Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman night market in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia,  Food Guides

Your Essential Guide to the Best Night Markets in Kuala Lumpur

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One of the best ways to get to know a country — and taste the best local dishes — is to visit its markets. In Malaysia, a night market is locally referred to as “pasar malam.” There are different night markets in Kuala Lumpur and this guide will tell you the best ones and which food to try.

What you need to know

Most tourists visiting Kuala Lumpur is familiar with Jalan Alor night market. Although it’s a good option, it’s important to know that it caters especially to tourists, so the prices here are more expensive and it has lost that bit of authenticity that you can find in regular night markets that locals go to.

Basically, pasar malams are street markets that operate from mid-afternoon ’til night. They are often located in residential neighborhoods. In Kuala Lumpur, you can visit a different pasar malam every day of the week. They offer local dishes and other products created by local businesses and artisans.

Night markets in Kuala Lumpur | pasar malams in Kuala Lumpur

I lived in Kuala Lumpur for a year and visiting pasar malams holds a special place in my heart. For one, as an expat it gave me a feeling of belongingness. I may be a different nationality but when I’m in a night market I’m just like everyone else — up there to eat some food, do a little shopping, chit chat with friends and more.

The other reason is that after half a year staying in the city I was feeling a bit jaded. The initial euphoria of moving in the country has died down and I resorted to a daily work routine, similar to how I was living in the Philippines. One weekend, my friend Hermes invited me to go to Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman pasar malam in Bandaraya (which we simply refer to as the Bandaraya night market). The experience reminded me why I was happy here — I’ve rediscovered the quirkiness of the city, the distinct flavors of each cuisine, and the elation of partaking in all of these.

Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman night market in Kuala Lumpur
Various street food in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman night market.
Taman Connaught night market
My friend Hermes picking out dumplings.

In my opinion, visiting a pasar malam is venturing into the culture of Malaysia itself. If you want to go on a food trip in this city, you can explore a pasar malam and taste different local food in one go. It also lets you see how locals go about daily in the country.

Another great thing about pasar malams are that they are currently out of the tourist radar. Most guides feature Jalan Alor alone, so this is a great opportunity to do something a little “under the radar” as well. However, this might not be for long! The Malaysian government recognizes the potential of pasar malams as tourism gold mines to be cultivated in the coming years.

What to see in a pasar malam

Pasar malam is a great place for food tripping. You can find common Malaysian food such as nasi goreng, char kway teow, grilled items such as breaded mushrooms, tofu, vegetables, and more. Aside from this, you can also find Western, Thai, Indonesian, Korean and Japanese fare.

You can also see stalls selling cheap gadgets, clothes, and other common household items.

A lot of pasar malams dedicate a great portion for food, but there are also pasar malams serving as wet or fresh markets or whole-good sales markets.

List of night markets in Kuala Lumpur

A pasar malam opens usually once a week, from 3PM onwards. There’s actually a pasar malam for most days of the week.

Pasar malams in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Pasar malams in Kuala Lumpur.

Here is a list of night markets in Kuala Lumpur and their schedules.

MondayTaman Len Sen night market
TuesdaySri Petaling night market, Taman Melawati night market
WednesdayTaman Connaught night market (Cheras), Taman Maluri night market
ThursdayOUG night market, Taman Melawati night market
Friday
SaturdayJalan Tunku Abdul Rahman night market, Happy Garden night market, TDDI Ahad night market, Taman Melawati night market
SundayTaman Maluri night market

Recommended night markets in Kuala Lumpur

These are the night markets in Kuala Lumpur that I’ve personally visited and vouch for.

1. Sri Petaling night market

This is a huge night market that offers a variety of food and other items, such as trendy clothing.

This is my favorite night market because it’s close to where I lived in Bukit Julil. I used to come here every week to get my share of salted-egg chicken and squid, fruits such as jackfruit for take-home, and more. Every now and then I’d be daring and try a new local food (stinky tofu, ugh). I easily spend around RM70 in one visit.

Schedule: Tuesday

How to get here: The easiest way to get here is via Grab/taxi from Sri Petaling train station.

