from Soto Kadipiro to Saoto Bathok Mbah Katro

Let's explore the richness and uniqueness of food born from the acculturation between Indonesian, Chinese, and even Indian culture, presented in a bowl of soto (a kind of soup made of meat or vegetable broth). You can find numerous variants of soto: soto

Updated on 18 November 2019

Jogja is mostly known as the City of Gudeg, but the truth is, in addition to the food dominated with savory and sweet taste, Jogja has a million of foods that you simply cannot resist. One of the legendary foods in the City of Gudeg is soto. You can even find one stall that has been selling soto since half a century ago.

Going through the history of soto, this one particular food is so full of culture and taste. As we all know, there are soto Madura, soto Lamongan, soto Kudus, soto Betawi, and many others. Furthermore, soto is actually a product of acculturation between Indonesian, Chinese, and even Indian culture. The book "Nusa Jawa: Silang Budaya" mentioned that soto originally came from China. In the beginning it was called caudo, then tauto, saoto, and finally sroto or soto to fit Indonesian tongue. The use of turmeric, one of the many empon-empon (a Javanese term used to refer to the various spices used in cooking) as an ingredient is assumed to follow Indian recipes. On the other hand, Indonesian culture's contribution is the addition of local spices, which differ from one region to another, and thus resulting in a large variety of soto. You can enjoy some of them when visiting Jogja.

1. Soto Kadipiro

If you head west from Wirobrajan intersection, you can taste one legendary soto in Jogja known with the name Soto Kadipiro. It has been running its business since 1921, and nowadays it is recognized as an icon of soto in Jogja. Soto Kadipiro is located in the center of the city, making it easy to find. What makes it more exceptional is because we can order a beverage named Limun Sarsaparilla (Sarsaparilla Lemonade), a rare Jogjanese soda beverage, for dessert. Check the address and the map of the location on Soto Kadipiro.

2. Soto Pak Marto Taman Sari

There is another soto widely known amongst food hunters in Jogja. Soto Pak Marto Taman Sari, located 200 meter to the west of Plengkung Taman Sari, never lacks customers. The main appeal of this stall, established by Mr. Martodimedjo in 1960, is the babat sapi (tripe-edible offals from the stomachs of various farm animals) cooked using sweet seasoning similar to the one used in making bacem (a way of cooking using a lot amount of sugar, or salt, water) foods. Check the address and the map of the location on Soto Pak Marto Taman Sari.

3. Soto Sampah

People would be surprised when they hear the name (the word sampah is literally translated as 'garbage' or 'junk') for the first time because it is not a word normally used to call a food. Going against the horrid name, Soto Sampah, which is located near Tugu Jogja (Jogja's iconic historical monument), is worth to try. To you who are wondering about the name, here is the answer: it is named Soto Sampah because instead of using chicken meat or beef, like people normally do, they use gajih or cow's fat. Furthermore, you can add any available side dishes into the mix, turning the food's appearance into something similar to a pile of 'junk'. Check the adress and the map of the location on Soto Sampah.

4. Soto Djiancuk

Some paintings, wood carvings, and scraps of car parts are scattered on some corners, both inside and outside. Nobody would have thought that the building, appear more like an artist's workshop, is in fact a soto stall. This stall serving soto Blitar has a very unique name. People know this place by the name Soto Djiancuk. The owner came from East Java and he deliberately used the swear word (djiancuk is a swear word normally used by the native people of East Java) to make it clear that he is selling East Java-style soto. Rumor has it that the taste of the soto here often provokes people to curse because it is so tasty and will be sold out in just a blink of the eye. Check the adress and the map of the location on Soto Djiancuk.

5. Soto Kemasan

Enjoying fried chicken with basil is very common, but what about eating soto sprinkled with basil? That's exactly what this soto stall in Kemasan is offering. The exact name of the stall is Soto Kemasan. In addition to having basil sprinkled on the food, the stall, established in 1963, also mixes slices of tahu bacem (tofu cooked using bacem method) to replace the more commonly used meat. It is a very unique mixture that will surely attract food lovers' curiosity. Check the address and the map of the location on Soto Kemasan.

6. Soto Moneter

The monetary crisis striking Indonesia in the 90s became the philosophy behind the establishment of the soto stall, located north of Kotagede's ringroad intersection, Jogja. People identify this humble stall by the name Warung Soto Moneter. The signature dish of this stall is a bowl of beef soto with crystal clear broth. Soto Moneter also provides a unique sensation of enjoying soto with basil and lenthok (mashed fried cassava), as the side dish. Check the address and the map of the location on Soto Moneter.

7. Soto Betawi Bang H. Pitung

Betawinese (Derived from Batavia, the old name of Jakarta; Betawinese is the native people of Jakarta) Soto is not as popular as soto Madura, soto Lamongan, and soto Kudus. Still, Soto Betawi Bang H. Pitung is one of the best places to use as reference if you're looking for a place to eat soto in Jogja. Soto Betawi is distinctly known with its coconut milk broth, which is thick and yellowish in color. The manner of serving is extraordinary, using a small aluminium stove with a candle to keep the ordered soto warm. Check the address and the map of the location on Soto Betawi Bang H. Pitung.

8. Soto Pak Sholeh Al-Barokah

Many say that Soto Pak Sholeh Al-Barokah is a soto that has the most 'Jogjanese taste' due to the mixture of savory and sweet taste, a combination found in most Jogjanese foods. The process of cooking, which uses traditional charcoal stove instead of gas stove, makes the taste of this soto more exceptional. Back in 1952, it was sold door to door, but now it has turned into a very famous soto in Jogja. Check the address and the map of the location on Soto Pak Sholeh Al-Barokah.

9. Saoto Bathok Mbah Katro

Not far from the site of Sambisari Temple, there are several bamboo huts looking so conspicuous amongst the rice fields. That is the exact place where we can enjoy the tastiness of Saoto Bathok Mbah Katro. Saoto. is a term normally used to refer to soto in the region of Solo (as you have read in the beginning of this article, soto has a lot of names; in Makassar, for example, soto is called coto). The combination of remotely located compound far from the noisy town and the lovely rural atmosphere has made Saoto Bathok Mbah Katro the best option for breakfast in Kalasan. As the name suggests, Saoto Bathok Mbah Katro is served in a bathok-a bowl made out of coconut shell. Read the full review in Saoto Bathok Mbah Katro.