Exploring Street Food in Kuala Lumpur 101!

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Renowned for an eclectic array of street food, Kuala Lumpur is a street food enthusiast’s dream! Known not only for its flavorful, sizzling and bizarre varieties, but a wholesome experience of exploring the streets featuring vibrant stalls, encouraging vendors, and curious onlookers. These are just a few  reasons that have made street food in Kuala Lumpur a phenomenon in its own. Local eats can be best scouted at the quaint neighborhood kopitiam or coffee shops, of course, nothing can be as inviting as that street stall beckoning an outburst of the senses. To know more, here’s some ABC on exploring street food in Kuala Lumpur!

1. Jalan Alor

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This is where most of the street food explorations in KL begin. The mecca of the city’s street food places, Jalan Alor was once a popular red-light district. Today this street is abuzz with visitors, both international and national intriguing over the wide assortment of everything edible. What to eat at Jalan Alor may be pretty subjective. However, the usual must-trys have been listed as BBQ chicken wings, coconut ice-cream, dim sums and frog porridge. While the main draw of this place indeed is its food, the atmosphere sums up for a cherishing evening or post-dinner experience. After all the walking, the several massage stalls all over are the place to go! 

Address: Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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2. Jalan Imbi

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

Located in Berjaya Time Square Shopping Centre’s proximity, the Jalan Imbi is a go-to choice for those contemplating where to eat in Kuala Lumpur. However, only after the grand Jalan Alor. This street boasts of classic hawker foods at very affordable prices. Given this fact, the street is resorted to not just the layman but even the who’s who of Kuala Lumpur. The Hainan Tea found at Ah Weng Koh is one delicacy that has people coming back for more, so this is an obvious must-try. Deep fried Yong Tau Foo, pork ball noodles, Ipoh Sar Hor Fun, Bak Kut and the Sang Har Mee are some other must-haves at Jalan Imbi. 

Address: Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur 

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3. Lot 10, Hutong

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If the streets are too overwhelming for you and you would much rather prefer a food court experience without missing out on the goodness of the actual street food, you can visit Lot 10, Hutong. This is huge space to be at and offers a wide variety of Asian food. Another feature of this place are its very reasonable prices despite its mall-like environment. It can be found very easily owing to a very central location in Bukit Bintang. The Char Kueh Teow, salt baked chicken, cha siew, Hokkien Mee and a host of oriental dessert are must-trys at Lot 10, Hutong. All these factors and more have this place monikered as “hawker stall heaven”!

Address: Lot 10 Shopping Centre, Food Court, Lower Ground Floor, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Wilayah Persekutuan, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

4. Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The combination of shopping and good food equals to a good life to me, like many more! The Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is one such place that bestows you with this experience with some irresistible street food stalls at its basement. Not just local street food, but this mall also has a wide variety of street from adjoining South Asian countries. The basement accommodates restaurants for all budgets, whether you are in a mood to splurge or keeping it rational, this is the place. Places like Tokyo Street, Dining Loft, Little Taiwan, Ichiban Ramen and the Food Republic will leave you spoilt for choice. Lunch time is ought to be very crowded, but hang in for an exceptional foodgasm. 

Address: 168, Bukit Bintang Street, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5. Jalan Petaling

Image Source: Achilli Family/flickr.com

Don’t Chinatowns all across the globe illuminate a place with all their animated peppiness?! Jalan Petaling lies bang in the middle of the city’s historic Chinatown. Come evening and the area’s spirit does not cease to hold any grounds. Buzzing with stalls typically featuring shambly tables and chairs that are disdained by an array of beguiling dishes. Don’t come here if you are particular about cleanliness, but if you are all about flavors and textures, the Jalan Petaling is no short of a food haven. Hokkien black mee, Beef Noodles, Roasted Duck, Portuguese Grilled Fish and Wantan Mee are the patent favorites at this street. Withstanding the test of time this food haven has got to be on your list while you aspire a journey of street food in Kuala Lumpur.

