Get us in your inbox

Search
Chu and Co
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

The best hidden cafés in Singapore for a quiet brunch sesh

These hole-in-the-wall cafés have yet to be discovered

Written by
Delfina Utomo
,
Dawson Tan
&
Pailin Boonlong
Advertising

Singapore has a ton of good cafés – we’re not denying that. But with snaking brunch queues and at least 30-minute wait times, it’s hard to enjoy a coffee when you're spending a substantial portion of your weekend waiting to chope a table. We’ve rounded up the best unknown cafés in Singapore for a hole-in-the-wall experience – some don’t even have seats, so you’ll need to take away or head over to the nearest park for a picnic date

RECOMMENDED: The best cafés in Singapore and the best brunch spots

Hidden cafes in Singapore

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Raffles Place

Simply put, Dawn is a pretty cafe. It’s one of many along the Clarke Quay stretch and has a simple door front with its name in small print. Understated? Yes, very. Yet, it’s quickly becoming one of the more popular cafes that’s populating our social media feeds. The menu is simple, with single-origin coffee beans from El Salvador and a couple of seasonal hand pours with tasty bakes to complement.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Café bars
  • Tanjong Pagar

Known better for its nighttime alter ego, Stay Gold Flamingo is actually a dual-concept space that serves up a daytime experience for brunch and coffee lovers. Step into the sun-drenched Flamingo, and look forward to a cheery spread of citron tart ($8), pistachio macaroon ($8), and shiso chicken sandwich ($12).

 

Advertising
Dapper Coffee
  • Restaurants
  • Hawker
  • Tanjong Pagar

Before the evening shenanigans of The Spiffy Dapper kicks in, 73 Amoy Street is a cosy, romantically lit coffee spot. The experimental drinks here are the result of creative thought by Dapper co-owner Abhishek Cherian George and head chef Christine Seah, and come with names like Unicorn Tears ($10) and Gold Brew ($10), made with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. If it's a straight espresso you're hankering after, Dapper’s espresso-based drinks are brewed with its house blend. Pair your cuppa with a slice of cake that come in flavours like gula Melaka walnut oat and the best-selling salted egg black sesame.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kallang

Tucked away in the sleepy shophouse stretch of Serangoon Road is the new kid in the block, Puck Provisions. Expect to sip on a humble range of house brews using in-house roasted single-origin Ethiopian beans and two hand-pour coffees that showcase more complexity. While waiting on your bean juice, head deeper into the back and you’ll uncover a modest gallery that is dedicated to local artists.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Rochor

Teh tarik is a local fave that we’ve never given a second thought – just because it's so commonly found in hawker centres. It’s no bubble tea nor coconut shake, yet this cosy hole-in-the-wall cafe along Arab Street has taken it upon itself to forge a trendy teh tarik comeback. It’s a takeaway joint only, where you can get, obviously, teh tarik ($1.50) and other drinks like a saffron tea ($2) and teh halia ($1.80). They also do food - you can get a delish nasi lemak and nasi sambal goreng, both at $4, and a nasi briyani on Fridays (from $6.50).

  • Restaurants
  • Pâtisseries
  • City Hall

There are no cake stands or fancy display cases at this Japanese-inspired patisserie. Images of its desserts are also deliberately left out of its menu. To choose, diners have to rely solely on the description – and their imagination. The homegrown cake shop actually began its journey in 2009 at Ann Siang Hill before moving to the School of the Arts. But the lack of footfall brought in little business. “We had no choice but to cut our losses,” says co-owner Delphine Liau. “And hope to return someday.” That comeback happened – Kki now occupies a hidden space along Seah Street to call home. Kki functions less like a regular bakery and more like a dessert restaurant. It works on a reservation-only basis, and diners have to choose what they want to order beforehand. The space can only seat some 15 diners and prevents wastage by preparing only what is required.

 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bukit Merah

Right under the void deck of an unassuming HDB in Bukit Merah is the newly opened Rookie's Coffee Shop. Boasting a seating capacity for just under six exclusive guests, this trendy alcove is plastered in muted colours contrasted with some brightly coloured furniture and lush green plant babies. If you can't snag a seat indoors, fret not and slug it out over the camper chairs and tables right outside to enjoy your cuppa. Here, coffee remains the focus as you can expect to find your standard pours served over the counter while the Aeropress option uses beans from Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya to offer a range of fruity to earthy flavour profiles.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Geylang

Kohi Roastery & Coffee Bar isn’t all that remarkable at first glance. At a fleeting look, it’s a literal hole-in-the-wall. Mind you, it’s a rather unique “hole” that’s framed by a bright canary yellow paint job – one that has hoards of customers waiting patiently outside for their coffee fix during the day. 

The menu is kept simple with no frills – choose from standard orders like White ($6), Black ($4) or Espresso ($4). There’s also an Espresso Tonic or Coco(nut) Espresso, both priced at $7, for those looking to venture beyond their usuals.  

There’s no seating at this coffee bar. It’s more of a takeaway joint, but if you really need a reprieve from the afternoon sun, you can head indoors to next-door neighbour Crane Living.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Serangoon

Dining at Chu and Co feels like entering someone’s private backyard. Potted plants and random tchotchkes are strewn across the adjacent outdoor patio, guests are happily sitting on the pavement sipping coffee, munching on fresh bakes and in deep conversation. 

Orders are made at the counter which has a hole-in-the-wall vibe. Grab a coffee or beverage to go – there's dirty chai and even tepache on the menu if you want something different from your usual latte or cold brew – but the highlight is the warm bakes (both sweet and savoury) that are made fresh daily. If you love surprises, there's always something new when you return. We tried a whole range of sourdough buns – from cauliflower, cheese and pepper to the classic cinnamon buns, and even a black garlic and chocolate piece they were experimenting on – and that $5 to $6 price tag on the buns is well justified. It had a great crust on the outside, fluffy and soft on the outside and versatile to accommodate the most intense of fillings and toppings, like spam and cheese even.

If being out in the sun gets too intense, head to the sister concept Chulato (it's on the same stretch) for some creamy scoops of gelato. Or just order another cold brew and head back out to your makeshift picnic spot on the patio – wear sunnies or a hat if you're thinking of dining here. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • City Hall

It’s not a large space over at Pinhole Coffee Bar. In fact, there’s just a handful of tables – alfresco and counter seats along the barista bar. It’s along Purvis Street, near Bugis and City Hall, so it’s perfect for nearby office workers to grab a quick morning joe – especially since it opens at 8am daily. Try the “Hello, Good Morning” ($7), a smorgasbord of their bestsellers. It’s served on a wooden tray, featuring a single shot espresso, 4oz white coffee and a cold brew tea that’s intended as a palate cleanser. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bedok

You wouldn’t expect to find an artisanal coffee house along Upper Changi Road – but there’s one, tucked away at the East Village shopping mall. At Cafe Cartisan, many have commented that the coffee is reminiscent of what their orders are like in a typical Melburnian cafe. It’s the handcrafted cold iced brews that are their speciality, with drinks like golden matcha latte and red velvet beetroot latte – both priced at $6.90. 

Best cafes in Singapore

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Raffles Place

Quickly becoming one of the more popular cafés that’s populating our social media feeds, there’s that unfinished aesthetic and charm that draws the curious gaze of ongoing passersby. The beverage menu is straightforward as is, standard coffees brewed from single-origin coffee beans from El Salvador, a seasonal selection of slow pour coffees that showcase different tasting notes, cold brew tea, and home-made sodas. But what keep us going back is the freshly baked goods. Our favourite happens to be the favourite Apple Crumb ($6). Try others like the Sesame Friand ($5), Blueberry Galette ($9), or Dawn’s humble Chocolate Chip Cookie ($3.50).

  • Restaurants
  • Peranakan
  • Serangoon

Tucked away in a quaint corner of Jalan Riang is Babba, a dual-concept casual diner with a Peranakan focus by the same people behind The Brewing Ground. Serving up a contemporary brunch menu with Peranakan influences during the day and then switching stances to dishing out fully authentic Peranakan cuisine at the night, this spot surely knows variety. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Serangoon

Dining at Chu and Co feels like entering someone’s private backyard. Potted plants and random tchotchkes are strewn across the adjacent outdoor patio, guests are happily sitting on the pavement sipping coffee, munching on fresh bakes and in deep conversation. Our highlight is definitely the warm bakes (both sweet and savoury) that are made fresh daily. We tried a whole range of sourdough buns – from cauliflower, cheese and pepper to the classic cinnamon buns, and even a black garlic and chocolate piece they were experimenting on – and that $5 to $6 price tag on the buns is well justified.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kallang

Tucked away in the sleepy shophouse stretch of Serangoon Road is the new kid in the block, Puck Provisions. Besides brewing up a mean cup of joe, this trendy coffee joint has got a gallery for local art. House brewed coffee is well calibrated and balanced, flexing a medium to full-bodied blend of in-house roasted single-origin Ethiopian beans and two hand-pour coffees showcasing more complexity. Perfect spot to slow down, take a breather and recover from the hectic week you’ve had.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • City Hall

