Timothy Tye
Penang Char Koay Teow 檳城炒粿條

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Char Koay Teow, stall at Lebuhraya Jelutong Hawker Centre (12 October, 2012)

Penang Char Koay Teow (檳城炒粿條; Penang Char1 Koay1 Teow2) is a popular hawker dish of flat rice noodles stir fried with prawns, eggs (mostly chicken but some times duck), bean sprouts and chives (koo chye). Cockles are often added. Chilli is another optional ingredient. The rice noodles, called koay teow, are stir fried in pork fat, and crisp pieces of pork lard, called bak yew phok, is considered a delicacy by many.

Char Koay Teow had its origins among the labourer class. Due to its high fat content, it was a cheap source of energy among the working class. Today, however, Char Koay Teow is accepted as a dish for all classes of the community, and some of the most famous Char Koay Teow stalls are literally dishing it out at premium prices.

Ingredients of Char Koay Teow:

  1. koay teow (flat rice noodles)
  2. prawns
  3. eggs (chicken, some times duck)
  4. chives
  5. cockles
  6. chilli paste as desired

Char Koay Teow at Kafe Ping Hooi, Carnarvon StreetChar Koay Teow at Kafe Ping Hooi, Carnarvon Street (18 August, 2012)

Char Koay Teow, stall at Ipoh Lane, Jelutong MarketChar Koay Teow, stall at Ipoh Lane, Jelutong Market (2 May, 2008)

People's Choice

2014 People's Choice
Members of the Penang Hawker Food Facebook Group chose char koay teow as their People's Choice of favourite Penang hawker food in 2014.

My Favourite Char Koay Teow Stalls in Penang

In my opinion, (updated as of August 2012) the Tiger Char Koay Teow is the best Char Koay Teow in Penang. The price is not cheap (RM4.50) with duck egg, but to me, it is the tastiest.

I have also tried the Char Koay Teow of Excellent Cafe, a coffee shop located along the Ayer Itam Road, near the Air Itam Roundabout, next to Jalan Empat. At RM6.50 for a plate with chicken egg, it is probably the most expensive non-hotel Char Koay Teow that I have ever tasted. It looks good, but the portion is small, and in comparison, not as tasty as the Tiger Char Koay Teow of Carnarvon Street, even though it comes with two big prawns.

The Char Koay Teow of Excellent Cafe, Ayer Itam, Penang (9 September 2012)

With a char koay teow stall at almost every coffee shop in Penang, the choice can be mind-boggling. So I created a food map to make it incredibly easy to locate a char koay teow stall nearest to you. The map pinpoints all the char koay teow stalls I have come across on Penang Island. Click on the pin of your choice for further details.

Where to find Char Koay Teow Stalls in Penang

Char Koay Teow is available at the following coffee shops in Penang:
  1. Kafetaria & Hotel Eng Loh, Church Street
  2. Restoran Tong Hooi, Dato Kramat Road
  3. Viva Local Food Haven
  4. Kedai Makan Teong Ah
  5. CF Food Court
  6. Kim Lye Cafe
  7. Restoran Keat Seng, Air Itam
  8. Sin Nam Hong Cafe, Komtar
  9. Kimberley Street Char Koay Teow
  10. Sri Aman Food Court
  11. Sungai Pinang Food Court
  12. Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre
  13. Kedai Kopi New Cathay
  14. One Corner Cafe
  15. Cheapside Hawker Centre
  16. Padang Brown Johore Road Hawker Centre
  17. Gold Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
  18. Kedai Makanan Seong Huat, Jelutong,
  19. Welcome Delight Cafe, Trang Road
  20. Kafe Kheng Pin, Penang Road (lunch)
  21. Batu Lanchang Hawker Centre
  22. Midtown Cafe, Lorong Selamat (lunch)
  23. Kedai Kopi Low Eng Hoo, Lorong Selamat (lunch)
  24. Hock Poh Lye Cafe, Penang Street & China Street junction (breakfast, lunch)
  25. Kedai Kopi Shalom, Farlim, Air Itam, Penang (dinner)
  26. Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa, Burmah Road, Pulau Tikus (lunch)
  27. New World Park, Burmah Road (lunch, dinner)
  28. Kafe Sri Nibong, Sungai Nibong (lunch)
  29. Kedai Kopi Seow Fong Lye, Macalister Lane (breakfast, lunch)
  30. Padang Brown Hawker Centre (dinner)
  31. Lai Lai Food Court, Terengganu Road (dinner)
  32. Wahong Cafe, Kampung Jawa, Bayan Baru (lunch)
  33. Mutiara Selera, Island Glades
  34. Hans Food Centre, Batu Lanchang (dinner)
  35. Restoran Satu Sembilan Sembilan Tujuh, Farlim (dinner)
  36. Kafe Sheng Yuen, Farlim
  37. Kafe Ping Hooi, Carnarvon Street (lunch) My Favourite
  38. Restoran New Dragon Phoenix, Farlim
  39. August Cafe, Farlim, Air Itam, Penang
  40. Astaka Batu Maung (breakfast)
  41. Bayan Baru Hawker Centre (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  42. Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, Gurney Drive (dinner)
  43. Excellent Cafe, Ayer Itam (breakfast)
  44. Kedai Kopi Ho Ping, 211 Penang Road (lunch)
  45. Hock Leong Yen Cafe, China Street
  46. Kedai Kopi Kwai Lock, Burmah Road, Pulau Tikus (breakfast, lunch)
  47. Northam Beach Cafe, Northam Road (dinner)
  48. Restoran Hup Kee, Burmah Road, Pulau Tikus (breakfast, lunch)
  49. Sin Hup Aun Cafe, Jalan Pasar, Pulau Tikus (breakfast, lunch)
  50. Sin Yin Nam Cafe, Jalan Macalister - New Lane junction (dinner)
  51. Teluk Bayan Hawker Centre Sungai Nibong (dinner)
  52. Kedai Makanan BB (lunch), Bayan Baru
  53. Restoran Bee Hooi (lunch), 415 Burmah Road, Pulau Tikus

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