Bring back a Penang souvenir home to your friends and family.
Penang has artsy crafts made with skill that has transcended generations. As well as a variety of mouth-watering food souvenirs!
You can pick up souvenirs easily as they are often near to popular attractions and come in handy little packages.
Table Of Contents:
Penang Food Souvenirs
Penang is synonymous with food.
So not surprisingly, the most recommended souvenirs to get are food!
Food is always a safe option if you do not know what to buy in Penang. Though you should always double check what is allowed if you need to bring them back on a flight.
1. Penang Tau Sar Piah – Tambun Biscuits
Made out of simple ingredients like wheat flour, sugar, green beans, fried onions, vegetable oil and salt:
These ping pong ball sized biscuits pack a punch with a sweet and savoury crumbly filling in a flaky crust.
A must have treat for your family, friends, colleagues and yourself!
- Soon Hiang Biscuit Shop 順香餅家 (Local favourite)
2. Beh Teh Saw Biscuits
Beh teh saw (Hokkien) go by a different name in Ipoh – Heong peah (Cantonese). These cup shaped pastries have a flaky exterior with a sweet and sticky filling.
Ingredients include wheat molasses, sugar, wheat flour, peanut oil, sesame seeds and fried onions.
And they are made through a laborious and unique baking method. Him Heang has perfected this recipe for generations!
3. Pepper Biscuits
For people who like a hint of spice, the humble pepper biscuit uses Chinese five-spice as its main ingredient.
It’s actually a thinner variant of Kampar chicken biscuits (kai chai peng in Cantonese)! And the overall taste is actually more savory than sweet.
You can get this particular pastry at Ban Heang (Thousand Fragrance) on Jalan Macalister.
Or at Ng Kee Cake Shop, an 85-year old business that happens to specialize in these biscuits!
4. Crushed Peanut Candy
Crushed peanut candy or kacang tumbuk (in Malay) is a timeless sweet treat. Generations of Malaysians still enjoy this novel candy as it brings a sense of nostalgia!
Elders like this candy as well as it is neither too sweet, salty or crunchy. The texture is chewy but easy on the jaws!
If you happen to pass through Jalan Perak, you can witness how peanut candy is made for yourself!
5. Nutmeg Products
Nutmeg has been around for centuries in this region too. Its history as a precious agricultural commodity hails back to the 19th century!
Europeans considered nutmeg to be a luxury good out of all their favourite spices in this region.
Hence, in the early 1800s, nutmeg was brought into Penang under the East India Company. And then, locals discovered multiple uses for this plant and its seed!
Uses of Nutmeg:
- Medicated oils
- Mace (A spice made from nutmeg seeds to flavour food or for medicinal purposes)
- Preserved fruit flavouring
Alternatively, if you have limited time, you can get nutmeg products in the city at:
6. MyKuali “Penang White Curry” Instant Noodle
Local grocery stores in Malaysia commonly carry these highly-rated instant noodles under the MyKuali brand!
The flavor Penang White Curry Instant Noodle is exceptionally good according to ramen enthusiasts!
And it recently ranked second out of 31 international contenders in the L.A. Times!
If you’re in Penang, you can try the real deal with cuttlefish, cockles, tofu and bean sprouts at the original stall on Lorong Abu Siti!
7. Pickled Fruits (Jeruk buah)
In Malaysia where fruits are abundant, there are many types oftropical fruit that are can be preserved with brine and syrup.
Such as mango, papaya, guava, kedondong (Or ba long long in Singapore)!
Preserving the fruits this way means they can keep longer but still retain some of their raw texture and natural flavour.
These pickled fruit make for a convenient sweet and sour snack in between meals.
In Penang, there is a well-known chain (Jeruk Madu Pak Ali) that sells these freshly packed!
8. Ghee Hiang Sesame Oil
Sesame oil can add great flavor to your cooking and Ghee Hiang arguably sells the best sesame oil in Malaysia!
In fact, this has been and still is the brand’s specialty product for over 160 years.
Sesame oil can add great flavour to your cooking!
9. Roti Jari
Roti jari has been around for some time but is recently gaining popularity in Penang’s kopitiam scene.
