55 Café & Restaurant @ Coffee Atelier 47-55 Lorong Stewart (04 261 2261).
Snuggled in Coffee Atelier, 55 Café & Restaurant is a new eatery, replacing the preceding Kopi Cine. While it offers quite a range of Mediterraneaninspired cuisine for breakfast and lunch such as its various tapas, pastas and cakes, 55 Café’s siren song is its coffee. Other selling points include its quaint, whimsical interior, which exudes warmth and homeliness. Take note though that 55 Café opens early and closes early. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Free parking. Daily, 9am–5pm. $$
NEW The Alley 5 Lorong Stewart, George Town (04 261 3879/www.facebook.com/ thealleypenang).
If you’re coming from Love Lane, keep walking along the narrow Stewart Lane. Just before you reach Kuan Yin temple and the little stalls selling Chinese prayer paraphernalia, look right and you’ll notice a little building called ‘Kedai Gaharu Keat Seang’, within which The Alley café is located. Serving good coffees, mainly desserts and simple food, this café is fairly new but no less popular among locals as well as tourists wandering around the area. Child friendly. Daily, 12noon– 12midnight. $
NEW Armenian House Café 35 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (04 262 8309/Facebook: Armenian House).
This café is part of the Armenian House accommodation. It offers homemade cakes, simple comfort food such as pasta along with freshly brewed coffee, juices and beers. Housed in an old shophouse on a popular heritage street in the heart of George Town, the café has a charming ambience and friendly service. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am– 7pm. $
Behind 50 50 Lorong Love (012 556 5509).
Hipster joints have been vigorously blooming throughout the Klang Valley, and Penang seems to be following suit if Behind 50 can be taken as any indication. Behind 50 was brought into conception by three friends who envisioned a café that merged their interests in food and art. Behind 50 serves lunch and dinner sets, as well as a few types of drinks, but the main attraction is undoubtedly its ambience – nostalgic, rustic, and generally reminiscent of old-school Penang. Photographs of candid, humble Penang plaster the scribbled-upon walls, and the vintage gramophone sputters and crackles over a vinyl record. And if you’re wondering, Behind 50 got its name from its location behind a building called ‘50’. Pork-free. Child friendly. Mon–Wed and Fri–Sun, 6pm–1am. $
NEW Brown Pocket 6.11 Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney (04 218 9668/www.facebook. com/brownpocket).
This relatively hip café has a cool Australian vibe to it, thanks to the owners’ trips to Melbourne. Filled with contemporary charm, Brown Pocket places a large emphasis on its desserts, which range from waffles to crepes. The health-conscious will also be happy to find fruit toppings like banana and mixed berries sitting gently on a bed of delightful Liège waffles, all freshly made from the kitchen.
Daily, 10am–11.30pm. $$
NEW Bistro Tang 82-A Lebuh Penang, George Town (04 250 8383/www.renitang.com).
We suspect that this airy, spacious and bright café right in the heart of Little India will be a favourite spot for many to sit and watch the colourful goings-on in town. The café’s neat, uncomplicated bar reflects the interior style of the rest of the café, dotted with hand-made tables. Notice the wood on top of the bar topped with glass – it was used to sun-dry herbs upon and was salvaged while restoring this old building. The café’s menu offers mainly Western fare, coffees and charming glass bottles of CocaCola from Thailand. The only local main dish is the Tang Laksa, which in our books is a total crowd pleaser. Also don’t miss the homemade crème brûlée and Tang’s ice-blended drink, Kalamansi Freeze. Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Tue–Sun, 11am–9pm. $
NEW Bone Appetit Pets Centre 87 Jalan Nagore, George Town (011 1258 8500/www.facebook.com/ boneappetitpetscentre).
Catering to the local dog-friendly community, this cleverly punned pet café serves superior-quality food for our four-legged friends. Imagine canine-friendly meals in the form of chicken risotto, beefy lasagne, meaty doughnuts, eclairs and rainbowcoloured muffins prepared with dedication and care. With sofa seats and low tables scattered all around, Bone Appetit is spacious enough for active pets and owners too. Child friendly. Mon–Fri, 12noon–9pm; Sat–Sun, 11am–9pm. $
NEW Chez Nous Café 17 Lorong Seck Chuan, George Town (04 261 3499/www.facebook.com/ cheznous.penang).
Splashed in refreshing hues of turquoise and white, this café serves up thirst quenchers and light meals for a short break amid George Town's hustle and bustle. The drinks menu is pretty extensive with choices like Belgian and local beers, Vietnamese and Italian coffees as well as Chinese and Sri Lankan teas. If a quick bite is what you're after, order some homemade ratatouille, dim sum, pasta or the grand French cheese platter.
