Penang Street (Lebuh Penang) is in the heart of the Indian quarter known as “Little India”. Walk down the street at any time and your senses are assaulted with the smells, noise and colour of this vibrant area. Here you can buy anything from bollywood music, bangles, saris and sarongs to stainless steel ware and spices. What you also get in abundance is a variety of vegetarian food.
Penang Street is a veggie heaven and strolling down from Light Street (Lebuh Light) to Chulia Street (Lebuh Chulia), it won’t be long until you come across vegetarian food.
Water Drop Teahouse (Update: Now called Yun Shan Ge Vegetarian House)
The Water Drop Teahouse is a Buddhist run cafe housed in a beautiful heritage building. The interior is simple and serene with an airwell with hanging plants and interesting wall art. As you enter the cafe, there is a large book case on the right with Kuan Yin and Buddha statues and Buddhist books, some of which are for sale.
The menu changes daily, but they do have items available every day such as the delicious and ever popular sesame bao. Main dishes available include Hokkien mee, Thai laksa, nasi lemak and vege mince rice.
Address: 16 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: Tuesday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm, Saturday to Sunday 9.00am to 3.00pm. Closed: Monday.
The Leaf Healthy House
The Leaf Healthy House is definitely a place to visit for the health conscious. Their food doesn’t contain MSG, white sugar, white salt, artificial colouring, preservatives, garlic, onions and gluten. They use only fresh and natural foods such as brown rice, brown sugar, rock salt, coconut and olive oil.
The menu offers a great variety of Asian fusion dishes, as well as burgers, sandwiches, snacks such as edamame beans and Vietnamese hand rolls.
Address: 5 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: Monday to Friday 11.30am to 3.00pm and 5.30pm to 9.00pm. Saturday 11.30am to 9.00pm. Closed: Sunday.
Sri Ananda Bhawan Pure Vegetarian
Open from early morning for breakfast until late evening, you can 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.
Address: 55 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: Daily 7.00am to 11.00pm.
Woodlands Vegetarian Restauraunt
If you want to eat Indian food in a little more comfort and air-con then Woodlands Vegetarian Restaurant is a good choice. Serving delicious south Indian food, it’s open for breakfast, lunch, tiffin and dinner.
They have a rather extensive menu with specialties including pani poori, bhel poori, chenna bread, paper dosai and chettiand filter coffee. Their thali and meal sets are good value.
Address: 60 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: daily 8.30am to 10.00pm.
Thali NR Sweets Vegetarian Cafe
NR Sweets started life selling Indian sweets and savories. In this totally vegetarian food cafe they still sell sweets and savories, but now a range of vegetarian food. There are a variety of thali meals to choose from as well as more than 30 a la carte dishes.
Popular dishes include sizzler plate tofu mixed vege, vege chicken and paneer butter masala. There is also a choice of Malaysian dishes such as nasi goreng, koay teow goreng and nasi lemak. Western food dishes include a club cheese sandwich and frankie roll.
Address: 75 Penang Street, 10200, Penang. Open: daily 7.30am to 10.30pm. Thali meal: 11.00am to 4.00pm.
The Little India quarter of George Town is a fascinating area to visit for tourists and residents alike. For vegetarians, vegans or people wanting to eat healthier food, it’s heaven.