Image via Penang Foodie / Eat Drink KL
It’s a given. Penang is synonymous with food. Everybody knows this fact, whether you’ve been to the island state or not. But if you disagree, you probably have never been there.
So we thought it would be helpful to share this short and sweet 3D2N travel itinerary to Penang that can make your trip as fulfilling as ever. Of course, it won’t be a trip to Penang if we weren’t hopping from one famous food joint to another. Here we go!
Pssst: These spots are all pork-free or halal.
DAY 1: Morning
Bee Hwa Cafe
Start your trip early and try to get to the island in the morning. Once you do, begin your food journey with Bee Hwa Cafe. This traditional Hainanese kopitiam in Lebuh Dickens has been serving pork-free Chinese food since 1992.
Their signature dishes include curry mee, Hokkien mee (prawn noodles), Hailam mee, as well as mee sua, which is noodles submerged in a clear, starchy gravy that is traditionally eaten on birthdays.
Address: 10, Lebuh Dickens, 10050 George Town, Penang
Hours: 7am – 5pm (closed on Sunday)
Contact: 04-263 6092
Street of Harmony
After a hearty breakfast, take a nice stroll along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling to experience the Street of Harmony. The reason it goes by that name is because it’s actually a street that consists of four places of worship all coexisting together, namely St George's Church, Sri Mahamariamman Temple, The Goddess of Mercy Temple, and Masjid Kapitan Keling.
Address: Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, 10200 George Town, Penang
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
Knowing our Malaysian weather, you must be sweating a lot after the walk. Quench your thirst with one of the most popular dessert spots on the island. With over 80 years of history, this famous Penang Road cendol has grown from a pushcart to multiple outlets, even in Klang Valley.
But since it’s nearly impossible to get a seat here during peak hours, nothing beats standing by the roadside under the hot sun while indulging in a refreshing bowl of cendol.
Address: 4 2, Lebuh Keng Kwee, 10100 George Town, Penang
Hours: 10.30am – 7pm (weekday); 10am – 7.30pm (weekend)
Contact: 04-262 6002
DAY 1: Afternoon
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Also known as The Blue Mansion, this boutique hotel is one of Penang’s most well-known attractions. The structure of the building itself is eye-catching enough, built in a traditional Hakka and Teochew style with an old world charm. This mansion was also featured in the critically-acclaimed Hollywood film, Crazy Rich Asians!
Although its main function is a hotel, there are daily tours conducted for visitors to experience the history and architecture of the mansion. The tour covers the reception hall, courtyard, as well as museum exhibition.
Address: Lot 22, 14, Lebuh Leith, 10200 George Town, Penang
Tour Hours: 11am & 2pm
Phone: 04-262 0006
Hameed Pata Special Mee Sotong
Then, have your lunch at this famed stall located in the Padang Kota Lama food court, right next to Fort Cornwallis. Although the food court is lined with a number of stalls, Hameed Pata Special Mee Sotong stands out among the rest because you’ll see at least one mee sotong on each table.
You can choose to have either the wet mee rebus with thick and spicy gravy, or dry mee goreng. Each plate comes with a generous serving of sweet and spicy sambal sotong that completely opens up your appetite.
Address: 5, Esplanade Park, Lebuh Light, 10300 George Town, Penang
Hours: 11.30am – 8pm
Contact: 013-431 9384
Mural Street Art
You’re going to need to walk off that big lunch you just had. Time to check out George Town’s street art scene! Since Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic was commissioned to paint six wall murals in 2012 to feature the life of the locals, this place has been transformed forever.
The murals are interactive artworks that have become every Penang visitor’s #OOTD spot. In fact, it’s safe to say that the murals are now on par with many other cultural landmarks on the island!
Address: George Town, Penang
Ais Tingkap Lebuh Tamil
We weren’t kidding when we said that this is a foodie’s itinerary. Next food on the list, Ais Tingkap! This one’s another famous beverage in Penang which has been around since 1919 because it’s absolutely thirst-quenching to fight the heat.
Located at the Chowrasta Market, Ais Tingkap is made of rose syrup, basil seeds, getah anggur, coconut flesh, rose syrup, and topped off with shaved ice. Sounds amazing for yet another hot day out, doesn’t it?
Address: 2, Lebuh Tamil, 10100 George Town, Penang
Hours: 11am – 7pm
Contact: 016-400 3310
Day 1: Evening
Tropical Spice Garden
The Tropical Spice Garden is a nice break away from the city that’s listed in the Malaysia Book of Records as the first tropical climate spice garden in the country.
The garden covers more than eight acres of jungle with over 500 species of tropical flora and fauna! The 45-minute audio tour will teach you all the fun tropical facts you never knew, including information about the water garden, spice terraces, bamboo garden, and more.
Address: Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang
Hours: 9am – 4pm (Monday – Thursday); 9am – 6pm (Friday – Sunday)
Contact: 04-881 1797
Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery
How about some good old Peranakan cuisine for dinner? This old school eatery is just as its name describes. This Nyonya restaurant was refurbished from buildings back in the colonial era with a spacious dining space.
