Central Market, a historic destination where locals and tourists alike go gallivanting for unique trinkets to gift as souvenirs, would never have occurred to me as a place for some of the best eats in town. But it is, and a day out in the area introduced me to some exceptional flavours. As delicious food locations are meant to be shared, here are the top five worth checking out.

While Malaysians may be used to roadside stalls selling kuih-muih, nasi lemak, and other local favourites, the thought of roadside ramen is definitely foreign. So, if you’re looking for authentic and comforting bowls of Japanese noodles, look no further than Two Old Man Ramen.

Run by two Japanese brothers, this roadside eatery is nestled in Kasturi Walk and kind of reminds us of a yatai stall in Japan. Considering the exorbitant prices of ramen dishes nowadays, foodies will be pleased to know that everything here tastes good and is within a reasonable price range.

Their simple and comforting Shoyu Ramen is only RM15.80! Their Spicy Miso Ramen, one of their best-sellers, is also priced the same. Keep in mind that the stall can only accommodate very few customers, so be prepared to wait during rush hour.

Address: Kasturi Walk, 32, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +60 12-668 2883

Instagram Icon

Can’t decide what to eat? Makan Hall at Pasar Besar in Central Market has got you. Pasar Besar is a chic little market that showcases some of Malaysia’s best flavours, colours, and textiles. Within Pasar Besar, you’ll find Market Hall, Makers Hall, and Makan Hall––the latter being where you can see some of the best local dishes with great price points.

Our recommendations are Bakar and Rice Culture, where the former’s sight and smell of grilled seafood will have you drooling before you can order, and the latter will appeal to all rice lovers.

Address: Central Market, M11 Mezzanie, 73, Jalan Benteng, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +60 18-319 9864

Website Icon Instagram Icon

Are you a fan of all things matcha like I am? Then stop by IJO. Matcha is an absolute must when you’re in the Central Market area. If you’re not sure what to have, their super friendly and helpful staff will help you out.

They’ll even give personal recommendations, like the IJO’s Matcha Tella, which is as good as it is sinful with its added layer of hazelnut chocolate. For a taste of local flavour, sip on the Matcha Bandung Selasih, and for something classic, stick to their OG Iced Matcha Latte.

Address: Central Market, Pasar Seni, Central Market KW-06 Kasturi Walk, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +60 10-225 2414

Facebook Icon Instagram Icon

If it wasn’t for my sister’s love for Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pastel de Nata), I might have never made that fateful stop at this casual eatery. Decked in the colours of Portugal’s flag, this is THE place to go if you want some quality pastries and fuss-free Portuguese tapas (Petiscos).

If you want something savoury, light, yet filling, try the Tuna Steak in Bolo Do Caco – it’s so flavourful that you’ll want to order another to take away. There are no misses here at Bartola Lisboa Bakehouse, where even the drinks are delicious, especially their range of healthy juices.

Address: Mezzanine floor lot 204-206, Central Market, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Annexe, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +60 11-6167 1458

Instagram Icon

While Merchant’s Lane is not inside Central Market, it is only an 11-minute walk away, which is great as parking spots are scarce in the area. You really have to be intentional when looking for this cafe because it’s not as obvious as you may think.

But a little hide-and-seek game with Merchant’s Lane is worth the trouble as their coffee is pretty decent, and the food options are interesting, like the Ramly Burger Wanton. Portions here are generous, so don’t come alone. The vibe here reminds me of an obscure cafe in Seminyak, Bali.

Address: 150, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +60 3-2022 1736

Facebook Icon Instagram Icon