Kuala Lumpur is not a particularly large city, but there’s still great contrast in each of its neighborhoods. It holds both small inner-city suburbs and larger satellite towns, and each area is known for something different.
Although it was once a railway town, since the ’80s Bangsar has been known as one of the trendier neighborhoods in KL. It’s gone through several phases over the year, but is known for its excellent clutch of cafés, boutiques and restaurants.
The rent in Bangsar is astronomical and contributes to a high turnover rate for the cafés, but it does mean that there’s always something new and exciting. Bangsar is a lot more cosmopolitan than the other suburbs, so while it’s not the best place to experience authentic Malaysian culture, you will find a great latte.
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
A quiet, primarily residential suburb, Taman Tun is a leafy neighborhood that possesses a great mix of artisanal cafés (Artisan Roast and its excellent coffee), cozy pubs and local hawkers. Although it does house some great cafés and restaurants, Taman Tun still retains a more old-fashioned charm and has not become entirely gentrified. It’s a great neighborhood for an afternoon of exploring.
Its slightly futuristic name notwithstanding, Section 17 is a charming, quiet area of KL that has only just started attracting the attention of the hipsters. You’ll find excellent hawker food here, mixed in with top-notch restaurants that prefer a less flashy locale.
Experimental French restaurant Bistro a Table plies its trade here, a few stops down from the authentic Verona Trattoria. You’ll also be within walking distance from PJ Live Arts, known for its comedy and improv performances.