11 Famous Food In Kelantan +Pics + Local’s Best Spots! [2024]

If you love food, you have to come and try Kelantan food! There are famous food in Kelantan that will be the highlight of your visit in Kelantan- guarantee an authentic taste!

Offering wide varieties of food, from savory to sweet dishes, famous food in Kelantan will satisfy your craving and will never fail to impress your belly. 

I took a motorbike trip with my brother through Malaysia and we passed through Kelantan. We were delighted by all the delicious food there!

famous food in kelantan
famous food in kelantan

We also met up with a local gal Nadrah, who guided us through all the best food spots to grab the best famous food in Kelantan so you don’t miss out on the most authentic versions!

11 Must-Try Famous Food In Kelantan

  1. Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik
  2. Laksam
  3. Nasi Tumpang
  4. Nasi Sup Perut Air Asam Daging Bakar
  5. Roti Titab
  6. Nasi Ulam 
  7. Teh Tarik Madu
  8. Mee Celup
  9. Maggi Ketam
  10. Nasi Kakwok
  11. Nasi Dagang


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famous food in Kelantan welcome entrance

Before we proceed to the famous food in Kelantan, there are things that you need to know.

Where Is Kelantan?

Kelantan is located in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia and bordered by Thailand to the north.

Kelantan also has a few duty-free zones, where you can buy cheaper stuff compared to the average shops. These duty-free zones are also located next to Thailand, and you can easily cross the border to go to Thailand.

Fun Fact – Did you know that a Kelantanese doesn’t need a passport to go to Thailand? 

They just show their identity card to Immigration, then off they go. But this is only limited to places around the border.

Protect yourself against identity theft and contactless fraud by using an RFID Blocking Card

Few Things You Need to Know about Kelantan

Kelantan is heavily influenced by the Thai culture, due to its location. 

Due to Kelantan’s relative isolation and a largely rural lifestyle, Kelantanese culture differs from the Malay culture in the rest of the peninsula. 

It is reflected in the cuisine, arts, and the unique Kelantanese Malay language, which is unintelligible even for some speakers of standard Malay.

Kelantan has also been called Negeri Cik Siti Wan Kembang, named after one of the legendary woman rulers. 

She also had been known as a warrior princess, who ruled Kelantan for over 30 years. 

Although Kelantan has always been seen as a poor state due to a lack of infrastructure, you will see women there are crazy about jewelry.

Due to their economic status, it is normal to see Kelantanese opening up restaurants or food stalls, to support their living expenses. 

Ok enough facts, we want food! If you are in search for “Kelantan food near me”, let me show you where you can taste the REAL DEAL instead!

Without further ado, let’s check Kelantan best food! 

Famous food in Kelantan
Photo credit: Facebook Yati Ayam Percik

1. Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik

Nasi kerabu is a traditional food in Kelantan, a type of nasi ulam (steamed rice mixed with various local herbs and vegetables).

The blue-colored rice is eaten with coconut sambal (chili sauce or paste typically made from a mixture of a variety of chili peppers with coconut, shrimp paste, garlic, scallion, palm sugar).

The blue color of the rice comes from the petals of Clitoria ternatea (butterfly-pea) flowers, which are used as a natural food coloring in cooking it.

In Kelantan, most people eat Nasi Kerabu with Ayam Percik (marinated chicken that is traditionally slowly grilled over charcoal.

Generously seasoned with a spice blend that usually incorporates coconut milk, cumin, turmeric, coriander, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, and chili peppers) 

Ayam percik Kelantan is different from regular Ayam percik, due to the thicker gravy and white. These two combinations are a perfect lunch when you stroll around Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

Famous food in Kelantan
Photo credit: Yati Ayam Percik

Restoran Yati Ayam Percik

Get this flavorful Kota Bharu famous food combination here. This restaurant is usually packed during lunch hour, so be prepared to queue or you can come during non-peak hours. 

If you are looking for what to eat in Kota Bahru for lunch, drop by for a good Ayam Percik at Restoran Yati!

Price: RM5.30/ $1.31

Address: 847, Jalan Long Yunus, Kampung Paya Bemban, 15200 Kota Bharu, Kelantan  (Google Maps)

Opening hours: Everyday (12pm-11.30pm)

Kelantan’s famous local food

2. Laksam

One of Kelantan’s famous local food is Laksam. Laksam is made from flat rice noodles topped with a thick, fish-based coconut milk gravy and served with ulam (local raw herb and fresh vegetable) and sambal.

This is different from the usual Laksa Penang or Laksa Johor. Laksam is eaten with a gravy made from fish meat and coconut milk mixed with several other condiments. The thicker the gravy, the better it tastes.  

Add on chili sambal for a kick!

Laksam Special By-T 

Try the best food in Kota Bahru at this eatery. They served freshly made laksam and you can also add on quail eggs and beef floss to enhance the taste.

Price: RM5.00/ $1.24

Address: Laksam Special By-T, Jalan Raja Perempuan Zainab II, Kampung Belukar Lanjut Kumumin, 16100 Kota Bharu, Kelantan (Google Maps)

Opening hours:  15:00 – 22:30 (Closed every Saturday)

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Kelantanese food
Photo credit: @KelateBreakfast

3. Nasi Tumpang

Exclusively Kelantan traditional food, Nasi Tumpang is unlike any other rice dish. This local dish is made with rice in different layer of dishes such as curries, eggs, cucumbers, and spicy coconut flakes, wrapped in a cone shape with banana leaf packed

Uniquely packed in a cone-shaped banana leaf, it comes with fish or prawn curry, fish or meat floss, a dollop of sambal, and sometimes a slice of an omelet. 

Fun fact about Nasi Tumpang. 

Traditionally, it was Kelantanese food for sailors and farmers in Kelantan to bring to work. 

They usually will go to work in a few days, and the wives will prepare Nasi Tumpang for their food. They are packed in cone-shaped to minimize space, and easy to bring.

Kedai Kopi White House

This place also serves Kelantan breakfast food, including coffee, toast, and half-boiled eggs. You can start your day here and fill up your fuel before having a tour on Kelantan.

Price: RM9/ $2.23

Address: 1329-L, Jln Sultanah Zainab, Bandar Kota Bharu, 15000 Kota Bharu, Kelantan (Google Maps)

Opening hours: 8am – 1.30pm, 9pm – 1am (unpredictable day-offs)

Kelantan traditional food
Photo credit: Facebook: Nasi Sup Perut Air Asam Daging Bakar, Paya Bembam

4. Nasi Sup Perut Air Asam Daging Bakar

There is so much food in Kelantan you must try, you have to spend a few days just for a food hunt.

One Kelantan best food that you cannot find elsewhere is Nasi Sup Perut Air Asam Daging Bakar. 

This unique food in Kota Bahru is a simple comfort food, sweet marinated charcoal-grilled meat served with tangy sweet and hot chili sauce, and hot beef tripe sweet air asam (Kelantanese style spicy-sweet-sour soup). 

Kelantan best food
Photo credit: Facebook: Nasi Sup Perut Air Asam Daging Bakar, Paya Bembam

Restoran Kak Ti Pasar Lama MPKB

Get this for lunch, or dinner at this eatery. Also known as Restoran Nasi Sup Perut Air Asam Daging Bakar, Paya Bembam. This restaurant also serves other sides such as beef soup, lamb grill, and many more.

Price: RM13.50/ $3.34

Address: Pt 2431, Tingkat Bawah, Jalan Hospital, Kampung Paya Bemban, 15200 Kota Bharu, Kelantan (Google Maps)

Opening hours: 8 am–12 am (closed on Friday)

Kelantan best food
Photo credit: duniafarisya.com

5. Roti Titab

One of the Kelantan famous food is Roti Titab. 

What makes it so special? 

Until today, the bread is still prepared traditionally, grilled by fiery coal. The aroma that comes from the grill makes the bread taste unique. 

It comes topped with a perfect half-boiled egg, with coconut jam spread on each corner of the bread. You can taste the perfect sweet and savory match from the egg and the sweetness of the coconut jam. 

If you come to Kelantan and do not try this famous Roti Titab, your journey to the famous food in Kelantan is not complete!

Kopitiam Kita

You can get Roti Titab here at Kopitiam Kita. Did you know that the owner of Kopitiam Kita patented Roti Titab? It is to ensure originality and to make sure travelers or tourists have the best experience when they try Roti Titab.

Price: RM5/ 1.24

Address: Jalan Sri Cemerlang, Taman Desa Jasa, 15400 Kota Bharu, Kelantan (Google Maps)

Opening hours: Every day (6 am- 2 pm)

famous food in Kelantan
Photo credit: Facebook Restoran Nasi Ulam Cikgu

6. Nasi Ulam

If you feel like food in Kelantan is unhealthy and you feel guilty about your body, fret not! 

You can opt for Nasi Ulam if you want a healthier meal Kota Bharu food.

Combined with several raw vegetables, paired with boiled fish dipped with budu (anchovies sauce), you will taste all the flavor in your mouth! Guilt-free!  

food in Kelantan
Photo credit: Facebook Restoran Nasi Ulam Cikgu
food in Kelantan
Photo credit: Facebook Restoran Nasi Ulam Cikgu

Restoran Nasi Ulam Cikgu 

This restaurant also offers best food in Kota Bahru with varieties of combo and also a la carte.

To add on the authenticity food experience, this restaurant is located at the former Kelantan Royal Palace, and you can appreciate the beautiful traditional architecture while savoring in local food in Kelantan

Price: Varies according to your choice

Address: Kampung Kraftangan, Jalan Hilir Kota, Bandar Kota Bharu, 15300 Kota Bharu, Kelantan (Google Maps)

Opening hours: 10.30 am – 5 pm, closed on Friday

famous food in Kelantan
Photo credit: jelajahmaya.com

7. Teh Tarik Madu

Never leave Kelantan without this Kota Bahru famous food – or shall i say dessert!?

Teh Tarik Madu (honey milk tea) is the best, especially in hot weather. The sweet taste of Teh Tarik, combined with honey gives a unique taste, unlike any other regular milk tea. 

You can also have float milk tea, and what makes this float milk tea different is that it comes with Teh Tarik ice-cream flavor. 

This is truly famous food in Kelantan because they also opened up other branches at Selangor and gained many loyal customers there.

famous food in Kelantan
Photo credit: jelajahmaya.com

Warung Pak Mat Pulau Pisang

Beside the ice sweet drink, this restaurant is also well known as THE Kelantan food- fish head soup. Located next to the Kelantan River, you can have this ice tea while catching the wind of the Kelantan River. 

Price: Original – RM6/ $1.49. Float – RM12/ $2.98

Address: Medan Ikan Bakar, Jalan Kuala Besar, Kampung Kedai Buloh, 15350 Kota Bharu, Kelantan (Google Maps)

Opening hours: 7.30 am – 4.30 pm (Closed on Tuesday)

mee rebus Kelantan
Photo credit: Facebook Kak Na Mee Celup

8. Mee Celup

Different from mee rebus Kelantan, Mee Celup has a stronger taste and combined with many condiments. 

It has few similarities to the Thai soup noodles.

It comes with lime and assorted sauces on the side to enhance the flavor. You can eat it with chicken, beef, tripe, and even chicken feet! 

The name “Mee Celup” comes from the way they make it. They will cook the soup first, then dip (celup) the mee, bee hoon, or kuey teow in hot boiling water, then they will add it into the soup.

 You have to add condiments to get an extra kick in your Mee Celup!

mee rebus Kelantan
Photo credit: Facebook Kak Na Mee Celup

Restoran Kak Na Mee Celup 

This restaurant is famous for its signature telur mata gedik (wriggly sunny side up egg). 

Price: RM3-RM5 / $0.74 – $1.24

Address: Jln Pasir Mas – Tanah Merah, Kampung Pengkalan Rambutan, 17040 Pasir Mas, Kelantan (Google Maps)

Opening hours: 12 pm – 7 pm (Closed on Wednesday)

famous food in Kelantan
Photo credit: Facebook Alemy Maggi Ketam

9. Maggi Ketam

We always eat Maggi with eggs, have you tried Maggi with crab? Maggi is one of the famous instant noodles here in Malaysia. 

This Kelantan cuisine is extraordinary and will always be one of the Kelantan best foods. Crab gives the gravy a unique taste to the gravy.

So if you have no idea what to eat in Kelantan for dinner, Maggi Ketam will not disappoint!

Kelantan cuisine
Pic credit: Facebook Alemy Maggi Ketam

Restoran Alemy Maggi Ketam 

This restaurant also provides frozen Maggi Ketam for you if you wish to cook it at your home. 

Price: RM20++ / $4.95

Address: 10, Bazaar MDPP, Jln Semerak, Pekan Cherang Ruku, 16700 Cherang Ruku, Kelantan (Google Maps)

Operating hours: 5 pm – 2 am (Open every day)

Kelantanese food
Pic is taken from Vkeong.com

10. Nasi Kak Wok

Another most famous food in Kelantan or even in Malaysia is, Nasi Kak Wok. 

The name is derived from the cook who created this dish, Mek Wook Hassan. This is just a simple dish, white rice, with chicken gulai (sort of curry), bite-sized fried chicken, and complete with sambal and cucumber. 

Although this food Kota Bharu looks simple, the combination of sambal and gravy gives you a whole new taste in your mouth. This is a famous food in Kota Bharu you cannot miss!

Pair Nasi Kak Wok with ice syrup, perfect for a hot sunny day! 

Price: RM4.50 / $1.11

Address: 213, Jalan Masjid Lundang, Kampung Lundang, 15150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan (Google Maps)

Operating hours: 7.30 am – 2.30 pm (Closed on Saturday)

11. Nasi Dagang

Kelantan has their own twist to one of Malaysia’s beloved dishes- Nasi Dagang. 

What makes the Kelantan version of Nasi Dagang stand out is the mixture of aromatic red and glutinous rice. 

Besides the rice, the dish is accompanied with various side dishes, from fish or chicken curry, pickle salad mix, and a Kelantan special- the coconut sambal. 

All the topping harmonizes beautifully, a great Kelantan local food you can enjoy for breakfast or lunch!

Restaurant Capital is one of the authentic Kelantan restaurants selling Nasi Dagang and popular amongst the locals. 

Price: RM 6 – RM 10 ($1.26 USD – $2.10 USD)

Address: Jalan Tengku Besar, Bandar Kota Bharu, 15000 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia

Operating hours:  9am – 5pm (Close on Monday)

Famous Traditional Dessert in Kelantan

Kuih Akok

Kelantan is indeed a food haven for locals, and tourists. The most famous dessert from Kelantan is Akok. It is made with flour, sugar, eggs, and coconut milk. Mixed the ingredients, and baked in a mold. 

Locals said the more wrinkle it gets, the better it tastes. 

You can have this dessert or snacks anywhere in Kelantan. Personally, every time I go to Kelantan I will buy it here. It’s just a small stall but this is where the tastiest Akok I ever taste. 

You should also try other desserts and local cuisine at Wakaf Che Yeh. They usually open until 3 am. If you crave late supper, just hop into this market.

You can also shop here as Wakaf Che Yeh is famous for shopping.

what to eat in Kota Bahru
Photo credit by thekelantanesefavkuih

Jala Mas

Jala Mas is a uniquely Kelantanese dessert and is a must-try Kelantan snacks/ dessert! 

Made primarily of sugar, egg yolk and water, this sweet dessert is cooked by piping the golden batter and swirling around a boiling syrup, mimicking a golden thread lookalike.

This is commonly sold on the street side and can be eaten as a snack or afternoon tea dessert. 

So, next time while driving around in Kelantan, lookout for any street vendor selling freshly made Jala Mas!

Best Food in Kota Bharu

Here are places where you can get the best food Kota Bharu:

  • Restoran Yati Ayam Percik
  • Laksam Special By-T 
  • Nasi Tumpang at Kedai Kopi White House
  • Restoran Kak Ti Pasar Lama MPKB
  • Kopitiam Kita
  • Restoran Nasi Ulam Cikgu 
  • Restoran Kak Na Mee Celup 
  • Restoran Alemy Maggi Ketam 
  • Restaurant Capital

Unique Tips You Should Know When Visiting Kelantan

Famous For Duty-Free Zones

As I mentioned above, there are three duty-free zones here in Kelantan. They are located at Rantau Panjang, Pengkalan Kubor, and Bukit Bunga. You can buy almost everything here. From local snacks and desserts, toys, cookware, clothing, to a mattress! 

Shopaholics loved it here because they can have cheaper prices since it is duty-free. People will usually buy in bulks here, and resell at their places. 

Since these zones are located between the borders of Malaysia and Thailand, you can also find Thailand products here. You should come here to experience the Thailand-Malaysia shopping spree. 

You can also visit Pasar Siti Khadijah for shopping. This building has 4 stories, where you can also find everything in here. 

Malaysia’s Biggest Sleeping Buddha Statue 

Kelantan is very near to Tak Bai Thailand, which explains why you will see many Buddhist Temples in some parts of Kelantan.

Wat Photivihan also called the Phothivihan Buddhist Temple or Wat Yamu, is a Thai temple in Tumpat District, Kelantan, Malaysia.

It is one of 25 temples found in Tumpat and is one of the most popular in Malaysia. 

If you like seeing ancient statues and structures, you can go to Wat Phothivihan. Don’t forget to enjoy local food there, there are several interesting places to dine around the temple, and you will find several unique delicacies there.

Perfect For You, The Adventurers! 

If you are more to adventure than shopping, Kelantan is perfect for you! It has the tallest waterfall in Southeast Asia, a rock-climbing site, and a state park where you can enjoy mother nature.

Jelawang Waterfall, Gunung Stong State Park

This seven-tiers waterfall is acclaimed to be the highest waterfall in Southeast Asia. Located in Gunung Stong State Park, they also provide a few chalets if you want to have a jungle night there.  

Make it easy and fuss-free by bringing along with you a Portable Large Picnic & Outdoor Blanket

It is not advised to summit Gunung Stong if you are not an advanced hiker due to the elevation and terrain. 

Address: Dabong Forest Reserve, 18200 Kelantan (Google Maps)

Contact: +609 748 2014 (Kelantan State Forestry Department)

Taman Etnobotani Gua Musang

Climb up! Gua Musang is a famous location for rock climbers all around the world, aside from Keteri, Perlis, and Gua Damai Batu Caves, Selangor. Providing several routes from easy to hard, you can have fun with your friends climbing real rock.  

Address: Bandar Baru Gua Musang, 18300 Gua Musang, Kelantan

Opening Hours: 9 AM-5 PM daily. Closed on Fridays and for special activities

Entrance Fee: Free. But you must book via KESEDAR before your visit 

Contact: +609 912 1788 (South Kelantan Development Authority) KESEDAR

Tok Bali Beach

If you are not keen on those types of adventurers but adore nature, plan your visit to Tok Bali beach. Surrounded by many resorts there, you can also have this Celup Tepung (deep-fried seafood covered in many kinds of flour) and also slurping coconut shake while enjoying the breeze. 

Address: Tok Bali, 16310 Bachok, Kelantan (Google Maps

Enjoy paddy fields and beaches when in Kelantan, the scenery will give you a new perspective and experience. Locals there are friendly but beware of their driving.

There you have folks! All the best food in Kelantan you can get! Whenever you are in Kelantan, always go out with an empty stomach so you can stuff your belly with love, I mean food. 

what to buy in Kelantan
Photo credit by Serunding Kampung Laut

What to Buy in Kelantan

Wondering what to buy in Kelantan? Since Kelantan is known for its traditional crafts and local delectables, there are a variety of things to buy in Kelantan as souvenirs or gifts.  

If you want to bring home a fashionable piece, Kelantan is heaven buying batik prints products, from kaftan batik, shirt or sarong.

The best place to buy batik wear is at the Pasar Malam Wakaf Che Yeh– you will be spoiled with options at affordable prices! 

For foodie, make sure to not leave Kelantan without buying freshly made dodol- a sweet toffee like sugar-palm base chewy dessert infused with different flavors.

what to buy in Kelantan
Photo credit by Serunding Kampung Laut

Besides dodol, Kelantan is also known for their chicken or beef floss (serunding), a fine fiber packed with flavor, goes great as rice topping! 

Head to Serunding Kampung Laut to buy Kelantan famous snacks, a popular spot selling a variety of serunding, dodol and other local traditional snacks.

FAQs about Famous Food in Kelantan

Is it Safe to Travel to Kelantan?

Is it safe to travel to Kelantan as a woman? Kelantan is considered safe for female travelers but like any other cities, it’s important to travel in precautions and beware of the surroundings. Locals in Kelantan are friendly and happy to offer help and recommendation. However, do be mindful of the local custom and tradition while in Kelantan, and dress modestly by covering knees and shoulders to respect the local norms. 

Is Kota Bharu Conservative?

Is Kota Bharu Conservative? Yes, Kota Bharu is considered a conservative city as it is ruled by the religious Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS). With a predominantly Muslim population, you can see Islamic influences in the daily life of the locals in Kota Bharu. When visiting Kelantan, be mindful of the local custom and religious sensitivity and dress modestly.

Best Things to do During the Week-Long Holiday in Kelantan

Wondering what to do for your week-long holiday in Kelantan? Lucky for you, Kelantan offers plenty of attractions to keep your travel itinerary full! Here are 27 best things to do in Kelantan:

  1. Vist Gua Ikan Complex, Dabong
  2. Visit Gunung Stong State Park
  3. Visit Wat Phothivihan- biggest reclining Buddha
  4. Visit Gua Cha
  5. Eat at Pulau Suri Floating Market
  6. Catch a train at Jungle Railway
  7. Visit Min House Camp
  8. Immense art at Street Art Kota Bharu
  9. Visit local artisan at Pak Sapie and Sons Wau Gallery
  10. Visit Chinese Mosque
  11. Take a dip at Jelawang Waterfall
  12. Stroll around Pantai Senok Lighthouse
  13. Shop at Rantau Panjang Tax Free Zone
  14. Detox at Tok Bok Hot Springs
  15. Eat and shop at Wakaf Che Yeh Evening Market
  16. Visit Istana Jahar
  17. Shop at Siti Khadijah Market
  18. Catch a show at The Cultural Centre
  19. Visit the historic Bank Kerapu War Museum
  20. Hike at Kuala Koh National Park
  21. Visit Gua Musang Etnobotani Park
  22. Learn about Kelantan history at Kelantan State Museum
  23. Visit the oldest mosque in Kelantan at Kampung Laut Mosque
  24. Enjoy the scenic Pergau Lake
  25. Visit the Istana Batu Royal Museum
  26. Visit Pulai Princess Cave
  27. Bat sighting at Mount Reng Recreational Park
famous food in kelantan
Photo credit: udeyismail

Ready to Indulge Famous Food in Kelantan?

There you have it! On your next trip to Kelantan, Kota Bharu food hunt is a must now that you know what to eat in Kota Bharu!

Kelantan’s cuisine is anything but dull- each staple dish carries a rich history of origin, which remains authentically delightful to this day! 

Thanks to the strong cultural preservation, we still get to indulge in all the famous food in Kelantan that have stood the test of time. 

What are you waiting for? Add Kelantan to your next foodie trip in Malaysia!

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