Most of us Malaysians grew up with fond memories of munching on crunchy kaya butter toast at our hometown kopitiam
Our local kopitiam culture has been around for more than 150 years, and has formed an integral part of our collective national identity.
Many of us still enjoy a classic Malaysian breakfast of roti bakar, or kaya and butter sandwiched between two long pieces of toast. Roti bakar is usually served alongside runny half-boiled eggs and an aromatic cup of coffee. We can all agree that there's nothing like a simple breakfast combination like this!
1. Thong Kee Cafe
Thong Kee Cafe has evolved from an old coffee shop in Bentong, and now has multiple outlets across the Klang Valley. They specialise in steamed bread, homemade croissant sandwiches, and traditional roti bakar with soft-boiled eggs.
If you want to try something new, you should order Thong Kee's unconventional version of roti bakar, which is a delicious fluffy croissant with kaya and butter. You can also opt for croissants with other fillings like ham, egg, and cheese. Make it a meal when you pair your bread with their signature drink, 1+1, which is a 'cham' of Hainanese coffee and black tea.
7am - 4.30pm (Daily)
17 & 19, Pandah Indah,
Jalan Pandan Indah,
1/23e, Pandan Indah, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
33, Jalan 21/1, Sea Park,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
1-G & 1-1, Jalan Ambong Kiri 2,
Kepong Baru, 52100 Kuala Lumpur
13, Jalan Juruaudit U1/37,
Hicom-Glenmarie Industrial Park,
40150 Shah Alam, Selangor
G-01 Puchong Square,
Jalan Layang - Layang 5,
Bandar Puchong Jaya, 47170 Puchong
2. Ho Kow Hainanese Kopitiam
Founded in 1956, Ho Kow Hainanese Kopitiam was once a stall along Jalan Panggung, and has been around for more than 60 years. Currently, the eatery still boasts old-school elements that evoke a sense of nostalgia among its diners.
They offer a large spread of Hainanese food, including kaya butter toast, soft-boiled egg, nasi lemak, curry mee, Hainanese coffee, and more. It's a cosy place to go for a quick breakfast fix!
3. Kafei Dian
If you're tired of classic kopitiams, then you should visit this retro hipster kopitiam with a nostalgic antique interior. Situated near Petaling Street, Kafei Dian was originally a Pos Malaysia office that was built in 1911, making the building almost 110 years old!
They offer a large and exciting menu, which consists of dim sum, nasi lemak, kuih, noodles, and other Hainanese dishes. If you're here for breakfast, you should order their classic kaya and butter steamed bread, bun, or croissant, which is paired with hard-boiled eggs.
4. Luckin Kopi
Luckin Kopi is another contemporary Muslim-friendly kopitiam that serves pork-free local delights with a unique twist. Also located in Petaling Street right beside Kwai Chai Hong, this hidden gem was a 150-year old heritage building that has been restored into a charming modern kopitiam with a Peranakan-inspired interior.
They offer a variety of local dishes like nasi lemak, mee siam, ayam goreng, and kaya butter toast with half-boiled eggs. Their toasted bread set comes with chocolate, peanut, and kaya dips. You should also try their signature five states cold brew coffee that's inspired by different states in Malaysia, namely Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang, Melaka, and Johor.
5. Woo Pin 45 Kamunting
Woo Pin is famous for their signature fish head noodle soup. Situated in a retro 1970s building with cheery pastel-coloured walls, tastefully decorated interiors, spiral staircase, and quaint narrow courtyard, it's a good spot not just for eating, but for taking cute photos!
Besides their milky broth, they also have an all-day local brunch menu like kaya butter toast, half-boiled eggs, and kopi kaw. What could be a better breakfast combination?
6. Lim Kee Cafe
Lim Kee Cafe is a contemporary Chinese kopitiam nestled on the ground floor of Tian Jing Hotel near Petaling Street. It's decorated with aesthetic rattan furniture and old-school heritage elements, making it a cool fusion of traditional and trendy.
They offer a simple menu consisting of bite-sized local breakfasts, toast and egg dishes, cakes, curry puffs, ice cakes, and coffee. Their roti kahwin with soft-boiled eggs is a must-try if you want to chill and enjoy the ambience here while you take a short break from exploring the city.
7. Choon Guan Coffee Shop 1956
Choon Guan Coffee Shop 1956 is a classic kopitiam in Pandaraman that has been around since 1956. They specialise in traditional Hainanese meals like chicken rice balls and fishballs with marinated minced chicken filling.
Their roti bakar comes in a few choices of bread, which are Hainanese bread or bun, or wholemeal bread. Their kaya is homemade, and they use free-range chicken eggs for their half-boiled eggs with the toast.
8. Yut Kee Restaurant
Founded by a Hainanese immigrant in 1928, Yut Kee is a 92-year-old traditional kopitiam owned by a multi-generational family. They serve authentic old-time favourites like Hainanese chicken chop, toast bread with eggs, rice and noodles, coffee, and roti babi (bread filled with pork floss).
Their roti bakar is generously spread with their homemade kaya, with a helping of butter on the side. Of course, you definitely have to pair it with a cup of Hainan coffee and runny half-boiled eggs. They also have a bakery that makes yummy kaya swiss rolls and marble butter cakes.
9. Foo Fee
Foo Fee is a modern kopitiam and popular dining spot in Kepong. They serve an assortment of local favourites, including dim sum, meatballs, noodles, nasi lemak fries, chee cheong fun, cakes, toasts, and croissants.
They have their own version of the traditional kaya toast that's served in either white or charcoal bread. They come in a choice of six unique spreads and fillings, including kaya butter, peanut butter, pork floss, and egg. Their signature drink is MK ice, which is an aromatic Milo-Kopi blend that goes really well with roti bakar.
10. Ah Weng Koh Hainan Tea
Ah Weng Koh Hainan Tea is located in ICC Pudu. They have been serving authentic Hainanese breakfast food for more than 50 years, and is regarded by the locals as one of the best good roti bakar spots in town.
Their signature roti bakar has a thick slice of butter that's sandwiched between two crunchy slices of kaya toast, and you can also order it in a fluffy grilled bun and pair it with half-boiled eggs and their aromatic Hainan tea.
We Malaysians sure love our kopitiams. However, have you heard about the history of our kopitiam culture?