Penang is one of Malaysia’s top destinations after Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city. There are quite a few cities in Asia that are world renowned for their street food, Georgetown in Penang is one of them. But imagine combining world class food with beaches and heritage, there’s no place in the world like Penang.
Envision a mind-blowing fusion between three delicious cuisines: Malaysian, Chinese and Indian. The hawker street food scene competes with the likes of Singapore and Bangkok. Best of all, it’s so cheap. The street food on average ranges from about £1-£2.
Don’t be impatient with the queues in Penang, they move extremely quickly and trust me the queues turned out to be a good sign every single time!
Here are my top Penang food recommendations.
Fried oyster omelette ‘Oh Chien’ at Song River on Gurney Drive.
Song River is located on the outskirts of Georgetown but is definitely worth the mission. I would have never imagined that a mix of oysters and omelette would taste this good. The omelette was gooey, juicy and crispy all at the same time. The flavour was perfect and even better when matched with sweet chilli sauce.
No. 65, Persiaran Gurney, George Town, Pulau Pinang, 10250, Malaysia
Chendul at Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul (yes that’s the actual name).
Every time I hear the word Chendul I get happy reminiscing about this little hawker stall right in the heart of Georgetown. Chendul is a sweet dessert with palm flour noodles served in sweet coconut milk, crushed ice, sugar and kidney beans. It may sound like a strange combination but believe me it’s fantastic.
Jalan Penang, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Asam Laksa at Joo Hooi Cafe.
Right next door to the famous chendul stall on Penang Road, there’s also a nice little indoor food hub that serves up a lot of classics including a good Asam Laksa. This mackerel laksa is so fresh with a combination of sweet, spicy and sour flavours. The broth isn’t too thick which is exactly how I prefer it.
475, Jalan Penang, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Hokkien Mee at 888.
888 is said to be one of the best Hokkies Mee noodles in Penang. These combined yellow and rice noodles with prawn are served in a thick, fishy and flavoursome broth. The prawn paste is quite strong and the soup is pretty spicy. You have the option to add pork, chilli paste and egg to the mix as well based on your preference!
10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Ali Nasi Lemak
Nasi lemak is a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in delicious coconut milk and pandan leaf. It’s normally served with fried anchovies, sliced cucumbers, fried fish and a sweet chili sauce. The nasi lemak at Ali is definitely one of the most popular choices in Penang.
Sri Weld Food Court, Beach St, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Nasi Kandar at Deen’s Maju
The dish Nasi Kandar actually originates from Penang. Nasi Kandar is steamed rice served with a variety of Indian curries and side dishes. At Deen’s Maju customers are spoiled for choice! There are endless amounts of quality curries to pick from. Definitely make sure you try the Teh Tarik as well. The place is affordable and easy to find.
170, Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Siam Road Charcoal Char Koay Teow
This famous Char Koay Teow was ranked number 14 in the Top 50 World Street Food Masters Awards in 2017! Be prepared to wait around to get your hands on this tasty dish.
This smokey Koay Teow consist of flat rice noodles, prawns, pork, Chinese sausage slices, bean sprouts, chives and cockles, stir fried in soy sauce and chilli paste.
No. 82, Siam Road, George Town Penang
Have I missed any amazing street food in Penang? Please share your thoughts below!
WHAT TO DO IN PENANG (apart from eating of course)
GEORGETOWN STREET ART TOUR
Georgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 2008) and is Penang’s most popular destination. Georgetown is filled with incredible and interactive street art, amazing street food and cafes. Every street is filled with rich history and buildings with so much character. Armenian street is one of the most popular streets in Georgetown for street art and shops.
Here are a few of my favourite street art that I found.
Kids on a Bicycle (Armenian Street)
I Want Pau at Ming Xiang Tai Pastry Shop (Armenian Street)
Boy On Chair (Lebuh Cannon)
Check out a full guide with a useful map HERE.
VISIT CLAN JETTY
Clan Jetty is a beautiful and traditional floating village filled with rustic houses on stilts. The small village is characterised by old Chinese traditions and habits, also including its very own temple. Tourists are welcome to walk around the communal areas of the village and immerse themselves in the culture of those who live there. The atmosphere of Clan Jetty is bustling with so much history.
Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Penang Hill is set 821m above Penang’s capital. The funicular train ride up to Penang Hill is very scenic. I recommend going up the hill around 4pm just in time to catch golden hour and watch the city lights turn on.
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STAY BY THE BEACH – DOUBLE TREE RESORT BY HILTON
As mentioned at the beginning of the blog post, Penang is also known for it’s beaches so why not get the best of both worlds. Whilst we did spend a lot of time exploring Georgetown we also decided to stay at Double Tree by Hilton for a couple of nights to enjoy the more quiet Northern part of the island. The hotel is located 45 minutes from Penang International Airport. Note that the location is quite remove (which is what we wanted at the time) they do however offer free shuttles to both Batu Ferringhi and George Town.
The entire hotel had a clean, fresh and well maintained feel to it, including the rooms. The hotel is located right just a small bridge walk away from the beach but also offers a lovely swimming pool with plenty of sunbeds.
Double Tree by Hilton Penang is home to Malaysia’s first teddy bear-themed museum, TeddyVille. You’ll notice the signature teddy as soon as you walk into the hotel!
The buffet breakfast was so generous and included a lot of local options which I loved (they even have a dedicated Teh Tarik section). We really enjoyed our visit and the staff were very helpful throughout our stay.
56, Jalan Low Yat, Puncak Ria, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
A big shoutout to TranVfood and Guan at The Boy Who Ate The World for all the food recommendations. Thank you also to the Tourism Board of Penang who gave us a lovely half day tour and helped us hunt down the best spots to see in Georgetown.