2. OUG Night Market

OUG night market is another huge night market, but with a relaxed crowd. It’s easy to walk around and shop without bumping against other people.

Aside from the food, there are also a lot of stalls here selling clothes and other homeware stuff.

Schedule: Thursday

How to get here: The easiest way to get here is to take a Grab/taxi from Awan Besar train station.

3. Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman night market

This night market is located in the city center and it opens on a weekend, so it’s a popular shopping destination for locals. Expect huge crowds when you visit.

It is so huge that it occupies a number of streets. There are various stalls selling street food, native delicacies and cakes, and fresh fruits and juices. There are also specialty items such as durian ice cream.

This is actually the first night market I visited. I suggest wearing comfortable shoes and prepare for a walkathon. If you haven’t had enough food in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman night market, you can also drop by RSMY restaurant in the area, which offers the best cheese naan in Kuala Lumpur.

Schedule: Saturday

How to get here: Take a train to Bandaraya station. From there, it’s walking distance to the night market.

4. Taman Connaught night market

Taman Connaught night market is the longest night market in Kuala Lumpur, spanning 2 km in length and featuring over a hundred stalls.

Aside from the usual food items, you can also find trendy offerings including coconut ice cream, juice served in inflatable holders, various cakes and tarts, and so on. There area also stalls offering food from other countries in Southeast Asia

Schedule: Wednesday

How to get here: The easiest way to get here is via Grab/taxi from either Cheras or BTS train station.

5. Jalan Alor night market

If you’re unsure where to go, it’s still worth visiting Jalan Alor night market. As I mentioned above though, the prices here are relatively more expensive and based on my experience it’s best to go here with at least one other person so you can share food and expenses. A lot of items are meant for group buying (e.g., satays are sold per 10 pieces) and Chinese restaurants in the area offer dishes good for sharing.

Schedule: Open daily

How to get here: Take a train to Bukit Bintang station. From there, it’s walking distance to the night market.

What dishes to try

Oh, boy. There are tons of food to try in a pasar malam. If it’s your first time here, it may be overwhelming. Here I’ll recommend some of the food that I like. I suggest that you also take a look at my favorite foods in Malaysia

One of my ultimate favorites is salted-egg food. These can be chicken, squid, fish skin, or vegetables. You can order one item or have them mixed. I find it cheaper compared to the salted-egg snacks in Singapore, and they are freshly cooked too. The added curry leaves add extra flavor and crunch!

For standard Malaysian fare, here are the ones you should try:

  • Char kway teow — a type of fried noodles
  • Chai kway teow — similar to char kway teow, but consists of radish cake
  • Scallop omelette
  • Chicken or beef satay with peanut sauce — chicken satay is one of the most famous dishes in Malaysia, so you should give it a try!
  • Skewered meats such as tofu, cheese tofu, chicken liver, mushrooms and other vegetables — typically, these can be found in a rolling station that offers various grilled items for cheap
  • Salted herbed chicken — chicken cooked in a salt wok. This one is simple yet very flavorful.
  • Sticky brown rice with chicken — sold in aluminum-covered bowls
Taman Connaught pasar malam salted-egg chicken and fish skin
Salted-egg chicken, fish skin, sotong (squid), etc.
Food truck in OUG night market in Kuala Lumpur
Food truck offering skewers.
Char keow teow in Malaysia
Char keow teow.
OUG pasar malam satay
You can’t visit Malaysia without having a bite of satay.
OUG pasar malam chicken rice
Rice dish with chicken inside.

For dessert, here are my recommended ones:

  • Bird’s nest — a Chinese dessert consisting of different toppings. It’s somewhat similar to a halo-halo in the Philippines
  • Taufufa — soya with your choice of liquid sugar. It’s similar to taho in the Philippines, but without the pearls
Taman Connaught pasar malam bird's nest
Ingredients for bird’s nest, a Chinese dessert.

There are also fresh fruits you can buy. I recommend jackfruit, watermelon, and more. If you haven’t tasted durian yet, you can also get one here.

Taman Connaught pasar malam jackfruit
Jackfruit.

