A Food Lovers Day in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Street Food Guide

While international hubs like Saigon and Bangkok get much of the culinary shine in Southeast Asia, theres another city coming onto the scene! Blending a mix of Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese, the street food in Kuala Lumpur is incredibly diverse. From local soups and vegetarian noodle dishes to deliciously seasoned meats, there’s something for every foodie here. We’ve designed this guide to not only showcase what to eat in Kuala Lumpur, but also as a fun way to see the best parts of the city. It’s time to explore Jalan Alor, Chinatown, and the many back alleyways on our self-guided Kuala Lumpur food tour!

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Where and What to Eat In Kuala Lumpur

Laksa Breakfast

Where: Madras Lane Hawkers
Order: Curry Laksa
Cost: 8 Ringgit ● $1.79 USD

Deep in the heart of Chinatown is one of the very best noodle soups in the entire city. The hawker stalls here have been serving up the famous Malaysian Laksa bowl for years, and they’re still going strong. This Kuala Lumpur street food consists of two different kinds of noodles, mixed vegetables, and a healthy serving of clams which sink elegantly to the bottom.

We prefer getting ours with tofu, but you can also order it with chicken if you’d like a splash of meat. Either way, you’re in for a seriously tasty and unique treat to start off your Kuala Lumpur food tour! Now part of the challenge of what to eat in Kuala Lumpur is actually locating some of these places. So how do you find this hidden morning breakfast?

As a tourist you probably won’t randomly stumble upon this spot, but trust us… It’s worth the extra effort! The side alley can be found off of the main street of Petaling. Once you pass through an intense wet market (you’ve been warned), or small hallway with a tattoo parlor you’re almost there! To make life easier we’ve included directions in the links at the top of each section.

Kuala Lumpur Street Food Breakfast

Kuala Lumpur Food Tour

Laksa Kuala Lumpur Street Food

Indian Lunch

Where: Restoran Sri Kortumalai Pillayar
Order: Serve Yourself
Cost: 12 Ringgit ● $2.96 USD

With the popularity of Chinatown and Jalan Alor, Little India can sometimes feel like the forgotten part of the Kuala Lumpur food scene. Nevertheless, you’d be crazy to pass up lunch at Sri Kortumalai Pillayar or any of the other great restaurants here! Hot meat and vegetables are served up buffet style with an option to add on biryani rice, roti, or an array of different samosas.

We tend to lean towards the veggie options in Asia, and luckily there are plenty of amazing alternatives to meat for food in Kuala Lumpur. Some of our favorite veggie options were the tandoori cauliflower, banana chips, potato curry, and spicy green beans.

When you walk in grab a plate of rice then head to the self-serve buffet. One is clearly marked vegetarian while the other has a mix of different meat dishes.

Feel free to pile on as much food as you like to your plate at Sri Kortumalai Pillayar. We’ve ate here a few times now and it always seems to come out between 9-12 Ringgit no matter what we get! To figure out the price of your meal simply sit down after gathering your food.

Wait to dig in until a man comes around and he will tally up the cost. This is also when you can order a drink or side of roti bread. On our last visit we had two massive plates of food and a side of roti which came out to just 22 Ringgit ($5 USD).

Little India Kuala Lumpur

What to Eat in Kuala Lumpur Sri Kortumalai Pillayar

Sri Kortumalai Pillayar

What to eat in Kuala Lumpur

Sunset Drinks

Where: Heli Lounge Bar
Order: Drink of Choice
Cost: 50+ Ringgit ● 12.32 USD

After all this amazing food in Kuala Lumpur we’re sure you’ll be a little bit thirsty. So once you fully hydrate with some delicious coconuts and tropical fruit juices we have the perfect place for you!

The Heli Lounge is a former helicopter pad turned bar located on the 36th floor of a seemingly normal office building. Not only is this the hippest place to grab a drink in Kuala Lumpur, but it also plays host to the most beautiful skyline view of the city.

Around 6pm there’s typically a DJ pumping music, and the rooftop will start to fill up with patrons. It’s at this time you’ll notice that while Malaysia is a predominately Muslim country, there is a massive ex-pat population and tourist wave that feeds its growing bar scene. Aside from the Heli Lounge bar, you can also check out Pub Street which joins with Jalan Alor if you’re looking to party.

