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What To Eat In Kota Kinabalu: Top 10 Dishes - Updated 2020

best street food in kota kinabalu
Ihsan
Ihsan
Updated

No pastime is more beloved by Malaysians than going on a food-crawl. If you’re wondering where to eat in Kota Kinabalu you’ll see that this city has plenty to offer. From the best homestays to amazing tourist attractions, Kota Kinabalu is definitely a must-visit. Whether you’re enjoying the fresh air on the highlands, strolling through the city streets or just wandering around a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kota Kinabalu has a lot to offer, and you’ll soon realize that there are too many dishes and eateries to choose from, so we curated a list of what to eat in Kota Kinabalu just for you.

1. Laksa at Kedai Kopi Yee Fung

Thai Chicken Curry Laksa - Chilli Cafe AUD10.90
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alpha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Arguably one of the best and most popular laksas in Sabah. Head on to Kedai Kopi Yee Fung on Gaya Street for an aromatic bowl of the widely sought after, and 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

2. Seafood at Welcome Seafood Restaurant

Enjoy your seafoods
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Apart from laksa, Sabah is also mostly known for its fresh, cheap, and delicious seafood. If you survey the locals, you’ll find that Welcome Seafood Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Kota Kinabalu, and 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

3. Pan mee at Xing Wan Pan Mien

Pan Mee - Kopitiam Mamak QV AUD9.90
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alpha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

4. Chicken wings at Fatt Kee

Amye and Mark's Hoisin Sauce Chicken Wings
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alpha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

5. Indian food at Sri Lantha Curry House

Bananaleafrice001
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Diádoco used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

6. Beef noodle at Kah Hiong Ngau Chap

Thai Beef Noodle Soup - Spicy Noodle AUD8.90
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alpha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

7. Bak kut teh at Yu Kee Restaurant

Bak Kut Teh Pork Ribs
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alpha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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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 Kota Kinabalu food 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

8. Pineapple bun at Keng Wah Hing

Pineapple bun in breakfast
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Geoffreyrabbit used under CC BY-SA 4.0

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

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

Shaved ice dessert THB5 - Si Satchanalai
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alpha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

10. Tom yam seafood at Kedai Kopi Wan Wan (from USD 60.0)

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

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

Kota Kinabalu by Night with Dinner

Duration: 3 hours

4 reviews

Tip of the trail

Kota Kinabalu
Source: Photo by user Mohd Fazlin Mohd ... used under CC BY 2.0

Choose from the top Airbnb vacation rentals now, and go on a Kota Kinabalu food-crawl. This list only has 10 of over 100 eateries where you can get great local food in Kota Kinabalu. Assuming you’re a first time visitor, these places should definitely put your palette on the right track.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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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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