Famous Penang food like laksa, kuay teow and cendol, have long put Penang on the world map. In fact, some of the best food in Penang is actually, Penang street food.
If you’re looking to try local dishes like Penang Hokkien mee, curry mee or oyster omelet, there are a lot of places that serve these! But how would you know which to choose?
In this list, we’ve listed locations in order of how well-known they are and by the dish they serve!
- Char Koay Kak
- Penang Hokkien Mee
- Curry Mee
- Mee Goreng
- Teochew Chendol
- Penang Assam Laksa
- Char Koay Teow
- Fish Head Bee Hoon
- Penang Rojak
- Koay Teow Soup
- Loh Mee
- Loh Bak
- Lok Lok
- Wanton Mee
- Oyster Omelet
- Seafood Popiah
- Roti Canai
- Nasi Lemak
- Ikan Bakar
- Penang Tambun Biscuit
- Nasi Kandar
21 Best Food In Penang 2022
Leave your diet aside and get ready to travel by your stomach when you visit Penang!
1. Char Koay Kak (Fried Carrot Cake) – Mdm Ng’s Char Koay Kak
Having been in business for nearly 60 years, Mdm Ng inherited the stall from her mother.
Although they may be called carrot cakes, these are actually radish cakes that are first steamed then fried.
Serving from an old food cart, Mdm Ng believes in cooking the traditional way – using charcoal and firewood to fry her carrot cakes.
Mdm Ng serves her fried carrot cake in cones made of banana leaves and wrapped in newspaper. The aroma of the banana leaves mixed with steaming hot fried carrot cake is drool-worthy!
- Hong Kong Tea Garden Hawker Center
- Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak
2. Penang Hokkien Mee – 888 Hokkien Mee
The tried and true 888 Hokkien Mee stall at Lebuh Presgrave (三条路) have been cooking prawn mee in a flavorful spicy thick broth for 3 decades!
Order sides like meatballs, pork innards and crispy pork if you get there early! And get the ice kacang or cendol next door to end your meal!
- They have another branch at Jalan Mahsuri.
- It’s tough to find parking here
- CY Choy Road Hokkien Mee
- Ah Koo’s Hokkien Mee @ Classic Café
3. Curry Mee – Hot Bowl White Curry Mee
Somewhere along Rangoon Road is a reputable curry mee shop. Penang curry mee is different from most other curry mee in Malaysia.
The star ingredient is coagulated pigs blood! Along with some seafood and beancurd. If it’s not spicy enough, you can top up the chili paste!
- Chulia Street Curry Mee
- Lorong Seratus Tahun
4. Mee Goreng – Hameed Pata Mee Sotong
Out of all the other stalls at the open-air Esplanade Park, Hameed Pata Mee Sotong is the most popular!
Customers come to try this version of mee goreng that incorporates squid strips into the sambal.
Have it either dry or with gravy. The beverage stall just beside happens to serve amazing cendol, coconut shake and ais kacang too!
- Bangkok Lane’s Mee Goreng
- Hussain Mee Goreng And Mee Rebus
5. Teochew Chendol – Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
This brand may look familiar to you if you’ve been in the Klang Valley long enough! There are outlets in Klang Valley and in Ipoh!
But Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul’s humble beginnings began from this very stall at Penang Road. Try it for yourself!
- Chendol At Joo Hooi Café
Read more: 9 Best Cendol In Penang That You Can Try Today!
6. Penang Assam Laksa – Penang Road Famous Laksa
Arguably one of the best laksa in Penang, and having spent a few decades in Joo Hooi Café, Penang Road Famous Laksa moved to their new location at Lebuh Keng Kwee in 2016.
Penang Road Famous Laksa stands out from other stalls because of their fish broth! Instead of using mackerel, their fish broth is prepared daily using sardine and big-eye kingfish.
Their bowl of laksa comes with a spoonful of shrimp paste. It’s up to your preference whether to add it in.
But fans say that the shrimp paste stimulates the taste buds and makes the laksa more delicious!
