• Mario Ng

Penang Food Guide - Where and what to eat in Penang

Penang is known as Malaysia’s food capital, and some locals might add this extends to the entire Southeast Asia region!


While we are not sure if the above statement is true, we definitely agree that Penang is a food paradise! Although the time we spent in Penang was short and we were not able to try everything, we enjoyed the food we had at most of the eateries and restaurants we went to! For sure, we will be back in Penang again and we hope to add to this list of where and what to eat in Penang!


Check out our food guide below to see what you can eat the next time you head to Penang!

For your convenience, refer to this list of places you should head to for a meal while in Penang!

1. Air Itam Famous Bean Sprout Chicken

2. Black Kettle

3. Cecil Street Market

4. New Lane Street Food Stalls

5. Indigo Restaurant @ Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

6. Penang Road Famous Chendol-Ais Kachang

7. Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul

1. Air Itam Famous Bean Sprout Chicken

Here in Penang, it is really a food paradise and there are just so many types of food to try. One of them must be the humble chicken rice. A staple food for many locals, tourists like to find a good plate of chicken rice whenever they are in Malaysia. Even in Malaysia though, there are different types of chicken rice on offer. Think of Malacca’s chicken rice balls and you get the idea.


At Air Itam Famous Bean Sprout Chicken, it is simply a plate of good old chicken rice. It tastes authentic, and you feel this is the type of food locals generally eat routinely. This is probably a testament to this stall’s chicken rice since it can give customers the taste of home-cooked food.

An entire table of goodness
An entire table of goodness

As its name suggests, they also serve bean sprouts. A type of vegetable, it has its haters. You really either love it or hate it. Some detest bean sprouts, but I have no trouble eating them. It was cooked well, and it went well with the chicken rice. The chicken was fleshly and sinful. In an Asian context, this is good. With an oily and fat chicken, you know you are in for a treat. This is what makes chicken rice so good. Throw in a delicious bowl of fishball soup and you are sorted. This was the experience I had when I was at Air Itam Famous Bean Sprout Chicken. If you need a chicken rice fix when you are in Penang, you know where to get it!

The controversial plate of vegetable: bean sprouts
The controversial plate of vegetable: bean sprouts

Address: 66 & 68, Lebuh Kimberley, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Opening hours: 11 am to 3 pm; 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm (Fridays to Wednesdays); Closed on Thursdays

Website: https://www.facebook.com/taogehkeh/

2. Black Kettle

A brunch place and cafe that is popular with locals, Black Kettle serves some great coffee and proper lunch/dinner items. For their lunch items, they serve a mean pasta and their steak is good too. I especially enjoyed the potato wedges, which was cooked perfectly. Not too hard and not too soft, it was just right. Dad some tomato ketchup on it and you know it was a good one. Their soups were also enjoyable, with the French Onion soup the highlight of the meal for me. Of course, they also serve the crowd favourite mushroom soup.

Halibut with potato wedges
Halibut with potato wedges

If you just completed lunch and are looking for more of a cafe to chill at, Black Kettle is definitely the place to go. Black Kettle actually takes their coffee very seriously, and I would like to think that this place is a cafe first, restaurant second. They have some delightful cakes and pastries, with the croissant looking really good. They also sell fresh English muffins to go, which is quite rare in Southeast Asia. Cakes-wise, you cannot go wrong with Black Kettle. They have so many options that you are bound to enjoy at least one. While I was there, I had the flourless orange cake and chocolate brownie with ice cream. I am happy to say I enjoyed both. Be sure to try their iced latte as well, where you get to pour your own espresso shots into the glass of milk. This might sound a little gimmicky, but it was actually quite fun, especially for those looking for Instagram-worthy shots! I know I had fun doing that!

Black Kettle's desserts are simply delicious
Black Kettle's desserts are simply delicious

If you find yourself tired after a short day of walking, or simply want to rest and relax after an hour in the hot sun, make sure you head down to Black Kettle for a rest! You will not regret it!


Address: 105, Beach St, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang

Opening hours: 9 am to 11.30 pm (Sundays to Thursdays); 9 am to 12 pm (Fridays, Saturdays, and public holidays)

Website (includes menu):

http://www.blackkettle.com.my/?fbclid=IwAR2hvPxh1VtMSJTRrxuK0AicCReipWDAmdnDIgynCkXhqe1UAv31O1qfx-A

3. Cecil Street Market

Also a wet market where locals buy their raw meat and vegetables from, Cecil Street Market is a hawker centre that sells local food at really affordable prices. Predominantly targeted at the locals, this is one main reason why the food prices have remained affordable. Over here, expect a no-frills style of eating, as you roam from stall to stall to order your dish. Some stalls will bring the food to you, while the rest request you to take your food from the stall once they have done cooking.

Stalls selling local delights at Cecil Street Market
Stalls selling local delights at Cecil Street Market

Some of the recommended stalls are the wanton noodles, which was really delicious and cheap, as well as the stall that sells fresh Nyonya kuehs. I enjoy Nyonya food a lot and it was nice to find a local stall selling these delicacies in a hawker centre. If you are into pig’s blood, know that there is a stall selling duck noodles, which adds the solidified blood into the noodles. An acquired taste, one which I have not acquired!


If you want to eat like a local and experience breakfast like a local, be sure to head over to Cecil Street Market the next time you are in Penang!

