Kuala Lumpur (KL) is a real foodies heaven where you can eat and dine all day and night. In KL you will find everything from posh high-class Michelin star restaurants to street stalls selling freshly cooked local delights at a low price.

There are so many things to do in Kuala Lumpur, and trying out the local food is high up on the list. In KL the locals greet each other with “Sudah makan?” = “Have you eaten yet?” instead of the more common “How are you?“, which really says it all. 🙂

You can find food from every corner of Asia in this city, and a mix between them all which sums of what the Malaysian cuisine is all about; a mix of Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanse, and Thai food.

It is entirely safe to eat in local restaurants in Kuala Lumpur as the food is fresh, the raw ingredients are top notch, and the meals prepared to a high hygienic standard. A bonus is that the prices are low, and everyone speaks English so you can ask about the ingredients and get recommendations. So step out among the many delicious street food hawkers and street restaurants and indulge yourself in all the delights!

Since there are so many restaurants, hawker stalls and Kopitiam (coffee shops) in this city, it can be difficult too find the best places to eat in KL, those that serve mouth-watering food where also the locals go.

Here we give you what we think are the best restaurants in KL. These are not Michelin starred restaurants or the most expensive ones, but restaurants that are charming, authentic, are conveniently located in popular areas of KL and most importantly serves delicious Malaysian food.

Btw, if you haven’t yet decided on where to stay in KL, make sure to check out our guide on our favourite Kula Lumpur neighbourhoods and hotels.

13 Must Try Restaurants In KL

Many of the cafes in KL are “Kopitiam” meaning coffee shops, which serve local dishes and hot and cold beverages like Teh Tarik, coffee, and juices. Familiar dishes at traditional Kopitiam are noddle and rice based, and they often serve traditional all-day breakfast consisting of a half-hard-boiled egg and toast with kaya (coconut jam). Espen is not a huge fan of this breakfast, while I think it´s quite good actually. 🙂

A restauran (meaning restaurant) in KL, is usually everything from casual old Chinese or Malay restaurants where they serve traditional dishes to posh upscale restaurants that also serves international or fusion dishes.

1. Limapulo

Baba at Limapulo Restaurant KL

Baba, the owner of Limapulo Restaurant

Everything is just perfect at this restaurant – the food, the service, the interior, and the lovely outdoor area in the front.

We go here on all our KL trips, often several times, and we always get greeted by the famous and smiling “Baba” or Uncle John which is in his mid-70s and the man behind the cooking in this restaurant. He started this restaurant together with his godson.

The restaurant’s tagline is “Baba can cook,” and I totally agree, he really can! 🙂 Baba usually sits in his chair outside of the entrance to the restaurant.

If you can, come here on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday when they serve their famous and super delicious Nyonya Laksa. Mmmm, it’s the best! ♥

Limapulo is definitely among one of the best restaurants in KL and has won many awards. 

The famous Laksa at Limapulo Restaurant

The famous Laksa dish at Limapulo Restaurant

We have also tried and recommend the following dishes at Limapulo:

  • Espen’s no. 1 favorite Berempah with chicken (RM 19) – a variant of Rendang Chicken, or choose the Set Menu Ayam Berempah where you get rice too (a better deal price wise).
  • Sate (RM 14,90) – mixed meat skewers of barbecued chicken and beef with a delicious sauce
  • Roti Jala (RM 9,90) – small pancakes with chicken stew/sauce
  • Nyonya Fried Mee Hoon (RM 9,90) – noodles with chicken, shrimps, egg, vegetables
  • Bendi Kukus (RM 15) – ladies fingers vegetable
  • Pongteh Chicken with balacan (RM 19) – a stew of chicken, potatoes, vegetables in a delicious sauce
  • Nyonya Curry (RM 19) – looks a bit like Chicken Berempah but not quite as good
  • For dessert: Sago Gula Melaka (RM 3,50) – sago pudding with palm sugar, and Cendol (RM 3,50) – very popular Malay dessert consisting of green worm-like sweet noodles/ jelly of rice or bean flour

The Row

Limapulo is part of a stretch of excellent restaurants and cafes called   – The Row. The whole street has a great, relaxed and hip atmosphere. Besides Limapulo, the neighboring French restaurant 2OX Bistro serves excellent French food with set menu deals for both lunch and dinner that is a good value. We fell in love with their creme brulee!

