Does anybody else still have vivid daydreams about the trend that was café-hopping from a few years ago? It’s safe to say this trend has since abated but if you were anything like me, weekends were sacred: reserved for rendezvousing with friends at some newly-opened café… and who can forget the obligatory ritual of pictures first, partake later?
While cafés in Singapore were a common sight in the upscale areas of the island like Katong, Tiong Bahru and Tanjong Pagar, they’ve slowly become a part of the average neighbourhood landscape as well.
So how do these businesses stay current and stand out against their competitors? Simply put – it’s all about #aesthetics. From cafés inspired by Australia, Japan and South Korea, to an eatery that will take you back to Singapore circa the ‘60s, we’re bringing you enough recs to last three months of weekends. Here are the 12 IG-worthy cafes to visit in Singapore!
1. Café de Nicole's Flower
Pic credit: Café de Nicole's Flower
Is it really a list of IG-worthy cafés without Café de Nicole's Flower? This floral heaven is a venture by one of Singapore’s leading florists, complete with a flower shop at the entrance that perfumes the air and adds to the fairy tale atmosphere. Nestled in Telok Kurau, this is the perfect place if you’re looking to live out your woodland nymph fantasies.
The café menu is comprehensive, to say the least. From Waffles ($12.90) to Açaí Bowls ($9.90) and even timeless favourites like Aglio e Olio ($21.90), there’s something for even the pickiest eaters. A popular item on the menu is the Soufflé Pancakes (from $15.90), and the range of flavours include Matcha, Tiramisu, Dark Chocolate & Pecan Hazelnut, but just a heads up: the estimated wait time for the pancakes is up to 30 minutes as each pancake order is made from scratch.
The drink choices range from the usual suspects like Mocha ($6.90) to Artisinal Gryphon Tea ($9.80). Additionally, the cafe has a special drinks menu for the more adventurous: Mermaid Tears ($7.90) which is a Butterfly Pea Tea with freshly squeezed lemon juice, and Summer Holiday ($9.80), red grapefruit purée and Greek yoghurt topped with whipped cream and a slice of grapefruit… yum.
For reservations and the full menu, please refer to the Café de Nicole's Flower website.
Café de Nicole's Flower
Address: UNI Building, 224 Telok Kurau Road #01-01
Opening Hours: 9AM-11PM (Tuesday to Sunday)
Price Point: $$
2. Walking on Sunshine
Pic credit: Walking on Sunshine
Walking on Sunshine makes a bold claim: the best, most Instagram-worthy café in Singapore – and it certainly delivers. This garden café features a cottage-core theme with live plants, floral arrangements, dried flower bunches and woodsy furnishings. If that doesn’t sell itself, maybe the sheer juxtaposition of an award-winning salon on the same site will pique your interest.
Still, the draw of its Korean-inspired menu with Mains for breakfast, brunch and dinner, Desserts, Drinks and (believe it or not) Ginseng brings us back time and again. The Seoul-ful fare we’d recommend, that come in portions meant to be shared, are the Bulgogi Fries ($10.00), Kimchi pizza ($17.50), and Korean style fried chicken with yangneom sauce ($23.50).
You can get all-time favourite eggs benny here with chicken ham ($16.50) or bacon ($17.50), and don’t leave until you’ve had their earthy ginseng coffee latte ($8.00). If you’re brunching, go with the Signature souffle pancake ($20.50) that scores full marks for presentation and will also have you saying 잘 먹었습니다 (jal meogeosseumnida) like a consummate Korean!
For the full menu, please refer to the Walking on Sunshine website.
Walking on Sunshine
Address: 181 Orchard Road, #03-07 Orchard Central
Opening Hours: 11AM-10PM (Monday to Friday) and 10AM-10PM (Saturday and Sunday)
Price Point: $$$
3. Five Oars Coffee Roasters
Pic credit: Five Oars Coffee Roasters
We cannot begin to express how excited we were to discover that Five Oars Coffee Roasters does coffee – because caffeine, duh – and that they do it well. This coffee house was founded by five friends on the premise of sharing great coffee after all, and the dedication to this end brought them to research extensively in “bean varietals from all over the world”.
