Tiong Bahru cafes
No matter what region of Singapore you reside in, there’s a reason why Tiong Bahru is always mentioned when cafe-hopping is on the agenda. It may be situated towards the far south of our island, but the fact that Tiong Bahru MRT is almost smack in the middle of the East-West Line makes it pretty accessible; and well worth the trip to check out the many Tiong Bahru cafes.
Whether you’re picking that one perfect cafe to suit your vibe, cuisine, and theme preference or looking to make a cafe-hopping itinerary out of it, here are the must-visits:
1. Sevens Kissaten
Image credit: Sevens Kissaten
Sevens Kissaten is a Japanese tea room-inspired cafe with a white, minimalist interior. The faux glasshouse effect and ceiling adorned with orb lanterns lend to its tranquil atmosphere. If you’re a fan of both Japanese food cuisine and cafe-hopping, this place will check both boxes.
Their Omakase Set ($38) features 7 small bites, soup, fluffy Japanese rice, and dessert of the day.
Image credit: @sevenskissaten
Although they’re modelled after a tea room, their coffee offerings are just as impressive. They serve hand-dripped coffee, and besides the usual suspects like Espresso ($4) and Mocha ($7 for hot, $8 for iced), they also have an in-house special of Cream Signature Coffees (from $8). These are topped with delicately sweetened cream for smooth and luxurious sips.
Address: 58 Seng Poh Road, #01-15, Singapore 160058
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 9.30am-5.30pm | Fri-Sun 9.30am-9pm
Contact: 8723 7777 | Sevens Kissaten website
2. Forty Hands
Image credit: @40handscoffee
The Tiong Bahru outlet is the OG, first started in 2010 with the idea of providing quintessential Aussie cafe vibes, but with Asian influences in the brunch dishes. Forty Hands’ other branch is in East Coast, a tell-tale sign that the business def focuses on creating hangout spots for the too-cool-for-school crowd.
This shines through in creations like their Banh Mi Bowl (from $18), which is like a deconstructed banh mi in a rice bowl rather than baguette sandwich. They also serve spruced-up versions of Tau Sar Pau ($2.5) and Kong Bak Pau (from $12 for 2) – red bean buns and braised pork buns respectively.
Address: 78 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 163078
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am-5.30pm | Sat-Sun 7.30am-6.30pm
Contact: 6225 8545 | Forty Hands website
3. Merci Marcel
Image adapted from: Merci Marcel Group
One of the trendiest French eateries on home soil, we’d be remiss not to mention Merci Marcel’s sheer aesthetics. The breezy patio section where sunlight floods in is a popular choice in particular, and it’s no wonder that snap-happy Instagrammers flock to this cafe like bees to honey.
Image credit: @mercimarcel
The dishes don’t fall short either, with decadent treats like Eggs Benedict ($21) with crispy Bayonne ham and Croque Marcel ($22) – their twist on a classic Croque Monsieur – being foolproof introductions to the cuisine.
Swing by past sundown for a totally different, equally très chic vibe.They open till midnight 6 days a week, so you can have late-night chats accompanied by tipple.
Check out our guide for more activities that’ll give you that “France in Singapore” experience.
Address: 56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-68, Singapore 160056
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 8am-12am | Sun 8am-11pm
Contact: 6224 0113 | Merci Marcel website
4. PS.Cafe Petit
Image credit: PS.Cafe
Famed for their classy aesthetics and truffle fries, PS.Cafe has many outlets in Singapore. The “Petit” branch may be cosier in size, but it’s IG-worthy nonetheless. With a dark marble interior and facade, it stands out from the bright neighbourhood and Tiong Bahru’s iconic blocks of milky white shophouses.
Image credit: @pscafe
As with other PS.Cafes, you can expect a variety of cakes and tarts, and their famed Sticky Date Pudding ($16.50). For the ultimate brunch experience, opt for the filling PS Big Breakfast ($27). It comes with eggs on toast, bacon and sausage, baked beans, and for that extra fancy touch, a salad with fragrant honey truffle dressing.