Another cozy place is The Common Grind, a cafe selling excellent coffee, tea, juices, and pastries. Here you can also bring your laptop and do some work/ surfing.

The Row KL

The Row – a street packed with nice restaurants and cafes

There is also a cool and hip weekend market at The Row, called the Sunny Side Up Market where local artist and entrepreneurs sell different handmade pieces of jewelry, clothes, handbags, shoes, snacks, drinks, wine,  and so on. Love this market and wanted to buy so much but could of course not since I only have limited space left in my backpack. 🙁

  • Address: 50, Jalan Doraisamy, Kuala Lumpur (close to Hotel Stripes and Sheraton Hotel)
  • How to get there: Take the light green no. 8 Monorail to Medan Tuanku station, or red no. 5 LRT Kelana Jaya Line to Dang Wangi, and walk from there (very short).
  • Opening hours: 12:00 – 15:00 & 18:00 – 22:00. Closed on Sundays.
  • Limapulo`s Web page

2. Kafe Old Market Square

Located close to the famous and beautiful Masjid Jamek Mosque, this old Kopitiam/ cafe from 1906 is clean and newly restored. It has kept the original wall tiles and mosaic floors which is pretty cool. Together with the old historical photos framed on the walls, it oozes old heritage. The cafe is in the corner shophouse of three houses in a row, all built by tin magnate Loke Yew.

The Kafe Old Market Square has a big menu, so there is plenty of options. We had Mee Hoon (or rice vermicelli, a thin form of rice noodles) with chicken and the Malaysian national dish Nasi Lemak (a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf) with peanuts, boiled egg, curry, cucumber, chili paste, and fried chicken. Delicious!

The cafe is also famous for its local breakfast consisting of soft boiled eggs, kaya toast (kaya is coconut jam), and Hainanese coffee.

  • Prices: RM 2 – RM 14
  • Address: 2 Medan Pasar (close to Masjid Jamek Mosque)
  • How to get there: Take the red no. 5 LRT Kelana Jaya Line or no. 3 LRT Ampang Line or no. 4 LRT Sri Petaling Line to Masjid Jamek Station. There is only a short walk from there to the cafe.
  • Opening hours: 07:00 – 16:30 Monday – Friday, till 15:00 on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays.
  • Cafe Old Market Square´s Web page

3. Kin Kin

You don`t come to Restoran Kin Kin for the interior, as it is quite basic, but their chili Pan Mee is to die for!

Pan Mee at Kin Kin Restaurant

The delicious chili Pan Mee at Restoran Kin Kin

It is a plate of perfectly cooked dry noodles with minced pork, a soft-boiled egg, and ikan bilis (tiny crispy deep-fried anchovies that add some salt to the dish), fried onions, and a spicy chili sauce.

Instead of pork, you can go for mushrooms, if you want the vegetarian version. The miso soup is served on the side. They do have other stuff on the menu too, but the Chili Pan Mee is their signature dish.

  • Prices: The Pan Mee (dry noodles) cost RM 7,50
  • Address: 40 Jln Dewan Sultan Sulaiman (close to Hotel Stripes and Sheraton Hotel)
  • How to get there: Take the light green no. 8 KL Monorail Line to Medan Tuanku Station, and it is just a short walk to Kin Kin.
  • Opening hours: 08:00 – 18:30 Tuesday- Sunday. Closed on Mondays.
  • Kin Kin on TripAdvisor

4. Hong Ngek

Hong Ngek is another Chinese Hokkien restaurant that has been in KL for a long time. Their famous Ginger Duck Rice was sadly sold out when we visited, but we had their yummy Pork Ribs stewed in a thick glazed sauce made with Guinness, fried Bee Hoon (vermicelli rice noodles with chicken) and vegetables in ginger sauce.