- Sin Hwa Coffee Shop Assam Laksa
- Asam Laksa At Restaurant Taman Emas, Gottlieb Road
7. Char Koay Teow – New Siam Road Char Koay Teow
Equally as famous as Penang laksa, you must save some room in your stomach to try Penang koay teow!
The elderly man behind the stall at Siam Road still uses the traditional charcoal method to fry the dish!
His char koay teow got so famous (world-famous, in fact) that he had to take a break for a few months to rest from the never-ending crowds! Prepare to wait at least an hour and a half to try it yourself!
- Not halal
- Peak hours are 12pm to 1:30pm and closer to 5pm
- You need to stand the whole time to queue
- Duck Egg Char Koay Teow (鸭蛋炒粿条)
- Ah Soon Char Koay Teow
Read more: 11 Best Char Kuey Teow In Penang
8. Fish Head Bee Hoon – Village Fish Head Bee Hoon
Fan of tom yam? Then you will want to have a bowl of fish head noodles at this location! There are many tables but the average wait time is still 30-60 minutes!
There is a whole selection of add-ons besides fish slices to choose from. Including noodles and two types of soup base – tom yam or clear soup!
- Perak Lane Fish Head Bee Hoon
- Tong Lek 8 Fried Fish Bee Hoon
9. Penang Rojak – Hock Seng Rojak
After a queue of at least 30 minutes by the roadside, exposed to sunshine and potential bird poop bombs:
You can have a bowl of on-the-spot rojak at Hock Seng Rojak stall.
The key to their 40-year success is the thick home-made sauce. Topped with crunchy peanuts and dried shrimp!
- Rojak Ho Wei Jeng (101 Rojak)
- Rojak At Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
10. Koay Teow Soup (粿条汤) – Loh Kei Duck Meat Koay Teow Th’ng
You have to wake up early for this one! Their MSG-free duck, pork and anchovy broth with rice noodles has many fans among the locals!
Sliced duck meat pairs well together with the noodles and soup so be sure to order that too!
- Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng (Eel Fish Ball Noodle)
- Koay Teow Soup Stall Tauge
11. Loh Mee (卤面) – Kim Leng Lor Mee At Restoran Joo Huat (金龙卤面)
Lor mee is not as common as it used to be. However, there is one long-standing stall at Restaurant Joo Huat at Perak Road that serves this savory classic dish that originally hails from Fujian.
Penang’s take on this braised noodle dish is thick oily-looking brown soup with herbal egg, bean sprouts, pig skin and intestines, and chicken feet! Accompanied by vinegar-garlic sauce and chili, of course!
- 218 Hainan Lor Mee
- Ah Khoon Loh Mee
- Kedai Kopi Seng Thor
12. Loh Bak (卤肉) – Prawn Fritters & Loh Bak @ Tan Jetty
Don’t miss out on the chance to try fresh loh bak at this stall in Tan Jetty! They have been operating their stall for 20 years!
Their crunchy prawn fritters are worth a try too!
Loh bak is a deep-fried snack of Teochew origin. Inside the bean curd roll is minced pork that has been marinated with 5-spice powder.
- Penang Kheng Pin Loh Bak
13. Lok Lok – Ping Hwa Lok Lok (槟华乐乐) At Pulau Tikus
Lok lok can come in all shapes and sizes. Fish balls, jellyfish, vegetables, pork belly slices, cockles, sausages and more! After being boiled on the spot, dip your lok lok into some sauce and have a taste!
There are over 30 types to try at Ping Hwa Lok Lok! And 5 types of home-made sauces like satay peanut sauce to go with them!
- Pantai Lok Lok @ Chai Leng Park
Read more: 11 Best Night Market In Penang – Monday To Sunday (Especially #5)
14. Wanton Mee (云吞面) – Tok Tok Mee Bamboo Noodle
What used to be Hong Kee Wan Thun Mee is now Tok Tok Mee Bamboo Noodles after being taken over by a group of young entrepreneurs.
Patrons of the old wanton mee restaurant will be glad to know that the menu has remain unchanged.
Other than the same handmade traditional bamboo-pressed wanton noodles, there is also a selection of stir-fry dishes and pastries on the menu – just like how it used to be!
