Just the mention of Penang is enough to make any Malaysian salivate. This foodie haven is a definite hotspot for anyone eager to try some of Malaysia’s best dishes.
Looking for the best Muslim-friendly dishes in particular? Let us help you get started on the right foot with our list!
1) Char Kuey Teow
It’s hard not to think of kuey teow when you think of Penang. The mouthwatering combination of noodles, egg, chives, bean sprouts and seafood thrown into a hot wok is much-loved by many, and for good reason too. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to find an authentic yet halal version of this dish. But, fear not! Bee Hwa cafe serves a Muslim-friendly version of this dish. The smokiness of the flat noodles combined with seafood will leave you wanting more.
Bee Hwa Cafe
10, Lebuh Dickens, 10050 George Town
Business Hours: 7.00am – 5.00pm
2) Sup Daging (Beef Soup)
Ah, what’s more comforting than a piping hot bowl of beef soup available 24 hours throughout the day? This hearty dish is great to have, especially when the weather’s cool like how it’s been in Malaysia lately. Dip some bread into your bowl and savor the rich taste of meaty chunks and spices. If you’re looking for a fuller flavor, try the mutton version.
48, Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town
Business Hours: Open 24 hours
3) Mee Goreng (Fried Noodles)
Penang meals are known to be full of flavor, colors and spices. The mee goreng is no different. Be enticed by its bright red flavor, topped with a handful of greens and a wedge of lime for that extra hint of zest. Its taste can be described as sweet, spicy and sour. Sometimes, the queue for this dish can get super long so be sure to come by as early as possible to get a table.
Bangkok Lane’s Mee Goreng
280, Jalan Burma, 10350 George Town
Business Hours: 8.00am – 6.00pm
4) Lamb Korma
Imagine tender, flavorful lamb in a sea of warm korma and freshly toasted chapati to go along with it. Tajuddin Hussain tops many lists for being one of the best, authentic eateries in the state, and it’s easy to see why. The main highlight here is its assortment of curries. Aside from the lamb korma, we highly recommend the chicken rose curry. Addictively spicy, it’s the sort of dish that gets better and better with every bite.
45, Lebuh Queen, 10200 George Town
Business hours: 11am – 3:30pm, 6:30pm – 10pm
5) Nasi Dalca (Dalca Rice)
One of Penang’s best nasi dalca is found on an unassuming site in Little India. This dish features hot rice soaked in flavorful dhal, with a generous piece of chicken and some coconut chutney to go along with it. None of the flavors overpower each other but instead result in a delicious medley of rice, chicken and potatoes.
Nasi Dalca Rahim
Lebuh Queen, 10200 George Town
Business Hours: 5.30pm – 12.30am
6) Roti Canai
Transfer Road in Penang is crowded every morning, sometimes even till early afternoon, thanks to its famous roti canai and roti goyang (which we’ll get to in a bit). The spicy, aromatic curry and roti canai work incredibly well together. The heat of the curry is enhanced with the dollop of sambal that goes along with it, making this dish insanely good. If there’s one dish that’ll definitely wake you up in the morning, this is it.
Roti Canai Transfer Road
Jalan Transfer, 10050 George Town
Business Hours: 7.30am – 1.30pm
7) Roti Goyang
Buttery toast and silky half-boiled eggs – it doesn’t get any simpler or better than that. This rustic Malaysian breakfast excels by knowing just how to get both the eggs and toast just right. As a result, expect all flavors and textures – salty, eggy and crispy – to meld together beautifully. Complement it with a hot glass of teh tarik and you’re set for the day.
Roti Goyang Transfer Road
Jalan Transfer, 10050 George Town
Business Hours: 7.30am – 1.30pm
8) Nasi Campur (Mixed Rice)
Want to get local dishes that taste like they’ve been made lovingly at home? Visit Minah Restaurant and be spoiled by a wide array of scrumptious Malay food! We especially loved the kerabu kacang botol and stuffed cencaru here. The dishes tend to sell out quick so head over as early as possible to beat the lunch rush.
Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Taman Tun Sardon, 11700 Gelugor
Business Hours : 8.00am – 6.00pm
Enjoy a good variety of pasembor when you visit this Gurney Drive stall! If you’re lucky, you might just catch a performance by the store vendor himself, who’s famed for his song-and-dance routine (hence the name Disko Pasembur). The nutty, spicy rojak sauce combined with fried fritters make this a delectable late-night snack that’s great to share.
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town
Business Hours: 4.00pm – 11.30pm
10) Coconut Shake
Why not wash down all that good Penang food with a refreshing glass of coconut shake? There’s no other place more synonymous with coconut shakes in Penang than Jalil’s, so head on over for a deliciously creamy treat that’ll cool you down straight away.
Jalil Special Ais Kacang & Coconut Shake
1, Light Street, 10200 George Town
Business Hours: 9.00am – 9.00pm
What makes cendol so irresistibly special is the rich result of sweet and salty flavors infused together. It works both as a drink or as a light snack, making it perfect for any weather. Try the famous Teochew cendol located on Penang Road for a satisfying taste of this awesome dessert.
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
Jalan Penang, 10450 George Town
Business hours: 10.30am – 7.00pm
12) Hainanese Chicken Chop
If you’ve never had Hainanese chicken chop before, you’re in for a treat. The dish’s star is its juicy, breaded chicken that’s drizzled with sweet and sour sauce. The version here comes with salad, baked beans and fries, making it a complete meal. Definitely a must-try fusion dish for all!
Kota Selera Food Court (beside Fort Cornwallis)
Padang Kota Lama, 10200 George Town
Business Hours: 11.00am – 11.00pm
13) Prawn Mee
The strong taste of prawn shells infused in soup makes this noodle dish a firm favorite amongst seafood lovers. That said, finding the perfect bowl of prawn mee that’s Muslim-friendly can be rather tricky. A lot of Penangites swear by Ilyana Cafe’s rendition of this dish. Located in Gertak Sanggul, the prawn mee here might just be well worth the drive for some prawn goodness.
10, Gerai JKKK, Jalan Gertak Sanggul, Teluk Kumbar, 11910 Bayan Lepas
Business Hours: 12.00pm – 1.00am
14) Nasi Kandar
This list wouldn’t be complete without the legendary nasi kandar. Hailing from Penang itself, nasi kandar is essentially steamed rice, served with many different curries and side dishes. Customize it your way, just the way you like it, and enjoy! Visit Hameediyah in Penang for a satisfying (and filling!) experience.
Lebuh Campbell, 10200 George Town
Business Hours: 10.00am – 10.30 pm
15) Assam Laksa
Some claim that Penang’s got the best laksa ever. Spicy and tangy, it’s easy to see why. Since most halal versions of this dish in Penang lean more towards the Malay style, we recommend Laksa Janggus for a reasonably-priced bowl of this favorite.
338 MK, Jalan Bharu, 11000 Kampung Perlis
Business Hours: 3.30pm – 8.00 pm
Hungry for a food adventure? Prepare to feast away in Penang! Book your hotel and flight deals on Traveloka here.