18 Must Try Places to Eat in Penang’s Georgetown

by Jackie
A grid display of two restaurants at Penang's Georgetown area to visit - first photo is of Malaysian cuisine of nasi lemak and fried noodles and the second photo of various dim sums

Imagine walking along Penang Georgetown’s Chulia or Kimberley Street in the evening and seeing individual hawker stands whipping up the most delicious street food of char kway teow, laksa, oyster omelette, and cendol dessert. 

Welcome to Penang – one of the best foodie destinations in Malaysia!

Justin and I have been to Malaysia’s Penang 3 times and spend at least a weekend each time just for an eating adventure. We stay in the Georgetown area and love creating our own food tour to try as many restaurants, street food, and hawker places as possible.     

Since there are hundreds of food options, here is our list of 18 recommended places to eat in Penang’s Georgetown. It’s not in any particular order.

Also, our list does not include sponsored meals as we paid for all the meals. So we tend to go for the budget-friendly to mid-range prices. You’ll get personal insights on where to eat delicious food in Penang.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, we receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. Appreciate the support.

Map of Where to Eat in Penang

Map of where to eat in Penang

Click on the map to see a larger view of restaurants to eat when you’re in Penang’s Georgetown area. Credit: Map data: Google

1. Hwa Ting

Hwa Ting is a hidden gem to try Malaysian food. We found this restaurant via a quick search on Google Maps and this place didn’t disappoint. 

When entering the restaurant, we noticed the gorgeous decor of the beautiful European tiled flooring, the natural sunlight coming through the ceiling roof, and the indoor plants along the walls. 

The menu has traditional Malaysian cuisine. It’s not a halal restaurant as pork is used here. If you’re a vegetarian, there aren’t any main entree options, so you may need to consider another place. 

We’ve been here a few times and have tried a few dishes. The chef puts care into each of the dishes which is why there is so much flavor in each dish

Here are a few outstanding dishes to try:

  • The roasted pork with egg noodles is a winner as the noodles are cooked al dente.  
  • The duck egg char koay teow is delicious with the amount of wok hey (stir-frying firepower). Normally, the dish is cooked with chicken egg, but this one uses duck egg. The scrambled duck egg didn’t taste any different than the chicken egg. 
  • The nasi lemak is also recommended. While I didn’t eat the chicken, Justin said that it was one of the best fried chicken that he had eaten. The butterfly pea and turmeric made the dish a vibrant blue and yellow. 
  • If you like salted egg, try the salted egg chicken wings. 
A table at Hwa Ting of a bowl of soup, an iced beverage, and three plates of Malaysian food, a nasi lemak with fried chicken and blue and yellow rice, a plate of noodles with roasted pork, and a plate of fried noodles

Hwa Ting is one of our favorite places to eat in Penang Georgetown and we’ve been here twice!

Prices are affordable for U.S. standards yet would be considered mid-level pricing in Malaysia. It’s not as cheap as a hawker stall yet the food quality and ingredients used are well worth the extra cost. For example, the duck egg char koay teow is 15.90 MYR ($3.40 USD). 

Address: 37, Lebuh Melayu, George Town, 10100

Payment Accepted: Cash and credit card

Additional Information: Facebook | Instagram

2. Fu Er Dai

Looking for a Cantonese dim sum place in Penang? Head to Fu Er Dai. 

This outdoor dim sum restaurant is one of our favorite places to eat in Penang. Compared to other dim sum places that we’ve eaten in Penang, this place has the normal, larger size dumplings, so it’s worth the visit. 

The setup is different than what you may be used to at a dim sum restaurant. There aren’t any pushcarts or trays delivering dim sum to your table. 

Instead, you walk to the dim sum section and pick your favorite items – steamed, baos (buns), fried stuff, and dessert. Don’t forget to bring your dim sum tally sheet with you when ordering. 

