Coffee Shops – Penang’s communal dining rooms!

The coffee shops of Penang are legendary. They serve as great communal eating spaces, where many people can come together to share the amazing food on offer.


At first the format of service at the coffee shops of the city can be a little confusing, but you quickly get used to it. You start by finding a table and ordering a drink – without a drink you have to pay a fee for the table (usually 1rm). Once you have found your table you can then in turn wander around some of the hawker stalls that surround the shop, these are basically street food vendors who centre around one particular coffee shop. The choice is always enormous, and depending on what part of town you are in there will be different specialities!

Our favourites were the satay, laksa, lok bar, fried oysters and the amazing fruit juices available! It was all so cheap as well! With the food generally costing between 4 – 10rm.


In the coffee shops we never failed to have an interesting conversation with people who would invariably come and pop themselves down on our table or budge up and make some space when the place was full. In our favourite coffee shop which was a stones throw away from our hotel we befriended the owner, who went to great lengths to recommend food and drinks to try. The whole experience is unforgettable, and if you find yourself stuck for a meal in Georgetown there is nothing better than grabbing a table and seeing what the hawkers have to offer!


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