If you thought Shah Alam was just home to the bright lights at i-City and the Blue Mosque, and has more roundabouts than necessary, you'll be surprised at what the sleepy town has to offer when it comes to cafés. We suss out the best places for coffee, desserts and laidback brunches so you don't have to go the distance.
Cake Jalan Tiung has two outlets – both in Shah Alam, both with huge windows that allow in plenty of natural light, and both decked in bright pops of colours. These outlets are the perfect teatime spots; best seller Bella Nutella (vanilla cake and Nutella) goes nicely with coffee.
Desserts here are made on rotation, so you might not get the same cake on your next visit; when we were there, the day’s highlight was a pistachio rose mini loaf. Also, the plates on which the cakes are served are beautiful, true #plategoals.
The sleepy suburbs of Shah Alam come to life with the addition of cool café Commoners Space. The interior is kept low-key – wooden furniture and floors are complemented with clean white walls, bare save for a framed cover of Hypebeast and a portrait of Basquiat.
The café incorporates local ingredients into the dishes as much as they can, like with their version of risotto with ulam raja. Also on the menu is a selection of sandwiches, all made with their own sourdough bread. Wash down your meal with fresh juice, cold tea infused with fruits, or the house-brewed fermented kombucha tea.
Photo: Daniel Chan
Located within the new mall of Utropolis Marketplace is Vibes Café and Bistro, the hippest joint on a block filled with a host of dining options. The space is outfitted with wood and steel furnishings, communal tables great for big groups, and a bar counter for solo diners. (Bonus: there are plug points scattered around as well.)
The menu stays true to classics with wallet-friendly prices; go big with the all-day big breakfast, or keep it simple with waffles, sandwiches or local dishes like nasi lemak and chicken rice. The coffee here offers a great caffeine boost too.
With a warm and sweet-smelling aroma wafting out of the quaint café, Ain’s Patisserie is where Shah Alam folks go for cakes and pastries. Ain bakes everything in-house; sometimes you can catch a glimpse of her working away in the kitchen at the back.
The specialty treats on display change every few days, but some of our favourites include the lavender butter loaf and Marie Toffin (also called kek batik).
Photo: Daniel Chan
Brew & Bread checks all the right boxes with good coffee and affordable brunch options (their berry French toast is only RM9). The café roasts their own beans in-house, while coffee options include cold drip coffee, filter coffee, and an interesting option called the Bombshell – nitro coffee that has been brewed for 23 hours, giving it a creamy texture with toffee flavours. Home brewers can stock up on equipment here, with a range of Hario products available.
Doubling as an art gallery and a café, Grandeur Gallery Café offers honest food in a warm and casual setting. The kitchen serves up a porky feast that includes their signature oven-grilled pork chop burger and chorizo chilli pasta.
For dessert, there are mille crêpe cakes, among other options, on weekends. While art exhibitions don’t happen often at the gallery, local artists are always welcomed to display their works.