Melaka's long history of immigration means that the food is as diverse as the people. Chinese, Malay, Eurasian, and Indian food can all be considered "local" dishes, and increasing tourism means the appearance of even more global cuisine and international chains.
Unique to Melaka is Baba-Nyonya or Peranakan cuisine, a fusion of Chinese cooking styles with bold Malaysian spices. There are many tourist-friendly restaurants specializing in this type of cuisine and some, like Ole Sayang, have been loved by locals for over 30 years. Other Melaka specialties include chicken rice balls, satay celup, and pineapple tarts.
Diners on a budget will be pleased to discover abundant food centers and kopitiams (Chinese coffee shops serving noodle and rice dishes) where a meal can be had for less than 5 RM. For classic Malaysian street foods like satay, rojak, and laksa, Newton Food Village is recommended. The malls are also a source of cheap meals with chains like KFC and McDonalds, and self-caterers will appreciate the huge Carrefour Hypermarket.
Come sundown, the place to be is one of the charming riverside restaurants. Most serve a mix of international foods and there’s something to suit every budget, from swanky Harper’s Restaurant & Lounge to the quaint Riverine Coffeehouse.
The nightlife in Melaka is pretty tame, but it picks up on Friday and Saturday with the Jonker Street Night Market and live entertainment until 12am. Other nights, try the Discovery House Cafe for cheap beer and pub games or classy Geographer Cafe for cocktails and jazz.