A huge plate of wanton noodles that tasted delicious
A huge plate of wanton noodles that tasted delicious

Address: 40-48, Lebuh Cecil, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Opening hours: 7.30 am to 7 pm (cooked food stalls may close much earlier than published times)

4. Indigo Restaurant @ Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Located within the grounds of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Indigo Restaurant is a fine-dining restaurant that serves fantastic Western food.


With an ala-carte menu as opposed to a standard three-course meal, this means you and your family can get to share the starters, mains, and desserts. This is quite the Asian style of eating, where families and friends enjoy sharing food. This is also great since most people may think of how stifling a fine-dining restaurant might be, and Indigo Restaurant really just wants you to have a great time dining.

How Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion looks at night
How Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion looks at night

Because of the ability to share food without being judged, we enjoyed sharing the Cold Laksa, Foie Gras, and fresh prawns starters. Although each portion was meant for one, the sharing meant we were able to enjoy tasting the different foods, and that was fun.

Three plates of starters to share with the family
Three plates of starters to share with the family

For mains, we had the Wagyu steak and Halibut. Both were just fantastic. The steak was fine, while the mashed potato was so rich and creamy, it could be a dish on its own. The halibut was also cooked perfectly, and the risotto went well with the fish.


In all the dishes, they were plated perfectly, and we liked how the restaurant spent the effort to plate them properly. Unfortunately, we did not have any more room for desserts, which was a pity. We enjoyed the fine-dining experience in Penang, and certainly in such a unique and historical place like Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion!

Wagyu beef steak for the main course
Wagyu beef steak for the main course

Address: 14, Leith St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Opening hours: 12pm to 2.30pm; 6.30pm to 10pm (daily)

Website (includes menu):

https://www.cheongfatttzemansion.com/restaurants/indigo-at-the-blue-mansion/

5. New Lane Street Food Stalls

Located just off Jalan Macalister, the New Lane Street Food stalls are set up each night on the road of Lorong Baru itself and serves local delights. Come each evening, many locals and tourists can be seen queuing up at the various stalls to buy their favourite food. Think oyster omelette, satays, barbequed stingray, barbequed chicken wings, and char kway teow. These are food that many Malaysians and Singaporeans love, and indeed, many tourists whenever they set foot in these two countries.

New Lane Street Foodstalls
New Lane Street Foodstalls

The food is fantastic and in some cases, you can get a taste of Penang’s own version of certain food. The atmosphere is also great, as the city slowly lights up as the sun sets, and you see the bright lights from the stalls flood your eyes. The constant cooking and intense smells of the different food being cooked adds to the experience as well. Make sure you enjoy a bowl of dessert too, as the dessert stall makes some great local desserts. You will be pleased to know that it sells both hot and cold options, so you can cool down after a long day of exploring!

In the process of serving up a plate of oyster omelette
In the process of serving up a plate of oyster omelette

Address: Lorong Baru, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Opening hours: 4 pm to 11 pm (Thursdays to Tuesdays); closed on Wednesdays

6. Penang Road Famous Chendol-Ais Kachang

While in Penang, one must surely have a bowl of a sweet dessert known as the chendol, or chendul to some. Right at Penang Road Famous Chendol-Ais Kachang, the stall sells only 2 items: chendol and ais kachang. Both are sweet treats that will brighten your day. It might look deceptively simple, as I thought to myself when I bought it, but I was so wrong. In that bowl of chendol, it contained nothing but sweet goodness. I originally ordered just one bowl to share with my partner but found myself ordering another afterwards because it was simply not meant for sharing! And I added one more bowl to go, please. Besides containing a huge amount of ingredients, the chendol tasted so good that I found myself finishing it in no time.

Penang Road Famous Chendol-Ais Kachang
Penang Road Famous Chendol-Ais Kachang

If you fancy, you can drop by the stall literally opposite this, and have a taste test! Located in the same alley, both stalls serve the humble chendol and each has its own fans. For me, I actually prefer this stall. But that’s just me!

A simple bowl of possibly the best chendol in Penang
A simple bowl of possibly the best chendol in Penang

Address: 25, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Opening hours: 11 am to 6 pm daily

7. Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul

Located in the same alley as the Penang Road Famous Chendol-Ais Kachang, this stall seems to be larger, with its own shophouse. Not just serving chendol, the shop also sells other Penang delicacies, from the Penang laksa to ngoh hiang. If you are hungry, this makes for a good place to rest and recharge.

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul has its fair share of fans
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul has its fair share of fans

Based on the queues, you can see that this is one popular chendol stall, perhaps helped by the large street art right above it. It is also one of the more Instagram-friendly places in Penang to have a picture taken of while having a bowl of dessert!

Enjoy some local delights together with your bowl of chendol
Enjoy some local delights together with your bowl of chendol

I enjoyed the chendol, as it was served with just the right amount of ingredients, and blended well with the other food items we ordered. I have to admit though, that having tried both stalls in the same alley, I prefer the Penang Road Famous Chendol-Ais Kachang one. You try both and determine for yourself!

Ngoh Hiang is served at Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
Ngoh Hiang is served at Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul

Address: 42, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Opening hours: 10.30 am to 7 pm (Mondays to Fridays); 10 am to 7.30 pm (Saturdays and Sundays)

Google Maps: List of attractions and food places in Penang!

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