Top 10 Penang food to eat: Must try Penang food

Asam Laksa - Top 10 Penang food to eat

Before sharing Top 10 Penang food to eat

Penang especially Georgetown is one of the top destinations to travel in Malaysia for many reasons. But I personally think travelers come to Penang for two major reasons. The first reason is amazing street food in Penang and the second reason is to enjoy beautiful mural paintings all over Penang. But in this post, I will talk about amazing street food to eat in Penang. Everything looks so delicious while walking on the street. You might be overwhelmed by what to eat. I stayed in Penang for 5 weeks and I had a chance to try lots of famous Penang food. I will share top 10 Penang food to eat for a traveler who comes to visit Penang for the first time.

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1.Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow - Penang Chinese food - Top 10 Penang food to eat

I’ll start my Top 10 Penang food to eat with Char Kway Teow. Char Kway Teow is one of the most famous food in Penang and the hawker stall is always busy with tourists. Char Kway Teow is a stir-fried flat rice noodle dish with beansprout, eggs, prawns, and Chinese chives in soy sauce. It is really delicious but I can’t say Char Kway Teow is the healthiest Penang food to eat because it is usually stir-fried with Pork fat.  But Char Kway Teow is definitely something you shouldn’t miss out on Top 10 Penang food to eat list!

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2.Penang Asam Laksa

Asam Laksa - Top 10 Penang food to eat - Malaysian food

Penang Laksa is one of my favorite food on Top 10 Penang food to eat list. I like it so much because Penang Laksa’s broth is a bit similar to famous Korean food Kimchi soup which is spicy and salty. I guess Penang Laksa is not only famous in Asia but also in the world! Penang Laksa (Asam Laksa) got 7th place on the World’s best foods by CNN Go in 2011. It is a must-try noodle soup for whoever visits Penang!

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It’s a sour fish soup made with mackerel, tamarind, galangal, and lemongrass. It’s served with lettuce, sliced onions, pineapple pieces, and mint on the top. It’s a good mixture of sourness, saltiness, sweetness, and spiciness! I like it even though I’m not a huge fan of seafood. You can’t tell people you’ve been to Penang if you haven’t tried Penang Laksa! 😉

3.Wonton noodles(Wonton Mee)

Wonton is one of my favorite on Top 10 Penang food to eat. Wonton is a small dumpling filled with prawn (sometimes with minced pork). There are two different kinds of Wonton noodles. One is Wonton dry noodles in Oyster sauce and the other is Wonton soup with clear chicken broth. I like both of them. I recommend trying Wonton Mee(Dry Wonton Mee) with oyster sauce if you are not used to eating a soupy dish. 

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Wonton Mee(Dry Wonton noodles)

Wantan Mee- Top 10 Penang food to eat - Malaysian food

Wonton Mee is a dish of noodles in an oyster sauce served with sliced char siu, green vegetables, chopped chilies, and deep-fried wontons (small dumplings). Sometimes, a small bowl of Wonton soup is served with Wonton Mee. It’s so good and relatively a small dish, Wonton Mee will disappear after a few minutes!

  • Where to eat: It’s on Lebuh Chulia. Click here to see the location on the map.

Wonton soup

Wantan mee soup - Top 10 Penang food to eat - Malaysian food

Wonton Soup is literally a soup with cute small wontons. Koreans and Chinese like to eat hot soup even in Summer. We believe we fight heat with heat! After a hot bowl of Wonton soup, I’m ready to fight against heat again!

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4.Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese chicken rice - Penang Chinese food - Top 10 Penang food to eat - Malaysian food
Hainanese Chicken Rice looks really humble, right? Yes, it is. Hainanese Chicken Rice is just a simple dish with rice, chicken, a bowl of soup and sambal sauce. But it tastes fantastic!

Hainanese Chicken Rice is one of my favorite food in Malaysia. Hainanese Chicken Rice is originated from early Chinese settlers from Hainan province. Hainanese Chicken Rice is served with rice, steamed chicken with Chinese Chives or bean sprouts on the top, spicy sauce, and a warm bowl of chicken soup. It’s not too salty, not too spicy, and not too heavy at all. It’s such a simple and nice meal for RM 5.

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I loved to eat Hainanese Chicken Rice so much that I went to eat it almost every day to my favorite restaurant Pak Hock near my guesthouse. Penang in February is quite hot. When it’s hot, you really don’t feel like eating too much. That’s why Hainanese Chicken Rice is a perfect meal for a traveler like me in a hot city like Penang.

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5.Fried Oyster Omelette

Another delicious food you should try from Top 10 Penang food to eat list is Oyster Omelette. Oyster Omelette is a typical food to eat in Penang. Even though you are not a huge fan of oysters, this Penang Oyster Omelette is really delicious. Fresh oysters, chives, flour, and egg are the main ingredients of Penang Oyster Omelette. It is often served with Sambal sauce which you dip Oyster Omelette in it.  Oyster Omelette costs RM 10 for a small dish and here is a place I ate Oyster Omelette in Penang.

