Food Hunt: Kota Kinabalu city – 40 foods below the wind

Kota Kinabalu Food guide

Looking for foods at Kota Kinabalu City Centre? Why not try some of the local favourite foods and also some highly recommended foods by tourists. Kota Kinabalu City Centre offers a wide variety of foods from Western to local Chinese cuisine. The City centre is compact enough to explore on foot and taxis are available (fixed rate) for moving around. Here is a list of foods you can find at Kota Kinabalu City Centre recommended by foodies.

The list will be updated from time to time

Discover Kota Kinabalu City - Foods below the wind
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Local foods

1. Bit & Bites

Served good and delicious Malay Kueh. This humble little shop which takes up only half lot on the ground floor of Wisma Merdeka has been in business for over 30 years!

Must Eat: all the delicious Malay Kueh!

Opening hours : 11am – 3pm. close on Sunday

Location: BG04, Ground Floor, Wisma Merdeka, Jalan Tun Razak, Kota Kinabalu

bits and bites, Wisma Merdeka
Malay Kueh at Bit & Bites

2. Borenos Fried Chicken

Sabah very own fried chicken fast food restaurant. Good place for some crispy, delicious fried chicken.
Must Eat: Full Spring chicken for the big eater.
Location: Lot G23, Ground Floor, Star City North Complex, Jalan Asia City, 88000 Kota Kinabalu,
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm
borenos chicken
crispy half spring chicken

3. Fatt Kee Coffee Shop

Chicken wings slathered in the wondrous flavors of “Rooster Sauce”. Sweetness, intermingling with every bite.  Locals usually call it Ang’s Hotel as the shop is located below the Hotel. Serve good Chinese foods and price is reasonably cheap.

Must Eat: “signature” Chicken Wing

Opening hours : 5pm to 11pm

Location : Ang’s Hotel, Beach Street,

GPS Location5.9848219, 116.0764843

fatt kee
Fatt Kee

4.Fong Ip Cafe

A variety of breads and toasts, homemade Hainan coffee and nasi lemak. Located at Gaya Street in the center of KK town. Good variety of food choices, available from breakfast to dinner. Another place to try local laksa in KK.

Opening hours: 7am to 1am

Location: 100 Jalan Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu.


5. Fook Yuen Cafe and Bakery

Favorite place for “yamcha” tea drinking session, Fook Yuen serve the best tea and coffee in Kota Kinabalu. They also serve halal dim sum.

Must Eat: “Roti Kahwin” (white bread with cold butter and Kaya)

Opening hours : 6am to 12 am

Location : – Gaya Street branch : Lot 54, Ground Floor, Wisma Menara Jubili, Off Jalan K.K Bypass (Jalan Gaya),88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah – Asia City Complex branch

Fook Yuen
Fook Yuen Dim Sum, Roti Kahwin and Teh C Ping

6. Kuo Man Restaurant

Famous for their fish paste, fish slicem beef slice, and dry noodle.

Must eat: “Yu Wat” Fish paste noodle

Opening hours: 10am to 9pm

Location: Lot BG 06, Ground Floor, Warisan Square Kota Kinabalu

Kuo man
Beef and “yu wat” soup

7. Kedai Kopi Ang Kim Lam

Favourite among the locals serve fantastic Kon lou mee (dry stirred noodle with dark sauce). You will need to wait at least 30 minutes for the noodles but it worth the wait.

Must eat: Kon lau mian (Dry stirred noodle with dark sauce)

Opening hours : 6am to 10 am

Location: Jalan Laiman Diki, Kampung Air

ang kim lam kon lau mee
Ang Kim Lam kon lau mee

8.Kedai Kopi Kak Tini

Serve cheap and delicious Malay food in the city center. they also so sell Fried banana fritters.

Must eat: Soto

Opening hours : 7am to 4pm

Location: 58, Ground Floor, Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu, 88000

gaya street soto
Kak Tini Soto

9. Kedai Kopi Kheng Wan Hing

Taste the difference in Keng Wan Hing 瓊萬興茶室  daily  fresh-baked breads and buns ! And it’s so simple to enjoy every day. Sometimes  there will be a long queue to get hot steamy buns, obviously their pastries is best for afternoon tea break with old school home cook tong sui and tea.

