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Ten Best Cafes in Singapore to chill out and enjoy a good cup of coffee



Singapore’s café culture has enjoyed an explosion recently, with boutique cafes and coffee shops opening up all over town. While the likes of Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf still draw in the crowds, Singaporeans are starting to embrace a more boutique and specialized approach to their coffee appreciation. Toby’s Estate is one such establishment making its mark on the coffee scene, promising high quality coffee served up by trained baristas. 

All of the choices on the list serve up more substantial fare if you’re heading out for a filling brunch, lunch or dinner – if breakfast is your thing, then check out one of the two Wild Honey branches whose menus offer a trip round the world in local breakfasts, from Italy to Canada to Mexico. If its large portions of hip-expanding cakes you’re after then be sure to try ladies-who-lunch favourites P.S Café or Marmalade Pantry, both of which also serve a comprehensive selection of sandwiches, salads and pastas too. 

Bot DEAN & DELUCA and Jones the Grocer are excellent choices for evening platters of cheese, cold cuts and glasses of wine, and are an equally good choice for breakfast also, dishing up freshly baked bread, pastries and hot items. For a more tranquil setting, try out Food for Thought in the Botanic Gardens, or Prive which is set within a marina on its own private island. 


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Tucked away in the basement of the Botany Centre in the Botanic Gardens (next to the Tanglin Gate entrance), Food for Thought offers an air-conditioned respite from the heat and humidity of the gardens. This spacious, airy café offers a large choice of all day breakfast and brunch items, burgers, pastas, salads and mains such as slow-roasted baby back pork ribs and pan-seared salmon, together with a selection of teas and coffees, soft drinks and a small choice of alcoholic offerings. An outdoor playground keeps the little ones entertained, while at the same time keeping some peace indoors! Food for Thought supports several charities, with part of their profits going towards the United Nations World Food Programme, World Vision and Living Water International among others. Another good reason to eat here! A second branch is situated at the Singapore Art Museum's 8Q building.




Based within the Orchard Central mall, alongside its gourmet shop, the DEAN & DELUCA café encapsulates the signature New York café feel, with a stylish yet laid-back atmosphere – the perfect haven to enjoy a good cup of coffee or a relaxed Sunday Brunch. A selection of salads, sandwiches and dishes are on offer, including the Italian Meatball and Cheese Sandwich, Portobello Cheese Burger, Classic Osso Bucco and Sauteed Brioche French Toast with Caramalized Banana and Fresh Berries. An impressive array of artisanal cheeses and cold cuts are available from the deli along with croissants and freshly baked artisanal breads from the bakery. The attached gourmet store the finest artisanal products sourced from around the world, including hand-picked extra virgin olive oils, spice rubs, fine coffees and teas, unique preserves and sauces.




Jones the Grocer is a café/deli/restaurant in the classy Mandarin Gallery shopping mall, specialising in gourmet produce from around the world. This gourmand's paradise stocks an impressive selection of fresh cheeses, cold cuts, home-made antipasti and home-baked breads and patisseries, and a small well-chosen selection of fine wines. Breakfasts are popular here, particularly at weekends when people are queuing out the door to enjoy a selection of breakfast items and freshly squeezed juices, fresh coffees and teas. Evenings see people washing down good value cheese and cold-cut boards, salads and a small selection of hot meals with glasses of fine wine.


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This open-sided cafe/restaurant is situated on the 3rd floor of ION Orchard shopping mall. Surrounded by expensive designer boutiques, it is not surprising the clientele here revolves around lunching ladies, yummy mummies and those in need of a break from all that high-end retail therapy. The menu features a selection of 'luxury comfort food' - from salads, sandwiches, pastas and risottos, with brunch favourites such as French Toast and Eggs Benedict being served up at weekends. But what many people come here for are the generously portioned cakes, tarts and puddings which evoke glances of envy as they make their way from the kitchen to table, and the large selection of cupcakes, from Red Velvet to Bananarama.




This glass-sided restaurant opens out onto the lush tropical rainforest, giving a real sense of escape from the bustle of nearby Orchard Road. The menu of familiar favourites with a twist includes the Steak Sandwich, Caeser Salad, Miso Cod, Shepherd's Pie and Chicken Parmigiano. Excellent weekend brunches see locals queuing out the door for a table, with such delights as Blueberry Pancakes, Bacon & Eggs, Brunch Burger and Corned Beef Hash all on offer. Whatever you choose, be sure to save room for their generous servings of cakes and tarts, which include Carrot, Double Chocolate and Rocky Road. No reservations are taken for weekend brunch, so get there early, or be prepared to queue.




Wild Honey offers a culinary journey round the world in twenty breakfasts, from Tunisia to Mexico, from New York to California. Choose from international favourites such as Eggs Benedict (European), Open-faced Omelette with fontina cheese and spinach (Italian) or Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, baked beans and salsa (Mexican). Dark timber flooring, exposed brick walls and mis-matched comfy arm chairs and sofas give a laid-back, homely feel to this café, while a selection of coffees, juices and wines together with a selection of newspapers and magazines make this the perfect place to kick back and while away a few hours with friends or alone.


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Situated on a private island surrounded by yachts, Privé at Keppel Bay Marina allows you to fulfil your millionaire fantasies. Thankfully the bakery and café menu doesn't require a millionaire's salary, dishing up breakfasts, salads, pastas and burgers to a laid-back crowd. As the sun goes down, the beautiful people descend on the attached bar to pose on the al-fresco sofas and sip cocktails in the sea breeze. If you plan to head here for brunch at the weekend, be sure to make a reservation or be prepared to wait in line for a long time.




PS Café at the classy Palais Renaissance shopping mall is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner with family and friends. The French café-inspired wicker furniture, floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular floral displays all add to its stylish yet relaxed ambience. The menu of familiar favourites with a twist includes the PS. Crispy Onion Burger, PS. Caeser, Soft Shell Crab Sandwich, Miso Cod and Spicy Albondigas & Spaghettini. Excellent weekend brunches see locals flocking here and queuing out the door for a table, with such delights as Banana Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, Brunch Burger, Mushroom Wellington and Breakfast Brulee all on offer.




Hailing from Australia, Toby's Estate opened their first international coffee shop on Robertson Quay in Singapore, hoping to cash in on Singapore's new-found obsession for boutique coffee places. Its large communal wooden table, high stool counter seating and chill-out tunes make this a pleasant place to while away a few hours. High chairs and a toy box make it popular with the pram brigade, while free wi-fi attracts an equal number of laptop-wielding mobile workers. But of course what everybody really comes for is the coffee - and the in-house roaster and piles of coffee bean sacks show just how serious they are about that. A selection of fresh pastries and other breakfast items and sandwiches are also on offer and outdoor seating alongside the river is also available.




Following the success of its outlet at the Mandarin Gallery, Wild Honey's second outlet at Scotts Square is bigger and better than ever. Contarasting with the almost cosy, homely interior of the original, diners here can expect a bright, spacious and airy atmosphere in which to indulge in the all-day breakfast menu. Its globally inspired all-day breakfast menu gives hungry diners the choice from breakfast favourites around the world, from Italy (open-faced omelette with fontina cheese and spinach) to Mexico (breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, baked beans and salsa). Outdoor balcony seating offers views over the busy shopping belt.


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Meet Marianne Rogerson

Marianne is a freelance travel writer, who has lived in Singapore for six years. She is the author of a travel guidebook to Singapore and has written about Singapore for a range of...  More About Marianne

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