The 10 Best Coffee Shops and Cafes in Ipoh, Malaysia

Local and western-style breakfasts at this kopitiam
Local and western-style breakfasts at this kopitiam | © YSK1 / Shutterstock
Photo of Sam Bedford
27 May 2018

Ipoh combines colonial and cultural heritage with jagged limestone hills and cave temples. After a recent tourist campaign, more travellers are embracing the city located halfway between Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Culture Trip rounds up the best cafés in Ipoh for coffee lovers in quirky locations as well as cosy spots for tea.

Burps & Giggles

Cafe, Malaysian, European, American
Map View
White coffee
Burps & Giggles offers a great selection of coffee in a unique interior | © weedezign/Shutterstock
Burps & Giggles in the heart of Ipoh’s old town provides a comfortable and intriguing location for a break from sightseeing. Featuring a variety of bits and bobs decorating the interior and colourful murals covering the walls, this café in Ipoh feels arty and bohemian. Read some of the cheeky quotes and talk to the local artisan selling their goods in the corner. Drinks include espresso, black and milk coffee, tea and fruit juices.

Thumb’s Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, Halal, Asian, European, $$$
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grilled chicken
You can enjoy their western cuisine such as grilled chicken and lamb chops | © USDA

Perak’s most famous concept café, Thumbs Café, combines a strange, but a seemingly fitting mixture of local and Western styles. Sit on the antique Asian sofas or lean against the British-style bar. Local owner, Mr Elias Yahaya, has travelled extensively and used his experience to influence the decorations of this halal café in Ipoh. Expect to find a wide variety of drinks, Western dishes and Asian favourites. Thumb’s opens in the evening and might make a cosy spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Plan B @ Old Town Ipoh

Cafe, Malaysian, European, $$$
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Cafe at Ipoh, Malaysia
Get your morning fix at Plan B located in the Old Town of Ipoh | © Faezah/Shutterstock

Located in the old town, Plan B emphasises on serving high-quality artisan coffee. The coffee shop in Ipoh is one of six branches in Malaysia under the BIG Group. Step inside and the décor immediately feels industrialised with exposed red brick walls and the creative use of steel and stone. Large windows maximise the natural light, giving in an airy and spacious feel. Anyone in the old town looking for a morning fix of good coffee and a light breakfast or early lunch can check out Plan B. Food choices include pastries, cakes sandwiches and pasta.

STG Tea House Cafe

Cafe, Malaysian, European, $$$
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Traditional English tea
You can enjoy high tea with some snacks if you're not into coffee | © Inna Taran/Shutterstock

STG Tea House provides the opportunity to drink high tea inside a former colonial bungalow. The grand, white structure stands elegantly inside its manicured lawns with both indoor and outdoor seating options. Offering a variety of drinks, including alcohol and food, curious tourists interested in Ipoh’s past will appreciate stopping by. Just be aware that STG is a short drive from the city centre.

Petit Mary Patisserie

Cafe, Malaysian, European, American, $$$
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Coffee and cake
Indulge in their variety of cakes and pastries with a cup of strong coffee | © Germanova Antonina/Shutterstock

Petit Mary Patisseries, inside a two-storey converted house, combines a selection of delicious cakes and pastries with a warm interior. Expect to find a European flair and ambience as well as a cuteness factor that makes customers want to stay longer. The scones, Belgium chocolate cake and mango cake are highlights.

Cafe de Eight

Cafe, Malaysian, Dessert
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Pork and cheese charcoal burger
Try their signature charcoal pork burger | © gowithstock/Shutterstock

The small and difficult-to-find café in Ipoh provides a nostalgic twist in the old town. Book- and movie-themed relics along with old pictures and posters create a classic, chic style. Design aside, Café de Eight offers a reasonable selection of drinks and food at surprisingly affordable prices. Enjoying lunch or a late afternoon tea inside this quirky spot will generate lots of opportunities for photographs.

Espresso Lab

Cafe, Dessert, European, $$$
Map View
For those who have high taste for coffee, find your perfect cup of coffee here | © mavo/Shutterstock

As the name suggests, Espresso Lab is all about the perfect coffee. Located a short drive from the old town, this café in Ipoh specialises in serving some of the city’s best coffee. Using fine coffee beans brewed by skilled baristas, the drinks include old favourites like Lattes and Americanos as well as some lesser-known types. Cakes and pastries are available here too. Anyone with a love of coffee or coffee connoisseurs will enjoy a drink here.

Patisserie BoutiQue

Cafe, Dessert, $$$
Map View

Step inside this café in Ipoh and immediately get the sense of teleporting across the world to Paris. Using a mixture of concepts, the interior elicits a welcoming environment and a cosy place to sit and enjoy a drink and slice of cake. Conveniently located in the middle of the old town near Birch Memorial Clock Tower and Ipoh’s colonial buildings, it makes for an ideal place to relax after exploring the neighbourhood. The menu includes a variety of freshly prepared cakes with the Crepe Cakes and Crème Brûlée coming highly recommended. Prices range from RM6 ($1.50) to RM15 ($3.80).

Nam Heong White Coffee

Cafe, Malaysian, Chinese, Dessert
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egg tarts
Head to Nam Heong coffee shop for a more local taste for breakfast | © See-ming Lee

For a cup of Ipoh’s famous Old Town white coffee and a local breakfast, head to Nam Heong. This café in Ipoh is one of four branches around Malaysia that specialises in keeping culinary and gastronomical traditions alive. With a selection of drinks, an extensive food menu along with pastries and cakes, this forms a convenient location to stop after or before exploring the old town. Pro tip: a local favourite is Ipoh white coffee and egg tart.

Jose & Deli Eatery

Cafe, Dessert, European, Asian
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White Coffee
Enjoy a cup of coffee in a nicely decorated eatery in Ipoh | © July Prokopiv/Shutterstock

A small café inside the French Hotel in Ipoh’s new town offers not only a trendy place to hang out but also a selection of dishes, pastries and cakes. While it’s relatively expensive compared to most cafés in Ipoh, Jose & Deli Eatery provides a classy experience. Expect to find a variety of fusion meals, Western dishes and Asian favourites as well as finger food.