We always make it a point to visit Sandakan once a year. One of the main purposes is to update our list of “Must eat foods in Sandakan“ and of course to taste the tasty foods at Sandakan.
Changes do not come to Sandakan yet as most of the tourists prefer visiting Sepilok or Kinabatangan area and skip the town area. We found few cafes recommend by our friends at IJM area (new area) and amazed by the quality of the foods offered.
Make sure you check out our list of Must eat foods when in Sandakan !
We prefer to fly to Sandakan as its only 45 minutes away by flight. We always take the 7am Air Asia flight as we can enjoy the wonderful scenery from the plane.
Our Sandakan food trip video. Don’t forget to subscribe Sabaheats youtube channel for more video!
Wonderful view of Mount Kinabalu at the morning. Always choose a left window seating (A) if you want to get the best view
We reach Sandakan at 7.30am. 20 minutes earlier than scheduled.
Taxi coupons counter is available outside the gate. It cost us RM30 for the fare from Airport to Sandakan Town.
We check into Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan. Perfect choice for business or leisure
Overlooking Sandakan’s azure scenic bay at the heart of Sandakan Town, Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan is the best place for food hunting. Nice modern hotel at great central location with great amenities
our Executive club room come with bath tub and 2 double bed.
Wonderful view from our room
The infinity pool overlooking Sandakan Town at the 13th floor of Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan. One of the best spots for sunset and chill out.
If you prefer to have some drinks, the Best Brew on the 2nd floor is a great place to relax with a pint of cold beer or your favorite cocktails. For me, I prefer a glass of wine.
Enjoy my wine with wonderful scenery.
The Eatery on the 13th floor offers wonderful selection of foods for sungkai since its ramadhan month. They also have a mouth-watering roasted lamb.
Location Map of the food place we visit on this trip
Sandakan Town area
Sandakan Town is dominated by old buildings. It’s easy to walk around the town as its compact and there are enough food places to explore within the town area. You can also discover the Sandakan Heritage Trail by foot – http://ilovesabah.info/exploring-sandakan-heritage-trail/
Sandakan Central market it located next to Four Points Sandakan. You can find lots of fresh produce and foods here.
Saw the sign board at Sandakan Central market and around the town area Apparently, the ok sign mean turtle egg another are still many people illegally selling turtle eggs around the town area. Remember to say no to the illegal turtle eggs seller!
Visited my favorite food in Sandakan on the 2nd floor of Sandakan Central Market, kueh Teow with deep fried pork. They recently open a new branch at IJM area but I still prefer to eat at the stalls at Central Market
Fishing boat docking at the Central Market. Love to see the activities around the market
The old Sandakan Town. Its known as little Hong Kong because of the building built during the 70s which resembling old Hong Kong.
Kedai Kopi Syn Ming Hing
UFO tart is a must when in Sandakan. One of the places serving UFO tart around the Town area is at Kedai Kopi Syn Ming Hing. UFO tart is also known as cow dung tart.
Opening hours: 8am to 4pm
Tam Kopitiam alongside Jalan Leila serves porridge and noodle for the locals. Good place for some comfort food.
Operating hours: 7am to 2pm
Address : Jalan Leila, Sandakan Town
Tam Kopitiam is also famous for their curry noodle.
Kedai Kopi Sate Tradisi
Address: Jalan Buli Sim Sim, Sandakan Town Centre
Looking for sate around the town, head to Kedai Kopi Sate Tradisi. They serve one of the best satays in town
Persatuan Perikanan Sandakan
A restaurant without menu and the chef decide what to serve, If its sound good for you, then a trip to Persatuan Perikanan Sandakan (Sandakan Fishing Association) for one of the best seafood in town. The restaurant is actually operated by the fishing association and the chef is the chairman of the association. There are only 4 tables available so make sure you make a booking before visiting.
Address: Lebuh Empat, Sandakan Town
Operating hours: 6pm to 10pm
Contact no. : 012-8646186
Located on the top floor of Nak Hotel, Balin roofgarden offer a great view of Sandakan town. A good place to chill and relax during the night. More information about Balin at https://www.sabaheats.com/balin-roofgarden-coolest-rooftop-garden-bar-bistro-sandakan/
Address: Nak Hotel, Jalan Pelabuhan Lama
Bandar Nam Tung
Nam Chai Bah Kut Teh
No trip to Sandakan is complete without a visit to the famous Seafood Bah kut teh. There are 2 restaurant at Bandar Nam Tung serving bah kut teh and I like Nam Chai Restaurant.
More information about Nam Chai Restaurant Bah Kut teh at https://www.sabaheats.com/nam-chai-seafood-bak-kut-teh-南财肉骨茶/
Kim Fah 2 京华II, Taman Tyng
Famous for their roasted duck, pork, and chicken. Cantonese style roast specialist. Apparently, their main branch is located at Inanam, Kota Kinabalu but we think the roasted duck here is so much more delicious than the one in KK. Service is slow but the food is worth the wait.
Address: No 1-42, Bandar Tyng, Mile 6, North Road,
Contact no: 60 16-818 7588
Bandar Prima Square
良记鱼旦。Leong Kee Fish Ball.
Serve one of the best fish balls in Sandakan. Their fish ball is fresh with the hints of the mandarin orange peel. The fish ball century off dumpling is also a must!
Lots of fish balls. Fresh and delicious!
a simple yet delicious fish ball noodle
Pin Xiang coffee shop
Located next to Leong Kee fish ball, Pin Xiang coffee shop serve fruit ABC
Bandar Kim Fung
Pasar Kim Fung at Bandar Kim Fung is the best place for food hunting. Food stall operates from the market from morning till late night. We visiting the market for the tau fu fah and apam balik for this trip. For more information about Kim Fung market, visit https://www.sabaheats.com/kim-fung-market-best-place-experience-sandakan-flavour/
Bandar Utama (IJM)
Bandar utama is the latest township in Sandakan developed by IJM. The town is well-planned and integrated mixed development township in Sandakan strategically located right in the heart of fast-growing community, spanning over a 395 acres of prime land. The township is conveniently located within 5 minutes drive from the airport.
Local usually call the area as IJM area. Here you can find many new cafes and eateries
Famous for their fruit based cake. We tried their avocado cake which is in season now and the taste is heavenly. Creamy with avocado taste.
address: Lot 151, ground floor, Block G, Lorong Avenue 5, Bandar Utama IJM
Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/urbancafesandakan
A Korean concept cafe serving a variety of delicate dessert and cake. Nice cafe with great ambience.
Address: Lot 43-GF, Jalan Dataran B.U. 4, Utama Zone 3 Commercial, Jalan Bandar Utama, Mile 6, North Road,
A cafe serving yogurt, ice cream, coffee, juice, cake and pasta. The soft serve ice cream is delicious and they serve different flavour every week.
Address: Lot 52, Ground Floor, Lorong Avenue 2
located across Bandar Nam Tung. Most of the resident at Kampung Pukat are involved in the fishing business. The family here make their own dried salted fish and dried sea produce. Walk around the village and shop for souvenirs.