Can you smell it? That gorgeous, seductive aroma wafting out into the streets of Singapore. That is what freshly roasted coffee beans imported from the finest sources in the world smells like. If you’re a serious coffee nut, then you’ll have spent this recent era of the hipsters revelling at the sound of every new, artisanal coffee roaster or café that’s been opening here, as we definitely have. After shameless months of flat whites, eggs bennys, and caffeine-induced sleepless nights, we present the top cafés in Singapore.
There’s a reason why Sarnies remains one of the longest standing cafés in Singapore. Operating in the heart of Telok Ayer since 2011, this bustling spot has gained a cult-like status among coffee fanatics, healthy food proponents, and legions of tired office workers itching for a good cuppa and DIY breakfast. Lunch time sees satisfying eats like the Mexican Salad in full pulled pork and guac glory, and once the weekend hits, the bearded hipsters and personal trainers are out in full force for a heaping plate of Eggs Benedict. That, and a double shot latte to kick start the festivities.
Home to the former World Siphon Coffee Champion and three-time Singapore National Barista & Latte Art Champion Ryan Kieran Tan, Strangers’ Reunion has continued to push its standards over the years. Popular drinks include the potent White Magic and their Seven-Spice Chai Latte, or you could just go for any of the hand-brewed cuppas on hand that week. Food-wise, the café has a penchant for healthier but no less tasty dishes, which suits us just fine.
Strangers’ Reunion is located at 33 Kampong Bahru Rd, Singapore 169356, p. +65 6222 4869. Open Wed-Mon 9am – 10pm. Closed Tue.
Firm believers of sustainability in speciality coffee, Atlas Coffeehouse fills a gap in the café-deprived stretch that is Bukit Timah Road. And behind its attractive white and blue exterior lies a darn good cup of joe, be it a fresh brew, white, black, or over ice. We hear their Eclipse Cold Tea Macchiato is one to try, alongside particularly fluffy Banana Butterscotch Pancakes and an impressive Mediterranean Pita Fry Up.
Atlas Coffeehouse is located at 6 Duke’s Rd, Singapore 268886, p. +65 6314 2674. Open Tue-Sun 8am – 7pm. Closed Mon.
Gorgeous aesthetic with plenty of natural light? Check. A tea programme developed by artisan tea specialists A.muse Projects? Check. A healthful menu that doesn’t comprise on flavour? check. Clan Cafe is Strait Clan’s all-day lobby lounge and the members club’s only space open to public. The beverage program also includes coffee sourced from Papa Palheta, beers, and cocktails while the food menu features delicious grain bowls (think red and brown rice, koshihikari and red quinoa topped with Miso Salmon and Grilled Angus Ribeye), salads, bar snacks, and desserts.
Clan Cafe is located at Straits Clan, 31–37, Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089845. Open Mon-Sat 10am-10pm. Closed Sun.
Straight from Kyoto comes artisanal coffee shop Kurasu and its beautiful selection of beans shipped in from the land of the rising sun. Think Ethiopia Guji Shakiso Decaf and Indonesian Wahana by Taoca Coffee, as well as a selection from All Seasons Coffee in Tokyo. You’ll want to try their marvellous cold brew that’s perfectly balanced from 20 hours of steeping as well.
Kurasu is located at 331 North Bridge Rd, Odeon Towers #02-01, Singapore 188720, Open Mon-Fri 9am – 6pm, Sat-Sun 12pm – 6pm.
Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters
Pacamara, started by the team behind Thomson’s OZ Speciality Coffee, is just as much known for their excellent coffee as they are the food, including heaping plates of roast chicken, steak frites, and crab meat linguine. Speciality offerings rotate on a weekly basis and include a single origin Huila Timana from Colombia, Nano Challa from Ethiopia, Don Eli from Costa Rica, and El Matazano from Honduras, which was recently ranked in the Cup of Excellence.
Pacamara is located at 185 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574333. Open daily 9am – 10pm.
Common Man Coffee Roasters is a genius of a café, offering their loyal customers a range of house blends to suit every mood. This joint can be easily regarded as one of the major to-go places for stellar coffee – they use only the freshest coffee beans sourced from around and plus, they also serve unbelievable all-day breakfasts. Their new concept in the CBD, Common Man Stan, is also worth a visit.
Common Man Coffee Roasters is located at 22 Martin Rd #01-00, Singapore 239058, p. +65 6836 4695. Open Mon-Fri 7.30am – 5pm, Sat-Sun 7.30am – 6pm.
Group Therapy may have began as a collective events space, but now, it’s one of Duxton Hill’s most well-received cafés. They pull their own coffee, bake their own bread and cakes, and blend their own smoothies. Known for making a mean roasted almond latte, you won’t go wrong either with the Bacon Mushroom Aglio Olio, Beef Ragu Pasta, or Pumpkin Pancake.
Nylon is truly a hidden gem, and you’d really never know about it unless you lived on the block or heard whispers from a friend. There aren’t any seats here and the place is tiny, but this is irrelevant as the coffee is truly outstanding: strong, flavourful roasts sourced from around the globe, with a beautiful HDB al fresco area to enjoy as your setting. Want to start preparing your own coffee at home? Check out some of their premium brewing kits.
Nylon Coffee Roasters is located at 4 Everton Park #01-40, Singapore 080004, p. 6220 2330. Open Mon, Wed-Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm, Sat-Sun 9am – 6pm. Closed Tue.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
Popular amongst the hipsters as it is the purists, Chye Seng Huat never gets old. Managed by the people behind acclaimed local roasters Papa Palheta, be prepared to always line up for coffee no matter what time in the morning or afternoon it is! New offerings in recent years include both hot and cold cascara (made from the flesh of coffee cherries), nitro cold brews, and scrumptious grub that’s comparable to that of full-fledged bistros.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware is located at 150 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207563, p. +65 6396 0609. Open Tue-Thu 9am – 10pm, Fri-Sat 9am – 12am. Closed Mon.
Caffè Vergnano 1882
Perhaps the least ‘hipster’ spot on the list, Caffè Vergnano 1882 is one of Italy’s oldest family-owned roasters. This is where you’ll find centuries-old heritage brews like the Caffe Gianduja, an intensely rich drink that sees hot chocolate and espresso topped with whipped cream, the Espresso Shakerato mocktail – premium espresso sweetened with syrup and shaken with ice, and some yummy sweet treats.
Caffè Vergnano 1882 is located at #B1-17 South Beach Ave, Singapore 189768, p. +65 6385 5579. Open Mon-Fri 8am – 9pm, Sat-Sun 10am – 6pm.
You’ll find more than just lattes at Dapper Coffee – the brainchild of creative brainstorming by co-owner George and head chef Christine. Forget your standard cold brews, the bottles here are punctuated with an extra touch of sparkly magic dust, which you can complement with their freshly baked cakes, ’nasty’ sandwiches, and gumbo pot. Once night strikes, the café turns into The Spiffy Dapper, one of Singapore’s top spots for gin cocktails.
Dapper Coffee is located at 73 Amoy St, Singapore 069892, p. +65 8742 8908. Open Mon-Fri 8am – 5pm.
Toby’s rocks! Think a massive wooden communal table, an al fresco seating area, yummy sandwiches and wraps, and above all else, the consistently delicious excellent coffee. Look to the side and you’ll regularly see the fresh beans being roasted right before your eyes, all in the name of this iconic Australian institution.
Toby’s Estate is located at 8 Rodyk St #01-03/04, Singapore 238216. Open Sun-Thu 7.30am – 6pm, Fri-Sat 7.30am – 8pm.
Jewel has certainly proved its worth when it comes to speciality coffees and quality brunch fare. Roasting its own beans several times a week, you can choose from speciality cold brews, Chemex brews, and even V60s. With two spacious levels of well-lit seatings and very knowledgeable staff, we’re sure you’ll love this place, coffee nerd or otherwise.
Jewel Cafe and Bar is located at 129 Rangoon Rd, Singapore 218407. Open Tue-Thu, Sun 9am – 10pm, Fri-Sat 9am – 11pm. Closed Mon.
Forty Hands serves up hundreds and hundreds of coffees every day. They are strong, smooth, beautiful and very, very tasty. It’s no wonder that, like a Duracell bunny, this fast and friendly coffee joint keeps the residents of Tiong Bahru going, and going, and coming back for more.
Forty Hands is located at 78 Yong Siak St #01-12, Singapore 163078, p. +65 6225 8545. Open Mon-Sun 7.30am – 7pm.
Ronin has been a mainstay along the trendy HongKong Street since 2013, offering its iconic Genovese ‘Super Brazil’ coffee along with a short but much-lauded repertoire of sandwiches and breakfast staples. The place is usually very crowded, so we recommend heading down on off-peak hours.
Ronin is located at 17 Hongkong St, Singapore 059660. Open daily 8am – 6pm.
MAVRX Coffee Apothecary
MAVRX, which just turned three in April, may be just a little monochrome hole in the wall in the bustling heart of Duxton Hill, but this hole serves nothing but delicious coffee brewed with love. Featuring the famous Carmello blend by Australian coffee roasters Allpress, don’t miss out on the intriguing cold brew served in medical syringes.
MAVRX Coffee Apothecary is located at 1A Duxton Hill, Singapore 089587. Open Mon-Fri 8.30am – 4.30pm, Sat 10.30am – 4.30pm. Closed Sun.
1KS is opened by the folks behind Park Bench Deli, working with two boutique roasters, including Papa Palheta, to create two unique blends: one customised with Guatemalan and Indonesian beans for a smooth chocolate texture with notes of toffee and fruits, and another which combines Guatemalan and Colombian beans, resulting in a rich and nutty profile. And as you can expect, their sandwiches are mighty delicious too.
1KS is located at 1 Keong Saik Rd, #01-02, Singapore 089109, p. +65 6221 1792. Open Mon-Fri 8am – 9pm, Sat-Sun 9am – 6pm.
Bringing you espresso-based beverages and top-notch filter coffee from Melbourne and beyond, have a taste of the coffee capital right in the heart of Singapore. Expect new beans from all over from time to time, including London’s Square Mile and Hong Kong’s Cupping Room. And did we mention coffee cocktails like a coffee G&T and Kopi Negroni? The perfect accompaniment to their Japanese-inspired rice bowls, if we say so ourselves.
Candour Coffee is located at 41 Beach Rd, Singapore 189680, p. +65 9457 0070. Open daily 8am – 9pm.
Great brunch vibes are about at Punch, where natural lights are aplenty and the decor monochromatic and Instagram-able. For the perfect afternoon, dive into stacks of Earl Grey Pancakes and for the indulgent, perhaps a bowl of Tomato Bacon Soup with Grilled Cheese Toast. Whether you’re going for a batch brew, Chemex, V60, or even a Chai Latte, it’s safe to say that the drinks here are fabulous.
Punch is located at 32 North Canal Rd, Singapore 059288. Open Tue-Sun 8am – 6pm.