Street Food in Penang - 20 Items to Mark on Your Foodie List!
When in Penang, one needs to try its world-famous delicacies locally served hot and fresh. Malaysia, being a melting point for cultures all over the world, is known for serving various cuisines both brought in by the people holding different cultural backgrounds while others culminate from home itself. From the bustling crowd of Little India to the colourful alleys of Chinatown, here's a list of the must-try street food in Penang:
1. Wanton Mee
This delicious Cantonese noodle dish made in dark soy sauce/oyster sauce, eggs and minced pork are a traditional Malaysian delight. Personalised with dumplings, shrimps and other such ingredients, the vendors of this street food in Penang serve them fresh to the customers.
Places to eat: Chulia Street Hawker Center: Location: Lebuh Chulia, 10200, Georgetown, Penang Time: 6 PM – 10 PM (Opens Daily) Lye Lye Food Center: Location: Jalan Terengganu, 10460 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: Morning till late hours of night Kedai Kopi Swee Kong: Location: Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 6 AM - 8 PM
2. Nasi Lemak
Cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, this Malay fragrant rice dish is a local favourite. This thirty-year-old authentic street food in Penang is served with crispy anchovies, roasted peanuts and cucumber is also known to the Malay locals as the 'National dish of Malaysia'. It has also got the title of being a staple Malay breakfast item. The hawkers of Penang serve a variety of flavours but it is recommended that you first give this classic dish a try.
Places to eat: Ali Nasik Lemak: Location: Sri Weld Food Court, Beach St, 10200 George Town, Penang. Time: 7 AM - 4 PM, 7 AM-12 PM on Saturdays (Closed on Wednesday & Sunday) Spicy Lemak: Location: 177-197, Lebuh Pantai, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang. Time: 11 AM - 10 PM (Closed on Monday) CJ Nasi Lemkak: Location: Unnamed Road, Kampung Dua Bukit, 11700 Gelugor, Penang Time: 4:30 PM - 10 PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
Served by Nyonyas, especially during festivals, these five-spice meat rolls is a famous dish known all over Penang. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, lobak is filled with pork, green onions and a variety of spices, this authentic street food in Penang is sure to leave your mouth watering for more.
Places to eat: Kheng Pin Kopitiam’s Lobak (featured in Taiwan’s travel news): Location: 80, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 7 AM - 2 PM (Closed on Mondays) Tan Jetty Loh Bak: Location: 90-A, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 8 AM - 6 PM Chulia Street Loh Bak: Location: Lebuh Chulia, 10200, Georgetown Time: 6 PM - 12 PM
Rojak is a traditional fruit and vegetable salad dish served with a sour and sweet dressing. Consisting of other ingredients such as peanuts, tofu, pineapple, mango, cucumber, buah umbra (a.k.a. kedondong), jicama and crunchy fried Chinese cruller (youtiao), this is one of the top street food in Penang.
Places to eat: Hock Seng Rojak at Gat Lebuh Cecil: Location: Gat Lebuh Cecil, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 3 PM - 8:30 PM Stall 77 (Penang Best Rojak): Location: Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, George Town Time: 5 PM - 12 AM G.P. Soon Rojak: Location: Kompleks Makanan Persiaran Gurney, Gurney Dr, George Town Time: 9 PM - 2 AM
5. Assam Laksa
This is one of the street food in Penang that is available at almost every corner of this city. Assam Laksa is a spicy noodle soup originating from Southeast Asia and it is a local Penang delicacy. Consisting of vermicelli or thick wheat noodles, it is served with chicken, shrimp, and fish among others to provide the customers with a hot delicious dish. Containing flavourful hints of different local spices, this dish is a perfect example of a wholesome meal.
