Food & Drink

5 Ramadan bazaars in Penang that are perfect for buka puasa

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Nothing brings Malaysians together better than food. Our love for food is ardent and serious – We are willing to go through great lengths to search for the perfect plate of any local favourite and we have no qualms about sharing the wealth once we’ve found it.

During the holy month of Ramadan (once a year during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, Muslims set aside a month to fast from sunrise until sundown), Malaysians – regardless of race – gather at food bazaars during Iftar (breaking of fast at sunset) to enjoy a unique gastronomic experience that can only be witnessed once a year.

Visiting these month-long food fetes is a not-to-be-missed attraction for locals and visitors for one reason – it is a glimpse into everything that is quintessentially Malaysian; its friendly people, rich culture and fabulous opportunity to sample the best of Malay, Indian and Arabic cuisines.

Most vendors begin setting up from 4pm onwards, some even slightly earlier if they are cooking the food on the spot. By 6pm, it is usually packed with people who are strolling from stall to stall.

We have shortlisted some of our favourite Ramadan bazaars in Penang which you should visit at least once before the month goes by.

1. Taman Tun Sardon

kway teow

A modest market in the morning, the open-air carpark area next to Astaka Taman Tun Sardon quickly turns into a lively area by late afternoon. Here, you’ll be sure to find simple homemade delicacies like kuihs (bite-sized dessert snacks), coconut jellies as well as local favourites like chapati and Chinese-style char kway teow.

As you walk under the shade of brightly coloured umbrellas with the fragrant scent of spices wafting in the air, you would definitely notice a couple of stalls with an array of vibrant liquid in packets. They contain a variety of thirst-quenching drinks – Yellow for corn drink, pink for sirap bandung (rose syrup with evaporated milk), a curious blue-coloured drink (which bears a striking resemblance to the once-hyped Pepsi Blue) and many more.

Address: Hilir Pemancar, Taman Tun Sardon, Gelugor, 11700, Penang.


2. Bayan Baru

ayam percik
Ayam percik

This food fair is a prime choice for working folks, as it is only minutes away from the industrial zone in Penang. It is located at the carpark next to Masjid Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (Penangites refer to it as the Bayan Baru Mosque). On most days, it can get rather crowded but patrons hardly mind the long queue for a taste of the delicious food options.

There are plenty of rice-based offerings here, such as nasi campur (mixed rice), nasi tomato (rice cooked with tomato paste and spices), nasi biryani (rice cooked with aromatic spices and saffron), as well as other local favourites such as laksa and murtabak. One of the highlights here is definitely the ayam percik (roasted chicken, slathered with a creamy spiced coconut milk sauce), which is cooked on an automated grilling machine.

Address: Jalan Mayang Pasir, Bandar Bayan Baru, 11950, Penang.

3. Georgetown

Kuih akok. Photo credit:
Kuih akok. Photo credit:

It’s easy to miss the long, narrow road lined with permanent and makeshift stalls behind the Penang General Hospital. One for sweet-toothed lovers, you would certainly want to keep an eye out for it as the spread of traditional kuihs is said to be some of the best on the island, taste-wise.

As it is with every Ramadan bazaar, there is bound to be a best-seller dish that stands out above the rest. Here, it is kuih akok – a traditional sweet nibble from the East Coast. Looking a bit like a deflated Yorkshire pudding, the pale green snack is cooked slowly over brazen coals; resulting in a sweet and rich (albeit slightly wrinkly) cake.

Address: Jalan Utama, George Town, 10450, Penang.

4. Jalan Makloom


A yearly crowd favourite, this street feast is jam-packed with more than 50 hawker stalls and stretches all the way to Jalan Perak.

One would be spoilt for choice at the wide spread of scrumptious fare sold here, which includes lemang (glutinous rice stuffed into the cavity of a bamboo joint and is cooked over charcoal), barbecued chicken, laksa beras (a signature dish from Kedah), rendang, satay and many more. Also popular here are the fusion varieties such as beef or chicken pita, burgers and apam balik (griddle pancake sprinkled with sugar and peanut granules).

Address: Jalan Makloom, George Town, 10150, Penang.

5. Little India / Queen Street


An annual assemblage organised by the Penang Muslim League, the usually quiet Queen Street is brought to life with throngs of locals and tourists alike, nonstop chatter and a glorious aroma.


Situated right in the heart of Little India, what sets this bazaar apart is its unique location choice and vast variety of food options with Indian-Muslim influences. This is the only Ramadan bazaar in all of Penang that serves not only traditional Malay food but also Indian specialties such as chapati, samosa, murtabak, pasembur and mounds of multicoloured Indian desserts.

Getting a parking space isn’t the easiest of tasks in this area, so you might need to park slightly further and take a 5-min evening walk in one of Penang’s Heritage Site before arriving.

Address: Lebuh Queen, Georgetown, 10200, Penang

"ExpatGo welcomes and encourages comments, input, and divergent opinions. However, we kindly request that you use suitable language in your comments, and refrain from any sort of personal attack, hate speech, or disparaging rhetoric. Comments not in line with this are subject to removal from the site. "


Click to comment

Most Popular

To Top