Hailed as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang is a melting pot of different cuisines – so it comes of no surprise that cafes have found their niche within this island’s beachy shores. But with so many cafes, it can get a little discombobulating trying to figure out which cafes to put at the top of your list. We’ve rounded up 11 of the trendiest cafes in Georgetown, Penang to get you started on your cafe-hopping adventure:
China House, Georgetown
A staple for cafe enthusiasts visiting Penang, China House is made up of three shophouses and is divided into eight unique dining spaces that range from the Australian coffee house-esque Kopi C, bustling Beach Street Bakery, alfresco Courtyard dining area, and hipster bar Canteen.
Moreover, China House Penang is the place to get a scrumptious slice of cake. Offering over 50 selections of decadent cakes, the cafe sells a whopping 7000 slices of cake per month – that’s more than 200 slices a day! Other than the cakes that take centre stage (quite literally, the cakes are laid out on the bakery table at the epicentre of the cafe), be sure to grab a bite from the cafe’s food menu or stop over at the Canteen for an evening of live music on Friday to Sunday nights.
The Alley, Georgetown; Bukit Mertajam
Bubble tea lovers – how could we forget you? With two outlets in Penang, The Alley grabs a spot on our list not only because of their yummy milk teas and handmade tapioca pearl drinks but also for the basic chill vibe of their outlets. Melding industrial tones and a cosy cafe atmosphere, The Alley offers a great space to hangout and catch up with friends while escaping the island’s scorching sun.
Easy to miss if you don’t keep a lookout, Kafka Penang is hidden jewel behind the unassuming doors of No.15, Jalan Kelawi. Done up with classic industrial decor softened by old-school charm and lush indoor plants, this cafe is an Instagrammer’s dream. The food menu includes classic brunch fare and yummy pastas, but it’s the fusion dish that’s a must to try. Dig into the Beef Rendang Eggs Benedict for a little East-meets-West action and follow that with a cup of robust coffee or a cold-pressed juice for a hearty meal. If you’re there during tea-time, try out their bites menu alongside slices of cake for a light snack.
Stepping away from the norm, Norm in Penang stands as a cafe during the day and transforms into its boozy alter ego, Noct, after sunset. Clean white walls sprinkled with dashes of colour from indoor plants and a quirky decorative tree imbue the cafe’s laid back atmosphere. If you’re there during the day, grab a rich cup of coffee and dig into their Angry Shakshuka Waffles and other breakfast options. Meanwhile, night owls can order from a menu brimming with a variety of signature cocktails, hearty plates of pasta, and waffles topped with ice cream.
Bean Sprout Cafe, Georgetown
If you’re looking for a basic brunch without too much fuss, head over to the Bean Sprout Cafe. With a focus on quality over quantity, the menu is simple – all day breakfast, pancakes, cakes, and coffee. Dine on plates of avocado toast, a hearty big breakfast, smoked salmon on toast, and decadent pancakes. Take a seat by the window so you can enjoy your meal while watching the droves of visitors walking towards the Kuan Yin Temple. Should you wish to do so, cross the street and pay your respects or simply take in the centuries old architecture of the temple after your meal.
Urban Daybreak, Georgetown
Another contender in Georgetown’s bustling cafe scene is Urban Daybreak, a strictly non-Halal eatery that is famous for its Australian brunch and breakfast fare. For starters, dig into the big (and we mean BIG) breakfast platter, aptly named Ann’s Big One. Boasting homemade pork sausages, pillowy poached eggs, bacon, beans, mushrooms, potatoes, and more, this hearty platter is a brunch baby’s dream come true.
However, if you’re looking for a lighter start to your day, opt for savoury or sweet waffles, scrumptious sandwiches, and salads instead. Be sure to indulge your favourite beverage too, be it handcrafted coffee, organic teas, smoothies, shakes, or raw juice – they have it all.
Matcho Cafe, Georgetown
Matcha lovers rejoice! Here’s a cafe after your own heart. The Matcho Cafe in Penang resides at 99 Noordin with a hot pink neon signage to welcome visitors. Carrying forward the pink theme, this cafe exudes a definitive tropical feel with pink walls, potted ferns and cosy rattan furniture. In addition to signature matcha beverages, look forward to scrumptious cakes, smoothie bowls and breakfast sandwiches to soothe your hunger pangs.
Macallum Connoisseurs, Georgetown
If you take your coffee seriously, grab your cup of joe at Macallum Connoisseurs. Founded by coffee enthusiasts, this cafe is a triple threat – it’s a roastery, restaurant, and academy under one roof. Formerly a factory, the cafe’s stern industrial decor makes for great Instagram moments, but it’s the coffee that’s the star here. Each cup is brewed with care and topped with foam art that’s almost too pretty to drink.
The food menu brings a smorgasbord of flavours to the table with numerous options to appeal any palate. Pick to your fancy from plates of creamy pasta, hearty burgers, breakfast fare, light bites, pastries, and even seasonal festive dishes.
Constant Gardener Coffee, Georgetown
A short walk from Fort Cornwallis, Constant Gardener Coffee is a great place to rest your feet after a morning of touristic travels. The cafe offers a variety of blends from different roasters, so feel free to explore and expand your coffee palate with a different brew each time. Accompany your bittersweet elixir with slices of cake and other desserts.
Narrow Marrow, Georgetown
Aptly named, Narrow Marrow is a cosy cafe in Penang with narrow interiors decked in quirky artwork. If art, music, and coffee tickles your taste buds, this cafe brings them all together. While food options are sparse (only basic breakfast fare over the weekend), coffee, cakes and boozy beverages abound. Be sure to sample their toddy (coconut palm wine) on its own or as a cocktail, and selection of freshly-made cakes that are free from artificial flavours and colouring. Narrow Marrow also hosts art and music social events for the community, so check out their social media pages for updates on solo exhibitions by local artists and more.
Fuku Eatery, Georgetown
Last on our list is Fuku Eatery. Nestled in the heritage building, Mano Plus, this Japanese and local fusion cafe is a delight. Dine on plates of fried rice with chicken karaage and Japanese curry, dry ramen with smoked duck, crispy fish skin salmon mazeman, omu salmon mentai don, and many more.
Don’t leave the cafe without sampling some of their desserts, including a glossy galaxy cake, matchamisu, and cold bowls of kakigori in flavours like Pandan Thai Milk Tea, Coconut Thai Milk Tea, and Fuji Honey Milk.
Whether you’re looking for a casual bite, somewhere to rest your feet, or a place to catch up with friends over drinks, these trendy cafes bring their A-game to the table.
Since we’ve narrowed down a list of Georgetown’s trendiest cafes, let’s also take the guessing out of the perfect place to stay while you’re in Penang.
Book your room at Tune Hotel Georgetown.
Tucked in the heart of Georgetown and a short drive away from most of the above cafes, Tune Hotel Georgetown offers a luxurious hotel experience without the hefty prices. Whether your flying in, taking the ferry, or driving into Penang, the hotel’s iconic red and white facade is hard to miss. Stay in comfortable rooms fitted with free WiFi and classic amenities for a restful night.
Visit TuneHotels.com for best prices and book your Penang getaway today!
Don’t hesitate, your cafes await 🙂