Places to eat: Air Itam Laksa (serving for over sixty years) Location: 1, Jalan Pasar, 11500, Ayer Itam Time: 11:30 AM - 8 PM Kim Laksa at Balik Pulau: Location: 20, Jalan Sungai Air Putih, Bandar Baru Air Putih, 11000 Balik Pulau, Pulau Pinang. Time: 10 AM - 5 PM
6. Char Kway Teow
Considered a favourite street food in Penang the Malaysians, this noodle dish is famous among the streets of Penang. Its mouth-watering aroma is enough to entice a customer to give this delicious dish a try. Laced with charred smokiness, delicious fish cakes, shrimps and other local ingredients it is then served with years of skills and experience.
Places to eat: Siam Road Char Kway Teow: Location: 82, Jalan Siam, George Town, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 12 AM - 5 PM (Closed Mondays) Cecil Street market (uses charcoal as fuel to cook the dish): Location: 40-48, Lebuh Cecil, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 7:30 AM - 7 PM
7. Curry Mee
The Malaysian yellow curry noodle soup is an extremely popular street food in Penang. It's a fusion of different nationalities and consists of key ingredients like prawns, cuttlefish, tofu and cockles. Penang offers a variety of spicy options as well.
Places to eat: Sister Curry Mee: Location: 612 T, Jalan Air Itam, Pekan Ayer Itam, 11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia Time: 7:30 AM - 1 PM (Closed on Tuesdays) Chulia Street Curry Mee: Location: 275-283, Chulia St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia Time: 6 PM - 10 PM (Closed on Sundays)
8. Hokkien Mee
The prawn noodle soup is an absolute delight to both locals and tourists alike. This street food in Penang consists of shrimps, pork, prawn and especially a delicious dark fragrant sauce whose recipe is known only to the locals of Penang.
Places to eat: Green House: Location: 223 Jalan Burma, George Town, Penang Island 10500 888 Hokkien Mee: Location: 67-A, Lebuh Presgrave, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 4 PM - 12 AM (Closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays)
9. Lok Lok
Served on skewers, this steamboat dish serves every single one of its ingredients on a stick! Be it pork chops, meatballs, crab cakes or any other dish, just grab your stick out of the boiling water once it's cooked and enjoy this unique and delectable street food in penang.
Places to eat: Padang Brown Hawker: Location: Jalan Johor, Tapak No. 9, 10400 Georgetown, Penang Time: 12 PM - 5:30 PM Peng Hwa Lok Lok: Location: Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 6 PM - 11:30 PM (Closed on Wednesdays)
10. Dim Sum
Dim sum is the best street food in Penang to have any day! Stuffed with onions, shredded chicken, green onions and more, this dish is the cheapest and tastiest to fuel you in between all the travelling. The street hawkers of Penang serve some of the tastiest dim sums in town that is sure to satisfy those afternoon hunger pangs.
Places to eat: Yong Pin Restaurant: Location: No. 11-B & C, Jalan Sungai Ujong, 10100 George Town, Penang Time: 6:30 AM - 12:30 PM, 7 PM - 12 AM Tai Tong Restaurant: Location: 45, Lebuh Cintra, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 6 AM - 2:30 PM, 6 PM - 10:30 PM (Closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays)
11. Ais Tingkap (Window Sherbet)
This refreshing drink serves as a much-needed break after roaming the streets of Penang. Made from coconut water and rose syrup, this locally introduced cold drink will definitely help you cool off in the heat.
Places to eat: Ais Tingkap (Drink with a self named stall): Location: 2, Lebuh Tamil, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 11 AM - 7 PM
12. Putu Mayam
This rice noodle dish was originated from Tamil Nadu, India and Sri Lanka. Putu Mayam is street food in Penang that consists of rice or idiyappam flour noodles which is topped with shrivelled coconut, a local favourite garnish and sweetened with sugar blocks are extremely popular in Malaysia.
Places to eat: Time Square: Location: 144, Jalan Dato Keramat, George Town, 10150 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 10 AM - 10 PM Pulau Tikus Market: Location: 3, Jalan Pasar, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 7 AM - 11:30 PM
13. Pisang Goreng
Made of banana or plantain, the dish is covered in batter and then deep-fried in hot oil to give it a crunch. Its delicious crunchy batter is what steals the show and places it among the top picks.