It’s not a large space over at Pinhole Coffee Bar. In fact, there’s just a handful of tables - alfresco and counter seats along the barista bar. It’s along Purvis Street, near Bugis and City Hall, so it’s perfect for nearby office workers to grab a quick morning joe - especially since it opens at 8am daily. Try the “Hello, Good Morning” ($7), a smorgasbord of their bestsellers. It’s served on a wooden tray, featuring a single shot espresso, 4oz white coffee and a cold brew tea that’s intended as a palate cleanser. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bishan

Opened by the people behind the Japanese-influenced eatery The Refinery, the same approach has also been imbued with the selection of food and drinks to present novel plates that are as comforting as they as creative. A freshly constructed sando, or sandwich, is the main draw here. Hot favourites are the teriyaki-glazed chicken ($15), pink-hued Angus striploin ($26), and the thick-cut Muar-style otah patty ($20). Complemented by a tea-skewed beverage program sees iced dirty matcha ($8) making an appearance on almost every table. Between its unusual offerings and stylish set-ups, Hello Arigato delivers a memorable mealtime experience that will leave you feeling impressed.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Marine Parade

There’s a magician in the house. Through cards, he can predict the future, will things to appear, and make others disappear. He can also brew up a mean cup of coffee. Meet Ashley Cho, the owner of C Cafe. He decided to combine his love for magic and food two to open a magic-themed café. Try the smashed avocado on sourdough toast ($18), dressed with aromatic dukkah and sunflower seeds for crunch and sharing plates of truffle fries ($12) and chicken wings (from $10) drizzled with honey butter – all paired with a side of magic card trick. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kallang

Lucid's interiors of grey and white tones make for an Instagrammable spot. But it's more than just a treat for the eyes. The minimalist hide-out also serves cups of quality brews by co-owner Andrea Tan, the first National Brewers’ Cup champion in Singapore. You’ll find coffee and a small selection of bakes are available, like espresso-based drinks (from $4) pulled from beans of medium-dark roast, with hints of chocolate and citrus, and bakes of brownies crowned with hazelnuts and fluer de sel ($4.50).

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kallang

Minimalist cafés, with white-clad walls and simple decor, are a dime of the dozen in Singapore. But if there is any place that’s making this pared-down aesthetic feel fresh and exciting, it’s Daizu Cafe. It's a loft-style, two-storey space that lets in plenty of morning sunlight. Look forward to novel brunch offerings that fuse Japanese flavours with Western cooking techniques. Some highlights: unique creations of lemon miso eggs Benedict ($24), mixed chirashi salad ($18), mentaiko chicken dumplings ($10), and more. Sauces, from wasabi mayonnaise to curry aioli, are also made from scratch. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kallang

This café along Hamilton Road is designed for one purpose: for people to unwind and connect with loved ones. It helps that the interiors are open and welcoming; the minimalist space is splashed with white hues and wooden accents, and comes anchored by an eye-catching barista counter. The food is also perfect for sharing. Make a reservation before dropping by, and split the addictive mozzarella sticks ($8) that come with a side of fresh sriracha salsa. Besides the usual brunch fare of guacamole on toast ($18) and eggs Benedict ($16), For The People also whips up some special creations that are worth a try. And the best part, almost everything is under $20. Scrambled eggs on toast comes brightened with a smear of basil pesto ($18), and the standard waffles come with a firmer, chewier bite with its cinnamon sugar-dusted crispy churro waffles ($14).

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • City Hall

Gather is opened by the team behind local favourites Punch and now-defunct Ronin. Unlike the latter's dark and broody vibe, Gather's sun-drenched interior is outfitted with marble tables and rattan-backed chairs – a nod to the building’s colonial past. The menu is concise, comprising different types of crêpe, or thin pancakes that come well-stuffed with sweet or savoury ingredients. Heed the advice of the waitstaff can get the Off The Bone ($18), with a winning combination of ham, gruyère, cheddar, and a runny egg in the middle, then end off with soft crêpes that come showered with sugar and lemon ($14). 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Serangoon

Add Apollo Coffe Bar to your café-hopping list the next time you’re visiting the hipster food enclave of Serangoon Gardens. It is opened by the same people behind Atlas Coffeehouse, Columbus Coffee Co, and Lunar Coffee Brewers, so you can expect good grub and brews. Try the special tofu hummus ($12.50) served with honeyed fried beancurd skin, or share the honey butter-coasted tatter tots ($12.50). Switch out your usual order of avocado toast with Apollo Coffee Bar’s umami-packed version, which comes with seaweed jam and topped with crispy kale ($18.50), or try other unique items include the farro risotto ($22) with miso bacon and oyster mushroom, pork and pear tartine ($19.50).