We’ve eaten here a couple of times and have tried the ha gow (steamed shrimp dumplings), steamed shrimp and chive dumplings, shu mai (steamed pork and shrimp dumplings), salted egg custard buns, ha cheung (steamed shrimp rice noodle rolls), crispy shrimp in beancurd, egg tarts, and much more. 

A marble table with small dishes of dim sum such as sesame balls, crispy shrimp rolls, steamed pork dumplings, steamed shrimp dumplings, steamed shrimp rolls, steamed buns, and more at Fu Er Dai in Penang

Fu Er Dai is worth the visit to eat dim sum in Penang

Ha gow and shu mai are the gold standard dim sum items. The ha gow has a delicious filling with chunks of whole shrimp. Yet, the wrapper is a tad too thick for our liking. The shu mai has a piece of shrimp on the bottom and top of the dumpling.

The ha cheung is also delicious with a scoop of spicy chili sauce and fried onions. We’ve only seen fried onions as a topping in Malaysia and it’s a nice addition for the extra crunchy texture. 

One dessert that you have to get is the sesame ball with peanuts. It’s oh so good with the salty and sweet peanut filling in the crispy sesame ball. We usually eat the sesame ball with lotus paste or red bean paste. But the peanut ones are quite addicting, so you may grab a few plates!

Hot water for tea refill is self-serve. 

Note: Since this place gets extremely busy, everyone gets a 1-hour time limit to eat. The sit-down time is written on your dim sum tally sheet. 

The cost of the dim sum varies – between 6.50 to 8.90 MYR ($1.40 to $1.90). Ha gow is 8.90 MYR ($1.90) for 3 pieces. 

Address: 7, Jln Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town, 10050

Payment Accepted: Cash and credit card

Additional Information: Facebook | Instagram

3. Hygge Dining & Bar

Located next to the busy Kimberley Street, Hygge Dining & Bar is a casual restaurant serving delicious Asian fusion cuisine. The restaurant does not serve pork. 

After having 3 mini lunches earlier in the day, we wanted a change from Malaysian and Chinese flavors, and Hygge was the perfect place!

On our visit, you can order a la carte or a tasting menu with appetizers, a main entree, and dessert. 

The tasting menu was tempting with cured salmon and roasted cauliflower as small dishes and a choice of pan-seared fish, duck breast, and Angus striploin as the main entree, but we were too full from our lunches. 

The menu had smaller plates (tapas) and you can order 3 dishes for 55 MYR or 5 for 90 MYR. We opted for the 5 dishes as it was a better value.

We ate the following: 

  • Mushroom croquettes – These were lovely with the crispy batter and the super creamy filling.
  • Truffle fries – We have a soft spot for truffle fries and these were crispy. We saw speckles of truffle and enjoyed the shredded cheese on top. 
  • Tako with flatbread – The chopped octopus was delicious. It tasted like a sweet octopus salsa that you place on a piece of flatbread
  • Fried oysters – These were also nicely fried. 
  • Shrimp gyoza – I was excited to try these but the gyoza (dumpling) filling wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t taste the shrimp. But the spicy sauce was yummy with the charred chili pepper. Out of the small dishes that we tried, this would be one to skip. 
Four plates of small dishes at Hygge Dining and Bar in Penang's Georgetown area - fried oysters, truffle fries, mushroom croquette, and octopus salsa

The small dishes at Hygge Dining are delicious and worth trying

We could have just eaten the small plates as there was plenty of food. 

We also ordered off the main entree section – a market fish of the day which was snapper. This was in case someone was still hungry. The side dish of the fluffy turmeric cream and roasted potatoes was delicious. The fish skin was super crispy and the fish itself was not overcooked. We loved the bean-shaped bowl the dish came in. 

A white curved plate with pan fried fish with potato and mushroom and a side of tumeric cream at Hygge Dining in Penang

The market fish of the day is a delicious main entree option at Hygge

While reservations can be made through the website, we just walked in for a table as this place was not busy.