Must Eat: Polo Bun

Opening hours: 8am to 4pm

Location: 80 Jalan Gaya Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

GPS Location: 5.9847579N 116.0774741E

瓊万兴茶店 Kheng Wan Heng coffee shop
Buns and pastries at Kedai Kopi Kheng Wan Hing

10. Kedai Kopi Kim Hing Lee

The First coffee shop in Kota Kinabalu to serve Sang Nyuk Mee (pork Noodle).Thinly sliced pork serve with tasty broth. A must try for pork lover

Must eat: Sang Nyuk Mian (pork noodle)

Opening hours : 7am to 3.30pm

Location: Block F, Lot 7, Sinsuran Complex, 88000 Kota Kinabalu

kim hing lee pork noodle
Kim Hing Lee Sang Nyuk Mian

11. Kedai Kopi Seng Hing

Serve some of the best Tom Yam noodle. They also serve good Tuaran Mee

Must eat: Tom Yam prawn noodle and Tuaran Mee

Opening hours : 7am to 4pm

Location: Lot 10, Block E, Sinsuran Complex, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, Kota Kinabalu, 88000

seng hing
Seng Hing Tom Yam Noodle

12. Kedai Kopi Yee Fung

Famous for their Laksa and they also service a great beef noodle soup, claypot chicken rice and Teh Tarik.

Must Eat: Laksa

Location: No. 127, Jalan Gaya,.

Opening hours: 7am to 5pm

kedai kopi yee fung

13. Kedai Kopi Yuit Cheong

Yuit Cheong is considered one of the oldest coffee shops in Kota Kinabalu as it is Yuit Cheong is established in 1896!  Tender beef, juicy chicken and kambing (mutton satay), beef  belly satay is a must try dish for all satay fans.  Served with garnished with crushed peanuts, cucumber pickles. Eat like a local, by assorted dips a  toasted flat bread ( Roti Bakar) or steam breads,  and enjoy satay dipping sauce .

Must Eat: Satay and white bread with Satay sauce

Opening hours : 8am to 6pm
Location: No. 50, 3rd Floor, Jalan Pantai, Sabah, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia Phone:+60 88-252 841
Satay Jawi @ Kedai Kopi Yui Cheong
Satay Jawi @ Kedai Kopi Yui Cheong

14. Latest Recipe, Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

Looking to taste Sabah local foods. Latest Recipe at Le Meridien is the only place which serve traditional Sabah food such as Hinava,  Pinasakan, Tiger Prawn in Banana Leaf, Ayam Bambangan and Ambuyat. If you never heard of any name mentioned, then make sure you make a trip to Le Meriden to know more about Kadazan-dusun traditional food!

Must Eat: Hinava and Ambuyat

Location: Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, 88000 Kota Kinabalu

Opening hour: 10am to 10pm

Hinava, Marinated mackerel with lime, ginger, chili and garnished with local salad

15. Ming Ge Cafe

Roasted duck, char sao, sao nyuk, choon gen(Pork rolls), roasted chicken and steamed chicken serve with dark sauce stir noodles (Kon lau Mian)

Must Eat: Kon lau Mian (stir noodle with dark sauce)

Opening hours : 7am-2pm

Location: Jalan Pantai

ming ge cafe
Ming Ge cafe Kon lau Mee

16. Sin Kee Bak Kut Teh

Rich in herbal flavours, thick in texture and cloudy in colour. The bak kut teh is always served piping hot in a clay pot with generous amounts of pork ribs, sliced pork and more! Add some fresh minced garlic into your soup to bring out all the best flavors from your bowl.

Location: 26, Jalan Pantai, Kota Kinabalu.

Opening hours: 5pm to 10pm


17. Sri Latha Curry house

Looking for Indian food? drop by Sri Latha Curry house at Bandaran Berjaya area and try their highly recommended banana leaf rice. you can choose chicken or lamb meat to go with the vegetarian leaf rice set. The area is a bit hidden so do take note on the exact location before getting there.

Must Eat: Banana leaf rice

Opening hours : 7am to 4pm

Location : 28 Jalan Berjaya 4

GPS Location: 5.9768618N 116.0764039E

Sri Latha curry house
Banana Leaf rice at Sri Latha Curry House

18. Sri Melaka

Discover the taste of Nyonya at Sri Melaka Restaurant, Since 1980, Restoran Sri Melaka has provided a wide selection of authentic Malaysian cuisine cooked to aromatic perfection by indigenous cooks.

Must eat: Assam Fish.

Location: No 9, Jalan Laiman Diki, Kota Kinabalu.

Opening hours:11am to 10pm


19. Tanjung Ria Kitchen, Hyatt Regency Hotel

If you looking for a food feast, indulge yourself with buffet spread at Tanjung Ria Kitchen, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. You can find wide selection of foods, from restaurant’s signature dish, Oxtail Assam Pedas to the best Naan in Kota Kinabalu. Buffet Breakfast, RM80.00nett per person Buffet Lunch, RM90.00nett per person Buffet Dinner, RM130.00nett person

Must Eat: Oxtail Assam Pedas

Location: Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, 88991, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia,

Contact no: Tel: +60 88 22 1234

Tanjung Ria Kitchen, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
The restaurant’s signature dish, Oxtail Assam Pedas – is widely acclaimed as one of the best in the country.

20. Wiya Chicken Rice

Established in 1976, starring tender chicken served over fragrant rice cooked with chicken stock and pandan leaves, this delicious dish delights with its rich flavours!

