When we mention Tawau, the first words come to our mind is cocoa. Tawau is the top producer of cocoa in Malaysia. Many are also not aware that Tawau is also famous for their foods. We spend 3 days traveling around Tawau to find out the best foods Tawau got to offer.

Get Around

While there are bus and taxi around the town, the best way to explore Tawau is by renting a car should you arrived by plane. Google for Car rental Tawau and you have few choice to choose from.

Update: Grab is available at Tawau providing cheap and convenient way to move around Tawau town.

Simply key in the eateries name at google map and you can find you way easily as its easy to drive around Tawau.


Snacks: Indo Cafe

We have Pisang Goreng Cheese in Kota Kinabalu but once you tried the Indo Cafe’s version of Pisang Goreng Cheese, you will fall in love with this snacks. The banana fritter is crispy top with their special cheese and brown sugar. A Simple but must have snacks when in Tawau. Their Mango sago is worth trying too.

Location: They have 3 branches around Tawau Town. The original one located at Jalan Abaca, 2nd branch at Unijaya Commercial Centre and 3rd branch at Bandar Sri Indah.

Contact no: 0142802221

Opening hours: 10am to 10pm

Tawau foods

Tawau foods

Tawau Foods

Tawau foods

Breakfast / Lunch : Restoran Haji Tamrin

Nasi Kuning (Sabah Yellow Rice) is synonymous with Tawau. Nasi Kuning is cooked with coconut milk and turmeric.  One of the best places to try Nasi Kuning is at Restoran Haji Tamrin . The sambal should be dry usually serve with Spicy sambal fish.

Location:  4305, Jalan Sim Hua Seng, 91000

GPS Location: 4.2494814N 117.8947806E
Tawau foods

Tawau foods

Breakfast and Lunch: Kedai Kopi Hing Lee

Pork noodle (Sang Nyuk Mian) is originated from Tawau and Kedai Kopi Hing Lee is the first place to serve Pork noodle. They have been around for more than 37 years and run by the 2nd generation.

Location: TB4143, Taman Setia, Jalan Chong Thien Vun, 91000 Tawau, Sabah

GPS Location: 4.2468065N 117.8904891E

Opening hours: 7am to 2pm

non halal
Tawau foods

Tawau foods

Breakfast, lunch and tea time: 友联茶楼 Union Tea House

Union Tea House has been a family business since 1961 and managed to adhere to their motto “Innovation while maintaining tradition, tradition leading innovation”. Their Teh “C” Ping is a must and their egg sandwich is so delicious with their secret mayo sauce.

Location: TB 14891, Mile 3, Jalan Sin Onn, Taman Jambu Tawau.

GPS Location: 4.2646048N 117.9037338E

Opening hours: 7.30 to 5pm (Monday to Friday), 9am to 5pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Contact no: 089-750 976

non halal
Tawau foods

Tawau foods

Tawau foods

Breakfast and Lunch: 源源茶餐室 Kedai Kopi Yuan Yuan

Almost every local Tawau we talked to ask us whether we tried the Soto at Kedai Kopi Yuan Yuan. The shop is packed with people waiting for seats. Customers can choose from Soto Ayam(chicken), daging(beef) and seafood. My Soto seafood comes with prawn balls, prawns, and fish slice. The broth is flavourful.

Location: TB10749 Taman Megah Jaya, 3.5 Miles Jalan Apas

GPS Location: 4.2576984N 117.9249474E

Opening hours: 8am to 2pm

Contact no: 6089-761986

No pork served.
Tawau foods

Tawau foods

Lunch: 老豆茶室-香底米粉 Papa Kopitiam Crispy fried mee hoon

One of Tawau specialty food is crispy fried mee hoon top with fresh seafood. Meehoon is fried till crispy and then soaked in an egg.

Location: Papa Kopitiam老豆香底米粉

Location: Perdana Square Jalan Apas Batu 3 1/2. Tawau

GPS Location4.2524638N 117.9196635E

Contact no: 014-875 8000

A photo posted by Kathboey Tan (@kathboey) on

Kedai Kopi Chui Ting翠亭茶室

Unexpected find at Tawau, KL style Hokkien Mee at Kedai Kopi Chui Ting. Highly recommended by our Local tawau friend. They served hokkien mee, fried noodle and braised fish head

open 7am to 1pm.

GPS Location: https://maps.app.goo.gl/jex3yP6ELUshUNs39

Afternoon tea: 强生茶餐室 Kedai Kopi Keong Sang

Kedai Kopi Keong Sang is one of the favorite spots for the local during tea time. Their “yip zhi mei” big pao is so huge and can feed 8 peoples. They serve dessert, noodle, and pastries. 

Location: Jalan Pantai, Hua Dat Industrial Area.

GPS Location: 4.2501447N 117.9130787E

Opening hours: 8am to 5pm

Tawau foods

Tawau foods

Tawau foods

Breakfast, lunch and Afternoon Tea: Coffeeshops around Jalan Kuhara and Jalan Budi

Looking for an authentic coffee shop where the locals hang out? head to the coffee shop around Jalan Budi during afternoon tea time for a cup of coffee and buns. Local call this area the Yam Cha Street (Afternoon tea break street)

Tawau 2018

Tawau 2018Tawau 2018Tawau 2018Dessert: Papa Dessert

Papa dessert is popular for their 特色奶露花bugo lalufa, a cooking milk pudding, usually serves with fresh fruits and even durians.

Location: Lorong Melur, 91000 Tawau, Sabah

Dinner and Supper: Leong’s Porridge House

Leong’s Porridge House has been around for more than 60 years run by the 3rd generation. They serve good quality porridge. One of the Must try dish at Leong’s Porridge House is their  “Sashimi”, raw fish slice serves with vinegar and ginger slice. The pork satay stall at Leong’s Porridge House serves one of the best pork satays in Sabah!

Location: 20, Jalan Perindustrian Prima Jaya, 91000 Tawau, Sabah

GPS Location: 4.2796476N 117.8990024E

Opening hours: 5pm to 11.30pm

Contact no: 0163369153

           Supper: Umami Garden

latest food court in Tawau with lots of food selection under one roof

GPS location: https://maps.app.goo.gl/wF3zrbma1iR2Zw8dA

Supper: Kedai Kopi YumYum

The original yum yum in Tawau, the first shop in Tawau famous for their fried bites Street food. The fried chicken backside (bontot/tongkeng ayam) is very famous. it looks like K KL yong tau foo restaurant as they had veggies, chicken, tofu , fishballs etc in the container and you need to pick what you want to eat and all these items are deep fried!

open 12.30pm to 2.30am

Location:234, Jalan Dunlop, Bandar Tawau, 91000 Tawau, Sabah

GPS Location: https://maps.app.goo.gl/M5U3zNJF2hY92E6fA



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Joanne Lee

Chief Eater Extraordinaire of Sabaheats
I cook, I eat and I always looking for good food!


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