The Chocolate Boutique - for all things chocolate!
Penang is not exactly a shoppers paradise, but there are potentially some interesting things to buy depending on your tastes. In the malls and shops around the base of the Komtar, you'll find cameras, electronics, and clothes. Along Jalan Penang heading away from the Komtar towards the Eastern & Oriental hotel, you'll find shops selling luggage, the old wet market, Indian saris and assorted local handicrafts.
Along Chulia street you will find a few antique shops selling old bric-a-brac. You will also find a number of tea shops around the old town selling teas, mainly from China, of all descriptions. One last place of note is the Chocolate Boutique on Leith Street just down from the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion. It sells, as the name implies, all sorts of chocolate products. The chocolate covered fruits are particularly tasty.
If fresh markets are your thing, and they can be fantastic photographic opportunities, then the best place to go is the market along Kuala Kangsar street, which runs from Campbell Steet down Kimberley.
For a more modern shopping experience, there is a collection of shopping malls around the Komtar office tower just south of the old Georgetown area. Komtar itself was once home to some rather seedy stalls selling pirated software and all manner of other shady products. The seedy stalls are mostly gone now, and a big portion of the Komtar Mall has been upgraded to a fancy IT mall and department store. Next to Komtar is the rather shabby Prangin Mall and the brand new 1st Avenue Mall. For larger malls with a greater selection of shops, you can head to Gurney Plaza or Queensbay Mall.
Ron and Caryl Krannich's books on finding the best that Asia has to offer are among the most popular guides on this site. These aren't your ordinary guidebooks and will definitely tell you things you won't find elsewhere.