Where did all the Kebon Kacang street food vendors go?

A street food vendor-less Kebon Kacang. Photo: Twitter/@txtdrkuliner
A street food vendor-less Kebon Kacang. Photo: Twitter/@txtdrkuliner

Kebon Kacang, Central Jakarta is arguably best known for its street food, particularly along the boulevard sandwiched between Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia malls.

The vendors have more or less vanished in recent days, opening up much-needed space in the usually cramped boulevard but robbing people of delicious and dependable cheap eats in the commercial district (ayam penyet cabe ijo, anyone?).

Culinary community account @txtdrkuliner yesterday shared photos taken from a Kebon Kacang devoid of street food vendors. Who knew the lanes are this wide, right?

Courtesy of the same account, this is what an ordinary day in Kebon Kacang looked like.

There have been no official statements as to where the Kebon Kacang street vendors went, but one user theorized that they have been temporarily relocated to “sterilize” and “beautify” the area for Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim’s Jakarta visit.

One user believes that the street vendors are temporarily setting up shop around the Jakarta Kota train station in West Jakarta, which has been unusually crowded in the past couple of days.

Obviously, none of these temp measures are sustainable, particularly as previous attempts to clear Kebon Kacang of street food vendors have always failed in the past. There are, however, plans for the construction of a skybridge in Kebong Kacang, which will reportedly be a new home for the vendors. There are no physical signs of the project yet, but officials say construction may begin in 2023.

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