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Jing Si Books and Café
Photograph: Jing Si Books and Café

The best cafés that are hidden within bookstores in Singapore

Spend the day surrounded by warm brews and a good read

Fabian Loo
Written by
Fabian Loo
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Reading is certainly fun – until you start feeling that tummy growl in hunger. Fuel up for a literary adventure at these conducive places that combine books and brews, allowing you to sip a warm cuppa in one hand while flipping through the pages on another. For those looking to spend a day getting lost in a paperback, complete with aromatic brews and light bites, these cafés hidden within bookstores have you covered.

RECOMMENDED: The best bookstores in Singapore

  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Raffles Place

Formed in 2011, Epigram Books is Singapore’s largest independent publisher with titles like The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew and State Of Emergency by Jeremy Tiang under its belt. Now, you can find all your favourite local books by Epigram at their first physical store on Maxwell Road. Spend the afternoon browsing over 400 books in the store (90 percent of the books are by local authors) while you sip on a latte and other espresso-based drinks.

  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Raffles Place

Zall Bookstore is a haven for lovers of Chinese culture, literature, and art. The expansive two-storey space stocks over 30,000 Chinese literary works for both adults and children, and even comes outfitted with a café to rest your legs and spend some quiet reading time. On the menu: a variety of caffeine-boosting drinks, including coffee blends, Chinese Chu tea, and Taiwan tea.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Outram

Grassroots Book Room is a quaint space at Bukit Pasoh largely dedicated to Chinese literature. But there’s more to the space than just literary works. Venture further, beyond shelves of paperback and knick-knacks to find Leeter Tunku Kopitiam, a whimsical café themed after the classic children's story Little Prince. Its name is a ‘Singlish’ play on the book’s title, and the menu features a range of warm brews and bakes.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Yishun

Jing Si Books and Café offers a slice of zen in the city. Located within the Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre in Yishun, the tranquil location might be opened by a Buddhist organisation but the space is open to people from all walks of life. Large windows from the dine-in area overlook the Yishun Pond, offering clear views of the water and nature. It makes for a peaceful setting to immerse in literature, or even get some work done. Tea lovers will also appreciate its selection of insecticide- and pesticide-free brews, made using leaves harvested from its own plantation in Taiwan.

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