The best nasi kandar restaurants in Penang have been around for decades, and are well-loved by locals and visitors to the island. Nasi kandar is a northern Malaysian dish of mildly flavored steamed rice accompanied by a variety of curry-based meats and vegetables.  

    Penang’s best places for nasi kandar outlets are found in George Town. These restaurants often have long queues during peak lunch hours, so it's always a good idea to head there early. 

    1

    Liyaqat Ali Nasi Kandar

    Liyaqat Ali Nasi Kandar is famously known as Nasi Kandar Beratur (Queue-Up Nasi Kandar). The restaurant only opens at night, which seems a little strange at first, but makes sense as it's one of the few restaurants that stay open late in Penang. 

    Due to its popularity, you will have probably have to queue for at least 30 minutes before you can place an order. A mixture of hand-ground spices are used to season the curries – think thick, creamy and flavorful, with just a hint of piquancy (for certain gravies). All this contributes to making Liyaqat Ali Nasi Kandar a popular choice for Penang locals, visiting Malaysians, and foreigners.

    Location: 98 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town, 10450 Penang, Malaysia

    Phone: +60 (0)12 448 3001

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    2

    Line Clear Nasi Kandar

    Line Clear Nasi Kandar is a 24-hour restaurant with ‘limited-time’ offerings on the menu. This local restaurant is located in a narrow alleyway along Jalan Penang, with wooden tables and chairs. The food here is phenomenal and the fact it's among the cheapest in all of Penang makes it even better. 

    Go for a plate of rice, fried chicken, telur dadar (omelet), vegetables and kuah banjir (a mix of gravies), for a satisfying meal. There is an impressive amount of hype about their daily specials (ranging from fish curry to beef gravy) and the extensive praise is clearly warranted. Adding to the whole value-for-money aspect of Line Clear Nasi Kandar is the fact that the food served comes in generous portions.

    Location: 177 Penang Road, George Town, 10000, Penang, Malaysia

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +60 (0)4 261 4440

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    3

    Kassim Nasi Kandar

    Kassim Nasi Kandar is an excellent restaurant in George Town, This local restaurant is known for offering generously spiced dishes, making it popular with locals and visitors who love peppery food. 

    Try the beef in black, sweet, tangy and peppery gravy with a plate of fluffy white rice and a side of sautéed cabbage. This is a true-blue nasi kandar (northern Malaysian dish) in Penang. 

    Location: 221 Jalan Magazine, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +60 (0)16 434 7788

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    4

    Restoran Sup Hameed Nasi Kandar

    Restoran Sup Hameed Nasi Kandar serves nasi kandar (northern Malaysian rice) with the usual accompaniments like sotong sambal (squid in spicy gravy), mutton and fish curry, and beef and chicken gravy. It also has a huge selection of vegetables. 

    We love the French beans sautéed in a light soy sauce, fried egg, onions and garlic, steamed ladyfingers, and the curried mixed vegetables. Note that these are quite pretty spicy dishes. Those who can’t handle peppery food can opt for the rich, coconut-based green-grey kurma gravy, with honey chicken and crunchy cabbage and carrots on the side.

    Location: 48 Jln Penang, George Town, Penang, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 7 am to midnight

    Phone: +60 (0)4 261 8007

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    5

    Restoran Hameediyah

    Restoran Hameediyah has been around since 1907, making it one of Penang’s oldest restaurants. It used to be a traditional mamak (roadside stall) on Jalan Campbell until it moved to a spacious air-conditioned building in 2010. 

    Restoran Hameediyah offers traditional Indian-Muslim food, but it's most famous for nasi kandar (northern Malaysian rice) and rich curries. Another must-try is the signature beef murtabak – a pancake stuffed with beef chunks, potatos, and eggs.

    Location: 164A Lebuh Campbell, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

    Phone: +60 (0)4 261 1095

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