Address: 58, Jalan Kuala Kangsar, George Town, 10450

Payment Accepted: Cash and credit card

Additional Information: Facebook | Instagram

4. Hon Kei Food Corner 汉记小食店

Hon Kei Food Corner is a local rice noodle shop with some of the longest lines. Crowds of people constantly flow into the shop even close to the closing time of 9:00pm. But don’t let that deter you as the line goes quickly. It’s a good sign that people enjoy the food here. 

The menu has two main noodle soup options, pork and innards, or fish, and some side items. Unfortunately, this place is not vegetarian or halal as pork is used here. 

You choose noodle soup with your choice of pork innards such as kidney, tripe, intestine, liver, heart, and brain. 

Then, you choose your base – porridge or rice noodles such as vermicelli, a mix of thick and thin noodles, thick noodles, thin noodles, or instant noodles. 

The fish option has fried fish, fish, fried fish head, fish head, or fish ball, and your choice of noodles. 

Justin and my mother-in-law tried the noodle soup with the pork innards. They liked the soup flavor. 

I had the fried fish head noodle with a mix of thick and thin noodles. There was a decent amount of fish meat and bones so it took some time to eat between the nooks and crannies of the fish bone. The soup was milkier than the pork one that Justin had and still delicious. 

A bowl of fish head noodle soup with rice noodles and a cup of iced almond milk at Hon Kei Food Corner in Penang

This is my bowl of fish head noodle soup with thin and thick rice noodle mix

The drink menu has a variety of coffee, juice, teas, and nut-based milks. We tried the iced almond milk and it was rich and creamy. If you’ve had almond jello at a party, then the almond milk tastes just like the liquid version of the almond jello.  

You can sit in the air conditioning room or outside with the ceiling fans.  

The noodle cost between 14.60 to 22.40 MYR ($3.10 to $4.75). 

Address: 43, Kampong Malabar, George Town, 10200

Payment Accepted: Cash only

Additional Information: Facebook

5. Durian Baby and Friends

Love durian desserts? Head to Durian Baby and Friends for some amazing durian desserts, pastries, and gelato. We always visit to get our durian fix. Plus the store’s durian mascot is adorable.  

We’ve tried the cheese durian tart, durian bubble waffle (egg waffle), Muscat King gelato, and durian milkshake. 

We like the bubble waffle as there are chunks of durian fruit in each bubble. The Muscat King gelato is also a winner with the intense durian flavor. Durian Baby and Friends makes the gelato in-house.  

The desserts are reasonably priced. The Muscat King gelato is 14.50 MYR ($3.10).  

Justin Huynh, Life Of Doing, smiles with the durian bubble waffle and the cheese durian tart at Durian Baby and Friends in Penang

Durian Baby and Friends is the place to visit for durian desserts and gelato

Address: Lebuh Acheh, George Town, 10300

Payment Accepted: Cash and credit card

Additional Information: Facebook

6. Ming Xiang Tai Pastry

With 6 locations in Penang, Ming Xiang Tai Pastry is a well-known shop selling delicious flaky Cantonese-style pastries and cookies. 

There are so many pastries to choose from, so you’ll need to think about what you want to eat before ordering. 

A display of pastries and cookies for sale at Ming Xiang Tai Pastry in Penang

We’ve tried the pandan salted egg yolk pastry, coconut and pandan kaya puff, and a wedding cookie. Each is super flaky with the right amount of sweetness and filling in the puff pastry. I liked the intense flavor of the coconut and pandan in the kaya puff. 

The egg tarts are popular, but we haven’t tried them yet. 

Many of the pastries have a shelf life of 21 days. It’s quite amazing that they last that long. But they’ll most likely be eaten within 1-2 days of purchase since they’re so delicious. We ate the wedding cookie that was 4 days old and it still tasted fresh. 

