12 Insta-worthy 'kopitiam' cafes to check out in KL and PJ
Celebrating heritage through food
The Klang Valley is filled with a myriad of amazing eateries. In fact, there are new spots all the time. Malaysians take their food seriously and we look at gastronomy (especially traditional dishes) as a massive part of our national DNA. Kopitiams are nostalgic hubs, known for fusing traditional elements with comfort and iconic food we all grew up loving. Good news is that the Klang Valley is filled with a plethora of kopitiam options. Even better, there are very Instragrammable too.
1. Merchant's Lane
The cafe—that used to be a brothel—has been a popular staple for both locals and visitors since its opening. Showcasing the heritage of Petaling Street, the menu at Merchant's Lane include the likes of South China Sea (grilled salmon with mango-corn salsa), Hongkie Beef Stew (slow-cooked beef with mash), and Nasi Lemak Pancake.
Address: No, 150 Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03 2022 1736
2. Luckin Kopi
With a menu inspired by its surroundings, Luckin Kopi's objectives are clear and simple: to use the freshest ingredients and to connect with guests over a cup of coffee (or two). Signatures include Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng, Salted Egg Chicken Rice, and Chicken Chop.
Address: 14, Jalan Panggong, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 014 263 6696
3. Lim Kee Cafe
Named after its owner, the cafe—situated in Tian Jing Hotel—has cemented a reputation as one of the most Instagrammable kopitiams in the city. You'll be able to get varieties of toasts, coffee, cakes, and traditional kuih.
Address: 66-68, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03 2022 1131
4. Leaf and Co. Cafe
Situated in Chinatown, Leaf and Co.—housed in Mingle KL—is as unique as it gets. Staying true to its traditional-meets-contemporary concept, the cafe's portfolio of culinary treats include options such as Jumbo Chicken Satay, Bahn Mi, and Buttermilk Fried Chicken Leg with Fried Rice.
Address: 53, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03 2020 2220
5. Good Luck Kopitiam
Available in two locations—Connaught and Setapak, Good Luck Kopitiam is the quintessential modern kopitiam; serving well-known classics in an Insta-worthy setting. Aiming to revitalise the kopitiam scene in KL, Good Luck Kopitiam has prepared a menu filled with goodies from classic dim sum to hearty mains.
Address: The Palette, 12, Red Block, Taman Danau Kota (Setapak); 49-G, Jalan Menara Gading 1, Medan Connaught, Cheras (Connaught)
Contact: 018 329 7669 (Setapak); 03 9107 8978 (Connaught)
6. Nian Dai KopiDiam
If you're searching for nostalgia, you've come to the right spot. The culinary spot has a mission and that is to transport you to 1980s Malaysia with its setting and food. Dishes to try include Roti Goyang and Pan Fried Pork Gyoza.
Address: G2, Setapak 33, Off Jalan Genting Klang, Taman Danau Kota, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03 4032 3280
7. Quan's Kitchen
Featuring a take on traditional culinary specialties from Chinatown in KL, Quan's Kitchen offers popular options such as Petaling Street Fried Rice, Sticky Dried Chili Chicken, Sago Pudding, and Spring Roll Peking Duck.
Address: Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur Chinatown, Jalan Balai Polis, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03 2035 7333
8. Kafei Dian
Housed in an old building that used to be post office, Kafei Dian aims to take guests on a culinary journey through its menu that's filled with traditional delights.
Address: 15-1, Jalan Balai Polis, Kuala Lumpur
9. December Eighteen
In addition to being a hub for food and coffee, December Eighteen is also an event and workshop space. While the culinary offerings are must-haves, you should also check out the setting that's reminiscent of family homes from the past.
Address: 18G, Jalan PJS 8/12, Dataran Mentari, Petaling Jaya
Contact: 012 248 6286
The vintage spot offers both Western and Asian delights along with a decor inspired by retro Malaysia. Known for their homemade bread and cheesecakes, the menu here also includes dishes such as Nasi Ulam with Ayam Percik, Vegan Thunder Rice, and Kimchi Fried Chicken Salad.
Address: 24, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 018 200 0262
T42 might be one of the newest spots on this list but has cemented quite a reputation—especially among fans of lei cha. Its interior, although minimal, resembles a modernised version of a kopitiam. While you're there, make sure to give the linguine a go!
Address: 42, Jalan 17/155c, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 011 1447 2995
12. Seraph Awaken
Already one of the most prominent cafes in the Klang Valley, the team at Seraph Awaken aims to offer patrons a place to connect with fellow coffee lovers.
Address: 28, Jalan Stesen 1, Kawasan 1, Klang
Contact: 012 290 6860
Where will you be going on your next culinary adventure in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya? There's no better way to celebrate the Malaysian DNA than through food.
For more restaurants and cafes to check out in KL, click here.