Explore the top 10 secret food spots in George Town, the colourful and multicultural capital of the Malaysian island of Penang, as you walk and eat through this culinary experience with this self-guided immersive tour!
Guided by an expert historian, we’ll discover the diverse flavours of a place where the most memorable tastes are found in the streets. Enjoy a melting pot of heritage on a plate, in a bowl or on a banana leaf as you learn about this city’s colonial history, stories of immigration and innovation.
From Nasi Kandar and Ais Kacang to Char Koay Teow and Birds Nest coffee, this epic foodie adventure is the best way to explore the beautiful and bizarre tastes of Malaysia. Whether you’re after a refreshing coffee, meaty lunch or sweet desert, you’ll leave with Penang wanting more.
Start to tour outside the Top and learn why Georgetown is such a globally recognised location for fresh food. Discover the ‘locavore’ draw of Penang’s street food, where food is locally grown, produced and consumed. Often the tastiest places are those that have a real melting pot of cultures, each bringing their unique flavour to the table.
Make your way to Warung Pak Hashim where we’ll be trying Nasi Kandar, a dish that takes us way back in history, to some of the region’s most fundamental food! Originating from the early days of Penang, when rice peddlers would bring this dish down to sell to dock workers. They’d have a long pole over their shoulders with a pot on one end carrying the curry and one on the other carrying the rice.
Visit Kek Seng and try some ais kacang alongside a taste of durian ice cream. The durian is so beloved by many that connoisseurs will travel all over Asia to taste it. Learn about Penang’s Bao Sheng, a third generation durian farm focusing on organic farming practices. The granite hills and sea air give their durian a very distinctive taste.
Wander up to Lebuh Keng Kwee and learn about the history of Penang on the walk. We’re walking across an island that has a 500 year trading history between Eastern and Western worlds. Being part of the Malay Kedah Sultanate, it was the perfect harbour for ships from all parts of the globe to shelter. Whether this be to trade, take cover from a monsoon or hide from pirates who plagued the Malacca Straits.
Get a taste of a cendol bowl, another dessert with coconut milk, palm sugar and green pandan jelly strings. Visit Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol who have been perfecting the art of cendol here for a long time! On this street, you can also try the Penang version of the famous Malaysian Laksa soup.
Head to Kimberley Street Duck Kway Chap, this is a thick, flat noodles in a meaty broth. It's very popular throughout South East Asia but this one right here is genuinely one of the standouts. That might be because this particular family has been perfecting their recipe right here for over 30 years.
If Penang is the street food heaven of South East Asia, then Carnarvon Street is the temple. Explore food stalls and restaurants down here and try some Char Koay Teow with the Yeow family at Kafe Ping Hooi or some stir fry noodles at Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng.
Visit the Georgetown World Heritage Building which strives to protect our heritage and the UNESCO heritage status. This is located in an 18th century colonial house, built back during the period when the British were maintaining the colony.
Visit Armenian Street and head to Bird Nest Cafe. The coffee will be bitter, nutty and very very dark. But don’t worry, they put in a lot of sugar and condensed milk to balance it. Some coffee houses have been around for 100 years or longer. Here, you can really cast your mind back, imagining Penang as a trade hub, Portuguese merchants elbow to elbow with Cantonese traders, the air rich with the aroma of coffee and the sound of so many languages.
Take a look at some street art with the Children on a Bike mural. This is some of the most famous works of art within Georgetown and in true Penang style, the artist, Ernest Zacharevic lives here but is from somewhere completely different, Lithuania! Ernest is Penang’s answer to Banksy but instead of focusing on politics and satire, he creates these beautiful mixed media works celebrating life here in Penang.
Immerse yourself in Little India and explore some truly wonderful tastes. here’s Keralan Coconut fried chicken at Shobana’s Kitchen, Claypot Briyani at Mayura’s Spice Kitchen, the Penang Famous Samosa with its gorgeous crisp triangles of potato and light curry. Fermented coconut toddy which is about the cheapest alcohol you will find here.
Finish the tour at Ali Nasi Lemak. First mentioned to a wider audience in a 1909 book called the ‘Circumstances of Malay life’, Nasi Lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk with spicy sambal chilli paste, boiled egg and peanuts maybe with fried egg and some sort of beef, chicken or squid.
The Vidi Guides experience is enriched with on-screen photos and videos. We also point out where to take the perfect Instagram photos during the tour, and include recommendations for food, drinks, and local attractions. Don't worry, none of our recommendations are sponsored - they are simply favourites of the locals who helped craft the experience.
Vidi Guides creates immersive audio experiences that are like podcasts. This is a self-guided audio tour that can be started or stopped at your own convenience. Download the Vidi Guides app & your tour to explore the area independently and safely! Make sure to download your tour before your visit to streamline your trip!