If you were to gauge how good a restaurant is based on longevity alone, then over half the places on this list would be considered the best eateries in Malaysia. The majority of street food stalls in this Penang food guide have been serving the same iconic dish for over thirty years, some much longer than that.
When doing food research, I’m drawn to places that have withstood the test of time because to me, that usually means four things. One, they’ve mastered that dish. Two, it must be good. Three, they’ve very local and have an interesting story to tell. And four, they aren’t going away anytime soon, making them safe to recommend unlike trendier restaurants that are all the rage one year then gone the next.
If I were to gauge the quality of our food guides based on how many of these legendary restaurants are on them, then this Penang food guide is definitely one of our best.
Focusing mainly on George Town, it includes some of the most enduring eateries on the island, serving some of the best examples of key Penang dishes like asam laksa, char koay teow, curry mee, chendol, and many more.
WHAT & WHERE TO EAT IN PENANG
1. Kheng Pin Cafe
If deep-fried is your thing, then you’ll enjoy lor bak. It’s a Hokkien/Teochew dish consisting of various meats, seafood, tofu, and vegetables. They’re seasoned with five-spice powder and rolled in a thin beancurd skin before being deep-fried and served with chili sauce and loh, which is a sweet sauce thickened with corn starch and beaten eggs.
Khen Pin Cafe has been cited by trusted Malaysian and Singaporean food blogs as having some of the best lor bak in Penang. So shiok ah!
Filipinos may recognize this as kikiam. They’re similar but the coating on lor bak is drier, thicker, and crunchier.
Here’s a shot of Uncle Lau frying up the morning’g batch of lor bak at Kheng Pin Cafe. I’ve read that Uncle Lau has been cooking up his signature lor bak for over forty years.
Kheng Pin Cafe
Address: 80, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 7AM-3PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mon)
Expect to Pay: About RM 10 (for two)
How to Get There: Kheng Pin Cafe is a short walk from the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street. Walk northeast on Penang Road and you’ll see it on your left at the corner of Sri Bahari Road.
2. Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak at Macalister Lane
Char koay kak is radish cake stir-fried in a thick black soy sauce with preserved radish, bean sprouts, and eggs. It’s known as chai tow kueh or “carrot cake” in Singapore.
In Penang, this humble stall along Macalister Lane has been serving some of the city’s best char koay kak for over forty years.
Char koay kak is super tasty. It’s savory and a little sweet with a nice gummy texture.
At first, Ren wasn’t too crazy about this dish but it quickly grew on her. As we found with several of Penang’s dishes, it doesn’t knock your socks off right away but you develop a taste for it by the end. I loved the contrasting crunchiness of the bean sprouts with the gumminess of the radish cake.
Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak stall is located outside Seow Fong Lye Cafe along Macalister Lane. The Eoh sisters took over from their father about thirty years ago and have kept the recipe intact.
We made a quick stop here en route to the Komtar Bus Terminal. If you’re taking the bus to Kek Lok Si Temple, then this is a great place to have breakfast or a light snack.
Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak @ Macalister Lane
Address: 94, Lorong Macalister, George Town, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 7AM–1PM, daily
Expect to Pay: About RM 5
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southwest on Penang Road until you reach Burmah Road. Turn right onto Burma Road then turn left onto Macalister Lane. Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak stall will be on your left around the entrance to Seow Fong Lye Cafe.
3. Seafood Popiah at Medan Selera Padang Brown
Popiah is a Hokkien/Teochew-type of fresh spring roll. It’s made by filling a thin, paper-like crepe or pancake with finely grated turnips and a mix of other ingredients like bean sprouts, grated carrots, pork, seafood, fried tofu, chopped peanuts, fried shallots, and shredded omelette.
You can find popiah in many places throughout Penang but what drew us to this stall at the Padang Brown Food Court was their popiah made with crab meat.
As described, what makes the popiah at this hawker stall so special is that it’s made with luscious crab meat. Based on what I’ve read, that’s a rarity in Penang.
Aside from the crab, they fill the crepe with other ingredients like stir-fried turnips and shredded omelette before drowning it in a sweet turnip gravy. It’s sweet and soft and really good.
This stall at Medan Selera Padang Brown has been serving seafood popiah for over sixty years. Here’s a shot of the popiah master spreading some type of sweet sauce over our crepes before filling it with his signature blend of ingredients.
