The trend of cafe hopping in Singapore can be traced to the turn of 2010 when cafes proliferated in almost every nook and corner of the little red dot. Although there has been a dwindling in terms of café businesses, it is not an overstatement to states that the café culture is still prevalent here. In fact, it is not uncommon that Singaporeans bring this café-hopping trend overseas for example, in Australia and somewhere even nearer – Johor Bahru. Yes, many Singaporeans have crossed the Causeway to café-hop, enjoy some good ole coffee and take Instagram-worthy photos at hipster cafes. If you are keen to hop on to this trend, below we share with you some 13 cafes to try out:
Bev C Café JB
A unique element of Bev C Café JB is that it combines both fashion and coffee together. As you enter the store, you will be greeted with a boutique, which preciously sells their own clothing label. To head to the café, which is located at the second storey, you can use the staircase situated at the back of the boutique. The café interior is both simple and laid back giving you a cosy feel. Their beverage and desserts which stands out include the Ice Cube Espresso with Milk and Caramel and the Chocolate Mint and White Chocolate Pies. Not only sweet and tasteful, these foods are visually appealing too. Totally Instagram-worthy.
Image Credit: @morethanconquerors75
Image Credit: @bevccafe
If you are a fan of bananas, B.L.O.C is a must-try on your café-hopping adventures in JB. The acronym B.L.O.C stands for Banana Lover Café. As the name suggests, they serve all things banana. Some of the definite must-haves on B.L.O.C’s menu includes their banana fried fritters served with cheese, dark chocolate or some creamy ice-cream. Do not forget to pair the oozing sweetness of the desserts with some hot and slightly bitter coffee that makes the perfect complement. To top it all, B.L.O.C is a convenient place to head to and is situated opposite Taman Sentosa.
Image Credit: B.LO.C Facebook
Coffee Valley Johor Bahru
Coffee Valley Johor Bahru stand out as a pioneer in Johor Bahru’s café scene. Located at the second storey above Qin Kopitiam, this place is a convenient location to head to as well. Menu wise, Coffee Valley is known for their array of waffles that has up to seven flavours and is accompanied with various toppings and sauces (e.g. Tiramisu waffle and Red Velvet waffle). A tantalising treat for waffle lovers. Aside from desserts, Coffee Value serve some good savoury meal too – perfect for a brunch. Another menu Coffee Valley is known for is the provocative dish named ‘Egg Slut’ which comprise of a wobbly egg, nestled in potato puree, cheese and sautéed mushrooms.
Photo Credit: shout.sg
Chaiwalla & Co. Honest Tea
Amidst the hot weather in Johor Bahru, Chaiwalla & Co. Honest Tea stands apart with its handcrafted teas that keep you cool while in the open-air ambience. Aside from serving the usual hot favourites like Iced Thai Milk Tea and Iced Chai Latte, this container café also allows its patrons to customize their drink with 5 different bases, 15 different flavours (like saffron rose and matcha) as well as your desired sugar levels. This store has also branded itself as Malaysia’s first container café and is opened till 1 on weekends.
Photo Credit: Burpple
Visually, Coffee Signature already stands out as its café is located in an elevated black container. But the uniqueness does not stop there – it spills over to their creative menu of food and drinks too. For the beverage, ‘Sweet Little Rain’ stands out. Your cup of hot black coffee or tea will be served, accompanied by a large poofy cloud of cotton candy that is intended to melt into droplets into your beverage, sweetening it. Another distinct drink is their Green Tea Latte, which is served in a big light bulb. Aside from the usual savoury wester dishes like fungi olio, another distinct dish served by this café is their Huevos Rancheros Egg Dish. A truly unique dish.
