11 must-try Ipoh food spots approved by the locals

Home to the famed Ipoh white coffee, silky tau fu fah and chicken rice, Ipoh is a proud, foodie paradise well-known in Malaysia, with lots of amazing local food scattered across its amazing little town. 

So if you’re planning a trip to Ipoh, we’ve done you a solid by collating a list of 11 of the most recommended spots to add to your checklist. Happy food hunting!

1. Restoran Tauge Ayam Ong Kee

Ong Kee - Ipoh chicken rice

When it comes to food in Ipoh, the most famous of them all has got to be chicken rice with Ipoh’s homegrown bean sprouts. There’s no chicken rice restaurant more popular than Restoran Tauge Ayam Ong Kee which is located right in the heart of Ipoh town. 

Ong Kee - Ipoh chicken rice

Folks come to this restaurant in droves to enjoy tender chicken served with hot bowls of rice and crunchy bean sprouts (RM15). The tender chicken meat is immersed in a balanced soya sauce cocktail which bears the unmistakable fragrance of sesame oil.  

Chicken innards are also available as are pork balls, both lovely appetisers. If you tire of rice, you can opt for hor fun instead and it is indeed a viable alternative for all you noodle lovers out there.

No. 48/51, 53, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak
+6012 530 0888
Daily: 10am – 9.30pm

2. Funny Mountain 

Funny Mountain - Ipoh soya bean

Tau fu fah (soya beancurd pudding) is a must-have dessert if you are in Ipoh. It is said that the tau fu fah here is made with spring water in Ipoh, giving it its unique taste and texture. The go-to spot to satisfy your Tau Fu Fah (RM3) cravings in Ipoh is Funny Mountain, a family-run store that has been operating for over 60 years. 

Funny Mountain - tau fu fah

A little heads up, Funny Mountain is so popular with locals and tourists alike that on weekends and public holidays, there is usually a long line of people outside the shop. If the idea of queuing under the hot sun sounds unappealing, the stall also provides drive-thru services. Besides tau fu fah, they also have soya bean sold by the bottle and soya with cincau

My personal favourite is their soya bean drink— I’ve purchased 2 big bottles (and driven back to KL!) because the drink was so creamy and good, even without sugar. 

50, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak
+6012 516 1607
Wed to Mon: 10.30am – 7.30pm
Closed on Tue

3. Restoran Chooi Yue Dim Sum Ipoh

Chooi Yue Dim Sum - restaurant

Ipoh is famous for its dim sum. Opinions may differ between locals on which is the ‘best dim sum restaurant’ in Ipoh but Restoran Chooi Yue Dim Sum is definitely right up there. Just be prepared to queue especially if you’re planning to have breakfast here on a weekend. 

Chooi Yue - dim sum

Upon entering, you’ll be greeted with the yells of staff members and dim sum carts that are being pushed around. They have quite a vast array of dim sum, including some that are not carted around for choosing. There is a huge signboard with their menu though so you can order from the comfort of your seat.

Apart from the usual dim sum items, do also try their Shanghai Xiao Long Pao (RM10 for 2). This delicious and succulent pao consists of tender pork mince held together by thin dumpling skin. They are also known for their Salted Egg Bun (RM6 for 2) which comes in a fried and steamed version. 

2, 4 & 6, Tingkat Taman Ipoh 12, Taman Ipoh Selatan, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
+6016 534 5965
Fri to Wed: 7am – 1pm
Closed on Thu

4. Nasi Ganja Ipoh

Yong Suan - nasi ganja

Nasi Ganja (which literally means drug rice) is actually nasi kandar— however this nasi ganja term was coined by the locals because it’s so addictive. Ask any local from Ipoh (or tourists who have been to Ipoh) and they will tell you that the best nasi ganja in town is at Kedai Kopi Yong Suan, a rustic coffee shop that has been in business for over 60 years. 

Nasi Ganja - dish

The nasi ganja here is so popular that you can expect a long queue on a daily basis. Thankfully, the service is quick and efficient— in fact, most people in line are actually there to take away their meal instead of dining in. 

Be sure to enjoy a hearty plate of nasi ganja drenched in curry, topped with their famous ayam merah, salted egg and vegetables. This isn’t the place to linger over your meal, so be sure to clear your plates quickly for the next round of customers.

2, Jalan Yang Kalsom, Taman Jubilee, 30250 Ipoh, Perak
+6016 595 9673
Daily: 9am – 5pm

5. Nam Heong White Coffee Shop

Nam Heong - coffee shop

If you’re looking for old-school baked goods to go with your cup of Ipoh white coffee, Nam Heong White Coffee Shop is the place to be. This humble kopitiam is one of the pioneers of Ipoh white coffee and the inspiration behind the now-popular Old Town White Coffee. 

Nam Heong - dim sum

Nam Heong White Coffee is most famous for their freshly made Egg Tarts (RM1.80 a piece) — with their flaky pastry and creamy egg custard filling. This delicious treat is best enjoyed at the coffee shop itself. Of course, don’t forget to pair the egg tart with a cup of white coffee for an authentic Ipoh experience. 

The queue for a table might be intimidating but thankfully, the turnover is pretty quick. This coffee shop is a must-visit if you’re planning a trip to Ipoh. Sure, they have Nam Heong White Coffee Shops in Kuala Lumpur as well, but to quote a friend from Ipoh, “It’s not the same when you’ve had the original one”. 

2, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
+6012-588 8766
Daily: 7am – 5pm

6. Sin Yoon Loong

Sin Yoon Loong - restaurant

Sin Yoon Loong is a quaint Hainanese coffee shop established in 1937 and has been serving one of the best, most authentic white coffee in town for years. This coffee shop has over 70 years of experience providing high quality coffees using premium selected coffee beans. 

New Hollywood - creme caramel

Pop by for a satisfying local breakfast with coffee, yummy soft-boiled eggs on toast. The roti bakar here has a delightful thin, crispy exterior and goes well with the classic combination of butter and creamy, sweet kaya

If you can stomach sweet desserts in the morning, you need to order their Creme Caramel (RM4). It  is so creamy and has a smooth texture, with the perfect level of sweetness. 

15A, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
+605 241 4601
Daily: 6.30am – 2.30pm

7. Restoran New Holly Wood

New Hollywood - restaurant

It’s not easy to find halal local Chinese food in Ipoh. So if you find yourself hankering for halal breakfast food, Restoran New Hollywood, or more fondly known just as Hollywood, is the place to be for a variety of halal local delights.

Sin Yoong Loong - breakfast

The restaurant is a mini food court of sorts— you’ll be able to savour halal Chinese hawker favourites. Start off with a plate of chee cheong fun with either a prawn or chicken filling. 

You can opt for other equally lip-smacking dishes such as char kway teow topped with succulent prawns, an assortment of yong tau foo or a bowl of hearty curry mee. Otherwise, you can go for the traditional kopitiam breakfast of half-boiled egg on toast along with a cup of Hainanese coffee. 

There are also Western dishes and nasi kandar, if you’re there later in the day. Don’t forget to down your meal with a cup of Hainanese coffee, served in a traditional cup and saucer.

38, Lorong Cecil Rae, Taman Canning, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
+6012 290 8887
Daily: 7am – 6pm

8. Thean Chun Coffee Shop

Thean Chun - restaurant

Sample a variety of Ipoh’s best local eats at Thean Chun Coffee Shop, an iconic restaurant located in the heart of Ipoh old town. “Halls of Mirrors” is another name for this eatery, coined after the large mirrors hanging on the coffee shop’s wall.

Thean Chun - dishes

Dishes to order here include chicken kuey teow soup noodles (also known as kai see hor fun), satay, chee cheong fun and their signature egg caramel custard (which is apparently so smooth it’ll melt in your mouth). It’s best to come by with your friends or family so you can order a bit of everything to share.

They also sell Pork Satay (RM10 for 10 sticks) with really unique cuts such as intestines and liver. If you’re planning to visit Thean Chun Coffee Shop on a public holiday, be prepared to queue for a table. 

38, Lorong Cecil Rae, Taman Canning, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
+6012 290 8887
Daily: 7am – 6pm

9. Restoran Tuck Kee

Tuck Kee - restaurant

Established in 1963, Restoran Tuck Kee is a half-a-century old restaurant that is almost always crowded with hungry patrons. The signature dish here is definitely the Yu Kong Hor (also known as Moonlight Noodles) which is arguably the best in town and a must-try when in the vicinity. 

Tuck Kee - noodles

Moonlight Noodles (RM8) are flat noodles served with a raw egg cracked on top. Give it a good mix and enjoy the slippery smooth, springy texture of the dark soy noodles. The dish has an intense wok hei taste and the raw eggs add a silkiness and creaminess to the dish. 

You can also order other bestsellers such as braised chicken feet, baby octopus in soy sauce, fried bee hoon, and more to complete your wholesome meal.

61, Jalan Yau Tet Shin, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak
+6016 220 9361
Daily: 1pm – 8pm

10. Deen CT Corner Cendol

Deen CT corner - stall

There’s nothing more refreshing than an icy bowl of cendol on a hot day. Deen CT Corner Cendol has been operating for more than 20 years. The stall is run by an elderly experienced husband and wife duo and there is always a queue in the afternoons for their cendol.

Deen Cendol - cendol

The plus of having your cendol here is being able to customise a bowl. You can have it with any topping of your choice— such as red beans or sweet corn. For a more filling experience, opt for the pulut version which means your cendol will come with a spoonful of creamy glutinous rice. 

A plain bowl of cendol here will cost you only RM2.50 and if you add on toppings like sweet corn, the price goes up to RM3. If you’re looking for the pulut version, that bowl will cost you RM3.50

20, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak
+6016 535 0351
Sat to Thu: 11.30am – 6.30pm
Closed on Fri

11. Aun Kheng Lim Salted Chicken

Aung Kheng - restaurant

I didn’t know salted chicken was a thing till I travelled to Ipoh— in fact, salted chicken is a popular souvenir. The chicken is marinated in rice wine and a variety of Chinese herbs. There are many shops where you can get a delicious salt-baked chicken but the most famous one is Aun Kheng Lim Salted Chicken.

Aung Kheng - salted chicken

The Salt-baked Chicken (RM33 per bird) at Aun Kheng Lim Salted Chicken is nicely packed for customers in their iconic bright red boxes, perfect for gifting to friends and family. Aside from their delicious free-range chicken, you’ll be impressed with their drive-through service and overall efficiency to churn out so many in a day. 

24, Jalan Theatre, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Perak
+605 254 2998
Tue to Sun: 9am – 5.30pm
Closed on Mon

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