Heli Lounge: The Ultimate Rooftop Bar in Kuala Lumpur

Heli Lounge Bar Drinks

Heli Bar Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Alor Dinner

Where: Jalan Alor
Order: Pepper Crab, Satay, or Wantan Mee Noodles
Cost: Varies Depending on Dish

For dinner it’s time to head to the most famous food street in the city! Jalan Alor is a long and lively strip full of colorful lights, music, and an endless sea of tables. Finding great Kuala Lumpur food here is easy, but the hard part will be picking which restaurant to go to!

Honestly, most of them are selling the same stuff so you shouldn’t be too picky. However, there are dishes you should seek out on Jalan Alor that are guaranteed to blow your mind.

Some of our favorites are the veggie and meat satay, pepper crab, and wantan mee noodle dish. So grab a seat, get some grub, and watch as hundreds of people take in this Kuala Lumpur food spectacle.

Market Tip: We usually grab fresh fruit on our way out of the market. This is such a nice and healthy snack after your dinner at Jalan Alor!

Jalan Alor Night Market

Dinner on Jalan Alor

Kuala Lumpur Street Food Wonton Mee

Late Night Snack

Where: Al Basha or Halab Gate Shawarma
Order: Shawarma
Cost: 10-15 Ringgit ● 2.46-3.69 USD

If you’ve made it through our Kuala Lumpur food gauntlet and have a full belly then we completely understand. Yet, there’s one more must have item on our Kuala Lumpur food tour! While walking around the downtown area at night don’t be surprised to see large meat spinning at every turn.

For us the Lamb Shawarma is unrivaled in the meat wrap game, and after careful consideration we think we’ve found two of the best in the city. Al Basha blends the juicy lamb with a mixture of veggies and spicy sauce to create this heavenly Kuala Lumpur street food snack.

If beef is more of your thing then go to the street corner of Halab Gate Shawarma. Here it’s not unusual to see meat the size of a small tree rotating gloriously over the hot fire.

If you’re craving another hearty snack also keep an eye out for the infamous Ramley Burger. It wasn’t our favorite Kuala Lumpur street food, but it’d be silly not to mention it!

→ If you prefer to not do it yourself you can hop on a guided street food tour of the city

Kuala Lumpur Street Food Shawarma

Late Night Kuala Lumpur Street Food

Have any questions about what to eat in Kuala Lumpur? Let us know in the comments below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar
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Where To Stay In Kuala Lumpur

Ultra Luxury – Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur – This ultra luxurious hotel sits right in KL park, and offers sweeping views of the Petronas Towers. From the beautiful breakfast to massive indoor swimming pool, you’ll have all the amenities you need to enjoy your stay.

Fun Vacation – The Face Suites – The suites apartments are making a huge splash in social media for their famous swimming pool that overlooks the Petronas Towers. Spend your day splashing around, and night in the comfort of your modern apartment.

Hostel Life – The Bed KLCC – This upscale pod hostel is a great jump off for the city. There is a large modern common area and single, double, or private pods available. All of the best of what to eat in Kuala Lumpur is just a quick walk or Grab taxi away!

For more places to stay in Kuala Lumpur you can explore the latest prices here!

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Malaysia Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur for $40 USD, and Kuala Lumpur to Bali for less than $65! 

 Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and transfers while traveling through Southeast Asia. 

 Accommodation: Compare competitive sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Malaysia. You can book everything from a Cameron Highlands day tour to a Kuala Lumpur local street food night tour, and even a trip to the Batu Caves Temple

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists! Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Malaysia Travel

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2 Comments

  1. October 30, 2020 / 1:44 am

    Hey guys. Stumbled across this post. Will try some of the recommendations. Though I’m interested to see what Helipad looks like now, when the city is almost empty due to all the MCOs and CMCOs. When I’d travel here in KL? Was it a recent trip?

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      October 30, 2020 / 3:59 am

      Hi Sonia. Our last visit to Kuala Lumpur was January so we’re not sure what the state of city is now during Covid. When are you thinking of going? Hopefully you are able to experience some of these restaurants and the Helipad bar. It’s such an amazing city!

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