Medan Selera Padang Brown
Address: Jalan Perak, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 5:30–11:30PM, daily
Expect to Pay: About RM 8 for two
How to Get There: The Padang Brown Food Court is too far to walk from the center of George Town so it’s best to take a taxi or use Grab.
4. Lok Lok at Medan Selera Padang Brown
This was fun and perhaps our most enjoyable meal in Penang. Like kaiten-zushi restaurants in Japan, there’s just something really fun about grabbing whatever food you want whenever you want without having to order from a waiter.
Lok Lok is a type of communal hot pot wherein every ingredient is skewered on sticks so you can easily dunk and retrieve your food from a central pot of boiling water. A variety of ingredients are typically offered like fresh seafood, meatballs, fish cakes, mushrooms, dumplings, eggs, and offal. Sticks are labeled with different colors to indicate price, all of which are added up at the end to come up with your bill.
There are many lok lok restaurants in Penang but we read about this place at Medan Selera Padang Brown, the same food court as the seafood popiah stall, so we visited both on the same day.
Lok lok is a communal steamboat so other diners will be sharing your table. Luckily for us, we arrived at Medan Selera Padang Brown at an off time so we were the only ones there. Having the entire spread all to ourselves made it even more fun! I didn’t have to elbow anyone for that last stick of cuttlefish.
On the table are different sauces like satay and sambal which you can mix to make your own blend. Check out our post on lok lok at Medan Selera Padang Brown for more pictures.
Medan Selera Padang Brown is a hawker center a few kilometers from the heart of George Town, so it’s best to go here via taxi or Grab.
Medan Selera Padang Brown
Address: Jalan Perak, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 5:30–11:30PM, daily
Expect to Pay: About RM 10 per person
How to Get There: The Padang Brown Food Court is too far to walk from the center of George Town so it’s best to take a taxi or use Grab.
5. Oh Chien at New Lane Hawker Centre
If you’ve traveled throughout Asia and tried many dishes from different countries, then you’ve probably seen this oyster dish at some point. Popular in many Asian countries, it’s basically a fried oyster-filled omelette. Other variations usually contain potato starch to thicken the omelette but the Penang version is made with rice flour batter to give it a lighter, crispier texture.
We read about the oh chien from this stall at New Lane Hawker Centre so we decided to try it there.
How good does that look? The oysters were so plump and juicy! One notable difference with Penang’s version is that it isn’t as gooey or gummy as other versions we’ve tried, like Taiwan’s oyster omelette for example. I may have preferred this one.
The only thing I didn’t like was the side of chili sauce they served with it. I thought it was a little too sweet and overpowering so if you like the natural brininess of oysters, then you may want to eat them as is.
Frying up our oyster omelette. Oh chien is available pretty much anywhere in Penang but we had ours at New Lane Hawker Centre thanks to a recommendation from popular Singapore food blog sethlui.com.
New Lane Hawker Centre
Address: Lorong Baru, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 4-11PM, Thurs-Tue (closed on Wednesdays)
Expect to Pay: Around RM 15-20
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southwest on Penang Road until you reach Burmah Road. Turn right onto Burma Road then turn left onto Macalister Lane. Walk all the way down and make a right on Macalister Road. New Lane Hawker Center will be on your left at the corner of New Lane and Macalister Road.
6. Kafe Ping Hooi
Char koay teow is considered by many to be the most iconic street food in Penang. It’s name literally means “stir-fried rice cake strips”, and it consists of flat rice noodles stir-fried in pork fat with light and dark soy sauce, chili, belachan (fermented shrimp paste), prawns, blood cockles, bean sprouts, chopped Chinese chives, and egg. In Penang, it’s typically served on a plated piece of banana leaf like you see below.
Like laksa in Singapore or nasi lemak in Kuala Lumpur, Char koay teow is one of those highly divisive dishes. Everyone seems to have their opinion on who serves the best. Kafe Ping Hooi is often in that discussion.
We tried the famous Penang version of char koay teow made with duck eggs. It was to die for. It was rich and creamy with that incomparable wok hei flavor. I really enjoyed the springiness of the noodles with the crunch of the bean sprouts and the fluffiness of the egg. It was wonderful.
But as fantastic as the noodles were, the real star for me was the prawn. They were so perfectly cooked and succulent. Honestly, it was some of the best prawn I’ve ever had. We got the standard order which comes with just three pieces but you can pay a little more to get six. Trust me, it’s worth it. The sensation of biting into those big juicy prawns is all coming back to me while I write this. So damn good!
