Penang Wet Market With a Variety of Delicious Local Food
posted at: 15-07-2019 | author: foodcrush

It is almost an undisputed claim that Penang is the food haven of Malaysia. The street food culture is something that one should explore when in Penang. For starters, the tourists will usually visit popular spots like New Lane and Gurney Drive. These two places are famed for the wide array of food among the tourists instead of the locals.

If you ask the locals, there are always differing opinion on real Penang food. Wet market would be an unconventional place, given the many restaurants available in Penang. However, Penangites rejoiced in the many great food choices that their markets could offer.

While wet markets may give you the impression that they are messy and smelly, it is not entirely true since the market food court will normally be at the adjacent part of the wet market. Listed here are the top picks.

@ Steven Chong

@Patrick Peh

@ Jay Chong Yen Jye

1) Cecil Market

Famously known as the “7th Road” or “Chit Tiao Lor” market by the locals. Cecil market is famous for its fresh seafood stalls that only start to operate in the afternoon.  The food stalls on the other hand, start to operate from early morning right until the late afternoon. This is a very old market hence there are many stalls which still offer the old flavours of Penang. Some “flagship” stalls like Pasembur and duck meat Koay Teow Th’ng have been around for a long time.

@Fritzie Ivy

Not a surprise to see the stalls are currently operated by the newer generations but the same old taste is retained.

Besides that, there are a few famous Char Koay Teow stalls around in the market too. One particular stall stands out for still using charcoal fire to cook. If you need something to cool yourself down, you can head to the famous Lo Han Guo stall for a bowl of special Lo Han Guo dessert.

@Fritzie Ivy

If you fancy traditional nyonya kuih, there are two stalls for you to pick your favourite kuih.  It is difficult to list down all the stalls in the market for it has so much to offer! A true potpourri of local delights. Other notable mentions are Wan Tan mee, curry mee, Teochew porridge, Apam Balik and the list goes on.

Cecil Market should be on top of the list for food hunting. The food price is very reasonable which is why the locals don’t like to see tourists coming over with the fear of causing a price hike in the near future. A well-guarded secret indeed.

@Jay Chong Yen Jye

2) Bayan Baru Market

This is another major market situated near the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone. It is also known as Sunshine market due to its very close distance to Sunshine Square departmental store. The wet market is particularly busy in the morning and lunch hours. Within the Bayan Baru Market building, it houses a big food court serving both halal and non-halal food. Its operating time is also one of the longest and stalls have their own designated operating hours. This place will cater from breakfast until dinner and is never short of varieties.

@Steven Chong

Chicken rice is particularly famous here and there are a few chicken rice stalls available. If you fancy Nasi Campur, you will have great options for traditional Malay fare, home style Chinese Chap Fan and spicy Indian curry rice. For lovers of noodles, there are so many options to choose from such as Mee Goreng, Hokkien Mee, curry mee, Char Hor Fun and Tom Yum mee.

I highly recommend Lai Hoe Tom Yum mee and it is considered a signature stall in the market.

@Linus Hong

If you are there for a casual afternoon tea or cold refreshment, there are a few stalls offering delectable Ais Kacang and coconut water. The curry fish head stall starts to operate around lunch time, it is also a must try. The price in Bayan Baru is very reasonable and cheap. It is a good place to hunt for local Penang food and I believe it has the largest variety of food in the whole of Penang.

3) Air Itam Market

This is the busiest market in the whole of Penang mainly because it is situated at the junction beside the Air Itam main road. Most of the food stalls in this market in fact are not situated within the market itself. In the morning, mobile stalls are being set up along the Air Itam main road creating an extended morning market .


Situated just next to the river, you will find the famous Sister Curry Mee which was founded by a pair of sisters. They have been selling curry mee at the same location for over 70 years. Just opposite the Sister Curry Mee, is a stall selling economy fried noodles that you can take away and have it at a nearby coffee shop. The eating places are all situated near the market, hence there are a few coffee shops around there.

@Chun Fong Ooi

At Wah Meng coffee shop, one can try out the famous Koay Chap while enjoying a cup of Hainanese coffee. The famous Asam Laksa stall starts slightly later at around 10.30am and it continues to operate even after the market has closed. Finally at night, the famous duck rice will start around 8.30pm. From day to night, this market has so much to offer to foodies around.

@joanne xian

4) Balik Pulau Market

In 2008, the market was relocated to a new location near the Rapid Penang bus terminal. Some familiar stalls were also relocated to the food court at the market complex. Here you will find the awesome Pasembur and Asam Laksa. It still retains the authenticity of Penang hawker food at its best.

@Seline Fam

Besides these two main attractions, you can also check out the curry mee along the stalls and some savoury Nyonya Kuih, freshly made to satisfy those with a sweet tooth. Adjacent to the old market area, one will find yet another local delight which is the Nan Guan coffee shop that offers the famous Asam Laksa and Laksa Siam.

5) Batu Lanchang Market

Batu Lanchang market started to gain popularity among the foodies because of a lovely coffee stall numbered 76. It is a perfect spot for breakfast with pseudo gourmet style local coffee with artwork. This stall also offers prepacked nasi lemak and roti bakar for your breakfast treats. The market food court is usually packed during lunch time so be prepared to sweat a little while awaiting your food to arrive.

@goh ingtieng

For lunch, you must try the Nasi Tomato, Mee Goreng and also Pasembur. Not to forget the award-winning Char Koay Kak and Char Hor Fun as well, with legions of fans making a quick line for them. The Kuih stall is also very popular to the extent that most will hear the word “sold out” uttered way too many times by the seller. Most types of Penang famous noodles such as curry mee, lor mee and hokkien mee are also up for grabs.


The Wet Market Trend

In Taiwan, many will agree that the night market is the best place to hunt for local food. In Penang, there are night markets as well but they are not the right place for local food. If you need to sit down and try out a few dishes, you definitely should head to the nearest wet markets. Don’t worry if the market doesn’t have a food court as there will be food stalls and coffee shops nearby to treat your hungry stomach.

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