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Marine Parade

East Coast Commune, is a charming café with an inviting interior that taps onto the surrounding landscape as design inspiration. Inside, the high-ceiling pitstop comes decked with rattan-backed chairs, wood-panelled counters, and potted foliage to echo the outdoors. The concise menu features sourdough sandwiches, pasta, and sides of fries and granola. Unique to East Coast Commune is a selection of sourdough waffles. Try the savoury four cheese ($15), which comes with a base of rosemary-scented and caramelised shallot waffle, served with mozzarella, parmesan, gorgonzola, cheddar, confit tomatoes, and pesto; or the fried chicken ($18) with roasted corn waffle. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Ang Mo Kio

Nested in Sembawang Hills estate, this charming, quaint yet cosy café has been making waves ever since its debut on the local scene back in 2017. Coffee aromas fill the air as soon as you enter as speciality coffee is roasted in-house to produce quality coffee blends to offer black ($3.50), white ($4.50) and cold brews ($7). Known to serve up warm and comforting nosh, try the Smoked Pulled Pork and Scrambled Croissant ($19) and the Hearty Chicken Stew ($17).

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Raffles Place

We may have a perpetual summer in Singapore, but this café at Maxwell Chambers offers an autumnal escape filled with sun-faded leaves. Settle down under the canopy of foliage and sip on aromatic brews best paired with some freshly baked scones. Beyond regular espresso-based drinks, highlights from this Korean-inspired café include the Summer Latte ($10), where coffee comes served with a scoop of ice cream, and the Dalgona Latte ($8), its version of the whipped coffee fad that has taken over social media. Here, the drink comes topped with crunchy dalgona, a traditional Korean honeycomb toffee candy. Grab a bite of the sweet – caramel-like, but with slight bitter undertones – before it melts into the drink. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Hougang

Lola's styles itself as a 'backyard café', and it sets to emulate that homely vibe by encouraging the use of hands to eat instead of the usual fork and spoon. Being at home also means having your pet with you, and accordingly, the café welcomes your fur pals to its outdoor seating area. Its extensive menu offers brunch staples like eggs benedict, jazzed up with pulled pork and avocado ($18), bangers and mash ($14) and even a miso salmon grain bowl ($18) for the health nuts. The beverage menu is designed to give you options, from coffee and tea lattes to sodas and craft beers. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Changi 

Hub and Spoke Cafe, located just off Terminal 2, offers a tranquil escape to unwind and grab a bite. But first, you’ll need to uncover this elusive spot. But it’s this hard-to-access address that provides the place with a serene, exclusive allure; the glasshouse-looking space lets in oodles of natural sunlight, and the breezy alfresco veranda comes flanked by plenty of fauna. Tip: look out for a self-watering green wall – adorned with luscious blooms – that makes for a great photo backdrop.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Marine Parade

Occupying the iconic Red House in Katong, Micro Bakery is hard to miss. With the mission to serve delicious and hearty food and to provide a cosy space for people to take a break from the hustle, you'll feel comfortable right away at this café with its warm decor and the smell of freshly baked bread constantly in the air. Besides the breakfast options like the scrambled eggs tartine ($14) and Big Breakfast ($18), you can also get some buns, cakes, freshly baked sourdough loaves, and coffee. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Orchard

Marrakech heritage brand, Bacha Coffee opens its first international outlet right here in Singapore at ION Orchard. The Singapore café offers four categories of coffee: single origin, fine blended, fine flavoured and carbon dioxide decaffeinated coffee from Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Asia and beyond. You can purchase loose beans (from $11 per 100g) to brew at home or enjoy a pot of coffee (from $9) onsite with a serving of whipped Chantilly cream, steamed milk (or soy milk), raw sugar and cracked vanilla beans with a couple of croissants ($8 for two).