Pork Ribbs at Hong Ngek Restaurant in KL

Delicious Pork Ribbs stewed in a thick glazed sauce made with Guinness

The owner and staff are super friendly, and when tourists enter (we were the only tourists there when we visited), they have an internal bet on which country the foreign visitors are from. They all thought we were from Germany, oh were they wrong, hehe 🙂

  • Prices: RM 6-8
  • Address: Jln Tun HS Lee
  • How to get there: Take the red no. 5 LRT Kelana Jaya Line or no. 3 LRT Ampang Line or no. 4 LRT Sri Petaling Line to Masjid Jamek Station. There is only a short walk from there to the cafe.
  • Opening hours: 10:00 – 19:00 Monday – Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
  • Hong Ngek on TripAdvisor

5. Yut Kee

The old Chinese restaurant Yut Kee is a favorite among both locals and tourists and the queue for a table can be long, especially around lunchtime or when the big tourist buses visit the restaurant.

This place has been serving Hainanese dishes since 1928 and is run by a father and his son. The building is pretty cool with old photos on the walls.

The food is old colonial style and we tried their most famous signature dish Roti Babi, which is French toast with pork inside served with Worcestershire Sauce.

Roti Babi at Yut Kee Restaurant KL

Roti Babi – the signature dish at Yut Kee Restaurant

We also had chicken with rice in brown sauce (not that good), and their famous kaya cake (kaya is coconut jam). While it is fun to have tried this type of colonial style meal, the taste was a bit bland, and it was far from our favorite.

  • Prices: RM 6 – 16
  • Address: 1 Jln Kamunting (next to Hotel Stripes)
  • How to get there: Take the light green no. 8 KL Monorail Line to Medan Tuanku Station, or the red no. 5 LRT Kelana Jaya Line to Dang Wangi Station.
  • Opening hours: 07:30 – 16:30 Tuesday – Sunday. Closed on Mondays.

6. Old China Cafe

The Old China Cafe in Chinatown, close to Petaling Street, is like an old museum, where they have kept the interior just as it was in days past. It is really cool.

Old China Kafe in KL

Old China Kafe is like dining at a museum

The house, dating back to the 1920s, used to be the guild hall of the Selangor & Federal Territory Laundry Association. Inside are two large mirrors that face each other, which reflects good luck in traditional feng shui.

They serve Peranakan or Nyonya food here that comes from the Peranakans who are descendants of the early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore, and Indonesia.

We tried the Beef Rendang and Nonya fried chicken. The Beef Rendang was delicious, but the Nonya fried chicken was a bit dry.

  • Prices: RM 10 – 25
  • Address: 11 Jln Balai Polis
  • How to get there: Take the red no. 5 LRT Kelana Jaya Line or dark green no. 9 MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line to Pasar Seni Station, and walk from there.
  • Opening hours: 11:30 – 22:30 every day
  • Old China Cafe´s Webpage

7. Capital Cafe

The Capital Cafe is a small and popular cafe serving classic Malaysian dishes such as Mee Goreng (fried noodles). Capital Cafe opened in 1956, and there are lots of old cameras and antics on display. The staff are very helpful and speaks excellent English.

We had Rojak which is a salad with peanut sauce dressing. It was delicious! We also had Mee Goreng, and of course the Malaysian national drink Teh Tarik (pulled tea with milk).

The owner asked us to come back in the evening when they do barbecued satay (meat skewers), but unfortunately, we did not have the time.

  • Prices: RM 4-6
  • Address: 213 Jln TAR (close to Hotel Stripes and Sheraton Hotel)
  • How to get there: Take no. 3 LRT Ampang Line or no. 4 LRT Sri Petaling Line to Bandaraya Station and walk from there.
  • Opening hours: 07:30 – 19:30 Monday – Saturday. Closed on Sundays.

8. Sek Yuen Restaurant

Set in a beautiful old building, the Sek Yuen Restaurant has been there for more than 60 years, serving authentic Cantonese Chinese dishes.

Sek Yuen Restaurant KL

Sek Yuen Restaurant

The restaurant is in two neighboring buildings, but the oldest one (see the picture above) to the right is the most charming.

Their signature dish is the crispy duck, so we had crispy duck, fried prawns, and vegetable. Everything was delicious!