Address: 78 Guan Chuan Street, #01-41, Singapore 160078
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-10.30pm | Sat-Sun 9am-10.30pm
Contact: 6708 9288 | PS.Cafe website
5. Flock Cafe
Flock Cafe is a humble family-run business. The owners are big on coffee and cafe culture, so you can expect only quality brews here.
Due to the relatively tighter space, it may be a challenge to kope seats especially at busy periods like weekend brunch to lunchtime. However, the cosiness adds to the charm and it’s a lovely spot to lose yourself in a good book, or get some remote work done.
Image credit: @ire.ne.su
Besides all-day breakfast dishes like granola, French toast, and their own twist on Eggs Benedict called Cheeky Eggs ($16.90) which features braised pork cheek, they also have a wide range of Western mains like burgers and pasta.
Address: 78 Moh Guan Terrace, #01-25, Singapore 162078
Opening hours: 8am-8.30pm, Daily
Contact: 6536 3938 | Flock Cafe website
6. Monument Lifestyle
Image credit: Monument Lifestyle
A unique concept housing both a retail outlet and cafe corner under one roof, Monument Lifestyle serves quality coffee and bagels. It’s helmed by a couple originally from the US, who wanted to bring elements of their home country to Singapore.
The coffee is imported from San Francisco, and the bagels are from a partnering New York-style joint. After fuelling up on American grub, you can peruse their boutique offerings curated from local and overseas brands. Items on sale range from apparel and accessories to home fragrances and one-of-a-kind greeting cards.
Address: 21 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168651
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9am-6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 8950 8724 | Monument Lifestyle website
7. Chapter 55
Image credit: @chapter_55
So-named for its location at Block 55 along Tiong Bahru Road, the whimsically themed Chapter 55 is where you’ll find throngs of savvy diners during weekday lunchtime. This is because they’ve been running lunch deals since they first opened in 2014.
Many will fondly remember their 1-for-1 lunch promo, but as of January 2022, they’ve changed it to a nonetheless value-for-money 25% discount on selected menu items due to rising food and labour costs. Swing by on weekdays between 11.30am-3.30pm if you’d like to enjoy these savings.
Address: 55 Tiong Bahru Road, #01-37, Singapore 160055
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm & 5.30pm-10.30pm | Sat-Sun 11.30am-10.30pm
Contact: 6221 2219 | Chapter 55 website
8. Drips Bakery Cafe
Image credit: Drips Bakery Cafe
Not to be confused with Drip Singapore – the newest kid on the clubbing block – Drips Bakery Cafe specialises in tarts, and they’ve been in the biz since 2010. Having branched out to outlets in Takashimaya and Tanjong Katong, their Tiong Bahru flagship is a spacious cafe where you can chill and dig into their extensive selection of tarts.
Image credit: @dripsbakerycafe
If you’d like something more substantial, they also serve all-day breakfast dishes like Smoked Salmon and Eggs ($13.80), as well as shareable dishes like the Assorted Sausage Platter ($16.80) and 10in pizzas ($15.80) in flavours like Oriental Ducky and Meaty-licious.
Address: 82 Tiong Poh Road, #01-05, Singapore 160082
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 9am-9pm | Fri-Sat 9am-10pm
Contact: 6222 0400 | Drips Bakery Cafe website
9. Plain Vanilla Bakery
Image credit: @fainarida
While simple, Plain Vanilla honours home-baking traditions that keep recipes uncomplicated. To this day, this bakery is still one of the most popular places in Tiong Bahru to chill out at because of its open, airy space and cute decor.
Image credit: Plain Vanilla
To get a sampling kit of their crowd favourites, we recommend getting a Box of 6 Cupcakes ($24) which comes with curated flavours. These are, namely, the Red Velvet, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Hazelnut, Earl Grey Lavender, Dark Chocolate Ganache, and Strawberry White Chocolate.
