Hello from the other side
A good cuppa, flatlay-friendly breakfast sets and insta-worthy interior are essentially what most of us seek when it comes to cafe-hopping. We complain about travelling from one end to another when cafe-hopping in Singapore, but when all of these comes at only ⅓ of the price once you cross over to the other side, distance is no longer a problem. Somehow, it only makes the heart (and wallet) grow much fonder.
Singaporean cafe-hoppers might have already started exploring many of JB’s up and coming cafes near the checkpoint by conquering them one IG photo at a time. But if you think you’ve already covered them all, this list of 50 will surprise you. So lo and behold, here’s the only guide you’ll ever need to discover even the most hidden gems in Johor Bahru!
Note: Cafes marked with asterisk (*) use ingredients from halal suppliers.
JALAN DHOBY, TRUS, WONG AH FOOK
1. Bev C*
“Own your style or stay naked” is the motto Bev C lives by. In this hipster space where fashion meets coffee, Bev C takes pride in everything they make, from its very own clothing label to handcrafted beverages.
If you’ve been wondering where the Insta-famous Ice Cube Espresso with milk and caramel is from, this is it! No more diluted iced coffee because with ice cubes made of espresso, your drink can only get more flavorful with every passing second.
Besides fancy drinks, Chocolate Mint Pie and White Chocolate Truffle Pie are also photogenic desserts that will up your Instagram game and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.
Must-Try: Ice Cube Espresso (RM 14.90), Chocolate Mint Pie (RM12.90), White Chocolate Truffle Pie, Charcoal Croissant with Smoked Salmon.
Address: 54 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Tue – Fri: 1 pm – 11 pm | Sat & Sun: 12 pm – 11pm (Closed on Monday)
2. Roost Recycled & Repurposed
It’s impressive how this two-storey cafe lives up to its reputation of the epitome of upcycling without being overly pretentious. Watch old tin containers, recycled newspaper rolls and even empty Jagermeister bottles come back to ‘life’ as handmade tables, chairs and lampshades, filling up the entire space with a rustic touch. With such outstanding exterior and interior, Roost Recycled & Repurposed is no doubt a cafe with distinct character.
For something different from the usual cafe food, share a bowl of their famous Frozen Yogurt with your friends. Go with either chocolate flavor or a generous scoop of fresh fruits including strawberry, blueberry and kiwi!
Must-Try: Frozen Yogurt (RM9.90), Chicken Meatballs with Mashed Potato, Smoked Salmon Salad, Eggs Benedict.
Address: 14 Jalan Trus, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 12pm – 4pm, 6pm – 12mn | Sun: 6pm – 12mn.
3. Faculty of Caffeine*
The reason behind this geeky name might be the very fact that it’s founded by a medical student and an interior designer who are both deeply passionate about coffee, food and design. Boasting an uncommon industrial concept with a dark color scheme and dim lights, Faculty of Caffeine serves high quality coffee and pastries which are simply too good to be true, I kid you not.
Treat yourself to Madam Lim’s Brownie, a homemade chewy chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, crunchy granola and chocolate drizzle, or go bananas for Bana-nuts, an ingenious creation made up of banana, peanut butter and croissant, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. If these aren’t what you call #foodporn, then I don’t know what is.
Must-Try: Madam Lim’s Brownie (RM13.50), Bana-nuts, Sunrise Breakfast, Salted Caramel Affogato.
Address: 106, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 9pm – 6pm daily
4. Chaiwalla & Co. Honest Tea*
This container cafe doesn’t have an air conditioned area, but fret not because that’s what their handcrafted teas are for – to keep you cool! Customize your very own beverage here is a whole new experience as you have a say in literally everything, selecting from 5 different bases and 15 flavours (e.g. saffron rose, pure yogurt, matcha), to 9 toppings (e.g. yogurt pops, basil seeds) and sweetness level.
If you prefer the good ol’ classics, Iced Thai Milk Tea or Iced Chai Latte definitely won’t go wrong. Chaiwalla & Co. opens till 1am on weekends, so hooray for night owls with late night cravings!
Must-Try: Iced Thai Milk Tea (RM7.80 for regular, RM9.30 for large) , Iced Chai Latte (RM7.80 for regular, RM8.80 for large)
Address: Lot 2810, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru 80000, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu: 930am – 630pm | Fri – Sun: 930am – 630pm, 8pm – 1am
5. The Ice Cream Project (TIP)
I entered TIP expecting to choose flavors from a freezer like in any other ice-cream shops, except I found none in sight, because every scoop here is handmade right before your eyes using liquid nitrogen. All that cold vapour makes the entire process seem like magic, and you’ll understand why after tasting it in your mouth.
While TIP offers only 5 signature flavors, they definitely make up for the lack of variety with consistency in richness and smooth texture. Besides ice-cream, TIP also has a wide selection of Gryphon Artisan Tea to warm you up on chilly days.
Must-Try: Brownies & Cream, Butterscotch (RM10 per scoop)
Address: 31, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 3pm – 10 pm daily
6. Maco Vintage
Located right in front of a huge parking space, Maco Vintage’s gigantic pastel green exterior is easily recognized from far. While the cafe does offer a selection of mains, the Mille Crepe cakes are what they’re famed for.
