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 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.
1. Baristart Coffee
Known for using full cream Hokkaido BIEI Jersey Milk sourced from the prefecture’s 800 Brown Jersey Cows, it’s no wonder that Baristart Coffee ‘s lattes are extra smooth and velvety.
The milk also has a high butterfat and protein content, thus imparting a uniquely rich flavour to their food offerings.
Aside from their best-selling luscious cream puffs, try other cafe favourites like the sinful Hokkaido Carbonara, Sentosa-exclusive Souffle Pancakes, and premium affogato in flavours like Chocolate Hojicha and Honey Ceylon Tea.
Baristart Coffee is located at 65 Tras Street, Singapore 079004 (open daily 9am — 9pm) and 40 Siloso Beach Walk, Singapore 098996 (open daily 10am — 8pm). Orders for islandwide delivery available here .
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 hearty nosh.
Lunch time sees satisfying eats like the Mexican Salad in full pulled pork and guac glory, and when 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.
Sarnies is located at 136 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068601. Open Mon — Fri 7.30am – 10.30pm and Sat — Sun 8.30am — 4pm.
3. Atlas Coffeehouse
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.
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. Open Tue-Sun 8am – 7pm.
4. Forty Hands
Forty Hands has been serving up hundreds of coffees every day since its inception.
They are strong, smooth, beautiful, and very tasty.
It’s no wonder that, like a Duracell bunny, this fast and friendly coffee joint keeps the residents of Tiong Bahru coming back for more and has also expanded its reach into the East Coast of Singapore.
The new kid on the block in the Jalan Besar neighbourhood, Lucid has already made a name for itself with its minimalist interiors reminiscent of a warehouse and its Instagram-worthy dessert Cloud Beta v0.1 – a ‘cloud’ of white chocolate mousse with a fragrant strawberry basil filling, sitting on a shortbread base.
While their espresso-based and black coffee menu is fuss-free, coffee lovers will be happy to see an extensive range of filter coffees.
Lucid is located at 38 Hamilton Road, Singapore 209208. Open Mon — Fri 11am — 7.30pm and Sat — Sun 10am — 7.30pm.
6. 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 pastas.
Speciality offerings rotate on a weekly basis and include asingle 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 Boutique Coffee Roasters is located at 185 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574333. Open daily 9am – 9pm.
7. La Ristrettos
Novena Medical Centre might not be the first place you think of for good coffee, but La Ristrettos is undoubtedly worth the visit.
This Italian-style joint serves a range of coffees, teas, and other non-caffeinated options, but make sure you head over hungry to try their hearty and delicious food options.
Enjoy breakfast with a Louisiana twist with their Cajun Shrimps & Scrambled Eggs Bruschetta or opt for a classic Italian carbonara or ragu.
La Ristrettos is located at 10 Sinaran Drive #08-37, Singapore 307506. Open Mon — Fri 8am — 6pm and Sat 8am — 2pm.
8. Nylon Coffee Roasters
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.
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 for seats.
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. Open Mon & Wed — Fri 8.30am – 4pm, Sat — Sun 9am – 4.30pm.
9. Wildseed Cafe
This quaint garden paradise is the best way to escape the noise of the city when you need a break.
Serving up specialty coffee, classic brunch fare, and delectable desserts, Wildseed Cafe delivers a feast for both the belly and the eyes.
Try their Coconut Pea Flower Shortcake , a lilac hued confection with coconut chantilly, gula melaka grated coconut, and almond dacquoise.
The Alkaff Mansion:
10. My Awesome Cafe
Formerly a TCM hospital, My Awesome Cafe remains a space that continues to channel holistic goodness; a celebration of great food, great company, and great stories.
Each dish typically highlights the best of its ingredients, just like the carefully curated interior that’s made up of an eclectic collection of thrifted furniture.
Get ready for some food and coffee that’ll fuel and nourish your entire being.
My Awesome Cafe is located at 202 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068639. Open daily 8.30am — 10.30pm.
11. Tolido’s Espresso Nook
For good quality and unpretentious fare, look no further than Tolido’s Espresso Nook .
With beans freshly roasted by Yahava Koffeeworks, try a range of black and white coffees, or opt for one of their decadent signatures like the Sea Salt Caramel Mocha or the Pumpkin Spiced Latte.
Hungry? Tuck into a range of filling brunch fare like shakshuka, French toast, and rosti.
Tolido’s Espresso Nook is located at 462 Crawford Lane #01-63, Singapore 190462. Open Mon & Wed — Fri 8am — 4pm and Sat-Sun 9am — 6pm.
12. The Populus Coffee & Food Co.
This gastro-cafe brings you an eclectic range of contemporary dishes that’s sure to bring your palate around the world.
While their specialty coffee menu might be less extensive than their food, the quality is definitely hard to beat, made from beans roasted by 2º North Coffee Co.
Tea aficionados will be happy to see a range of artisanal teas from Tea Bone Zen Mind.
The Populus Coffee & Food Co. is located at 146 Neil Road, Singapore 088875. Open Sat — Wed 9am — 6pm , Thu — Fri 9am — 9pm.
Craving a good crêpe? Gather’s got you covered.
Situated on the grounds of Raffles Hotel, this specialty café is where French fare meets brunch, serving up a range of sweet crêpes and savoury galettes alongside sandwiches and staples like French toast and eggs.
The excellent coffee and the bright, airy interior makes this a perfect brunch spot.
Gather is located at Raffles Hotel Arcade #01-12, 328 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188719. Open Mon — Fri 8am — 6pm, Sat — Sun 8am — 8pm.
14. Kafe Utu
From the outside, Kafe Utu appears to be just a quintessential shophouse, but get ready to be greeted by vibrant colours, earthy tones, and exciting artwork at Singapore’s original African café.
Their flavourful fare draws from diverse African cuisines, and pairs excellently with their signature spiced coffees as well as a selection of Kenyan ales and African cocktails. See our review here.
Kafe Utu is located at 12 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089265. Open Wed — Fri 10am — 10.30pm and Sat — Sun 9am — 10.30pm. Closed Mon-Tue.
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 triple variety Grilled Cheese Sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup for dipping.
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 Road, Singapore 059288. Open 8am – 6pm daily.
16. Bacha Coffee
This Moroccan-themed coffeehouse isn’t just incredibly visually stunning with it’s bright and warm colours; it also offers up over 200 types of 100 per cent Arabica coffee beans from all over the world.
Enjoy Moroccan specialties like the Kefta Meatballs and Chicken Pastilla or a sweet pastry alongside one of their coffees for a meal you won’t forget.
Their coffee is also available for purchase in-store or on their website. See our review here.
17. Common Man Coffee Roasters
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. Open Mon — Fri 7.30am – 5pm, Sat — Sun 7.30am – 6pm.
18. The Glasshouse
Bread, bread, and more bread is at the heart of The Glasshouse , tucked away inside the beautiful and historic CHIJMES.
This quaint cafe serves up a range of artisanal toast and pastries. Pair a light bite with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate: perfect for a midday pick-me-up.
The Glasshouse: Specialty Coffee and Toast Bar is located at 30 Victoria Street #01-03, 187996 Singapore. Open Mon — Thur 8am — 5pm, Fri 8am — 9pm, Sat 9am — 10pm, and Sun 9am — 6pm.
19. Curious Palette
Tucked away on Prinsep Street with only an unassuming blackboard announcing its presence, you might be surprised at the cozy but bright interior of Curious Palette.
Brought to you by the folks behind Strangers’ Reunion and Wakey Wakey, this café is a great place to enjoy food with friends or hole yourself up in with a good book.
They’re open all day, whether you’re feeling like brunch and coffee or dinner and a good glass of wine.
Curious Palette is located at 64 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188667. Open daily from 9am — 10pm.
20. The Bravery
This only halal café on our list sells a range of delicious coffee, bakes, and mains. They’re currently relocating, but bakes and coffees are still available for islandwide delivery.
And who needs mains when you can have their indulgent and freshly baked Ferrero Rocher Brownie or Burnt Cheesecake ?
Folks that want them piping hot can head down to their sister outlet, Two Hands, at Science Park Drive.
The Bravery is currently relocating, but is available for islandwide delivery via WhatsApp at +65 9388 2973. Two Hands is located at #01-K1, 2 Science Park Drive, Singapore 118222. Open Mon — Fri 8am — 5pm.
This article was first published in City Nomads.