Chowrasta Market or Pasar Chowrasta is one of the two community markets in inner Georgetown.
This lively market located in the picturesque old downtown is bordered by Penang Road, Chowrasta Road, Kuala Kangsar Road and Tamil Street. It has been in operation since the late 1800s and still continues to serve locals early in the morning.The area where the market now stands was originally part of a massive Indian area in George Town. In particular, ethnic Tamils from southern India began settling around the area in the mid-19th. century. It was within the vicinity of the present market where the Tamils sold fresh produce and livestock.
Along the front entrance of Chowrasta Market that faces Penang Road, one can find a wide variety of Penang’s fresh produce, such as pickled nutmegs, plums, durian cakes, dodol (a sweet Malay confection), heh ko (a special Penangite prawn paste), belachan (Malay chilli paste), balms and tau sar pneah (Penang’s famous bean paste biscuits). No visit to Penang Island is complete without getting some of these uniquely Penangite produce and delicacies!The wet market selling fresh meat, fish and vegetables occupies the main portion of the ground floor. Outlets selling clothes occupy the first floor around the atrium and the middle portion of the first floor is occupied by the second hand bookshops.One of the pleasures of visiting Chowrasta’s morning market is the wide selection of breakfast options at the nameless/featureless open-air food centre off Chowrasta Road, near the intersection with the pedestrian-busy Kuala Kangsar Road.
The market starts pretty early – just past 6 am and tapers off by 11 am when the weather gets hotter.