The cakes are incredibly pretty to look at, and (thankfully) equally pleasant when you take a bite. I like that the chilled cream is light enough and sweetness level is just about right, making it not too gelat to finish one on my own.
Take-away is also fuss-free as cakes will be packed in small boxes with dry ice satchels, which will keep them chilled for about an hour.
Must-Try: Rainbow cake, Musang Durian (mao shan wang), Bailey’s, Matcha Azuki mille crepe cakes.
Address: Jalan Ibrahim, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 12.30pm – 11pm | Sat: 11am – 12.30am | Sun: 11am – 11pm
7. EH HE Art Cafe
Located around the corner next to Hiap Joo bakery, EH HE Art Cafe (previously The Ink Brew by JWC) has recently soft launched after a revamp. This cafe-cum-gallery space holds stories of its own by preserving Malaysia’s Chinese heritage for the young generations, bringing us back in time with vintage elements that speak of timeless beauty.
Even its menu is interestingly old, if I may say so. From desserts like Chendol and Red Bean Soup, to mains like Nasi Lemak and Sin Chew beehoon, everything served here has a taste of home, something really rare at most cafes nowadays. EH HE also takes pride in making their food extremely affordable for everyone because to them, such enjoyments in life shouldn’t be a luxury. Also, when you’re getting sick of lattes and the likes, try EH HE’s classic Kopi O which is formulated to perfection after the baristas tasted coffee beans from all over Malaysia!
Must-Try: Nasi Lemak w/ Chicken Wing (RM7.90), Red Bean Soup (RM3.90), Kaya Toast, Chendol, Kopi O
Address: No. 1, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru 80000, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 12nn to 11pm daily (unconfirmed during soft launch period)
8. Coffee Valley*
If a dish is so provocatively named, it’d better be good. Only found here at Coffee Valley, the Eggslut is a cheesy potato coddled egg contains potato purée, cheese, egg and mushrooms, otherwise known as the most sensational food combination in this world. Period.
The Eggslut goes with everything. If a Waffle + Eggslut set isn’t enough for your bottomless pit, feel free to throw in some salad, pasta and soup of the day for a more fulfilling meal. The Four Seasons Waffle (original, matcha, chocolate, strawberry) also looks like the perfect sweet ending to your meal.
Must-Try: Waffle + Eggslut Set (RM 15.90), Four Seasons Waffle
Address: 12A Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru 80000, Johor, Malaysia | L2-550A, Sutera
Opening Hours: Mon & Tue, Thu to Sun: 11.30am – 8pm (Closed on Wednesday)
9. Pace Cafe
Along the rows of shophouses at JB Town, it’s hard not to notice this cafe painted in such a striking shade of mint green. Some might even call it Tiffany blue, a.k.a the most gorgeous shade of turquoise. Ever.
OCDs will be stoked to see that its interior design and decor are all infused with the same shade of color, which makes everything so aesthetically pleasing (read: instagrammable). As if that’s not enough, there’s even Mint Chocolate Cheesecake to fulfil your ultimate Tiffany blue fantasy.
Pace Cafe earns even more brownie points with an impressive variety of desserts, such as Magnum Shooter with a legit mini Magnum dipped in espresso, and Cheesecake Affogato made of espresso and 2 slices of rainbow cheesecake garnished with cereal crisps. You simply cannot leave Pace without trying these.
Must-Try: Mint Chocolate Cheesecake (RM13.90), Magnum Shooter (RM15), Cheesecake Affogato (RM15)
Address: 40 Jalan Ibrahim, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm daily
10. The Replacement – Lodge & Kitchen*
The epitome of #whywhiteworks, The Replacement is one of the newest and hottest cafes in JB among Singaporeans and hipsters and it’s not hard to see why. It’s run by the same team behind Faculty Of Caffeine and boy, these guys sure know the cafe game well.
With extremely minimalistic decor, full-on white interior, and marble walls, every corner of the cafe looks like it jumped straight out from Kinfolk. Everything is so instagrammable that you’d have to start clearing your phone’s memory space by the time you leave.
Must-Try: Dark Churros with Salted Egg Yolk dip (RM14.90), Friendly Eggs Benny (RM23.90), B&B French Toast (RM17.90)
Address: 33, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily
Pink, bright and cheerful, Koone is the newest addition to the popular Jalan Dhoby, and basically everything a soft-serve parlour should be. Their soft-serve is said to be similar to that of the popular Via Tokyo in Hong Kong, except you can totally save on air tickets this time!
Matcha is the bomb these days, and Koone does it on point with Matcho – matcha soft-serve with chewy Japanese dango, azuki beans, corn flakes, green tea soil, topped with artisan toast and drizzled with honey. We approve.
Must-Try: Matcho (RM22), Henna (RM24), 66% Dark Chocolate (RM14)
Address: 30, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu: 1pm – 10pm | Fri to Sun: 1pm to 12mn
12. By Grace, Trus
I thought there’s only so much you can do with ice-cream, but I was wrong. By Grace, Trus is a new kid on the block that brings handcrafted soft-serve to the next level with only natural ingredients. Only 4 flavors are offered at the moment, but every cup has a distinct personality of its own.
