Cafe-hopping Fun in Kampong Gelam
Love a good cuppa or looking for tasty food in a nice environment for a moment of relaxation? Kampong Gelam is right up your jam! Chock-full of cafes that offer up everything from quality coffee to mouth-watering grub, you will be sure to find something that tickles your fancy.
Since the opening of their flagship store in Kyoto in 2014, % Arabica has garnered a base of loyal following due to their exacting standards, only using beans from its coffee farm in Hawaii and from beans that are directly sourced from the origins.
Recommendations include the cafe’s bestselling signature drinks: Cafe Latte and Matcha Latte, available in both hot and iced versions. Made with Meiji’s full cream milk and in-house roasted beans, the smooth texture is a delight for coffee lovers.
56 Arab Street, Tel: +65 6291 3887
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8am – 6pm
Minimalist is what greets you at Double Up Coffee. With a menu that displays Business (coffee drinks), Pleasure (non-coffee drinks) and Chow (pastries), you know for sure coffee is indeed their business. While pastries are seasonal, their coffee blends with playful names like Spro (espresso) and Spro with water (long black) are good for a quick fix or a casual catch-up with friends.
7 Jalan Klapa
Opening Hours: Wed-Mon 10am – 6pm; Closed on Tuesday
With its chirpy yellow hues and bird decorations, Earlybird Cafe will certainly perk up your morning. The menu here is varied with the ubiquitous brunch options but a standout dish is the cafe’s signature Chicken & Pancakes, which is a twist to the more popular chicken and waffles. Pet lovers will be delighted to know that their furry friends are welcomed here.
17 Jalan Pinang, Tel: +65 9788 6856
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri 10am – 10pm; Sat & Sun 9am – 10pm
A cafe-bar concept store, the decor at Going Om is inspired by the spiritual vibes of the Himalayas. Step into the sanctuary of this refurbished shophouse and sample dishes like chicken masala, lamb flatbread, vegan red velvet cake while enjoying the live music and busking performances.
63 Haji Lane, Tel: +65 6396 3592
Opening hours: Tue-Thu & Sun 5pm-12am; Fri & Eve of PH 5pm – 3am; Sat 5pm – 2am; Closed on Monday
Searching for authentic traditional dishes and sweet treats at an affordable price? You’re in luck! Situated in a heritage house, you will be able to enjoy the charms of old school Peranakan-style dishes while soaking in the iconic heritage atmosphere at Got Luck Café. From chicken curry to ayam penyet, nonya kuehs and their famous sea salt kaya cake, there is a dish for everyone to relish the taste of Singapore in the 1900s!
56 Kandahar Street, Tel: +65 8908 4981
Opening hours: 9am – 7pm daily; Closed every 3rd Monday of the month
As both a craft store and a cafe, Groundstory sets the bar high for the perfect Instagrammable cafe with its beautiful styling and decor. Admire the array of bespoke homeware and wooden furniture while sipping on coffee that is served in artfully crafted heavy-set cups. The picture-perfect surroundings coupled with the welcoming and comfortable ambience makes this cafe a perfect spot to catch up with friends on a lazy afternoon.
756/758 North Bridge Rd, Tel: +65 6413 3981
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 9am – 5:30pm; Sat 10:30am – 6pm; Closed on Monday & Sunday
If you are a fan of themed pop-up cafes, Kumoya is the place for you! The team at Kumoya are serious about cutesy sweets and their many collaborations with iconic characters such as Miffy, Care Bears, Tokidoki, Pusheen, Snoopy and We Bare Bears have been a hit. The decor and menu are revamped every so often to match the themes so you will never know what to expect – but be assured that the food and decor will definitely be Insta-worthy.
8 Jalan Klapa, Tel: +65 9244 3382
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 12pm – 9pm; Fri & Sat 12pm – 10pm; Closed on Monday
Lina’s Cafe dishes out homestyle mee rebus and mee siam that will warm your heart, but the heartwarming story of how this cafe was conceptualised is what struck us. Parent to an autistic child, the owner wanted to provide a safe haven for families with autistic members and to spread awareness of autism. This unpretentious halal cafe is visited by many who not only come by to enjoy wonderful meals but also to share their stories and experiences.
7 Jalan Pisang, +65 9187 2094
Opening hours: Mon 11am – 7:30 pm; Tue-Sat 11am – 8:30pm; Closed on Sunday
Limaa was started in 2017 by a pair of cousins who were set on a mission to serve fresh and nutritional food. Limaa means “5” in Malay as their cafe only served 5 items then. Its menu has since expanded to 30 items to cater to the horde of customers that come knocking on its doors for food that is packed full of organic ingredients. Their acai smoothie bowl and the best-selling pressed pomegranate orange drink are to die for. The minimalist cafe has only 15 seats so make reservations in advance to avoid disappointment.
51 Haji Lane, +65 8620 2041
Opening hours: Tue-Thu 9:30am – 6pm; Fri-Sun 9:30am – 7pm; Closed on Monday
Catch a whiff of freshly baked bread and pastries as you walk past Madd Pizza, a relatively new pizzeria by the immensely popular BluJaz Cafe. The pizzeria serves fresh bakes that are made meticulously by hand with the best ingredients – signatures include Pizza Al Taglio (pizza by the slice), Focaccia Romana (classic Italian flatbread), and Italian Dolce (classic Italian biscuits and pies). If you only have space for one item, make it the Bomboloni, the Italian equivalent to a doughnut. These irresistibly light and delicious doughnuts are sold out daily.
Fun fact: The word “Bomboloni” literally translates into “big bombs”, the perfect name for a perfect treat. In Italy, bombolonis are often served in bars for breakfast alongside a cappuccino.
19 – 21 Haji Lane, +65 9003 6045
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm – 10pm; Closed on Monday
Situated at the corner of Jalan Kubor and Victoria Street, Symmetry is a great place to chill and people watch. Get a taste of Aussie culture and all-day modern creations like their Big Breakfast, Egg Bomb and Zucchini fritters. Add on a Symmetry Sangria Bag to end off that perfect evening.
9 Jalan Kubor, Tel: +65 6291 9901
Opening hours: Mon 11am – 9pm; Tue-Sat 11am – 11pm; Sun 9am – 7pm
This cosy and laid-back cafe is known for both its burgers and coffee. Be adventurous and try the Bandung Latte, a local twist to the classic latte infused with Bandung (evaporated milk with rose syrup). Those who prefer the usual caffeine fix can opt for the “dirty” version in which a shot of espresso is added. The cafe latte served here are made with Brazilian and Indonesian beans that are roasted weekly.
783 North Bridge Rd, +65 8768 0463
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 9am – 10pm; Fri & Sat 9am – 11pm
Featured image: % Arabica