Crispy Duck at Sek Yuen Restaurant

Sek Yuens signature dish – Crispy Duck

  • Prices: RM 30-45
  • Address: Jln Pudu
  • How to get there: Take no. 3 LRT Ampang Line, or no. 4 LRT Sri Petaling Line to Pudu LRT Station and walk from there.
  • Opening hours: 12:00 – 14:30 and 17:30 – 21:00 Tuesday – Sunday. Closed on Mondays.
  • Sek Yuen Restaurant on Facebook

9. Bijan

The Bijan Restaurant is just a short walk from the famous Changkat street in Bukit Bintang, packed with western restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Bijan Restaurant KL

Me at Bijan Restaurant

If you want to eat authentic Malay food in a nice restaurant and not on the street or a Kopitiam/cafe, then this is the place. It is an excellent place for a dinner date or to celebrate a special occasion. The prices are, of course, higher here than on the street or in a Kopitiam. This is a place where Malaysians take their foreign guests for dinner to show them what the best of Malaysian cuisine is all about.

The restaurant is located in a beautiful Malay building, with both an indoor and outdoor area. We had one of the tables in the garden, and it was nice and romantic.

We had Ayam Kampung Limau Puru (RM 45, free-range village chicken simmered in a spicy gravy of chilies, turmeric, kaffir lime, and coconut milk), Gulai Kambing Ubi (RM 68, mutton in a curry-like rich and spicy sauce) and Nasi Minyak (RM 10, boiled rice with different spices like ginger, lemongrass and garlic, and nuts). Everything was delicious!

  • Prices: RM30-90
  • Address: 3 Jln Ceylong
  • How to get there: It is best to take a taxi here, or you can take the monorail to AirAsia-Bukit Bintang Station and walk from there (a 15-min walk).
  • Opening hours: 16:30 – 23:00 every day
  • Bijan´s Web page

10. Restoran Yusoof Dan Zakhir

If you get tired, hungry and thirsty after walking around at the Central Market, then this Indian restaurant has a very convenient location just next to Central Market. The restaurant is quite big with an open entrance towards the pedestrian street so you cannot avoid to see it.

They serve traditional, and authentic Muslim Indian-Malay food and it is delicious!

We particularly love their Roti or Dosa (delicious flat Indian bread/ pancake) with curry chicken and the Murtabak (spicy omelet pancake filled with vegetables and chicken). Try their Teh Tarik, or fresh fruit juices!

  • Prices: Cheap (from RM 3 – 8)
  • Address: Jln Hang Kasturi
  • How to get there: Take the red KTM Port Klang Line no. 2 or the dark green MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line no. 9 to Pasar Seni Station and walk from there.
  • Opening hours: 06:00 – 23:00
  • Restoran Yusoof Dan Zakhir on TripAdvisor

11. VCR

The VCR Cafe KLThe moment we stepped into this airy, modern, and fresh cafe it felt like we were in New York or a hipster cafe in Berlin.

The cafe is located in a black cool old Chinese shophouse and has seatings both downstairs and upstairs (plus at a balcony upstairs). It has excellent wifi and is a favorite place to bring the laptop and do some work.

The staff is super friendly, and once you have ordered your food and drinks at the counter, they bring everything to your table. There is free water for all, just grab one of the glass bottles that are placed around in the cafe.

They serve tasty breakfast/lunch all day, delicious cakes, desserts and of course coffee, tea, and juices of different kinds.

We tried their granola (with yogurt and fresh fruits), fresh orange juice, tea, chocolate cake and their specialty cake “The King” with banana/peanut/chocolate. Yummy! 🙂

After or before you step inside this cafe, make sure to walk around the block and take a look at the beautiful and photogenic row of old Chinese shophouses (of which this cafe is a part of). The chic hostel Paper Planes is also located in one of these shophouses.

  • Address: 2 Jln Galloway
  • How to get there: Take the monorail line no. 8, or the LRT Ampang Line no. 3, or the LRT Sri Petaling Line no. 4 to Hang Tuah Station (only a 5-min walk from there).
  • Opening hours: 08:30 – 23:00
  • VCR´s Web Page

12. Merchant’s Lane

This fusion cafe is a bit hard to find on a busy street in Chinatown. It is behind a bright turquoise painted door where you walk up a narrow stair, and suddenly you are in a charming shabby chic cafe called the Merchant’s Lane.

