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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats

TOP PLACES TO EAT VEGAN IN LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA


I want to be honest with you for a moment. Mike and I are very much city break people. We love exploring the history and culture of cities for a few days, before zipping away to the next place. So beach holidays aren't necessarily always our thing: we appreciate the beauty for sure, but you won't find us lying on a beach - we get too restless too fast! But saying that, while we were in Malaysia, we knew for sure we couldn't miss Langkawi. This island is famous for a reason: it has golden beaches, warm seas and lots of independent shops and restaurants to explore. The Langkawi we arrived in was quiet, having only recently re-opened after the pandemic. But the beach holiday delights were all there: warm sands during the day, lively fire dancers at night, and plenty of cocktails overlooking the ocean. But how did this island getaway measure up, when it came to vegan food?


Eating Vegan in Langkawi

"Malaysians are passionate about food. It is something that connects us and it is our way of showing our hospitality." – Zaleha Kadir Olpin

Now, Langkawi was by no means the best place in Malaysia for vegan food - but this would probably be expected in a smaller, coastal region in comparison to the big cities. But Langkawi visitors, worry not! We still found plenty of good-quality plant-based options, they just were a little further apart, and sometimes require a little bit of flexibility! There are, in fact, a couple more vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Langkawi, but their opening hours can be unpredictable - indeed, we arrived at one place within its opening times and it was closed, which was a shame as their menu looked amazing! We were quite pleased with the food we were able to eat: read on, then watch our video at the bottom of the page, to see what we ate and where we found it in Langkawi, Malaysia!


1st: Melior Cafe

33, Jalan Pandak Mayah 4, Pusat Bandar Kuah, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

We arrived at Melior Cafe on our first day in Langkawi: we had arrived at the port town of Kuah and had a little wander around... then we became very hungry! We found Melior a short walk from our hotel, in a nice little shopping area. The cafe itself is impressive looking on the outside, and really pretty on the inside! We loved looking at all the cute little decorative touches: it felt very tranquil, a really comfortable and welcoming place to eat.


Melior Cafe is Langkawi's original plant-based eatery, and their menu is reflective of this! It has an extensive range of local and western dishes, all homemade with a focus on health and wellbeing. It took us a while to choose what to try, and ultimately Mike went for a taste of home with the pesto spaghetti and meatballs, whereas I went for the traditional flavours of Malaysia in my very first nasi lemak!


Mike's pesto meatball pasta was a really healthy dish, definitely one of the healthiest pesto pastas we've tried! The portion was also huge: you probably could have fed several people with this amount of spaghetti, but he persevered to finish it all. The veggie meatballs were baked and very enjoyable: they were a little harder and crunchier on the outside with a soft inside; they were made with an assortment of veggies, and the flavours reminded us of chickpeas, onions and carrots. The pesto itself was a little wetter than the pesto we usually eat in the west, but it was delicious with an almost cashew nutty flavour: homemade and delicious. We loved the fresh broccoli on the side too!


But my goodness, my nasi lemak really was something else. As I said, this was my first ever nasi lemak, and if this one is anything to go by, I will certainly be having more! It contained a hearty helping of lots of things, a slightly coconutty rice, mildly spiced green beans, a spicy sambal, nuts, salad, spicy pickled vegetables and poppadums. I absolutely ADORED the variety of textures and flavours in this dish, it was such a delight to be able to mix and match with very forkful! It also looked incredible: I really couldn't take enough photos of this nasi lemak before I started eating it!


Melior Cafe was convenient, the food was great, and it was relatively good value for money too. Mike's pesto spaghetti with meatballs cost RM20: this is approximately £3.62, €4.10 or $4.53. My nasi lemak was slightly cheaper, at RM18 (approx. £3.26, €3.72 or $4.08). Overall, we thought this was well worth these prices for the choice, quality and ambiance.



2nd: Indiana Cafe

Jalan Pantai Cenang, Kampung Lubok Buaya, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

We actually visited Indiana Cafe much earlier in our trip than we had planned, after the vegan cafe that we had intended to go to was closed when we got there! We got a taxi back to our hostel, then had to walk in an absolute downpour of rain to find something to eat - and Indiana Cafe came to our rescue! This casual and friendly cafe and hostel provided great service, tasty food, and a comfortable place to wait out the rain storm!


