Penang’s downtown area has been exploding with popularity over the last 5 or so years, especially hipster cafes which have taken advantage of the average Instagram-totting café-goer who values aesthetic. The trend has shifted from merely offering good coffee and dessert to offering good-looking coffee and dessert, with a nice deco to boot! Nowadays with the popularity of social media, cafes put a premier on visual attractiveness, and hipster cafes in particular do that in spades! Here are a couple that I’ve found to be quite good.

Pik Nik

One of the first cafes I’ve visited personally, I enjoyed playing board games here while drinking coffee and scribbling in the guest notebook.

Location: 15, Nagore Road, 10050 Penang

Board games and chill anyone? Credits to TripAdvisor.

Mugshot Café

A picturesque café located on Chulia Street, this café enables you to act out the part of an escaped convict, complete with a “mugshot” of your own as well as your own personal crime.

Location: 302 Chulia Street, 10200 Georgetown, Penang.

Indulge your gluttonous side at Mugshot Cafe! Credits to TripAdvisor.

China House

A classy place to enjoy some cheesecake as well as local bands, it’s one of the oldest and most visited cafes in Penang. It offers food, drinks, baked treats, books as well as live music; what more could one want? Definitely a must-see!

Location: 153 & 155, Lebuh Pantai and 183B, Lebuh Victoria, Penang, Malaysia

Must-try for tourists and locals alike! Credits to TripAdvisor.

Komichi Tea House

A Japanese-themed café that specializes in Matcha, tucked away in a little tea house off Beach Street. Menu is very Matcha focused featuring a slew of Matcha beverages and baked goodies.

Address: 20, Lorong Toh Aka, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Macha delights at Komichi Tea House! Credits to TripAdvisor.

The Ais

A health-focused ice cream shop featuring artisan ice cream including alcoholic flavours. All their ice cream are homemade, and they offer pancakes with ice cream as well as kefir. I often come here for the affordable ice cream to while away an afternoon, followed by going off traipsing around downtown hunting murals!

Address: 473, Lebuh Chulia, 10200, Georgetown, Penang.

Homemade ice-cream parlour tucked away at Chulia Street. Credits to TripAdvisor.

Passion Heart

Famous for their homemade cakes, this café has the best cempedak and durian cake I’ve had before. Very close to the shop located above, ice cream and cakes are a winning combination!

Address: Jalan Muntri, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Enjoy amazingly good cakes at Passion Heart. Credits to TripAdvisor.