The 5 Best Foodie Neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur

Street food at Jalan Alor night market, Kuala Lumpur
Street food at Jalan Alor night market, Kuala Lumpur | © Baiterek Media/Shutterstock
Karuna Ang

Love food but not sure where to go? Many visitors to Kuala Lumpur settle for venturing around the city centre, but there is so much more to explore! Prepare to go a little off the beaten path and enter a delicious world of food in Malaysia’s capital.

Bangsar

Bangsar is undisputedly one of the best locations near Kuala Lumpur’s city centre for food, shopping, and nightlife. This affluent residential neighbourhood has a lot of things packed into a relatively small area.

Jalan Telawi is where all the action is. The Bangsar Village mall is here alongside several notable establishments including the popular Nutmeg and Mantra, a rooftop brunch spot and bar overlooking the neighbourhood. Outside of the mall you will find various types of restaurants like banana leaf rice shops, kopitiams, burger joints and more. APW, a creative industrial space, is also high on the list of places to visit in Bangsar.

Vendor selling cuisine at street bazaar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Chinatown

Old businesses have been moving out of this area and replaced by trendy new ones, giving Chinatown a much-needed breath of fresh air. However, a quick walk through Petaling Street and you will see most of KL’s well-known heritage food including wan tan mee, beef noodles, longan tea, muah chee (mochi), and more.

The younger generation of business owners are setting up shops within walking distance from Petaling Street. Wander around the back alleys and you’re in for a surprise. Quaint cafes like Merchant Lane and ChoCha Foodstore are hidden in historic buildings with their original facade preserved. There are several speakeasies in the area, too, such as PS150, The Berlin KL, and Bar Zhen. It will take some research to find out where they are, but that’s all part of the experience.

Madam Tang’s muah chee stall is hard to miss. Keep an ear out for repeated chants of “Yat Lau, Yat Lau! Wat Luet Luet” (first class, slippery smooth) and you will find her at this busy street

Sri Petaling

In recent years Sri Petaling has been rejuvenated with lots of shiny new shop lots, attracting many adventurous food ventures. This is where you can find almost everything that would fit a wide range of budgets. Hawker food is aplenty if you would like to keep things below RM10. If you are looking for a comfortable spot to hunker down while you work, or a cosy place to spend Sunday afternoons with your friends, cafes can be found in almost every corner. Other cuisines available in the area include seafood, Chinese, Teochiew, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and more.

Come over on Tuesdays and you will find the weekly night market where you can eat to your heart’s content.

Fresh vegetables ready to be cooked on the spot for a satisfying meal at a night market

Damansara Heights

Damansara Heights is a mainly upmarket residential area and not many people outside of it know about the good restaurants here. Establishments are a little more expensive and the price definitely matches the location.

Drop by Gaslight Cafe, where you can grab a couple of beers while enjoying Malaysian indie music. The Sticky Wicket serves up mean British fare and you can savour it while watching cricket games on the TVs. Just a few doors down is Aliya, which offers classic Sri Lankan dishes that have been keeping customers coming back for more. Gin Rik Sha’s highlight is their classic, homey Indian dishes with international flair. Having been around for a couple of years, Huckleberry Food and Fare has the bread and butter the neighbourhood needs.

Night market vendor packing battered fried Fish ‘n Chips and cuttlefish for buyer at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hartamas

Mont Kiara, Hartamas, and Dutamas – the Holy Trinity – are rich with places to grab a bite. It’s hard to pick among these three areas, but ultimately, Hartamas offers more variety. Walk through the rows of shops and you’ll notice they have it all here – from street food, bakeries, and fusion food to pubs, pet cafes, dessert joints, vegan restaurants, and more.

You can start the day with furry friends at Cubs & Cups, where they have huskies hanging out. For a bite, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Enjoy contemporary Japanese food at Mei by Fat Spoon, smokey ribs at Naughty Nuri’s, juicy burgers at Hattrick Sportsbar & Burgers, or vegan food at Sala. To wash it all down, head over to The Ice Cream Bar for desserts or any of the pubs and bars nearby for a drink.

There are plenty of food options when you venture out of the city centre

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