Top 10 Malaysian Street Food Below $5
Visitors to Malaysia are in for a real treat when it comes to Malaysian Street Food.
As a Malaysian, I can honestly say that my country has the most variety of food that makes the top lists of outstandingly and incredibly tasty street food that the locals eat every day.
Malaysian street food cuisine reflects cooking style, technique, and ingredients that make what’s available both tasty and affordable.
Across the country, most Malaysians will agree that Penang has the best street foods.
During the school breaks and public holidays, locals love nothing better than a drive to Penang for its authentic Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, and Western food.
Of course, there are many cafes, murals, and colonial architecture to visit in George Town.
Malaysian Street Food – Amazing 10 Must-Try Dishes
There are so many delicious Malaysian Street Food to try, BUT if you are on a 4D3N visit, these are ten that I personally recommend for this Malaysia Travel Guide.
All the food I have chosen will give you a broad base tasting of memorable rice, BBQ, spicy, soupy, and savory for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper!
Make a note, and you can return for another eating adventure at your leisure.
Anytime you’re here to visit, you can check back for updates on the Travel Stylus Blog.
1 Nasi Lemak (Malay) $0.30 per packet
Malaysia’s beloved breakfast dish is the banana leaf-wrapped parcel of goodness- the Nasi Lemak that you can carry in the palm of your hands.
Simple and delicious, the coconut milk-infused rice has a wedge of hard-boiled egg and is covered with red sweet-spicy gravy.
You must join the locals and eat this for breakfast, teatime, or even supper at any of the alfresco “Warung,” Mamak stalls, or Chinese Kopitiam.
There are a few Nasi Lemak variants, but the simple food parcel is what Malaysians love the most.
2 Roti Canai (Indian Muslim) $0.30 per piece
Roti Canai is an Indian-influenced this flatbread dough fried in lots of oil and served with dhal (lentil curry).
One of the privileges is watching the Roti Canai make the roti before your eyes.
The dough is first stretched out, slapped across a countertop, flattened into a small disk, and fried on a hot griddle in oil.
The stretching and layering give the Roti Canai lots of flaky, crispy layers.
You eat this like the locals, break off bits of the roti with your fingers and dip it into the delicious curry gravy.
Two basic Roti Canai and a Teh Tarik make a great filling delicious breakfast that will cost $1.20!
Look out for a Mamak shop, and you will surely find some delicious Roti Canai!
Malaysian Street Food Lunch
For lunch, you will want to the Kopitiam, Warung, Hawker Center, and restaurants all over Malaysia, where you are given a plate of rice and have lots of fun choosing from the assortment of dishes and curries!
Street Food Dishes Galore! You can find this in Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Ipoh, Penang, and other Malaysian cities and towns.
Your task is to point or scoop up whatever looks the best!
3 Economy Rice (Chinese) $2.00
You can join Malaysian office workers when they have their Economy Rice lunch found in Chinese Kopitiam.
Various stir-fried dishes include green leafy vegetables, simple Chicken Curries, Fried Fish, Eggs, Tofu, Bean curd, Pork dishes, and hot soups.
The stall normally does not serve Beef or Mutton.
You scoop up some hot white rice and proceed to choose your dishes, and pile these on your plate.
Some stalls have a preset order of 3 dishes and white rice for $1.50
Others are solely vegetarian stalls.
4 Nasi Campur (Malay) $2.00
Nasi Campur is the Malay version of white rice topped with a selection of different dishes.
You can get a taste of Malay cuisine from the assortment of dishes that include Kerabu, Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish), Beef Rendang, Fried Chicken, and Ulam with Sambal Belacan.
For $2.00, you can have a plate of Rice, Salad, and Fried Chicken.
5 Nasi Kandar (Indian Muslim) $2.50
Originally perfected in Penang, Nasi Kandar was sold by vendors who carried large pots of rice and curries using a Kandar (pole).
Nowadays, you can order this rice with Indian-style curry.
You can choose from Beef, Mutton, Chicken, Duck, Fish, Squid, Prawns, and Omelet.
The vendor will ladle over a mix of curries that make the taste of this dish so unique.
Of course, the price of your meal depends on the dishes you choose.
So, if you’re on a budget, you might want to skip the seafood and meat.
A plate with rice, an omelet, two vegetables, “flooded” with several tasty curries for $2.50.
6 Banana Leaf Rice (Indian) $2.00
You can experience Malaysia without trying an Indian rice meal served on a banana leaf.
At the dining table, the waiter will place a huge banana leaf as your plate and fills that with a giant scoop of white or parboiled rice with curry and a round of delicious vegetarian curries.
Banana Leaf Rice is often served as a vegetarian meal”, along with various vegetables, pickles, and Papadom.
You can add on your order of meat dishes – Chicken, Fish, or Mutton to supplement the vegetable curries if you like.
Meals on the banana leaf are meant to be eaten by hand, as it is said to enhance the entire food experience.
The banana leaf acts as a disposable plate and is not consumed.
A $2.00 Banana Leaf Rice looks like this vegetarian set.
7 Bak Kut Teh – Pork Rib Soup (Chinese) $3.70
Bak Kut Teh translates directly to “meat bone tea.”
Although the word Teh (which means tea in Malay) is a part of the name, there is no tea in the dish – the name refers to a strong oolong Chinese tea that is usually served alongside the soup.
If you enjoy eating pork, you will love this clay pot dish with meaty pork ribs slow-cooked and simmered for hours in an herb and spice broth.
Bak Kut Teh is a popular breakfast and dinner dish in Malaysia.
The garnish for the tender pork is a condiment of raw garlic, chilies, and sweet dark soy sauce.
The price for a clay pot per person starts at $3.70
8 Sup Kambing – Mutton Soup (Indian Muslim) $1.30
Sup Kambing is a mutton soup prepared with goat meat, tomato, celery, spring onion, ginger, candlenut, lime leaf. Its broth is yellowish in color from the turmeric.
As a bone soup, the Sup Kambing is nourishing and tasty, and perfect for a light dinner.
You can order this with two slices of Roti Bengali and a cup of The Tarik.
If you aren’t fond of mutton, there is Sup Ayam (Chicken) Sup Daging (Beef) that you can try instead.
9 Kopitiam Western Food (Chinese) $5.00
Chinese Kopitiam is where you can enjoy an economical Western meal at a fraction of the price of fancy restaurants or hotels.
The humble Western food serves a good meal, including Fish and Chips, Chicken Chop, Lamb Chop, Mixed Grille, Soup, and Salads.
You can have a nice Chicken Chop and a drink for $5
10 Cendol – Dessert (Malay, Chinese) $1
Cendol is a sweet iced dessert made from green rice flour jelly, sweetened navy beans, and mixed with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk.
The standard bowl starts at $1 but will cost more for extra ingredients.
There are other varieties which include the addition of Pulut (steamed Glutinous Rice) and even Durian.
Traveling around Malaysia is easy with a plethora of delicious meals that are delicious, nutritious, cheap, and available around the clock.
While other local favorites include Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish), Satay (Grilled Skewered bamboo stick Meats), Rojak (Malaysian fruit salads) you can try, these cost about the same as filling rice meals.
Locally these are called Chaik Pa (Hokkien) for a filling meal and Chiak Kar (Appetizers)
While meal prices in Malaysia can vary, Malaysia’s average food cost is $15 per day.
Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, dining out an average meal in Malaysia should cost around $6.30 per person.
In major cities, breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.
For comparison, a Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) in Kuala Lumpur is $4.
The choice is yours if you’re on a budget or if you want to splurge.
Top 10 Malaysian Street Food Below $5 – based on the conversion rate of RM4.2 to $1