For drinks, you can choose among different types of fruit juices. I always go for longan fruit juice.

There are many items you can try in a night market, so consider this only as a rough guide. Be adventurous and try out what looks good!

Visiting a pasar malam is one of the free things you can do in Kuala Lumpur. Have you been to any of these night markets in Kuala Lumpur? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below! 🙂

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Best night markets in Kuala Lumpur | pasar malams in Kuala Lumpur | food markets in Kuala Lumpur
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14 Comments

  • Nic

    Hi Katherine, thanks for sharing your post. Reading it makes me missed pasar malam even more and I’ve not been to 1 since 3 years ago ㅠ.ㅠ

    Unfortunately food offerings aren’t standardised so we get some we lose some. My faves have gotta be SS2, Chowyang & OUG.

    Plenty of yummy offerings but below my personal faves :

    In SS2 I mainly frequented the fried tofu & mushroom stall and fruit rojak & thai chicken feet salad stall.

    In Chowyang, assam laksa, fried radish cake & ansoon chee cheong fun.

    In OUG, fried tofu & mushroom(same vendor as ss2), hakka abacus dish, chinese pan fried giant leek/pork dumplings (not pot stickers).

    Btw, several recommendations / corrections for your post :

    1. MON : Ss2 PM
    TUE : TITIWANGSA Bus Terminal, Sec 17 PJ
    WED: Kuchai Lama, Taman Eulek
    FRI : Taman Desa, Taman Midah
    THU : Chow Yang near SS2
    SUN : Bangsar, SS22 Taman Megah

    2. Pre covid19 they’re usually 4pm-12am

    3. Chai kway teow > Char kuey/kway kak (in Cantonese, chow lo bak gou) aka fried radish/turnip cake (funnily this version is not made with radish). Char kuey teow uses chives, mung bean sprouts, fish cake & cockles as condiments while kuey ask uses preserved chopped radish, chives & mung bean sprouts. Optional for both dishes : eggs and/or spicy/non-spicy.

    4. Scallop omelette > oyster omelette. 1my apologies if it’s scallop. Oyster omelette are usually the norm, you’ll either find a fluffy or crispy version

    5. Salted herbal chicken or just salt baked chicken (there are both herb and non herb variants)

    6. Sticky brown rice with chicken / rice dish with chicken inside > steamed glutinous rice with chicken@lo mai kai (in Cantonese, lo mai = glutinous rice, kai = chicken). This is 1 of dimsum staple besides char siew pau

    7. Vegetable rolls with sauce. It looks like Ansoon chee cheong fun (in Cantonese, chee cheong = pork intestine, fun = noodles. They’re called such cos they’re rolled up and looked like intestine).

    They’re steam rice sheets/rolls (texture similar to kuey teow as they’re made in similar ways) with fillings. There are other variants & another popular 1 would be Hong Kong chee cheong fun which is another staple in dimsum but with prawns stuffings or charsiew.

    8. Taufufa@sweet soy curd/pudding to be eaten with white/ginger/brown sugar syrup.

    If you’ve ever come across Lin Chee Kang and Luk Mei (sweet Chinese soupy desserts) stall anywhere be it food squares etc, do give it a try & hopefully you’ll enjoy it!

    • Katherine Cortes

      Thanks for this info, Nic! I wrote this when I was still in KL and it’s one thing that I missed the most. Used to spend a lot of money going near our condo every week. 🙂

  • Nic

    Hi Katherine, thanks for sharing your post. Reading it makes me missed pasar malam even more and I’ve not been to 1 since 3 years ago ㅠ.ㅠ

    Unfortunately food offerings aren’t standardised so we get some we lose some. My faves have gotta be SS2, Chowyang & OUG.

    Plenty of yummy offerings but below my personal faves :

    In SS2 I mainly frequented the fried tofu & mushroom stall and fruit rojak & thai chicken feet salad stall.

    In Chowyang, assam laksa, fried radish cake & ansoon chee cheong fun.

    In OUG, fried tofu & mushroom(same vendor as ss2), hakka abacus dish, chinese pan fried giant leek/pork dumplings (not sticky pots).

