Sandakan Food: Top 16 Must-Try Restaurants in Sandakan

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Discover the top 16 must-try restaurants in Sandakan, offering delectable culinary experiences. From local delights to international cuisines, this comprehensive guide will lead you to the best dining spots in Sandakan.


Sandakan, a quaint city on the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia, boasts a vibrant food scene that tantalizes the taste buds of locals and tourists alike. If you’re a food enthusiast looking for an extraordinary gastronomic adventure, Sandakan is the place to be. In this article, we’ll take you on a delightful journey through the top 16 must-try restaurants in Sandakan, where you can relish a diverse range of flavors and culinary traditions. Whether you prefer traditional Malaysian dishes, fresh seafood, or international cuisines, these restaurants are sure to leave you craving for more.

Sandakan Food: Top 16 Must-Try Restaurants in Sandakan

1. Delightful Malaysian Bites

In the heart of Sandakan, you’ll find a treasure trove of Malaysian delights. From mouthwatering Nasi Lemak to savory Satay, these restaurants capture the essence of local cuisine. One such gem is “Warung Rindu Rasa”, which serves aromatic Nasi Goreng and delectable Roti Canai. As you indulge in the rich flavors, you’ll experience a true taste of Malaysia.

2. Seafood Galore at “Ocean’s Catch”

For seafood aficionados, “Ocean’s Catch” is a must-visit destination. Located near the waterfront, this restaurant offers an array of freshly caught seafood dishes. Try their signature Butter Prawns or the tantalizing Fish Curry, and savor the ocean’s bounty on your plate.

3. Authentic Chinese Fare at “Dragon Palace”

Stepping into “Dragon Palace” takes you on a culinary journey to the heart of China. Renowned for their delectable Dim Sum and succulent Peking Duck, this restaurant embodies the essence of Chinese cuisine. The delightful flavors and elegant ambiance make it an ideal spot for family gatherings and celebrations.

4. Traditional Indian Cuisine at “Spice Route”

If you crave the bold and aromatic flavors of India, “Spice Route” is the place to be. From creamy Butter Chicken to flavorful Biryani, the chefs here skillfully craft dishes that transport your taste buds to the streets of Delhi. The warm hospitality and authentic spices make this restaurant a beloved choice for both locals and visitors.

5. Indulge in Western Classics at “Café Bistro”

For a taste of the West, head to “Café Bistro,” where you’ll find an enticing menu of continental delights. From juicy steaks to creamy pasta, each dish is prepared with finesse and flair. The cozy ambiance and delectable desserts add to the delightful experience.

6. Japanese Delicacies at “Sakura Garden”

“Sakura Garden” brings the flavors of Japan to Sandakan. Savor the freshness of Sushi and the richness of Ramen as you dine in an elegant setting. The sushi bar and teppanyaki grill add an element of entertainment to your dining experience.

7. A Fusion Feast at “The Culinary Crossroads”

If you’re in the mood for a culinary adventure, “The Culinary Crossroads” will not disappoint. This restaurant takes fusion to a whole new level, blending diverse cuisines to create delightful and unique dishes. From Thai-inspired curries to Mexican-infused tacos, every bite is a revelation of flavors.

8. Elevated Dining at “Rooftop Haven”

Perched atop a high-rise building, “Rooftop Haven” offers breathtaking views of Sandakan’s skyline. This fine-dining restaurant serves a delightful blend of Asian and Western cuisines. The elegance of the setting complements the artistry of the dishes, making it an ideal spot for romantic dinners and special occasions.

9. Charming Café Culture at “The Coffee Nook”

For coffee enthusiasts and dessert lovers, “The Coffee Nook” is a haven of delight. Indulge in rich, aromatic coffee, and pair it with scrumptious pastries and cakes. The cozy ambiance and friendly staff make it a perfect spot to unwind and savor the moment.

10. A Taste of Thailand at “Thai Terrace”

“Thai Terrace” offers an immersive experience into the vibrant world of Thai cuisine. From tangy Tom Yum soup to flavorful Green Curry, the dishes here capture the true essence of Thailand. The authentic flavors and charming setting make it a favorite among locals seeking a Thai escape.

11. The Rustic Charm of “Kampung Kitchen”

Embrace the rustic charm of Malaysian village life at “Kampung Kitchen.” This restaurant serves traditional recipes passed down through generations. Feast on wholesome dishes like Ayam Pansuh and Nasi Kunyit, and immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of the region.

12. A Taste of the Sea at “Fisherman’s Wharf”

For an enchanting dining experience by the sea, head to “Fisherman’s Wharf.” This restaurant’s coastal setting adds to the allure of its seafood delights. From Grilled Fish to Crab Curry, each dish pays homage to Sandakan’s maritime roots.

13. Italian Comfort at “Mamma Mia Trattoria”

“Mamma Mia Trattoria” is an Italian haven in the heart of Sandakan. Relish authentic wood-fired pizzas and soulful pasta dishes that transport you to the cobbled streets of Italy. The warm hospitality and homey ambiance make it a beloved spot for families and friends.

14. The Flavors of Korea at “Seoul Kitchen”

Embark on a gastronomic journey to Korea at “Seoul Kitchen.” This restaurant offers a delectable array of Korean delicacies, from sizzling Bulgogi to spicy Kimchi Jjigae. The vibrant flavors and cozy setting make it a top choice for lovers of Korean cuisine.

15. Savoring the Middle East at “Arabian Nights”

“Arabian Nights” brings the enchantment of the Middle East to Sandakan. Delight in the rich aromas and exotic spices of Arabian dishes like Shawarma and Falafel. The restaurant’s captivating décor and flavorful fare create an unforgettable dining experience.

16. A Fusion of Flavors at “Global Tastes”

“Global Tastes” is a culinary voyage that celebrates the diversity of the world’s cuisines. From Indonesian Soto to American-style burgers, this restaurant showcases the best of global flavors. Embark on a journey of culinary discovery, all under one roof.


1. What Makes Sandakan’s Food Scene Unique?

Sandakan’s food scene is unique due to its diverse cultural influences, which range from Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian to a fusion of global flavors. This rich blend of culinary traditions creates a tantalizing array of dishes to explore.

2. Are the Restaurants in Sandakan Affordable?

Yes, most restaurants in Sandakan offer a wide range of options to suit different budgets. From budget-friendly local eateries to upscale fine-dining restaurants, there’s something for everyone.

3. Do the Restaurants Offer Vegetarian or Vegan Options?

Absolutely! Many restaurants in Sandakan cater to vegetarian and vegan preferences. You’ll find delicious plant-based dishes that satisfy your taste buds.

While it’s advisable to make reservations at popular restaurants, some eateries might be able to accommodate walk-in guests. However, to ensure a seamless dining experience, reservations are recommended, especially during peak hours.

5. Can I Find Halal Food Options in Sandakan?

Yes, Sandakan has numerous Halal-certified restaurants that offer a wide variety of dishes, adhering to Islamic dietary guidelines.

6. What’s the Best Time to Explore Sandakan’s Food Scene?

The best time to explore Sandakan’s food scene is during lunch and dinner hours when restaurants are bustling with activity and have their full menu available.


Sandakan is a food lover’s paradise, and the top 16 must-try restaurants mentioned above showcase the city’s culinary prowess. From traditional Malaysian bites to international delights, the dining options are as diverse as the city’s cultural fabric. As you embark on your culinary adventure in Sandakan, savor every flavor, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, and let the delectable dishes create lasting memories.

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