Toko (shop)

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Toko in Amsterdam (1956)

A toko (Indonesian for shop) is a shop in the Netherlands selling mainly Asian food products of which the owners are generally Indo-European, Indonesian, Surinamese,[1] Chinese or Vietnamese.


In Indonesia, the term toko refer to a generic name for any kind of shop or store, not necessarily sold solely Asian food product. For example in Indonesia, toko roti means a bakery while a toko kelontong sells daily necessities. The term is of Indonesian origin and probably from the Chinese Hokkien loanword to refer a shop. In the Netherlands, the meanings has shifted more specifically to refer to Asian shops.


Tokos have become a common type of shop in Dutch cities since the repatriation of Dutch colonial expats and Indo-Europeans during and after the Indonesian revolution in the late '40s and early '50s. Tokos originally sold products from the former Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).

In the Dutch language the word toko has become an informal name for any type of company or organisation.

Indo toko with Indonesian dishes on display in Amsterdam (2011)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Surinaamse kok wil af van toko-imago". Het Parool (in Dutch). July 31, 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2011.