Coming up with this Top 10 Penang Food list was difficult, because I liked most of the food I tried. Not everyone has a stomach like mine, and not everyone has the luxury of time (you will need at least 1 week) to indulge in ALL that Penang has to offer. If you’re blessed with a bottomless pit, click here. Otherwise, check out the list below.
Roti Canai Transfer Road
Some people swear by this roti canai while others swear at the stall’s poor hygiene. I didn’t think much about the roti canai and the place could be cleaner, but the curries!! My oh my, they pack a wallop of flavour.
The curries are thick, richly spiced and aromatic. I also love how the meats are cooked till tender, especially the beef. Do order all three curries – chicken, beef and mutton – for comparison. And also because combining the three gravies makes the overall flavour so much better!
- Read my blog post on Transfer Road Roti Canai here.
Transfer Road Roti Canai
56 Jalan Transfer,
Georgetown, 10050 Penang
Business Hour : 6.30am to 1pm, 3.30pm to 7pm
GPS Coordinates: N 5 25.293 E 100 19.857
Air Itam Asam Laksa
This is still the best tasting Asam Laksa in Penang. The soup is thick, flavourful and spicy, with a good texture from the shredded fish. I love how the pungent-sweet shrimp paste adds “oomph” to the asam laksa. The best way to have it is with less noodles, extra vegetables. My regular order is two bowls and that will make me sweat buckets.
- Read my blog post on Air Itam Asam Laksa here.
Air Itam Asam Laksa
Air Itam Market Pasar Road
(Beside the Air Itam Market)
11500 Air Itam Penang.
GPS Coordinates: N 5 24.072E 100 16.673
Hameed Pata Mee Goreng
So far, Hameed Pata Mee Goreng is the best Mee Goreng I’ve tried in Penang. The noodles are cooked with red sauce and spicy sotong. The sotong is tasty from the savoury-sweet gravy and if you can’t take spicy, it’s best to have a cold drink on standby.
- Read my blog post on Hameed Pata Mee Goreng here.
Hameed Pata Mee Goreng
Padang Kota Lama Food Court
(next to Fort Cornwallis)
Jalan Padang Kota Lama
Close on Sunday
GPS Coordinates: N 5 25.200 E 100 20.539
Ais Tingkap is a rose coloured drink containing coconut flesh and basil seeds (biji selasih). Preparation involves a number of steps: The guy fills the glass with shaved ice, sugar syrup, getah anggur, rose essence and basil seeds. Then he sprays a mixture of Indian herbs, adds coconut water, coconut flesh and tops the glass with more shaved ice.The end result is a very refreshing and aromatic thirst quencher with a bit of texture from the basil seed and coconut flesh.
- Read my blog post on Ais Tingkap here.
Ais Tingkap (Window Sherbet)
Lebuh Tamil, Penang
Beside Chowrasta Market
Business hours: 12noon to 8pm
(Closed on Sundays)
GPS Coordinates: N 5 25.075 E 100 19.884
Penang Road Teochew Cendol
Hands down the most popular cendol place in Penang, there is a perpetual queue for this sweet fix. But you don’t have to wait long for your cendol. Alternatively, you can order your cendol from Joo Hooi Café and pay an extra RM0.30, or walk 200 metres down the road to a cosy café where you can have your cendol fix without paying extra.
The pandan jelly noodles are firm and the coconut milk used is fresh and aromatic. The palm sugar used has thick texture and a smoky aroma, giving the cendol a fuller flavour.
- Read my blog post on Penang Road Teochew Cendol here.
Penang Road Teochew Cendol
Lebuh Keng Kwee
Off Penang Road
Business hours : 11am to 7pm
GPS Coordinates : N 5 25.030 E 100 19.835
Ah Leng Char Kuay Teow
Currently my favourite char kuay teow place in Penang, Ah Leng makes a mean plate of this Penang delight. You can opt to have a normal plate of char kuay teow for RM6, or the special char kuay teow which comes with mantis prawns for RM10. A special plate comes with 4-5 large prawns and a few pieces of mantis prawns. The kuay teow boasts a good dose of wok hei, and the duck egg and mantis prawn impart a rich, creamy flavour to the noodles.
- Read my blog post on Ah Leng Char Kuay Teow here.