Address: 1D Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168641
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am-5pm | Sat-Sun & PH 7.30am-7pm
Contact: 8363 7614 | Plain Vanilla website
10. Tiong Bahru Bakery
Image credit: @tiongbahrubakery
One of the OGs in Singapore’s cafe-hopping scene, Tiong Bahru Bakery has now grown to a chain of several outlets throughout the nation, including a safari-themed cafe in Dempsey.
Swing by the Tiong Bahru outlet for a no-frills brunch sesh, and to sample their famous pastries. There’s a nice al fresco section where you can soak in the tranquil atmosphere and do some people-watching.
Image credit: @shio.pannn
Depending on whether you’re craving something classic or with a slight twist, the top recommendations are the signature Croissant ($4), Kouign Amann ($5.50), and Green Tea Almond Croissant ($6.20).
Address: 56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-70, Singapore 160056
Opening hours: 7.30am-8pm, Daily
Contact: 6220 3430 | Tiong Bahru Bakery website
11. Caffe Pralet
Image credit: Caffe Pralet
Whether you call them sandos or sammies, jam-packed sandwiches are an emerging cafe trend. It’s not hard to see why, as they’re a feast for both the eyes and belly. Caffe Pralet has been perfecting the craft since 2006, and you can be sure of their dedication to food as they’re opened by the team behind a culinary institute – Creative Culinaire.
Image credit: @caffepraletsg
Their gourmet creations include the Beefin’ Cheesin ($12) and Spam Bam ($11), featuring braised chuck tender and crisped Spam respectively. They’ve also got vegetarian and vegan options, like Magic Mushrooms ($13) and Tofu Sesame King ($10).
Address: 17 Eng Hoon Street, #01-04, Singapore 169767
Opening hours: 9am-6pm, Daily
Contact: 6223 5595 | Caffe Pralet website
12. Cream & Custard (Relocated)
Note: Cream & Custard has since relocated to Shenton Way. Do refer to the Cream & Custard Facebook page for more information.
Image credit: @fishyfish
Cream & Custard is Singapore’s answer to Black Star Pastry – one of the best places for Sydney food – with their Strawberry Watermelon Cake ($6.80) being a perfect replica of its Australian counterpart. Featuring an actual chunk of watermelon in between its layers and topped with berries and rose petals, this is a best-seller you’ve got to sink your teeth into.
Now you can have your Unicorn Poop, and eat it too.
Image credit: @jamie_yen
Other whimsical creations include the rum-infused Valrhona Galaxy Cake ($8.80), and Unicorn Poop ($9.80) – a raspberry mousse cake with a popping candy centre, topped with a sprinkle of glitter.
Address: 70 Shenton Way, Singapore 079118
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11am-1pm | Fri-Sat 11am-2pm (Closed on Sundays & Mondays)
Contact: 9111 8696 | Cream & Custard Website
13. Open Door Policy (Closed)
Image credit: @chiakantang
Open Door Policy has its own greenhouse, enabling them to use fresh herbs in your meal. You’ll be the picture of health after a trip to this 100% dairy-free and gluten-free eatery.
Their English Breakfast ($28) is a classic brunch staple.
Image credit: @mirusilvia
At night, they transform into a gastropub. We hear that the Braised Veal Ossobuco ($32), a hearty dish served with vegetables, white wine and broth is pretty good. The Eight Spice Apple Crumble ($18) is also a delight, with intense spices accentuating the sweetness of the apple.
Exploring Tiong Bahru, Singapore’s most popular cafe district
You can find the iconic Tiong Bahru cafe cluster a scenic 12-minute stroll from Tiong Bahru MRT station, through the old-school walk-up apartments and IG-worthy spiral staircases. No worries if you’re trying to beat the heat, as the area is serviced by buses like 5, 16, 123, 195, 851, and 970 – among others.
Just hop off at the Block 55 bus stop, where you’ll see a restaurant with a flashy Sin Hoi Sai Seafood signboard, and you can embark on a cafe journey coursing through the likes of Eng Hoon Street and Moh Guan Terrace.
Check out other neighbourhood guides:
- Things to do in Pasir Ris
- Things to do in Clementi
- Things to do in Bukit Purmei
- Things to do in Serangoon Gardens
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