Ah, Penang! You cannot speak of this Malaysian state without raving about all the delicious food it has to offer. There’s so much to cover, that sometimes, planning a gastronomic trip can be pretty overwhelming. And you’ll probably end up visiting the same place as most: Gurney Drive.

While there is no denying that there’s plenty to eat in this part of Penang, other places offer equally if not even more delicious delights! So, if you’re stumped on where to begin, we have got you covered. Don’t get sucked into Penang’s tourist traps. Below are some of the best places to eat in Penang that aren’t on Gurney Drive.

New Lane Hawker

A street food paradise, New Lane Hawker is a must-visit when in Penang. You won’t leave feeling disappointed with such a huge variety of food available. If you have the stomach for it, we suggest trying out all of Penang’s classics like the char kway teow, grilled stingray, crispy popiah, and fried egg with oyster. There’s so much that you may want to invest a considerable chunk of your day here.

Address: Lorong Baru, 10450 George Town, Penang

Presgrave Street Hawker Centre

The Presgrave Street Hawker Centre is well-known for its Penang Hokkien mee, but you can also get other street food must-haves like loh mee, fried oyster, curry noodles, and chicken wings. And honestly, the list goes on.

It’s also strategically located, allowing easy access from the central part of George Town. So, spend some time exploring, and then head to this food haven to take yourself on a gastronomic journey.

Address: 67D Lebuh Presgrave, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Cecil Street Market

Opt for something a little different and take a stroll at the Cecil Street Market to experience the beautiful chaos before parking yourself at one of the stalls for breakfast. Many locals frequent this spot to stock up on affordable produce and often stop by the food court for a meal.

Find some of the best beef soup kway teow, barefoot charcoal char kway teow, pasembur, Nyonya kuih, and crispy lor bak – all full of flavour and will probably have you taking away some to devour back at the hotel room.

Address: 40-48 Lebuh Cecil, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Sih Jing San Food Centre

Located on Macalister Road, this food centre has all things Penang food. From fresh seafood to Penang chee cheong fun. There is also a Curry Fish Head stall that is popular among the locals, and it gets pretty busy at lunch, so we suggest timing your visit accordingly.

You will be spoilt for choice here, so don’t forget to come here with an empty stomach and loose trousers.

Address: 68, Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town

Sungai Pinang Food Court

If you’re looking for a wide variety of cuisines and not just Penang staples, head to Sungai Pinang Food Court, where you’ll find an array of options. You can also grab some of Penang’s famous peanut candy, considered one of the state’s vanishing trades. Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate this crushed peanut delicacy.

Address: Lebuh Sungai Pinang Jelutong, 11600 George Town

Goodall Food Court

Goodall Food Court has been around for a long time, with stalls even some of the older locals grew up eating at. Known for their wide variety of food, among the popular choices are chicken rice, fried rice, Japanese food, char koay kak, and many more.

To ensure that you get the chance to have a taste of everything, be sure to go in a group so you can sample each other’s dishes.

Address: 5 Jalan Gottlieb, 10350 George Town

New World Park Food City

With great ventilation and lots of seating, you can indulge in comfort here, and there are plenty of dishes to try. Take your time to peruse the stalls and what they offer, but if you’re really stumped on what to order, try the char kueh kak. If you feel like taking it up a notch, go bougie by asking for oysters to be added to this iconic Penang dish.

Address: Jalan Burma, 10050 George Town

Sri Weld Food Court

On weekdays, you’ll find that many office workers will flock to this food court during their break due to its reasonable price point. Expect to find all the classics here, and you’ll be overwhelmed with the variety. But if you’re going to start somewhere, we suggest the famous Ali Nasi Lemak or one of the stalls selling koay teow th’ng.

Address: Beach Street, 10300 George Town

Lucky Eatery Food Court Centre

Lucky Eatery Food Court Centre is located further down in the southern part of the island. There’s a wide selection to choose from, and it is the perfect stopover before catching a flight out of Penang.

Open until 2am daily, you can get some of the best steamed octopus and fried kam heong squid here. For something sweet, visit the Yuan Taste stall, but be prepared to endure the line of people waiting to get their cake fix.

Address: Medan Bayan, 11900 Bayan Lepas

Taman Free School Food Court

Not a usual spot for tourists to hang at, this humble food court has been around for at least a decade and is probably one of Penang’s best-kept secrets. Offering underrated dishes that are probably some of the best on the island, you can get your fix for char hor fun, laksa, popiah, and more. This food court is your best bet if you’re not too keen on long lines and touristy spots.

Address: 75 Jalan Trengganu, Taman Free School, 10460 George Town