Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · History

Travel, people & food storyteller with 63 million+ reads since 2012 🇸🇬 johorkaki@gmail

10 Best Ipoh Food Popular with Local Foodies · Some Not Internet Famous Yet


Let's dive straight into the 10 foods that you must try when you are in Ipoh 😋

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Poached chicken with bean sprouts or ngah choi kai (芽菜雞in Cantonese) is one of Ipoh's food icons. The most famous are Lou Wong and Onn Kee. The chicken shop at Cowan street nearby is a favourite of locals and have a more rustic, less touristy feel. To its fans, the chicken, hor fun, chicken soup, and bean sprouts at Cowan street are second to none 🐔  

Restaurant nameCowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau é«˜æ¸©è¡—芽菜鸡沙河粉
Address44, Jalan Raja Ekram, Kampung Jawa, Ipoh, Malaysia
GPS4°35'51.3"N 101°05'09.1"E 🌐 4.597590, 101.085849
Waze: Restoran Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau
Tel+60 12-520 3322 (boss Ah Meng)
Hours: 6:00pm - 10:00pm (Mon, Tues, Weds off)


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Every time I am in Ipoh, my local buddies will take us here. Local folks are very proud of their nasi ganja, Ipoh's answer to Penang's nasi kandar. Yong Suan coffee shop and the nasi ganja stall enjoy a special partnership since the 1950s. Have cannabis or not, I know people who would drive or helicopter into Ipoh regularly just for their nasi ganja fix.

Restaurant name: Perniagaan Nasi Kandar Ayam Merah (Kedai Kopi Yong Suan)
Address2, Jalan Yang Kalsom, Taman Jubilee, Ipoh, Perak
GPS4°35'33.9"N 101°05'04.5"E 🌐 4.592742, 101.084585
Tel: 05 254 4314 ☎ 05 254 4316
Hours: 9:30am - 6:00pm

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You cannot come to Ipoh for a foodie trip and leave without tasting a kai si hor fun (鸡丝河粉). It's rice noodles in a chicken and prawn soup, topped with pulled poached chicken. The most famous kai si hor fun stall is the one at Thean Chun coffeeshop at the tourist hotspot Concubine Lane. One of the go to places of locals for their kai si hor fun fix is Moon de Moon in a suburb away 20 minutes drive from the city centre.

Restaurant name: Restoran Moon De Moon æ€¡ä¿åŽå¼ºå›­æ»¡ä¸­æ»¡ç¾Žé£Ÿé¦†
Address148, Hala Wah Keong, Taman Mirindi, Ipoh, Perak
GPS4°37'18.7"N 101°06'19.8"E 🌐 4.621852, 101.105489
Waze: Moon De Moon
Tel012-516 0485
Hours: 7:00am - 1:00pm (Mon & Tues off)

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Cantonese roasts are everywhere in Ipoh as most of the Chinese community here are Cantonese. After trying a few good roast shops recommended by locals, those felt like red herrings put out to prevent us from discovering Ah Hou Roast Meat 😄

Restaurant name: Ah Hou Roast Meat 阿豪烧肉档
AddressJalan King, Off Jalan Pasir Pinji, Taman Hoover, Ipoh, Malaysia (co-located with 大树脚 Dai Shu Keok Big Tree Foot yong tau foo)
GPS: 4°34'56.1"N 101°05'09.0"E 🌐 4.582258, 101.085843
Hours: 12:00 noon till sold out (Tues & Weds off)

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Many Ipoh folks are Cantonese, so chee cheong fun is everywhere in Ipoh as it is a staple. If you like to try an Ipoh chee cheong fun, get it at Pasir Pinji. It is not fanciful - no fillings or anything but plain old kosong steamed rice rolls with savoury / spicy sauce and some garnishes like aromatic fried shallots and crunchy green chili. 😋  At Pasir Pinji CCF, the dish is sold from an old tricycle stall inside the front yard of a family home. It's an authentic foodie experience you can take home.