Tue–Sun, 6pm–11pm. $
DÔME Café Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney, George Town (04 229 5105); Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas (04 641 3308); Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong (04 891 8988); 1st Avenue, 182 Jalan Magazine, George Town (04 261 0800/www.domecafe.com.my).
DÔME really needs no introduction. Whether you’re there for its long Macchiato, served in its iconic contraption of a cup and the complimentary biscotti, or you’re there for a slice of moist carrot cake, it is needless to say that DÔME has established itself as a café that is perfect for lazy afternoon slacking. What needs to be mentioned, however, is that DÔME has become just as legitimate a choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, by offering a selection of sandwiches, pastas and steaks. Halal. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards accepted. $$$
Ferringhi Coffee Garden
34-D Batu Ferringhi (04 885 1192).
Owned by the proprietor of the adjacent Ferringhi Garden, Ferringhi Coffee Garden boasts a similar natural-yetrefined charm, nestled in a shroud of leaves. It’s open from 7 in the morning till half past 10 at night, and its canopy of trees will filter out the heat of the sunlight, so it’s great to check in for a cup of coffee and a breakfast set as the sun rises. Quiet and easy-going, it’s just as ideal a place for ladies who lunch and for the working crowd to drop by in the evening for a hearty burger, if not just to enjoy the meticulously drawn latte art. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Free parking. Daily, 7am–10.30pm. $$$$$
Kaffa Kafe 72 & 74, Lebuh China; 1-1-10, Halaman Bukit Gambir; 3A-G-8, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong (04 261 1016/www.facebook.com/kaffapenang).
This is one of the many eateries on the ground floor of Straits Quay mall that faces the marina. At a glance, the menu looks good enough and seems able to rival the myriad cafés offering almost the same things such as a range of coffees, cakes, sandwiches and the like. At RM8.50++, the Kaffa Vienna coffee is satisfying enough with a generous dollop of whipped cream. While the American-style food brinks on alright and average, the RM9.90++ basket of Texas Cheesy Fries is helped along by stringy spray cheese that gives it a sweet flavour, unfortunately. However, the sparkling lemonade at RM10.90++, made fresh from soda water and lime juice, is rather refreshing. What Kaffa
may not have in terms of flavour, it certainly makes up for in WiFi service and comfort. A small warning though: The service staff may not be terribly friendly, but they're efficient enough. There is an outdoor sitting area that gives a lovely view of the water and parked boats and it's especially nice during dusk or dinner time.
Daily, 11am–3pm, 6pm–10pm. $$
Kopi C 153 & 155 Lebuh Pantai (04 263 7299/www.chinahouse.com.my).
Previously known as Kopi Cine at Coffee Atelier, it has since moved to China House, a traditional compound of three linked heritage buildings, housing bars, restaurants, cafés, performance theatres, shops and art galleries. Kopi C boasts different menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner including a few diverse breakfast sets, sandwiches and salads for lunch and low-fuss mains such as the ginger bud pesto vegetarian pasta for dinner. But the highlight is quite evidently the coffee, which is prepared by the team of highly trained baristas, all of whom are ready to accommodate your requests. Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 10am– 12midnight. $$$
NEW La Vanille Pastry 122A Jalan Hutton, George Town (04 226 4024/www.facebook.com/ LaVanilleCupcake).
There are adorably decorated whole cakes, cupcakes and macarons aplenty at this unassuming café. The best time for a visit is during late afternoon for a warm cuppa, which makes a pleasant accompaniment to the array of freshly baked desserts on offer. The café’s wood-panelled interior, wooden furnishing and pastel-hued decorations promise an intimate setting for weddings, birthdays and corporate events.
Child friendly. Daily, 11am–9pm. $$
NEW Love Bites 11 Jalan Nagor, George Town (04 228 6188/www.facebook.com/love.bites.942).
The cheeky name is guaranteed to entice you. When that happens, sit and immerse yourself in the artsy decor, which makes the place resemble an elaborate Parisian café back in the 1980s. The menu offers a fusion of Western and local cuisine, so be on the lookout for lemongrass pork loin, flat fish and corn cake rice as well as chicken timbales peppered with carrot romesco, grilled asparagus and apricot couscous. Love Toast is a signature you’re encouraged to try. It’s toast stacked four inches high and filled with a mixture of ice cream, fruit, nuts, crepes and white chocolate sauce, depending on your choice of flavour. Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon–Sat, 12noon–11pm; Sun, 3pm–11pm. $
NEW Moustache Houze 24 Lebuh Campbell, George Town (04 262 2228/www.facebook.com/ MoustacheHouze).