Their menu consists of a range of plant-based breakfast and lunch items. It's not the biggest menu, but what is there is wholesome and served quickly. I ordered the Asia wrap, which was exactly what I had been fancying: a tortilla wrap packed with fresh and crunchy salad, flavoursome sauces, and some warm, tasty nuggets of tofu. Mike ordered a tempeh bacon sandwich and it was HUGE! Multiple layers of bread and tempeh bacon were layered with salad and plant-based sauces. For an extra RM2 he also added slices of vegan cheese for an additional bit of indulgence.


The prices were good here, though I felt like the dishes could have been finished with a handful of potato chips on the side. My Asia wrap cost RM15 (approx. £2.71, €3.10, or $3.40), while Mike's tempeh bacon sandwich was RM13 (approx. £2.35, €2.66, or $2.95) plus and extra RM2 (£0.36, €0.41, or $0.45) for the vegan cheese he added! Indiana Cafe was a super casual and sociable place, it felt like it would be a great place to meet new people while you're visiting Langkawi.



3rd: Fat Cupid

Lot 2273, Kampung Tasek Anak, La Pari-Pari Resort, Jalan Pantai Tengah, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

We visited Fat Cupid for more of an upmarket meal on our last night in Langkawi. It was a little further out of Pantai Cenang, where we stayed for the second half of our trip; we strolled down the beach for about half an hour before we got here. This restaurant and hotel is set back in a resort area, and it feels so fancy yet welcoming - the staff were so friendly and chatty!


Fat Cupid caters for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores, meaning that the options for those choosing a plant-based diet is a little bit more limited than in veggie-vegan only places. However, the options that we had to choose from sounded so tasty, we still had trouble choosing! In the end Mike tried the pumpkin and sweet potato masak lemak, while I went for the rendang tempe. However, when they came they were so tasty that we ended up sharing them both!


The masak lemak was delicious, fairly spicy but with the sweetness of the fresh pumpkin and sweet potato taking the edge off slightly. Meanwhile the rendang tempe was warming, creamy and incredibly tasty. I can't choose a favourite! The presentation of both dishes was stunning, and we really enjoyed devouring the side dishes too. The dome of rice was neat, and the stir fried veggies were tasty, crunchy and added that extra bit of savoury bite. What I really loved was that the masak lemak came with a side of crispy cauliflower and tempe, while the rendang had some small chunks of tofu on the side. These added an extra bit of variety to the meals, and the extra textures and flavours that we love to see!


As you might expect for somewhere that looks this fancy, the prices were a little more expensive; but we didn't think that for food of this quality in a resort area, with such great presentation and atmosphere too, that the prices were too bad for a treat. Both dishes came in at RM28 each (approx. £5.07, €5.74 or $6.35). It's certainly more than you'd pay in most places, but for this standard of cuisine we were more than happy.

Where is your favourite place to get plant-based food in Langkawi? Are there any new places or old favourites that we've missed? Leave us a comment to let us know (and others who might be visiting too!)



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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
The SkyBridge was amazing but so high up!

Where should I stay?

We stayed in two of the main tourist areas in Langkawi: Pantai Cenang and Kuah. There are lots of different accommodation options in both places!


Pondok Keladi Langkawi is a really beautiful looking, small bed and breakfast with five en suite rooms. The best thing is this place is set in nature, with loads of local wildlife visible from the property!


Or for a different experience, why not stay in a pod overlooking the ocean? Tubotel features minimalist tube accommodation with king sized beds and an incredible sunset through the glass doors!


Tours & Experiences

There's a lot of exciting options for tourists in Langkawi, including the SkyBridge, Cable Cars, and stunning mangroves. But one of the best things that we did on the island was just to walk around in nature and spot some of the absolutely stunning local wildlife. We were really lucky to spot some of the island's famous hornbills in a tree at one point, but never saw them again! If we were to go back we would love to learn more about the bird life on the island. This highly-rated birdwatching tour includes transport and a local guide who can tell you everything about the local birds, as well as taking you to the best places to catch sight of them! Or, if that's not for you, check out some of the top-rated Viator tours in Langkawi, below!





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