Remark: Likely to be crowded
- Hong Kee Bamboo Noodle, Campbell Street
- Mother And Son Wantan Mee, Chulia Street
Read more: 13 Best Things To Do In Georgetown Penang
15. Oyster Omelet / Oh Chien (蚝煎) – Bee Hooi Restaurant
Fresh plump oysters with a sour-ish chili sauce complete the omelets that draw locals over to Burmah Road at Bee Hooi Restaurant.
Oyster omelets (oh chien) can be crispy or starchy – the one at Bee Hooi is the latter but pleasantly so!
- Kedai Kopi Seng Thor
- New Lane Hawker Centre
- Fried Oyster – Jelutong Post Office
Read more: 17 Best Cafe In Penang With Great Coffee (Includes New Cafes)
16. Seafood Popiah – Nur Poh Piah At Medan Selera Padang Brown
Popiah is a spring roll of sorts that is either made crispy or soft. Nur Poh Piah’s family recipe drenches theirs in gravy with homemade chili paste to top it off!
Prices are very affordable. Order the ‘keh liao’ version for crab meat in your popiah! The original popiah filling comprises of eggs, fried shallots, shredded turnips and carrots!
17. Roti Canai – Roti Canai Gemas Road
Malaysians can’t live without roti canai!
If you want to try this Indian flatbread with an exceptional and thick curry sauce, go for Roti Canai Gemas Road! Curry flavors include beef, chicken or dhal.
Early opening hours makes it a suitable venue for local breakfast in Penang!
Sides like chopped onions, cheese, chicken, sunny side up further complement the perfectly flaky roti pastry.
- Roti Canai Transfer Road
- Roti Canai Jalan Argyll
Read also: Penang National Park (Detailed Guide) – Spend A Delightful Day Hiking In Nature
18. Nasi Lemak – Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang
Nasi lemak is a Malaysian staple and you can find this banana-leaf wrapped breakfast in every state! But this particular stall in Penang does it a bit differently!
With side servings like fried fish or fried chicken and other dishes besides!
- Rice may run out if you go by 11am or later!
- The sambal is quite spicy!
- Nasi Lemak Liverpool @ matroy Penang
- Uncle Lanz Nasi Lemak
19. Ikan Bakar – Restoran Ikan Bakar Din
Restoran Ikan Bakar Din sells a lot more than their delicious signature dish, grilled fish or ikan bakar. They have an assortment of grilled seafood too. And beef soup.
Their food is halal and thus, it’s very crowded during lunch time making it hard to find parking!
- Adnan Bin Hassan Ikan Bakar
- Abg Jit Ikan Bakar
Read more: 9 Best Places To Eat Durian In Penang
20. Penang Tambun Biscuit (Tau Sar Piah) – Him Heang
For freshly-baked local Penang pastries like tao sar piah (also known as tambun biscuit), this is a favorite stop for many visitors to Penang!
Especially since the pastries are vegetarian-friendly. Sometimes, they can run out of the highly sought-after tao sar piah pastries before noon!
- Ban Heang
- Tean Ean Tau Sar Piah
- Ghee Hiang
- Soon Hiang Biscuit Shop 順香餅家 (Local Favourite)
21. Nasi Kandar – Hameediyah Restaurant
Officially the oldest nasi kandar restaurant in Malaysia as awarded by the Malaysia Book of Records, you will not be disappointed with the food here.
The restaurant is clean and air-conditioned although the queue frequently extends beyond the shop onto the street outside.
However, once you reach your turn, you will be delighted by the wide selection of dishes available. Ayam kapitan, mutton kurma, and beef rendang are among the must-try dishes!
- Deens Maju
- Line Clear Nasi Kandar
- Nasi Kandar Beratur
Read more: 27 Best Things To Do In Penang
Penang food will satisfy the tummy of any foodie! But the numerous options will baffle a first-timer to Penang. It’s a challenge to try everything in a few days, let alone one day!
So note down the foods that you really want to try from this trustworthy list! Alternatively, you can always head to the neighboring city of Ipoh to try Ipoh food too!
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