Each location also sells refreshing herbal teas in glass jars. They’re located in the refrigerator, so it’s perfect for the hot days. We tend to drink the chrysanthemum and goji berry and the bamboo and water chestnut herbal tea. They’re on the sweeter side, yet super hydrating after a long day of walking in the heat. 

Depending on the location, you can sit down and enjoy the pastries and tea in the small dining area. We’ve sat down at the location on Armenian. Otherwise, you can takeaway and eat the pastries at your accommodation. 

The pastries are reasonably priced at $.50 to $1.00 each. 

TIP: The Armenian location has a fun street art in front of the store. It’s titled “I Want Bao,” where two kids reach through a window trying to get steamed buns from a seller on a bicycle. 

Address: Various locations where you can see here. We’ve been to the Armenian Street, Burma Road, and Penang Road locations. 

Payment Accepted: Cash and credit card

Additional Information: Armenian Shop Facebook | Penang Road Shop Facebook7

7. Woong Kee Beancurd – 旺记祖傳豆花

Looking for a tau fu fa dessert place? The warm silky smooth tofu pudding at Woong Kee Beancurd is worth the visit. 

This place isn’t large as it’s a kiosk on the sidewalk with a small dining area. 

You can order tau fu fa with toppings such as red beans, sesame, pumpkin seeds, grass jelly, and peanuts. Or, you can have simple syrups such as ginger sugar, brown sugar (coconut sugar), chrysanthemum syrup, and more. They also sell fresh soy milk here. 

Justin and I had our own bowls of tau fu fa with ginger sugar syrup. It’s simple yet comforting to eat even on a hot day. 

Each bowl only cost 2.20 MYR ($.50), so it’s very affordable. Toppings are an additional cost.  

A hand holding a blue and white floral bowl with soft tofu pudding inside at Woong Kee Beancurd in Penang

We realized that this place also has another location in Ipoh. We haven’t tried the Ipoh location since tau fu fa is super competitive with the dozens of shops open. But you can check out the tau fu fa places that we ate in our Ipoh restaurant post here

Address: 471, Jln Penang, George Town, 10000 

Payment Accepted: Cash only

Additional Information: Facebook

8. Penang Road Famous Laksa

Penang Road Famous Laksa is a popular shop selling laksa, which Michelin Guide recognized as a Bib Gourmand place for its good value. They also sell other street food such as char kway teow, shrimp omelette, and other snack foods. The food is halal here. 

We did not try the laksa as we didn’t want noodle soup. 

Instead, we tried the char kway teow with fish cake and shrimp. It had tons of wok hey which provided the smoky depth of flavor to the fresh rice noodles. 

A plate of char koay teow, stir fried noodles with bean sprouts and fish cakes at Penang Road Famous Laksa in Penang

The char koay teow has tons of wok hey here!

We also had the shrimp omelette. This dish took a while to arrive since it was made to order. It’s similar to the Taiwanese version of an oyster omelette, but this one was not as mushy and had tons of shrimp. 

A paper plate of shrimp omelette with a side of chili sauce from Penang Road Famous Laksa

This shrimp omelette is made to ordder and has a decent amount of shrimp

Pricing is affordable as the char kway teow is 9.50 MYR ($2.00) and the shrimp costs 15 MYR ($3.20). 

Address: 5-7, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100

Payment Accepted: Cash only

Additional Information: Facebook | Instagram

9. Ichi Tong

Ichi Tong caught our attention for noodles. The shop’s specialty is tok tok noodles (fresh noodles)

We went here once we arrived in Georgetown from the public ferry. It was packed at 2:00pm on a Sunday. Instead of waiting for a table, we ate at the counter and saw the workers make noodles and side dishes. 

The menu has a lot of noodle flavors such as Kochabi Tok Tok Noodles, special curry, Sichuan spicy, Chaozhou sour and spicy, tomato milk series, Korean luncheon meat, crispy fried fish belly, Thai Tom yum series, and fresh prawn wanton soup. 

The noodles come with either pork, fish, seafood, and beef (for the Tok tok noodles series). 