Restaurant name Pasir Pinji Chee Cheong Fun 兵如港豬腸粉
Address1456, Jalan Pasir Pinji 5, Taman Hoover, Ipoh, Perak
GPS4°34'43.2"N 101°05'03.2"E 🌐 4.578677, 101.084232
WazePasir Pinji Chee Cheong Fun
Tel05-255 6951
Parking: Very limited street side parking along narrow residential street
Hours: 12:30pm - 4:00pm (Weds, Sat & Sun off)

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When Ipoh friends bring you around in their hometown, one of the obligatory place is Dai Shu Geok Yong Tau Foo (YTF under the big tree). It's a popular eating and meeting place. 😋 There is a wide range of fried and boiled yong tau foo, many of which we can't get in Singapore or Johor. I especially miss the fried sar kok (mang kuang) and long beans stuffed with fish paste. The fried sar kok is like hash brown but more juicy and sweeter

Restaurant name: Big Tree Yong Tau Foo å¿ è®°å…µå¦‚港口大树头炸料粉
Address652, Jalan King, Taman Hoover, Ipoh, Perak
GPS4°34'56.0"N 101°05'08.6"E 🌐 4.582231, 101.085730
Waze: Dai Shu Geok Big Tree Foot 
Tel012 507 1482
Hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm


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If you are a yong tau foo lover, Ipoh is the place for you. They have many kinds of yong tau foo (known as yong liew in Cantonese) which are not found in Singapore or Johor. Fish and meat balls and every imaginable vegetable stuffed with fresh fish paste. Served in anchovy and soy bean soup or you can opt for "dry". Yong liew is an authentic foodie experience to take home from your Ipoh trip.

Restaurant: Kedai Kopi Kwong Hong å¹¿ä¸°èŒ¶å®¤é…¿æ–™ç²‰
Address: 684, Jalan Gunung Rapat, Taman Cemerlang Rapat, Ipoh, Perak
GPS4°34'19.0"N 101°06'54.0"E 🌐 4.571946, 101.115000
WazeKedai Kopi Kwong Hong
Hours: 12:00 noon - 5:00pm (Monday off)


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Tau Fu Fa (豆腐花 in Cantonese) is a quintessentially Cantonese dessert, hence it is everywhere in Ipoh. The most famous stall is Funny Mountain. Ipoh locals have their own favourites, one of them is Woong Kee for their super smooth soy bean curd. 

Restaurant name: Woong Kee Tau Fu Fa 旺记祖傳豆腐花
AddressJalan Ali Pitcha, Taman Jubilee, Ipoh, Perak
GPS4°35'28.7"N 101°05'05.0"E 🌐 4.591302, 101.084731
Tel016-533 3210
Hours: 1:00pm - 5:00pm


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I stumbled upon the original Chang Jiang white coffee during one of our regular forays into Ipoh over 20 years ago. And then, I was hooked. This upscale new outlet at Jalan Windsor is probably the most successful white coffee place in Ipoh now. But, if you are crazy like me, you can still have your white coffee at their dingy old shop here 👈 click

Restaurant nameChang Jiang White Coffee é•·æ±Ÿç™½å’–å•¡
Address7, Jalan Windsor, Ipoh, Malaysia
GPS4°35'22.3"N 101°05'45.5"E 🌐 4.589540, 101.095966
Tel05 253 8896
Hours: 8:00am - 6:00pm


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House made kaya on glutinous rice - sweet on sweet. Uniquely Malaysia, if not Ipoh. Keng Nam kopitiam has the works - great Ipoh white coffee that's as good as they come, poached egg on toast, dry curry mee, chee cheong fun, everything that makes a fine Nanyang breakfast in Ipoh. 😋

Restaurant nameKedai Kopi Keng Nam 瓊南茶餐室
Address127, Jalan Raja Ekram, Kampung Jawa, Ipoh, Malaysia
GPS4°35'59.2"N 101°05'11.8"E 🌐 4.599783, 101.086608
Waze: Kedai Kopi Keng Nam
Tel+60 5-255 7328
Hours: 6:00am - 11:00am


Yee Fatt is a fascinating coffee shop. They serve good coffee and Ipoh curry noodle. In addition, I love this place for the best loh mai gai and they top that with excellent curry. Yee Fatt also have herbal egg tea which is a taste that I have long forgotten (my grandmother used to make it). Can't get this traditional Cantonese beverage in Singapore in any coffee shop.

Restaurant nameKedai Kopi Yee Fatt  怡发茶室
AddressNo. 39, Jalan Kampar 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Tel+60 12-520 3281 📞  +60 5242 1043
Hours: 6:00pm - 10:00pm (Mon, Tues, Weds off)

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Needless to say, every Ipoh local have their own favourite place for their daily Ipoh white coffee fix. Nam Heong have their own following but whatever one feels about Nam Heong's coffee, this is the old coffee shop that spawned the Old Town White Coffee and Nam Heong franchises that put Ipoh and its white coffee on the world map. The Old Town White Coffee brand was sold to a Dutch conglomerate for a tidy RM1.5 billion in 2018.

