Jalan Alor Food Street
Jalan Alor, which parallels Bukit Bintang, the busiest shopping and entertainment street in the city, is one of most popular tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur. It is known unofficially as the food haven of the capital of Malaysia, which is hustling and bustling with activity after sundown. Some of the most delicious dishes that the country has to offer can be savored here at a very reasonable price. These delights are sold at hundreds of hawker stalls, tiny cafes and restaurants. Jalan Alor allows you to enjoy tasty Asian food that you would most probably not be able to eat back home. It is impossible to try everything in a single trip, meaning that you are simply obliged to make several raids to this food street. It is also the place where you can taste Malaysian culture and a very unique vibe of the city, born from its cultural diversity and hospitality.
It is very difficult to imagine that this bright street, where your appetite and senses are attacked by myriads of savorings and crisps, was a notorious place several decades ago. It was once a red light sector, where most of the brothels were concentrated around shabby houses of the immigrants settling down here and searching for a better life in Kuala Lumpur. Besides, the district was one of the most dangerous parts of the city. Despite all that, Jalan Alor remained a popular food destination, where the locals enjoyed cheap food sold by the newcomers from different countries of the world. After several face lifts, the street became one of the most iconic features of Kuala Lumpur, being a culinary Mecca of the Far East. This place is sleepy and quiet during the day time, but it turns into a busy bee hive at 5 or 6 PM. Jalan Alor is usually overcrowded at night. The air is filled with aromas of roast, broiled, grilled and boiled delicacies. The noise from woks, frying pans and street barkers creates a pleasant cacophony of sounds. The food, which is sold at dozens of cramped kiosks and stalls, makes mouths water. Around these are plastic tables and chairs, where the street's guests can savor the dishes. There are so many eateries that the cars can hardly drive past them in this claptrap maze.
The first thing you see stepping onto Jalan Alor are the fruit kiosks, which have an impressive variety of exotic fruit on offer: honey-sweet pineapples, juicy mangoes, grape-fruits, passion fruits and the infamous durians, known for their excellent taste and disgusting smell. The durians are cleaned and sliced, and you can savor the fruit right there. Farther up the road are the eateries offering take-away food. Hundreds of cafes and miniature restaurants occupy the rest of more than 300 meter long Jalan Alor. The street lets you try Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Indian and several other cuisines. Most of the dishes are prepared on site, including fresh fish and seafood delights, grilled meat shish-kebabs, rolls, coconut pancakes with peanuts, savory boiled crabs, and roast ducks.
The best advice for people willing to visit Jalan Alor is to bring their appetite. It would be a real challenge to try all the dishes that are served here. We recommend you to savor traditional Chinese noodles, roast rays, bak kwa (salty-sweet dried meat cuts), grilled squids, rice with fried duck, frog legs, and extremely delicious fruit ice-cream. Although it may seem that this place has never heard of the food quality control, it is not true. The food is great and the ingredients are always fresh. If you still have concerns, many locals dine here every day, building up the reputation of Jalan Alor as one of the best eating spaces in Kuala Lumpur.
Getting there. Ride the subway to Bukit Bintang and then cover the remaining distance on foot.