Penang – the Mecca of Street Food

curry mee, street food penang

Saint George in Penang is well known for its street food and street art. I wasn’t convinced that I should go all the way up there just to check whether it was true or not. I’m happy I did! It’s about 5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, but the bus is direct, comfortable and it’s totally worth it!

I am a big foodie, I judge the countries I visit by the food and the people. I need to say that food-wise Malaysia stole my heart. It’s a fantastic mix of Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, and Indian food and it’s all absolutely delicious!

First, I recommend going to the Tourist Information Center to get maps. Especially the food map and street art map. All the places are pinned on the map and there is a lot of information about the history of the city on the back. The city also organizes a free walking tour twice a week. As always, I recommend participating in order to learn about the city and the people.

Night Markets

They are everywhere! I especially recommend the one in Chulia street, in front of the Olive Spring Hostel. I discovered it only because it was just in front of my Hostel! And it was sooo good. I tried all the dishes offered within the 3 days I spent there, because everything was just delicious. Penang street food is not famous in Malaysia for nothing.

It’s a typical street food market. Cooks arrive with their food carts around 5 p.m. and leave around 11 p.m. Everyone eats on the street, and there are so many people that it might be difficult finding an empty seat.

I’m not going to describe all the delicacies you can find there, I think that misstamchiak does it very well. My absolute favorites were Wantan Mee and Char Kway Teow that I would also eat for breakfast. It’s a Malaysian version of Pad Thai and it’s divine!

For desert opt for Muah Chee – a sort of rice dough with peanuts. Mmm…

Wanton Mee, Popiah and Springrolls
Muah Chee, Chulia Street Night Market

Kimberley street night market

Kimberley street lies in the Chinese district, so we will find here a larger range of dishes. Duck, Wantons, but also Mee Goreng and soya cheese for desert. Everything is super fresh, at least it looks that way. To me, it was a bit less clean than the one in Chulia street but still very tasty.

Try the famous Kimberley street duck. There is a long line in front of the stand. You can’t miss it.

Wanton Soup on Kimberley Street

Breakfast

People in Saint George love their street food. Therefore you can also have a street food-style breakfast. There are several hawker markets where the cooks arrive in the morning (the same way that they do for the night market) to serve their freshly cooked meals. My favorite was Ho Ping Cafe with delicious Char Kway Teow for 1 euro and coffee that would make my eyes pop.

char kway teow, penang street food
Char Kway Teow

If you are a fan of sweet breakfast, try Chendol on Penang Road. It’s green rice noodles with sweet milk, sugar, fruit, and other sweet stuff. It’s also around 1 euro, like most of the dishes on the streets and it’s definitely worth trying.

penang street food, chendol
Chandol, Penang Road

Indian quarter

The Indian quarter in the center of the Old Town is amazing. All those colors, spices, people gathered. It’s like you were transported to another city. The food here is supposed to be delicious. I wasn’t lucky, but I met some people (very nice Dutch couple) that were eating there every day, because they got recommendations from a friend. So it might be worth trying ๐Ÿ™‚

Penang street food offer is so rich, that everyone will find something for themselves!

Indian Quarter, Saint George, Penang

Drinks

There is only one place where you can have some fun in the city center and it’s Love In street. It’s lined up with bars and western restaurants. You won’t find any locals here (they don’t drink), only tourists. It’s not big, but I had a lot of fun there! It’s a very good place to meet people, as everyone gathers here after dark.

Address: Love in street, Saint George, Penang Map


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George Town, Penang – the story told through street art

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