Alor Setar may not be the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of Malaysian foodie destinations. However, the capital city of Kedah should not be overlooked. Around Alor Setar, there are plenty of eateries, coffee shops, and medan selera (food court), offering a variety of delectable cuisines with individual flair. Some of the best establishments in town are decades-old generational family businesses with a solid rapport with locals but mostly unknown to tourists.

Join us as we take you through some of these hidden culinary treasures!

There’s no better way to start your day in Alor Setar than having breakfast in a communal kampung (village) setting. This humble establishment offers an intercontinental menu, from the Western breakfast of eggs, sausage, and toasts to local favourites such as roti jala and nasi lemak.

Address: Nombor 24, Batu 3, K8, Jalan Langgar, Taman Puspa Kencana, 05460 Alor Setar
Operation hours: Daily, 7:30am to 12:30pm

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Known to Alor Setar-ians as the ‘Simpang Kuala under-the-bridge wantan mee’ because of its location under a flyover, Noodle History’s wantan mee is prepared using homemade egg noodles paired with char siew (barbecued pork).

Operating out of a corner house lot without signage, this place could easily be overlooked were it not for the noticeable crowd of customers gathered there. They are only open for dinner, and you’d want to be there early as the noodles sell out very quickly, thanks to their efficient service!

Address: 1001 B & C, Pekan Simpang Kuala, 05400 Alor Setar, Kedah
Operation hours: Sunday to Friday, 3pm to 9pm; Closed on Saturdays

This renowned stall is a family business that has been around since the early 1970s, serving its founder’s unique recipe of delicious, sweet, and spicy curry noodles. The stall has since become Halal-certified, which draws a diverse crowd daily during its limited breakfast-to-lunch operating hours.

Address: 914, Jalan Sultan Badlishah, Alor Malai, 05200 Alor Setar, Kedah
Operation hours: Daily, 7am to 12pm

If you’re looking for a hangout spot late into the night, Pine 2 is the place to be. Whatever you crave, whether it’s Malaysian staples, Japanese street food, Thai food, icy cold beverages, or desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can find it all under one roof here.

Unlike a typical food court, where you place your order at individual stalls, Pine 2’s eclectic offerings are compiled into one menu for diners’ convenience. Simply take a seat, and their waitstaff will be with you shortly to take your order.

Address: LOT 5464 (A), Jalan Alor Mengkudu, Kampung Ganding, 05400 Alor Setar, Kedah
Operation hours: Thursday to Tuesday, 4pm to 12am; Closed on Wednesdays

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Open only for lunchtime, Adik Abang is a self-service, pay-before-you-eat café offering more than 30 appetising traditional Malay dishes, desserts, and ice cream to boot. Once your plate is filled, a spacious dining area overlooking a tranquil panorama of paddy fields awaits!

Address: Jalan Alor Mengkudu, Kampung Tok Sirun, 05400 Alor Setar, Kedah
Operation hours: Daily, 10am to 3:30pm

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A visit to Kedah would be incomplete without having a savoury bowl of the northern region’s culinary pride, asam laksa. There is certainly no shortage of places to have laksa around Kedah, but Din Laksa is exceptional for being one of the oldest eateries in town.

This family-owned restaurant was established before the nation’s independence, where it operated beneath a Malay kampung house. For many locals, Din Laksa holds a lot of fond memories, with generation after generation growing up enjoying their laksa.

Address: 246 batu 4 1, 4, Jalan Kuala Kedah, Kampung Teluk Kechai, 06600 Alor Setar, Kedah
Operation hours: Closed on Mondays and Fridays, other days open from 12:30pm to 7pm

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Food in Alor Setar extends beyond traditional family and kampung recipes! Its catchy Latin-sounding name notwithstanding, Caffe Diem is a contemporary café operating from a stunning heritage building with an impressive menu of Western fusion dishes, coffee beverages, and dessert pastries.

Offerings of note here are their Smoked Duck Pasta, Lemon Poppyseed Cake, and Chicken Fingers with Tartar Sauce, aptly named Kay Poh Chi (Hokkien for ‘busybody’). Fun fact: Their venue and menu, especially their cakes, are a favourite of the Kedah royal family!

Address: 44, Jalan Penjara Lama, Pekan Cina, Alor Setar, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah
Operation hours: Daily, 12pm to 12am

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Located within walking distance of the Big Clock Tower at Medan Bandar, this complex is the one-stop shop for all Chinese hawker food favourites and cheap eats. From hokkien mee to char kway teow, kai see mee, fried rice, mantou, lobak, otak-otak, and much, much more, it is a food haven for locals and tourists alike.

Address: 5D, Jalan Putra, Bandar Alor Setar, 05150 Alor Setar, Kedah
Operation hours: Daily, 4pm to 11pm

Just by visiting some of these iconic establishments, you’ll quickly realise there’s no shortage of foodie adventures in this rice field capital. But do keep in mind that queues and crowds are to be anticipated!