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Chinatown

Keong Saik Road may be synonymous with alcohol, but it’s sure able to cook up a fine cup of coffee. At Kafe Utu, you’ll be transported to Africa the moment you step foot into the coffeehouse due to its wood and leather furnishing and African-inspired paintings. The specialty house blend is called “Ubuntu” – a combination of coffee beans from Uganda, Mexico, and Brazil – whereby you could have it black ($4.50) or with some Hokkaido milk ($6). The food fare here is also excellent, too. Order up a Curried Avocado with Raw Garlic and Toast ($18) or try the Ricotta Hotcakes ($24) from the brunch menu.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Outram

This hot Neil Road joint appoints itself a 'gastro-café' to highlight its flavour-forward leanings. Rice and grain bowls ($19.50-$24) – topped with roast chicken, pulled pork, and thyme-seared wagyu – are Instagram favourites that taste as hearty as they photograph. Also enjoyable is the seafood linguine ($24), with al dente spools of bisque-coated pasta next to nubs of crabmeat and scallops. End off your meal here with a strawberry and elderflower sundae ($14), best paired with buttermilk waffles ($15) and a cup of coffee to kill the sugar.

  • Restaurants
  • Tanjong Pagar

This sandwich joint takes Singapore’s sandwich game to levels beyond your basic tuna mayo stack. Think crispy hot chicken ($16), which comes well-stuffed with a spicy fried chicken thigh, tex mex slaw, chilli mayo, and hot honey in between potato buns. Or get the sinful peanut butter jelly ($8) that comes in cornflake-crusted milk and chocolate bread. – available only on weekends and weekday mornings. A word of warning: these sandwiches are messy, over-the-top affairs, so have a pack of napkins at the ready.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Bukit Timah

Atlas Coffeehouse might be located in a quiet neighbourhood of Bukit Timah, but it still draws a healthy weekend crowd. Most are here for brunch, which serves hot-favourites that include smashed avo and watermelon ($19.50) and soft scrambled eggs over sourdough ($16.50). Make sure to put in an order of its pancake ($16.50/$18.50) earlier – each of these desserts takes up to 20 minutes to prepare. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bedok

This beachside outlet of PS.Cafe is a soothing, spacious, airy space with plenty of light to lend a touch of a tropical holiday vibe. And with its new waterfront location comes an exclusive seafood-focused menu – get the chargrilled octopus ($21), where pork is swapped for the tender octopus in a char siew-inspired dish; or slurp up some lemongrass mussel and clam spaghetti ($29.50). Of course, the ever-popular truffle shoestring fries ($16) and sticky date pudding ($15) are avaialble here as well.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • River Valley

Coffee-lovers might come for its rotating range of single-origin brews, but others drop by for its uncommonly good brunch classics. Get the marmite mushrooms ($19) for an uncommon dish, or the Common Man Veggie Wonderland ($26) for a well-balanced plate of organic free-range eggs, spinach, pesto tomatoes, avo, and halloumi. Filter coffee starts from $6.50, while espresso-based drinks start from $5. 

  • Restaurants
  • Australian
  • Outram

No office towers throw shadows on The Lokal's shophouse unit in Bukit Pasoh, yet you'll struggle to find a seat among white-collared types deep into lunchtime on a weekday. If it's eggs you're after, get the Pimp Your Breakfast, which beats any morning-after brunch: you have the freedom to assemble your very own plate. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • City Hall

This boulangerie – which first opened its flagship store at its eponymous neighbourhood – set up by celebrity baker Gontran Cherrier together with the Spa Esprit Group, serves french artisanal breads, tarts and coffee. Savoury options like the Smoked Salmon Squid Ink Roll ($9.50) and Ham Focaccia ($10.50) are great for satisfying the peckish while sweet options like the ever-popular Almond Croissant ($4.80) and the sinful Kouign-Amann ($5) are not-to-be-missed especially when bought fresh off the oven. For heartier mains, visit its latest diner concept and indulge in plates of sourdough waffles ($21/$23) and rainbow rice bowls ($19). 

  • Restaurants
  • Serangoon

What the heck is a jaffle? According to the Australians – after all, it was conceived Down Under – it's named after the jaffle iron invented in 1949 and is basically a toasted sandwich. At Amber Ember, you can find a slice of this Australian gastronomy. Splashed out in shades of dusty pink and warm neutrals, the Instagrammable café offers six playful jaffle options from Chessus Loves You ($14) to the Mala Del Ray ($15). 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Outram

Nylon Coffee Roasters opened its doors in 2012 and was one of the earliest boutique roasters in Singapore. They still remain a leading name when it comes to quality coffee here. Though the space is small, the joint has a loyal following of coffee drinkers who vouch that the coffee here is the best in town. Serving single-origin coffee, the brand is passionate about sustainability and transparency – don't be afraid to ask where your coffee is from. Nylon also offers a filter coffee 'subscription' from $20 a month which delivers straight to your home. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bukit Timah

