icon
icon
article hero

16 Muslim-Friendly Hipster Cafés In Penang For Your Next Café-Hopping Adventure

AvatarName

Yaya Norazman  •  Sep 07, 2018

icon

[Updated 2 June 2022] Ah, Penang. The Pearl of the Orient, Isle of the Betel Nut and The Land with Too Many Good Food. That's right - dubbed as the food capital of Malaysia, you can expect to find delicious street foods, amazing eateries and of course, hipster cafes peppered across the city. In this article, we'll make hunting for halal food in Penang easier for you. So just keep scrolling and check out this list of best halal cafes in Penang for when you make that trip up north! Disclaimer: This list features eateries that serve alcohol. They have been clearly marked out below and we recommend that you dine at your own discretion. 

1. The Table Penang

This small but cosy cafe has more than just great coffee. Scrumptious western meals, yummy desserts and awesome drinks - The Table Penang has it all! The interior is simple, with wooden furniture made by the owner himself! Since it only opens from 6pm onwards, this is a perfect place to drop by for dinner, followed by coffee and desserts. With their amazingly extensive menu, you will definitely have your fill of food! Feast on grilled chicken & meatballs pasta, lamb shank, buttermilk chicken, calamari, burgers and more.

Halal status: Muslim-owned Instagram

2. Jawi House Cafe Gallery 

It's no surprise how pre-Merdeka migration has done wonders to the food evolution in the Malay Archipelago. Jawi Peranakan, a combination of Malay, Indian and Arab ancestries, is a substantial part of the local communities in Penang since the early 1900s. For those who have never had a cross-cultural food experience, you're at the right place to begin!

Jawi House Cafe Gallery is set to give its customers a tasteful atmosphere with an emphasis on traditional elements. Both first-timers and returning customers cannot seem to get enough of their signature Lamb Masala Biryani, Laksa Lemak and Herbal Lemuni Rice. If you are of South Asian descent, this place will surely evoke your childhood memories; all of your classic favourites, prepared with a kick of Western fusion.

Halal status: Muslim-owned Facebook

3. Lagenda Cafe

It's all in the name; Lagenda Cafe is the legendary place where extraordinary traditional Malay cuisines meet equally captivating Western-fusion dishes. To the fans of the late Malaysian icon P. Ramlee, you'd be pleased to discover that his timeless art is the primary element of this cafe. Gado-gado, a type of Indonesian salad mix is the must-try appetiser and its portion scales up to satisfy 5 people so it's best shared with friends and families!

Every order of Lagenda Cafe's rice set comes with a wooden Congkak housing staple condiments to spice up your mains. There's a lot to choose from, but we suggest you try Nasi Goreng Bujang Lapok and Ayam Percik Madu Tiga. The rich aromatic mixture of coconut milk and tamarind paste will remind you of your favourite Ramadhan bazaar's version of Ayam Percik. Ah, memories!

Halal status: Muslim-owned Facebook

4. MORE by Arang Coffee

Let's be honest, dining at a spacious cafe with a hint of nature that serves appetizing dishes is a mood. MORE by Arang Coffee is exactly the place which fits the bill, but there's a catch: it is always packed with customers during peak hours.

The Awesome Threesome is one of the sought-after items in their menu and is ideal for sharing. They are essentially open-faced sandwiches with 3 toppings variety: Mushroom Cheese, Ham & Egg, and Smoked Salmon. When paired with Lagi Latte, expect little fireworks show to happen because they taste a little like falling in love at first sight!

Halal status: Uses ingredients sourced from halal-certified suppliers Facebook 

5. Brown Pocket

For a cafe which claims to be Penang's waffle connoisseur, we are here to validate that and say Brown Pocket definitely knows what they're doing. Using dough instead of batter and a pearl sugar topping to caramelise the waffle, it's a perfect blend of crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. We think that alone is enough to convince us to order every waffle (and pancakes) they make in a day. Brown Pocket also offers a duet set for those who can't decide whether to have waffles or pancakes. Every serving comes with their signature waffles, pancakes, topping of choice, and ice cream.

With a cosy ambience and a stunning view overlooking George Town's skyline, this place is ideal for catching up with friends or collecting inspirations for your next big creative break. Other than your usual caffeine beverages, Brown Pocket makes all kinds of chocolate drinks, smoothies, frappes, fizzy fruit drinks, freshly squeezed juices, and premium Ronnefeldt tea. People say "go big or go home," and Brown Pocket delivers exactly that. For more options, check out these halal dessert places in Penang!

