Foodie Alert: Best Places To Visit In Malaysia For Street Food

From street-hawkers’ scene in Penang to the vibrant night markets of Kota Kinabalu, find out the top places in Malaysia to try street food
The food in Malaysia represents the country's multicultural ethos
The food in Malaysia represents the country's multicultural ethosShutterstock.com

Known globally for its beaches, rainforests, and mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European cultural influences, Malaysia is a country that boasts a rich and diverse culture. The country is particularly famous for its lively street food scene. Whether you prefer bustling night markets or quaint roadside stalls, Malaysia has something to offer for every food enthusiast. We have handpicked a list of the best Malaysian street food destinations, each offering a unique blend of flavours, sensations and insights into culinary traditions.

Penang

Stalls in the street of Chinatown in Georgetown historic district, Penang
Stalls in the street of Chinatown in Georgetown historic district, PenangShutterstock

Known as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang exhibits a prominent heritage influenced by Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Peranakan cultures. George Town, the capital city, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its eclectic mix of architectural styles and mouth watering street food. Head to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre to savour Penang's famous Char Kway Teow, a stir-fried noodle dish packed with prawns, cockles, and bean sprouts. Don't miss out on Penang Assam Laksa, a tangy fish-based soup with rice noodles and fresh herbs. End your culinary journey with a visit to Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul for a refreshing bowl of shaved ice topped with green rice flour jelly, red beans, and coconut milk.

Address: 172, Solok Gurney 1, Pulau Tikus, 10250 Jelutong, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

Street restaurant Jalan Alor in heart of Kuala Lumpur
Street restaurant Jalan Alor in heart of Kuala LumpurShutterstock

Kuala Lumpur, the bustling capital city of Malaysia, is a food lover's paradise. With an array of high-end restaurants and humble street stalls, the city offers a diverse range of culinary experiences you want to experience. Be sure to visit Jalan Alor, a vibrant street food haven lined with an array of stalls serving everything from grilled seafood to aromatic satay skewers. Make sure to try the national dish of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak, at Village Park Restaurant. This dish features fragrant coconut rice served with spicy sambal, crispy anchovies, peanuts, and a boiled egg. For dessert, indulge in a bowl of Cendol at Jalan Petaling, a refreshing concoction of shaved ice, coconut milk, palm sugar, and pandan-flavoured jelly.

Address: 5, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Malacca

People at Jonker Walk Night Market in the center of Malacca
People at Jonker Walk Night Market in the center of MalaccaShutterstock

Malacca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is steeped in history and culture. It is famous for its unique blend of Portuguese, Dutch, and Peranakan influences. If you're a food lover, you must visit the vibrant Jonker Street Night Market. Amidst charming colonial-era buildings, you'll find a wide array of local delicacies you should try. For instance, at Hoe Kee Chicken Rice, you can sample the Chicken Rice Balls, a culinary tradition unique to Malacca. This dish features succulent poached chicken served with rice shaped into bite-sized balls. Also, remember to try the Nyonya Laksa, a spicy coconut milk-based noodle soup infused with aromatic spices and herbs, at Nancy's Kitchen.

Address: 468, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia (Hoe Kee Chicken Rice)

Address: No 13, Jalan KL 3/8, Taman Kota Laksamana, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia (Nancy's Kitchen)

Ipoh

Nestled among limestone hills, Ipoh is a hidden gem famous for its delicious street food and colonial architecture. The bustling Pasar Karat (Flea Market) is a food lover's paradise that offers a wide variety of local delicacies, including Ipoh Hor Fun, which is a silky-smooth noodle soup served with shredded chicken and prawns, and Tau Fu Fah, which is a soft tofu dessert topped with sweet syrup and soybean powder. You must visit Thean Chun Restaurant, a culinary institution known for its Chicken and Prawn Chee Cheong Fun, a rice noodle roll stuffed with succulent meat and served with a savoury sauce.

Address: 73, Jalan Bandar Timah, 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu

Street local foods in Segama, Kota Kinabalu
Street local foods in Segama, Kota KinabaluShutterstock

Located on Borneo Island, Kota Kinabalu is a coastal city famous for its vibrant night markets and fresh seafood. You can visit the popular Filipino Market to taste a variety of grilled fish, squid, and prawns that are freshly caught from the South China Sea. You should try the Sabah Laksa, a creamy coconut milk-based noodle soup infused with spices and topped with fresh herbs and seafood. If you have a sweet tooth, you can also try Kuih Cincin, a traditional Sabahan snack made from glutinous rice flour and palm sugar, at the Gaya Street Sunday Market.

Address: Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

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