Pop Up Vegan Restaurant

It turns out being vegan in Yogya is AWESOME!!

After the excitement of our vegan scooter adventure to Borobodur and Merapi, we were back in Yogja and ready to explore all the vegan options open to us.

One of these options was to open a one night only, pop up vegan restaurant at The Travelers Rest, a great cafe / event space about to be opened by our homestay hosts Andy and Shinta.

With the support of these very lovely people we got to work and started to make this crazy idea into an actual real life plan.

We made a sign…

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Back to basics – advertising via whiteboard with fingers crossed it didn’t rain…

We went looking for ingredients…


Keepin it fresh, Andy collects chillies from the garden.

We went to the market…


We bought Jamu from this lady who found it hard to crack a smile…


…but Andy charmed the lady selling sweets & we got loads of vegan Indonesian desserts

And so, with ingredients bought, we sent Andy to the kitchen to cook and began drumming up support for our pop up vegan banquet. So many lovely people came and we spent the whole night chatting and eating… all 100% plant-based and cruelty free of course.


Charlie & Charlie (now forever known as ‘The Two Charlies’) enjoying their vegan dinner


Andy cooked all this amazing vegan food…


We had a mountain of vegan Ind;onesian desserts for people to try…


Relaxed vibe & great vegan food: perfect ingredients for our pop up vegan restaurant

Vegan travel has never been so easy, not only were we finding vegan food at every turn but now whole restaurants were going vegan (OK only for one night but still pretty awesome!).

In general, Yogya is a very vegan friendly town: there’s a vegetarian restaurant called Mila’s that serves OK vegan food (although with exceptionally painful service), various backpacker restaurants have vegan options on the their menus but it’s the street food and local warungs (small restaurants) which really make this a ‘must visit’ place.

One of our favourite places was called ‘Queen’s Warung’, located on Jalan Parangtritis (from the top of Jalan Prawirotaman, turn left and walk for 5-10 minutes, it’s a small place on the left). Most days they’d be open with a small cabinet full of dishes, a lot of which were vegan (sign language and a bit of Indonesian is needed to communicate vegan-ness here).

We got to try a local vegan delicacy called ‘gudeg’ which is young jackfruit stewed in coconut milk, sugar and spices for hours until it’s soft. After all the cooking it turns brown, has the look of a big bowl of chopped, cooked kidney (YUK) that has been shredded and has a sweet taste with a firm, dense texture (YUM). There were also lots of green things to try which included papaya leaves, cassava leaves and spinach, all with generous chilli and garlic.


‘Gudeg’ (on the left of the bowl) a local delicacy was really tasty and vegan too


Paul mixing it up with the locals at Queen’s Warung…

We moved to a new homestay called Via Via (still on Jalan Prawirotaman) and they organised Indonesian vegan food for us every day at breakfast. More rice, tempeh and green leaves… this is very much our idea of vegan heaven!

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No toast and jam for us at breakfast… bring on the spicy tempeh & bitter papaya leaves

Even though we had already firmly established that Caryl is much more at home with a slice of vegan cake and a nice cup of tea, we somehow found ourselves going on another outdoor adventure, this time with our Indonesian friend Julie and her pals.

They were all such lovely people that we couldn’t resist signing up for ‘tubing’ with them, but in true Vegan Food Quest Adventure Sports Style, we managed to turn what was supposed to be a low-adventure, drift through a cave and down a sunny river into a slightly more challenging night time excursion.

We started the adventure with no idea of what was ahead…

Another Vegan Food Quest Outdoor Adventure about to get interesting…

…and then darkness set in. Proper Darkness. The sort of darkness you only really get when you are in the middle of nowhere, on a river, in a giant inflatable tube and have quite clearly started way too late in the day.

It was dark, it was cold and there was no vegan food…

Our Great Vegan Tubing Adventure now involved a simultaneous test of Caryl’s ability to endure the cold as well as a test of the mental strength needed NOT to think what was swimming beneath us in the pitch black water.

There were extra challenges too, like trying to ignore constant thoughts of biting insects (as we floated down the river at night in wet shorts and t-shirts) and various associated tropical diseases that said biting insects can carry.

You will probably be surprised to hear that far from being a horrible experience, our ‘Vegan Tubing in the Dark and Cold Adventure’ was actually among the best things we did in Yogya.

We actually had an amazing time, which was all down to the people we were with. The joyful bunch of twenty-somethings who took us tubing never complained once, they were full of laughter and life, were so considerate and looked out for each other and for us. They wouldn’t let a small thing like having no light or being freezing cold stop them from making the most out of the experience.

They were just so much fun; even though it was cold and dark they were still smiling and pointing out the beautiful starry night sky.

Meeting people like this and being shown such friendship is one of the great things about vegan travel


An AMAZING bunch of people to meet…

Would we do it all again? Probably not (Caryl being more ‘vegan princess’ than ‘outdoor activities’) butwe’d definitely have them all round for dinner in the warm and dry with huge amounts of vegan cake for everyone.

Next stop on the Vegan Food Quest: More Vegan Exploring and Vegan Luxury Travel in Johor Baru, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur…

Check out a selection of other vegan travel blog posts…


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  1. Carmella of The Food Duo September 3, 2014 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Wow! So cool that you were able to do a pop-up restaurant on your travels!

    • VeganMush September 3, 2014 at 10:12 am - Reply

      it was so much fun and we want to do it again! there were around 20 guests from 6 different countries, some vegetarian but not all – however they all loved the vegan food!

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