The kind of restaurants visitors can expect depends largely on where they are based. Those stationed at remote resorts can choose from mid-range and upscale options within the complex, while those close to popular beaches like Pentai Cenang and Pantai Tengah have a few more budget options to consider.
Langkawi's primary culinary influences hail from mainland Malaysia, China and Thailand. While international fusion dominates the resort dining scene, Malay hawker stalls are still widespread. Local frequent these places, so tourists can count on their authenticity. Hawker stalls are great for fast lunches or late-night snacks.
The dining scene in Kuah Town is a little more ‘local' than others on Langkawi. Tourists have plenty of seafood and fusion restaurants to choose from, but this is also where budget diners will find the best selection of hawker stalls selling Malay and Southern Thai favorites. Kuah Town also has several fast-food establishments and affordable coffee shops that serve Chinese fare.
Pantai Tangah is one of the best beaches in Langkawi, and the dining scene reflects this. Ocean-facing seafood restaurants have terraces overlooking the water, and a few of these al fresco spots are outstanding on a clear-skied night. The atmosphere is decidedly upscale, but there are still a few mid-range options.
Pantai Cenang is one of the most popular dining districts on the island, and it offers an even mix of fine dining, cafés and hawker stalls. The culinary scene is particularly diverse here, branching out beyond Malay and Chinese favorites to include flavors of Germany, Japan, Korea and Thailand.
Pantai Kok specializes in upscale ambiance with a view. Mountains back the resort district, and practically every restaurant enjoys a slice of the natural beauty. The scene is quieter here, with few bars and nightclubs, making it especially well-suited for families.