As described, Penangites are fiercely possessive of this dish so everyone has their opinion on which place serves the best. According to many Malaysian and Singaporean food bloggers, Kafe Ping Hooi on Carnarvon Street is one of those places. Calling their version “tiger char koay teow”, the Yeow family has been running this shop and serving this iconic dish for three generations now.
Kafe Ping Hooi
Address: 179, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 6:30AM–2PM, daily
Expect to Pay: Around RM 12
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, start walking southeast on Chulia Street. Make a right on Carnarvon Street. Walk straight and you’ll see Kafe Ping Hooi on the corner of Carnarvon Lane on the left side of Carnarvon street.
7. Air Itam Asam Laksa
Like char koay teow, asam laksa is one of Penang’s signature dishes. It’s tamarind-based so it’s more sour compared to the coconut-based curry laksas that are popular in Singapore. Interestingly, curry laksas are common in Penang as well, but they’re referred to as curry mee. When someone in Penang says “laksa”, they’re typically referring to asam laksa.
We tried asam laksa at a hawker stall at Air Itam Market near Kek Lok Si Temple. It’s a famous eatery that’s long had the reputation for serving some of the best asam laksa in Penang.
This was one of Ren’s favorite dishes in Penang. She enjoys curry laksa but she instantly fell in love with asam laksa’s depth of flavor. Apart from the noodles and tamarind used as a souring agent, the main ingredients in an asam laksa are mackerel, lemongrass, galangal, and chili. It’s then garnished with mint, pineapple, onion, a sweet prawn paste, and torched ginger flower. The pineapple was interesting. I don’t recall seeing it but the laksa did have a distinctly chewy and stringy texture that’s consistent with pineapple.
This famous hawker stall at Air Itam market has been serving their signature asam laksa at this very spot for over thirty years. I had a great time filming and taking pictures of the families who run these hawker stalls. They clearly love what they do and take pride in producing these iconic dishes day after day.
Here’s a shot of the laksa man stirring the pot. He may look serious in this picture but he was all smiles and hamming it up for the camera just moments before.
Air Itam Asam Laksa
Address: Jalan Pasar, Paya Terubong, 11500 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 10:30AM-7PM, Thurs-Tue (closed Wednesdays)
Expect to Pay: Around RM 6 per person
How to Get There: From Komtar Bus Terminal, take bus 203 or 204 to Air Itam (RM 2 each way). It’s the last stop so you can’t miss it. Air Itam Asam Laksa is located on the corner of Jalan Pasar and the main road of Jalan Paya Terubong.
8. Sister Curry Mee
In other countries like Singapore, this would be known as curry laksa. Curry mee is a dish made with egg noodles in a coconut-based curry soup. It’s typically filled with bean curd puffs, bean sprouts, pig’s blood curd, cuttlefish, shrimp, and cockles.
We had these beautiful overflowing bowls at Sister Curry Mee, one of the most legendary street food stalls on the island. Together with the fish ball soup at Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng, this was one of my two favorite dishes in Penang.
This curry mee was explosive with flavor. It was rich, creamy, savory, a little sweet, and devilishly spicy with lots of different textures doing the tango in your mouth. The sambal wasn’t just hot, it was redolent with flavor. I especially loved the cuttlefish and the pig’s blood curd. You can see a hefty chunk of it in mid-transport below.
If a hawker’s legendary status were to be measured solely by its longevity, then the Sister Curry Mee stall located at the foothills of Kek Lok Si Temple deserves to be in the hall of fame. Two sisters have been selling the tastiest bowls of curry mee at this very spot since 1946. Wow!
Over seventy years and still going strong. Everyone who ate here snapped a picture of these legendary sisters. They were so cute too. They were smiling and laughing through it all and were clearly loving the adulation. And as well they should. They’ve earned it.
Sister Curry Mee is located near Air Itam Asam Laksa so I suggest eating at both before or after visiting Kek Lok Si Temple.
Sister Curry Mee
Address: 612 T, Jalan Air Itam, Pekan Ayer Itam, 11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 7:30AM-1PM, Wed-Mon (closed Tue)
Expect to Pay: Around RM 7 per person
How to Get There: From Komtar Bus Terminal, take bus 203 or 204 to Air Itam (RM 2 each way). It’s the last stop so you can’t miss it. Sister Curry Mee is located on a side street just off the main road of Jalan Paya Terubong. If you can’t find it, then just ask anyone and they’ll point you to it.
9. Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng at Carnarvon Street
As described, this bowl of fish ball noodle soup from Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng was one of our favorite dishes in Penang. It was also the most surprising because I didn’t expect it to be this good!
Koay teow th’ng is a dish made with flat rice noodles served in a clear soup broth and topped with fish balls, pork slices, chicken, browned garlic bits, and chopped scallions. It’s usually served with a side of soy-vinegar with chopped red chilies.
I like a lot of color in my food because I take that as a sign of flavor. Like the deceptively delicious Hainanese chicken rice, this dish is an exception. It may be colorless and bland-looking, but it’s incredibly tasty.
I know nothing about koay teow th’ng, but something about this bowl at Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng told me it’s probably as close to perfect as this dish can get. I don’t know what it is. It just tasted so refined. We had koay teow th’ng from a hawker stall on Chulia Street the night before and it was nowhere near this good.
One of the things that makes the koay teow th’ng here so special is that they use eel instead of the usual mackerel to make the fish balls. The difference between this and the bowl from that hawker stall was like night and day. The pork slices were fantastic too. They practically melted in your mouth.
Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng at Carnarvon Street is practically on every blog post about must eat places in Penang. We got there at around 10-11AM and the place was overflowing with locals. I suggest going early because they’ve been known to sell out of koay teow th’ng well before closing!
Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng at Carnarvon Street
Address: Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 8AM–1:30PM, Tue-Sat / 8AM-12NN, Sun (closed Mondays)
Expect to Pay: Around RM 10 per person
How to Get There: This restaurant used to be on Pitt Street before moving to Carnarvon hence the name. From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, start walking southeast on Chulia Street. Make a right on Carnarvon Street. Walk straight and you’ll see the restaurant on the left side of Carnarvon street. It’s just a few doors down from Kafe Ping Hooi.
10. Mr. Por’s Duck Koay Chap at Restoran Kimberly
Koay chap is a Teochew noodle soup made with flat wide rice noodle rolls served in a dark soy sauce broth. It’s filled with a variety of ingredients like pork, duck, offal, fishcakes, vegetables, and hard-boiled egg which are braised with spices like star anise, cloves, cinnamon, and five-spice powder. Here at Restoran Kimberly, they make their koay chap with duck and give you the option of having it with either noodles or porridge.
It’s amazing to see how much effort goes into a bowl of duck koay chap. This little cart was filled with all types of duck parts and other ingredients to fill your bowl. Restoran Kimberly has been making everything in-house for the past thirty years, from the noodle rolls to the stewed duck to the chili sauce. They stew duck meat with pig innards and other duck parts like wings, necks, and gizzards for hours to ensure that the stew penetrates the meat for maximum flavor.
Restoran Kimberly only opens at night and from what I’ve read, there’s always a queue. It was one of the longer lines we had to wait in but it was worth every second. For more pictures, check out our post on Restoran Kimberly’s duck koay chap.
Mr. Por’s Duck Koay Chap at Restoran Kimberly
Address: 10100, 97-143, Lebuh Kimberley, Georgetown, 10100 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 6–11PM, Fri-Wed (closed on Thursdays)
Expect to Pay: Around RM 10 per person
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southwest on Penang Road. Make a left on Kimberly Street. Walk straight and you’ll see Restoran Kimberly on your left close to the corner of Cintra Street.
11. First Famous Federal Restaurant
Chicken and duck rice is always appealing no matter where you are, so when I saw a popular Penang food blog recommend this place, it didn’t take me long to add it to our itinerary. First Famous Federal Restaurant serves pi pa duck — an air-dried, deep-fried duck shaped like a Chinese musical instrument known as the pipa.
Unfortunately for us however, they were all out of duck so we had to take a platterful of steamed and roast chicken. It was pretty good though we would have loved to try the duck since that’s what we came for. The roast meats are served with two sauces (sweet and spicy), white rice, and soup. They can also give you braised eggs upon request.
Here’s a picture of uncle chopping up our steamed chicken. Aside from the roast chicken and duck, First Famous Federal is also known for their char siew (bbq pork belly), siew bak (roast pork belly), and Taiwanese sausage. Just be sure to come earlier than we did so you don’t run out of the duck!
First Famous Federal Restaurant
Address: 3, Lorong Susu, George Town, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 11:30AM–4PM, Tue-Sun (closed on Mondays)
Expect to Pay: Around RM 15 per person
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southwest on Penang Road. Make a right on Burmah Road then make a left on Kinta Lane. Walk all the way down then make a right on Macalister Road. Make a left on Lorong Susu and the restaurant will be on your left.
