The fast growing trend of serving coffee in chic, conceptual surrounds has spread to Penang and you will see a number of cool cafes especially around the Georgetown area. People here take their coffee seriously and to help you pick out the best of these non-cookie cutter cafés, we have compiled a list of 5 Great Cafes in Penang.
Though there are still lots of traditional old Chinese cafes left which serve cheap coffee and snacks, these trendy essential staples of urban life stand out for their quirky interior designs, some of which use elements of cultural novelties to help them stand out. From the bizarre to the brilliant, these weirdly and wonderfully themed cafes have definitely made a java-sized impact on the island’s conventional dining scene and we name the names that really matter.
Miam Miam Café Penang
The first entry on our list of 5 Great Cafes in Penang is a French Japanese import that is easily beating the competition. Miam Miam Café is not only the embodiment of hipster culture with its great interior design (think, Peranakan mosaic tiles, contrasting with sky blue metal chairs and cosy marble top tables) and a central location in Gurney Paragon Mall, but also because the food and drinks are some of the best you’ll find around.
The place sees a crowd of young urbanites - way too cool for chain options like Starbucks - willing to wait for good food for up to 45 minutes at peak times. However, the food is really worth it and steals the show, from start to finish. Almost everything is good but we highly recommend Miam Miam’s signature spaghetti, al dente pasta topped with a poached egg and loaded with plump shimeiji mushrooms, mushy eggplant, savoury slivers of sausages and lots of crispy bacon.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 21:15 Monday – Friday; 12:00 – 21:30 Saturday & Sunday
- Address: 163-C-1-01/2, St Jo's, Gurney Paragon, Persiaran Gurney
- Tel: +604 226 7105
Pik Nik Café Penang
Just off Nagore Road in Georgetown, Pik Nik Café is a quaint bohemian-esque café that certainly proves old world charm can make a roaring comeback. You could not ask for a more nostalgic place to bring a book and spend an afternoon surrounded by antiques of a bygone era, in a cosy home-away-from-home setting.
It has got to be one of the most beautiful and eclectic coffee shops we have ever visited – you even get your bill in an old metal medicine box (take note that they only accept cash payments). Plan to bring your appetite because portions here are pretty huge, which helps you stomach the final bill as almost everything on the menu can be shared. Meanwhile, food is concocted and presented creatively to say the least – think, juicy beef burger patties enveloped between thick, crispy and fluffy waffles.
- Opening Hours: 15:00 – 24:00 Sunday – Thursday; 15:00 – 01:00 Friday & Saturday (closed Tuesday)
- Address: 15 & 17 Jalan Nagor, Georgetown
- Tel: +6016 455 2913
Kopi C Café Penang
Kopi C Cafe is certainly one of the more unique concept cafes in Penang at the moment. Designed in the style of an upscale Peranakan-style coffee shop, with dark wood tables and chairs, lots of black and white local art in ornate framework and buffed wood floors, it is housed under the roof of a heritage complex and arts space combo on Beach Street.
What makes it stand out is the food, with all day breakfast specials and Sunday brunches that break the mould. We recommend the jumbo-sized breakfast wrap wrapped around a fluffy omelette, with sun dried tomatoes, eggplant and rocket leaves.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 24:00
- Address: 153 & 155 Lebuh Pantai, Georgetown
- Tel: +604 263 7299
Moon Tree 47 Café Penang
Prepare for a satisfying culinary and caffeine trip that will leave your taste buds homesick after you visit Moon Tree 47, a cafe, art gallery and home stay combo along Jalan Muntri in Georgetown. Set in a pre war colonial Chinese storefront, traditionally quirky and cool are just a couple of words to describe its interior design, which focuses heavily on Peranakan style with mosaic tile work, lots of antique furniture and even a water feature in the indoor open air courtyard.
Back to the simple food menu, you can expect home-cooked style dishes that taste just like mom used to make but each dish has been given a unique touch, like spongy and moist milky-tasting butter cake slices with a side scoop of ice cream – simply divine. However, it is the coffee that makes a trip here worthwhile, with trained baristas yielding cuppas that are well done, and elegantly presented.
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 Thursday – Tuesday
- Address: 47 Muntri Street,10200 Georgetown
- Tel: +604 264 4021
Fullhouse Café Penang
Bringing a touch of glamour and decadence to the coffee scene in Penang, Fullhouse Cafe is a decidedly girly high-tea type cafe, with interior design that leans towards a white and blush-pink colour palette and gives the game away. Set in Penang Times Square, furniture-wise you can expect full-on Victorian-style with lots of rose-patterned damask cushions, Georgian windows and plush sofas with embroidered, lace and beadwork design.
Besides an a la carte menu of western food with some Japanese influences, they also serve freshly baked in-house cakes and pastries – our favourite meal line up here starts with the teriyaki chicken burger, followed with a slice of the lemon cheese cake or tiramisu mini chocolate brownie. The cafe has attracted a loyal following of ladies who come not only for the great coffee and food, but also for the chance to sneak off for a cheeky gossip session with girlfriends.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 24:00
- Address: G-20, 21, 61 & 65, Times Square, Jalan Dato Keramat
- Tel: +604 226 0340