The Netflix documentary What The Health may have divided people’s opinion on the internet, but let’s take a step back from all of that and see what I believe to be the real message: Be a more conscious eater. Try looking at what fuels your body the way you dissect your favorite subject at school, with curiosity, criticism, and gusto.
When it comes to veganism, the world is, and always will be, torn into two (or more, if you’re counting the other types of vegetarianism). Hardcore vegans will say that plants are not only healthy, but also sustainable and animal-friendly, while meat lovers will argue that there are certain nutrients that plants simply don’t provide, like Vitamin B12.
There are always two sides of the story, so I decided to conduct my own little research. These past two weeks I’ve been exclusively eating vegetables and fruits. The result: Nothing drastically different. I still have the same energy level. There’s the occasional psychological hunger in the beginning, but my stomach (and perhaps the brain as well) slowly adjusts to the new eating pattern. Although a two-week diet is hardly enough to fully grasp the effect of being a vegetarian, so far, so good.
I’ve heard and read about a lot of positive stories about being vegan. Pupupaula and her husband Teddy Aang have been adopting the vegan diet for health reasons. Pupu, who has been suffering from an autoimmune disease, found that being a vegan is essential in keeping the disease at bay. Follow her daily food journal at @plantpoweredpupu for more information. On the other hand, there are indeed vegans who are advised to eat meat again, also for health reasons. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard, a previously devout vegan, had to start eating meat during her pregnancy.
At the end of the day, it’s your choice. Every person is different, and what works for other people may not work for you. It’s important to make a lot of researches, give it a go, and find out what works best for your body. Always be conscious of the food you eat, and don’t be afraid to re-think about the definition of healthy food based on your own experience.
Do watch What The Health (if you haven’t already) and get inspired, like I did. So here they are, tried and tested, restaurants, cafes, and small businesses offering healthy food in Jakarta. Yes, some of these are not fully vegan. You might need to ask them to take out yogurt or honey from the dish. But please don’t hesitate to do so, they will surely be happy to cater to your specific needs.
1. Nalu Bowls
The big fish of healthy food joint in Bali made its way to Jakarta last year. They offer healthy food enthusiasts six signature smoothies bowl, customizable with your choice of toppings and liquid base. Now also at Crumble Crew SCBD. Read our review about Nalu Bowls here.
Address: Jl. Kemang Timur No. 69D
If you think that a healthy lifestyle is more than just eating a bowl of superfood, you’re going to like SNCTRY. This healthy food joint in Dharmawangsa not only uses organic ingredients, but also recycle-able furnitures. SNCTRY has been around for a while, and is located right next to But First Coffee. In other words, if smoothies bowl and coffee are your thing, you know where to go. Click here to read more about SNCTRY.
Address: Pelaspas Dharmawangsa, Jl. Dharmawangsa Raya No. 4
Berrywell labels each of their menu—smoothies bowl, hot dish, and even their cakes—with the number of calories. Some products may contain honey, but everything except two types of wraps tick all the boxes for vegetarianism. Read more about Berrywell here.
Address: Fairgrounds SCBD, Plaza Senayan, Shophaus Menteng
4. Beets & Bouts
Berrywell’s neighbor in Fairground SCBD, Beets & Bouts, is the winner when it comes to variety. Besides the usual smoothies bowl and cold-pressed juice, it also serves dozens of other options such as quinoa salad and nasi jeruk. Another plus: the green atmosphere of the restaurant is as rejuvenating as its healthy dishes.
Address: Fairgrounds, SCBD Lot 14, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Epigastro knows how to do it with a big bang: Kitchen, juice bar, and health food grocer rolled into one. Since opening in PIK area one year ago, it remains one of the few places in North Jakarta that serves smoothie bowls and wholesome food. Since the restaurant also serves a few guilty-sounding menus such as pizza, it’s definitely a good choice for a stepping stone into healthy living. Read more about Epigastro here.
Address: Ruko Crown Golf, Blok A No. 57, PIK
With a mission for people to be a more conscious eater, SaladStop! promises that ingredients take less than 72 hours to get to your salad bowl. Every dish is labeled with possible allergens that it contains. Although only one signature salad is fully vegan, you can always create-your-own with toppings based on your liking and diet choice. Read more about SaladStop! here.
Address: Senayan City, Plaza Indonesia, Grand Indonesia
7. Cocobeet Jakarta
Hailing from Boston, Cocobeet Jakarta comes with an array of signature cold-pressed juices, juice cleanse packages, nut milks, spreads, sandwiches, smoothie bowls, and all-day breakfast. Everything is plant-based, vegan, and dairy-free. Read about our visit to Cocobeet here.
Address: Senayan City 4th Floor
It’s impossible not to include Burgreens in this list of restaurants offering healthy food in Jakarta. With lots of quirky and yummy choices like Crispy Tofu Burger and Burgreens Steak, it’s the most obvious choice for vegans in the capital. There are also a number of menus that are safe for the dreaded duo, vegan and gluten-free.
Address: Union Yoga Dharmawangsa, Pacific Place LG Floor, Organik Klub Tebet
9. The Good Stuff
Although the rest of the list is dominated by places in South Jakarta, number nine has outlets in Central Park Mall and Mal Kelapa Gading. The Good Stuff serves an eclectic mix of salad, smoothies bowl, and smoothies drink. Read more about The Good Stuff here.
Address: Central Park Mall, Mal Kelapa Gading, Lippo Mall Kemang
10. Otts & Jill (online)
Otts & Jill is not vegan, vegetarian, or anything strict, but the founders believe in serving wholesome food created with the freshest, best ingredients possible. They also incorporate daily-changing menus based on the fact that more variety in food equals to diverse nutrients. Now also on Go-Food.
11. Just Blend (online)
I hope it’s not biased to say this, but Just Blend is everything we promise it would be. Quick blend at home smoothies with frozen fruits as the main star. Super easy, super fast, and packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I blend myself a cup one regularly for breakfast 😉. Available via online order and at Yourganic Senopati. Hopefully coming soon at Maarkeze & MAM Jakarta as well.
We’ll update this list as we scour the city for more spots to eat healthy food in Jakarta. Meanwhile, maybe you could tell us about your favorite place?