Ah Leng Char Kuay Teow (night)
Lorong Zoo 6,
11500 Air Itam,
GPS Coordinates : N 5 24.163 E 100 17.053
Ma Keok from Te Chang You Tiao Wang
Te Chang You Tiao Wang is known for its fried cruller, but I like the ma keok (black and white sesame twins) better. This crunchy treat has a bread-like consistency at the centre, and is mildly sweet. Priced at RM2 for three pieces, I find it pretty good value for money.
- Read my blog post on Te Chang You Tiao Wang here.
Te Chang You Tiao Wang Enterprise
1250-A, Jalan Paya Terubong,
11060 Penang, Malaysia.
016-433 7301 (Mr. TH Tan)
1.00 pm – 8.30 pm (Closed Alternate Tuesday)
GPS Coordinates: N 5 23.657 E 100 16.587
Oh Chien and Pei Pa Duck, Kedai Kopi Bee San
The Oh Chien at Bee San in Air Itam is by far the best I’ve eaten in Penang. I know many Penangites like the oh chien at Seng Thor, but this one is my personal favourite. The egg batter is cooked withlarge oysters and chopped spring onions, and boasts a crisp exterior and soft centre.
Also good is the Pei Pa Duck which runs out by 7 or 8pm. The duck is deep fried before being served, so the skin is extra crispy. Eat it with the accompanying sauce – savoury and sweet with a hint of peanut, shallots and garlic.
- Read my blog post on Kedai Kopi Bee San here.
Kedai Kopi Bee San
584, Jalan Air Itam,
6pm-12pm (closed Mondays)
N 5 24.279 E 100 17.328
Hock Chuan Heong, Pengkalan Weld
My friend Tommy recommended this place to me a few years back. Get there before the lunch crowd kicks in, or you might have to wait for more than 30 minutes for your food. The oh mee (oyster noodles) is the highlight here – the gravy is sweet from the oysters and noodles have wok hei.
This is also a place where you can find Bak Kee soup, comprising fried pork slices and broth, flavoured with vegetables. The Oh Chien is quite decent, but order this when you’re dining in a larger group.
- Read my blog post on Hock Chuan Heong here.
Hock Chuan Heong
344-G-5 Pengkalan Weld
Tel : 04 2611004
Business Hours : 12pm – 6.00pm
Closed on Sunday
GPS Coordinates : N05 2420.1 E100 1952.5
Kedai Kopi Kwai Lock (now known as Restoran 77 Food Yard)
My regular breakfast place in Penang, I like eating the Ark Thooi Mee Suah (duck mee suah) here. A bowl comes with a whole duck leg and noodles in double boiled herbal soup. What I love about this mee suah is its texture – firm and smooth – and the strong herbal flavour of the soup complements it well.
You can also try the Penang curry mee and chee cheong fun here, although, the one from Air Itam and Macalister Road is still tastier. But for overall convenience and variety, I’d still pick this place for breakfast.
- Read my blog post on Kedai Kopi Kwai Lock here.
Kedai Kopi Kwai Lock (now Restoran 77 Food Yard)
295B, Jalan Burmah, Penang (opposite Pulau Tikus police station).
GPS Coordinates: N 5 25.821 E 100 18.763
And that wraps up my Top 10 Food to Eat in Penang list. Again, this list is made with consideration of those who are pressed for time and stomach space in Penang and based on my personal taste. If you discover other good places, do share them with me so I can visit those places when I make my way up north soon!
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reading this makes me wish i were a USM student back in penang all over again. and 15 years younger so that i could enjoy all this great food without cholesterol and waistline worries, heheh :D
Hahaha! Bring a few people with you, and you’ll be fine. ;)
Looking at all this makes me so hungry!
Get Charlie to take you go eat! :D
I have some foods and places to check out next time I’m in Penang. I’ve only had the angry aunty Char Kway teow, so must try Ah Leng. So many yummy things in your post to try!
Going to Penang tomorrow! Will let u know if I try any of the above! Am definitely going to Kwai Lock for the chee cheong fun, curry mee & sar hor fun. There is also a famous ban chan koay outside the coffeeshop that u have to try! Thanks for sharing your list.
