Once in awhile (or maybe every weekend), we all crave to get away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. Pictures posted onto Instagram of friends and influencers visiting cute cafes don’t help much either. Good food and a nice environment for a moment of relaxation, is that too much to ask for?
Fret not, we’ve done some digging to simplify your café search. If traveling during the pandemic still makes you a bit nervous, there’s plenty of places in Singapore that are great to unwind and grab a meal, either solo or with loved ones. Here are some of our favourite cafes and restaurants in Singapore that will make you feel like you’ve instantly transported to a different country.
Reminiscent of a quaint European street with cosy restos serving up hearty fare, Arcade at The Capitol Kempinski houses a series of dining establishments like La Scala Ristorante, Berthold Delikatessen, Frieda and more.
Named after the iconic theatre in Milan, La Scala Ristorante — similarly housed within another iconic theatre in Singapore — is a classic Italian dining outpost with a brick-fire oven. If you’re there for lunch on a weekday, their affordable two and three-course lunches ($21++ and $26++ respectively) are worth checking out.
At Frieda, feast on homely German classics like Grandma’s Potato Soup. And of course, be sure to indulge in a beer or two! It’s one of the country’s most famous exports, after all.
Psst, from Sunday to Thursday, 11.30am to 7pm, enjoy Frieda’s housepour wines and beers at $8++. Even better, if you’re there slightly later from 9 to 10pm, housepour wines, beers, Jagermeister and Schnapps go on offer for $7++.
Haven’t gotten enough of German cuisine? Down the street from Frieda at Arcade is Berthold Delikatessen, where the smell of aromatic coffee will waft into your nose before you even spot the cafe. The German delicatessen brews the most fragrant coffee which you can enjoy with German-style sandwiches and salads.
A stylish and contemporary cafe with loads of natural light, we forsee this Tanjong Katong cafe becoming a hit favourite amongst eastsiders. Depending on what time you arrive, there’s different menus for you to pick from with brunch available from 8am to 5pm, afternoon lunch from 11 onwards and dinner from 5pm to 10pm.
Run by the folks behind Apollo Coffee Bar and Columbus Coffee Co, this is also a cafe with a little… alcoholic twist. It comes fully stocked with a vintage wine bar that opens up during dinner time. Perfect for an afternoon of lounging with a segue into dinner and drinks.
Where: 266 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437053
A coffee-centric establishment where they source and roast coffee beans themselves, Co-exist Coffee has now opened another branch in the East. Nestled in Paya Lebar at the Lifelong Learning Institute, this outlet is massive, sprawling over two stories. The high ceilings and open space definitely calls to mind some of the cafe’s we’ve seen in Korea.
Where: 11 Eunos Road 8, #01-02, Singapore 408601
A café concept in the heart of Joo Chiat, this is a eatery that serves western brunch classics with Japanese flair. Serving contemporary dishes using the freshest Japanese ingredients, dining at Café Natsu is a luxurious yet comforting affair. While the dishes here are a bit on the pricey side, you’ll be guaranteed premium produce in your food. Take the Florentine ($30), a brunch dish served with spanner crab, poached eggs, wasabi spinach, miso hollandaise where you can even add caviar ($12).
Where: 283 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427537
Tucked away in the centrally located Marine Cove enclave in East Coast Park, East Coast Commune is a spot of comfort amidst it all. Step inside and indulge in our selection of wholesome fare aimed at delighting both palate and soul. Look forward to specialty coffee, cold pressed juices, hearty sandwiches, fresh bakes and more.
Where: 1000 East Coast Park #01-03, Singapore 449876
If you haven’t heard about Mr Holmes Bakehouse and its signature cruffins from San Francisco, then it’s about time you should. Cruffins have taken over the bake scene since 2013 in America and it has been a hit amongst the masses. For the unacquainted, the iconic puffed-up pastry is widely known for its layered and flaky exterior that remains gloriously moist inside. It’s also each cream-piped and sugar-dusted with its own flavours, that range from Tiramisu Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip Cream and a weekend-only exclusive Peanut Butter Milkshake.
Aside from the cruffins, Mr Holmes Bakehouse also serves other classics like croissants, deep-fried donuts, danishes, cookies, refreshing quenchers and more.
The cafe has now opened up their second outlet at Raffles Place, with the decor featuring their custom-designed scheme of pink and white, and the famous “I got baked” sign — which will definitely be flooding your Instagram feeds in the weeks to come.
Where: 9 Scotts Rd, 01-01/02/03 Pacific Plaza, Singapore 228210 and 9 Battery Rd, #01-01 MYP Centre, Singapore 049910
Pretend you’re living it up in Athens at this Greek-inspired cafe in Siglap. Blending traditional and contemporary recipes, along with fresh ingredients, Blu Kouzina offers an extensive lineup of salads, pitas, dips, meats and seafood for you to choose from. What’s more, the cafe also boasts an interior that transports you to Greece with a signature scheme of blue and white decor – you’ll definitely want to take a few shots for the ‘Gram at this hot spot.
