Best Breakfast In Penang

Breakfast in Penang is a golden opportunity to try more of the local food. Don’t just stick to your hotel’s room service!

But breakfast doesn’t have to be local cuisine either. If you want to switch up flavors, there is an abundance of cafes that serve western style breakfasts too.

See these options for what you can have for breakfast!

Table Of Contents:

Local Breakfast Spots In Penang

Many Malaysians love having nasi lemak or a bowl of noodles for breakfast! Together with teh tarik or kopi-o!

Thus, it’s not uncommon for the local coffee shops (i.e. kopitiams) to open as early as 6:30am!

If you go early, you can have the benefit of a quieter atmosphere and a larger choice of add-ons for your noodles.

1. Lee Huat Cafe 利发茶室

Have authentic hawker-style breakfast at Lee Huat Cafe 利发茶室 with a great selection of local noodles:

Local Penang Food At Lee Huat Cafe In Penang
Local Penang Food At Lee Huat Cafe In Penang

There’s good curry mee, prawn mee (Hokkien mee), Jawa mee, wanton mee, koey teow t’ng, lam mee, etc. The toast (roti bakar) is worth a try too!

And the dining environment of the cafe is considerably clean as well. But we feel that it’s too hot to eat here at lunch time despite it being an open-air situation.

Kaya Butter Toast At Lee Huat Cafe In Penang
Kaya Butter Toast At Lee Huat Cafe In Penang

If you’re driving here, this cafe is quite inconspicuous from the busy road. And parking is not the easiest, given that everyone wants to eat here! This is particularly true on weekends.

Dining Environment At Lee Huat Cafe In Penang
Dining Environment At Lee Huat Cafe In Penang

Don’t forget to pay the parking fee of RM2!

2. Kong Thai Lai New Coffee Shop

Despite having to move from its original location on Hutton Lane:

Kong Thai Lai Coffee Shop At George Town, Penang

Kong Thai Lai continues to serve affordable and excellent local coffee and one of the best roti bakar (i.e. toast) in town with homemade kaya (i.e. coconut jam)!

What We Ordered At Kong Thai Lai Coffee Shop
What We Ordered At Kong Thai Lai Coffee Shop

And if homemade kaya doesn’t tickle your fancy, they have delicious peanut butter toast instead! They do not use butter for their toast but the toast is thick and very crunchy. The toast pairs well with soft boiled eggs – ours was a little overdone but it’s nice that you don’t have to handle the hot eggshells on your own.

PS: In case you like your toast to be sweeter, there are jars of sugar on the tables.

You can also order char kuey teow, nasi lemak (of a few different flavors) and fried rice at this coffee shop.

We’ve had their kopi ais and personally find it too sweet for our liking. But the homemade nutmeg juice that they sell in a bottle for RM5 is absolutely worth it!

Breakfast Options At Kong Thai Lai New Coffee Shop In Penang
Breakfast Options At Kong Thai Lai New Coffee Shop – photo credits to hsintour (Instagram)

3. Bee Hwa Café

Grab a buddy and you can try everything at Bee Hwa Café besides their signature char kuey teow. There is curry mee, Hokkien mee, laksa, kuey teow soup etc. There’s also kaya toast if you want something lighter.

Bee Hwa Cafe At George Town, Penang

To be fair, the char kuey teow is not mind-blowing (it lacks some wok hei in our opinion and cockles are an add-on ingredient for RM3).

Signature Dishes At Bee Hwa Café In Penang
Signature Dishes At Bee Hwa Café In Penang – Photo credits to melati.cook (Instagram)

And the portions are small, but this gives you an opportunity to try the rest of the food at this kopitiam.

Note: Pork-free and clean establishment but there is no air-conditioning

For beverages, you’ll do your tastebuds a favor by ordering the ice cham or their kopi-O.

To avoid the pains of finding parking or having to wait long for your order, try to get here as early as possible. The affordable food tends to run out around lunch time.

If you do see a thick crowd here, come back another time as the food is not worth the long wait (sometimes, it can be as long as an hour).

Read more: 11 Best Char Kuey Teow In Penang

4. 113 Duck Meat Koay Teow Soup

This unassuming coffee shop is normally packed with people at lunchtime:

Koay teow soup usually has slices of shredded chicken but this place serves duck meat!

113 Duck Meat Koay Teow Soup In Penang
113 Duck Meat Koay Teow Soup – photo credits to amykenzye (Instagram)

There is the option to add homemade fish balls, duck intestines, and bean sprouts. Do specify if you don’t want these in!