Must Eat: Steamed chicken rice

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday ~ 7:00 am to 6:00 pm Sunday and Public Holidays ~ 7:00 am to 3:00 pm

Location: No. 4, Block F, Segama Complex, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. tel: +6088 214 378

wiya chicken rice
Wiya chicken rice

21. Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh 佑记肉骨茶

Famous among tourists and locals, Yu Kee serve some of the best Bak Kut Teh in Kota Kinabalu. Must Eat : Bak Kut Teh

Opening Hours: 4.30-11pm

Location: 74, Jalan Gaya, 88000, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,

yu kee
Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh


Sinsuran Night Market

Fresh and delicious seafood at the street.

Must eat: any seafood

Opening hours : 5pm to 11pm

Location: Beside Kota Kinabalu Central Market

sinsuran seafood night market
sinsuran seafood night market

Welcome Seafood ( 大茄来海鲜餐厅)

Cheap and a wide selection of seafood. The hottest and famous for seafood in Kota Kinabalu.

Must eat: spicy crab, steamed prawn

Opening hours : 2.30 pm to 12am

Location: GF, G-15 – G-18 , Asia City , Jalan Coastal , Kota Kinabalu , 88000 Kota Kinabalu

welcome seafood , asia city
welcome seafood

Western Food

1. Chilli Vanilla

This primo cafe serves western comfort food. Don’t skip the pastries and cakes that are made with a menu inspired by Hungarian owner Szilvie, who knows how to serve up a feast.

Must eat: Hungarian cake.

Location: 35, Jalan Haji Saman (Off Jalan Tun Razak), 88000 Kota Kinabalu.

Opening hours: 10 am to 10pm

2. El Centro

Specializes in a variety of Western foods and killer cocktails. El Centro is popular with tourists and offers great ambiance and delicious food.

Must eat: cocktails.

Location: Lot 32, Jalan Haji Saman, Kota Kinabalu

Opening hours: 11am to 1am


3. Hard Rock Cafe

With a splendid sea view, enjoy sipping and toasting right along the waterfront! Enjoy delicious food and drinks and rocking entertainment. Cuisine ranges from Seafood spaghetti and Grilled meats (Lamb / Beef) to desserts like cheesecakes and alcoholic drinks. There are also live band performances in the evening hours.

Location:Oceanus Mall

Opening hours: 11am to 1am

hard rock


4. Kudos Bistro

Kudos has a cozy ambiance where you can enjoy a gastronomically satisfying meal fit for even the most discerning taste buds. This is an ideal location for lunch, dinner, private functions, or just a cup of freshly brewed coffee and mouth-watering pastries and desserts.

Location:69 Jalan Gaya (in Jesselton Hotel), 88000 Kota Kinabalu.

Opening hours: 12pm to 2pm, 6pm to 10pm

5. Little Italy

Serving great Italian food since 2000.  The restaurant is owned and managed on a very personal basis by the Italian family, the Ceresa’s, who hailed from Torino, Northwest Italy. Favorite dining place for the local and tourists

Must eat: Ravioli Combo Fiesta

Opening hours : 10:00 am – 11:00 pm

Location: Ground Floor, Hotel Capital,
Jalan Haji Saman,
88000 Kota Kinabalu,

Tel: 088-232 231

little italy kota kinabalu
Little Italy

6. Pasta Pasta

The concept is simple, You can choose your prefer noodle, sauce, and toppings and it only cost RM6.50 for a bowl of Pasta.

Must eat: any combination you can think of

Opening hours: 10am to 10pm

Location: 108, Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia


pasta pasta Gaya Street
Pasta Pasta

7. Upperstar Cafe and Bar

well-known in Kota Kinabalu as it provides a huge variety of fusion foods, varying from western foods to  Nasi Lemak. Great place to hangout at affordable price

Must eat: cheap beers


Segama Branch : Block C, Lot 8, Ground Floor, Segama Complex,
City Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
088-270 775

Suria Sabah Branch : Ground Flr, Lot G23, Suria Sabah Shopping Mall

upper star


Asian Food

1. Emperor’s Delight

The only place in Kota Kinabalu which serves Chinese Cuisine like authentic handmade noodles and Shanghai favorites, Xiao Long Bao & Dim Sum

Must eat: Xiao Long Pao.

Location: Lot 6, Jalan Pantai, 88000 Kota Kinabalu

Opening hours: 11am to 10pm

emperor delight 2

2. Sakagura Japanese Restaurant

Fresh seafood and authentic Japanese food prepared by a Japanese Chef from Hokkaido. With a quality menu, Sakaguru has always been the top choice for Japanese cuisine in town. This was the first Japanese restaurant outside of Japan opened by the Frontier group

Must eat: Yakitori and sushi.

Location: Oceanus Mall

Opening hours: 11am to 10pm

sakagura oceanus mall
Sakagura oceanus mall

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Joanne Lee

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