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Night Market | © IQRemix/Flickr
Night Market | © IQRemix/Flickr
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The Best Street-Food Markets in Kuala Lumpur

Picture of Sarah Anne Lee
Updated: 7 March 2017
Not to be confused with food courts, street-food markets – or pasar malam – are one of the trademarks of a Southeast Asian lifestyle. A wholly different experience from regular indoor eating and service, street markets offer exciting experiences in roadside gastronomy, and an opportunity to sample delicacies steeped in history and culture in an unmistakably local scene. At the crossroads of Asia, Malaysia is smack dab in the middle, a meeting point for practically the whole world’s taste buds. No better way to discover the melting pot of Kuala Lumpur than through street food markets, and the best are in the list below.
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Jalan Alor

This is the one place you can’t miss out, and we can’t stop mentioning enough. Jalan Alor, on the line up to Bukit Bintang and Changkat – the most-visited places of urban Malaysia – offers a good easing in to the atmosphere of roadside dining, should you be unfamiliar with this concept. Although this stretch of road is littered with coffee shops, making it more of an extended outdoor restaurant, the entire road forms an unbroken river of delicacies that is something special in itself. Revel in the multitude of areas provided to dine at, as real food markets have almost no seating provided.

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Taman Connaught

Formerly one of the longest night markets in Malaysia, with a span of 2km (1.2 mi.) before being one-upped by Setia Alam’s night market at 2.4km (1.9 mi.), this humongous gathering of everything you’d want and expect to see in a pasar malam will take at least an hour to explore properly. With over 700 stalls selling cheap goods and foods from all over the continent, it will be crowded, so be prepared to persevere with squeezing through as the market is only open once a week on a Wednesday, from 5.30pm to midnight. Taman Connaught is also known to be one of the few night markets that has a number of Thai vendors, further diversifying their attractions.

Pasar Malam Taman Connaught, Jalan Cerdas, Taman Connaught, KL, Malaysia

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OUG night market

A lesser-known, but more traditional night market, OUG prides in showcasing the many different Chinese ethnic cuisines, from local Hakka to Hong Kong Cantonese. Have fun educating yourself on the different communities’ flavours while enjoying the local version of the popular Asian bubble-tea concoction, which is used to combat the humid weather. Stop by the laksa stall to witness the biggest pot you’ve ever seen in use; and the steamboat stall for some tom yam goodness. This market opens only on Thursdays from 6pm–11pm, so come early for good parking spots.

Pasar Malam OUG, Taman OUG, KL, Malaysia

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Pasar Malam Sri Petaling

This interestingly arranged night market opens every Tuesday at 5pm until late. While it has the same the one-day-only system as other night markets, it is a step up from other places in that there are tables and chairs by its trucks and stalls where you can sit and chow down before exploring the market further. Famous for its deep-fried squid and Chinese stinky tofu – an acquired taste – Sri Petaling holds its own as a night market because of its affordable meals and colourful dialect.

Pasar Malam Sri Petaling, Jalan Radin Anum 4, Sri Petaling, KL, Malaysia

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TAPAK urban street dining

Perhaps the most modern iteration of all of the night markets, TAPAK offers street food in the modern form of hipster-like food trucks. Catering for a Western-influenced clientele, these food stalls have a more put-together kitchen, with a wider and familiar, restaurant-like menu, yet maintaining a street-quality vibe. With over 40 options listed in their partnership, TAPAK maintains a rotating schedule of 10 per day to make each visit unique. Unlike its night-market counterparts, TAPAK is open every evening of the week, offering ample opportunities to visit instead of having to specifically schedule a trip.

TAPAK Urban Street Dining 2A Hampshire Park, KL, Malaysia