There is seating both inside and outside. We had a table on the terrace and it was lovely.

Garden at Merchants Lane Cafe KL

Merchant’s Lane has a super charming terrace area too

Merchants Lane Cafe KL

Love this terrace with a roof!

The cafe is a bit crowded around lunch-time, but it is well worth to wait in line for a table, and the line empties quickly. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed.

They serve a good mix of fusion between Western and Asian dishes. We had the South China Sea (RM 32, salmon with lots of delicious vegetables and a delicious sauce), Butter Chicken Pasta (RM 25, a fusion between the Indian dish Butter Chicken and Italian pasta, Espen loved it!). Everyone around us was drinking the pinky drink Superfruit Lemon Tea (RM 13), so we ordered it too, and it was delicious!

The food was fantastic, incredibly fresh and full of flavors. Highly recommend a pit stop at this cafe if you are in Chinatown.

  • Address: 150 Jln Petaling
  • How to get there: Take the monorail no. 8 to Maharjalela Station
  • Opening hours: 11:30 – 22:00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 09:30 – 22:00 Saturday and Sunday. Closed Wednesdays.
  • Merchant´s Lane Cafe on Facebook

13. Leaf & Co Cafe

Located in an old two-story shop-house on a corner of Chinatown, this rustic and charming cafe is a real gem that we randomly stumbled upon while strolling around in Chinatown. The cafe is the in-house cafe of the new heritage hostel named Mingle. Love that they have kept the old building and made it so cool.

Mingle Kuala Lumpur

Leaf & Co Cafe is the in-house cafe of Mingle Hostel

Leaf & co cafe KL

A very cozy cafe with some delicious drinks

We had just eaten, so we only had some drinks at the cafe, but can´t wait to come back and try some of their dishes and cakes!

  • Address53 Jalan Sultan
  • How to get there: Take the metro to Pasar Seni Station and it´s just a short walk from there
  • Opening hours: Daily 11:30 – 21:30 
  • Leaf & Co Cafe on Facebook

Must-Try Dishes In KL

Since KL is a melting pot influenced by all the other Asian countries, they have a massive range of dishes to try. Here are the must-try dishes that you can´t leave KL without having eaten:

  • Nasi Lemak – rice boiled in coconut milk, served with a hard-boiled egg, dried anchovy (ikan bilis), fried peanuts, different curries, and chili sauce (sambal). Is the no. 1 dish in Malaysia
  • Satay – sticks with barbecued meat (beef, chicken, or pork) roasted over charcoal, often served with fluffy rice cakes, cucumber, and raw onions
  • Roti Canai – flatbread Indian style served with curry sauce or dhal
  • Asam Laksa – rice noodles in a fish-based soup, a bit spicy and sour, with chili, ginger, pineapples, and mint
  • Char kway teow – meaning “stir-fried rice cake strips”, but is stir-fried rice noodles together with prawns, egg, cockles, and bean sprouts. It is a national favorite in Malaysia and Singapore
  • Beef Rendang – chunks of tender beef cooked in a creamy sauce of coconut milk and spices, often left to boil for hours
  • Cendol – the most popular dessert in KL, green worm-like sweet noodles/ jelly of rice or bean flour, often with coconut milk and palm sugar syrup, as well as shaved ice

There you have it, thirteen of the best restaurants in KL (in our opinion). Hope this helps you when choosing where to eat in KL.

I bet you are pretty hungry by now after having looked through all these delicious dishes, so strap on your shoes or sandals and head out to KLs nonstop feast! KL will not disappoint you when it comes to fresh, high-quality cooking.

⇒ Check out our article on Things To Do in Kuala Lumpur that you should not miss

⇒ If you are struggling with what area of KL you should stay in, and what hotel to book, read our guide on Where To Stay In Kuala Lumpur

Where To Stay In Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is one of our favorite hotel cities in the world, with a great combination of high standards and reasonable prices. Here you can find plenty of excellent accommodation on any budget.  Below are some of our favorites at different price ranges.

