12 Local Eateries in Johor Bahru To Check Out If You’re Tired Of Overpriced Cafe Food

JB Local Eateries

When it comes to exploring Johor Bahru, there are indeed endless cafes and cool places to check out. From the café-filled enclave of Jalan Dhoby to the hipster area of Taman Mount Austin, we’d totally understand why their café food appeals to the crowd, especially with its affordability.

But there is something about local foods that no amount of rainbow-coloured, aesthetically-pleasing café grub can level up to. Cheap, delicious and providing a sense of comfort unlike any other, local food in Johor Bahru is unparalleled. Period.

If you’re sick of cafe-hopping and are just looking for a few eateries to head to and simply enjoy the likes of char koay kak, kway teow and bak kut teh, here are 12 local eateries in Johor Bahru you should head to during your next day trip.

GO Noodle House Collage


For comforting bowls of ban mian, head over to GO Noodle House which has multiple outlets across Malaysia. Each bowl is customisable to each diner’s liking—choose from various options of noodles, from thick to thin, spiciness level as well as whether you’d like to have your noodles in either soup or sauce.

We particularly love their Superior Soup Ban Mee (RM10.50) as the broth was fragrant and piquant. For those who prefer a drier version, the Trio Special Dark Sauce Ban Mee (RM10.50) would be a good choice as every strand of noodle is nicely coated with a sweet and savoury dark sauce.

GO Noodle House
88 Jalan Wong Ah Fook
Lot J6-10 Johor Bahru City Square Mall
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Daily: 10.30am – 10pm

Sang Heng Kway Teow


Nestled along the Jalan Tan Hiok Nee stretch in Johor Bahru lies Sang Heng, an age-old noodle stall that has been dishing out comforting bowls of fishball noodles for the past 50 years or so.

Their unassuming bowls of noodles are ones we could have every day for breakfast—homemade fishballs, perfectly cooked noodles and fresh minced pork, all tossed in a lovely, lip-smacking chilli sauce is what you can expect!

Sang Heng
1 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Mon to Thu, Sat: 7am – 2pm
Sun: 7am – 1pm
(Closed on Friday)

Ho Seng Kee Wanton Mee Group Shot


Having been around for more than 81 years, Ho Seng Kee is an established brand among locals and even Singaporeans today. This popular dining establishment serves authentic Malaysia-style wanton mee and takes pride in making noodles from scratch in-house daily, using their own recipe.

While you’re there, make sure to try out their Handmade Pandan Mee (RM9.50), which features smooth, handmade noodles that carries a hint of pandan essence.

Ho Seng Kee
88 Jalan Wong Ah Fook
Lot J6-07 Johor Bahru City Square Mall
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Tel: +60 012 710 7140
Daily: 10am – 9pm

Qin Garden Kopitiam


Helmed by an Indonesian man and chefs all being native Indonesian, Qin Garden Kopitiam is where you can indulge in a buffet of authentic Nasi Padang dishes in the likes of Beef Rendang, Assam Pedas Fish, Chicken Curry, Crisp Fried Fish and Chilli Quail Eggs which are all available from 10.30am onwards.

Their array of Nasi Padang dishes will leave you spoilt for choice but if those aren’t enough, this humble coffee shop also serves a variety of a la carte Malay dishes.

Qin Garden Kopitiam
12 Jalan Trus
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Sat to Thu: 6.30am – 4pm
(Closed on Friday)

Restoran Kin Wah Nasi Padang


Restoran Kin Wah is a popular breakfast haunt that both locals and tourists flock to. Nestled along the foodie haven of Jalan Trus, this unassuming coffee shop serves up excellent nasi padang as well as traditional kaya toast and soft boiled eggs.

For those having their nasi padang, we highly recommend getting the begedil (fried potato patty) and their fried chicken. Subtly spiced and mildly charred, the begedil pairs exceptionally well with a touch of sambal.

Restoran Kin Wah
8 Jalan Trus
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Mon, Wed to Sat: 7am – 12pm
Sun: 7am – 5pm
(Closed on Tuesday)

Petaling Street Hokkien Mee (JB)


Venture out into the area of Taman Mount Austin—a hipster area 25-minutes away from the checkpoint—and you’d find a handful of local eateries as well, one of which being newly-opened Petaling Street Hokkien Mee.

