Malaysia has a global reputation for food and UNESCO-listed Malacca takes it to the next level. Colonial infusions and family recipes passed down from generations create a food scene unlike any other in Malaysia. Culture Trip uncovers the top food stalls in Malacca that showcase the best of the city’s unique culinary scene.
Malacca is a food capital of Malaysia blending colonial influences and Peranakan (Straits-born Chinese) culinary influences. Culture Trip uncovers the best food courts, vendors and food stalls in Malacca for cheap eats, signature dishes and desserts.
Hoo Khiew Prawn Cracker Noodles
Food Stall, Malaysian, Chinese
If you’re craving noodles, head to Hoo Khiew opposite the Malacca Badminton Association building on Jalan Tengkera. The family-run food stall consists of a stationary pushcart in the backyard of a single-storey house. Order the signature bowl of noodle soup, which comes with bobbing fish balls and a handful of crispy prawn crackers. Besides its status as one of the locals’ top food stalls in Malacca, Hoo Khiew offers both budget-friendly and mouth-watering meals.
The Duck Noodle Stall has a reputation for the best duck noodles in Malacca. They’ve got succulent pieces of duck mix with fried noodles bathed in an aromatic sauce, with the meat almost melting when it touches your palate. A bowl of clear duck soup accompanies the dish to wash down food between mouthfuls. Culture Trip recommends this among the best food stalls in Malacca for a local-style brunch. Take a taxi or Grab Car to Klinic 1 Malaysia, the food stall is opposite that. Pro tip: The Duck Noodle Stall recently moved from inside Kedai Kopi & Makanan Soon Yen to its current location on Lorong Pandan (Pandan Road). Make sure you go to the right place!
The family-run stall along Jalan Tengkera serves fast and cheap snacks and desserts. Try its signature putu piring (steamed rice flour bun with palm sugar filling), which is best while it’s still warm and puffy. Long lines of sweet-toothed Malaccans form outside from the moment it opens until closing time, but it’s worth the wait in our opinion. If you’re craving something more than a light afternoon snack, order a few of the homemade Belgian waffles too.
Medan Selera Tengkera is a favourite Chinese food court in Malacca. Surrounded by blue corrugated sheets, it looks like an aeroplane hangar. Inside, dozens of food stalls border the seating area on all four sides. Different vendors open at different times of the day, giving customers even more options. For breakfast or lunch, order economical rice or noodle soups. Barbequed pork and duck stalls open later in the evening. The food court is a few minutes by foot from Jonker Street’s northwest exit.
This hawker-centre a short drive to the west of Jonker Street features several food stalls that border a vast open-air seating area. Each vendor serves specialities ranging from noodles to Nyonya (Chinese-Malay fusion) to Western-style breakfasts. Stroll around and order directly from the vendor. Take a seat and they’ll bring the meal over when it’s ready. Culture Trip recommends mee Siam (Thai-style fried noodles) and Nyonya laksa. A selection of kuih (local pastries and cakes) satisfy any remaining pangs of hunger or sugar cravings for dessert. A meal for one with a drink shouldn’t cost more than RM15 ($3.70).
Baba Low along Jalan Tengera offers a selection of Nyonya-inspired street food and desserts. Expect a variety of dishes such as mee siam, nasi lemak and sweet treats that cost a little more than a few ringgits. For the full Nyonya gastronomic experience, order a bowl of laksa followed by a cendol dessert. A typical meal for one costs less than RM6 ($.150 USD).
For Malaccan-style laksa, head to Laksa Tengkera food stall along Jalan Tenkera (outside Rumah Pangsa Tenkera). A handful or either fish, prawns or chicken bath in a spicy soup with either rice or vermicelli noodles. Unlike other types of laksa in Malaysia, this stall infuses Peranakan styles. Large bowls often enough for two people cost just RM6 ($1.50 USD). Pro tip: The hawker is a favourite among locals, and it’s a good idea to arrive early before they run out!
Jonker Street’s weekend night market produces a plethora of delicious snacks. But few offer such a culinary treat than the Candied Food Stall. Vendors put fruit (think grapes and strawberries) onto a bamboo skewer satay-style and coat each stick with a thick, sweet syrup. Despite the overload of sugar and calories, the sweet syrup contrasts perfectly with the fruit’s sourness, creating an explosion of flavours after biting. This is among the top food stalls in Malacca for desserts.
If you’re visiting Klebang Beach a few kilometres west of old Malacca, check out Klebang Original Coconut Shake. Hidden away in a tiny residential area, it’s difficult to believe this is one of the top food stalls in Malacca for coconut milkshakes. For a few ringgits, order the refreshing shake with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream. Stop by for a quick refreshment or sit down and have a shake with nasi lemak.
If you want a light durian snack, check out Jonker Street’s Taste Better. A small glass cabinet with a variety of durian-filled puffs and pastries cover the base of the cart. Puffs have a soft, flaky exterior around slices of velvety flesh. Anticipate an explosion of flavour after biting into the light snack (it’s best to put it whole into your mouth to avoid it dripping down your clothes). This is one of our favourite food stalls in Malacca for durian-lovers or for those who want a not-so-intense introduction to the world’s smelliest fruit.