Restaurant name: Kedai Makanan Nam Heong å—香茶餐室
Address: 2, Jalan Bandar Timah, Ipoh, Malaysia
GPS4°35'35.5"N 101°04'37.3"E 🌐 4.593185, 101.077033
Tel012-588 8766
Hours: 7:00am - 5:30pm


A Jie Cafe is in the same league as Chang Jiang and Nam Heong. A Jie have good coffee and a wide range of local Malaysian delights from nasi lemak to chee cheong fun to curry noodle. When at A Jie get their pork bun and char siew pau quickly before they are sold out. A Jie have a good selection of Nyonya kueh too.

Restaurant name: A Jie Cafe
Address61, Persiaran Tokong, Taman Hoover, 31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Tel+6012 527 6771
Hours: 9:30pm - 5:00pm (Mon off)


I personally tried and tasted every food recommended in this list (never copy, paste, paraphrase other people's hard work):

🥢Cowan Street bean sprout chicken ðŸ‘ˆ click

Pork satay at Concubine Lane, Ipoh

More good Ipoh food ðŸ‘ˆ click

My Ipoh food trail 2018 👈 click

Ipoh Snippets


Lonely Planet ranked Ipoh number 6 in its list of 10 Best Asian Destinations to Visit in 2017. Besides mentioning the old tin mining town's colonial architecture and limestone caves, Lonely Planet credited Ipoh's boutique hotels, art cafes and heritage food (citing Lou Wong chicken rice and Funny Mountain bean curd as examples) for its decision. Ipoh was the only Malaysian city in the honour list.


Concubine Lane is one of Ipoh's tourist hotspots. The charming old narrow streets are teeming with street vendors and small stalls selling trinkets and snacks of all sorts like cotton candy and ice balls.


The quaint name came about because the 3 landladies who once controlled the 3 streets here were the wives of mining tycoon Yao Tet Shin. The tycoon gifted his 3 wives the streets which he built following The Great Fire of Ipoh of 1892 which razed the old town to the ground. The streets became known as Concubine Lane.

Iconic Thean Chun coffeeshop at Concubine Lane, Ipoh

Decades old heritage coffee shops like the iconic Thean Chun 天津茶室 still operate at Concubine Lane.

Hall of Mirrors at Concubine Lane, Ipoh

Thean Chun coffee shop is also known as "The Hall of Mirrors" because one of its walls is covered with large mirrors across its entire length. Busy Thean Chun is as much a heritage destination as it is an eatery. The food and the vibes are like it was from decades past.


Thean Chun is most famous for their old kai shi hor fun stall, well known for their pork satay, and this - caramel egg custard. Sweet on sweet and eggy. This is a box you must check off when you visit Ipoh because it is famous... duh.

10 Best Ipoh Food Popular with Local Foodies. Some Not Internet Famous Yet

Ipoh is famous for their bean sprouts or ngah choi (Cantonese) or taugeh (Hokkien). Ipoh ngah choi really are fatter, more crunchy, juicier, and sweeter. It's a different species and perhaps also because the quality of water in Ipoh is special. Whatever it is, make sure to eat some ngah choi when you are in Ipoh.


Yim kook kai or salt baked chicken (or ayam garam in Malay) is another icon of Ipoh food. Free range kampung chicken is marinated in Chinese herbs, wrapped in layers of parchment (baking) paper and then baked buried under a mound of coarse rock salt (in a wok). The chicken meat is tender and juicy, and it has a savoury salty herbal sweet taste. There are 4 famous places to get yim kook kai but as I haven't tasted all 4 to recommend you, you can check out Smart Dory's blog, if you like to try it.


There are over 30 Buddhist and Taoist temples built inside and around the limestone caves of Ipoh. Monks and nuns recluse themselves and meditate in these caves since the late 1800s. Limestone cave temples were later constructed in these mountain retreats. You may like to visit and experience at least one cave temple while you are in Ipoh. Among the better known cave temples are ä¸‰å¯¶æ´ž Sam Poh Tong, 極樂洞 Kek Loke Tong, and 霹雳洞 Perak Tong.

This Ipoh food list is always under construction and will be improved with your suggestions. Updated: 15 Sep 2022

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  1. Hey, I just want to let you know how valuable and amazing this blog post was for my visit to Ipoh. I managed to have some of the best food of my life thanks to this post! 🙏🏾

    1. You are welcome Daniel. Glad you found it useful. I also hope to visit Ipoh again soon.


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