Address: City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

6. Jalan Hang Lekir

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Just a two-minute walk away from the Jalan Petaling, Jalan Hang Lekir boasts of an alluring blend of restaurants as well as stalls. A recce of the street will even make you familiar with the fact there are a handful of bakeries and patisseries here that make delicious, authentic pastries and savories. In case you are a vegetarian or are with one, there are quite a few vegetarian options here too, like the Yin Futt Kuok Vegetarian Restaurant considered as the city’s top favorite vegetarian restaurant! Pai Tee, Cantonese “chung”, Curry Chicken Wan Than Mee, claypot loh shu fun, sweet curry puffs and Ma Zhi are some dishes you have got to indulge in. 

Address: City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

7. Jalan Sultan

Image Source: Jonathan Lin/flickr.com

You are in an oriental country, you can barely leave without getting some of the herbal goodness! If anything herbal stirs your interests, a trip to the Jalan Sultan for its herbed jelly is a must. This stuff is going to leave you addicted to it after a while of absurd reactions trying to appreciate the taste and eventually acquire it. The whole aura of this place is really embracing, with the food and the Sultan Mosque in the background. Fig Pound Cakes, prawn mee, Clover Fujusen roll, soup tulang are some must-trys here. There is a lot to choose from here on the ambiance front especially, owing to a diverse variety of restaurants. 

Address: City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur 

8. Jalan Tun Sambanthan

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The very evident diversity in the population of Kuala Lumpur is a reason why this city is credited as one of the best places for street food in the world. The Jalan Tun Sambanthan is one place, where you are likely to contemplate if you are still in Kuala Lumpur or some street in Bombay! Along with Bollywood posters, gajras or jasmine garlands, and Tamil pop music, it is the fiercely spicy Indian street food that entices the exotic Indianness of this place. A meal in true blue Tamilian style is what you must look forward to here. Deep-fried Chettinad chicken, lots of rice with tangy curries, papadums and a variety of pickles are some of the must-haves at this street. 

Address: 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

9. Kampung Baru

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After all the street food diversities that just leave you infused with an array of pan-Asian cultures, you might be left quenching for a hardcore authentic, local, Malay experience. When this happens, head to the Kampung Baru that has been in existence for more than a century. Needless to say, this place is soaked in culture and undying traditions. Kampung Baru displays two faces of Kuala Lumpur, one is its modern one the other more vernacular. We suggest ditching the modern one for an out and out village like experience. Places like the Suraya Seafood, Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa, Kelapa Fruitti, Gerak 51 - Pak Lang Ikan Bakar among more are most visited in this area. 

Address: Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur 

10. Jalan Sayur

Image Source: Klearchos Kapoutsis/flickr.com

The Jalan Sayur or Wai Sek Kai is a popular address when it comes to street food in this city of twin towers. This place, unlike its counterparts, has a more humble, local appeal drawing Chinese food fanatics. The street starts bustling 4:00 pm onwards when vendors open their stalls. Literally translated, the name means “Gluten Street” so expect a lot of gluttony here in the form of fried chicken, chee cheong fun, Cantonese porridge, yam cake, grilled cuttlefish and much more. To add more goodness to this place is a lightning fast service and rates too good to be true. This place is well connected with the city’s public transports deriving its ease of accessibility. 

Address: Pudu, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

11. Jalan Peel

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you are a pork lover, you are bound to love Jalan Peel. The varieties of pork you get here are not only mind-boggling but also certain to leave you hooked. Pork tongue, intestines- both big and small, and coagulated pork blood are just some of the things that are a specialty of this place. To wash this all down is the variety of fresh, cold pressed juices like that of coconut and sugarcane are available readily too. Reasonably priced dishes are another notable factor of the street food stalls here. Besides its pork variation, the Nasi Lemak dish of rice scores as a winner. The beef tripe noodles are worth a try too. 

Address: 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

12. Taman Connaught Night Market

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Apart from several clubs, lounges, and restaurants, the city’s streets play a major role determining the KL nightlife. The Taman Connaught Night Market is one of the most acknowledged street markets in Kuala Lumpur, that is held once a week on Wednesday nights. Sprawling across some two-odd kilometers, this market accommodates as many as seven hundred stalls, however, not all are food. The ones that are, specialize in laksa, curry noodles, teow, char kuey and lots of local, delicious desserts like the chili-drench stinky tofu! 

Address: 130, 108, Jalan Cerdas, Taman Connaught, 56000 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Days of week: Only on Wednesdays 

Whether your taste buds love it or not, probing through the street fare in this vivacious city can easily turn out to be the highlight of your Kuala Lumpur itinerary!

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