You can also order the Signature duck egg fried rice and snack items. 

Since there were three of us, we ordered the following: 

  • Signature fresh clam noodle soup with tok tok noodles – I tried the seasonal fresh clam noodle soup. It was amazingly delicious with the fresh clams and intense ginger flavor. 
A bowl of clam noodle soup and a plate of fried fish skin on a counter table and a person working in the kitchen in the background at Penang's Ichi Tong

Here is the seasonal clam noodle soup and the fried fish skin

  • Roast pork with dry tok tok noodles – Justin ordered this dish and he liked the roasted pork. The tok tok noodles had a dark soy sauce which made it have some umami flavors. 
A plate of noodles with roasted pork and vegetables and topped with pork fat at Ichi Tong in Penang

This is the roasted pork with dry tok tok noodles

  • Fresh prawn wanton with dry tok tok noodles – My mother-in-law ordered this one. To be honest, I didn’t hear much feedback on this dish. 
  • Fried crispy fish skin – This item is located as a “side dish” on the menu. It’s so good and a must order. The crispy fish skins are not salty and has a side of hot sauce. It’s a decent amount of fish skins to share with others. 
  • Rou song with veggies – This is a side item of a plate of cabbage with meat floss on top. 

We wish the noodles were a tad springier, but otherwise, the flavors are delicious. 

The noodles cost between 13.80 to 28.80 MYR ($2.90 to $6.05) depending on the type of protein chosen. 

Address: 33, Lorong Prangin, George Town, 10100

Payment Accepted: Cash and credit card 

Additional Information: Facebook 

10. Tai Tong Restaurant

Looking for another dim sum spot? Tai Tong Restaurant offers dim sum on push carts, so you can choose your favorite steamed dishes. The dim sum pieces are the cute smaller sizes. 

If you want steamed buns (baos) and egg tarts, you can walk to the back of the restaurant and order them. The baos can be ordered per piece. 

We stopped by here after hiking Moongate Station 5 to Penang Hill and we were hungry!

We noticed that the dim sum carts didn’t have a lot of variety. But we arrived around 1:00pm so the lunch crowds may have passed already. 

We ordered ha gow (shrimp dumpling), ha cheung (steamed shrimp roll), seafood dumplings, one salted egg yolk bun, one pandan kaya bun, and a plate of salted fish bean sprouts. We liked the ha cheung with the spicy sauce and dried shrimp topping. The ha gow wasn’t bad as it had a thinner wrapper. 

A white table with bamboo steamers of steamed vegetable dumplings and steamed shrimp dumplings and a plate of steamed shrimp rolls at Tai Tong Restaurant

The steamed buns are well worth the visit. The pandan kaya bun was my favorite part of the meal as it was just like a steamed custard bun but with pandan and coconut flavor.  

The side of salted fish bean sprouts was surprisingly good! The saltiness of the fish complemented the plain bean sprouts. While eating bean sprouts may be random, we were on a bean sprout kick after eating it in Ipoh. 

Hot water refill for the tea is self-serve. 

The dim sum costs between 2.90 to 7.50 MYR ($.61 to $1.60), so pricing is slightly cheaper than Fu Er Dai. 

Address: 45, Lebuh Cintra, George Town, 10100 

Payment Accepted: Cash only

Additional Information: Facebook

11. Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul

We noticed the crowds in front of the street art of a person eating a bowl of cendol and realized that the kiosk was the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul dessert spot

Since it was near closing, there was only one option for sale – standard cendol (yes, there is different spelling of cendol) with shaved ice, red beans pandan jelly (that looks like noodles), and sugar. It looks very similar to Vietnamese chè which is also a sweet dessert. 

Once you mix the shaved ice, red bean, and pandan jelly in the plastic container, it creates a brown soupy concoction. It’s not photogenic, but at least it tastes good. The dessert isn’t overly sweet so it was perfect for our palates.  

The cost is 4.70 MYR ($1.00). 