If popular Toa Payoh ice cream café Creamier’s too inaccessible for your dessert fix, you’ll find an alternative in Sunday Folks, the brand’s breezier dessert bar at Chip Bee Garden. Bestsellers include earl grey lavender and sea salt gula Melaka ($8 each in cone/cup), but most will choose to have it served atop stacks of freshly made waffles. Popular options include the pistachio on waffles ($11.50) and dark chocolate Ferrero ($11.50). 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kallang

Follow the hipster past the huge covered metal gates and you’ll find Chye Seng Huat’s semi-secret (well, not so much anymore) compound in the Jalan Besar industrial zone. Headquarters of Third Wave coffee pioneers Papa Palheta, the two-storey coffee complex hides a coffee school and retail space on the second floor, while a full inventory of coffee gear dominates its ground floor café. Wait in line by the vinyl player piping Phoenix or The xx into the perpetually crowded space, and order an espresso ($3) or try its black cold brew ($7) with an Ethiopia Suke Quto blend with notes of citrus and earl grey. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bedok

It’s all about the beans at Dutch Colony Coffee Co. But you’ll want to balance out the caffeine with this quaint Siglap café’s breakfast and brunch menu. There are hearty platters with scrambled eggs, sausages and turkey bacon ($17), and house pancakes ($14) with seasonal berries. If the breakfast is enough to get you out of bed nice and early, the coffee will do an even better job. Dutch Colony expertly pours its brews (from $6.50) – you can choose either manual pour-over or by machine. Coffee aficionados can also look forward to its espresso flights (from $8).

Advertising
Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Queenstown

In case it doesn't ring a bell, Tan Tiong Hoe was who taught the founder of local roaster Papa Palheta, Leon Foo, how to roast his coffee. Now Jacob Tan rides on his father’s expertise – running Tiong Hoe & Co for half a century and as an apprentice at Dutch company Mirandolle Voute & Co – and portioned off about 600 sq ft of their flagship roaster in Queenstown to open the 10-seater café with business partner/fellow barista, Juliana, who learns the craft from senior Tan. There is no menu, so ask for any brew from the rotational range of single-origin coffee beans roasted, ground and brewed in-house.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Rochor

Three-time Singapore National Barista champion and ASEAN Barista champion Ryan Tan has a new coffee spot. But there are more than just coffee drinks ($3.50-$10). A comprehensive all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner plan is also in place. Specialties include berry ricotta hot cakes ($14.90), mentaiko prawn capellini ($18.90) and truffle potato fries ($14.90). For lubrication, a small selection of beer, cider and wine are available too. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tiong Bahru

Platters of pastries and cakes tempt your taste buds as you enter Plain Vanilla Bakery, but resist that because you’re here for one purpose: to capture those cupcakes, squash them between your teeth, reduce them to a sticky, gooey clump. Choose from a dozen flavours ($4.50 each): chocolate hazelnut’s a bold, Nutella-fuelled prize crowned with more nuts; red velvet’s made with Valrhona chocolate and capped with a thick cream cheese frosting; and cookies and cream’s a chocolatey affair with smashed Oreos weaved into its frosting. You’ll want to collect ’em all, we promise.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tiong Bahru

If you manage to nab seats in this perpetually packed café, order the eggs Benedict ($19) for wobbly poached eggs with molten centres that ooze when broken into, charred bacon streaked only on the fatty edges, and soft brioche buns that bring together the whole affair. Too bad the accompanying spicy roasted potatoes are an unseasoned afterthought. For a meatier dish, get your hands dirty with the 40 Hands Cubanos ($20). Fall-apart mojo pork, honey-smoked ham, melted cheese and piquant jalapeños are tucked into baguette halves from Tiong Bahru Bakery – except, unlike its menu description, the baguette doesn’t crackle a peep when teeth meet crust. Still, it’s greasy goodness with fries – or, if you really must, a salad – on the side. Best to come mid-afternoon to stave off the lunch crowd.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tanjong Pagar

From its high ceilings and concrete floors to its wooden-toped chairs and tables, miniature cactuses at each table and outdoor greenhouse-like seating area, Five Oars Coffee Roasters takes industrial-chic to a whole new level. Not only does its interior capture your eyes, this Melbourne-inspired café also has a vast array of brunch options available that's sure to satisfy your stomach. Think mentaiko mac and cheese, avocado grain bowls and fab coffee including a constantly rotating selection of filter brews.

