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20 Best Cafes 2017

20 Best Cafes 2017

Tasty food, good drinks (brownie points for coffee) and a return visit all planned before actually leaving the cafe — all these are signs that a cafe deserve a mention in our guide to the 20 Best Cafes in Singapore 2017! Whether it's revisiting old gems in Arab Street, uncovering new digs along Neil Road or waking up early to get your hands on the best breads in Bukit Timah, it's time to pack your appetite and embark on this year's cafe-hopping journey!
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For Stellar Coffee and Toast

You'd have to wake up early to head to this bakeshop in Serene Centre if you want to try their legendary sourdoughs — they sell out as early as noon on weekdays, and sometimes even earlier on weekends. A once familiar sight at farmer's markets, the husband-wife duo now has a cosy brick-and-mortar space where they churn out whole loaves of sourdough, toasts, sandwiches and excellent coffee — perfect for slow mornings. Our Burpple community loves the house made Nut Butter, Honey and Sea Salt ($3.50) as well as the Sage Cream Cheese and Berry Compote ($4) from the toast menu. Hot pressed sandwiches like the simple but satisfying Kimchee + Cheddar ($7) are only sold on weekdays, while open-faced savoury toasts like the Egg Salad + Dukkah ($5) are available daily. Wash it down with an excellent Hand Brew ($5) or Flat White ($5.50) with beans from Cata Coffee, a small local roaster. Before leaving, select a loaf of excellent sourdough to bring home! Note that flavours differ daily (check their Facebook page).
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Raine Liu

For a Hearty Brunch to Share

This beautiful cafe along Neil Road (enter via the sidedoor at the alley) holds just as much Insta-potential as its popular sister cafe, Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters at Upper Thomson, and the food here is just as good. There are limited indoor seats, so dress cool to sit outdoors where draping plants line the wall, and order a five-ounce Flat White ($5, opt for Dark Matter as your preferred blend of beans — it's got hints of dark chocolate and macadamia nuts) while you deliberate your main. Portions run big, so it's best to share. The lusciously rich Slow Cooked Beef Cheek ($24) is the most expensive item on the menu and with good reason — set on a bed of truffle mash, the chunky slab of beef cheek is braised to be so unbelievably tender! The Breakfast Platter ($23) is a meat lover's breakfast dream come true. There's toast, bratwurst sausage, avocado, streaky bacon, mushroom, eggs — you name it, it's there! Prices are nett, there is no service charge and reservations are not allowed, so head down early.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Zhihui Lim

For Asian Food with a Twist

A short five-minute walk from Bugis MRT Station, this industrial-chic cafe dishes out Asian-fusion bowls inspired by the owners' East Asia trip. The menu is straightforward — there are nine main courses available, and each comes with a complimentary drink (you're free to choose ANY drink from the drinks menu!). Prices are nett, portions are hearty and flavours are spot on, making this the perfect cafe stop if you're in the vicinity. We love the Hainanese Chicken Rice Risotto ($20) that comes with tender soy braised chicken on a bed of incredibly flavourful ginger risotto, served with a spicy sriracha chilli vinaigrette. Another winner in our books is the Mentaiko Tiger Prawn Pasta ($20) that features linguine tossed in a lightly torched mentaiko dressing. You won't want to miss out on their desserts! Be sure to ask for Brother Bird's (they share the same space) menu and get the Tokyo Banana ($14), a banana soft serve topped on their signature mochi donut that is reminiscent of a well-made hum jin pang.
Avg Price: $30 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Kelly Wong

For Halal-Friendly Weekend Brunches

From the same guys behind Penny University, this Muslim-owned cafe in Tampines West Community Club draws the crowds for its comforting fusion cafe fare and affordable prices — perfect for family meals. With exposed ceilings and long wooden benches, its setting is industrial chic without being too in-your-face about it, making for really laidback vibes. If it's your first time here, go for the Butcher's Daughter ($14) on the weekend brunch menu (available on weekends, 9am to 5pm). The generous piece of seared sous vide steak, cooked well and served with fluffy scrambled eggs and crispy fries, makes for a tasty protein-rich plate. Alternatively, try the Moroccan Baked Eggs ($12). Mixed through with beef, the dish is flavourful, with a good kick of spice, and the sourdough on the side is made for mopping up all that delicious gravy. Tummies filled, sit back and sip on a cup of Jaffa Orange Mocha ($6) or the Spiked Muddy Espresso ($6.50) that comes sweetened with gula Melaka.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler Dex Neo