Justin Huynh, Life Of Doing, orders a cendol iced dessert at the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul stall

Address: 27-29, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100 

Payment Accepted: Cash only

12. Gow Thew Chik Hainan Chicken Rice

On one of our days, we had two mini lunches and Gow Thew Chik Hainan Chicken Rice was our second spot. 

If you’re looking to eat Hainan chicken rice, then consider visiting here. It’s a popular place to visit for locals and foreigners to enjoy chicken. It’s also listed in the Michelin Guide (no star or Bib Gourmand recognition though).   

You can choose either the free-range chicken, roasted chicken, or a mix of both, and also the number of portions needed. You can order a side of vegetables to make it a balanced meal. 

While I didn’t eat chicken, but Justin and my mother-in-law shared a plate of chicken rice for one person. The meal also comes with a bowl of soup. Justin liked the smooth chicken texture and flavorful rice.   

A plate of chicken rice for one person is 10 MYR ($2.15) which is very affordable.  

A light blue plate of chicken with a light pink plate of chicken flavored rice, and a bowl of soup at Gow Thew Chik Hainan Chicken Rice in Penang

This is one person’s serving of chicken rice

Address: 340, Chulia St, Georgetown, 10200 

Payment Accepted: Cash only

13. Food Dynasty

We went to Food Dynasty, conveniently located next to Hotel Mokozoyo where we stayed. The restaurant serves halal Chinese food, so pork is not used here. 

This place has a variety of dim sum, fried rice, and fried noodles. The dim sums are the small, cute-sized dumplings typical in Malaysia. 

We ordered steamed shrimp chives dumplings (which were delicious with the strong garlic flavor), salted egg shrimp dumplings, and Portuguese egg tarts 

A table with three plates of dim sum of shrimp dumplings, egg tarts, and vegetarian dumplings at Food Dynasty in Penang

The main reason to visit is the egg gravy sang mee. It’s thin crispy noodles with a lot of gravy similar to Japanese sara udon. 

But, it has the magical effect of noodles and chopsticks floating in the air. There was a lot of oil used to make this magic trick come alive! Yet, the noodles were yummy and worth eating. 

Jackie Szeto, Life Of Doing, sits behind the floating sang mee noodles at Food Dynasty in Penang

The floating egg gravy sang mee is photoworthy!

Dim sum prices are around 8 to 9 MYR ($1.70 to $1.90) and noodles are between 14.90 to 16.90 MYR ($3.20 to $3.60). 

Address: 25, Jalan Argyll, George Town, 10050

Payment Accepted: Cash and credit card

Additional Information: Facebook

14. Bee Hwa Cafe

Bee Hwa Cafe is a spot where many locals line up to eat breakfast. It serves halal Malaysian street food

The experience was a bit chaotic as we didn’t know the process. Everyone grabs a table whenever one opens up. Afterward, you need to wait for someone to take your order. 

The wall has photos of things you can order. 

We ordered a char koay teow, white curry soup with coconut milk, teh tarik, and hot tea. The food is made to order so it comes out piping hot. 

The char koay teow had fresh stir-fried noodles with shrimp, squid, and fishball. It had a lot of wok hey (firepower) which we liked.   

A green and white table with an iced coffee, a hot tea, and a plate of char kway teow, fried noodles with shrimp and fish balls at Bee Hwa Cafe in Penang

Here is the halal char kway teow

It was our first time trying white curry noodle soup. It came with a coconut broth and a spicy chili curry paste on the side. It tasted like a mala (numbing chili) paste and it was really strong. We used a bit too much and it made our soup have an intense flavor. So use sparingly and taste the broth while you stir!

A bowl of halal white curry noodles with shrimp, egg, and fish cakes and a spoon with chili paste at Bee Hwa Cafe in Penang, Malaysia

White curry noodles is one of the foods to try in Penang. This version is halal so no pork is used.

The cost is reasonable as our meal was 18 MYR ($3.80). 