  • Restaurants
  • Raffles Place

PUNCH appeals to your senses even before the food arrives. Its interiors of mostly white furniture with dashes of marble and wood are perfect to up your Instagram game, while the open courtyard at the back of house offers a boost of Vitamin D, wooden benches, greenery and a glimpse into the kitchen. That is, if you can even find the opaque glass door of this signboard-less café. Skip the café-standard breakfast offerings of poached eggs with avocado ($15) or mushrooms ($15) and pick from the lunch menu, which boasts a – dare we say it – punchier line-up.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bishan

Sibling café to Lunar Coffee Brewers and Atlas Coffeehouse, Columbus Coffee doesn’t disappoint with its minimalistic interior with accents of greenery and gold touches in a fairly spacious space. Known for its coffee, coffee fanatics will be able to choose between the ATLAS Blend and Nautica Blend for their espresso selection. Some dishes to keep a lookout for would be the creamy mushrooms on toasted sourdough ($14), Colombus' fried chicken burger and fries ($8), as well as the cereal prawn pasta ($19). Frequent café-goers would recognize some familiar crowd-favourites that are also available on the menu such as the butterscotch banana pancake ($18.50) and salmon soba noodles ($18).  

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • City Hall

Tucked away in Chijmes, The Glasshouse is a quiet escape from the bustle of city life right in the beating heart of City Hall. The café is flushed with natural light, with pops of green adding colour to the otherwise white and bare space. Spend a lazy afternoon reclining in one of its Cogswell chairs sipping on specialty coffees from a variety of roasters on a rotational basis alongside artisanal sourdough breads topped with smoked salmon, avocado and the like.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tanjong Pagar

Looking for pastries and sweets to complete your lunch? Check out Pantler, a quiet café along Telok Ayer. Helmed by Matthias Phua and chef Tomoharu Morita, both of whom came through the kitchens of Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Joël Robuchon Singapore, Pantler serves up cakes, sandwiches and pies made with carefully sourced ingredients from Japan and France. Try a cheesecake ($6.80) or chou puff ($4.90) for a taste of Pantler’s brand of delicate and refined pastries.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Raffles Place

Ciao, bella! There’s a new café hidden away along Craig Road. The comfortable space flooded in natural light serves brunch staples like avocado toast ($17) sprinkled with quinoa, feta and pomegranate as well as spiced scramble ($18), silky scrambled eggs topped with mushrooms and crispy kale. If it’s a cuppa you’re looking for, you’re at the right place. Co-owner Regina Tay is a National Barista Championship Winner and roasts the beans in-house in small batches.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Tiong Bahru
  • price 2 of 4

We're all guilty of it. Mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, double-tapping perfectly-styled #foodporn pics and putting the restaurant on our list of places to try, just because it looks good. It’s a strategy that brings in the crowd – so it’s understandable why the team behind Merci Marcel, which also runs Ô Comptoir and Ô Batignolles, has made this new French eatery as photogenic as possible. Potted plants line the rattan bar and there’s garden space out back that’s drenched in sunlight. In the day, expect ’grammable brunch requisites such as eggs benedict ($21) and French toast ($17) alongside more uncommon imports like marinated crab tartine ($19) and ravioles de royans ($18) – a must-order. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kallang

Just a stone's throw away from Old Hen Coffee Bar lies Old Hen Kitchen, serving up a brunch menu alongside its usual coffee and cake options. The open kitchen concept alongside the wooden furniture and little pockets of greenery creates a cozy familiar environment whether it be for a satisfying lunch or for a chill afternoon with a book in hand and coffee in the other. Aside from the usual café offerings, you can look forward to unique options such as the Mochi Pancake Stack ($15), Ahi Tuna Salad ($14), and the Chilli Crab Fries ($12). Of course you can’t forget their famous selections of cold brews – Black ($6), White ($6.50), Cold Dark Cocoa ($6.50), Cold Matcha Milk ($7), and the Cold Mocha ($7.50).

