Snaps : Food Tripping In Penang Island, My Top Five Street Food!

It is no surprise that I live to eat, with street food being my absolute favorite type of cuisine. Having said that, it makes me feel pretty blessed to be born as a Malaysian, where street food are an abundance and you can almost eat at any hour of the day. I live and grew up in Kuala Lumpur where the street food here are one of the best ones you can have. But there is an exception to that statement of course, because there is another place which can rival Kuala Lumpr and it is the 'Pearl of the Orient' of Malaysia, the Penang island!

So, it only makes sense for me to head to Penang island to savour all the delicious street food that they have! To be honest, I was spoilt for choices because there is just far too many food for me to eat it all. What I realise is that there is a tendency that a certain food would have several “famous” shops to choose from. Like if you search up for the best char kuey teow, search results would show you a few options. I realise this too from asking several Penangites (resident of the Penang island), and they would also give me a few options. At the end of the day, I think it all boils down to your preference. 

After doing my very own research of searching on Google and relying on friend’s recommendation, I went to Penang on a hunt for some of the island’s most famous street food! So, this post will list down my favourite street foods from the Penang island which is resulted from my many trips to the island. Do note that this is not really an in-depth review of the food I tried, but rather a list of my personal favourites.

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888 Hokkien Prawn Mee, Lebuh Presgrave

In Penang, the hokkien mee there is actually prawn noodles soup, which was new to me as the hokkien mee that I am familiar with is the one that you can find aplenty in Kuala Lumpur; the dark braised noodles with pork lards. The Penang version is noodles in a rich, soupy prawn broth which leave you craving for more soup with each taste.

I absolutely love the Hokkien Prawn Mee from Lebuh Presgrave. My benchmark for a good, delicious bowl of noodle soup lies in how flavourful the broth is, and this one ticks the box with its rich soup. Besides that, you can also customise your noodles by adding more toppings such as extra eggs, roasted pork belly, pork slices, intestines and various other items too!

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113 Duck Meat Koay Teow Th'ng, Lebuh Melayu
| 113, Lebuh Melayu, 10100 Georgetown, Penang |

This place is actually famous for their Duck Meat Koay Teow Th'ng, where flat noodles are served in a clear soup, topped with duck meat. It was delicious but I actually fell in love with their Koay Chiap (also known as kuey chap, kway chap). Similar to their Koay Teow Th'ng, this dish is also a noodle soup but a braised version with duck meat, and is usually served with innards. Again, the first sip of the broth won me over and slurping on the silky smooth flat rice noodles was just heavenly. If you love duck meat, especially those served in braised style, you’ll love this one.

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Farlim Shell Station Laksa Cafe, Air Itam
| Medan Angsana 4, Bandar Baru Air Itam, 11500 Penang |

A street food experience in Penang would not been complete without their famous assam laksa , a spicy tamarind based soup cooked with mackerel fish. I have tasted numerous assam laksa but I realised that my favourite was this one, where the soup had that special kick compared to the others. The portion of the fish, served with the noodles was generous.

Every bowl of noodles came with a small sized “kembung”  which is better than most other stalls which usually are just shredded pieces in the soup. We loved it so much that we ordered just the fish alone, to have it with the soup.

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Tiger Char Koay Teow, Kafe Ping Hooi, Lebuh Carnavon
| 179, Carnavon Street, 10300, Georgetown, Penang |

The other must try dish of the Penang island, is the char koay teow. Like the assam laksa, there are the signatures street food which you can find aplenty around the island but my favourite is still from Tiger Char Koay Teow. There is enough “wok-hei” that goes into cooking it and the prawns used is big, fat and juicy! You can also set the level of spiciness and choose which type of eggs you’d like. Personally I prefer the duck egg, there is a distinct taste when cooked together with the koay teow.

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Durian Ice Cream & Ice Kacang, Kek Seng Coffee Shop
| 382 & 384, Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang |

Desserts are everyone’s favourite so I included this into my list because everytime I’m in Penang, I’d be sure to eat this. I have not came across any home-made ice cream as delicious as this durian ice cream. The ice-cream is deliciously smooth and absolutely rich in the durian flavour. It’s as though you are eating the durian itself! 

Their ice kacang is a specialty and a crowd’s favourite too, with generous toppings of sweet corns and red beans. For the ice cream in the ice kacang , do request for the durian flavoured one if you would like that.

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And that wraps up my list of Carmen’s favourite food in Penang , which I absolutely have to eat whenever I’m visiting the island. I know there are probably countless many other street food which I didn’t list down here, perhaps because I haven’t tried it yet. So I would really appreciate your comments if you think that I should try anything else! For the past few years, I have been making an annual pilgrimage to Penang and definitely this year again.

Over the past couple of trips I have stayed in various hotels (even home-stay too!), so this time I plan to give this new website called Traveloka a try. Traveloka provides a one-stop solution where you can actually book cheap flight tickets and hotels in Southeast Asia at the same time with great savings! They have the best competitive prices for your hotels and flight tickets, with no hidden charges. I was browsing the site and came across this hotel in Penang, known as Alora Hotel Penang -  I’ll add this hotel to my list of hotels to consider further, after I browsed at my other options on the Traveloka Malaysia (

That would be all from me now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post. :) Do let me know if you would like to read similar posts as this, cause I have a habit of photographing pictures from my trips and then, not really knowing what to do with it.

Till next time,

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