For Consistently Good Cafe Dishes

Despite the many openings throughout the years, we know we can still rely on Artistry, where food and coffee are both spot on. Indoor seating is limited, so swing by this cafe cum casual art gallery early to be seated in the comforts of air-conditioning, otherwise be prepared to sit outdoors. As always, our recommended eating plan is for a group of four to share two mains, so that you still have stomach space for dessert. You won't go wrong with the popular Artistry Chilli Crab Burger ($25) that sees a ridiculously generous patty of blue swimmer crab meat served with a heap of fries and a bowl of irresistible chilli crab sauce to dunk everything in. The crowd-pleasing Potato Hash and Scrambled Eggs ($20) that comes with silky scrambled eggs, surprisingly crisp kale and bacon, and little fried potato balls is another great option to share. If there's only one item your stomach has space for, let it be the PB&J French Toast ($14). Expect a generous slather of smooth peanut butter smeared in between two pillowy slices of brioche, topped with vanilla bean ice cream, mixed berry coulis and a scattered bed of speculoos cookie soil. Wash it down with a cup of their excellent Flat White ($5) or Gibraltar ($5), a double shot of espresso with just a bit of milk.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Marc T.

For Big on Flavour Brunch Plates

For a chillout weekend brunch with friends, snag a table at this Jalan Besar hotspot. While they're known for their delicious rice bowls, their brunch plates are equally impressive and full on flavour, the coffee's great, and the vibes are breezy and laidback. Take Burppler Dex Neo's heed and start with the moreish Cauliflower Fritters ($10), but you've been warned — the guys here spare no mercy in their stinging wasabi mayo sauce! Move on to the Double Confirm Shiok Burger ($20) that sandwiches golden brown chicken between pillowy buns (eat this quick before the bread turns soggy), or to the Chicken-Not-So-Little Waffle ($24), which Burppler Tastemaker Nobelle Liew declares to be one of the best chicken and waffles she's had in Singapore. The combination of savoury homemade parmesan waffles, smokey paprika fried chicken and charred generous red pepper and tomato sauce is well worth the minimum 15 minutes waiting time. Sit back, eat up and sip on a Flat White ($5) as you soak in the #weekendvibes in this high-ceilinged, light-filled space.
Avg Price: $30 per person
Photo by Burppler Tastemaker Nobelle Liew

For Excellent Brunch Items in Bukit Timah

Atlas is a great pitstop for coffee if you're on the go (they use a blend of Guatemalan and Brazilian beans from Two Degrees North Coffee Co.) or for long brunches with friends — just be sure to swing by early to snag a seat on weekends. For a downright comforting meal, go for the Creamy Mushrooms on Sourdough ($12) — a generous heap of mushrooms cooked with a splash of white wine and sundried tomatoes, which you must pair with the silky smooth Scrambled Eggs ($3 to add on, totally worth it). The ATLAS Super-Bowl ($17) loaded with toasted quinoa, beautifully oven-roasted squash and zucchini as well as shimeiji mushrooms is satisfying, yet light enough to not warrant a food coma after. If you still have space, you might be tempted by the irresistible pancakes, but we recommend the Mixed Berries Compote Waffles ($12.50) instead. They are similar in taste but the latter is lighter and more affordable.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Acamas Teo

For Stellar Coffee and Comforting Bites

Setting high standards with their specialty coffees, VXX Cooperative uses beans from all over the world — Cloud Catchers (Malaysia), Koppi Roasters (Sweden), Tim Wendelboe (Norway) and Nylon (Singapore). Keep it simple with a Cold Black ($5) on hot days, or go for the unique Espresso Set ($8) that sees a white coffee paired with a shot of espresso on the side. Alternatively, ask the friendly and knowledgeable baristas about their Selection Coffee which changes every few of days. Their recently revamped menu features comforting dishes like the Chilli Crab & Cheese Omelette on Sourdough ($14), where a sweet and spicy omelette gets a generous stuffing of crabmeat and cheese and sits atop a slice of sourdough from The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough. For a dessert to share, have the Banana French Toast with Mascarpone ($12) that comes with freeze-dried raspberries and a nice earthy touch of thyme. Be sure to add on a scoop of their Signature Flavour ($4), an espresso-based ice cream birthed from a collaboration between Apiary and VXX Cooperative.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler Jayne Tan