Their KL Hokkien Mee (RM8.50 for small) is their signature dish and for good reason. Thick noodles are stir-fried with eggs, greens, pork slices and a dark sauce to elevate the overall flavour and boasts a prominent ‘wok hei’ aroma. Other items you may look forward to, include the Spicy La La (RM15) and Yang Zhou Fried Rice (RM8.50 for small).

Petaling Street Hokkien Mee
61 Jalan Austin Heights 8/5
Taman Mount Austin
81100 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Tel: +60 16 668 6101
Wed to Mon: 3pm – 10.30pm
(Closed on Tuesday)

168 Penang Char Koay Kak Collage


A popular street food in Penang, Char Koay Kak is hard to find in Singapore but thankfully, Johor Bahru has at least a couple of vendors serving this delightful, fluffy goodness.

On our recent trip to JB, we stumbled upon 168 Penang Char Koay Kak—a random stall at the roadside just a street across KSL City Mall. The owner of this humble eatery hails from Penang himself, so you can bet that food here is as authentic and real-deal as it gets.

Soon Soon Heng Bak Kut Teh


Situated just opposite KSL City Mall, it takes just a short 10-minute drive to reach Soon Soon Heng Bak Kut Teh from Johor Bahru City Square. It is one of the roadside eateries and we dare say that still humble eatery serves one of the best bak kut teh around.

Each serving is customisable to your own liking in the sense that diners get to choose what goes into their own portion. The star of the show, however, is definitely their broth which boasts the perfect balance of herbal and peppery flavours.

Soon Soon Heng Bak Kut Teh
43 Jalan Serigala
Taman Abad
80250 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Daily: 9am – 9pm

Ah Hua Kway Teow


An old-school noodle stall, Ah Hua Kway Teow serves traditional Teochew kway teow whose pork bone broth is brewed over a charcoal stove.

The small bowl (RM8) comes with silky smooth rice noodles (kway teow), tender pork slices, thinly sliced pork kidney and liver, soaked in a flavourful broth and topped with fried shallots. You can opt for the dry version if you prefer to enjoy your soup separately with your noodles.

Ah Hua Kway Teow (Restoran Sekee)
30 Jalan Segget
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Sun to Thu: 7.30am – 2.30pm
(Closed on Friday and Saturday)

Restoran Ah Koong Food


Restoran Ah Koong is an excellent fishball noodle restaurant located in Taman Sentosa district of Johor Bahru right across the border. The casual restaurant has been dishing out fishball noodles since 1987 and is now a respectable name in the F&B industry.

There are eight noodle options for you to choose from such as Kuey Teow, QQ Fishball Noodle, Mee Hoon, Mee Pok. Diners can opt for individual bowls (RM6.30) but opt for their set meals which will give you the ultimate bang for your buck!

Restoran Ah Koong
266 Jalan Sutera
Taman Sentosa
80150 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Tel : +607 331 3621
Daily: 6.30am – 11.30pm

Restoran Hua Mui Chicken Chop


Nestled along the foodie haven of Jalan Tras and Jalan Dhoby lies Restoran Hua Mui, an old-school coffee shop that is said to be the birthplace of the original, authentic Hainanese chicken chop.

The star attraction of this shabby, old-school coffee shop is hands-down their Hainanese Chicken Chop (RM15.90). Sitting atop a savoury gravy with some peas and a few potato wedges, the fried chicken chop itself was crispy beyond belief without being oily.

Restoran Hua Mui
131 Jalan Trus
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Tel: +60 11-3505 8916
Daily: 8.30am – 6pm

Kam Long Fish Head


Kam Long Curry Fish Head has been a top choice of many locals and Singaporeans who frequent the eatery for its affordable and delicious Curry Fish Head and for good reason.

At just S$7 for a small portion (good for 2 to 4 people), you get a huge and delicious bowl of curry packed with incredible flavours, a generous helping of fresh fish meat, vegetables and bean curd skin.

Kam Long Curry Fish Head
74 Jalan Wong Ah Fook
Bandar Johor Bahru
80000 Johor Bahru
Johor, Malaysia
Tel: +60 16-752 8382
Daily: 8am – 4pm