12. Lebuh Chulia Apom
Apom Manis is an Indian crepe-like snack made with sugar, eggs, coconut milk, and flour. The batter is poured into small clay pots or mini-woks to form thin crisp edges around a fluffy, eggy center. It’s a light inexpensive snack that isn’t too sweet so you can easily put away a few in one sitting.
Check out apom manis auntie making crepe after crepe after crepe. Watching her lift the lids off the woks to check on the apom manis was like watching a street hustler play the shell game, except under every cup was a winner!
The famous stall I read about on Kuching Road was too far to walk so we tried it at this night hawker stall on Chulia Street instead. It was pretty good, though I’m sure the more celebrated stalls are better. You can check this post by Malaysian blogger rebeccasaw.com for a list of the best apom manis stalls in Penang.
Lebuh Chulia Apom
Address: 294 A, Chulia St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 6PM-12MN daily
Expect to Pay: Around RM 1 per piece
How to Get There: The Chulia night hawker market is near the corner of Chulia Street and Love Lane. From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southwest and you’ll see this apom manis stall on your left shortly after passing Love Lane.
13. Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul & Penang Road Famous Chendol at Lebuh Keng Kwee
“Will you take the blue or the orange bowl?” We enjoy watching Food Wars on the Travel Channel and these two chendol stalls would make for a great episode (if they haven’t already). Located directly opposite each other on tiny Keng Kwee Street, these stalls are operated by two families who’ve been battling it out in the chendol business for decades.
Chendol is a popular dessert made with shaved ice, coconut milk, jelly noodles, and palm sugar. Other ingredients like red beans, glutinous rice, grass jelly, and creamed corn may also be added.
This blue bowl was from Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul. It had the longer line between the two so we tried it first thinking it’d be better. It was awesome. It was cold and milky with a wonderful burst of caramel flavor. For some reason, it reminded me a little of eating Frosted Flakes with cold milk as a child. I enjoyed this so much I wound up slurping down the entire bowl.
Pictured below is the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul stall. You can’t really see it but the line extends almost to the end of the street. It moves fast though so you don’t have to wait too long.
This orange bowl came from Penang Road Famous Chendol and to me, it was just as awesome. Maybe the caramel flavor wasn’t as pronounced in this one but the difference wasn’t significant. It was equally delicious and refreshing, just perfect on a scorching hot Penang day. The texture of the red beans was great too.
This is the Penang Road Famous Chendol stall which is directly opposite the other one. I don’t eat enough chendol to really know which one is better, but it doesn’t really matter. The line for the blue bowl may have been longer but Ren preferred the orange one, as did the Grab driver who drove us to the airport the following day (Yes, we talked about it). Both stalls are mentioned in virtually every article about must eat dishes in Penang so it all boils down to personal preference.
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul & Penang Road Famous Chendol at Lebuh Keng Kwee
Address: Jalan Penang, 27 & 29, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 10:30AM–7PM, Mon-Fri / 10AM–7:30PM, Sat-Sun
Expect to Pay: Around RM 3 per bowl
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southwest on Penang Road. Walk straight and you’ll see Keng Kwee Street on your left. Both stalls are located near the corner.
14. Ah Teik Durian Stall Lorong Susu
We weren’t planning on trying durian until a friend of ours (who loves food of course) told us that Singaporean clients of his frequently rave about the durian in Penang. They say it’s the best so I hopped on the web and found many local bloggers recommending the Ah Teik durian stall on Macalister Road. Luckily for us, it was on the same block as Famous First Federal Restaurant. It was meant to be!
Most of the durians cost RM 30-40 which was too expensive we thought, especially since we were already full from lunch and Ren wasn’t going to eat too much. We just wanted a taste so we got the smallest durian they had for RM 10. I’ve only had fresh durian once before in Davao so I’m no expert, but this one was fantastic. It was creamy and nutty with that indescribably pungent but pleasant durian aroma. If you’ve never had durian before, then this is a great place to try it.
There are a few covered tables here so you can eat your durian comfortably. We had the Musan King which is said to be one of the most sought-after varieties. It sells for more than twice the price of an average durian and is known to be sweeter and fleshier than most. Depending on the season, Ah Teik sells other premium varieties as well like Milk and Red Prawn durians.