Earl Grey ice-cream in a mysterious shade of grey is used to encourage us to think about the flavour we’re tasting. Adventurous souls will love Osmanthus, an extraordinary flavor with an Asian twist, topped with dried longan muffin, osmanthus, goji berries, red date ice-cream, and osmanthus jelly! If you find the well balanced taste still a tad too strong, simply mix in the puffed rice to tone things down and all will be good.
Must-Try: Osmanthus, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Raspberry
Address: 9, Jalan Trus, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 12:00 – 10:00 PM daily
13. Alicafe Specialty Coffee
With a low profile shop front, Alicafe Specialty Coffee is one hidden gem you might easily miss along the row of shops. But keep a look out for it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the luxurious leather sofas and spacious double storey interior like I was.
Cotton candy seems to make frequent appearances in a few of the desserts here, and I’m totally not complaining. The insta-worthy Cotton Candy Affogato is a must-try if you enjoy the satisfying clash in flavours of espresso and everything sweet – fresh strawberries, cotton candy, marshmallows and vanilla ice-cream.
Must-Try: Cotton Candy Affogato, Oreo Cloudy Shake
Address: 27 Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 3pm-12am | Sat to Sun: 2pm – 12am
14. Sea & Saw
Sea & Saw is the latest brainchild of the same folks behind Roost, where greenery is infused into its industrial theme to build an individualistic horticulture cafe. Sharing the same concept behind Roost, founders of Sea & Saw find comfort in using natural resources to add raw elements into its design.
Enjoy looking out for chubby succulents, cacti and crawling vines peeking out from all corners of the cafe. Besides its amazing interior, Sea & Saw also has a spacious outdoor lounge made of wooden planks right next to a gigantic tree, which only adds to its rustic charm.
In tune with their passion for all things clean and green, Sea & Saw offers hearty mains and cold pressed juices. Need your greens? House Salad with smoked chicken/salmon will leave you feeling detoxed.
Must-Try: Cold pressed juices (RM16.90), Beef Mushroom Charcoal Burger Bun (RM18.90), Soy Balsamic Chicken Whole Leg (RM19.90), House Salad with smoked chicken/salmon (RM16.90)
Address: 6B, Jalan Skudai, Straits View, 80200
Opening Hours: Wed to Mon: 3pm – 1am (Closed on Tuesday)
15. Insomnia Cafe
Well hidden at the luxurious Country Garden Clubhouse, Insomnia Cafe (previously Cestino CP Patisserie) boasts a spacious dining area and an eye-catching yellow vintage Vespa scooter. What I love about this place is how its full length windows allow tons of natural light to shine through, adding a touch of warmth to the contemporary chic space.
Make your tummy happy with the crispy thin-crust Smoked Duck Pizza and a hot basket of Potato Wedges. Dessert fans must not miss out on Insomnia’s Signature Tiramisu to wrap up a meal!
Must-Try: Smoked Duck Pizza (RM21), Potato Wedges (RM9), Tiramisu (RM14)
Address: 7, 8 Country Garden Danga Bay, Jalan Skudai 80200, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily
16. W Espresso Sporting Club
Rocking a 1960s sports theme, W Espresso Sporting Club’s eye-catching decor has a charisma that’s easy to fall in love with. Croquet mallets and vintage racquetball racquets adorn the walls, while mini terrariums made of beakers liven up the space with all sorts of cute cacti and money plant.
No cup of coffee brewed here will disappoint with their award winning in-house barista, who is also the man behind Monsta Cafe (#49). The cafe also serves amazing Japanese French Fusion cuisine to please even the fussiest eaters. Bon appétit!
Must-Try: Bacon Beef Macaroni with Poached Egg, Unagi Spaghetti.
Address: CS01-12 Jalan Skudai, Country Garden Danga Bay, Johor Bahru 80200, Johor
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm daily
TAMAN PELANGI, TAMAN SRI TEBRAU
17. L.café by Lavender
Think of L.café as a very hip western bakery-cum-cafe, where you get to pick from a wide variety of freshly baked bread and pastries to go along with your coffee fix. L.café is one of the newest dining concepts under Malaysia’s very own Lavender Bakery & Pâtisserie, with L.Table (restaurant) located right on the second floor.
For savoury options, try Chicken Ham & Cheese Bun and Otak Cheese Bun. Otherwise, Toffee Danish and Banana Danish Puff will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Must-Try: Chicken Ham & Cheese Bun (RM2.95), Otak Cheese Bun (RM2.95), Toffee Danish (RM4.90), Banana Danish Puff (RM3.20), Iced Mocha (RM12.70)
Address: 64, 66 & 68, Jalan Serampang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm daily
For more locations, click here.
18. Gent Utopia Enterprise
As its name suggests, gentlemen would likely appreciate this multi-concept lifestyle store more than ladies would. Gent Utopia carries apparels and accessories across many homme brands such as Cheap Monday, Dr. Denim and Nudie Jeans Co., enough to send any shopaholic to utopia.
Head over to the outdoor espresso bar for a drink or two to take a break from shopping if you wish. Those colourful cold pressed juices and ice beers are perfect on a summer afternoon. We’ve also heard that all hot coffees are pay-what-you-want! Now that’s the kind of utopian spirit we’re looking for.
