Known as Malaysia’s smallest and probably quietest state, Perlis owes its charm to the green paddy fields, rustic villages, and untouched forests that it shares with Thailand. Its economy relies primarily on agriculture, forestry, and fishing; that is why most of Perlis’ most fantastic dishes will include fish in one way or another.

The rare and delicious Harumanis mango also comes from this humble state. So, if you’re feeling like planning a gastronomic trip up north and need a helping hand on where to go, we’ve got you covered.

Here is a list of some of the best places in Perlis for even the fussiest of foodies.

1. Blackwood Coffee & Chocolate, Arau

Dubbed one of the first hipster cafes established in Perlis, Blackwood Coffee & Chocolate is made up of a team passionate about coffee and food, which translates into their menu. Their industrial-chic interior of exposed brick walls and pipes gives the cafe its trendy ambience. Serving mainly Western dishes, this cafe is the perfect spot for good coffee, and we also recommend trying their ample variety of crepe cakes!

Address: Lot 3968 Tingkat Bawah, Kompleks Arau, 02600 Arau, Perlis
Contact: +604 986 0168

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2. Hai Thien, Kuala Perlis

Due to its location, seafood is pretty easy (and fresh) to come by, and in comparison to other places like Port Dickson and Melaka, it’s cheaper in this state! Famed for its steamed fish dishes, cakoi (a long piece of fried dough), and fried ice cream, this restaurant is a must-try when in town. We’re sure we had you at fried ice cream!

Address: Jalan Jeti Baru, 02000 Kuala Perlis, Perlis
Contact: +6012 469 9778

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3. Citarasa Mona Ikan Bakar Komalaut, Kuala Perlis

You can never get enough seafood, and in Kuala Perlis, there are plenty of seafood restaurants to choose from. Another one worth mentioning is Citarasa Mona Ikan Bakar Komalaut, where they will personally recommend dishes that will have you coming back for seconds! Give their chilli cream and fried squid a go too! RM200 will easily feed six to seven pax with an order of about five dishes.

Address: Pekan Kuala Perlis, 02000 Kuala Perlis, Perlis
Contact: +6013 315 4383

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4. Restoran Anjung Keli, Kangar

Widely known by locals and seafood lovers familiar with the Perlis food scene, Restoran Anjung Keli has been around for over a decade. While this eatery in Kangar is a bit steeper in price, you’ll get your money’s worth here. Their gulai (spicy curry-like gravy) ikan, spicy catfish, chilli tempeh (fermented soybeans) with anchovies, and local ulam (salad made up of fresh leaves) seem to be the crowd favourites. We recommend securing a table early as it is known to get pretty crowded during lunch.

Address: Medan Sri Pulai, Jalan Behor Pulai, 01000 Kangar, Perlis
Contact: +6019 443 3384

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5. Warung Pokok Sawa, Kangar

Warung Pokok Sawa has a similar ambience to Anjung Keli, but with a smaller dine-in space. And it’s friendlier on the wallet! Perlis’ favourite choice of seafood seems to be the catfish, and in this state, it’s cooked in various ways. However, the popular practice of serving them is fried with a spicy note.

Freshly done from the stove by 11am, you’ll find that they often get sold out by 2pm, so get there on time! RM20 will get you by with about three to four regular-portioned dishes. For inquiries, you can quickly get in touch through WhatsApp!

Address: Kampung Kersik, Mata Ayer, 02500 Kangar, Perlis
Contact: +604 938 1778

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6. Api Api Ikan Bakar, Kuala Perlis

Another seafood joint worth a stop is Api Api Ikan Bakar. With a price range similar to Citarasa Mona Ikan Bakar Komalaut, the restaurant will usually have a long queue from 8pm onwards, so be sure to give a call for booking to avoid any disappointment. Their most recommended dish is their sweet and sour fish.

Address: Jalan Dato Ali, Bukit Tok Po, 02000 Kuala Perlis, Perlis
Contact: +6012 480 1173

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7. Daging Bakar Honey Nostalgia, Kuala Perlis

Like most restaurants in Perlis that shy away from a social media presence, Daging Bakar Honey Nostalgia may not have an Instagram account but can be contactable through Facebook or the more-preferred WhatsApp.

Their flavourful grilled meat, served with rice and a special Thai sauce, is a best-seller and an absolute must-try when you’re here. If you’re not into red meat, their grilled chicken is just as good!

Address: Kampung Telok, 02000 Kuala Perlis, Perlis
Contact: +6017 502 1902

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8. Restoran Capati Arau, Arau

Feeling peckish and in the mood for some light bites? Restoran Capati Arau has got your cravings covered! Besides whipping up some of the best chapatis in town, they also serve delicious mango sticky rice. We also love its super casual al fresco vibe!

Address: Capati, 01000 Arau, Perlis
Contact: +6013 458 5300

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9. Speedline Bistro, Kangar

Known as the only western restaurant that serves lobster and king crab in Perlis, Speedline Bistro is a family favourite amongst the locals due to its generous portions. Their servings can be shared between up to four people. It’s also a popular spot to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or any other occasion.

Address: B-10B Lorong Bentara 4, Jalan Sekolah Derma, Taman Kechor Indah, 01000 Kangar, Perlis
Contact: +6019 773 3446

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10. Hameed Nasi Kandar, Kangar

While there are plenty of roadside stalls that sell nasi kandar for easy take-out, one of the most well-known around town is Hameed Nasi Kandar Beratur. Located right next to the McDonald’s outlet in Kangar, this stall has short opening hours (from 6pm to 8pm) and delicious food that often causes a long queue. So, make a beeline for this stall as soon as possible!

Address: Kampung Bukit Lagi, 01000 Kangar, Perlis
Contact: +6019 456 2665

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There is a plethora of food to sample while you’re in Perlis, and most of them are roadside stalls you may come across while driving around. Some worth a mention include the roti canai stall located next to Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis, which has the best dhal gravy in the area. The town of Arau truly comes alive when the sun sets, so we highly recommend exploring at night for some local delicacies.