The chillest night spots in Penang (as told by an ex party-goer)

The chillest night spots in Penang (as told by an ex party-goer)

Gone are the days where Penang nightlife consisted of the nocturnal crowd seeking pumping, club-like atmospheres. Today, you’ll find cosy cocktail bars, chilled-out bistros and watering holes with live music at every nook and cranny in George Town.

We set out to find the coolest joints frequented by locals and visitors alike, and have narrowed down our top picks to the ones below:

Good Friends Club

Good Friends Club

When you’re driving by Jalan Gurdwara at night, it’s hard not to take notice of its neon pink signage that illuminates the entire shopfront in a photo-worthy glow. As part of the hip collection of outlets at Hin Bus Depot, this kopitiam-style bar pays homage to its coffee shop predecessor with steel roundtables, stools and a cocktail menu that stirs up nostalgia for all Malaysians.

Popular drinks include the Lao Hao Peng (nutmeg cordial) and Pat Poh Peng (herbal cordial), made boozy with shots of rum. Pro tip: Order the truffle fries if you’re having the munchies!

Good Friends Club
Credit: Good Friends Club / Facebook

And what’s in the name, you ask? “Good Friends Never Bojio” is a nod to Penang’s colloquial Hokkien way of friends teasing each other when they’re not invited (bojio) to a certain gathering. So if you’re here with friends, consider them the good kind who’ll never miss you out.

Hin Bus Depot at 39, Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 George Town, Penang

 7pm – 1am, closed on Tuesdays

 

Mish Mash

Mish Mash – Bar entrance
Bar Entrance.

Arguably one of the pioneering new wave cocktail bars to hit the island, Mish Mash has been attracting locals and visitors with their bold selection of tipples and serious gastronomy since 2014. Housed in a heritage shop lot, its cosy yet unpretentious ambiance is everything you look for in an authentic George Town bar experience.

Mish Mash_Pandan Paloma
Pandan Paloma.
Mish Mash – Jungle Bird
Jungle Bird.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Feel like a beer and some greasy bar snacks? Go ahead and order them, no one’s judging. Came for a fancy cocktail or two? You’re still at the right place. The concept here is casual and all-inclusive, so you’ll see families of diners on one hand, and a sensible drinking crowd over at the bar and high tables.

24, Muntri Street, George Town, 10200 Penang

5pm – 12.30am, closed on Mondays

 

Out Of Nowhere

Out of Nowhere
Credit: Out of Nowhere

‘And out of nowhere… bam! You stumble upon this hidden gem of a bar.’ That’s the discussion we envision the owners had when brainstorming its name. Not to be mistaken for a speakeasy, Out Of Nowhere prides itself in being a hidden bar with 3 sections: a lounge, courtyard and bar. Inspiration for their cocktails is drawn from all parts of Penang, melding flavors from local cuisine and British colonial times.

Out of Nowhere – I Went Bananas
I Went Bananas. Credit: Out of Nowhere

One of their signature cocktails, ‘I Went Bananas’​ as pictured above is a whisky sour with an Indian twist – featuring ghee fat washed Irish whisky, salted banana caramel, lemon, egg white and a tincture of Ras El Hanout, all topped off with an edible banana peel chip.

Out of Nowhere – Into the Bahulus
Into the Bahulus. Credit: Out of Nowhere

‘Into The Bahulus’, another crowd-favorite, is their take on the Malaysian classic ‘Jungle Bird’. Sip your night away on this tropical, smoky cocktail with its delicious mix of pandan rum, Mezcal, Campari, ‘bahulu’ cordial, and other zesty juices, garnished interestingly with a ‘kuih bahulu’.

So if you’re looking for an unstuffy night out with friends over a tipple or two, head on over to Out Of Nowhere.

75, Jalan Kuala Kangsar, 10100 George Town (at the back of Hold Up! cafe)

Mon – Thu 6pm – 1am, Fri – Sat 6pm – 2am, closed on Sundays

Golden Shower by Chin Chin

Golden Shower – Interior 1
Credit: Golden Shower by Chin Chin

Forget dark and dingy bars. This next one is guaranteed to tickle you pink! Golden Shower by ChinChin is the brainchild of three culinary enthusiast Penangites, who are also the masterminds behind George Town’s notable izakaya, ChinChin Gastrobar.

Golden Shower – Interior 2
Credit: Golden Shower by Chin Chin

The interior design, as you can see, is swept in soft pink hues with gold accents that immediately transports you into a wonderfully pristine space and state of mind. With all that sweet minimalism surrounding you, there’s no better way to savor what’s on your table.

Golden Shower – Salmon Tartare
Salmon Tartare. Credit: Golden Shower by Chin Chin

The food and drinks equally aim to surprise, with their pinchos-style small plates that change from time to time, and a well-crafted cocktail menu made in collaboration with Wholly Spirits.

Whether you’re looking to sneak in for some flavorful bites and modern-classical cocktails post work, or go big on the weekends with your pals, we pinky promise you’ll have a good time here.

86, Lebuh Bishop, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang

5.30pm – 2am, closed on Mondays

 

Magazine 63

Magazine 63 – Entrance
The tricky-to-find entrance.

This speakeasy nails the concept of an ‘almost impossible bar to find’. The entrance is an unassuming, old-school retractable steel gate which makes you wonder if you should wander in any further. But go on and grasp in the dark a little, push your way through a wooden door to enter this 1920s Shanghai-styled bar beaming with red lanterns, oil paper umbrellas and exposed brick walls.

Magazine 63 – Corridor

The sprawling interior extends all the way to the back with pockets of seating areas made cosy with oriental partitions and dim-lit walls. Music gets more thumping as the night progresses, but swing by for post-dinner drinks to catch their live band.

63, Jalan Magazine, 10300, George Town, Penang (Opposite 1st Avenue Mall)

8pm – 2am on Sun – Thu & 8pm – 3am on Fri – Sat


Thirsty to explore Penang’s eclectic nightlife yet? Check out our exciting hotel and flight deals for your next visit now!

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