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bedok

Taking its name from the 18th century term for coffeehouses in London – noisy, men-only affairs which cost a penny to enter and where coffee was served up along with the latest news and gossip. True to the origins of its name, Penny University aims to be as inviting and dynamic as possible. Order eggs your way ($13) and top it off with all your favourite trimmings or go healthy with its vegetarian tea-smoked beetroot ($24). For coffee, you can choose between the Penny's Blend and a range of single origin coffees.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Geylang

From the custom DIY furniture to the charmingly inexperienced pair of owners as they fumble to put together your order, Brawn & Brains’ unpretentiousness – closeted away in a hard-to-spot nook at Geylang’s old badminton hall – oozes an infectious quality. Cramped yet cosy, there’s no fancy overthought, intricate brunch menu to be had – just good, lovingly-brewed coffee (an organic, single-origin from Brazil, $3.50-$4) and the popular oven-baked molten eggs ($16.80). 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Changi 

Located in the outskirts of Changi, this not-so-hidden-gem surrounded by lush greenery is a blast to the past with a great variety of collectors’ treasures and vintage items on display. And we mean brightly coloured Vespas, antique bicycles and vinyl players that sit on shelves, immersing diners in nostalgia. Despite its ulu location, it’s worth a trip down if you’re in a big group as the café seats a whooping 300 people both in-house and at the outdoor al-fresco dining area.

  • Restaurants
  • Orchard

Oriole Coffee + Bar is a cafe by day, bar with music by night with the highest standard and quality coffee from tree to cup. With house pour, wine, and beer, this bar promises a hearty lunch and dinners served daily. Of course, being a coffee bar, the joes are not to be missed – signature in-house cold-brewed coffee comes in black ($7), white ($8) or with MAD milk ($9), a non-dairy nut concoction of macadamias, almonds and dates. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Chinatown

From the creator of Strangers' Reunion and Curious Palette comes another concept cafe. With large window panes and a spacious seating area that fits up to 60 seats, the modern café draws plenty of curious onlookers. A must-try is the waffles (from $12) served with fresh fruits or your choice of ice cream.

  • Restaurants
  • Tanjong Pagar

If you’re a fan of laid-back, Aussie-style café nosh, check out Sarnies. Opened by Australian Ben Lee, this sandwich shop lives up to its name with rustic ’wiches like chicken schnitzel ($14.80) and smoked salmon ($15). For heartier fare, check out its evening and weekend brunch menus, brimming with sinful options like breakfast burger ($19) with fried egg and potato rosti, cinnamon french toast stack ($22). Top it off with Sarnies’ cuppas that have made it to Lonely Planet’s list of best coffees – choose from an exhaustive list of brews including flat whites, macchiatos and mochas.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Tanjong Pagar

Café by day and cocktail bar by night, this outfit serves up brunch-style meals for the working crowd. Get the avocado toastie ($8) for a quick, healthy lunch, or load up on the chicken meatball pasta ($13) if you're feeling hungry. Pair your meals with a cuppa or a glass of cold-pressed juice.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Serangoon

From the folks of Rich & Good Cake Shop, this Plain Jane Cafe is no plain Jane. The café has a quaint homely feel, with its neutral-coloured furniture and marble-tiled floor that won't look out of place in any local apartment. This shop has a reputation for its Not So Plain Jane swiss rolls, a Matcha flavoured confectionary that's soft on the outside and creamy on the inside. Going at $5.90 per piece, this swiss roll is definitely worth the trip and money.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Kallang

Another in the clutch of cafés on Rangoon Road in Farrer Park, Brunches Cafe is a vintage-themed spot serving all day breakfast and gourmet sandwiches. Its high tea set with cake slices, mini tarts and sliders, is limited to ten sets a day, and is served in a bird cage. Apart from brunch staples like the eggs Benedict ($16.50) and mains like the baked smoked salmon pizza ($16.50), Brunches Cafe also serves vegetarian options such as the vegetarian pasta in tomato sauce ($15.90) and brioche french toast ($14.50).

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tanjong Pagar

It’s hard to get particularly excited over yet another vintage café, but we make exceptions for My Awesome Café on Telok Ayer. Located on the ground floor of what used to be the Telok Ayer Chung Hwa Free Clinic, My Awesome Café takes the retrospective-looking trend aesthetic and knocks it out of the ballpark with equal parts knack for sourcing and creative ingenuity. The food is pretty awesome too with salads, sandwiches and coffee available during the day and wines and platters taking over at night. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Marine Parade

Hidden at the far east part of the island, this undiscovered artisanal coffee shop puts a unique twist to modern cafés. Blending both art and coffee, the art gallery part of the shop has paintings made from coffee – blending in with its otherwise crisp and clean interior. There aren't a lot of options on the menu, just a couple types of beans done in your preferred style as well seasonal cakes and bakes but that doesn't mean you shouldn't add this place to your café hopping list.

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising