Whenever Malaysians gather to talk about road trips or places to visit, the first thing we ask about is food. Isn’t that right? It is typical of us Malaysians to enjoy food, especially when we visit the pearl of the orient, Penang. Besides the famous Penang Char Kuey Teow, the island has come a long way and made its mark as an artsy state, art bombed walls (thanks to Ernest Zacharevic) and the top 15 must-visit cafes in Penang that are halal or pork-free. So, if you are looking for a short and fun getaway with friends or family, I personally recommend Penang and everything colourful about it!
China House, Lebuh Pantai
Image by Chinahouse.com.my
China House is famous for its unique interior setting with three heritage buildings combined into one. The decoration is a mixture of both modern and vintage. Not only it is known as the longest cafe in Penang, it is also known for serving 30 different cakes everyday. That’s a lot of cakes!
China House – Pork Free
153 & 155, Lebuh Pantai & 183B, Lebuh Victoria, 10300 Georgetown, Penang.
Monkeycup Cafe, Jalan Chow Thye
Image by blog.tourdirections.com.my
Monkeycup Cafe’s popular drink served is just as unique as its name. If you are stopping by Monkeycup Cafe, be sure to check out their matcha latte. What makes their matcha special is because it is made with Peaberry coffee from Thailand and it is mixed with herbs.
Monkeycup Cafe – Pork free
36C, Jalan Chow Thye, 10050, Penang
Purrfect Cat Cafe, Jalan Muntri
Image by The Artsy Craftsy
According to the locals, more and more old Chinese shop houses are being restored and transformed into hip cafes, boutique hotels and even museums. The Purrfect Cat Cafe is a perfect addition to the transformation, and in fact, becoming quite popular among tourists and visitors. Located right next to the Camera Museum, (crazy) cat people can now eat cake and sip coffee while surrounded by feline friends.
Purrfect Cat Cafe – Pork free
53, Jalan Muntri, Penang, 10300
Jawi House Cafe, Armenian Street
Image by Kenhuntfood.com
The Jawi House Cafe is a little cozy cafe and gallery that serves a good Jawi Peranakan and Colonial themed menu. It is also a vegetarian friendly eatery, and they are also famous for their homemade red velvet cake. You can also check out some of our fellow Malaysian artists’ artworks, as well as Malaysian batik for sale.
Jawi House Cafe – Halal and Vegetarian friendly
85 Armenian Street, Georgetown, 10200 Penang Malaysia, Malaysia
Behind 50, Lorong Love
Image by Hinika.net
Behind 50 may seem like a regular eatery at the side of the road. But it is popular for its after 6pm opening hours, old school ambiance, including their menu which is an old stamp book. You might cringe just by reading this, but their must-try is the peanut butter shake! Nice or not? You be the judge. Haha! Fun fact: you can even donate a hot beverage to the underprivileged and the homeless through Behind 50.
Behind 50 – Pork free
50, Lorong Love, George Town
Coffee Affairs, Lebuh Bishop
People who visit the Coffee Affairs cafe enjoy their colourful decor and siphon coffee brewers on the wall! It has comfortable setting for friends to meet up and enjoy a cuppa’ coffee or two in their homely environment. A must try is definitely their yummy ice-cream pancakes!
Coffee Affairs – Pork free
21, Lebuh Bishop, George Town, 10200 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Wheeler’s Coffee, Lorong Love
Image by Huntpenang.com
It is no surprise that cycling is a big thing in Penang among locals and tourists. It is definitely quite obvious that Wheeler’s Coffee and its bicycle themed decorations and murals was inspired by the healthy leisure. Mostly western food, people who visit Wheeler’s Coffee would stop by for their coffee, bagels and seafood fajitas.
Wheeler’s Coffee – Pork free
67 Lorong Love, Penang, 10200
Image by Blog.tourdirections.com.my
Bricklin Bar Cafe is also known as Hin Bus Depot because of its location. Besides its artsy yet edgy setting, this cafe is known for its coffee, especially its signature brew called Red Latte. That is definitely a must-try!
Bricklin Bar Cafe – Pork free
31A Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 Georgetown, Penang.
Moody Cow Cafe, Jalan Transfer
Image by TheMalayMailOnline.com
Moody Cow Cafe serves run-of-the-mill cheesecakes, absolutely different from what we usually order in regular bakeries and cafes. If you are visiting Moody Cow, make sure you try their salted egg cheesecake or their Beijing Moon cheesecake. It is surprisingly popular, and the saltiness from the egg yolk gives a unique twist in its taste.
Moody Cow Cafe – Pork free
170, Jalan Transfer, 10050 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Moustache Houze, Lebuh Campbell
Image by Agneslovelife.wordpress.com
Moustache Houze is just like any artsy cafe around Penang. A cafe that is decorated with assorted moustache-themed paintings, Moustache Houze is popular for its espresso ice cube milk.
Moustache Houze – Pork free
24, Lebuh Campbell, George Town, 10100 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
The Alley Cafe, Stewart Lane
Image by Awesomecafepenang.wordpress.com
If you are geared up to look for The Alley Cafe because of this chocolate-coated churro picture, make sure you look out for a shop called Kedai Gaharu Keat Seang, because that’s their signage and The Alley’s signage is just a small one hanging at the side of it.
The Alley Cafe – Pork free
5, Stewart Lane, 10200 Georgetown, Penang.
The Twelve Cups, Beach Street
Image by CoffeeinMalaysia.com
Vegetarians will love this cozy corner in Penang! The Twelve Cups cafe cater to vegetarians with its vegetarian menu, aromatic coffee and handmade mille crepe cakes!
The Twelve Cups – Pork free and Vegetarian friendly
12, The WhiteAways Arcade, Beach St, George Town, 10300 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Awesome Canteen Penang, Lebuh Victoria
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You might be familiar with Awesome Canteen in Petaling Jaya, located along side Awe Gallery and Prologue. Awesome Canteen recently branched out to Penang, setting up shop at Sekeping Victoria. Awesome Canteen has a tranquilizing atmosphere, with its minimalist interior with a touch of nature, and natural light shining in.
Awesome Canteen Penang– Pork free
164 Lebuh Victoria, Georgetown, 10300 Penang.
Huey & Wah, Bellisa Row
Image by TheMalayMailOnline.com
Huey & Wah Cafe at Belissa Row is a recommended place to take a break from the savory food hunting in Penang. Its simple and spacious interior is comfortable and visitors can play board games or read a book (or play with your phones). If you are craving for something sweet, they serve artisanal marshmallows, lemon flavored cheesecake in a jar; for something light, they also serve yogurt with granola, salad and their popular oil-free baked eggs with a choice of mushrooms, smoked salmon or cherry tomatoes.
Huey & Wah – Pork free
368-1-14, Bellisa Row, Jalan Burmah, 10350 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
The Safe Room, Lebuh Campbell
Image by ChaseChin.com
Can you believe it that The Safe Room was once a goldsmith shop? How unique it is that it has been transformed into a cute cafe serving desserts such as their popular nitrogen ice cream, dragon’s breath pop corn, among the other things like coffee and cakes. Most couples who visit the cafe would buy a Love Lock for RM39.90 with their names engraved on it, just so they could hang it on the tree, that is well preserved in a safe room.
The Safe Room – Pork free
42, Lebuh Campbell, George Town, 10100 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia