Penang may be a small island famous for its variety of cuisines, but it’s also becoming well-known for the large choice of vegetarian food available.
Here you can take a trip around vegetarian Penang and explore the food on offer. In part one, the north part of Penang and George Town is highlighted.
North of the Island at Tanjung Bungah
Yi Ke Shu Vegetarian Kitchen
113 Jalan Lembah Permai, 11200, Tanjung Bungah, Penang. Open: Monday to Thursday 10am to 5.30pm. Friday to Sunday 10am to 8.30pm. Closed: Wednesday.
This vegetarian/vegan cafe is located opposite Tenby School. It’s open for all day breakfasts, pancakes, burgers, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, soups, rice and noodle dishes and vegan cakes. Try the home made burger with tempeh, oyster mushrooms, greens, vegan mayo and french fries. Bright and clean interior
Tanjung Tokong/Straits Quay Area
Real Food Sonnentor
Ground Floor, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470, Penang. Open Daily: 10am to 10pm.
Real Food offers a creative and varied organic, meat-free menu. Choose from soups, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, salads, pasta, rice and noodle dishes. Try their signature dumplings. Finish with desserts such as vegan ice-cream, brownies or banana cake. A large range of Sonnentor teas are available to drink as are tea, coffee and fresh juices. Read review.
Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight
A-1-8 Vantage, Jalan Desiran Tanjung, 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Penang (next to Tesco). Open: Daily 11am to 9pm. Closed Tuesday.
This is the third outlet in Penang and offers a range of rice, noodle, pasta, Chinese delicacies and Western dishes at reasonable prices. The food doesn’t contain eggs, onion, garlic or added MSG. Whilst the oriental dishes are vegan (no dairy), the Western dishes may contain dairy. They use non-GMO soya. Some of the popular dishes include Nasi Lemak, spicy udon noodles, yam rolls and satay. Buy one get one free coffee daily from 3pm to 5pm.
River Glow Vegetarian Economy Rice
96-G-1 Prima Tanjung Business Centre, Jalan Fettes, 11200 Tanjong Tokong, Penang. Open: Daily 9am to 3pm.
Offering vegetarian economy rice dishes.
Gurney Drive Area
3rd Floor, Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney, 10250, Penang. Open: Daily: 10am to 10pm.
Idealite serve healthy, delicious local and International style dishes without the use of MSG, white sugar, white salt, MSG, peanuts, synthetic colourings or preservatives in the food. Favourites include Bak Kut Teh and Hakka Lei Cha, as well as a choice of ramen, spaghetti and rice dishes, sushi, salads, burgers as well as their new power/energy bowls.
170-03-82 Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney, 10250, Penang. Open: Daily 10am to 10pm.
Sushi Kitchen have now gone upmarket with this stylish restaurant in busy Gurney Plaza (new section). Offering a la carte, organic vegan food with a variety of noodle, spaghetti, fried rice, porridge and sushi dishes. No MSG used. You can also find Sushi Kitchen at Sungai Ara, Georgetown and Farlim.
Mama Vege Restaurant
Third Floor, Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney, 10250, Penang.
Mama Vege is well-known for its steamboat. You can also try dishes such the signature eryngii mushrooms, Shanghai pak choi with Mama signature sauce and Beijing roasted Vege Duck. Many of the dishes are made of mock meat as well as mushrooms. You can also try their pizza or spaghetti dishes.
Anjung Gurney Food Court, Stall No. 74, Gurney Drive, 10250, Penang. Open: 5pm to 11pm. Closed: Monday.
Vegetarian food stall at famous hawker food centre on Gurney Drive, near Gurney Plaza. Serves a small menu of local noodle dishes including fried tom yam, char hor fun, hock ken char and ee fu mee.
Pulau Tikus Area
Adventist Hospital Cafeteria
Penang Adventist Hospital, 465 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang. Open: Monday to Thursday and Sunday: 6am to 9pm. Friday: 6am to 6.30pm. Closed Saturday.
A hospital cafeteria that serves a variety of vegetarian Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western cuisine including pizza.
80 Persiaran Midlands, 10250 Pulau Tikus, Penang. Open: Daily 11am to 5pm. Closed: Wednesday.
Brown Poodle is an intimate cafe with a small but delicious menu. Favourites include a bagel burger and charcoal burger platter with seaweed fries and salad, Coffee, tea, cold beverages as well as a range vegetarian and vegan cakes, brownies, muffins and cookies are also available.
Evergreen Vegetarian House
39A Cantonment Road, 10250 Pulau Tikus, Penang. Open: Daily: 7am to 9pm.
This popular self-service restaurant offers a huge variety of Chinese vegetarian dishes. Choose from curries, noodles, dumplings, tofu, mock meat and vegetables.
Moulmein Rise, Jalan Pasar, 10350 Pulau Tikus, Penang. Open: Daily 9am to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm.
BMS Organics is both a retail outlet and cafe. They serve healthy vegetarian food without the use of MSG, GMO ingredients and preservatives. Dishes include their signature nasi lemak, hakka lei cha, soy milk curry laksa as well as a range of noodle dishes, salads and sandwiches.
Joies Cafe and Sourdough
32 Jalan Moulmein, 10350 Pulau Tikus, Penang. Open: Daily 8am to 5pm. Closed Thursday. Facebook.
This charming bakery come vegetarian cafe offers savoury and sweet sourdough dishes such as scrambled egg, banana and peanut butter, onion jam and Italian Fruit. They also serve soups, salads and pasta dishes. Quench your thirst with cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and coffee.
Off Macalister Road
Annalakshmi @ Temple of Fine Arts
1 Babington Avenue, Off Barack Road, 10450 Penang. Open: Tuesday to Sunday: 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 9.30pm. Closed Monday. (near Island Hospital).
This popular open-air restaurant serves buffet style Indian food with a choice of starters, main courses including curries, vegetables, dhal, bread and rice. In the evening you can choose a la carte. Run by volunteers, payment is “pay what you want”.
Off Burma Road/Macalister Road going towards George Town
24 Jalan Kedah, 10050 Penang. Daily 10.30am to 9pm. Closed Friday.
Offering a la carte Chinese cuisine and Western food and juices. Ideal for large groups.
Happy Realm Vegetarian Food Centre
223-B Jalan Burma, 10050 George Town, Penang. Open: 10am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm. (Near 1926 Heritage Hotel).
Chinese restaurant with a huge selection of dishes. Choose from small, medium or large portions with starting prices from RM8. Dishes include mock meat and fish.
JanxDen Greenlife Cafe
50 Jalan Chow Thye, 10050, Penang. Contact: 04-2268414. Open: 9.30am to 9.30pm.Closed: Wednesday (except 1st & 15th on the month in lunar calendar). Promoting a healthy lifestyle using organic ingredients and no MSG. Their menu consists of tasty Asian and Western style cuisine including pizzas which can be made vegan, sandwiches, pasta and delicious rice dishes. Popular starters are the Singapore Pai Tee and Vietnamese spring rolls. Finish off your meal with a choice of eggless cheesecakes.
Zen Xin Vegetarian Restaurant
42 Jalan Nagore, 10050, Penang. Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 11.30am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 11pm. Closed Monday.
Located in a row of Chinese Straits house, this Chinese vegetarian restaurant has an extensive menu serving interesting Cantonese dishes. Recommended dishes include the popular kung pao monkey head mushrooms, thai crispy abalone mushrooms and baked nyonya oats fish.
D’nature Veggie Chinese Cuisine
29, Jalan Nagor, 10050 Georgetown, Penang. Open: 11am to 3.30pm and 5.30pm to 10.00pm. Closed: Wednesday (Thursday close if 1st & 15th of lunar month fall on Wednesday).
Serving vegetarian Chinese rice, noodle and a la carte dishes. Also available are set meals for larger groups.
Lily’s Vegetarian Kitchen
98 Noble House, Madras Lane, 10400 Penang. Open: Tuesday to Sunday: 8am to 9.30pm. Closed Monday.
Fresh and mostly organic vegetarian food including nyonya, oriental, fusion and western dishes. Lots of mock meat and fish dishes.
Luk Yea Yan
33 Madras Lane, 10400 Penang. Daily: 7.30am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 9.30pm. Closed: Wednesday.
Luk Yea Yan restaurant offers a large range of economy rice dishes, most of which are mock meat based. They also serve an excellent Asam Laksa. A la carte dishes can be ordered off the menu from 5.30pm.
Coya Healthy Cuisine
4A Lorong Selamat, 10400, Penang. Open: Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 10pm. Closed Monday. Facebook.
Coya Healthy Cuisine do not use gluten products, MSG or preservatives. Dishes are primarily made from mushroom and non- genetic altered soy bean. Choose from delicious curry dishes, spaghetti and noodles and hearty bak kut teh soup amongst other dishes. Does not use onions or garlic.
Nutriland Vegan Health Food Centre
11 Jalan Rangoon, 10400, Penang. Open: Daily, 11.30am to 2pm. Closed Saturday.
Only open for lunch, during the week Nutriland serves set meals with a choice of at least 7 dishes for a cost RM12 for three dishes, rice and soup. On the first and third Sunday of the month there is a buffet line with a choice of at least 15/16 dishes at RM25. There are rice, noodle, vegetable and tofu dishes as well as raw salads and usually a curry and laksa. Included is a choice of desserts and tea.
Seed Natural Food Cafe
12A Abu Siti Lane, 10050, Penang. Open: Monday to Saturday: 11am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 9pm. Closed Sunday.
Serving healthy Chinese rice and noodle dishes using predominantly organic ingredients with no white sugar, white salt or MSG. Daily specials. Organic products are also for sale.
8 Moralities Vegetarian Restaurant
No. 2 Jalan Krian, 10400, Georgetown, Penang. Open: Daily: 11am to 9pm. Closed: Monday.
Recently transformed to an all vegetarian restaurant, you can find a large selection of Chinese rice and noodles dishes as well as western style dishes. Try veggie versions of chicken or duck rice, curry fish head rice, curry mee and dumpling ramen soup. Western dishes include spaghetti bolognese, chicken chop and golden fish. Feeling peckish than drop in for a snack such as fried dumplings, satay, floss vegetable bao and and steamed sandwich. No onions or garlic. Also located at M Mall 020 Penang Times Square.
Kwan Vegetarian Little Kitchen
113 Jalan Kedah, 10500, Penang (at junction with Burmah Road beside Canon Camera shop). Open: Monday to Friday 7am to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm.
Serving simple but wholesome vegetarian food using sea salt, organic sugar and organic seasonings. Dishes include wantan mee, jawa mee, signature fried angel hair noodle, fried rice/bee hoon, yam cake, signature chai kuih and organic barley/lohan kuo.
Komtar Area/Central George Town
Ee Beng Vegetarian Food Centre
18 Lebuh Dickens, 10050 Penang. (Off Jalan Penang, opposite Balai Polis). Open: Monday to Saturday: 7am to 4pm. Closed Sunday.
Serving economy rice dishes as well as local dishes such as hokkien mee, wan tan mee and nasi lemak.
Zhu Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant
90 Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, 10100 Penang. Open: Daily: 11.30am to 3pm and 6pm to 9.30pm Closed: Tuesday.
Offering set lunches, a range of Chinese and western a la carte choices, steamboat as well as self-service buffet.
Laizzen Vegetarian Cafe
22 Lebuh Gereja (Church Street), 10200 George Town, Penang. Open: Monday to Friday 8am to 3pm.
Veggie economy rice.
Gold Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
52 Presgrave Street, 10300, George Town, Penang. Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm.
Offering a variety of Chinese local dishes including mee goreng, char koay teow, jawa mee, hokkien mee, siam laksa and nasi lemak.
Hin Bus Depot, 61 Jalan Gurdwara, 10300, Penang. Open: Tuesday to Sunday 12noon to 9pm. Closed Mondays. Facebook.
Wholey Wonder is a trendy hangout at the Hin Bus Depot. Not only do they serve creative and healthy plant-based vegan food, but offer yoga classes in their upstairs studio. The menu consists mostly of cakes, raw treats, smoothies, cold pressed juices, teas and coffees and a small savoury selection including shepherds pie, naked burger and pizza. A place to nourish body and mind.
Pin Xin Vegan Cuisine
38, Lebuh Tye Sin, 10300, Penang. Open: Daily 7.30am to 10pm.
Pin Xin serves all vegan local delights such as their signature asam laksa and jawa mee, rice dishes such as nasi lemak and black vinegar hericium mushroom and Western dishes such as healthy burger, spaghetti aglio olio, and a real salad. Vegan cakes, tea and coffee also available. They are also open for all day breakfast including avocado beet sourdough toast, tomato bruschetta, portobello mushrooms and steamed pao. The interior is beautiful and relaxing with sofas and chandeliers.
Cloud Dreaming Western Vegan Restaurant
15 Lebuh Tye Sin, 10300, Penang. Open: 11.30am to 3.30pm and 6pm to 10pm.
This area is turning into vegan paradise and now we have Cloud Dreaming Western Vegan which is part of the Sushi Kitchen family. Choose from four types of burgers and pastas, hearty soups, pita sets, salads, a variety of appetizers and cakes.
Near Penang Times Square
Fo Guang Vegetarian
11 Kuantan Road, 10150, Penang. Open: Daily, 7am to 2pm and 4.30pm to 7.30pm.
Offering three vegetable dishes and one rice for RM2 as well as a variety of noodle dishes.
For You Yen Vegetarian Centre
347-349 Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150, Penang. Open: Daily, 9am to 9pm. (Near Lorong Kulit Flea Market).
Open since 1985, this simple, but elegant restaurant serves a combination of Taiwanese and local style vegetarian dishes. You can choose from individual dishes, or sets that cater for 2/3 or 3/4 people with names such as as Double Wisdom. You can even try the vegetarian steam boat.
Old Street Taiwanese Delicacies
79-1-7 M Mall 020 Penang Times Square, Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150, Penang. Open: Daily 10am to 10pm.
Serving a selection of Chinese rice and noodles dishes as well as western style dishes. Try veggie versions of chicken or duck rice, curry fish head rice, curry mee and dumpling ramen soup. Western dishes include spaghetti bolognese, chicken chop and golden fish. Feeling peckish than drop in for a snack such as fried dumplings, satay, floss vegetable bao and and steamed sandwich. No onions or garlic.
Jun Jun Vegetarian Cuisine @ Island Cafe
211 Melaka Street, 10400 Georgetown, Penang. Open: Daily 8.30am to 4pm.
Menu includes India mee, Ah Mah White bee hoon, Kam Heong style bee hoon, Bee hoon soup, claypot noodle soup.
Little India, George Town
The Leaf Healthy House
5 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: Daily 11.30am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 10pm.
The menu at the Leaf Healthy House offers a great variety of Asian fusion dishes as well as burgers, sandwiches, spaghetti and snacks such as Vietnamese spring rolls and edamame beans. No MSG, white sugar, white salt, artificial colourings, preservatives, garlic, onions and gluten. Read review.
Sri Ananda Bhawan Pure Vegetarian
55 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: Daily: 7.00am to 11.00pm.
Choose from a large menu of Indian delights. Favourites include the great value banana leaf meal or take your pick of dishes from the buffet line.
Woodlands Vegetarian Restaurant
60 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: Daily 8.30am to 10.00pm.
Serving south Indian food, the extensive menu includes specialities like pani poori, bhel poori, chenna bread, paper dosai and chettiand filter coffee.
Thali NR Sweets Vegetarian Cafe
75 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: Daily 7.30am to 10.30pm. Thali meal: 11.00am to 4.00pm.
Offering a variety of thali meals as well as more than 30 a la carte dishes. Popular dishes include sizzler plate tofu mixed vegetables, vege chicken and paneer butter masala. Many dishes without onions and garlic.
75 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: Daily: 6pm to 10pm.
100% pure vegetarian pizzas with no onions, garlic and egg. Choose from pizzas such as cheesy blast, mushroom, vege garden, vege sausage and many more.
Yun Shan Ge Vegetarian House
16, Penang Street, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang. Open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 9pm. Saturday and Sunday 9am to 9pm. Closed: Monday.
Serving nyonya vegetarian dishes. Daily specials are available as well as pizza and spaghetti. Try the ever popular and delicious sesame buns.
Near Chulia Street
Shan Lai Vegetarian
Asia Cafe, 46 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (on corner of Lorong Pasar), 10200 Georgetown, Penang. Open: Daily 7am to 3pm.
Vegetarian stall close to the Kuan Yin temple offering dishes such as veggie chicken rice, nasi lemak, char hor fun and mee goreng. Costs around RM3.50-RM4 per dish.
Friends of Vegetarian
Asia Cafe, 46 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (on corner of Lorong Pasar), 10200 Georgetown, Penang. Open: Daily 7am to 2pm.
Food stall offering hokkien mee and curry mee.
155, 157, 159 Lebuh Carnarvon, 10100 Georgetown, Penang. Open: Daily 7.30am to 2pm.
Serving dishes such as hokkien mee, curry mee and minced meat noodles. Different daily specials.
Around Beach Street/Armenian Street
2 Church Street Ghaut, 10300 Georgetown, Penang. Open: Monday to Saturday: 11am to 2.30pm. Closed saturday and Sunday.
With exposed brick walls and a beautiful, yet simple decor, the Quay offers a selection of delicious vegetarian delights.Choices include rice dishes such as the healthy and happy set meals and bento box as well as noodle dishes and side dishes.
12 Gat Lebuh Aceh, 10300 Georgetown, Penang. Open: Tuesday to Friday: 11.30am to 9.30pm. Saturday and Sunday: 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10pm. Closed: Monday.
This Japanese Organic plant-based cafe has opened its second branch just off Beach Street. With its basic Japanese style interior of low tables and wooden benches, you can try sushi, udon noodles, spaghetti and fried rice dishes. No MSG is used.
Yun Shui Ge Vegetarian House
12, Armenian Street, George Town, 10300 George Town, Penang. Open: 10.30am to 7pm (8pm on Saturday) Monday: closed.
Serving nyonya vegetarian dishes and Penang local delights such as nyoyna asam laksa. Daily specials are available as well as pizza and spaghetti. Try the ever popular and delicious sesame buns.
Take a trip around vegetarian Penang – part two will take you south of the island and mainland Penang.