Some of their must-have items here include the nasi ulam (rice dish mixed with various fresh herbs), sambal petai, char kacang botol, stingray curry, chicken curry Kapitan, assam prawns, and more mouth-watering dishes that will give you the best dinner on your first night in Penang.
Address: 1, Lebuh Bishop, 10200 George Town, Penang
Hours: 12pm – 2.30pm & 6pm – 9.30pm (closed on Monday); 6pm – 9.30pm (Tuesday only)
Contact: 017-434 4398
DAY 1: Night
As night falls, you have to stop by Sup Hameed for supper. Known for their soups (obviously) that are not too starchy or thick, people love coming here for the flavours that are full of character.
The soup is served with handmade roti benggali. And if you’re feeling a bit more ballsy—no pun intended—give the sup torpedo (bull’s penis soup) a go. They also serve nasi kandar, nasi lemak and roti canai here, for those who still have some space in their bellies.
Address: 48, Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town, Penang
Hours: 7am – 3am
Contact: 04-261 8007
DAY 2: Morning
Transfer Road Roti Canai
Are you ready for another day of non-stop makan? Start with some roti canai at Transfer Road, a long-time destination for Indian Muslim food. In the mornings, customers would have to line up to get their meals. Also, make sure you come here early because this space belongs to Nasi Padang Minang when lunch time comes.
Address: 114, 110, Jalan Transfer, 10050 George Town, Penang
Hours: 7am – 12pm
Toh Soon Cafe
Still hungry? Here’s a good place for your second breakfast, or brunch! Toh Soon Cafe is hidden in a narrow alley, but you won’t miss it because there’s always a queue. Since it’s always crowded in this cafe, make sure you work hard to catch the staff’s attention!
Be patient even if you have to wait long because it’s all worth it when the food arrives, especially the soft-boiled eggs and charcoal-grilled buttery toasts. Yes, charcoal-grilled is their specialty! You can also add on nasi lemak packets for only RM1 each.
Address: 184 Lebuh Campbell, 10450 George Town, Penang
Hours: 8am – 4.30pm (closed on Sunday)
Contact: 04-261 3754
Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm
After devouring two breakfast meals, take a short drive out of town to this beautiful butterfly farm. It sits in a giant glasshouse conservatory where butterflies can freely roam among landscaped lush gardens. There are two main sections here, Natureland and Cocoon.
Natureland is the main outdoor glasshouse area with waterfalls, artificial caves, gardens and trails, where you will see various butterfly species, as well as other insects and reptiles such as frogs, spiders, snakes, monitor lizards, iguanas, and more. Cocoon is designed to let visitors explore the world of invertebrates through various interactive edu-stations.
Address: No. 830, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang
Hours: 9am – 5pm (closed on Wednesday)
Contact: 04-888 8111
DAY 2: Afternoon
Ali Nasi Lemak
Known to be the best nasi lemak in Penang, the crowd at Ali Nasi Lemak is almost unstoppable. Customers love to watch how they prepare the nasi lemak from scratch as rows of steamy rice are laid down, waiting for the sambal. We’re drooling just by looking at pictures!
Address: Sri Weld Food Court, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10300 George Town, Penang
Hours: 7am – 2pm (closed on Sunday)
Contact: 016-407 0717
Pasar Air Itam Laksa
We had two breakfasts today, so why not have two lunches too? Assam laksa is yet another must-have in Penang and this stall totally lives up to the island’s street food reputation.
The laksa stall located next to the Air Itam market serves bowls after bowls of thick rice noodles, fresh vegetables, submerged in a spicy mackerel-based soup and a spoon of shrimp paste.
Address: Jalan Pasar, Paya Terubong, 11500 George Town, Penang
Hours: 10.30am – 7pm (closed on Wednesday)
Contact: 012-500 7063
Kek Lok Si
Next, just take a five-minute walk and you will reach Kek Lok Si, the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. Sitting on top of a hilltop, the area is divided into three zones, including stalls selling souvenirs, food and drinks.
The mid-section of the temple is home to temples, gardens, a pagoda, and the four heavenly kings pavilion. And right at the top is the giant statue of the Goddess of Mercy, and more temples and gardens that cannot be missed.
Address: Air Itam, 11500 George Town, Penang
Hours: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Contact: 04-828 3317
DAY 2: Evening
The Habitat Penang Hill
To continue the journey to digest all the food you’ve just consumed, check out The Habitat at Penang Hill. It’s a world-class rainforest discovery centre located in a virgin jungle reserve area that dates back 130 million years!
Besides the nature trail, you can also experience various outdoor attractions here, including a canopy walk (a.k.a. the world’s highest altitude stressed ribbon bridge), tree top walkway, and even a zipline! It’s the perfect place to awaken your curiosity towards Malaysian rainforests.
Address: Jalan Stesen, Bukit Bendera Air Itam, 11500 Penang
Hours: 9am – 7pm
Contact: 04-827 2677
You can’t forget about nasi kandar when in Penang and the one restaurant you should head to is Hameediyah, also known as the oldest nasi kandar in Malaysia! With a vast history of over 100 years (since 1907), Hameediyah is practically a household name by now.
One of the reasons this restaurant is popular is because it’s still using a recipe that has been passed down for generations. Besides the usual nasi kandar combinations, they also serve murtabak that comes with chicken, beef, mutton, and vegetable fillings.
Address: 164, Lebuh Campbell, 10100 George Town, Penang
Hours: 10am – 10pm; 10am – 12.30pm & 3pm – 10pm (Fridays only)
Contact: 04-261 1095
DAY 2: Night
Radzidah Hokkien Mee
Ending the night with supper, this simple stall located next to the Bukit Jambul Complex serves authentic halal Chinese food. This stall doesn’t have a signboard or banner, so make sure you keep your eyes wide open!
Some of the signature dishes that have been popular among locals since 2001 include Hokkien mee, char hor fun, kuey teow th’ng, and more. There’s nothing like going to bed after a warm bowl of noodles.
Address: Bukit Jambul, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
Hours: 4pm—12am (closed on Wednesday)
Contact: 017-577 7089
DAY 3: Morning
Roti Canai Jalan Argyll
Roti canai again? Yes, when in Penang (or Malaysia, for that matter), this is practically a staple for breakfast. Roti Canai Jalan Argyll comes with a long history of selling quality roti. Apparently, they’ve been selling roti canai here even before the Malayan Independence!
You’ll want to start your day here early because it’s always crowded. And unlike other mamak restaurants that sell a variety of street food, this stall strictly sells roti canai and curries only. What you see is what you get!
Address: Jalan Argyll, 10050 George Town, Penang
Hours: 6am – 12.30pm
Contact: 016-482 2384
The Top Penang
In recent years, The Top became another famous landmark in Penang. You can climb up to the top and experience an adrenaline rush looking down while on the Rainbow Skywalk, a walk-on-air activity stepping on a glass walkway that makes you feel like you’re floating.
You can also get a 360° view of Penang at the Window of The Top, which is an open deck on the 68th floor. Take full advantage of your time here and check out the Avenue of Adventures featuring 7D Discovery Motion Theater, Jurassic Research Center, Penang Boutique Aquarium, and Tech Dome.
Address: 1, Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town, Penang
Hours: 12pm – 10pm (closed on Tuesday)
Contact: 04-375 9800
DAY 3: Afternoon
Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng
After all that adrenaline, have lunch at the oldest mee goreng stall in Penang that has been around, again, before the country’s independence. This popular mee goreng stall used to operate by the roadside, but it finally relocated to a building indoors.
Now, as with the other popular eateries that we have been discussing here, you need to exercise some patience because your noodles could take up to 30 minutes before it comes. But we promise that it’s worth the wait!
Address: 280, Jalan Burma, 10350 George Town, Penang
Hours: 8.30am – 6.30pm (closed on Monday)
Contact: 016-485 7859
Kareem Pasembor Rojak
For a yummy snack, pasembur is a crowd favourite in Penang. It is a dish with deep fried and boiled ingredients, served with vegetables like cucumber, turnip and bean sprouts. They’re quite generous here with their deep fried cucur (fritters), so go crazy!
Once you’ve selected your choice of ingredients, the plate is drizzled with sweet and spicy peanut sauce that is less reddish in colour compared to the ones you find in other places, which shows a good balance of spices used. The fragrance and creaminess of the sauce will leave you wanting more!
Address: 7, Lebuh Union, 10200 George Town, Penang
Hours: 11am – 6pm (closed on Sunday)
Contact: 011-2607 5822
DAY 3: Evening
Penang Bird Park
Before saying goodbye to Penang, cross over to the mainland either via the Penang Bridge or taking a ferry, and pay a visit to Malaysia’s first and largest bird park. This complex houses over 300 species of birds that range from kingfishers, to small exotic sunbirds and giant ostriches, as well as other creatures like crocodile, arapaima, pythons, soft-shelled turtles, and leaf monkeys.
This five-acre bird park has two walk-in aviaries and two domed enclosures that resemble a bird’s natural habitat. That’s why you’ll see pelicans, flamingos, swans, storks, and other kinds of birds roaming freely.
Address: 45, Lintang Kurau 7, Chai Leng Park, 13700 Perai, Penang
Hours: 9am – 7pm
Contact: 04-399 1899
Here’s one last makan pitstop for you, a unique rojak stall that’s unlike any other. What sets Rojak Tonggek apart from the rest is the way the fruits and vegetables are arranged using satay sticks. It’s almost like eating while standing at a lok-lok stall!
They have two types of sauces, normal and spicy. Just dip your fruit or vegetable stick into the sauce and munch away! To prevent the sauce from dripping onto your clothes, you’ll need to bend over a little, which is to tonggek. Hence the name Rojak Tonggek!
Address: Jalan Pantai, 12000 Butterworth, Penang
Hours: 3pm – 11pm (closed on Wednesday)
We hope this packed itinerary will help you plan your next trip to Penang better. You can also check out penangtraveldeals.com for the best deals on hotels, attractions and tours!
Image via Penang Global Tourism
This is part of the JOM! Experience Penang campaign that aims to attract more domestic travellers to Penang with the best prices and deals on offer.
For more information about the promotions under the JOM! Experience Penang campaign, visit the official website!