Must-Try: Espresso + caramel, cold pressed juices (RM14), Cake of the day
Address: 7 Jalan Serampang, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru 80050, Johor
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm daily
19. J.C. Cafe
Seems like JB is quickly catching up with the milkshake craze too! Don’t be fooled by J.C. Cafe’s dainty floral interior because the monster milkshakes they serve are going to blow your mind. The Chocolate Banana Milkshake is an all time favourite topped with incredible amount of cookies, brownies, pretzels and even caramelized popcorns! For a healthier option, opt for the new Divine Matcha Milkshake with freshly cut apples blended in.
The milkshakes might a tad too gelat for one person, so it’s best to share it with some kakis. Just remember to take a shot of this insta-worthy creation before everyone starts digging in!
The cafe is seated on the second storey of a shop along Jalan Serampang. Follow the signs to find the staircase that will lead you to the entrance.
Must-Try: Chocolate Banana Milkshake (RM18.90), Divine Matcha Milkshake, Red Velvet Parfait
Address: 39, Jalan Serampang, Taman Sri Tebrau, 80500 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm daily (Closed on Wednesday)
20. F’ Concepts
Rebranded from Scribble Garden Cafe @ Pot De Fleur, F’ Concepts is another boutique-cum-cafe on the list, this time catered to the ladies. Hoorah! All apparels are tastefully handpicked and imported from Korea to bring Korean fashion style a step closer to you, says the lady boss.
Their signature Rose Green Tea Latte will win the heart of all ladies with the pretty rose petals scattered on it, which gives off a light, rosy fragrance before you take each sip. Have a slice of cake for a perfect afternoon tea with a group of girlfriends.
Must-Try: Rose Green Tea Latte (RM10), Yogurt Cheesecake (RM12), Lemon Meringue (RM12)
Address: 56, Jalan Serampang, Taman Pelangi, Johor, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Wed to Mon: 11am-10pm (closed on Tuesday)
21. HeadMost Cafe by JWC
Yet another part-cafe, part-boutique concept on the list, Headmost Cafe used to be alongside clothing label Headmost which has recently closed down after 3 years. Good news is, they do promise to be back soon with a whole new face. *surprise*
Meanwhile, simply enjoy Headmost cafe on its own with a cup of coffee or two! Ladies would love the sweet aroma of Lychee Rose Latte to go along with the Premium Strawberry Honey Toast topped with a huge scoop of strawberry ice-cream.
Feeling adventurous? Give Headmost Signature a shot, a double ristretto generously sprinkled with bits of… corn. Yes, corn.
Must-Try: Lychee Rose Latte, Mint Chocolate Latte, Premium Strawberry Honey Toast, Headmost Signature (RM14.90)
Address: G07, Plaza Mentari (SunCity) Jalan Kuning, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Tue to Sun: 12.30pm – 10.30pm (Closed on Monday)
22. Ink N Water
They say there’s a kind of beauty in imperfection, and you’ll see why here at Ink N Water. The cafe’s rustic interior is furnished with self-designed handmade furnitures that were never intended to be flawless, giving it an unpretentious charm.
Breakfast sets like Thick French Toasts and Eggs Benedict, and desserts like Carrot Cake with Pumpkin Seeds are hot favorites here. Be sure to try the Matcha Latte as well!
Must-Try: Thick French Toasts, Eggs Benedict, Carrot Cake with Pumpkin Seeds
Address: 46, Jalan Pingai, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu: 12pm – 11.30pm | Fri to Sun: 12pm – 12am
23. Café Racer by Grillbar*
For once, boys are definitely going to have their eyes on more than just the food at Café Racer by Grillbar. The proud owner of the drool-worthy retro classic Vespas collection is a biker fanatic himself who is just as passionate about food, like all men are!
Must-Try: Jack The Cheese (RM29), Waffle Rumble (RM25), Milomaniac Milkshake (RM15)
Address: 72, Jalan Pingai, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 11pm daily
24. Coffee Signature*
Located in an elevated black container, Coffee Signature looks like it’s up there in the clouds from below. The limited space can be a tad too cram when business is good, but the tastefully presented mains and beverages do make up for it with specialties you wouldn’t find elsewhere.
Passionate Instagrammers will go straight for the photogenic Sweet Little Rain, a cup of tea or coffee that’s accompanied by a puff of cloud floating right above. It’s a test of patience for the cotton candy to slowly melt and fall in as ‘raindrops’, but take a sip of your sweetened drink afterwards and you’ll know it’s worth the wait!
Not in the mood for rain? Brighten up your day by drinking Ice Blended Green Tea from a light bulb for the first time in your life.
Must-Try: Sweet Little Rain (RM16.90), Ice Blended Green Tea (Rm11.90), Huevos Rancheros (RM21)
Address: 53, Jalan Serampang, Taman Tebrau Jaya, 80050 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Sun to Thu: 2pm – 10pm | Fri to Sat: 12pm – 11pm
25. Atlas Coffee Embassy
Coffee embassy’ is actually a pretty legit name, because look at who’s the barista behind these brews? It’s Malaysian Barista Champion JH Yee. ‘Nuff said.