    Btw, several recommendations / corrections for your post :

    1. MON : Ss2 PM
    TUE : TITIWANGSA Bus Terminal, Sec 17 PJ
    WED: Kuchai Lama, Taman Eulek
    FRI : Taman Desa, Taman Midah
    THU : Chow Yang near SS2
    SUN : Bangsar, SS22 Taman Megah

    2. Pre covid19 they’re usually 4pm-12am

    3. Chai kway teow > Char kuey/kway kak (in Cantonese, chow lo bak gou) aka fried radish/turnip cake (funnily this version is not made with radish). Char kuey teow uses chives, mung bean sprouts, fish cake & cockles as condiments while kuey ask uses preserved chopped radish, chives & mung bean sprouts. Optional for both dishes : eggs and/or spicy/non-spicy.

    4. Scallop omelette > oyster omelette. 1my apologies if it’s scallop. Oyster omelette are usually the norm, you’ll either find a fluffy or crispy version

    5. Salted herbal chicken or just salt baked chicken (there are both herb and non herb variants)

    6. Sticky brown rice with chicken / rice dish with chicken inside > steamed glutinous rice with chicken@lo mai kai (in Cantonese, lo mai = glutinous rice, kai = chicken). This is 1 of dimsum staple besides char siew pau

    7. Vegetable rolls with sauce. It looks like Ansoon chee cheong fun (in Cantonese, chee cheong = pork intestine, fun = noodles. They’re called such cos they’re rolled up and looked like intestine).

    They’re steam rice sheets/rolls (texture similar to kuey teow as they’re made in similar ways) with fillings. There are other variants & another popular 1 would be Hong Kong chee cheong fun which is another staple in dimsum but with prawns stuffings or charsiew.

    8. Taufufa@sweet soy curd/pudding to be eaten with white/ginger/brown sugar syrup.

    If you’ve ever come across Lin Chee Kang and Luk Mei (sweet Chinese soupy desserts) stall anywhere be it food squares etc, do give it a try & hopefully you’ll enjoy it!

  • Redchily

    Hi…can I know is the OUG Pasar malam still got the Chew Chew Chow Tofu? Hope to see your reply soon. Thanks you.

  • Mike

    Your post makes me wonder that i missed a lot in KL. Never heard of any night markets there before. They seem fabulous. I visited ‘Patai Cenang’ in Langkawi. Hope my spellings are correct. Out of 4 days stay i went there 3 times. Made me fall in love with night markets. We tried tofu, crab, nasi nasi and fried ice-cream.

    • Katherine

      Haven’t been to Langkawi yet, you seem to have had a good time there. 🙂 There’s one famous night market in KL – Jalan Alor, but it really is touristy and feels so different from the other night markets that the locals frequent.

  • Brooke

    Pasar malams are awesome! We used to have them quite often in Singapore too but they’re slowly fading away…P.S. not a night market but I love strolling around and eating at kampong baru at night.

  • Mohana Das

    Your post has made me hungry! The skewers look delicious and so do the cakes and everything else. Also, those pomegranates…little rubies full of juice! So delicious!

  • Kacie

    All of these markets look great. I would enjoy sampling the Malaysian street foods and trying out new dishes.

  • Michelle

    Omg, I’m so hungry looking at your photos!! Singapore food is very similar so my mouth is literally watering reading this post haha. My husband is from KL but he just keeps going to like the same 5/6 restaurants so I’ve never actually been to any of these, although I’ve spent quite a bit of time in KL over the years. I’m going to make him bring me to a few pasar malams the next time we go back to KL!

    Btw, that’s jackfruit, not durian 😉 I used to mix them up all the time too!

    • Katherine

      Ohoho. Thanks for the correction! We have both jackfruit and durian back in the Philippines but they still look the same to me. 🙂 I’d been to Singapore recently and only been to the Michelin-starred hawker stall selling chicken rice. If you have other recommendations on where to eat, pls send your posts my way! Might be back there in the near future.

  • Eris

    Been so long since I’ve been to one! I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of looking for a parking spot and what not. 😛
    Did you try stinky tofu?

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