No prob! Enjoy Penang! :D
Was back last fri from 4 crazy days of eating at Penang/Ipoh. I tried Ais Tingkap and it’s amazing. I definitely would have missed this stall since it’s hidden behind a row of stalls. BTW, Ah Leng Char Koay Teow operates in the daytime @ Kafe Khoon Hiang [358 Jalan Dato Keramat, 8.30am-2pm (closed on thur)]. Unfortunately i didn’t manage to try Ah Leng, had to settle for the Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow which tastes just as good as the first time i ate it 4yrs ago. For you tiao, I saw that u had reviewed this stall @ Lebuh Cintra. To me, this is the best you tiao i’ve ever tasted in my life (nothing in singapore or HK comes close). I would like to recommend this Nonya food restaurant called Mama’s [31-D Lorong Abu Siti, closed on mon], food was fantastic and it tasted authentic. Lastly, I would suggest u come over to singapore to eat! Hawkers are a dying breed here (same as Penang), the children of the hawkers do not want to takeover them. Drop me a mail if u do intend to come, and i will be happy to recommend you food that u definitely have to eat! :o)
Thanks for the comment Jeremy. Good to know you enjoyed yourself in Penang. You will need to come back to Penang for Ah Leng at night. The afternoon stall is manned by Ah Leng’s children but the old man’s CKT is still a bit nicer. :)
Sure! Will let you know if I head to Singapore again. Not sure when as I’ve been swamped with work.
Thanks for the tip! Will def head to Ah Leng @ Air Itam next time. I intend to go back to Penang v soon for my next food trip and hopefully squeeze in Ipoh. When i was in Ipoh, Thean Chun (which u had reviewed was closed), it’s competitor next door was also closed (found out from the coffee shop assistant that the boss just had an operation and wasn’t sure when he wil be back!). So i wasn’t able to try the best hor fun in ipoh. P.S: Am hoping u do a top 10 food list for Ipoh.
Glad this helped. :)
Penang here I come. Thank you for the information.
Air Itam assam laksa – his daughter opened a stall at Asia Cafe, Subang. Stall opens at 3 pm on weekdays, 1 pm on weekends. Easy to recognise the stall, his picture is on the banners.
Hi Bangsar Babe,
I’m planning for a trip to Penang with a group of 5 and I would like to visit some of the places that you’ve mentioned like Sin Hwa, De Tai Tong, Air Itam Assam Laksa, Cendol (will visit this with Lorong Selamat Char Kueh Teow) , Ah Leng Char Kueh Teow and Bee San. Can you tell me which of these places are close to each other so that I can plan my trip better? I’ll be staying in Tanjung Bungah. My email is [email protected]. Your help is greatly appreciated! Can’t wait to taste all these good food!
I recently went to Penang (about 2 weeks ago) to look for the oh chien at Kedai Kopi Bee San.. :( Unfortunately the oh chien store is no longer there, apparently it has closed down for quite some time (according to the hawker that sells the pei pa duck). Anyway, my friends and I tried the duck. It was awesome! Thanks for the recommendation ; )
The Oh Chien looks so yummy.. I called it “Oh Luak” in tio ciu language (my family language).. I think i should try when i visit Penang.
Reading your blog makes me drool over all the food that you have posted. I am just wondering is the chinese food in Penang consider halal too?.
I know some of them are. My next trip to Penang will be mainly to discover halal Chinese food for my muslim readers. ;)
Thanks so much for this post, I have two days left before I fly back to Australia and was running out of places to eat, now I have a heap more to try! Cheers Babe :)
Glad I could be of help Ben. Enjoy Penang! :)
Me from penang and still in penang.Hehe..cant resist the food here…
miss penang’s foods… hvnt try chee chong fun yet, will try it next time… does anyone know where i can buy popiah at penang?
Thanks for all the info! Going to penang for two days.Cant wait to taste all the food there!!!
Glad you found the list useful. Enjoy Penang! :)
I’d love how you introduced the food with gps coordinate, that makes everything goes easier!
let me try out the food and update again. :D
anyway, the food looks really YUMMY!
Great site. Very helpful for trip to Penang soon. Thanks for sharing. Some look DELICIOUS… *yummy*
Just came back from Penang. Tried fish noodle soup at Wah Pin Coffee Shop near Nyonya Heritage Mansion, Church Street. It’s good and price reasonable. Had to wait for the food, as it was lunch period. The in-house coffee also good.