Penang Cafe-Hop Till You Drop
If you thought cafe-hopping was so last year, think again. Penang isn’t just for its mouth-watering street eats – this Malaysian food paradise hides a buzzing cafe scene that proves that cafe-hopping is still going strong. From unbelievably aesthetic interiors to over-the-top fusion desserts, check out these 17 Penang cafes for a food adventure that’s equal parts style and substance.
1. Norm Micro Roastery
Housed in a space with high ceilings, minimalistic furnishing, polished cement, huge doors, and skylights, Norm Micro Roastery exudes a zen and industrial vibe that's hard to find elsewhere. Sunlight spills in from the roof, making the cafe look as if it has an open roof, but it's in fact fully shaded and air-conditioned.
The menu here is extensive, with healthy food options like granola and chia pudding as well as hearty items like French toast, risotto, and pastas. Their signature tiramisu and great coffee are must-trys when you're here!
- Address: 13, Gat Lebuh Gereja, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
- Opening Hours: 9AM - 10PM
2. Belle and Cream
Photo Credits: @belleandcream
If you’ve never had burnt cheesecake, better get on that train fast. This traditional Basque style of cheesecake has taken the Malaysian cafe scene by storm, with several cafes baking up their own renditions of this dessert.
Photo Credits: @belleandcream
Brought in next door by Aussie-inspired Chapel Street Cafe in Georgetown, Belle and Cream specialises in two things: Burnt cheesecakes and bubble tea. This clean Kinfolk-esque nook serves different flavors of burnt cheesecake, from matcha to milk tea. Each wedge is melt-in-your-mouth rich with a crisp caramelized crust, and comes with a side of warm, chewy tapioca pearls.
- What to order: Burnt Cheesecakes (RM18-22), Dirty Bubble Milk Tea (RM14 with pearls)
- Address: 16, Medan Lim Cheng Teik, Kampung Syed, 10250 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours: Wednesday – Monday 11am-10pm (Closed Tuesdays)
3. Kopi Hutan
Tucked away at the top of Penang Hill at a height of 730 metres above sea level, Kopi Hutan is the highest cafe in Penang. You'll probably already know what to expect here from its name - good coffee in a charming space surrounded by lots of trees!
Unwind after exploring Penang Hill with a cup of fragrant Arabica coffee and freshly-baked cakes. Our favourite here is definitely the Chocolate Lava Cake topped with strawberries and vanilla cream! Although the menu selection here is pretty limited, its still a very lovely space to relax and recharge.
- Address: Summit road, Penang Hill, 11500 Penang, Malaysia
4. China House
Image Credit: @kimberlywoo on Instagram
Photo Credits: @pingggueats
Dubbed “Penang’s Longest Cafe”, China House is a sprawling multi-concept heritage compound. The two-story establishment is made up of 14 different spaces – including a cafe, bakery and restaurant.
Most stop by for their cakes and bakes. The best-selling Tiramisu Cake consists of a thick chocolate chip and mascarpone-based layer sandwiched between two thin sponge cakes, with a crunchy crust of crushed caramelized almonds. Depending on your preference, you can get either a kahlua-spiked version, or a non-alcoholic coffee version.
It’s every cake-lover’s paradise with over 50 different types of cakes a day – from classics like Carrot Cake and Lemon Curd Pistachio to the locally-inspired Pandan Pound Cake and Fresh Ginger Cake. They also have scones, quiches, sheet cakes and pastries to plump up your tea-time selection.
- Address: 153, Beach St, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours: Daily, 9am – 1am
5. The Alley
No, this isn't the bubble tea shop we all know of. Hidden along the quiet Stewart Lane, The Alley is known to serve the most heavenly churros in Penang. The cafe is small in size and offers a cosy, homey ambience. Housed in a colonial building, the cafe is easy to overlook as its signboard doesn't even bear the name of the cafe.
- Address: Summit road, Penang Hill 11500 Penang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours: 9AM - 6PM
6. Pik Nik
Pik Nik is one of the pioneers of Penang's cafe scene - it has served Penangites as a fun lepak place since 2011! The cafe has a retro and laid-back vibe, as well as a room covered in pink that will make pink lovers go crazy. Sip on your coffee on pink camper benches beneath rattan lampshades and snap that perfect pic for your IG feed.
- Address: 15, Jalan Nagor, 10500 George Town, Pulau Pinang
- Opening Hours: 12 - 10PM
7. The Glasshouse, The Prestige Hotel
With resemblance to a tropical Victorian Eden, The Glasshouse is not a cafe but still worthy a spot on our list! The restaurant is located within the beautiful The Prestige Hotel and is a perfect spot for a nice breakfast, hearty lunch, or afternoon tea.
The restaurant features Victorian-style decor, monochromatic tiles, and clever use of glass and mirrors, making it look and feel spacious. Its menu is a good mix of Western and Oriental cuisine, with everything from pastas to burgers, rice dishes, and more.
- Address: 3, Church St Ghaut, Georgetown, 10200 George Town
- Opening Hours: 7AM - 1030PM
Lunabar Coffee is one of our favourites on this list. Perfect for lazy mornings or laid-back afternoons, the cafe serves some of the finest brewed coffees that coffeeholics are bound to appreciate.
Sip on a cuppa and dig into freshly-baked homemade cakes (we especially like their lemon poppy seed cake and banana cake) while being surrounded by lots of greens. Book your cash voucher on Klook for extra savings at Lunabar Coffee.
- Address: 10d, Jalan Clove Hall, George Town, 10050 George Town
- Opening Hours: 9AM - 6PM (closed on Wednesdays)
9. Urban Daybreak
Located in the heart of George Town, Urban Daybreak is the go-to spot for those craving for a hearty brunch. Inspired by the breakfast and brunch items in Australian cafes, Urban Daybreak offers an amazing all-day-breakfast menu with everything from the classic big breakfast, eggs, sausages, waffles, and toast.
