Gurney Drive Hawker Centre (GPS: 5.44009, 100.30882), also called Pusat Penjaja Anjung Gurney, is one of the biggest and most famous eatery in Penang. It has relocated a few times, and is presently located at the northern end of Gurney Drive, just before the Gurney roundabout, between Sunrise Tower and Gurney Plaza.
The Gurney Drive Hawker Centre has been around since the early 1970's, and is probably the best known place for visitors to Penang to enjoy the local hawker fare. Over the years, the price at the hawker centre has risen higher than at coffee shops elsewhere in Penang, due to popularity of the hawker centre among out-of-town visitors and general commercialisation.
Gurney Drive Hawker Centre (21 March, 2014)
Gurney Drive Hawker Centre signboard (31 August, 2012)
Visitor Tips to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
In all honesty, I avoid voluntarily eating at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, as I found it to be too commercialised and does not offer me the "authentic Penang experience". Nevertheless, it appears to be the most popular hawker centre among visitors from out of town, and I am often persuaded to take visitors there.
My tips to you, if you're visitor, don't get fleeced. If you are ordered itemised dishes (i.e. pasembur or yong tau foo), make sure you find out the price of each item, otherwise it is difficult to argue with the hawker when he names his price. When ordering per-bowl items, find out the price and order by price. For example, say, "Give me one RM3 bowl of Hokkien Mee". Don't say "Give me one large bowl of Hokkien Mee", as you and the hawker may have different definition of "large".
It may be advisable to sit close to the food your are ordering, which is easier said than done, as the hawker centre often gets quite crowded. Having said that, it's a good idea to arrive early. You will have an easier time finding parking space. Myself, I usually park at Gurney Plaza and walk from there. Although the parking at Gurney Plaza is more expensive, it saves me the hassle of finding a non-existing street parking lot.
Plaque commemorating the make-over of Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, unveiled by former Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on 29 July 2006 (23 January, 2012)
15 Dec 2009 Update
There were complaints from some patrons that the hawkers are preventing them from sitting anywhere they like. Unfortunately the intensity of business rivalry in the area has allowed this ugly behaviour to emerge. The Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) issued a warning that hawkers who do that risk having their trading permits suspended or revoked. I would advise patrons to complain to the Penang Island Municipal Council if they were prevented from sitting anywhere they like. We cannot have this sort of behaviour tarnish Penang's reputation.
Timothy Tye at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre (21 March, 2014)
Take Rapid Penang Bus 304 to Gurney Drive. It's not the most convenient bus route, but the only one for public transport. Other than that, if you're at the Komtar Bus Terminal, you can also hail a taxi to get you there, but be warned that getting a taxi willing to use the meter is very tough (regardless what the sticker on the taxi may say).
Penang is famous as a street food destination, so I am often asked, what I like to eat. Since this same question is being repeated to me over and over, I decided to create a page to answer it, so that I never have to do it in person ever again!
Thank you for visiting my website. I started it in 2003, and today it has over twenty thousand pages of information. My name is Timothy Tye. You can call me Tim. I have been writing my website full time since 1 November 2007, and I am enjoying every moment of it. I write my website to satisfy my own curiosity, but I am glad if the information is useful to you.