Go for their flavorful duck meat koay teow th’ng (clear soup) over their duck meat koay chiap (brown soup)!

For those who want something more exciting, you can enjoy their braised duck meat and intestines. This item is one of their must-try dishes!

5. Hot Bowl White Curry Mee

There are a couple of signature dishes to order at Hot Bowl White Curry Mee despite the name of this eatery.

For anyone that’s not had steamed chicken in Malaysia before, we recommend trying the tender and boneless steamed chicken (with beansprouts as part of a chicken rice meal).

Closer Look Of The Steamed Chicken At Hot Bowl White Curry Mee
Closer Look Of The Steamed Chicken

As locals from Ipoh though, we find the seasoning of this dish too sweet. And the meat of the chicken (even chicken breast) is oddly soft. We personally like ours with a bit more bite to it.

If you’re here for the white curry mee, do note that this rendition doesn’t include duck blood in the broth. But the accompanying sambal is tasty and certainly packs a punch if you add more.

One spoon was more than we bargained for. Do beware and go slow with the sambal if you cannot tolerate spiciness.

What We Ordered At Hot Bowl White Curry Mee
What We Ordered

Other ingredients in the curry mee include cockles (really tiny ones) and fragrant santan. You can also order sides like the super soft braised chicken feet to supplement your meal.

See what it is like to dine here at Hot Bowl White Curry Mee.

  • Location: 58, Jalan Rangoon, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang
  • Opening Hours: 8am–2:30pm (Closed on Mondays)
  • Contact: +604-2273168

6. Zim Sum Restaurant

Have a variety of dim sum for breakfast at this busy establishment! Many come because the prices are reasonable too!

Zim Sum Restaurant In Penang
Zim Sum Restaurant – Dim Sum In Penang – photo credits to john.andri (Instagram)

Notable menu items include:

  • Siew mai (Pork dumplings)
  • Fried yam balls
  • Egg tarts
  • Turnip fried with bean sprouts
  • Glutinous rice
  • Har gao (i.e. prawn dumplings)
Variety Of Dim Sum At Zim Sum Restaurant, Penang
Variety Of Dim Sum At Zim Sum Restaurant – photo credits to eatwithcheesy (Instagram)

Note: There’s no coffee here. Just Chinese tea.

More dim sum restaurants to check out in Penang.

Western Style Breakfast In Penang

There are almost just as many western breakfast places in Penang as there are local eateries in Georgetown:

Particularly around Love Lane Penang and Chulia Street! Hence, you should definitely include at least 1 Penang cafe during your trip!

7. Big Ben Breakfast & Western

In Malaysia, western food is usually more expensive than local food. But this café keeps the prices lower by maintaining a no-frills ambiance.

Big Ben Breakfast & Western Cafe At Penang Botanic Gardens
Big Ben Breakfast & Western Cafe At Penang Botanic Gardens – photo credits to abbie.lim (Instagram)

Note: No air-conditioning here.

You can come here after a run at the Penang Botanic Gardens to sit down to their signature Big Ben breakfast set!

They have sandwiches, pasta, local coffee, and toast too!

Breakfast Set At Big Ben Breakfast & Western In Penang
Breakfast Set At Big Ben Breakfast & Western – photo credits to eddyedison (Instagram)

8. Penang Yin’s Sourdough Bakery And Café

Craving for freshly-baked sourdough bread, bagels or pizza?

Penang Yin's Sourdough Bakery
Penang Yin’s Sourdough Bakery – photo credits to sheirlytan (Instagram)

At Yin’s Sourdough Bakery And Café, you can have sourdough bread with homemade pineapple jam, almond butter, cheese or even grilled banana slices!

For drinks, try their western-style coffee or delightful kefir smoothies with tropical fruit! We do really like their kefir drinks and sourdough bread.

Note: On their website you can buy their packaged specialty foods like peanut spread, almond jam, and kaya spreads!

9. Let’s Meat

Let’s Meat is an authentic American restaurant in a residential area not far from a quaint little park:

Indoor Seating At Let's Meat In Penang
Indoor Seating At Let’s Meat In Penang – Photo by Travelswithsun

Eggs Benedict, pancakes, American biscuits, and the pulled pork and steak sandwiches are all delicious! And come in generous portions!

In fact, we got the Big American breakfast and were surprised that it also came with a stack of pancakes – as you can see in the photo below.

Big Breakfast (Includes Pancakes) And Pulled Pork Burger At Let's Meat
Big Breakfast (Includes Pancakes) And Pulled Pork Burger At Let’s Meat – Photo by Travelswithsun

To make sure you don’t miss out on their scrumptious breakfast menu, be sure to be there between 8:30 to 11:30 am.

