Grocery shopping in Penang is fairly convenient. Depending on your needs and preference, there are quite a number of places where you can find fresh goods at affordable prices. As a matter of fact, finding international goods in Penang is not a problem, some stores even set up aisles of products from specific countries. I’m sure this may come as a relief for many who still want to have a taste of home in your very own kitchen. Here are the variety of stores and places where you can shop for your grocery needs:
Tesco and Tesco Extra (In-stores & Online delivery)
In Penang island, you can find 3 of this hypermarket: Tesco Penang at Lebuh Tengku Kudin (near to the Tengku Kudin underpass), Tesco Tanjung Pinang at Tanjung Tokong (near to Straits Quay) and Tesco Extra Penang at Sungai Dua (near to USM). This is the place to shop if you want to find all basic household goods on one floor, from groceries to general merchandise like clothings and electrical items. The difference between a Tesco vs. a Tesco Extra is that you can most probably find items sold in large bulks at Tesco Extra, though they also do carry individual or smaller quantities of the same item. In November 2013, Tesco expanded their online shopping to Penang so now Penang folks get to enjoy shopping from the comfort of your home.
Giant (In-stores only)
There are 3 Giant hypermarkets in the island: Giant Supermarket Penang Plaza at Penang Plaza on Burmah Rd, Giant Hypermarket Bayan Baru at Jalan Tengah and Giant Superstore Farlim at Bandar Baru Ayer Itam (new township of Ayer Itam).
Cold Storage (In-stores & Phone delivery)
Cold Storage supermarkets are probably one of the most frequented grocery stores for expats in Penang as they carry a wide selection of international food items in their stores. You can find quite a number of international brands on their shelves and customers often have more selection choices for imported items compared to other grocery stores and markets here. Generally, prices of goods are slightly on the high side but very often, customers who are looking for specific international goods do not mind shopping here since these items are not likely to be found elsewhere. There are 2 Cold Storage stores in Penang island; one in Gurney Plaza at Gurney Drive and another one in Island Plaza, Tanjung Tokong. (Tip: Usually Island Plaza has a smaller crowd so this would be a better option if you are looking for a quick round trip to the store). Cold Storage also provides customers the convenience of home delivery; something most expats or foreigners often find useful. A delivery charge of RM20 will be applied for delivery areas above 6km-20km distance. Unfortunately, the home delivery service is not available online; so orders still have to be made through the phone.
Sam’s Groceria (In-stores & Online delivery)
Sam’s Groceria is another good place to do your grocery shopping for international food items and premium goods. Currently, there are 2 stores in Penang – one at Gurney Paragon Mall and another store at Straits Quay. Recently, Sam’s Groceria also made grocery shopping available online. You can check for the delivery areas and place your order here. Delivery is free when you purchase above RM100.
AEON (In-store only)
There is only one Aeon store in Penang island and it is located in Queensbay Mall, Bayan Lepas. Aeon offers a good variety of grocery and departmental store items at reasonable prices. Compared to other supermarkets in the Bayan Lepas area, this place has a pretty good produce section as well as an organic section for vegetables, fruits and other organic foods. Formerly known as Jaya Jusco, this supermarket was originally started in Japan, thus it has quite a good selection of Japanese food products in a large section of the store. On weekends, you can often find sampling booths being set up for customers to sample selected product. The groccery section is currently undergoing some renovation work until the month of August 2017 so do expect some limitation in terms of selections and stock quantity.
The wet market is the place-to-go for those who put freshness of the produce before aesthetics of the place. Most locals prefer to shop for ingredients e.g. vegetables, meat, fruits and other necessities at wet markets because these produce are relatively fresher than the ones found in supermarkets or hypermarkets as they come directly from their source daily. You can find wet markets all over Penang island, so you have a choice of which one to go to depending on where you stay and the time of the day you want to do your shopping. I’ve listed the 3 most popular ones below.
Pulau Tikus Market (morning market)
This market is located near to the Pulau Tikus police station. Parking can be quite of a challenge here especially on weekends. The choices here are relatively better than other wet markets, thus explaining why Pulau Tikus Market is still one of the more popular wet markets in Penang. In fact, my very own mother (who stays in Bayan Lepas) travels all the way there to buy chicken and other varieties of meat. Why does she think this is the best place to get chicken? That’s because the poultry here can’t get any fresher as the chicken are slaughtered and sold immediately. You can request the seller to chop it up for you however way you want. Not all chicken sellers in wet markets slaughter their chicken right there for you… Pulau Tikus Market is one of them.
Batu Lancang Market (afternoon/ evening market)
If you are not the morning kind of person and prefer to shop in the afternoons or evenings, then perhaps Batu Lancang Market is the place for you. Unlike other wet markets in the island, it operates from the afternoon to late evening. Parking here is rather convenient as they have ample car park lots right beside the market. The market itself is quite spacious and the variety of things sold here are quite good. There is also a baking supplies shop inside the market called G.A. Bakers. And for those who want to have a taste of good local food for your teatime, you could conveniently walk over to the Batu Lancang Market Food Complex adjacent to the market itself. The food complex is famous for many of its stalls and one of them is the nyonya kuih stall at Store No. 29 which opens from 3:30pm.
Bayan Baru Market (morning market)
The Bayan Baru Market is situated in between the Bayan Baru Mosque and Sunshine Square. The layout of the building is pretty well-planned and there is quite a good variety of vegetable, meat and fruit sold here. Parking is convenient as there are car park lots surrounding the building and nearby. There is also a food complex next to the market.
Organic food shops
Where can I get organic food in Penang? You’ll be surprised that the organic food shops are flourishing pretty well in Penang. There’s bound to be one in almost every part of the island but I only listed down a few of those I usually go to. The first four are all in Pulau Tikus.
92 Organic Food Centre (In-store only)
This is located in Pulau Tikus (down the road from the Pulau Tikus Market). Among the items sold here are fresh organic vegetables and fruits, meat, eggs, frozen food, groceries, personal care, skin care, cosmetics items and also clothing made from organic cotton. There is also a cafe which serves healthy food both organic and non-organic e.g. soups, salads, spaghetti, fried rice, daily set meals and drinks.Address: 11-A Jalan Pasar, Pulau Tikus, 10350 Penang
Store hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 8.00am – 6.30pm and Sunday 8.00am – 2.30pm
Oon Organic & Natural Centre (In-store only)
Also along the same road is this organic shop which offers good selection of organic vegetables, fruits, groceries and personal & household products.Address: 27, Jalan Pasar, Pulau Tikus, 10350 Penang Store hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 7:30am – 6.30pm
Just Life Organic Store (In-store and Online delivery)
This is quite a large organic store selling organic vegetables, fruits, baby food, clothing, groceries, skincare, personal care and household products. They also have an online store which offers free delivery within Peninsular Malaysia for orders above RM180.Address: 1 C Jalan Sungai Kelian, 11200 Penang. Store hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am~7pm
Zenxin Organic Food (In-store, Online delivery & available also in AEON)
Zenxin has quite a good range of organic produce and the best thing is you can purchase them online have these fresh produce delivered right to your doorstep. Delivery is free for orders above RM100, otherwise a RM20 delivery charge will be applied for orders below that amount (min order RM50). For Penang, delivery is on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.
Address: No. 98-G-19 Jalan Fettes, Bandar Tanjong Tokong, 11200 Penang.
Store hours: Daily, 9am~7pm
Organic sections in Cold Storage, AEON and Tesco
Most supermarkets do carry a good selection of organic vegetables and fruits as well as groceries and cooking ingredients. I usually just get my organic food items from these supermarkets as they are just as good as those sold in those specialty organic food stores.
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