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Despite the daily antics we all get carried away with on a daily basis. It is hard to deny that Jakarta is a hidden gem waiting to make its global breakthrough. The increasing number of international peers visiting and planting their feet to the city and the common businesses built by locals who had their fair share of living abroad brings an air of positive hope to the dynamic potential this city has.

To celebrate the 487 anniversary this coming weekend, the Tulisan team as a great appreciator of the city that gave birth to us, provides you a  few list of traditional markets and classic eateries that made Jakarta what it is today.

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Markets

Pasar Baru: Despite its name meaning “New Market,” Pasar Baru has been one of the oldest witnesses of Jakarta’s development. The narrow-walkway of the market offers everything from vintage wear to the choices of cameras both old and new that you can either buy or fix.

Pasar Mayestik: A favorite go-to market for the Tulisan Team, this market located at South Jakarta sells everything from fabrics, household appliance, clothing accessories, to the choices of Indonesian snacks. We could spend hours looking for strange finds here. 

Pasar Senen: Even though this market surprised us by the accident of catching fire a few months ago. We still are relieved it is around to sell us the more than abundant choices of vintage wear which is a great bargain for our pocket. Imagine seven dresses for the price of Rp. 100.000.

Jalan Surabaya: A favorite place for both tourist and locals to dig into relics of the past. This market sells everything from the antique choices of lamps, clocks, to the many choices of records for those currently into collecting vinyls.

Pasar Asemka: This market is the perfect go-to place if you are looking for all the little necessities of stationeries or even a gift you would like to give a friend. The market sells notebooks, kids toys, inline skates, to bags.

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Eateries

Kopi Tak Kie: Since 1927, Kopi Tak Kie has been a morning and day staple coffee shop for residents who live around the small alleyway of Gang Gloria, at Kota. Bare as it is with the classic red painted font of the name, this humble coffee shop serves the classic ice black coffee or with milk and also an abundant choices of food from fried rice, noodles, to fries around the alley.

Trio Restaurant: Glaring in bright green, this breezy looking restaurant opened since 1947 serves an authentic choice of Chinese food in portions fit to share with friends and family. Known favorably for its fried frog legs and sautéed beef slices, this classic eatery is filled with a group of older men who have probably gone through generations of dining in the warmth of company.

Bubur Kwangtung: Open 24-hours every single day, Bubur Kwangtung has been a go-to place for those looking for a hefty bite in the brink of midnight. Recognized with the prominent framed pictures of famous celebrities of Jakarta, Bubur Kwangtung keeps your night full with its tasty choices of shrimp, chicken, or beef porridge.

Jaya Pub: This pub has been one of the oldest pubs in Jakarta since 1976. Long time customers would often spend their nights drinking while being entertained by the choices of bluesy rock or jazz both local and international. Although for a couple of years now, the regular show “Superbad” have bought in a resurgence of young local talents monthly.

Batavia Café: No place can introduce the history of old Jakarta more than being in the square called Taman Fatahillah where it is surrounded by three museums, Museum Fatahillah, Puppet Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics. The Café right at the epicenter is a place to take in the beauty of Jakarta.

As Melissa Sunjaya, Tulisan’s proud founder always mentions, Jakarta is not London, Paris, New York or any other great city. Despite its pollution and bumper-to-bumper traffic, living in Jakarta is about taking chances, being close to family, and having true friends. It is a melting pot where you will find many inspiring minds and undiscovered talent. Appearances are often deceiving. This is definitely the case with a chaotic city like Jakarta, but once you delve into its inner beauty you realize that this is a place brimming with vitality and an abundance of untapped creative energy.”

We hope this list will keep you inspired as you discover different parts that made Jakarta what is today.

– Athina Ibrahim
Photography by various sources