From The Straits Times    |

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 cafe search. Here are 25 cafes that will instantly transport you to a different country. Scroll down to check out which cafes made it to our list.

1. Mr Holmes Bakehouse

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.

Located on the first floor of Pacific Plaza, the cafe is also done up in a custom-designed scheme of pink and white, with their 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

2. Blu Kouzina

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

3. Joji’s Diner

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

4. Wildseed Cafe


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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

5. Wheeler’s Estate


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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.


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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

6. Merci Marcel

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.

Although the cafe has an outdoor space, main dining area and courtyard, 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, 160056

7. Open Farm Community

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


8. Stamping Ground Coffee


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Situated near East Coast Park, Stamping Ground Coffee is a great cafe with nice ambience to go to after your morning run or cycle. Since the cafe shares the space with Dawn Q Floral Designs, the space has a nice mix of floral and Kinfolk-esque interior which really reminds us of a cafe in Australia. Flowers displayed at the space are for sale as well, so you can get some and brighten up your home with it.

Where: 87 Upper East Coast Road, Singapore 455223

9. Mod Cafe


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Mod Cafe is a relatively new cafe in the East – it’s decked in a pretty pink exterior that looks like you’re being transported to Korea. 

We’re not surprised to see cafe-goers taking photos in front of the cafe in Stylenanda (a popular Seoul fashion brand)-inspired poses.


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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

10. Tea Bone Zen Mind

Previously located in Emerald Hill, Tea Bone Zen Mind has moved into a quiet street behind Lucky Plaza.

Enter the shophouse and leave your worries at the door, and spend an idyllic afternoon sampling different types of tea while nibbling on pastries in an aesthetically-pleasing space reminiscent of a quiet ryokan in Japan.

It’ll be a tea experience like no other, for its founder Carrie Chen, has scoured the globe for fine quality Chinese, Japanese and English teas and artisanal tea ware, as well as created her own tea blends.

Where: 18 Jalan Lada Puteh Singapore 228930

11. Colbar


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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.  


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While its surroundings have changed with high-rise buildings erected nearby, this cafe seems to have been frozen in time.


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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

12. Tiong Bahru Bakery Safari


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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.


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The safari theme follows through on the inside with items and memorabilia collected from around the world.


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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

13. Cafe De Nicole’s Flowers


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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.


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What’s great about this place is it’s pet-friendly, so you can bring doggo out for an afternoon of bonding.


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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

14. Glasshouse 


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The Glasshouse feels spacious from the floor to ceiling windows flooding the cafe in natural light.


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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

15. Five Oars Coffee Roasters


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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 working in the CBD, you can come after hours to wind down with craft beer, burgers, pasta and mains.  

Where: 39 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088462, and 6 Upper East Coast Rd, Singapore 455200 (opening soon)


16. Privé Keppel Bay


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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


17. Don Ho – Social Kitchen and Bar


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Enjoy Bali vibes at Don Ho when you do brunch with your girlfriends over the weekends at the Instagrammable cafe plastered in floral and fauna wallpaper.


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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


18. Clan Café

The charming Clan Café in Chinatown aims to deliver nourishing fare that comforts both your palate and soul. The menu regularly changes depending on the season and the pop-ups it hosts, so you could be surprised with an Asian-Mediterranean plate or a hearty British roast. 

Interiors have been conceptualised and executed by local studio Takenouchi Webb, and the light-filled space is filled with matching wood-and-rattan chairs and cabinets. There is also a towering bookshelf in the centre that houses a collection of aesthetic knick-knacks.

Where: 31 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089845


19. Chin Sin Huan

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

20. Kafe UTU

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

21. Poison Ivy Bistro at Bollywood Veggies

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. Unfortunately, all activities are currently on hold until further notice due to Covid-19.

The eatery thankfully, is still open, and it is not unusual to see the place full. Its menu 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

22. Knots Cafe & Living

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

23. Punggol East Container Park

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

24. Central Perk

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

25. Overeasy

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