Places to eat: Tanjung Bungah (a family run business for over fifty years): Location: Jalan Chan Siew Teong, Taman Tanjung Bunga, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang Time: 2 PM - 6 PM Weld Quay: Location: Pengkalan Weld, Tan Jetty Time: 2:30 PM - 7 PM Hin Pin Pisang Goreng: Location: 11200 Tanjung Bungah Time: 2 PM - 6 PM
14. Clay Pot Noodles
A popular street food in Penang, this dish consists of ingredients like ground pork, shrimp and other delicious improvisations made by the different hawkers. This warm soupy noodle is perfect for an evening snack.
Places to eat: Hot Clay Noodles: Location: 58, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 5 PM - 12 AM
15. Duck Rice
Duck rice is a mouth-watering delicacy offers the eaters spoonfuls of delicious meat served in warm rice made in soy sauce and sprinkled with spring onions. Expect dark juicy meat with warm homemade rice served by locally favourite cooks of Penang.
Places to eat: Air Itam: Location: Air Itam Wet Market,, Jalan Pasar, Pekan Ayer Itam, 11500 Air Itam Time: 7 PM - 1 AM
16. Tom Yum
This authentic hot and sour Thai soup cooked with shrimp is widely popular street food in Penang. The dish carries out a unique sweet and sour flavour. Hawkers in Penang also add on several garnishes as per your preference.
Places to eat: Raja Uda Tom Yum: Location: Jalan Raja Uda, Taman Mas, 12300 Butterworth, Pulau Pinang Time: 6 PM- 2 AM (Closed on Tuesdays) Village fish head noodles: Location: 10300, 37, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 12 PM- 11:30 PM Ju Heng TomYam: Location: Jalan Raja Uda, Taman Bunga Raya, 13000 Butterworth, Pulau Pinang Time: 6:30 PM- 1:30 AM (Closed on Tuesdays)
17. Mie Goreng
Spicy fried noodle dish originally from Indonesia is quite popular on the streets of Penang. With a tangy taste of tomatoes, chilli and soy sauce, it is served over fried noodles with cuttlefish and potatoes.
Places to eat: Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng: Location: 280, Jalan Burma, George Town, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 8 AM- 6 PM (Closed on Wednesdays) Hussain Mee Goreng: Location: Jalan Penaga, Taman Jelutong, 11600 Jelutong, Pulau Pinang Time: 3 PM- 11PM (Closed on Fridays)
18. Nasi Kandar
Served with a variety of flavourful curries and side dishes, this meal is originally from Penang and then popularised by the Indian Muslim traders. The steamed rice of this delectable street food in Penang may either be plain or even mildly flavoured as preferred by the customers.
Places to eat: Deen Maju: Location: 170, Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 1 PM- 10 PM
This iced sweet dessert containing coconut milk, green rice flour jelly and palm sugar is immensely popular in Malaysia and is the face of local desserts in Penang. Improvisations to this icy fusion are common among different hawkers in the city.
Places to eat: Penang Road Famous Chendul: Location: 4 2, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang Time: 10:30 AM- 7 PM
20. Apom Manis
This local dessert that is essentially sweet coconut crepes is served with toppings like coconut, bananas and eggs. There are several stalls in Penang that serve this sweet dish which is acquainted with the childhood memories of many locals.
Places to eat: Chulia Street Hawker: Location: Chulia St, Georgetown, 10450 George Town, Penang, Malaysia Time: 6 PM- 12 AM Unnamed stall: Kuching Street, Pulau Tikus, just outside the New Cathay Coffee shop, a small stall resides which has been serving this delicious dessert since 1974!
Penang is thus home to various hawkers serving some of the most delectable delicacies in the world. From main courses to snacks to desserts, the streets of Penang have a lot to offer to satisfy your hunger pangs.