- Address: 338, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10300 George Town
- Opening Hours: 730AM - 530PM (closed on Tuesdays)
10. Joies Cafe
Hidden away with no signboard, Joies Cafe in Georgetown’s Pulau Tikus suburb is a sourdough specialist and cafe rolled into one. This health-centric cafe prides themselves on their artisanal homemade sourdough, which takes at least 24 hours to prepare.
The crusty, tangy bread features heavily in their cafe menu, serving as a base in sweet and savoury open-faced toasts like Italian Fruit and housemade Onion Jam. Supposedly, they have one of the best Carbonara in town too.
Joies Cafe recently launched a healthy Tofu Cheesecake series – with Asian favorites like Matcha and Black Sesame, as well as fruit-based flavors like Mandarin Orange and Blueberry Made fresh with minimal ingredients, this normally-decadent dessert is lightened up and made extra smooth with the addition of tofu. Even your health snob friends might be swayed.
- Address: 1st floor 32, Jalan Moulmein 10350 Pulau Pinang, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours: Friday – Wednesday 9am – 9pm (Closed Wednesdays)
11. Fuku Eatery
Serving up Japanese fusion comfort food, desserts and coffee, Fuku Eatery is your one-stop cafe if you’re in the mood for something comforting yet unconventional.
This woodsy, airy space has a good selection of mains, counter-top bakes, plated desserts and drinks – all with a little twist. Their signature Kaiju combines Uji matcha milk, tapioca pearls and a generous dusting of Milo powder in a frothy drink that’s equal parts malty, creamy and bittersweet.
For lunch, choose from a selection of fusion bowls and omurice combinations – the Omu Tori Kaarage has just the right balance from sweet Japanese curry, crispy fried chicken and velvety seasoned eggs.
Photo Credits: @dan.new
Don’t miss out on their updated Thailand-inspired Coconut Thai Milk Tea Kakigori. This mound of finely-shaved frozen thai milk tea is topped with coconut cream, with coconut kueh lapis, crumbly coconut biscuits and a pitcher of gula melaka to drizzle on top. Dig in to reveal a scoop of vanilla ice cream hidden in the centre.
- Address: 37 Beach St, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am – 6pm
Photo Credits: @hovsjovs
Sandwiches and lattes for less than SGD $3 each?! Tucked away at the corner of Bricklin Road, with only a small sign denoting its existence, Le楽 is one of Georgetown’s best cafe secrets. Le楽’s menu is kept small and simple, with toasted sandwiches and a short list of coffee drinks.
Photo Credits: @lelelelelelelelee_
But this isn’t your basic sandwich joint. For 7- 9RM, you can get a surprisingly substantial lunch – with out-of-the-box options like Fish Tempura with Japanese Curry and Thai Pork Belly, stuffed between thick slices of buttered toast and a thick slab of fluffy cheese omelette.
Photo Credits: @lelelelelelelelee_
They’ve recently been experimenting with chiffon cake creations as well for their cake menu, with Orange Chocolate Chiffon and flowy Matcha Cream Cheese Chiffon being one of the latest additions. Their cakes rotate frequently, depending on what they bake up, so check their Instagram to see what’s on their counter.
- Address: 33, Jalan Gurdwara, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours: Friday – Wednesday 9am – 6pm (Closed Wednesdays)
13. Matcho Cafe
For a tropical vacation throwback, Matcho Cafe has the ambience down to a T. Decked out in rattan chairs, wooden tables, hanging swings and an abundance of leafy plants, this pink-walled space is #aestheticAF.
Matcho Cafe’s food isn’t just all style, no substance. The menu has expanded exponentially from its soft launch days – with a range of savoury bites like Penne Pasta Bowls and loaded Matcho Fries, as well as a wider selection of sweet treats.
Go for their Rose or Matcha pancake stacks, which comes with toppings, a scoop of ice cream and a pour-over sauce. They also have a selection of cakes and chilled desserts like Matcha Tiramisu
For drinks, you can’t go wrong with their signature Matcha drinks and Macchiato series – the latter of which includes a choice of chocolate, coffee or matcha, and comes with a frothy pink cap of rose cream.
- Address: No. 99B, Lebuh Noordin, George Town
- Opening Hours: Wednesdays – Mondays 10.30am – 10.30pm (Closed Tuesdays)
Norm nails that minimalist cafe aesthetic, from the wide beams of sunlight pouring in through the skylights and windows to their white walls with wooden facings.
Waffles are a favorite on their daytime menu. Get the Monkey Business for a decadent dessert, which comes with crispy banana chips, chocolate ice cream and a rich chocolate sauce. For something brighter, the Citrus Passion is an interesting alternative – topped with grapefruit, orange, passionfruit and a scoop of ice cream.
They also have savoury waffle options such as Shakshuka Waffles, as well as pastas. The team of baristas recently finished in the top three at a brewing competition – so you can expect a satisfying coffee fix at Norm. If coffee isn’t your thing, order one of their fusion teas.
Once the dusk falls, the bright and airy Norm cafe transforms into Noct, an after-dark dining concept that features cocktails and an alternate dining menu. They’re open all the way till 12am, so come back around if you plan on staying out till late.
- What To Order: White Coffee (RM11/13), Sweet Waffles (RM15-20), Tiramisu (RM15)
- Address: 260c, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 10am – 12.30am
More Travel Inspiration
The Penang Adventure Never Ends
Explore more of Georgetown’s historical sites and architecture on a half-day Georgetown tour, take a break from the hustle and bustle with a visit to the Tropical Spice Garden, and experience the various activities Penang has to offer. Make time for these TOP Penang activities: