7 Penang Cafes [Cosy + Affordable!] 2023

It is well known that if you’re a person who enjoys food, Penang is the best place for you to explore various cuisines that will tingle your taste buds! Penang cafes are renowned for having the best coffee and atmosphere.

If you’re someone who loves exploring cafe culture by indulging in coffee, tea, desserts and mouth-watering meals, then Penang cafes would sound like heaven to you! WWB Writer, and Penang resident, Sonia, shares local tips on all the best places to go for coffee in Penang.

The cafe-hopping trend in the travel industry has been blooming as skilled chefs, baristas, coffee enthusiasts and foodies come together to appreciate cafe culture.

Besides, this trend is huge on Instagram as it is so aesthetically pleasing to look at!

So if this sounds like your cup of tea (see what I did there?), you should pay a visit to these Penang cafes!

But before that, where is Penang?

Penang is a state on the north-west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Penang consists of an island called Penang Island (all cafes in this article are located in George Town, Penang Island) and coastal strip of land on mainland peninsular Malaysia

Why should you visit Penang?

Besides being a food paradise, this little island has no shortage of cultural sites and natural amenities. If you’re into nature, Penang has several sandy beaches for you to relax on and a national park for you to jungle trek.

Enriched with culture and heritage, George Town, Penang was listed as a heritage site by UNESCO in 2008 because of its historical architecture and multicultural heritage. 

Since all these cafes are situated in George Town, Penang, you will be able to experience the art and culture of this town while cafe hopping!

(More on heritage streets and what you can do there in the list of cafes below)

  • Feast your senses on the sights and smells of George Town on a half-day culinary tour, ideal for food lovers with limited time in Penang

  • You can escape to the countryside of Penang without the risk of getting lost on the way out of George Town on this action-packed half-day cycling tour

Here is a list of Penang cafes you can’t miss out on (in no particular order):

1.Soul Cafe

Soul Cafe Penang
Soul Cafe Penang

Photo credits: @soulcafepenang

Just like its name suggests, this photography themed cafe definitely touches your soul! Not only do they serve quality meals, but they support local and travel photographers by displaying their photos on the walls of the cafe. The photos will be taken down every month to make space for new ones to be displayed. 

Besides, Soul Cafe Penang is well-known for their smoothies which are served in camera lens-shaped drinkware.

This Penang cafe brings you around the world with its latest menu! The menu consists of 8 dishes inspired by flavours from different parts of the world.

Here’s what you should try:

Soul Cafe Penang
Mutton Varuval Spaghetti, Soul Cafe Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Mutton Varuval Spaghetti (INDIA) – RM32/$7.66

A twist you’d never think of; traditional home-cooked mutton curry with Italian spaghetti. 

Soul Cafe Penang
Green Curry Spaghetti, Soul Cafe Penang

Photo credit: @soniasingh_

Green Curry Spaghetti (THAILAND) – RM24/$5.75

A combination of authentic Bangkok style green curry chicken with spaghetti.

Soul Cafe Penang
Toowoomba Pasta, Soul Cafe Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Toowoomba Pasta (AUSTRALIA) – RM32/$7.66

Spaghetti toasted in spicy alfredo sauce, king prawn and clam.

Soul Cafe Penang
Fruit Smoothie, Soul Cafe Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Mango and Passion Fruit Smoothie  – RM16/$3.38

Freshly blended fruits in a camera lens-shaped drinkware.

Soul Cafe Penang
Molten De Cocoa, Soul Cafe Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Molten De Cocoa – RM18/$4.31

Dark chocolate lava cake, strawberry coulis, passion fruit, butter crumble served with homemade gelato.

Address: 12, Jalan Kek Chuan, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating Hours: Mon-Sat (11 AM-9.30 PM)

Penang Travel Tip: Soul cafe is one of the nine coloured shophouses on Kek Chuan road. Take a picture while you’re there!

2.Frank Laurent Coffee Roasters

Searching for the best coffee in Penang? Frank Laurent Coffee Roasters will not disappoint. Frank, the founder, travelled around the world and stayed in a coffee farm in Taiwan for months to educate himself on the art of making good coffee.

This cafe also hosts workshops regularly to educate their consumers on coffee and latte art.

Being the first cafe in Penang to have an app and reward system, Frank Laurent has taken its digital venture to the next level by establishing an outlet at Forward School; a school for anyone interested in learning technology-driven skills such as data science, design and digital marketing.

If you’re a traveller that has to work on the go, you will be able to sip on coffee, have good food and get some work done at Forward School’s coworking space by purchasing their daily pass which costs RM30.

This can only be bought in person, not online. 

Here’s what you should try:

Best coffee in Penang
Blue Cappuccino, best coffee in Penang

Blue Cappuccino (RM13/$3.11)

Cappuccino topped with melted sugar that cracks when you gently tap it with a spoon.

Photo credits: Author

best coffee in Penang
Hojicha Latte, best coffee in Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Hojicha Latte (RM13/$3.11)

Hojicha, a traditional Japanese green tea (sister to Matcha) made into a latte.

Bonito Salmon Carbonara (RM33/$7.90)

Creamy carbonara served with Salmon slices and fish roe.

Address: 4, Acheh Street, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating Hours: Every day (9.30 AM-5.30 PM)

Penang Travel Tip: The Frank Laurent outlet at Forward School is located at Acheh Street which is a 2 minute walk to Armenian Street. Take a stroll on Armenian Street and experience good food, famous street arts, museums, live performances and guest houses for stay! 

Brew your own homemade coffee with this 2-Way Single Serve Coffee Maker

penang cafes coffee maker

3.Norm Micro Roastery 

New cafe in Penang
Norm Micro Roastery , new cafe in Penang

Photo credits: @norm.micro.roastery

If you’re looking for a minimalistic yet edgy instagram worthy cafe, Norm Micro Roastery is the place to go! This new cafe in Penang is housed in what was once a shipping yard. The cafe officially launched in January 2020. 

Norm’s core belief is that good quality food should be a norm, hence the cafe’s name!

Here’s what you should try:

new cafe in Penang
Risotto, new cafe in Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Prawn and Pumpkin Risotto (RM32/$7.66) 

This main is a must-try for all seafood lovers! This creamy rice dish is topped with Moroccan spiced prawns, fresh clams, shimeji mushrooms, crispy sage and sprinkled with generous amounts of parmesan cheese.

new cafe in Penang
Mousse, new cafe in Penang

Photo credit: @soniasingh_

Creamy Mushroom and Onion Mousse (RM22/$5.27) 

A slow-cooked king oyster and Portobello mushrooms with caramelised onion mousse topped with crispy deep-fried enoki, pickled onion, chervil and a poached egg on a sourdough slice. 

new cafe in Penang
French toast, new cafe in Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

So Frenchie So Chic (RM20/$4.79) 

This instagrammable dessert is a cinnamon vanilla french toast, served with a side of coffee custard, and berries compote. It is garnished with crushed pistachios, strawberries, orange, sweet cream cheese and a white chocolate shard.

These two drinks from Norm with an Asian twist are really popular:

new cafe in Penang
Smoky Grapefruit, new cafe in Penang

Picture credits: @soniasingh_

Smoky Grapefruit (Rm14/$3.35) 

Fresh grapefruit blended with Lap Sang tea (Chinese black tea) concentrate to create a smoky finish to an otherwise fresh blended juice. 

New cafe in Penang
Matcha Yuzu, new cafe in Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Matcha Yuzu (RM15/$3.59)

Homemade Japanese matcha sauce and Korean yuzu with a splash of tonic soda.  

Address: 13, Gat Lebuh Gereja, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating Hours: Every day (9 AM -10 PM)

Penang Travel Tip: If you’re looking for a luxurious stay in Penang, The Prestige Hotel is a colonial Victorian-style hotel located right opposite Norm Micro Roastery. 

Make a cold press with all your choice of fruits, making delicious fruit juice smoothies with this Magic Bullet Blender.

penang cafes fruit juice blender smoothie

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Wheeler’s got its name from the founder’s love for bicycles. Therefore, this top cafe in Penang is bicycle-themed! Wheeler’s has been awarded TripAdvisor Excellent Award since 2016 and for four years consecutively.

In 2020, it was awarded Traveler’s Choice Award on TripAdvisor.

With its inclusive, yet creative menu, it is no doubt that Wheeler’s is said to be the best cafe in Penang by many locals and travellers.

Here’s what you should try:

top cafe in Penang
Espresso Chicken, top cafe in Penang

Photo credits: @wheelerspenang

Espresso Chicken (RM19.90/$4.77)

Grilled chicken splashed with sweet cream sauce served with an espresso shot to be poured over the main.

top cafe in Penang
Chicken Mushroom, top cafe in Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Chicken Mushroom (RM20.90/$5.01)

Deep-fried boneless chicken thigh served with mashed potatoes, buttered vegetables, cherry tomato, asparagus, shimeji mushroom and mushroom sauce. 

Best coffee in Penang
Tom Yam Pasta, best coffee in Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Tom Yam Pasta (RM26.90/$6.44)

Spaghetti pasta with an Asian twist served with homemade tom yam sauce, shrimps, cherry tomatoes and spice crumbles.

top cafe in Penang
Burnt Cheesecake, top cafe in Penang

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Burnt Cheesecake (RM13.90/$3.33)

Silky, rich burnt cheesecake.

Top cafe in Penang
Cold Brew Latte, top cafe in Penang

Photo credit: @soniasingh_

Macadamia Cold Brew Latte (RM13.90/$3.33)

Smooth, bitter-sweet macadamia cold brew latte.

Address: 67, Love Lane, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating Hours: Sun-Thurs (8 AM-12 AM), Fri & Sat (8 AM-1 AM)

Penang Travel Tip: If you’re heading to Wheeler’s at night, you’ll be able to have a taste of Penang’s nightlife which happens at Love Lane, filled with hippie bars, live bands and street performances for entertainment.

5.Urban Daybreak

Inspired by Australian brunch culture, Urban Daybreak is a Penang breakfast cafe that serves all-day breakfast.

Besides their popular big breakfast which comes with their famous homemade pork sausage, Urban Daybreak serves a selection of unique breakfast and handcrafted coffee from you to choose on.

Here’s what you should try:

Penang breakfast cafe
Big Breakfast, Penang breakfast cafe

Photo credits: @urbandaybreak

Urban’s Really Big Breakfast (RM30/$7.18)

Whole grain toast served with two eggs (of your cooking preference), spiced homemade pork sausage, bacon, king mushroom, spinach, homemade BBQ baked beans, roasted tomatoes and salad.

Penang breakfast cafe
Fried Chicken Waffle, Penang breakfast cafe

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Fried Chicken Waffle (RM25/$5.99)

Waffles topped with crispy chicken karaage, sunny side up, baked beans and drizzled with maple mustard.

Penang breakfast cafe
Crackling On Salmon, Penang breakfast cafe

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Crackling On Salmon (RM28/$6.71)

Crispy pan-seared salmon fillet, vegetable slaw, roasted tomatoes and poached egg.

Photo credits: @soniasingh_

Penang cafes
Mocha De Mexico. Penang cafes

Mocha De Mexico (RM13/$3.11)

Espresso with Mexican chocolate, steamed milk and whipped cream.

Address: 338, Beach Street, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating Hours: Every day (7.30 AM-5.30 PM), Closed on Tuesday.

Penang Travel Tip: If you’re in the area on a Sunday, join in on the Occupy Beach Street event that happens every Sunday. You’ll be able to try different street food, experience live performances, games and buy some souvenirs!

6.Toh Soon Cafe

Toh Soon Cafe is a famous Penang coffee shop. Any local would tell you that Toh Soon Cafe is the place to try authentic Malaysian breakfast by the alley.

If you’re planning to have breakfast at this local spot, do not snooze your alarm clock! It is not easy to get a table as it is always crowded with families, foodies and travellers with their cameras.

Although you’ll have to wait, many say its worth it!

Here’s what you should try: 

Toh Soon Cafe
Toh Soon Cafe

Picture Credits: @alexisjetsets

Coffee Marble Bread, Hainan Coffee, Nasi Lemak, Toasts with Half-Boiled Eggs (prices vary from time-to-time) 

Address: Campbell Street, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating Hours: Mon-Sat (8 AM-3 PM)

Penang Travel Tip: If you’re into local Penang food, take a stroll along Campbell street as it has various local hawker food.

7.Black Kettle

Black Kettle sets the tone for your day right with its aromatic coffee and freshly baked goods.

This is a pretty nice cafe in Penang as its interior gives you a modern feel despite being located on the oldest street of Penang.

Baked goods are freshly baked daily for customers to enjoy.

Here’s what you should try:

nice cafe in Penang
Tourteau Fromage, nice cafe in Penang

Photo credits: @blackkettlemy

Tourteau Fromage (RM20.15/$4.83)

Cheesecake generously topped with strawberries.

best cafe in Penang
Almond Croissant, best cafe in Penang

Photo credit: @blackkettlemy

Almond Croissant (RM7.50/$1.80)

Croissant made with French Lescure Butter and topped with almond flakes.

Penang cafes
Entremet Cake, Penang cafes

Photo credits: @blackkettlemy

Entremet Cake (RM22/$5.27)

Milk Chocolate Mousse, Mango Cremeux, Coconut Mousse & Hazelnut Sponge.

Address: 105, Beach Street, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang

Operating Hours: Mon-Sun (8.30 AM-12 AM)

Penang Travel Tip: While you’re at Black Kettle, explore the different architectural styles at Beach Street, also known as the oldest street in Penang.

And there you have it!

Your Penang cafes guide! Whether you prefer coffee over tea or are looking for some good mains instead of desserts, there is something for everyone in the heart of Georgetown, Penang.

Besides, while visiting these cafes, you’ll be able to explore the various culture and heritage sites, learn more about the history of Penang and take lots of stunning pictures with this Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR!

penang cafes dslr camera

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