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Popiah is a kind of fresh vegetable spring roll. Beansprouts, lettuce, french beans are the usual ingredients but sometimes vendors put tofu and other ingredients. Ask what ingredient they put before you order. I really like Popiah because it’s such a light snack that you can eat any time of the day without worrying too much about gaining weight. Popiah is RM 3 and here is a place I ate Popiah. This place is like a small food street in Georgetown Penang and you can try different hawker food which is available after 6 pm. 

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7.Curry Mee

Curry Mee - noodles - Penang Chinese food - Top 10 Penang food to eat - Malaysian food

Penang Curry Mee is a curry noodle soup with coconut milk in it. It’s a bit sweet, salty, and spicy. It is served with fish cake, a prawn and mint leave on the top. I found it was quite delicious. I think you should try it! 🙂

  • Price: RM 5
  • Where to eat: There are many food stalls to try. Look for Penang Curry Mee on Lebuh Kimberly.

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8. Penang Hokkien Mee (Prawn Mee)

Penang Hokkien Mee - Prawn Mee - Penang Chinese food - Top 10 Penang food to eat - Malaysian food

As you see in the picture above, Penang Hokkien Mee(Prawn Mee) is a thin noodle soup with pork, hard-boiled egg, fish cake balls, and some prawns. The red sauce in a spoon is Sambal, which makes the soup a bit spicier. Penang Hokkien Mee (Prawn Mee) is a savory dish which is similar to Korean soup, so I liked it very much. If you are a big fan of a savory soup, you should definitely go for it!

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9. Duck Kway Chap

Duck Kway Chap - Top 10 Penang food to eat - Malaysian food

Duck Kway Chap is a braised duck soup. The most interesting thing about this soup is the special noodles. The noodles in Duck Kway Chap are very thick and they are rolled. The noodles in Duck Kway Chap absorbed the soup. This soup is very salty from soy sauce. I tried the most famous Duck Kway Chap restaurant in Penang called Kimberly Restaurant for RM 8. Duck Kawy Chap is great but I think it’s a  bit too meaty for me. If you don’t like organs in your Duck Kway Chap, don’t forget to ask them not to put them in your soup!

10.Cendol (Chendol) & Ais Kacang(Ice Kacang) & Kaya Toast

After eating these savory meals, I bet you crave for something cool and sweet! It means it’s time for Cendol and Ais Kacang!


Chendol - Top 10 Penang food to eat - Malaysian food

Chendol - Top 10 Penang food to eat - Malaysian food

Cendol(Chendol)? It sounds and looks really weird. This weird looking green jelly rice noodle dessert tastes so good that I fell in love with Chendol instantly. It is originally from Indonesia, but it’s loved by many Malaysians, especially by Penang people and tourists who come to Penang. 

Cendol’s main ingredients are coconut milk, green jelly rice noodles, shaved ice, palm sugar and red beans. Yes, it’s not the best dessert if you’re on a diet. But who cares when we are eating dessert?! It’s definitely worth trying! Under Penang’s burning Sun and humid weather, eating a bowl of cold sweet Cendol will take you to a heaven! It’s so refreshing and energizing! You must try one of the best Penang desserts Cendol if you are in Penang! The most famous Cendol stall is Cendol Teochew Penang on Lebuh Keng Kwee and it’s RM 3. It opens from 10 am to 5 pm.

Ais Kacang (Ice Kacang)

Ice Kacang (Ais Kacang) is another well-known dessert in Penang, Malaysia. It means “Ice beans”. Ice Kacang (Ais Kacang) is served with shaved ice, red beans, sweet corns, and jelly. After the final “touch” of some condensed milk or coconut milk, Ice Kacang (Ais Kacang) is ready to eat!

When I ate the first spoonful of Ais Kacang, I felt like I turned to a 6-year-old girl again. It’s really hard to describe… but somehow the weird combination of those ingredients reminded me of my childhood. It tastes very funny. You’ll find out what I mean! 😉 It is RM 3 and you can find Ais Kacang stand on Lebuh Keng Kwee Street.

Kaya Toast

Kaya Toast - Toh Soon Cafe - Top 10 Penang food to eat

When my foodie friend told me about Kaya Toast, I wasn’t sure why Kaya Toast is so popular here in Penang. For me, Kaya Toast seems like just toast bread with some jam. But I had to try since people told me it’s good. As you see from the photo, it doesn’t seem very tasty but it was better than expected. The most famous Kaya Toast bread place is called Toh Soon Cafe in Penang George Town Heritage Site and it is really crowded from early in the morning. What makes Kaya Toast is that it is baked in the fire with Charcol and its sweet Kaya jam made of coconut and eggs. It is a decent breakfast with a cup of iced Kopi(a typical sweet coffee in Malaysia). Toh Soon Cafe is a very famous Kaya Toast place so expect the crowds and long waits. Once you get in there, take the table as fast as you can. And then the staff will come to you to take the order.

Top 10 Penang food to eat - must try penang food - Malaysia

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