Where: 907 East Coast Road, #01-01, Singapore, 459107 and 10 Dempsey Road, #01-20, Singapore, 247700
Joji’s Diner is the new kid on the block and has recently made waves on the internet for its hip and retro interior. What’s more, the place is really hard to miss — just look out for its neon signage and bright red doors that stand out from the slew of other stores in the vicinity.
On top of that, the establishment serves up classic American grub such as Chicken and Waffle ($12.90), Smash Burger ($12.90), and towering milkshakes that come in four flavours (from $8.90). If you’ve always wanted to try American-style offerings, then this is the place to be.
Where: 534 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534549
Sharing the space with Poppy Flora & Nature Studio, Wildseed Cafe is a quaint little spot on the ground level of The Summerhouse. The exposed brick walls on the interior of the cafe gives off an industrial and vintage vibe to the cafe, whilst the flowers from the florist add a pop of colour. Its location makes it seem as if it’s on the outskirts of a town. With few people patronising the cafe on a Saturday morning, it’s a quiet place for a relaxing brunch.
Where: 3 Park Lane, Singapore 798387
Wheeler’s Estate, situated in the same area as Wildseed Cafe, is housed in a refurbished colonial bungalow that was built for the military personnel of the British Royal Air Force. With a cafe and grill house on the first storey of the establishment, and a restaurant on the second, you’ll surely be spoilt for choices.
Opt for a seat on the ground floor – the rattan chairs, marble tables and high ceilings exude a chill beach holiday vibe that will get your friends wondering if you’ve travelled over the weekends.
If brunch is not your thing, visit Wheeler’s Estate at night. Enjoy your dinner as the fairy lights illuminate the night sky and local musicians sing in the background.
Where: 2 Park Lane, Singapore 798387
Seasoned cafe hoppers, you know we all look for these three factors in a good cafe – aesthetic interior, natural lighting and delectable food. And it’s safe to say that Merci Marcel delivers all three.
While the French restaurant now has three outlets — Tiong Bahru, Club Street and Orchard Road and even a sister restaurant called French Fold that serves galettes — we are partial to their original outlet in Eng Hoon street. That outlet has an outdoor space, main dining area and courtyard, and we suggest heading to the courtyard for your weekend brunch. The sunlight that enters through the glass roof makes good food and OOTD shots for Instagram.
Where: 56 Eng Hoon St, #01-68, Singapore 160056, 390 Orchard Road, 01-03 Palais Renaissance, Singapore 238871, 7-9 Club St, Singapore 069403
Amidst the lush greenery is Open Farm Community, a farm-to-table concept cafe that focuses on locally sourced dishes. The cafe can be found in a glasshouse-esque location which allows ample of natural light to enter. It also features an open-concept kitchen.
Alternatively, you can take a seat outside where the space overlooks their edible garden. With no HDB flats in sight, you’ll instantly be transported away from the concrete jungle.
Where: 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819
With its pretty pink exterior, you’ll feel like you’re being transported to Korea (sans the beautifully cool climate unfortunately). We’re not surprised to see cafe-goers taking photos in front of the cafe in Stylenanda (a popular Seoul fashion brand)-inspired poses.
The cafe carries the famous Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes and a simple menu with all-day breakfasts, wraps and pies. There’s also a hair salon specialising in hair colouring, so you can plan an entire day of pampering and indulge at Mod Cafe.
Where: 1A Kuo Chuan Ave, Singapore 426888
Take a step back in time and relive your kampong days when you visit Colbar. The cafe has been around since the 1950s and was carefully reconstructed again with the same materials after moving from its original location in 2003.
While its surroundings have changed with high-rise buildings erected nearby, this cafe seems to have been frozen in time. Colbar serves nothing like your modern cafe grub, instead, you’ll find simple Western classics and local delights, such as chicken chop and potato wedges, curry chicken and hor fun.
Where: 9A Whitchurch Rd, Singapore 138839
There are no wildlife animals walking around or giraffes popping their heads into the tents, but you’ll get to experience dining in a giant canvas tent surrounded by trees. The safari theme follows through on the inside with items and memorabilia collected from around the world.
Don’t leave without trying one of its colourful latte series exclusive to this outlet, such as the turmeric ginger latte, beetroot roselle latte and blue pea latte.
Where: 130E Minden Rd, Singapore 248819
Be swept away to the English countryside, when you dine at Cafe De Nicole’s Flowers. Its furnishing is homey and warm with soothing colours and flowers, perfect for hosting the perfect tea party. What’s great about this place is it’s pet-friendly, so you can bring doggo out for an afternoon of bonding.
Apart from its brunch menu, Cafe De Nicole’s Flowers also sells fluffy stacks of pancakes that are IG-worthy. Bring home some fresh flowers too on your way out.