For more accommodation options and tips on which areas of KL that suits you best, read our complete guide on where to stay in Kuala Lumpur.

Top End

The Majestic

Our stunning room at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Beautiful colonial decor at the Majestic Hotel

Build in 1932 as Kuala Lumpur’s first luxury hotel, The Majestic has been host to royals and celebrities. A massive restoration project finished in 2012, and today it perfectly mixes old world luxury with modern five-star comforts.
Rarely have we been met with such genuine warm service and smiles. Staying at the Majestic is a unique experience in its self.
Click here for latest prices

Traders Hotel

Petronas Towers

The sparkling Petronas Towers

With arguably the city’s best view of the world-famous Petronas Towers and with KLCC park as it’s closest neighbor the Traders Hotel’s location is just unbeatable!

Its famous Skybar on the 33rd floor is a cool place to hang out and enjoy a drink. The rooms are large and comfortable with floor-to-ceiling windows but could do with a little refresher. But the view, oh that view…
Click here for latest prices

Mid Range

Hotel Stripes

Hotel Stripes KL

Awesome rooftop infinity pool and bar at Hotel Stripes

Hotel Stripes is a new hotel (2017) that impressed us in every way. We loved the stylishly and ultra-comfortable rooms with small touches like the free refill of soft drinks and water, and the rooftop infinity pool and bar with its spectacular view of KL Tower.
Located just a few minutes walk away from the Dang Wangi subway station and the Medan Tuanku monorail station, it is also a great base from which to explore the city. Hotel Stripes is our favorite hotel in the downtown of the city.
Click here for latest prices

KL Journal

The reception at Journal Hotel

The reception at KL Journal Hotel

KL Journal is our favorite mid-range hotel in the Bukit Bintang area. This cozy boutique hotel is located on a quiet side street yet you are just a few minutes walk away from world-class shopping and entertainment, delicious street food, tons of restaurants and nightlife.
The newly restored infinity rooftop swimming pool and bar area is a lovely place to relax.
Click here for latest prices

Lanson Place (Apartments)

Lansons Place KL Pool

The huge swimming pool at Lansons Place

If you’re looking for an apartment, then Lanson Place is tough to beat. Large, modern and fully equipped apartments within an easy walking distance of Bukit Bintang.
The swimming pool is enormous, and there are a children’s pool and playground, as well as a well-equipped fitness center.
Click here for latest prices

Capri by Fraser (Apartments)

Capri by Fraser Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Breathtaking views from the rooftop pool at Capri by Fraser Hotel

We keep returning to The Capri hotel and it has over the years become our favorite KL hotel. It is located in a quiet upscale residential area in Bangsar South just a 10-minutes train ride from KL Central.

Here things move a little slower and provide a nice escape from the hectic city, yet there are plenty of excellent restaurants and shopping malls around.
The apartments are huge and modern, and there are both studio and one/ two/three-bedroom apartments available. The large infinity rooftop pool is truly spectacular! ♥
Click here for latest prices


Paper Plane Hostel
Originally an old shophouse that has been converted into a hostel. Paper Plane Hostel has a quirky, cozy interior design with super clean, air-conditioned rooms, comfortable beds, and spotless bathrooms and most importantly super friendly and helpful hosts. Bukit Bintang is just a 10-minute walk away, and the nearby VCR Coffee & Cakes Cafe serves tasty granola, coffee, and cakes!
Click here for latest prices

⇒ Read our complete guide on where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

Travel Guides

We used the Lonely Planet`s Malaysia travel guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books by clicking on the pictures below:

Malaysia Lonely Planet      Malaysia Pocket Guide   Malaysia Rough Guide

Hover over the picture below and press the red “Save” button that pops up:

Must Try Restaurants In KL

Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? What is your favorite restaurant or cafe/ Kopitiam in KL? Please share your tips in the comment area below; we would love to hear from you! Thank you so much! 🙂 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, and we will earn a small percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at absolutely no extra cost to you! Thank you! ♥