Halal status: Uses ingredients sourced from halal-certified suppliers Facebook

6. KOTA Dine & Coffee

Set within the historic grounds of Fort Cornwallis, Kota Dine & Coffee (or KOTA for short) is a captivating cafe that offers not only amazing food but also great insight on Penang’s colonial history. Visitors will love how cosy this cafe is with its bright and inviting facade - with the most notable feature being the floor to ceiling glass windows that allows for plenty of natural light to filter through. This is perfect because all that natural light only serves to highlight just how beautiful the food served at KOTA looks. If you're looking for other places to explore, check out these Instagrammable spots in Penang! Halal status: Halal-certified Website

7. ALAMAK Cafe

With its industrial look, bright, Broadway-esque light-up sign and air-conditioned interior, ALAMAK is what you would get when you take typical Mamak food and made it bougie. The exterior of the cafe is just so eye-catching that you can't help but want to snap a few pictures before even stepping foot inside the cafe ?! When it comes to the food served, you'll be pleased to know that not only does the food taste and look good but it’s also reasonably priced! Famous for their coconut shake, melted cheeseburger and Nasi Lemak Chicken, this cafe is perfect for those of you who are looking for an aesthetic supper spot with filling, no-fuss meals. Halal status: Halal-certified Facebook

8. Rumah Kacha

Nestled within the trendy space of the famous Hin Bus Depot is Rumah Kacha. This a see-through wooden-glass house serves as a cosy cafe and comfortable hang out spot for both locals and tourists alike ✨. Especially popular for its abundance of natural light, spacious and airy setting as well as its rustic-styled decor, Rumah Kacha is the perfect spot for nature loves and people seeking a comfortable place to just unwind, take some pictures and enjoy tasty fusion food. Well known for their affordable homemade western meals with a localised twist, you definitely need to try their Masak Lemak Cili Api With Prawns pasta and the Grilled Chicken Salad. Click here to read more about Rumah Kacha! Halal status: Muslim-owned Facebook

9. Urban Green Cabin

Plant-lovers will go absolutely 'ga-ga' over Urban Green Cabin - a cool, modern and nature-themed cafe that's decked out from floor to ceiling with live green plants. This friendly hangout spot is no doubt Instagram-worthy - the interior sleek, minimalistic and exuding a soothing atmosphere. The unique moss garden located right next to the bar counter immediately draws the eyes - as do the various ferns adorning the counter front and bar area. Serving a selection of light bites such as cakes and pastries, Urban Green Cabin is the perfect spot to grab a cup of coffee, enjoy catching up with friends and if you’re feeling particularly inspired, trying your hand at making your very own terrarium! Halal status: Ingredients sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no pork or alcohol is used in their cooking. Facebook

10. The Warung

Located on Lebuh Victoria, The Warung is a cool and quaint cafe that serves amazing coffee as well as some sweet and savoury waffles. An excellent hangout spot for those of you who are more creatively inclined or are looking for a place that serves something light to munch on, their signature fruit waffles are a must-try. Served with fresh fruits and a scoop of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, the waffles are also lovingly drizzled with either chocolate or strawberry sauce and dusted with cookie crumbles - making them a treat to eat! Besides serving some pretty amazing coffee and amazing desserts, The Warung, with its rustic look and decor also serves as a platform for artisans and designers to market their products - ensuring that there's always something new and interesting for you to see and photograph. Halal status: Ingredients sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no pork or alcohol is used in their cooking. Website

11. Joies Sourdough Cafe

The last cafe on our list not only has a chic, modern atmosphere, but they also have one of the best sourdough-centric menus in Penang! Located in the Pulau Tikus area, Joies Sourdough Cafe is a meat-free cafe that is best known for not using any sugars or artificial flavourings for their impressive range of artisanal bread. A great spot for breakfast or light meals, the food served here are cooked upon order - ensuring that you’ll be able to enjoy your meal in their freshest state. For the health-conscious eaters, the various sourdough toasts will surely leave you feeling awestruck! Vibrant and delicious, they pair up perfectly with coffee or the cafe’s extensive range of healthy, cold-pressed juices. Halal status: Ingredients sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no alcohol is used in their cooking. Website

12. Ferringhi Coffee Garden

Ever dreamed of sipping a cuppa surrounded by the glorious charm of island nature? Welcome to Ferringhi Coffee Garden, a must-visit not only for its tasty Western breakfast and brunch options but also for the lush greenery which complements the European countryside aesthetics! Enjoy freshly made breads, coffee and tea for breakfast or dive right into their mains of grilled chicken, lamb shanks and sauteed lobsters if you're dropping by for dinner. Whatever you choose to savour here, you're guaranteed to be in for a treat while as you dine amongst nature.