Ah Teik Durian Stall Lorong Susu
Address: Lorong Susu, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 10AM-10:30PM, daily
Expect to Pay: Depends on the brand and weight
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southwest on Penang Road. Make a right on Burmah Road then make a left on Kinta Lane. Walk all the way down then make a right on Macalister Road. The Ah Teik durian stall will be on your left on the corner of Macalister Road and Lorong Susu. It’s right next to the Sun Yat Sen building.
ChinaHouse isn’t a street food stall but a hip restaurant / event space that serves cakes. Cakes may not be the most obvious choice for a Penang food guide but ChinaHouse is so dang cool it deserves an exception. You can get all kinds of delicious homemade cakes here from tiramisu cakes to walnut cakes to raspberry cakes.
ChinaHouse is a long and narrow space occupying three heritage buildings. Inside are cafes, restaurants, shops, an art gallery, a music venue, and an outdoor courtyard. Trendy and fun, it’s the hippest space we visited in Penang and well worth a stop. Check out our full post on ChinaHouse for more pictures.
Address: 153, Beach St, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 9AM-1AM, daily
Expect to Pay: Around RM 20 per person
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southeast on Chulia Street. Make a right on Beach Street and the entrance to ChinaHouse will be on your left.
Coming up with this list wasn’t hard. What was difficult was putting them all together in an itinerary. If you look at each stall’s operating hours, you’ll notice they’re all over the place. Some stalls are open only in the morning, some just at night. Some stalls are closed on Tuesdays, others on Wednesdays. A few are clumped together within a small radius while others are isolated and far away. And not to mention many of these stalls are popular so it isn’t uncommon for them to run out of food before closing! Aaaargh!
After much frustration, I did manage to organize them all in a neat 3-day itinerary. To help you understand where they are in relation to one another, you can check out our Penang itinerary on Sygic Travel. It’ll show you exactly where each stall/restaurant is on a map, as well as every attraction we visited in Penang. Sygic Travel is a free travel planning app that I use to plan all our trips. You can read more about it by going to my Sygic Travel post.
If you’re interested in just the eateries mentioned in this guide, then you can refer to the map below.
With so many delicious things to eat in Penang, this list is by no means comprehensive but I do hope it helps you plan your trip. You can also download a copy of our Penang itinerary in editable Word format from our EAT-ineraries page.
Thanks for reading and have an awesome time eating the street food in Penang. If you need more help in planning your trip, then you can refer to the excerpts from our Penang travel guide below.
PENANG TRAVEL TIPS
We’ve written a DIY travel guide to Penang. It focuses mainly on George Town and offers tips and advice for planning your trip to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enumerated below are some of the most important details but be sure to click through to the full Penang travel guide for more information.
Where to Stay in Penang
If it’s your first time in Penang and you’re only staying for a limited time, then I think George Town is the ideal place to stay. It’s where you’ll find the island’s heritage houses and street art, not to mention some of its best hawker stalls and street food. We stayed at Ryokan Muntri but you can search through Booking.com or Agoda for listings in George Town.
Things to Do in Penang
We were in Penang mainly to do three things – eat street food, explore their heritage houses, and go street art hunting – which is why we chose to focus on George Town. It’s where you’ll find the best of all three.
This food guide covers the street food but if you’d like to learn more about the murals, then be sure to check out our article on George Town’s street art. We had fun trying to find as much street art as we could but if you’s rather not do too much walking, then you can hire a trishaw to take you to the best murals.
If architecture is your thing, then you’ll love George Town’s heritage houses. George Town is home to the biggest collection of pre-war buildings in Southeast Asia. Like the street art, we enjoyed exploring them on our own but you can hire a trishaw to take you around if you like. You can hire one on the spot or book a trishaw heritage ride in advance. Penang has a few interesting cultural attractions and museums so you may want to go on this heritage tour as well.
If eating street food isn’t enough for you, then you may want to take a cooking class in Penang. We often take cooking classes when we travel because for us, there’s no better way to learn about the local cuisine than by taking a cooking class.
Book a Penang Tour
There are many online marketplaces that offer deals on tours and other travel-related services like airport transfers and pocket wifi rental. The ones we use the most are Klook, KKday, and Get Your Guide.
This article contains affiliate links, meaning we’ll earn a small commission if you make a booking or reservation at no extra cost to you. We really appreciate your support as it helps us keep this website going. Thank you!
JB and Renée are the Traveleaters behind Will Fly for Food, a travel blog for the gastronomically inclined. They enjoy experiencing food from different cultures so they’ve made it their mission to try every country’s national dish. Read more about them and their National Dish Quest here.