Who doesn’t love a good surprise? I know I do, and a surprise was exactly what I found when I first sat down for coffee at one of Penang’s newer coffee shops. From its entrance, the shop seems normal enough, but once you step foot in it, you’ll soon find out that it goes on, and on... and on.
Even though it isn’t the longest running cafe in Penang, it is the longest. At 220 meters, Gayo Coffee stretches from Beach Street to Victoria Street – walking the length of the shop is pretty good cardio in and of itself. The front of the shop is fashioned like a classic third wave coffee shop – think warm and homey with plenty of wood accents – but as soon as you walk through the door leading to the back, you’ll find a tranquil traditional courtyard with a tree winding its way up the walls towards the sun. At that point, I thought the courtyard was a gem, but as I progressed further and further into the cafe, I found that there were even more to the shop than I thought.
Down the entire length of the shop were pockets of seating, all of which were perfect for get-togethers with friends and picture-taking. Way down in the back was an open-air seating area and a stage for a live band, and upstairs was a function hall and a small guesthouse. The whole space had practically everything you’d want in a vacation!
Of course, no trip to a coffee shop is complete without trying their coffee, which in this case was sourced from all over the world. Their coffee along with their cakes and pastries complemented the whole experience of spending an afternoon at this newly renovated old shophouse. Since visiting them last year when they had just been open for two weeks, I’m sure a lot has changed in terms of menu, decor, and perhaps even their coffee. If anything, this is one extra reason as to why you should mark this cafe in your itinerary before coming to town – experience the longest cafe in Penang for yourself!