For Great Coffee and Hearty Local Flavours

A favourite among westies and office workers in the one-north vicinity, Revolution Coffee won us over with their dedication to both their coffee and food. The java here is brewed using beans from their sister company The Caffeine Dispensary, while their kitchen is helmed by respected chef Shen Tan, known for her modern Singaporean cooking. The communal tables are great for big group gatherings, so don't head here during meal hours if you're looking for a spot of quiet. Order the well-balanced Cappuccino ($5.50) to go with the locally-inspired treats. A must-order, especially if it's your first time, is chef Tan's Nasi Lemak with tender, rempah-laced Beef Rendang ($9.90); there are other protein options like fried chicken and crispy pork. Other fusion plates to try include the Buah Keluak Pasta and Bak Chor Mee Pasta ($19.90 each). Just be sure to save space for the imaginative desserts like Pulot Hitam Pudding ($10), a tasty marriage between pulot hitam and sticky date pudding, and Shendol Delights ($10), the chef's take on chendol. Pro tip: On weekdays from 8am to 8pm, hop on the free shuttle bus that takes you to-and-fro One North MRT Station and Infinite Studios, where the cafe is.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler Marvin Lowe

For Excellent Scrambled Eggs

While sister concept PUNCH draws in the crowd with its laidback vibes and Instagrammable backyard, it's RONIN that checks off all the boxes on our Best Cafes list. The hard-to-find storefront along Hong Kong Street, the dimly lit space and the lack of menus (there's only one hanging on the wall to refer to) doesn't seem to faze our Burpple community — and it shouldn't stop you either! Seating is limited, so swing by for brunch with a small group of friends. As evident on every table, you should go for the beautifully made Scrambled Eggs on Toast ($9) — creamy, velvety folds of egg with a dash of coarse sea salt flakes, served on two types of toast. Add on portobello mushroom ($3.50) and avocado ($3) for a more substantial meal. The French Toast ($15) with braised apples, crispy bacon and hazelnut butter (so darn good) is also by far one of the best in town. Don't leave without a cup of Wicked Mocha ($5.50/$7.50 for iced) — coffee with a heap of peppermint chocolate for a minty finish.
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burppler Veronica Phua

For a Dependable and Affordable Brunch

By day, this shared space along Upper Thomson Road is run by One Man Coffee, where you can have an affordable and substantial brunch with great coffee. After 5.30pm, Garçons takes over. Indoor seats are limited, so come early if you're in a big group. It makes for a great coffee pitstop too — be sure to get the Piccolo ($4) with an extra shot ($1) for an instant boost. Of all the items offered here, the clear standouts include the impressive Gashouse Egg with Bacon Jam ($12). Thick brioche with a runny egg in the middle is blanketed with melted cheese and served with a side of salty-sweet bacon jam. Be sure to have your phones nearby as you carefully slice through the centre to release a liquid gold river, you wouldn't want to miss out on all the flowy action. The Big Brekkie ($17) that comes wtih two poached eggs placed on sourdough rye, served with a side of superbly candied bacon, roasted cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms and baby spinach is made better with the addition of a chorizo sausage. End your meal on a sweet note with the Brioche French Toast ($12, $15 with vanilla ice cream), probably one of the most pocket-friendly in Singapore with the fluffy toast dusted with icing sugar, served with caramelised bananas, strokes of French cream and lashing of rich salted caramel.
Avg Price: $20 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastmaker Amanda Liu

For Beautiful Hotcakes to Share

Tucked away at the end of a row of shophouses along Prinsep Street, this is one place you can catch up with your girlfriends in a gorgeous, laidback setting. Start with their excellent Syphon Coffee ($6.90) or a bottle of White Magic ($6.90) — a chilled blend of espresso, milk and cream. A favourite and convenient cafe option among nearby art school students and those in town (nearest MRT is Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station), the space can fill up quickly on weekends, so visit either before or after the lunch rush to ensure seats. Almost every table ends the meal with the much photographed Berry Ricotta Hotcake ($14.90) that we highly recommend sharing among a group of four or more. The beautiful creation features a thick pancake with perfectly caramelised sides in a skillet pan, a generous handful of berries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds on the side and topped with a scoop of milky vanilla bean ice cream. Add a drizzle of maple sauce for that finishing touch. For a proper meal, try the Crab Cake on English Muffin ($19.50) that comes with a wobbly sous vide egg and the yummiest truffle sweet potato fries!
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler Hilary See

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