Address: 10, Lebuh Dickens, George Town, 10050

Payment Accepted: Cash only

Additional Information: Facebook

15. Khoon Klanng Bak Kut Teh

We originally went to Fisherman’s Wharf Food Corner and weren’t satisfied with the offerings there, so we took a Grab ride-hailing car to eat elsewhere. 

Our Grab driver recommended this place, Khoon Klanng Bak Kut Teh, for bak kut teh and yam rice. So we had to try it for ourselves! For those not familiar with buk kut teh, it’s a pork dish cooked with herbs and tea. The soup has an intense flavor.   

When we arrived, we had to wait in line, but it went by quickly. 

We noticed it was only locals eating here. Since this place is located outside of the UNESCO Georgetown main area, it requires transportation to get here. 

We had three people sharing a two-person serving of bak kut teh, 1 plate of fried tofu, and a plate of veggies. The bak kut teh had pieces of ribs with mushroom and tofu. I didn’t eat any but Justin shared it with a friend. This style here was slightly different than what we had in Singapore since it had mushrooms and tofu, but still delicious. 

A black sizzling pot of bak kuh teh of pork ribs, enoki mushrooms, and tofu at Khoon Klaang Bak Kuh Teh in Penang

The bak kuh teh is worth the transportation cost to get here

The fried tofu and veggies were also a great complement to the main dish. Unfortunately, we didn’t try the yam rice as we didn’t want any carbohydrates with our meal. 

The price is reasonable and we paid 46 MYR ($9.80) for the meal. 

Address: 320, Jln Perak, Jelutong, 11600 George Town

Payment Accepted: Cash only

16. Toh Soon Cafe

You can’t miss Toh Soon Cafe as it has a fun street art of a man sitting on a red plastic chair and receiving a plate of baked goods. 

It’s a popular spot for an affordable Malaysian breakfast so you will need to wait in a long line. Many locals and tourists visit here for sliced bread, toast with egg, nasi lemak, and coffee.

We tried the toast with egg and nasi lemak. The buttery toast with two runny eggs is a simple yet satisfying breakfast. 

Iced tea with a plate of buttered toast with egg at Toh Soon Cafe in Penang

Come to Toh Soon Cafe for breakfast. Locals and tourists enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a plate of buttery toast with egg. Simple yet delicious.

The nasi lemak is in a paper bundle so it’s great for takeaway. The flavors are spicy and have the crunch of the fried fish. So delicious. 

We sat in the alleyway so it was hot and stuffy even though the fans were blowing. 

The cost of our meal was 21 MYR ($4.50) for 3 people. 

Address: Lebuh Campbell, George Town, 10450

Payment Accepted: Cash only

17. China House

If you have a sweet tooth and want a dessert recommendation, then come to China House. Each day they have 30+ cakes and pastries for sale from 9:00am to midnight. 

A friend recommended this place and the desserts were amazing!

The restaurant has three sections – the restaurant, courtyard, and canteen. We sat in the restaurant area and walked through the courtyard after we were done. 

While you can order food and afternoon tea, we just wanted slices of cake. We circled the dessert table and decided which ones we wanted. Then we placed an order with the cake with the waiter. 

We tried the passion fruit coconut butter cake and fresh ginger cake and ordered a pot of tea. The passion fruit coconut cake was moist and decadent with the passion fruit topping. 

The fresh ginger cake had a candied ginger frosting. Although there wasn’t any candied ginger in the cake, it was still moist.  

China House is one of the best places to eat in Penang. Eat a passion fruit cream cake and a fresh ginger cake with a pot of tea.

Did we say dessert?! It’s a fabulous place to try over 30+ desserts.

The cake slices vary but our slices were between 11 to 14 MYR ($2.30 to $3.00). 

If you have a chance to explore, the courtyard is a fun place to take photos. There is a small pond and a few street art. 

