Throughout Pangkor are plenty of small, inexpensive eateries offering delicious food. Don’t judge a book by its cover when it comes to locating these local finds, as some of the dustiest, most sun-baked cafes serve up excellent fare – even the most dilapidated establishment might be the culinary surprise you were hoping for.
Hours of operation are generally on island time, with a few places opening early for the breakfast crowds, but the majority opening around 11:00. Typical for Malaysia, with the front doors rolled down, the restaurant you noticed a previous day will simply seem to disappear along with its name, so make a mental note of nearby landmarks if you want to find your way back somewhere.
Between Sungai Pinang Besar and Pangkor town, the selections are endless. The area is jam-packed with cafes along the main road of Jalan Besar, as well as the smaller side streets in the area, serving up plenty of seafood dishes as well as local favourites reflecting the cultural diversity of the Pangkor community.
On the south end of town along the beginning of Jalan Pasir Bogak, keep an eye out for Malay restaurants offering lunch buffets. Here you can easily get your fill of ikan bakar or goreng ayam for less than 15 ringgit.
Heading north along Jalan Pasir Bogak are a smattering of joints serving up cold beer and spirits. The easy-to-spot Vikri’s Beach Bar & Cafe is a shady open-air spot just a stone’s throw from Pasir Bogak beach.
Nipah and Coral beaches both specialise in waterfront dining at its most eclectic, from ’Reggae’ burgers to fresh seafood to famous laksa mee Pangkor.
On the northern end of the Nipah Beach main road are 11 beachfront eateries each designated by a number, which may be more visible than the actual name. Not much to look at from the street, the inside seating options actually spill out onto the beach and make for spectacular sunset dining. This is an alcohol-free zone, but that’s easily remedied further north at Coral beach where Daddy’s Cafe draws a crowd, not only for their all-day service and Western menu, but for cold beer and umbrella drinks.