Colloquially, they are bread sticks that look like a mini French loaf. Locals like to dip this bread stick into their kopi (coffee) to let the bread soak up the coffee taste.
Hup Hoe Biscuit sells roti jari along with many local biscuits. All sold in loose form.
Read more: Penang Famous Cendol – 9 Best Cendol In Penang That You Can Try Today!
Art, Handicraft Souvenir Shops In Penang
Ultimately if you want something that lasts longer than food, a handicraft makes a suitable gift.
To start with, you might be wondering what to buy in Penang that is more traditional:
10. Batik & Songket / Silks and Batik Art
Malaysian batik is unique and requires a high level of skill to produce.
There are 2 places to get quality batik products in Penang.
One is in George Town while the other is further away at Teluk Bahang.
10.1. Penang Batik Factory at Teluk Bahang
Penang Batik Factory is an established traditional batik manufacturer. They have been in business since 1973.
And specialize in hand-painted designs utilizing techniques like block printingas well. It’s free for visitors to enter the open-air factory and observe the process.
You can buy quality batik scarves, fans and clothing at their on-sitegift shop.
10.2. Sam’s Batik House
This is the place to go to stock up on stylish summer wear.
They have bedspreads, table clothes, and men and women’s clothing made of natural fabrics like cotton, viscose and silk.
Moreover, they offer free alteration service!
Other than ready made apparel, you can get fabric with batik print on cotton voile to make your own clothes too!
Read more: 13 Best Breakfast In Penang – With Local, Western Cafe & Halal Options
11. Photographic Prints At Studio Howard/ Shop Howard
Run by a local artist Howard Tan, there’s a gallery on Armenian Street displaying his photographs of typical George Town scenes.
Besides the prints, there are calendars, postcards, magnets, stationery, bags and notebooks for sale.
But you can also find similar merchandise for sale at his shop on Kapitan Keling Street too.
Read more: Penang Durian Farm (Ultimate Guide) – 9 Best Places To Eat Durian
12. 14 Living Story Handicraft Shop
At Armenian Street, you can spot this shop from its colourful patchwork curtains that hang in front! They occasionally change up the entrance decor with lanterns too.
Take the time to browse through their wares and you might find something special that catches your eye.
What To Buy At 14 Living Story:
- Malaysian batik gifts (e.g. pouches, pocket tissue covers, coasters, shirts, etc)
- Vintage postcards and storage boxes
- Mah-jong sets
- Hand-made jewellery
- Dainty ceramics
- Peranakan tiles
- Tiffin carriers
Read more: 11 Best Asam Laksa In Penang – Satisfy Your Tastebuds With This Iconic Malaysian Dish!
13. The Owl Shop – Specialized Handicrafts
Set up by an owl-obsessed duo, the quaint shop close to the main entrance of Khoo Kongsi sells everything with owls on it!
There are wooden sculptures and ceramic or metal works of owls! Even some made of shells!
Things You Can Buy Here:
- Key chains
- Home décor
- Coin purses
Read more: 15 Best Hotels In Penang For An Unforgettable Stay (From Budget To Luxury)
Getting To Souvenir Shops In Penang
Some places like the Batik Painting Factory in Teluk Bahang aren’t as accessible.
You can incorporate a visit to any of these places into a fully customized itinerary with private tour service, RayTheTour!
- Pick up and drop off anywhere in Penang during the tour
- Long hours from 9am to 6-7pm
- No limit to the number of places
- MPV or van transport
- Local guides who speak English or Chinese
- We have tours to Cameron Highlands, Ipoh and Taiping too!
- 4 Best Ways For Getting Around Penang (With All Penang Transport Options)
- How To Get From Penang Airport To Georgetown (4 Easy Ways)
- How To Get To Penang Island From Kuala Lumpur (KL)
Hunting for Penang souvenirs can be a fun process! Be sure to leave some time in your Penang trip itinerary to do so to avoid rushing yourself!
Take some tasty snacks back home. Or other Malaysian souvenirs like photo prints, vintage pieces, or local handicrafts including exquisite batik products!
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