This two-storey café offers cakes, coffees and non-alcoholic beverages such as frozen juice cubes. It's becoming a popular hangout spot thanks to its eclectic interior – interesting murals, swing seats on the ground floor and tatami-style seating upstairs. It's a cool place to dig into for your dessert after indulging in hawker fare around town. Halal. Mon–Thu, 4.30pm–10pm; Fri, 4.30pm–12midnight; Sat, 12noon– 12midnight; Sun, 12noon–10pm. $$
NEW The Mugshot Café 302 Lebuh Chulia, George Town (012 405 6276/Facebook: The Mugshot Cafe).
Rustic, down to earth and rather hip, this café opens early for breakfast and serves bakery fare from the Rainforest Bakery next door. Otherwise, the café’s menu consists of yoghurt with a variety of toppings and bagel sandwiches to accompany your favourite morning cuppa. Halal. Opening hours. Daily, 8am– 9pm. $
Pik Nik 15 & 16 Jalan Nagor (016 452 9250/ Facebook: Pik Nik).
Amidst the graffiti walls, old-school signage and the giant lightning bolt on the wall, there’s also a menu that’s chock-full of freshly brewed coffee, fruit smoothies, cooling fruit juices and snack platters. You’ll almost certainly be surrounded by young people, we will admit. Child friendly. Sun–Thurs, 3pm– 12midnight; Fri–Sat, 3pm–1am. $$
NEW Purple Cane Tea Art Centre Lot. LG 22 & 23, Gurney Paragon Mall, 163D, Persiaran Gurney (04 218 9098/www.purplecane.my).
Dedicated to the art and culture of tea, Purple Cane serves a wide spectrum of tea leaves from jasmine green tea to the very intricate Hang Zhou white chrysanthemum. Tea enthusiasts can also pair their purchases with accessories like lidden cups, teapots and tea accessories to complete their personal tea kit. Fancy a packet of green tea wasabi peanuts? You can grab one from the shelves too.
Daily, 10am–10pm. $
NEW Purrfect Cat Café 53 Jalan Muntri, George Town (04 261 1197/www.facebook.com/ penangcatcafe).
Cat lovers flipped when word got out about a cat café located in the heart of George Town. Housed in a two-storey building, Purrfect consists of a café that serves cakes and pastries as well as a cat zone, where visitors can mingle with the roaming in-house cats for free. There's also a retail store where you can buy cat-related merchandise for humans such as T-shirts, mugs, bags and greeting cards. Pork-free. Child friendly. Daily, 10am–10pm. $$
NEW Soohongry 5 Lorong Soo Hong, George Town (04 261 4129/www.facebook.com/ soohongry).
Soohongry feels a lot more like your friend's living room rather than a café with homely touches of floral couches and a dessert table as its centrepiece. Apart from coffee and tea, the humble menu also offers international cuisines like Filipino (pork adobo and bicol express) and Italian (pasta carbonara) as well as homemade muffins to pair with your cuppa. Dogs are welcome as owners Amelleia and Rudy are pet lovers themselves. Plus, there are dog treats for your furry friend too.
Tue–Sat, 12noon–7pm. $
NEW The Twelve Cups 12 The Whiteaways Arcade, Lebuh Pantai, George Town (04 262 6812/ www.facebook.com/TheTwelveCups).
The European feel and attractive black-yellow-white interior are some of our favourite things about The Twelve Cups. It serves a few selections of mille crepe and coffees, and don’t forget to try the large croissants served warm with butter and jam. The young people who run the place are cheerful and efficient. It's worth a pitstop after a few hours of strolling around the heritage area of George Town. Halal. Credit cards accepted. Free parking. Daily, 10am–12midnight. $$
NEW TWG Tea Salon & Boutique 1.10, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney (04 218 9733/www.twgtea. com).
The purveyors of fine teas in Singapore have finally landed in Penang. Known for its extensive range of unusual flavours, TWG also serves savoury food and tea-time bites to pair with your tea – try the wagyu burger with a side of TWG’s signature 1837 green tea-infused vinaigrette. The interior is exquisite as sit-down customers are surrounded by oldfashioned tins of tea and immaculately dressed service attendants. All teas here are packaged in beautiful handpainted canisters, making for perfect gifts. Don't leave without tasting the tea-infused macarons whose flavours include Earl Grey and chocolate.
Daily, 10am–10pm. $$$