,001 Nights Arabian Night Food Festival, you can do just that.
More than 60 food stalls are ready to lure your taste buds with choices of dishes from all over Indonesia and the Middle East.
Kurma (dates), kolak, Turkish ice cream, es pisang ijo (bananas wrapped in green batter served with ice) and es podeng (traditional coconut ice cream in various flavors) are some of the must-try ta'jil (sugary snacks and drinks).
Meanwhile, the main dishes include Nasi Kebuli Pak Salim (Arabian-style fried rice spiced with cardamom, cinnamon and caraway seed), Nasi Briyani Sisca Soewitomo (briyani rice a la TV cook Sisca Soewitomo), Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih (mutton fried rice), Martabak Kubang (richly-flavored pancake), Sate Domba Afrika Casablanca (African-style lamb), sate Padang Mak Syukur (Padang-style satay) and Rujak Juhi Pak Tata (vegetables served with shredded dried squid and peanut sauce).
Parades will be held every weekend with themes such as Fire Eater and Juggling, Belly Dancing, Street Magician and Humanoid.
Instead of real money, the festival uses fake Middle-Eastern money. You can buy it with real money at the available counters note denominations go from Rp 1,000 to Rp 20,000.
Available until July 28, the food festival is opened every day from 4 p.m. It closes at 10 p.m., on weekdays and midnight on weekends.