The other highlight is the children’s play area where they encourage kids to read more (you get discounts if you read more) Don’t forget to order one of their milkshakes!

However, because of how far this place is from Georgetown Penang, we do not think it’s worth the journey here. And it’s not an absolute must-try if you only have a limited time in Penang.

10. Urban Daybreak Café @ George Town

Next on the list, Urban Daybreak touts Australian-style breakfast, brunch, and lunch!

Blue walls and decorative red windows mark the interior of the narrow but cosy space.

Brunch At Urban Daybreak
Brunch At Urban Daybreak – photo credits to ivyliao216 (Instagram)

Ann’s Big One is their massive breakfast set that comes with salad and their homemade pork sausages!

Besides this, there are savory waffles, French toast, burgers, omelets, bagels, pasta, and sandwiches!

Decadent Brunch At Urban Daybreak, Penang
Decadent Brunch At Urban Daybreak, Penang – photo credits to djneo (Instagram)

Note: Their shakes and floats are very agreeable!

  • Location: 34, Lebuh Bishop, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 7:30am to 5:30pm

Read more: Or Try These Western Restaurants In Penang

Halal Breakfast In Penang

All the places we have listed up till now include pork in their menus so to be fair to our Muslim readers:

Here are some halal eateries so you don’t have to miss out! The first 2 are already on our Penang food list which makes them easy to tick off your bucket list!

11. Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang

Right from the moment the shop opens, you can tell from the long line of customers that this is one of the best nasi lemak stalls in Penang!

Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang Stall From The Side
Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang Stall From The Side

Note: This stall is at the front of a food court which is next to a paid parking lot. If you choose to dine here, expect to order a drink, or pay a fee of RM1.

You can choose nasi lemak packets with toppings of fish, squid or prawns if you want! These do have slightly different flavors from the ikan bilis (anchovy) rendition which is truer to authentic nasi lemak.

Egg And Anchovy Variation Of Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang
Egg And Anchovy Variation Of Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang

We went for nasi lemak with ikan bilis, and another with fish on top. The food is very delicious but spicy so beware.

Fried Fish Variation Of Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang
Fried Fish Variation Of Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang

Sit close to their stall and you can watch the satisfying way they prepare the nasi lemak in batches!

Read more: 11 Best Seafood Restaurants In Penang (Recommended By Locals)

12. Gemas Road Roti Canai

Gemas Road Roti Canai serves Indian paratha and parotta (i.e. roti canai) a bit differently:

An order of Indian bread here comes with a slice of cheese, Sunnyside up eggs and raw onions! The dish goes with any of their 3 available curry flavors – dhal, chicken or beef curry!

Breakfast At Gemas Road Roti Canai, Penang
Breakfast At Gemas Road Roti Canai, Penang – photo credits to joebundle (Instagram)

The peak time to expect crowds is between 9am and 11:30am!

Note: The teh tarik is exceptionally sweet. Ask for less sugar if that’s your preference!

Read more: Penang Famous Cendol – 9 Best Cendol In Penang That You Can Try Today!

13. Nasi Kandar Kampong Melayu

All the way in Ayer Itam, this reputable nasi kandar stall has a loyal following (of Penangites and locals from other states) for its homemade curries and fresh ingredients! Like squid and beef!

Nasi Kandar Kampong Melayu In Penang
Nasi Kandar Kampong Melayu In Penang – photo credits to normabahri (Instagram)

They open really early so you can have yourself a hearty breakfast before checking out Kek Lok Si temple!

But do prepare yourself for a long queue on weekends! Or try these other famous nasi kandar in Penang.

Note: It is not easy to find parking here!

Getting To Popular Penang Breakfast Places

Want to find more hidden food spots? You can trust the local travel guides from RayTheTour to bring you to their favorite breakfast haunts!

Penang Tour - RayTheTour & Travelswithsun

More about the private tour service:

  • Completely flexible itinerary from morning till evening
  • They have tours in Ipoh, Cameron Highlands and in-between too!
  • Vans and MPVs are part of the fleet
  • Tour includes pick up and drop off from your hotel/ airport
  • Chinese-speaking or English-speaking guides

Further reading:


Treat yourself to the best breakfast in Penang! You might just find your new favorite breakfast of all time!

Have yummy local Penang food or western food at various breakfast places in and around Georgetown! Even dim sum.

PS: We have an awesome Penang travel guide for you too if you have not planned out the rest of your trip yet.

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