The Best Coffee Shops and Cafes in Singapore

Local and western-style breakfasts at this kopitiam
Local and western-style breakfasts at this kopitiam | © YSK1 / Shutterstock
Photo of Tarandip Kaur
5 June 2018

Cafés are everything from meeting places for friends and workers to an exploration or experience for the intrepid creative or traveller. Here we look at 10 of such cafes in Singapore that should satisfy you and hopefully add something to your life, all starting with just a cup of coffee.

The Wired Monkey

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Middle Eastern, $$$
The Wired Monkey Cafe
A hip cafe tucked away in Singapore's Little India | © The Wired Monkey

Little India is one of the most popular destinations for travellers due to its throwback architecture and a strong atmosphere of historical Singapore that’s still preserved and thriving in the ever-changing cityscape. It’s here we find the first of our haunts, The Wired Monkey. Offering a wide selection of coffee in a comfortable table-top environment, the place is a chic place to unwind. Even their kitchen offers a whole array of delicious food, ranging from Middle Eastern to traditional southeast delicacies, all with their own twist.

The Muffinry by Bakery & Bar

Bakery, Cafe, Dessert, Contemporary, $$$
The Muffinry interiors
The cosy and intimate interiors of The Muffinry | © The Muffinry by Bakery & Bar

This is a quaint little place, very reminiscent of old-school shophouses. It’s cosily tucked away in a nice, little space right smack in the commercial district of Singapore. On top of that, as the name suggests, this bakery offers a whole array of desserts — muffins, pies, and tarts and cakes — to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. You can also check out the upper floors for a more isolated visit away from the bustle outside.

Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, $$$

A classic of the Singapore coffee scene, expect it to be a little packed due to its fame. They are known for constantly changing their blends, which adds a whole level of excitement to their coffee. This is the place to be to experience the work of a true veteran of the coffee scene in Singapore with more than 50 years on the scene. So if you want a more experimental experience, or if you’re a die-hard coffee lover, this is where you should pull up a seat.

The Coastal Settlement

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, $$$
The Coastal Settlement
Rustic, old-school interiors | © The Coastal Settlement

Located in an isolated spot brimming with lush greenery, this place is a blast from the past with its décor. Packed with nostalgia and memorabilia from vintage scooters to classic TVs and typewriters, this is as much a café as a museum. Besides feasting on the beautiful interiors, don’t forget to feast on their extensive menu of tantalising main dishes, from Western to Asian.

Tong Ah Eating House

Cafe, Asian, Contemporary, $$$

If you’re looking for a very Singaporean experience with classic coffeeshop décor and a cranky owner to boot (pro tip: try not to get on his wrong side), you might want to check this place out in Chinatown. Located in the infamous Keong Saik Street, this is the secret place that everyone from all walks of life visits. Well-renowned for its local coffee, and especially its toast, this is as traditional as it gets.

Coffee Break

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, $$$
Coffee Break
Nothing like a cuppa at Coffee Break | © Coffee Break

Here’s another classic. Coffee Break is a family-owned business that preserves the older coffee culture very well. If you want a taste of classic old-school Singapore coffee, you have to check this out. The present generation running the stall has combined new flavours in its dishes and even its coffee and tea have a wider range of selection. The classics are still there of course. Also worth noting is that this place is in a hawker centre, an experience not to be missed in Singapore itself.

Afterglow by Anglow

Cafe, Vegetarian, $$$

With the surge in vegetarian and vegan eateries across the globe, Singapore has seen its fair share as well. Afterglow is one of the more interesting ones, offering a wide array of coffee and tea products on top of healthy plant-based food. Their menu offers a cold brew served with a fresh orange wedge and one of their specialty drinks is pink soy latte, containing beetroot, ginger juice and cinnamon soy milk.

Enchanted Cafe

Cafe, Contemporary, $$$

A café that looks like a modernist fantasy delight, this place is fantastic for its ambiance and ethereal charm. The presentation of its drinks is what it’s most famous for, with the charming Elixir being the most famous. It basically looks like something out of a Harry Potter book. The coffee here is great, well-prepared and a delight to savour amid what might be the most fascinating interiors of any café in Singapore.

Rise & Grind Coffee Co.

Bistro, Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
Rise & Grind Coffee Co.
Cosy interiors of Rise & Grind Coffee Co. | © Rise & Grind Coffee Co.

If you’re looking for a place to kickback, relax and just basically enjoy what you’re eating or drinking, Rise & Grind Coffee Co. is probably one of the best places to be. The layout of the tables and chairs are very close together, mimicking a more homely vibe that is couched with some great classic coffee and tea with exceptional service to round off. The food is mostly Western, and it’s known for serving one of the best burgers here.

Just Want Coffee

Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
Just Want Coffee
Casual interiors of Just Want Coffee | © Just Want Coffee

As its name suggests, this place is all about the coffee, and they are very serious about it. This place may seem very innocuous. Its design, and even the area it’s located, may not be immediately appealing, but this is what makes this one of the best kept secrets here. It serves a wide array of beans from across the world, always carefully prepared every step of the way. The aroma and taste is intoxicating. If you’re genuinely looking for good coffee in the heartlands but still a stone’s throw away from the main hot spots of Singapore, you cannot go wrong here.

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