Where To Eat In Penang? Here Are 10 Delicious Restaurants In George Town

Restaurant hopping in Penang is a foodie’s ultimate dream.

Before arriving in Penang, I had been warned. That this city was made for foodies. Especially for a Taiwanese who isn’t picky about food in general, Penang’s culinary culture is a sheer paradise. As if an appetizing blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian influences isn’t enough; Peranakan cuisine takes the cake on this savory island.

Peranakan, or Nyonya cuisine stems from early Chinese immigrants that were married into Malay families. The name derives from the combination of a Peranakan female which is traditionally called nyona while a Peranakan male is customarily referred to as baba. If you love a good kick or a massive punch with dominant flavors, then Penang should be on your list to eat your heart out.

BaBa Phang

17, Jalan Sri Bahari, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

When in Penang, Peranakan cuisine it is! Also coined as Nyonya cuisine, it’s the amalgam of Chinese, Malay, Javanese, South Indian as the result of inter-marriages between Chinese immigrants into Malay families. The flavors are powerful, sweet, sour, spicy, and fragrantly savory. Baba Phang is the perfect example of the Nyonya way of cooking, try the signature Tau Ewe Bak 黑醬油豬肉 (black soy sauce pork,) Kerabu Kacang Botol 涼拌酸辣四角豆 (sour and spice cold beans.) Pair these robust flavors with classic Nyonya blue rice (nasi kerabu,) its gorgeous color comes from butterfly pea flowers petals used as natural food coloring.

Baba Phang George Town.
Kerabu Kacang Botol (Sour and Spicy Beans Cold Salad.) PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Blue rice at Baba Phang.
Blue rice at Baba Phang. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Tau Ewe Bak.
Tau Ewe Bak (Black Soy Sauce Pork.) PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Laksalicious

117A, Jalan Hutton, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

How can one arrive in Malaysia and not devour a tasty bowl of laksa! For the best of this spicy noodle dish, head on over to Laksalicious where owner Christine Ooi mixes a wide variety of spices and seasonings like: shrimp paste, lime and garlic to create a unique laksa blend that is mighty and aromatic at the same time.

Pair your laksa of choice with laksa tea – a specialty at Laksalicious, so refreshing on a hot day! For dessert, order a bowl of cendol which is green rice flour jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup with ice.

Laksa.
Laksa. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Laksa tea.
Laksa tea. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Cendol at Laksalicious.
Cendol at Laksalicious. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Laksalicious.
Laksalicious. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Cendol.
Cendol. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery

1, Bishop St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

The most important note to make about Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery is: make a reservation ahead of time! Without it, there’s no way to grab a table on the spot. The famous restaurant has recently gained popularity by topping the Michelin list. Chef Beh Gaik Lean has mastered 60 Peranakan recipes for so long that each dish is guaranteed with premium and local tastes. Make sure to order her Nyonyan specialties: pie tee, nasi ulam, and gulai tumis which utilizes an authentic curry paste as the product of eight ingredients.

China House

153, Beach St, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

One of the most trendy and artistic hangout spots in Penang has to be China House, where a plethora of delightful cakes are waiting to be admired and demolished. On the menu, there’s a lovely option of freshly blended juices that are perfect for the island’s humid temperature. China House is a café also serving as library and a concept store presenting various art pieces made by local artists, head upstairs for an art gallery as well as a souvenir shop.

China House.
China House. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Mews Cafe

77, Muntri St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Penang residents will say that Mews Café is frequently referred to as: a safe version of local cuisine. Meaning, its menu combines both local favorites with international dishes. With Art Deco interior, retro design and a charming outdoor terrace seating, this is a cozy place which happens to serve beers and lattes all day.

Mews Cafe
FACEBOOK Mews Cafe

Lagenda House & Cafe

2, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

For the best Malay-Indonesian food; check out Lagenda House Cafe where shrimp paste, coconut milk, local spices and herbs are generously utilized in most meat and seafood dishes. Spicy, fragrant, strong flavors create an unforgettable meal here. Located inside one of George Town’s old shops, Lagenda House Cafe is cozy with high ceiling and a large space.

Cafe Lagenda
FACEBOOK Cafe Lagenda

Teksen Restaurant

18, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

One of the busiest eateries in Penang is Teksen Restaurant where traditional Cantonese food is served without any ounce of pretense. Since 1965, Teksen has been satiating locals with deep-fried homemade tofu topped with egg white, prawns and dried scallops. Don’t miss the stir-fried kang kung with sambal sauce and prawns. If you’re a fan of pork belly, definitely order the home recipe double roasted pork.

Jawi House Cafe Gallery

85, Lbh Armenian, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

For a fusion of Indian-Muslim and Peranakan dishes, Jawi House Cafe Gallery does a beautiful job. Enjoy lush choices of biriyani, papadom (crunchy Indian dough,) barley broth, and jawi laksa lemak which is Malaysian curry laksa. Dr. Wazir Jahan Karim wanted to preserve her family’s story by creating a cookbook, “Feasts of Penang: Muslim Culinary Heritage.” Her restaurant itself is situated in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with traditional interior décor, full of green plants that accentuate a welcoming allure.

Pasar Lebuh Cecil (Cecil Market)

24, Lebuh Cecil, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

One of the biggest food courts in Penang has to be Pasar Lebuh Cecil (Cecil Market,) where you need to hit up for breakfast or tea time. Upon arrival, you’ll see two sections of the market: one side sells everyday items, while the other highlights some of the best dishes in Penang, especially the Duck Meat Koay Teow Th’ng which has captivated worldwide foodies. For the last 30 years, these steamy bowl of flat rice noodle soup topped with shredded duck, fish ball, fish cakes, chicken, and crispy pork lard have kept even more customers coming.

Another stall to stop by is Yau Char Kwai & Ham Chim Peng, which are fried dough sticks typically eaten in the morning. Dip them in either coffee or warm soy milk.

Cecile Market Penang
INSTAGRAM @nicw80

Nazlina Spice Station

30, Lebuhraya Rose, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Want to take a cooking class? Then, Nazlina Spice Station is your jam. The course starts at Campbell Street Market to shop for local produce, as it leads to Nazlina’s kitchen on Lebuh Campbell afterwards. You’ll learn how to make roti canai (Indian flat bread,) dhal curry or a rich bowl of assam laksa.

With Nazlina, you’ll be in good hands as she’s certified with the Ministry of Tourism.

Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!