Where: 224 Telok Kurau Road, #01-01, Singapore 423836
The Glasshouse feels spacious from the floor to ceiling windows flooding the cafe in natural light. Dominating the decor are plants and wooden furniture that reflect the greenhouse theme. Soak up the sunlight when you sit by the windows and grab some gourmet sandwiches and aromatic coffee.
Where: 30 Victoria St, #01-03 Chijmes, Singapore 187996
The mix of industrial design and plants, plus the smell of coffee at Five Oars Coffee Roasters instantly transports you to carefree days on a trip to Melbourne.
In the day, you’ll find familiar brunch items and grain bowls. For those who live in the east, this is a great weekend hangout to indulge in craft beer, burgers, pasta and mains.
Where: 39 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088462, and 6 Upper East Coast Rd, Singapore 455200
Lunch on the deck of Privé Keppel Bay and be surrounded by the views of yachts and boats parked at the marina. Look at little further and you may spot Mount Faber and Sentosa too.
Dig into hearty fare, from pizzas to burgers and local delights. On weekends, Privé Keppel Bay becomes vibrant with families pouring in on a slow Sunday morning for brunch.
Where: 2 Keppel Bay Vista Singapore 098382
Order a couple of mains and sides to share so you get to try a bit of everything. Make it a boozy brunch when you order some delicious cocktails to go with a table filled with food.
Where: 1 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089109
This local hipster joint is the brainchild of the second generation of the well-known Tanjong Rhu Pau. The retro-themed café boasts peach-coloured walls, juxtaposed with geometric tiles and emerald green accents.
The menu comprises of a range of handmade paus – of course – as well as dim sum items such as siew mai, har gao, and fan choy. The yuan yang pau is the most intriguing item of the lot, which is a mix of red bean paste and lotus paste with an encased salted egg yolk.
There is limited seating here, but you can still take your OOTD photo with a cup of Nanyang kopi while waiting for your order to be prepared.
Where: 285 Jalan Besar, Singapore 20894
This double-storey café-lounge in Keong Saik is reminiscent of a cosy African lodge, replete with brightly-coloured motifs, boldly-printed pillows, and larger-than-life portraits of African tribespeople. It also has a rooftop lounge with views of the neighbouring shophouses and the CBD, perfect for a sundowner complete with a Kenyan ale in hand.
Meanwhile, the cafe’s all-day menu showcases the diverse flavours of the African continent. Perhaps the Liberian Peanut Chicken Stew, Maharagwe (an East African fava bean stew), or Curried Avocado with Raw Garlic Toast might tickle your fancy?
Where: 12 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089265
Tucked away in the Kranji countryside stands Bollywood Veggies, a rustic sanctuary that holds a wide diversity of plants and edibles.
Family-friendly farm tours are offered on-site, where visitors can touch, smell, and taste the herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables grown in the fertile soil. There are also activity sessions such as plant-potting and rice-planting.
The eatery has a menu that is locally-sourced from its own farm, as well as farms around South-east Asia. Expect hearty dishes such as the Nasi Lemak Platter, as well as a good number of vegetarian options such as sayur lodeh and sambal eggs.
Where: 100 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore 719026
What would a cafe opened by a florist look like?
Like this: wooden furniture accented by indoor plants, with terrariums and pots of roses, orchids and sunflowers adorning the space.
The cafe even doubles as a furniture shop – you can even buy the very chair you’re sitting on!
Where: 160 Paya Lebar Rd, #01-07, Singapore 409022
Love the alfresco hipster food scene of Los Angeles or London? If so, you’ll dig these off-the-beaten-track container bistros in the north-east region of Singapore. Take your pick of local and Asian-inspired grub like sambal (hot chilli paste) stingray and Korean fried chicken; or go for Western comfort dishes like fish and chips or a plate of cabonara. Don’t forget to wash that all down with an ice-cold locally-brewed beer by Archipelago.
Where: 50 Punggol East, Singapore 828826
This isn’t the set of the hit TV sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Okay, it kind of is – it’s a cafe that’s designed exactly like so, from the iconic orange sofa to the brick walls, and even Chandler and Joey’s foosball table.
Even the menu is inspired by representative food items on the show, from Joey’s “Fisherman Stew” to Phoebe’s “I Can’t Eat Meat” Steak. There’s even a range of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Puccino ice blended drinks – also named after the characters – to beat Singapore’s heat.
Where: Central Mall, #01-01, Singapore 059567
The resto looks like a classic Brooklyn cafe – cinematic fixtures and iconic diner booths transport you straight to the Big Apple. The only giveaway: the splendid view of Marina Bay at this riverside hotspot. Here, spend your cheat day on American diner grub like its crowd-favourite Truffled Lobster Mac & Cheese. And of course milkshakes can also be found on the menu; spike it with your favourite spirit to turn it into a boozy one.
Where: #01-06, One Fullerton, Singapore 049213
This story was updated with information from AsiaOne.