Whether you’re a local, a tourist or an out-of-state visitor looking for a perfect spot to kick back and chill out, Penang’s quirky cafes and swanky bars offer plenty of variety. Here are some popular cafes and bars in Penang right now.
Photo credit: Kim Haus (Facebook)
Kim Haus is the spot where you begin an unlikely romance with gold over cakes and coffee — the cafe used to be a gold shop and still houses some of its remnants. Located on the eastern side of Lebuh Campbell, Kim Haus serves a wide selection of western meals and desserts. The cafe's egg benedict arrives drizzled in hollandaise sauce, croissants are handmade daily, and apple crumble is served a la mode for a chilly treat. According to owner Justin Tan, the cafe itself is enormous with a loft (yes, you can book a room here), a vault room and a gold museum for anyone interested to discover Kim Haus' golden past. "The most ‘Grammed features of this cafe are the mural by Mike Makatron and our hammock! Do yourself a favour and check them out,” he says.
Fun fact: Lebuh Campbell used to be the centre of the Chinese jewellery business, with gold shops lining both sides of the street. While you can still find a handful of gold shops here, most have been converted into other businesses. Lebuh Campbell is also just a short walk away from Lebuh Armenian, where murals abound!
Address: No. 9 & 11 Lebuh Campbell, George Town
Opening Hours: 8.30am-11pm. Closed on Wednesdays
Website: Kim Haus Penang
Rumah Kacha by The Kapitz
Photo credit: Rumah Kacha By The Kapitz (Facebook)
If you’re looking for a Muslim-friendly cafe with unobstructed views of a once-derelict bus depot, then head on to Rumah Kacha By The Kapitz. Located within the compound of Hin Bus Depot, the wooden-glasshouse cafe is bright with sun rays throughout and exudes all-round hipster vibes. The artisanal cold brews are locally crafted by Rasta Brew Co and served in self-labelled glass bottles while the summer coolers are fruity cocktail sans the booze. Some of the obvious food to order are Rendang Chicken Pasta, Masak Lemak Cili Api with Prawns Pasta and Juicy Lucy Beef Burger. “If you drop by Rumah Kacha for lunch on a Sunday, grab a table on the deck. You can soundtrack your meal with live music performances by visiting buskers! Then, head to the adjacent Sunday Pop-up market to browse through a wide array of handmade knick-knacks, cool souvenirs and more,” says Rumah Kacha’s manager, Syarifah Nurul Nadia.
Address: Hin Bus Depot, 31a Jalan Gurdwara, George Town
Operating Hours: 11am-9pm. Closed on Mondays
Website: Rumah Kacha By The Kapitz
BEAN Sprout Cafe
Photo credit: BEAN Sprout (Facebook)
Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (also known as Street of Harmony) is one of the most celebrated cultural districts of Penang with a mosque, a Hindu temple, a Taoist temple, and a church sitting nearby one another. BEAN Sprout Cafe’s balcony dining area gives you a view of the bustling street where you can watch worshippers stroll down the streets for daily religious duties. The cafe, located in a two-storey heritage building opposite the Kuan Yin Temple, serves a wide array of all-day breakfast meals even when the sun goes down. Come here for the Big Breakfast and Avocado Toast 3 Ways, which pairs awesomely well with a cup of flat white and people-watching.
Address: 35, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling
Operating Hours: 9.30am-7pm. Closed on Tuesdays
Website: BEAN Sprout Cafe
Crumbles and Cream
Photo credit: yitching (Instagram)
Photo credit: athenateh (Instagram)
While there is no shortage of modern cafes at Icon City (Bukit Mertajam’s vibrant F&B hub), Crumbles and Cream's afternoon tea set rises above the rest: bite-sized macaroons, eclairs, pies and more arrive in a dainty three-tier cake stand. Just 20 minute drive away from the Cherok Tokun Nature Park, Crumbles and Cream surely takes the cake for those looking to unwind after a day of reconnecting with nature.
Address: Ground floor, 71, Jalan Icon City, 14000 Bukit Mertajam
Operating hours: 11am-12am on Sunday to Thursday, 12pm-1am on Fridays and Saturdays
Website: Iconic Hotel
Pentagon 5 Studio
Photo credit: Pentagon 5 Studio (Facebook)
Raja Uda’s Pentagon 5 Studio has the best pork chop you never knew you needed. The cafe’s signature Berkshire Pork Chop is a showstopper best washed down with a bottle of beer. The cafe also serves a variety of crepes and cakes to end your meal on a sweet note! Try pairing Chocolate Crepe, Almond Tiramisu and Black Sesame Hazelnut Chocolate with a cup of Rose Latte. The cafe is located in the thriving Raja Uda commercial hub, next to Aroma Hotel. It is definitely worth a visit after checking out the street art at Butterworth Art Walk, which is just a 10-minute drive away.