Atlas is Yee’s newest venture in JB after ending his legendary one-man-show at Top Brew Coffee Bar in Kuala Lumpur, the local’s go-to cafe for consistent champion-standard coffee. With Japanese minimalist furnishing and clean white walls, Atlas Coffee Embassy creates an ideal, comfortable space for some serious coffee tasting.
Have a cuppa Atlas Signature Blend, which is said to be specially formulated for Johorean taste buds, and you’ll know the difference. #champion
Must-Try: Atlas Signature Blend, Atlas Specialty Breakfast
Address: 32, Jalan Mount Austin 8/7, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat: 8.30am – 11pm | Sun: 8.30am – 7pm
26. Degree Neg 196
At Degree Neg 196, excite your tastebuds with liquid nitrogen ice-cream and warm lava cakes. If you love the king of fruits, you definitely have to try their newest Musang Durian flavour! Else, matcha fans will also find their paradise here in the form of both ice-cream and lava cake.
Must-Try: Musang durian ice-cream, Matcha Lava Cake, Apple Rose Tea
Address: 21 Jalan Austin Height 8/3 Taman Mount Austin 81100 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu: 2pm – 12am | Fri to Sun: 1pm – 1am
27. JWC, The Factory 30
Yet another brainchild of JWC that proves that the team behind never fails, The Factory 30 by JWC is the largest cafe on this list, taking up two storeys in what seems like a reconstructed factory.
Coffee brewing is serious business here, no joke at all. Watch their professionally trained baristas in action from up close at the modern coffee bar, and be intrigued by the complex yet mesmerizing process of concocting fancy coffee drinks, like the fiery Irish Coffee with a shot of whiskey!
Must-Try: Irish coffee (RM28), Homemade Egg Benedict Bagel (RM25.90), Papua New Guinea Baroida AX
Address: 30 Jalan Mutiara Emas 5/3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 2pm – 12mn daily
28. Coffee & Bread Cafe
With outlets established in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and even Singapore, Coffee & Bread Cafe probably rings a bell to some. We like the rustic industrial decor and spaciousness of the one at Austin Heights, which makes the cafe perfect for any occasion.
Must-Try: Melbourne Ice Coffee, Signature Pancakes, Salmon Pasta
Address: 19, Jalan Austin Heights 8/3, Taman Mount Austin. Avenue 8. 81100
Opening Hours: 9am – 12am daily (Closed on Wednesday)
29. OIC (Oh! Ice-Cream)
Eating gelato here was quite a fantasy-like experience with the whimsical set-up and dry ice fog rising from adorable mint green pots. For a brief moment, every table looked like they were holding a little tea party, one that you would imagine happening in Alice In Wonderland.
The flavors available are pretty standard, but with more than 20 toppings to choose from, there really isn’t much to complain about. We went gaga over the fancy toppings, ranging from crunchy nuts to pastel marshmallows, and honey stars.
Must-Try: Ice-cream Steamboat, Milk soft serve, Macaron Ice Cream
AKSL City Mall
Address: LG-010, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 10:00pm daily
Address: 33 Jalan Austin Heights 8/3 Taman Mount Austin 81100, Johor Bahru
Operating Hours: 2:00pm – 10:00pm daily (Closed on Wednesday)
So many Singaporeans flood to Bangkok for the Thai coconut ice-cream, but why do that when you can get them in JB now? With over 30 stores in Malaysia, Sangkaya finally arrived in JB, bringing the freshest coconut ice-cream closer to Johoreans and Singaporeans.
Expect rich and creamy ice-cream served in fresh coconut husks with strips of coconut flesh and 3 natural toppings of your choice, such as corn and peanut. Besides the classic coconut flavour, Sangkaya’s also loved for their Thai Milk Tea Ice-cream and Coconut Milkshake.
Must-Try: Premium Coconut/Thai Milk Tea Ice-cream (RM 9.90)
Address: 25, Jalan Austin Height 3, Taman Mount Austin, Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm daily
31. Creamery Boutique Ice Cream
Who knew ice-cream would go so well with lava cookies?! Serving ice-cream in toylike frying pans with colorful plastic utensils, this popular ice-cream parlour from Thailand is now taking JB by storm with its ingenious food pairing and creative presentation.
Choose from 12 ice-cream flavors and 3 gigantic base cookies oozing with lava, including chocolate lava, matcha lava and brownie. Psst, we’ve heard that Green Tea Ice-cream with Chocolate Lava Cookie is a heavenly combination.
Must-Try: Thai Milk Tea, Green Tea, Tiramisu, Grape Sorbet
Address: 33 Jalan Austin Heights 8/3 Taman Mount Austin 81100, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 2pm – 10pm (Closed on Wednesday)
32. Screw & Brew Coffee
Who cares about calories when waffles like these exist? Screw it, diet always starts tomorrow anyway. Screw & Brew serves on point waffles and toasts alongside coffees, teas and mains. For budget diners, the 3-course dinner with beverage is a fantastic deal starting at only RM25++, available from 6pm till 10:30pm.
