5 cafes in Penang you should visit if you are a foodie. Foodie heaven starts with delicious food, but it doesn’t end there. For a city that gets the privilege of being named the country’s food capital, it means that visitors expect delicious food pretty much wherever they choose to dine. And after a great meal, it is only fair to have a great cup of coffee.
Coffee is a beverage we like to have a few times a day (if you hadn’t picked up on this after reading some of our posts…), sometimes even with dessert. When we were walking around George Town, Malaysia, we saw many beautiful cafes, if only we had more time to visit them all. Limited time and coffee consumption forced us to narrow our choices down to the few, so keep reading to find out which places convinced us to give them a shot.
1. Dan Cafe
A few meters down the road from E&O Hotel is the Dan Cafe, where the lush green plants surround the main doors on both sides. This micro outdoor oasis is a place where you can share a table with friends and enjoy the contrast of plants and concrete. The indoor space is where the magic happens, on more than one level. Here you can find beautiful bottle gardens and various plants.
The main reason we came here was the coffee, but we got something more, as the entire cafe is an expo of beautiful pot plants and terrariums! I was fascinated by the lush green color everywhere, from the flourishing plants to the matcha desserts. The matcha tea lava cake lived up to the expectations and the matcha taste was well present; the Matcha affogato was Ian’s choice.
The combination of hot Matcha sauce and melting vanilla ice cream resulted in what resembled marble in each scoop. The flavors were nicely joined in both desserts and even the Matcha itself being a stimulant, we still enjoyed our coffee on the side. The medium roasted Ethiopian coffee they use is of the highest quality, which is obvious at the first sip.
The complex and fruity flavor blends well with the aroma of roasted coconut and nuts. The beautiful green mugs they serve the coffee in were also another element that contributed to the pleasant experience.
2. Ome by Spacebar
Ome was a cafe that we found in the less crowded part of George Town. The alley leading to this place is quite nice, and there is a massive climbing plant right near the entrance – it caught our attention and that’s how we found this jewel. The old building is a charming place, with the red brick walls and narrow spaces where art exhibitions take place.
The devoted owners look after the guests with passion and we were happy to learn new things during our time there, about their signature homemade goods and about coffee. They keep things interesting by mixing the coffee quite often. When we were there, they had a medium roasted blend of coffee which was half Ethiopian and half Guatemalan.
The espresso had a well-balanced bitter and acid taste with chocolate tones, and we could smell hazelnuts and leather. The flat white was absolutely delicious with a hazelnut and chocolate taste and a perfect latte art creation. Since the coffee was so delicious, we decided to give the Nitro coffee a go. The gentle drink had a fruity taste with pleasant bubbles, and on the palate, you could taste apples and peaches.
While we had fun with our coffee, we were sitting at a big table which had air plants incorporated into the wood crack. This cafe is a place where everything is spot on and still very cozy. The only downvote is a lack of desserts, but they are still fresh!
3. Awesome Canteen at Sekeping Victoria
The Canteen is decorated in an industrial style, where the polished concrete is mixed with plants and natural light. The design is tastefully put together to ensure a pleasant environment. Industrial places are known not to be the quietest ones and the loud kitchen ventilator contributes to the real industrial experience.
One of the drinks we choose at this place was a Black Tonic, which was nice and refreshing. The tonic sweetened it just enough and we still got the nice acidic taste from the coffee. The other one was Espresso, which turned out to be a bad choice, as it was too sour to be drinkable. When we shared the problem with the bartender, he made another one, which was a bit better.
Even though the character of the Ethiopian coffee is to have those sour notes, the sourness took over and it just made the coffee a bad one. Despite the second coffee being better, it still wasn’t the type of coffee you enjoy and sip slowly. We really missed the water with our coffee despite the fact that we asked for it; looks like the practice here is different and a coffee order isn’t automatically accompanied by a glass of water.
But anyway, if you like the industrial style or you are looking for ketogenic food with your coffee – this is the place for you. And hopefully, they will change their coffee when you get there 😉
4. China House
This is an amusing house and must be the longest one in the world… Literally, you enter on one street and exit on the other street, going through an entire block! The longhouse is a heaven for cake lovers, with so many cakes available it’s difficult to choose just one. Here, the delicious smell coming from the kitchen was present in the narrow hallway. Not to mention the cakes on display, which looked just perfect.
Cakes are in high demand here, so the lush offer is fresh. When we were here, the place was packed – don’t forget, this is the longest cafe/eatery/gallery in Penang! In China House, guests can choose from three separate menus for a bite, before the cake and coffee time comes. We like that you can retreat from the crowded space into the library and chill a little.
Our favorite place was the open space in the middle of the China House, with interesting wall paintings – maybe the preference is based on the lighting because a few of the spaces in the café are quite dark. Even so, we had a nice time here and enjoyed our morning coffee, which was pleasantly nutty.
5. Bricklin Cafe & Bar
This is a cute place close to the Sunday Pop-up Market, where the industrial style meets the homey feel. Here Ian had a rich espresso where the acidity was well balanced, with some nutty flavors and green apples at the back of the palate. Beautiful latte art was resting on top of the flat white, which we liked very much.
We also had a luscious slice of salty caramel cake with pecans: we really liked the combination of the creamy glaze and crunchy pecans on top of the firm pastry. Salty caramel took everything to another level and made it a top-notch dessert. The only downside to this place were the plastic forks: why???
BONUS: Merry Me
On a hot day, we came to this place with the intention of cooling down with some ice cream as a dessert. The idea worked immediately as we were cold even before our order came to the table. The AC was extremely cold, so cold that some hot chocolate would have been better than ice cream. However, we love ice cream and when we saw the Gula Melaka ice cream we didn’t think twice.
Vivi fell for the Very Berry croffle with Gula Melaka and the passion fruit ice cream – this combination was very nice for the eyes with the fruit decoration and sweet chocolate crumble. The ice creams were very tasty as well. The Gula Melaka taste made us very happy. The smooth ice cream was a nice combination with the crunchy croffle.
Croffle is a puzzle word for a pressed croissant into the shape of a waffle. Ian’s choice was a Premium Fusion Ice, which enchanted us by its looks. The photo of the smoke coming from beneath the dessert looked magical. His ice cream choice was a matcha, and he also had a Macaroon and Osmanthus Jelly: the ice cream was delicious and the best part of this dessert.
The Macaroon was too hard and the Osmanthus Jelly was pretty much tasteless. It was rather disappointing and Ian would have been much happier with just three scoops of ice cream. For drinks, we were after some exotic mocktails to take a rest from our eternal coffee hunt. The refreshing pink grapefruit and yuzu was my choice, it looked nice in a jar and it was very tasty.
The second drink was the Lemon-Rose drink: it was nice with an intense rose flavor. All in all, this is a nice place with the slogan: “Happiness in every scoop”. With that ice creams, for sure!
MAP of cafes in Georgetown, Penang
It's not a secret we are in love with Georgetown, Penang. Especially in their coffee places. Here you can find much more nice places with good coffee, than in Kuala Lumpur. But anyway, if you will be in Kuala Lumpur as well, you might check these coffee shops.
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