Address: 12, Butterworth Business City Centre, Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth
Operating hours: 10am-12am. Opens daily
Website: Pentagon 5 Studio
ThreeSixty° Revolving Restaurant and Rooftop Bar
Photo credit: ThreeSixty° Revolving Restaurant Penang (Facebook)
Nestled atop the Bayview Hotel, ThreeSixty° Revolving Restaurant Penang boasts sweeping views of the heritage city of George Town and the bustling Port Swettenham pier. Grab a window seat where the view changes with each trip to the buffet table that serves Peranakan and Malaysian favourites. The restaurant’s buffet is prepared by an all-Muslim team of chefs using meats sourced from halal suppliers. Outside at the Sky Bar, you’ll get to jive to the latest lounge music with a cocktail in hand. This breezy hangout spot is but a short ride away from the World’s First Tower Curved Skywalk (The TOP’s Rainbow Skywalk), the World’s Highest Ropes Course Challenge (The Gravityz) and the World’s First Free-Standing Vertical Drop Slide (Tech Dome Penang), so it’s a cool place to unwind after a day of thrill-seeking adventures.
Address: Bayview Hotel Georgetown, 25A Farquhar Street, George Town
Operating hours: 4pm-2am. Opens daily
Website: ThreeSixty° Revolving Restaurant and Rooftop Bar
Photo credit: BoraBora at Batu Ferringhi (Facebook)
Just a mere hop-skip-and-jump away from Batu Ferringhi night market where you go to fill up on souvenirs, t-shirts, handbags and accessories, is the BoraBora. Renowned for its easy-going setting of gauzy curtains, Balinese-style fixtures, potted plants and paper lanterns, this beachside bar serves excellent local and western cuisines and a wide selection of beverages, including non-alcoholic options. For a low-key night, order a bucket of beer, grab a seat under a tropical hut-like gazebo and share a sunset with your friends. The view is so perfect it could be on a postcard. Drink here. NOW.
Address: Lot 415, Jalan Batu Ferringhi
Operating hours: 12pm-1am. Opens daily
Website: BoraBora at Batu Ferringhi
Photo Credit: Neighbourhood Penang (Facebook)
There are seaside and rooftop bars, and then there’s Neighbourhood, a ruin-themed bar converted from a pair of old semi-detached houses. Taking a page out of the ruin-themed bar rage in Budapest, Neighbourhood is home to many mismatched furniture, quirky fixtures and vibrant graffiti! Every piece is a conversation starter, and every corner is an Instagrammable opportunity waiting to be hashtagged. The ruin bar is located inside Cubopark @ Chusan along Jalan Tanjung Tokong, one of the most Instagrammable spots in town. So, if chugging down expertly crafted cocktails while feeding your ‘Gram with a graffiti-filled ruin as your backdrop, this is the place to do just that.
Address: Cubopark @ Chusan, 6, Mukim 18, Tanjung Tokong
Operating hours: 7pm-3am. Opens daily
Image credit: WAVE (Facebook)
Everyone loves WAVE and seriously, what’s not to love? It has pool tables, dart games, dance floor, live music, and a great selection of food and booze. You can strike a pose at the super Instagrammable lighted floor of the entrance and proceed to the dance floor, where you can drink and dance the night away. This two-story party spot has added colour to Juru’s Auto-City since its opening in 2018. It truly is one of the hottest night spots on the mainland. Period.
Address: 1681-G1 & 1681-G2, Jalan Perusahaan, Auto-City, Prai
Operating hours: 11am-3pm. Opens daily
The Beer Factory
Image Credit: The Beer Factory website
The Beer Factory at Raja Uda has brought some definite laid-back vibes to the Raja Uda commercial hub, with its al-fresco outdoor dining and industrial factory-themed indoor space. Beer buckets seem to be a popular choice with visitors, but other options include a host of great cocktails and classic shots. To match, the food lineup is equally great. Think salted egg wings, pepperoni pizzas, and assorted fries platters. Those looking for a relaxing night out would do well here because the music is kept to a comfortable decibel.
Address: 26 & 27, Butterworth Business City Center, Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth
Operating hours: 4pm-2am. Opens daily.
Website: The Beer Factory Raja Uda