Indonesian in Indonesia

Food Shopping

People shopping in the fresh vegetable section of the supermarket

Cities have large modern supermarkets that sell both traditional Indonesian foods and western foods such as cheese, frozen meats, and western-type breads and pastries. "Pasar swalayan," the Indonesian name for these markets, identifies them as "self-service markets" because customers pick out their own foods and then take the food items to a check-out counter. Most supermarkets have bags available, but shoppers may also bring their own.

Open markets and outdoor vendor stands provide more traditional options for food shopping. Open markets set up every day from early in morning until around noon. Vendors sell fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats. Prices are not posted and customers usually bargain with the sellers to get a good price. Customers do not touch the produce, but can point out which pieces or items they prefer. Fruits and vegetables should always be washed well.

Areas of outdoor vendor stands create a more mall-like atmosphere for shopping. Unlike the open markets, these vendors have permanent stands or stalls, often covered over to block the hot sun. These vendors sell clothing and houseware, as well as food. They will often stay open longer than the open markets, perhaps as late as two or three in the afternoon, and even later during Ramadan.

Bottled water is widely available, especially at neighborhood kiosks that operate like local convenience stores. These kiosks are usually attached to the proprietors' house, so they can be open from the time the owners get up until they go to bed at night. These stores will carry almost anything needed to carry on with everyday life, from rice and water, to needles and ……..

Most towns also have "pasar malam" ("evening markets") which happen nightly around the town or village common. Food vendors bring cooked, prepared foods which customers either eat on the spot, or take home with them. On special occasions, someone in the town may sponsor a "pasar kaget" ("surprise market") where vendors of many different types of goods will appear, along with the usual array of food vendors.



Click on the text to hear the spoken phrase.
  • "supermarket"

    pasar swalayan
  • "open market"

  • "neighborhood kiosk"
    (version 1)
  • "neighborhood kiosk"
    (version 2)
  • "stand"

  • "rice"
    (uncooked and hulled)
  • "rice"
    (plants in the field)
  • "rice"
    (cooked or steamed)