Cantik visuals for your Insta feed
Have you ever invited your Muslim friend to go drinking, only to realise a second later that it’s haram? Or innocently jio-ing them for some good bacon and eggs breakfast, and feeling that certain dread only a split second later. Well, I plead guilty to both charges.
To avoid awkward situations like these, we’ve compiled a list of the most photogenic halal or Muslim-owned cafes. And to our Muslim friends, this list comes in handy if you’ve been planning a catch-up session with those long-time-no-see friends!
1. The Lab SG (Muslim-Owned)
If there’s one cafe that evokes fond memories of Chemistry experiments in school, it's The Lab SG. Test tubes and cylinders in place of the usual plates and bowls means we get to play with our food! Be intrigued by the Iced Vapour Tea Float ($10), as you tip over the teapot into the jar to see fumes rising rapidly, followed by effervescence in your drink. And before you perform this sacred ritual though, don’t forget to get your dining buddy to film it all down.
Though not halal-certified, this cafe uses halal ingredients for all its offerings, so head down with your Muslim friends to relive your secondary school chemistry lessons.
Address: 1 Jalan Pisang #01-01, Singapore 199069
Opening Hours: 12pm - 10pm (Mon to Sat) | 1pm - 9:30pm (Sun)
Telephone:: 6299 5681
2. Penny University (Muslim-Owned)
Back in the 18th century, people had to pay a penny to enter English coffeehouses, and that was how Penny University’s name came about. Known for its full-bodied, aromatic coffee brewed with beans from local roasters, this cafe also boasts an all-day brunch menu.
Here, you don’t order cappuccinos or lattes. Instead, choose your espresso size (3, 5 or 7 oz.), and decide if you want milk in your coffee. And for your main, get their Full English Breakfast ($16), a hearty serving of spicy chicken sausages, turkey bacon strips, hashbrown, sliced mushrooms, and eggs scrambled or poached.
Address: 402 East Coast Road, Singapore 428997
Opening Hours: 8.30am - 6pm (Tue to Thu) | 8.30am - 12am (Fri to Sat) | 8.30am - 10:30pm (Sun)
Telephone: 9008 9314
3. Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro (Halal)
IKEA is our signature go-to for anything Scandinavian, but the weekend crowd can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, we can turn to Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro for an alternative Swedish cuisine fix. The owner of this Swedish cafe has even gamely proclaimed her beef Swedish Meatballs ($19) the best halal ones in Singapore!
There are 3 Fika outlets islandwide - Millenia Walk, ONE KM, Beach Road - but no matter which you visit, you’ll be greeted by a sea of white walls, earth-toned furnishings, and greenery. With such cheery and homely ambience, this place is perfect for your next family gathering.
257 Beach Rd, Singapore 199539
9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-20 Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596
11 Tanjong Katong Rd, 02-K3 One KM, Singapore 436998
Opening Hours: 11am - 10pm
Telephone: 6396 9096 (Beach Road) | 6336 7234 (Millenia Walk) | 6702 2456 (OneKM)
4. & why… (Muslim-Owned)
Grey bricked walls, black-rimmed antique lamps, jazz music playing in the background gives us the vibes of olden-day NYC. And reading aloud the name of & why... (that’s “NY” for my confused friends) tells us we’re right!
Choose from an assortment of sandwiches and salads for your main, and end your meal on a sweet note with Vanilla Cheesecake ($8.90), that’s drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with a strawberry.
Address: 31 Bali Lane, Singapore 189867
Opening Hours: 11am - 11pm, closed on Wed
Telephone: 6291 0993
5. Working Title (Muslim-Owned)
Nestled within hipster enclave Haji Lane is Working Title, a self-declared burger bar. Take your pick of protein poison from the usual suspects beef and chicken, or be a little adventurous and opt for their salmon or vegetarian options. Don’t miss out on Bandung Latte ($5), one of their signature drinks - a smooth, a pastel pink concoction that will sit pretty on your Insta feed.
Source The courtyard can be booked for parties, meetings or gigs.
While many local cafes go for a minimalist decor, Working Title’s eclectic mix of pre-loved furniture adds pops of colour to the space, and livens up the atmosphere. Take a seat on any of their multi-coloured tables, and just watch the time while away.
Address: 48 Arab Street, Singapore 199745
Opening Hours: 11am - 10pm (Mon to Thu) | 11am - 11pm (Fri) | 10am - 11pm (Sat to Sun)
Telephone: 8248 2841
6. Wilder (Muslim-Owned)
Cement-washed walls and wooden furniture, softened by vases of dried purple flowers, makes Wilder a romantic place for dates with bae. Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, as you watch the world go by in this countryside-like setting. Fun fact: the owner-chef grows her own organic veggies from home, and they go into the some of the dishes!
Salted Egg Taters ($11) is a gem for our Muslim friends, especially since there’s a general lack of halal salted egg dishes around. Once a month, Wilder hosts an Acoustic Evening, so look out for event updates on their Instagram page.
Address: 749 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198717
Telephone: 6635 1136
Opening Hours: 12:30pm - 10pm (Tue to Sat) | 12:30pm - 9pm (Sun)
7. The Malayan Council (Halal)
Nothing beats indulging in good food while giving to charity, and dining at The Malayan Council made us feel really good about ourselves. Serving honest, hearty Malay-Western food, the cafe donates a portion of their earnings to Muhammadiyah Welfare Home, so you can indulge while knowing you’re making a difference!
If you’re lucky, snag the alfresco dining spot, dotted with colourful tables and cushions that’s reminiscent of pop art. But if you don’t, the rustic and cozy indoors still makes for a great dining environment. Head down with your friends, as portions are massive and perfect for communal dining! Some favourites include Classic Ondeh Ondeh Cake ($8) and Mud Crab Linguine ($28).
Address: 22 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209350
Opening Hours: 11:30 am - 11pm (Fri) | 11am - 11pm (Sat to Sun)
8. Coba (Halal)
Never thought that we’d ever stumble upon a hipster kopitiam in a quiet neighbourhood like Yishun. Coba carries an air of nostalgia with red-bricked walls, antique memorabilia like the Singer sewing machines, kerosene lamps, and a rickshaw out the door. Although we often associate Insta-worthy with flat whites and artisanal cakes, an aesthetically-pleasing shot of local food is made possible with such a retro backdrop.
Serving up traditional Malay cuisine, this is the place for days when you wanna settle for local comfort food. With a myriad of mouth-watering dishes in a single plate, and a mammoth serving easily enough for two to three, their Nasi Ambeng ($19.90) is a must-try.
Address: Blk 156 Yishun Street 11, #01-106, Singapore 760156
Opening Hours: 7am - 10pm (Tue to Sun)
Telephone: 6382 2622
9. Butter Studio (Halal)
Butter Studio certainly lives up to its name, as the strong aroma of butter slaps you in the face as you enter. This halal-certified cafe and bakery started off as a takeaway kiosk at Changi Airport, before moving into a shophouse in Jalan Besar.
Hailing from a family of bakers, owner Shannon Lua makes her pastries from scratch everyday. Favourites include Sea Salt Nutella Tart ($6.90) and The Ispahan Lychee Cake ($7.90). Besides the cute display of kitchen tools above the counter, we’re also drawn to their fancy crockery that complement their pretty pastries so well.
Address: 147 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208865
Opening Hours: 12pm - 11pm (Mon, Wed, Thu) | 12pm - 12am (Fri) | 10:30am - 12am (Sat)
10. WORD. (Muslim-Owned)
Despite its bright red container facade, WORD. is one underrated cafe only because it’s hidden behind a MRT construction site. Exposed pipes, stacked-up crates, and even upcycled tables made from old tyres and old doors all combine to make an intensely unique decor. You should make your way to this cafe, before it joins Wheeler’s Yard on the list of top hipster cafes in Singapore.
Of the many unique offerings on the menu, Handsome Burg ($20) caught our eye. Sandwiched between the rainbow-coloured fluffy buns are a juicy beef patty, cheese, and spicy peanut butter sauce. Way more fascinating than rainbow bagels, we say.
Check out our sister site for a full review.
Address: 906 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 787110
Opening Hours: 5pm - 9:30pm (Mon to Fri) | 1pm - 10pm (Sat) | 12pm - 10pm (Sun)
More cafe options for Muslims
We’re glad to see a growing number of cafes that cater to halal palates. And there's a wide variety of choices available - from classic brunch items to traditional Malay dishes are being served up at these Muslim-friendly eateries. Even traditionally non-halal dishes like salted egg fries are making an appearance in Muslim-owned cafes - this calls for more cafe-hopping adventures with our Muslim friends.