Address: 153, Beach St, Georgetown, 10300

Payment Accepted: Cash and credit card

Additional Information: Facebook

18. Chulia Street Night Market or Kimberley Street Food Night Market

Penang has a few night markets to enjoy quick and cheap street foods from hawker stalls. 

We’ve visited Chulia Food Market and Kimberley Street Food Night Market and they have similar offerings. Whether you are looking for noodle soup, food on sticks, durian, or cendol, you have plenty of food options.  

People walking in front of hawker stalls at Kimberley Street Food Night Market in Penang

Visit Kimberley Street Food at night for some cheap eats and street food

On our first visit to Penang, we ate at a stall selling wanton noodles at Chulia Food Night Market. We received the noodles at a blazingly fast speed. The noodles were springy and had a sweeter sauce than what we’re used to. The small-size noodles were also affordable at 9 MYR ($1.90). 


  • Chulia Street Night Market: Chulia St, Georgetown, 10450 George Town
  • Kimberley Street Food Night Market: 1, Jalan Sungai Ujong, George Town

Payment Accepted: Cash only

Honorable Mention – ​Bibik’s Kitchen Nyonya Cuisine

Have you tried Nyonya cuisine before? It’s a blend of Malaysian Chinese flavors. 

We went to Bibik’s Kitchen Nyonya Cuisine on a whim to try Nyonya flavors. This place is listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide for its good value. 

Reservations are required. But we didn’t have one and went here when the restaurant first opened at 6:00pm to get a table.

You can choose between the small, medium, or large portions. Since it was only the two of us, we had small sizes. 

We didn’t know what to order so we tried the following dishes below. 

  • Jiu hu char – This is a recommended dish of stir-fried yam bean with cuttlefish. We weren’t expecting the flavors to be on the sweeter side so we added a scoop of chili sauce to balance the sweetness.
  • Kiam hu kut curry – We love fish curry, but this one didn’t suit our palates. The fish quantity was tiny and the fish had tons of little bones.  
  • Sambal prawn – This is another recommended dish from the restaurant.  We love eating spicy food yet the sambal version had a stronger vinegar flavor. 
A wooden table with three dishes of Nyonya food such as fish curry, sambal shrimp, and stir fried yam beans with cuttlefish at Bibik's Kitchen in Penang, Malaysia

Here is the Nyonya meal that we ate at Bibik’s Kitchen

  • Sago gula melaka dessert – It was heavenly with the shaved coconut and the palm sugar syrup. 
  • Burbur cha cha dessert – It’s another recommended dessert with colorful purple, orange, and yellow sweet potato and banana in coconut milk. It was swe
Jackie Szeto, Life Of Doing, smiles as she sees the purple sago dessert with coconut savings and a bowl of sweet potato in coconut milk at Bibik's Kitchen in Penang

The desserts at Bibik’s Kitchen were the highlights of the meal

Prices are on the mid-range, but still reasonable. Small dishes cost 10 to 20 MYR ($2.15 to $4.25), medium cost 15 to 38 MYR ($3.20 to $8.00), and large cost 30 to 48 MYR ($6.35 to $10.15). 

Since it was our first time trying Nyonya food, we were not used to the intense salty and vinegar flavors. It wasn’t for us, but we wanted to share another restaurant option with you. You’re welcome to try it for yourself or visit another Nyonya restaurant in Penang. 

Address: 73, Jalan Sri Bahari, George Town, 10050 

Payment Accepted: Cash and credit card

Additional Information: Facebook

Final Thoughts

We hope you try one or more of these restaurants on your next trip to Penang. 

Whether you’re looking for cheap street food or casual, sit-down restaurants, you’ll have plenty of food options to consider. 

If you’ve been to Penang before and have other food recommendations, please share them in the comments below. We would love to try your recommended places to eat. 

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A table at Penang's Fu Er Dai with small places of dim sum such as sesame balls, crispy shrimp rolls, steamed pork dumplings, steamed shrimp dumplings

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