Halal status: Halal-certified ingredients used. Please note that alcohol is served on the premises, we recommend that you dine at your discretion. Facebook

13. Wheeler's Coffee

Now, we have all seen and heard people dipping french fries into sundaes before. You might be guilty of this. Or pairing Milo with Mozzarella shreds! We're talking about unusual combinations that make your hairs stand at first, but you learn to love them. At Wheeler's Coffee, Wakanda Burger is it. It's simply sinful, and it leaves you wanting more.

Food presentation is also one of the things you can count on these guys to do it right, apart from their food combination game. Wanna know what else do people come here for? Freshly baked Bacon Arugula pizza and Spaghetti Carbonara gained their much-deserved spots in visitors' hearts as quickly as one would squeal "Yum!" when taking a bite.

For dessert, explore the various options that are available such as burnt cheesecake, creme brulee and espresso pan cotta! With more to choose from, we totally understand how it would be hard to pick just one. But whichever you decide to go with, it'll undoubtedly be the perfect finish to a hearty lunch on sunny day out in George Town!

Halal status: Uses ingredients sourced from halal-certified suppliers. Please note that alcohol is served on the premises,  so we recommend that you dine at your discretion. Website

14. Areca Cafe

If you like Eurasian food made with purely fresh local ingredients, you'll love Areca Cafe. Located inside Areca Hotel, this cafe has won the hearts of many tourists as well as locals who are in pursuit of luxurious dining experience in the quiet and underestimated Khoo Sian Ewe street. With an extensive menu that'll entice anyone for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it's tough for us to pick one or two favourites. But if we *really* had to choose, we recommend having the Kam Heong Spaghetti with King Prawns. And don't forget to check out their big breakfast too! As for light bites, we love the Pandan Cream Caramel which is served with Gula Melaka syrup and caramelised banana coupled with a cup of Latte Macchiato. Their pancakes are also so prettily plated that it'll be tough to actually eat them!

Halal status: Uses halal ingredients. Do note that alcohol is served on the premises, we recommend that you dine at your discretion. Facebook

15. Canning Dim Sum Express

Finding a cool cafe that serves halal Chinese food in Penang can be rather difficult. Which is why Canning Dim Sum Express is such a blessing! Famous for its delicious steamed buns and bite-sized Cantonese delicacies, this vibrant cafe is strategically located in D'Piazza Mall in the Bayan Lepas area. Spacious and contemporarily decorated, the cafe exudes a very comfortable and cosy atmosphere. With a huge, floral statement wall, unique decor items and a colourful children’s area, it’s the perfect spot for a fashionable family! The food is just as delightful as the cafe's decor! The colourful  har gows (traditional prawn dumplings) and Lava paus will definitely make a beautiful addition to your Instagram feed ?. Halal status: Halal-certified FacebookP.S. Love taking photos during your trip? Here are 12 Instagrammable spots in Penang that aren't street art!

16. HAP Dessert & Toast

If you're looking for a place to grab a fanciful looking breakfast or delectable desserts, look no further than HAP Toast & Desserts. As the name implies, the cafe serves all sorts of breakfast menu items and sweets that will satisfy your cravings for all things sweet and savoury. From Souffle Pancakes and Shibuya Toasts to Japanese style kakigori (shaved ice), you'll definitely have no complaints about the food! They even have a new pasta menu coming up ;) As for the overall look and feel, HAP has a very light and clean atmosphere. Both the exterior and interior gives off an elegant and minimalistic vibe - making it the perfect place for taking photos of your food or OOTD for the 'gram! Halal status: Ingredients sourced from halal-certified suppliers and no pork or alcohol is used in their cooking. Instagram

Congratulations! You've now completed your cheat sheet. Now off you go and explore the best of Penang's halal cafes, one cuppa at a time ☕ And if this isn't enough for you, there's always more halal food in Penang!