What Food Is Penang Famous For?

Penang, a small island in the northwest of Malaysia, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It is famous for its blend of delicious and unique local cuisine. With its mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay flavors, Penang has become renowned for its street food, which can be found all over the island.

One of Penang’s signature dishes is Laksa, a spicy noodle soup made with a coconut-based broth. It often includes egg noodles, tofu puffs and bean sprouts, as well as shrimp or fish balls.

Another favorite is Char Kway Teow, a popular stir-fried noodle dish served with bean sprouts and egg. For those looking for something a little sweeter, Cendol is an ice dessert made from palm sugar syrup with coconut milk and green jelly noodles.

Penang’s Chinese population has also contributed to its vibrant culinary scene. The island is known for its Hokkien Mee – thick noodles served with pork or seafood – as well as Hokkien Char – fried noodles with eggs and vegetables. Meanwhile, Penang Assam Laksa features thin rice noodles in a sour fish broth.

Indian influences can also be found in Penang’s cuisine. Roti Canai is an Indian-style flatbread served with curry sauce or dhal. For dessert there’s Putu Mayam – steamed rice flour dough filled with grated coconut and palm sugar syrup.


Penang is known for its diverse and delicious cuisine that takes influence from Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. Popular dishes such as Laksa, Char Kway Teow and Roti Canai are just some of the many dishes that make Penang famous for its food.