Kuala Lumpur is packed with incredible street food stalls that even challenge some of the country’s best high-end restaurants when it comes to quality. Get a taste of Malaysia and dine like the locals do at the 15 best street food stalls.
One of the fastest ways to explore Malaysia is to eat your way through its diverse cuisine. This tropical country is filled with great street food at affordable prices. Check out these 15 best street food stalls in Kuala Lumpur to tick off during your next food hunt.
Sze Ngan Chye
Food Stall, Malaysian
Takeaway is the only option at Sze Ngan Chye Roasted Duck as there are no tables or seats at this roadside stall. Smack bang in the middle of the busy Petaling Street, this little stall has been selling roast ducks since the ‘50s. Their juicy charcoal-roasted duck has legions of devoted regulars and sometimes, curious bystanders waiting in line from as early as 8am. Drop by early as the dish usually runs out right after lunch.
Keep your ears peeled as you make your way towards the crossroads of Petaling Street. You’ll hear repeated chants of “Yat lau yat lau, wat luet luet” (first class, slippery and smooth) playing from Madam Tang’s stall. She can be spotted standing behind the stall, kneading and shaping the flavoured glutinous rice into bite-sized morsels covered in crushed peanuts and sugar. Having developed the recipes for decades, her soft chewy muah chee remains a local favourite.
The go-to comfort food, porridge is a staple among Malaysian Chinese. At Hon Kee, this tasty and filling gruel is loved for its smooth consistency and light flavours. There are many pairings available, including raw fish, crispy innards, dried oysters with pork ribs, pork offal and even juicy frog legs. For something classic, try the traditional century egg with pork, or salted egg with pork combo.
Take a break from all the eating and cool down with a cup of iced herbal tea. You can find a variety of herbal teas, including longan, luo han guo (monk fruit) and winter melon drinks at the decades-old Air Mata Kucing stall. Cheap and tasty, this is the best way to escape from the Malaysian heat.
You will have to make your way through the noisy, busy and wet morning market at Madras Lane to find a specific stretch of stalls serving breakfast and lunch. Among them is Madras Lane Chee Cheong Fun, a popular venue among locals for its quality food at affordable prices. The lines can get long during peak hours, but the yong tau foo (variety of vegetables stuffed with fish paste) are quick to cook, so you don’t have to wait long.
For a satisfying bite in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, head to Shawarma Damascus on Jalan Bukit Bintang. You will find the shawarma hitting all the right spots – juicy and well-flavoured. If you don’t feel like eating on the go, there are some seats right next to the shop, where you can munch and watch the hard-working vendors in action.
It’s hard to miss this stall at the busy Taman Connaught Night Market. Just follow the strong pungent odor permeating through the street and you will find stinky tofu served at Chew Chew Chow Tofu. Love it or hate it, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – you might find excitement in its crunchy texture and complex layers of flavours.
Head to any food court in town and you’ll definitely find a wantan mee shop. However, the best in Kuala Lumpur is tucked away in Cheras. Yulek’s flavourful dumplings and springy noodles have garnered a loyal following among residents in the area, so be prepared for a line when you head there.
You can’t skip nasi lemak when you’re in Malaysia. Make your way to Nasi Lemak Wanjo, one of the long-standing nasi lemak stalls in Kuala Lumpur, for this classic dish – fragrant santan rice, ikan bilis, egg, cucumber and sambal all in one plate. For a more satisfying meal, take your pick from the many side dishes including sambal sotong and fried chicken.
You will spot rows of roasted chicken and duck hanging at a stall as you walk into this old-school kopitiam. Some say they have the best char siew (barbequed pork belly) in town. The succulent meat, roasted to perfection and drenched in a rich caramel sauce, will have you salivating at first sight. The lines here do get long during lunch hour, so be sure to drop by early.
For a juicy, meaty late-night snack, Nur Satay is the place to go. Here you will find skewered marinated meat slowly grilled to perfection. Paired with a crunchy thick peanut sauce, this dish is worth all the extra calories. Options include chicken, beef, tripe and liver with prices starting at RM0.80 per stick.
Nasi Lemak Peel Road serves up a Chinese-version of this iconic Malaysian dish. The basics – santan rice, ikan bilis, peanuts, egg and cucumber – stay the same. The difference? Side dishes. This stall offers more than 10 options, including fried chicken, chicken curry, mutton curry, stir-fry vegetables as well as the popular wild boar curry and sotong sambal. It’s hard to resist everything, so don’t be shy – eat like the locals do with food piled high on the plates.
Pork noodle stalls are a common sight at every hawker centre. Peter’s Pork Noodle, located inside Restoran One Sentral, remains a favourite among locals for its flavourful pork bone broth as well as the generous serving of minced pork and pork slices. Go ahead, pig out.
Just right outside of Restoran One Sentral, you will find the aromatic smells of fried bananas. One of the oldest pisang goreng stalls in Kuala Lumpur, this stall uses whole pieces of pisang raja (instead of halved or thinly sliced bananas), dipped in a light and airy batter. This sweet, crunchy golden brown street food has managed to build a loyal following, with long lines spotted during lunch hours at the stall.
One of Malaysians’ favourite ways to cool down from the hot weather is with a bowl of cendol. Ah Keong’s is just across the street from Brickfield’s Pisang Goreng stall and Restoran One Sentral. The cendol here is hand-made by Uncle Ah Keong, boasting a springy texture and mild aromatic flavour.