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10 Best Things To Eat In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Ihsan
Updated Aug 10, 2018

No pastime is more beloved by Malaysians than going on a food trail. If you’ve missed previous articles, you’ll see we have plenty all around the country, whether you’re enjoying fresh air on the highlands, strolling through the city streets or just wandering around a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s no different in Sabah! With too many dishes and eateries to choose from, here are 10 things to eat in Kota Kinabalu!

1. Tom yam seafood at Kedai Kopi Wan Wan


Popular for their sea bass tom yam, you’d find the restaurant to have full patronage even at the crack of dawn. Come early, as some dishes can be out of stock as early as 9 AM! Even with a full restaurant, ordering and service are fast, and the flavor is known to be fresh and consistent.

Kedai Kopi Wan Wan

Address: Hsk Industrial Centre, 89500 Penampang, Sabah, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 7.00 am – 2.15 pm

Contact: +60 88-716 698

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

2. Laksa at Kedai Kopi Yee Fung


Arguably the best and most popular Laksa in Sabah, head on to Kedai Kopi Yee Fung on Gaya Street for an aromatic bowl of the widely sought after, authentic Sarawak Laksa! This should be enjoyed with a frothy cup teh tarik (pulled tea).

Kedai Kopi Yee Fung

Address: 127, Jalan Gaya, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Opening Hours: Weekdays 6.30 am – 6.30 pm | Weekends 6.30 am – 4.00 pm

Contact: +60 88-312 042

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

3. Seafood at Welcome Seafood Restaurant

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Besides Laksa, Sabah is mostly known for their fresh, cheap, and delicious seafood! If you survey the locals, you’ll find Welcome Seafood Restaurant is the most famous place to have some delicious and reasonably priced seafood for lunch or dinner. However, the place does get packed at about 5 pm, so it’s recommended you come earlier!

Welcome Seafood Restaurant

Address: GF, G-15 - G-18 , Asia City , Jalan Coastal , Kota Kinabalu , 88000 Kota Kinabalu , Sabah, 88000, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 12 pm – 12 am

Contact: +60 88-447 866

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

4. Pan mee at Xing Wan Pan Mien

It's a Pan Mee kind of day 🍜 (Pan Mee at RM6.50 each)

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Popularly frequented, you can have your Pan Mee in three different ways — thick, thin, or hand torn — depending on your textural preference for the dish! Each dish comes with a topping of minced pork, wantons, and pork balls, and is served in a hot bowl of anchovy broth with local vegetables.

Xing Wan Pan Mian

Address: Ground Floor, Lot 18, Block F, Damai Plaza Phase IV Luyang, 88839 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 7.00 am – 4.00 pm (Sunday)

Contact: +60 88-233 933

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

5. Chicken wings at Fatt Kee

3년이라는 긴~시간을 준비해~드뎌~#프렌즈말레이시아 가 탄생했어요😀👏👏🎊🎁🎈🎉추카해 주실거죠?😁😆🙆🏻🙆🏻그래서~~오늘은~~#말레이시아 중~최근~#핫#hot#플레이스 인~~#코타키나발루 ~~집중해부해 볼께요👯 🔵아주 그냥~~줄을 설 각오를 해야~~먹을 수 있다는 현지인 맛집👍😋~달콤짭짤한 중국식 치킨윙#팟키 🍗🍗🍗😱👍💯💯 ‼️코타키나발루가 왜~매력있냐면? -한국인들이 가장 선호하는 말레이시아 제1의 휴양지 -매일 운항하는 직항과 저렴,편리한 항공 ✈️✈️스케줄 -직장인들에게 딱 맞는 알찬 여행 상품 많음 -리조트 밖으로 나갈 필요가 없는 초대형 리조트 -초보자들도 #프렌즈 와 함께 쉽게 이용할 수 있는 현지 투어 #해외여행엔프렌즈#말레이시아여행#해외여행#여행스타그램#인천공항#면세점#신간#베스트셀러#Malaysia 🇲🇾#travel#Kotakinabalu#yummy c#김준현#전혜진

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Located below Ang’s Hotel, Fatt Kee is famous for its delicious Chinese food, but even more famous for its sticky sweet honey chicken wings, usually had with a steaming bowl of white rice!

Kedai Kopi Fatt Kee

Address: Jalan Haji Saman, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 8.00 am – 2.00 pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

6. Indian food at Sri Lantha Curry House

we're going for south indian cuisine (banana leaf rice) for today lunch #foodporn

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If you’re looking for some Indian Food in Sabah, you would find that most locals would recommend the banana leaf rice at Sri Latha Curry House down in Bandaraya Berjaya. Vegetarian-friendly, the basic serving comes with 3 to 4 vegetable side dishes, and crispy, addictive poppadom crackers. You can choose to add on chicken or lamb to complement your meal and also a glass of their famous mango lassi, which will quench your thirst!

Sri Lantha Curry House

Address: No. 28, Jalan Berjaya, Bandat Berjaya, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 6.45 am – 5.00 pm

Contact: +60 88-253 669

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

7. Beef noodle at Kah Hiong Ngau Chap

Beef noodles at Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap #kkfood #noporkserved

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Another popular dish in Sabah, ngiu chap (mixed beef soup), can be enjoyed in many ways at Kah Hiong. You could order yours served with vermicelli rice noodles, yellow noodles, or even just with plain white rice. If you’re squeamish about eating other organs/parts offered here, your safest choice is to order the beef balls and the stewed meat!

Kah Hiong Ngau Chap

Address: Block B, Lot 14, Kedai Plaza Grand Millenium, Jalan Pintas, Donggongon, Penampang, 88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 7.00 am – 3.00 pm

Contact: +60 88-731 646

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

8. Bak kut teh at Yu Kee Restaurant

Yasssssssssssffffffffff

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Bak kut teh is a well loved Malaysian dish of succulent pork ribs stewed for hours with garlic, onion, herbs, and spices to yield the most flavourful and aromatic broth. You can find the most popular version of this dish at Yu Kee Restaurant!

Yu Kee Restaurant

Address: 74, Jalan GayaKota Kinabalu, 88000, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88000, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 2.00 am – 10.00 pm

Contact: +60 88-221 192

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

9. Pineapple bun at Keng Wah Hing


Keng Wah Hing is a restaurant that sells a variety of noodles and desserts along Jalan Gaya. You’ll see that most people are only queuing up for one thing here, which is the pineapple bun (aka. polo bun), which is baked golden fresh every day!

Keng Wah Hing

Address: 70, Jalan Gaya, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

10. ABC (shaved ice) at Tun Fuad Stephen’s Park

ABC ( Air Batu Campur) Malaysian shaved ice 🍧🍨 #desset #travelfood #travel #kkfood #kkfoodie #kksabah

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A bowl of ABC — meaning ais batu campur (mixed crushed ice) — is sought after by all Malaysians to beat the Malaysian heat. In Sabah, Ah Yap’s ABC at Tun Fuad Stephen’s Park is one of the more popular joints to get this cooling dessert (often enjoyed after a tiring jogging session)!

Tun Fuad Stephen’s Park

Address: Bukit Padang car park

Opening Hours: 4.30 pm – 6.30 pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Kota Kinabalu

Tip of the trail

As Sabah is huge, these are only 10 of probably hundreds of eateries where you can get good local Sabahan dishes! Assuming you’re a first time visitor, these should definitely put your palette on the right track!

This article was originally published on Apr 19, 2017

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Ihsan Ihsani is a Malaysian writer who loves to write about anything that sparks his curiosity. He travels to broaden his horizon on the many cultures and beauties of the world. When limited funds...Read more

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