Photo credit: Malaysian Flavours
Drums Café Johor Bahru
While many cafes are aligned to the contemporary and modern style, Drums Café Johor Bahru niche style is traditional instead. Once you step in to the café, be visually intrigued by the hanging 24 traditional drums which is not only decorative but also meaningful, considering that JB is the birthplace of 24 festive drums. Menu-wise, you can look forward to a unique cup of cappuccino designed with Chinese characters, the famous crepe mille cakes as well as – the yes, traditional Chinese dish, yong tau foo. A truly eclectic café infusing both modernity and traditions.
photo credit: gilmangirl
Degree Neg 196
Degree Neg 196 stands out with its liquid nitrogen ice cream, which utilises nitrogen in its liquid form instead to uniquely create their cream. The specialty of using nitrogen as opposed to water is that the ice cream will have a smoother surface and texture as there are fewer crystals formed due to shorter freezing time. Indeed, a worthwhile experience. If you wish for something more hearty to accompany your desserts, why not opt for the waffle too. Be charmed as well by its modest, industrial interior design.
photo credit : aspirantsg
Many patrons would be impressed by the concept of Eugene’s grocery, allowing you to handpick your ingredients of choice from an in-house grocer that will be prepared on site for dine-in or take-away. The grocery store sells a wide-range of delicacies such as seafood, pastries and baked goods. This gives one an ownership in their food selection (which is prepared from scratch) and thus, provides a more rewarding dining experience. If you are keen to do some grocery shopping and seeing your selection materialise into a well-whipped up dish, do head over to Eugene’s Grocery.
EH HE Art Café
True to its name, EH HE Art Café is a café-cum-gallery space, featuring stories of Malaysia’s Chinese heritage. Art lovers can also delight themselves with sculptures and paintings display within. In line with its pride in local Chinese heritage, the menu is also thoughtfully designed to incorporate the traditional – from ole favourite desserts like Chendol and Red Bean Soup to mains like Sin Chew Bee Hoon and Nasi Lemak. The beverage also celebrates homegrown produce e.g. their classic kopi-O is brewed using traditional beans that are homegrown on Malaysian’s soil itself. If you wish to revert back to the old, good traditional, EH HE Art Café is a must-try on your list.
photo credit: stormcape
As the name suggests, Espresso Lab prides itself in its serving of coffee which is thoughtfully and meticulous prepared. As an integrated specialty coffee company, Espresso Lab deals with every process of coffee-making from upstream right to the downstream side of coffee. This café is truly a worthwhile coffee experience – the perfect place to chill with a good cup of coffee. If you are here with family or friends, you would be further heartened to note that the interior concept is arranged such that each patron have their own form of privacy with the spaciously located furniture and the cosy black and white designs.
photo credit: Espresso Lab
Photo credit: aspirantsg
Flowers in the Window
If you have great love for flowers and nature for that matter, Flowers in the Window is a must visit. Be charmed by its decoration of flowers, both by the window and within. In-line with their theme, the owners also put great thought to incorporate edible greenery and flowers in its food selection from the cakes (e.g. freshly baked rose pistachio cake to the pear ginger, thyme and sunflower seed cake) to the beverages (e.g. rosemary, chilly and lemon-infused syrup). If you’d like something more savoury, you can look forward to some pies and fish and chips too.
Friends and Fig
Friends and Fig is also unique among its counterparts, standing out as a juice bar that serves simple yet thoughtful food and drinks. A good, cosy place to hang out with your friends and loved one, some of the must-haves in their selection include the revitalising cold-pressed juices. A variety of concoctions await you such as Malibu passion which combines and blends apple, pineapple, passion fruit, orange and lime. Meanwhile, you can expect ‘clean’ food being served like roasted pumpkin soup, vegetarian tomyam soup and smoked bagel sandwich. For the light and the healthy, Friends and Fig is a perfect destination.
photo credit: Friend and Fig
Faculty of Caffeine
Last but not least, we have Faculty of Caffeine, which is a hardy café serving all types of food to satisfy your palate. From savoury (classic pasta dishes and Signature Tendon), to desserts and breads (Tiramisu waffle, Madam Lim’s brownie and pastries) to special coffee-based drinks (like the salted caramel). With so much on the menu for your options, expect to get spoilt with choices. It does not hurt that the ambience is cosy to boot with use of marble walls and soft lighting which gives a calm, soothing atmosphere.