Everyone knows that when it comes to Malaysian food, Penang has the best to offer. Even the former editor of gourmet food magazine Saveur, James Oseland, called it the top food destination in the world. It really has some of the best local food, and we’re immensely lucky to have it located so near us!
Now, some of you might think that food prices have probably gone up due to its global fame. A food trail on a shoestring is still possible! Here’s a list we put together to help you hunt for the best stuff in Penang:
1. Roti Canai Jalan Transfer
You can’t find roti canai as fluffy, crispy, and served with such a big portion of chicken curry – and with almost a quarter of the chicken! It only opens in the morning and sells out quite fast, so go early to get your tummies filled.
Opening hours: Daily, 8am-12 noon
Location: 114, 110, Jalan Transfer, George Town.
2. Granny’s Hokkien Mee
Don’t confuse this with the dark hokkien mee from KL – Penang’s hokkien mee is what some of us refer to as prawn noodles. Word has it that it only Granny does it right here. The soup is rich in flavour with just the right level of spiciness.
Opening hours: Daily, 7am-9:30pm
Location: Lengkok Nipah, Taman Lip Sin, Bayan Lepas
3. Kim’s Laksa
Similar to the hokkien mee, Penang laksa is different from the laksas from other states. It also goes by the name ‘assam laksa’ as the broth is made from assam (tamarind). If you’re craving for some, head to Kim’s Laksa for the thickest bowl of laksa you’ll ever see!
Opening hours: Wednesday-Monday, 11am-5pm
Location: 20, Jalan Sungai Air Putih, Bandar Baru Air Putih, Balik Pulau
4. Kheng Pin Café
If you love fried food, this is the place to be. Locals say that you can find the best loh bak in town – everything is fried to crispy perfection, coupled with a delicious dipping sauce.
Price: RM1-2 per fried item
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 7am-2pm
Location: 20, 16, Jalan Penang, George Town
5. Kimberley Street Char Koay Teow
It’s a sin to visit Penang and not try their famous char koay teow. You won’t have a problem finding cheap ones around the state, but it’s said that the best one is located on Kimberley Street, right in the heart of Georgetown.
Opening hours: Daily, 5:30pm-12 midnight
Location: 86, Kimberley Street, George Town
6. Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak
Also referred to as ‘chai tau koay’, who doesn’t love this sweet and savoury dish? It’s really cheap and super filling!
Opening hours: Daily, 7am-1pm
Location: 94, Lorong Macalister, George Town
7. Kedai Kopi Seng Thor Oh Chien
Arguably one of the best in the state, this coffeeshop’s oh chien is for those who really love oysters. As you can see, the plate is just full of them!
Opening hours: Daily, 7am-5pm
Location: 160, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town
8. Sister Curry Mee
This stall is still manned by the three Lim sisters till today! They’ve been cooking up a storm for almost 60 years, so you can be sure that they’re really good at what they do.
Opening hours: Wednesday-Monday, 7:30am-1pm
Location: 612 T, Jalan Air Itam, Pekan Ayer Itam, Ayer Itam
9. Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol
Nothing we love more than a cold bowl of cendol during the hot Malaysian dry months. This stall’s is still one of the best in Penang.
Opening hours: Daily, 10:30am-7pm
Location: Jalan Penang, George Town
10. Kota Selera Food Court Chicken Chop
Your simple, no-frills chicken chop can taste really good too in Penang. We found the best one in Paadang Kota Lama, served with simple brown sauce, fries, and baked beans.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday, 12 noon-3pm
Location: Padang Kota Lama, George Town
11. Ali Nasi Lemak
We firmly believe that the best nasi lemaks come in banana leaf packages, just like the one at Ali’s. Each packet has the usual essentials, and you can choose to top them up with some yummy side dishes.
Opening hours: Daily except Wednesday and Sunday, 7am-4pm (12 noon on Saturday)
Location: Sri Weld Food Court, Beach Street, George Town
If you want some Penang delicacies for your upcoming party but can’t get there in time to buy, get our lovely caterers to help you with a Penang-ish menu! Click here to order now.
Or if you’re worried that this food trip will spoil your fitness plans, it might help to engage a personal trainer to help keep you on track. Just fill in the form and we’ll take care of the rest.
written by Esther Chung