Come unwind in this minimalist space with a cuppa of their labour of love, and treat yourself to Pain au Chocolat ($4.50), a Cubanos Sandwich ($16.00) or Crab Scramble ($18.00) on the side. Personally, I’ll make a return visit just for the White Wine Vongole ($20.00) and am looking forward to having it in the east once the new branch opens its doors.
The experience doesn’t have to end when you leave; you can purchase ready-to-drink bottled brews or a bag of coffee beans to DIY at home. Pick from options like the vegan-friendly Oat Cold Brew ($24.00 for a Bundle of 6), a Mahogany blend ($15.00) with its distinct chocolate/nutty flavour profile, the fruity and floral Konga blend ($18.00) or go bold with La Union ($24.00).
For the menu, please refer to Five Oars Coffee Roasters’ website.
Five Oars Coffee Roasters
Address: 8 Marina View, #01-01 Asia Square Tower 1
Opening Hours: 8AM-5PM (Monday to Friday, except Public Holidays)
Price Point: $$
4. Bearded Bella
Pic credit: Bearded Bella
Whether you decide to dine al fresco or in the cosy, warmly-lit indoors, expect to be wowed at Bearded Bella. This place is such a hot spot that you can expect a full house and having to wait for a table even on a weekday afternoon. (Pro tip: reserve a table in advance!)
In truth, we came here specifically for the Soft Serve ($14.50), a light and textured raspberry, lychee and rose soft serve with raspberry caviar, pistachio, meringue crunch and baked tuile. Within minutes of being seated and after none-too-discreetly eyeballing other patrons’ orders however, we added on the Big Brekkie Our Way ($25.00) and Scallop & Cold Pasta ($22.00). Long story short: no regrets.
Shout out to the baristas: I would come back just for a cup of their brewed double espresso with soy ($5.50).
In addition to grub, Bearded Bella has got you covered if you’re looking to gift someone – or yourself à la #treatyoself. The French Press Brewer Set with Manual Grinder ($160.00) comes as a set with a kettle and 200g of single-origin coffee beans roasted in-house. If you’re down to rep the café, a black and white trucker cap ($18.00) is also available for purchase online.
For reservations, the full menu and supply store, please refer to the Bearded Bella website.
Address: 8 Craig Road
Opening Hours: 7:30AM-5PM (Monday to Thursday), 7:30AM-10:30PM (Friday), 7:30AM-6PM (Weekends and Public Holidays)
Price Point: $$$
Pic credit: Hvala
Hvala prides themselves on quali-tea so much so a team makes biannual visits to their traditional tea supplier in Japan. Such is the commitment to Japanese tea culture, down to the attention to details like white garden stones, low tables and floor seating arrangements. There is a sense of openness to the café space that is meant to encourage connecting with friends and strangers alike.
Tea purists can opt for a hot brew green tea; you can’t go wrong with Sencha ($5.80), or else try the Kamairicha ($7.80) which comes from pan-fried rather than steamed tea leaves. Oolong, black tea and white tea are the other hot brew teas that range from $6.80 to $14.80 a cup.
The iced Genmaicha Latte ($6.80) is described as a shot of toasty and nutty genmaicha, which is a combination of green tea and roasted rice, layered onto fresh milk, and the fact that I had two servings in one sitting is a testament to just how delicious it is. If you are partial to sweeter tea, then the Hojicha Latte ($5.80 hot, $6.80 iced) is for you!
Indulge that sweet tooth further by pairing your drink with un petit gâteau: Honey Earl Grey Hazelnut, Sweet Potato or Yuzu ($8.80 each). Vegans will rejoice at the dairy-free gelato and sorbet ($5.80-6.80) found here with a dozen flavours to choose from, including Goma, or black sesame, and Matcha in three varying degrees of intensity.
For the full menu, please refer to the Hvala website.
Address: CHIJMES 30 Victoria Street, #01-04/05 and 111 Somerset Rd, #01-10
Opening Hours: 12-9:30PM (daily)
Price Point: $$