Must-Try: Charcoal Waffle with Salted Egg Sauce (RM18), Signature Salted Caramel Waffle, Pork Burger
Address: 31 Jalan Austin Heights 8/8, Taman Mount Austin 81000, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 12pm – 1am daily
33. Homies By JWC*
Where you at, ma homies! One of my personal favourites on the list, Homies was love at first sight for me. Its spacious interior, IKEA style cosy decor, quirky color scheme, and not to mention amazing coffee and food are everything I could ask for.
Besides being aesthetically on point, it’s heartening to know that JWC puts just as much effort into coffee brewing. Expect an extensive selection of handcrafted coffee, like the Sea Salt Caramel Vienna Coffee which won me over with its complex Syphon brewing method before I even had a taste of it.
The Hungry Jack Big Breakfast stuffed me silly with poppy seed bagel served with caramelized tomatoes, sautéed mushroom, cheesy jumbo sausage, scrambled eggs and nachos. The portion is perfect for sharing, but any breakfast person would have no complaints finishing this on his own.
Must-Try: Sea Salt Caramel Vienna Coffee (RM15), Hungry Jack Big Breakfast (RM28.50, Weekdays special: RM24.90), Cold Brew Ice Chocolate (RM16.90), Cotton Candy Affogato (RM19.90)
Address: 7 Molek Pine 3 Apartment, Jalan Molek 1/27, Taman Molek, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 12nn – 12pm daily
34. Brew Orchestra
Yogurt, waffles, breakfast, coffee; you name it, The Brew Orchestra has it. This cafe’s charm lies in its ever-changing signature dishes that make every visit a different and better experience.
Low fat and high in antioxidants, the Yogurt Granola with Banana and Pomegranates makes a healthier alternative to the usual cafe food for the more health conscious ones. For a heavenly combination of sweet and savory, try Uptown Waffles topped with maple syrup coated bacon and fresh fruits.
Must-Try: Uptown Waffles, Yogurt Granola with Banana and Pomegranates (RM15), Twosome Affogato (RM13), Hayley’s Breakie, French Toast with Berry Compote
Address: 1 Jalan Molek 3/19, Taman Molek 81100, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 11am – 11.30pm | Sat & Sun: 10am – 11.30pm
35. Coffee Loft* [CLOSED]
Coffee Loft is now closed.
From afar, Coffee Loft’s huge industrial exterior might look slightly uninviting. But the strong contemporary and artistic vibes can be felt once you step into the spacious cafe. Warmly brightened up by natural light shining through the full length windows, the space also serves as a mini gallery showcasing numerous art pieces by local artist Hoe Say Yong.
The Signature Tiramisu we tried was unforgettable – perfectly chilled with just the right amount of alcohol and sprinkled generously with cocoa powder. Order a warm cup of latte along with this and be prepared to daydream your afternoon away.
Must-Try: Tiramisu (RM18), Caramel Waffle (RM15), Smoked Duck Pizza (RM21)
Address: 29 Jalan Molek 1/12, Taman Molek 81100, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu: 12pm – 11pm | Fri to Sun: 12pm – 12mn
36. My Liberica Coffee
In the booming cafe scene, My Liberica is one of the few emerging local coffee brands that Malaysia has to boast of. This hidden gem along Taman Molek is run by a team of very serious coffee makers that even has their very own coffee plantation!
Take a seat at the coffee bar to watch the the baristas do their thang from up close and you’ll be fascinated by all that fancy equipments the way I was. We tried their specialty Ice Drip Coffee, a concentrated cold brew coffee made from hand picked coffee beans of the finest quality. It’s pretty strong for non-coffee drinkers, but caffeine addicts will no doubt fall in love with every sip.
Must-Try: Ice Drip Coffee, Kopi Luwak
Address: 73, Jalan Molek 3/10, Taman Molek, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 12nn – 10pm (Closed on Thursday)
37. The Sugar Pantry
Literally sugar, spice and everything nice, The Sugar Pantry is run by a talented couple both deeply passionate about baking. The shop is almost like a pastry galore showcasing beautifully handcrafted desserts that look waaaay too good to be eaten.
The Permas Jaya outlet is a smaller and cozier cafe perfect for some coffee and cakes, while the double storey one at Taman Molek offers more varieties on the menu, including the must-try Japanese Matcha Sundae.
Must-Try: Japanese Matcha Sundae (RM16), Ice-cream Macaroon (RM18)
Address: 47, Jalan Molek 1/9, Taman Molek, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily
Must-Try: Paris Brest (RM11.90), Mont Blanc (RM14.90)
Address: G-03, Blk B, Permas Mall, 03 Jalan Permas Utara, Permas Jaya, 81750 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 12nn – 10pm (Closed on Monday)
BANDAR JAYA PUTRA
38. Once Upon A Time
Step into this whimsical little cottage and you’ll be brought back in time and find yourself in your own fairytale. Quietly nestled in a quaint neighbourhood and a patch of greens, Once Upon A Time rocks a different laidback vibe which urban dwellers would enjoy away from the bustling city.
From 1 to 3pm daily, grab lunch sets that come with hot cappuccino starting from RM20. Afternoon tea sets from 3 to 7pm will get you a signature toast and a hot drink at only RM18.
Must-Try: Brownie with Haagen Dazs Ice-cream (RM17.90), Cold pressed juice (RM14.90), Mushroom Aglio Olio (RM16.90)
Address: 7A Showhouse, Jalan Persiaran Jaya Putra 1, Bandar Jaya Putra 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 1pm – 11pm (Closed on Wednesday)
39. The Glasshouse Tearoom
Quaintly standing in a little garden, the Glasshouse’s beauty is pretty self-explanatory. Being surrounded by a garden view and blue skies while comfortably sitting in indoors is a surprisingly tranquil experience, one that you have to experience yourself right here at The Glasshouse Tearoom.
Sip on authentic English tea from sophisticated floral teaware along with some cakes and watch the world go by without having to withstand the JB heat. Do note that they do not provide ‘split cup service’, which means every pot of tea only comes with 1 set of tea cup as they encourage one pot per person.
Must-Try: Fruity Tooty Tea (RM18.90), Formal Afternoon Tea for 2 (RM89)
Address: Persiaran Jaya Putra 1, Bandar Jaya Putra, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 3pm – 10pm (Closed on Monday)
40. Miyakori Cafe*
On a scale of 1 to Miyakori, how kawaii can cakes and coffees be? This Japanese themed cafe will surprise you.
Besides making super cutesy food and drinks, it’s a real blessing that Miyakori does not sacrifice taste for appearance. Initially, you thought it would kill you to destroy those cute bears and bunnies, but once you overcome that barrier… I promise you’ll find yourself indulging in no time.
You might feel yourself completely torn over which character to order for your lattes and cakes, but trust me when I say you’re not the only one. If you need some recommendations, the Oreo Cheesecake, Cat-puccino and Matcha Latte are what I’d totally go back for.
Tip: We heard a second outlet will be opening up right at City Square Mall, next to the checkpoint. Singaporean cafe-hoppers, rejoice!
Must-Try: Oreo Cheesecake (RM12.90), Strawberry Shortcake (RM12.90), Cat-puccino (RM7.90), Matcha Latte
Address: 41, Jalan Indah 22/14, Bukit Indah 2, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm daily
41. Monsta Cafe
Expect nothing monstrous at this playfully named cafe, except for the pink squishy monster you’ll see on the signboard hanging right outside the building. The cute vibrant decor and cheeky doodles make Monsta cafe kids friendly and perfect for the young at heart!
Truffle fries is nothing new, but what about Monsta fries in a coffee bag? If you’re a hardcore caffeine addict, Monsta Espresso Chicken Chop might be your thing. Also, every cup of latte comes with a latte art of your choice! If you’re in for a surprise, let the barista make the decision for you instead.
Must-Try: Cotton Candy Affogato, Monsta espresso chicken chop (RM24.50), Monsta Fries, Monsta Mamee Burger (RM22)
Address: 157 Jalan Bestari ⅕ Taman Nusa Bestari Skudai. 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu: 10am – 12mn | Fri to Sun: 11am – 1am
42. Sweet Blossom Coffee Roasters
Just how cute can 3D latte art get these days? Not that I’m complaining.
Tucked away along a row of shops in a quaint neighbourhood, Sweet Blossom is a cozy little space known for freshly brewed espresso-based specialty coffee. Expect aromatic handcrafted coffee from as early as 8am, along with a wide selection of freshly baked homemade pastries.
Adventurous coffee drinkers, don’t miss out on their new signature drink – Espresso Tonic. With an exotic taste of orange, plum and peach, this sparkling beverage is surely a refreshing way to beat the summer heat.
Must-Try: Quiche Lorraine (RM14), Apple Meringue, 3D Latte Art, Croissants, Dark Chocolate Strawberry Tart
Address: 52, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm daily
43. The Teavana
It probably takes a man to not feel girly at all in this Victorian style cafe. The exquisite porcelain tea sets, floral sofas, and pastel color theme will bring out the refined lady in every girl. Besides offering a delectable pastries galore, Teavana also impresses with a wide selection of satisfying mains.
Select from a variety of handmade muffins, cupcakes and scones for a classic English afternoon tea, and sip on some Earl Grey or Rose Tea. Not a tea person? Fret not as coffee is also served by an insanely talented barista who can practically draw whatever latte art you want!
Must-Try: Squid Ink Spaghetti, Fish & Chips, Ribeye Steak with Caramelised Onion & Herb, Afternoon Tea
Address: 128 Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm daily
44. La Strada Coffee
La Strada is a plain jane on this list, but serves decent coffee and mains nonetheless. Tucked away on the second floor above a traditional coffee shop, it can be hard to find unless you spot its gigantic signboard at the junction. But what you get in exchange with its less accessible location is peace and quiet away from chatty crowds at many other cafes.
Must-Try: Ice Coffee, Chocolate Banana Waffles (RM11.90)
Address: 45-01, Jalan Permas 10/7, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Masai, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun: 12pm – 10pm
45. Cats At Their Sanctuary (CATS cafe)*
Find comfort in the homey, IKEA style furnishing in this cat cafe, not to mention from the little furry ones you’d spot curling up at every corner. It’s hard not to feel relaxed with residential kittens lazing around and basically enjoying life while you take a much needed coffee break.
Expect to see Maine Coons, Persians among many other cats in the sanctuary! Do note that no outside pets/cats are allowed, just in case the in-house kitties get jealous.
Must-Try: Giant Seafood Platter, Smoke Salmon Salad
Address: 31A Jalan Abdul Samad Lorong 2C 80100, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 1pm – 9:30pm daily
46. Friends & Fig
Newly opened in November, Friends & Fig is a casual and inviting little juice bar that serves simple but thoughtful food and drinks. Feel at home with home-cooked mains and get a quick detox with one of the cold pressed juices specially made by a natural juice therapist. Go for Malibu Passion for a refreshingly tangy aftertaste!
Must-Try: Homemade Chicken Ball Pasta (RM18.90), Malibu Passion Juice (RM15)
Address: 154, Jalan Lumba Kuda, Bukit Chagar, 80300 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu & Sun: 11am – 11pm | Fri to Sat: 11am – 12am
47. Pantry By Pot’s
Pizza is life. No pizza is ordinary at Pantry By Pot’s, where every slice is made by hand and crafted by heart. You won’t find the standard cafe staples at this eatery, but you’d love the funky homemade pizza and sides they have here.
For first timers, Breakfast Pizza with beef pepperoni, beef bacon, eggs, chicken sausages and mushroom toppings with BBQ sauce is a hit among customers. Covered in homemade spicy BBQ sauce, the Buffalo Wings are also worth dirtying your hands for.
Must-Try: Arabiatta Pizza, Breakfast Pizza, Pantry Chicken Rice
Address: 83 Jalan Tampoi, Kilang Bateri, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: 3pm – 12am daily
48. Image Cooker (Vegetarian)
As the only vegan option on the list, Image Cooker might turn even carnivores into vegetarians for a day. That’s how good it is. Drink from camera lenses, eat from tin boxes, and walk up and down a staircase made of what seems like pipes – every experience here is something different!
Can’t imagine a life without meat? The Vegetarian Tofu Burger might change your mind for a second.
Must-Try: Tom Yam Spaghetti, Vegetarian Tofu Burger, Tomato Baked Rice
Address: 19B&C, Jalan Harmonium 33/1, Taman Desa Tebrau, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Tues to Fri: 12pm – 10pm | Sat to Sun: 12pm – 12 am (Closed on Monday)
49. Kafuka Cafe & Music Studio
In this minimalist and cozy little space called Kafuka, time seems to slow down somehow. The Japanese zakka inspired decor is a refreshing change from the common hipster interior that many cafes go for nowadays, with adorable pots of miniature bonsai enlivening the whole space.
Despite only soft launching last month, Kafuka already has a very impressive 3-page long beverage menu to offer. Don’t miss out on their newly launched Christmas menu, which includes all things green – Matcha Red Bean Pancake, Matcha Milk and Matcha Latte!
Must-Try: Matcha Red Bean Pancake, Crushed Oreo Belgium Waffle, Strawberry Pancake, Kafuka Big Breakfast
Address: 16A, Jalan Bendahara 12, Tmn Ungku Tun Aminah, Skudai, Johor
Opening Hours: Sun to Wed: 11am – 10pm | Fri – Sat: 11am – 11pm (Closed on Thursday)
50. Palladium Cafe*
For pop-up stores, Palladium got to be one of the most memorably designed ones. Designed in the shape of a house with a chimney, this petite glasshouse is tucked far, far away from the city centre, yet its photogenic appearance attracted many people to head down for a cuppa and picture.
Catch live band performance every friday (7-8pm) at the cafe’s alfresco seating area for some awesome #TGIF vibes!
Fun fact – Jay Chou fans might find this glasshouse familiar, because it’s almost identical to the one that appeared in one of his MVs (1:55)!
Note: Since this is a pop-up store, you may want to give them a call to check if they’re still open before visiting the cafe.
Must-Try: Palladium Signature Coffee (RM16.90), Iced Dark Chocolate (RM13.90)
Address: Eco Spring Show Village. Jalan Ekoflora 1, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru (Near Setia Indah)
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9pm daily
51. Lis Gelato
If you’ve already made the effort to travel down for Palladium Cafe, make the trip worthwhile with a scoop of gelato at Lis Gelato that’s right beside it. What’s better than having gelato sandwiched between pastel colored crispy cotton candy to cool you down on a hot day, especially when it’s even more pleasing aesthetically?
Note: Since this is a pop-up store, you may want to give them a call to check if they’re still open before visiting the cafe.
Address: Eco Spring Show Village. Jalan Ekoflora 1, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru (Near Setia Indah)
Opening Hours: Fri to Sun: 11.30am – 9.30pm
Hop across the border
If these food are practically screaming at you to be on your Instagram feed and in your tummy, you know what to do. With KTM (read our guide here!) bringing you to JB in just 5 minutes at $5 (RM5 for return trip) and the Malaysian Ringgit hitting an all time low of 3 against SGD, there’s really no better time to take your cafe-hunting journey across the border, if your heart isn’t already itching to do so.
If we missed out on any other cafes worth visiting, do share with us in the comments section below! For more amazing things to do and eat in JB, check out our guides to local food and other attractions.
Note: While the ones marked with asterisk (*) mostly use ingredients from halal suppliers, they might not be halal-certified. Muslim friends, do double check with the cafe before making your way down to avoid disappointment.