It isn’t just the central area of Singapore which has all the best eats anymore. These days, you can also enjoy some cafe-hopping fun in the heartlands, including the northeastern neighbourhood of Kovan. It’s seen an influx of trendy restaurants, cafes, and bakeries in recent years, and today we’ve rounded up all the best spots to check out!
Lola’s Cafe recently had a facelift earlier this year, and the space is now made even better. You’ll still find familiar favourites such as the Crab Cake Benedict, Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Spicy Tomato Crab Rigatoni, along with some new items on the menu. This includes the Pork Collage with Barley Risotto, Pandan Coconut Waffles and Lemon Basil Cheesecake.
Address: 5 Simon Rd, Singapore 545893
Opening Hours: 10 am–10 pm Tues to Fri, 9 am–10 pm Sat & Sun. Closed on Mon
Tucked away on the ground floor of a nondescript residential building, enjoy delicious specialty coffee and Western-Asian fusion classics at Amber Ember. For brunch, dig into dishes like the Breakfast Roll, Curried Mentaiko Egg Mayo, Anti-Smashed Avo and Pistachio Rose Waffles. As night falls, the menu changes up with items like Miso Butter Prawn Pasta, Mala Tater Tots, Loaded Nachos and Spiced Prawn Quesadilla. Wash it all down with a good cuppa, some craft beer or natural wine!
Address: 730 Upper Serangoon Rd, #01-01, Singapore 534613
Opening Hours: 10 am–5 pm Sun to Tues & Thurs, 10 am–10 pm Fri & Sat. Closed on Wed
alkove bistro is a neighbourhood cafe in the heart of Kovan that serves up a refreshing take on traditional French classics. Indulge in the comforting flavours of French onion soup before moving to mains such as Croque Monsieur, Chicken Cordon Bleu or Angus Beef Onglet Frites. Finally, treat your taste buds to some delectable Gula Melaka Canelés. With its cosy interior alkove creates an intimate atmosphere for friends and families to gather together.
Address: 2 Kovan Rd, #01-10 Simon Plaza, Singapore 548008
Opening Hours: 11:30 am–10:30 pm Mon, Wed to Fri, 9 am–10:30 pm Sat & Sun. Closed on Tues
FATCAT Ice Cream Bar is famous for their gourmet charcoal waffles and salted egg yolk custard sauce, which took our local dessert scene by storm back in 2015. Today, their waffles are still on point, crispy, fragrant and taste great on its own (but of course, best accompanied with some ice cream!) If you’re not into the charcoal waffles, you also have the option of going for their original brown butter waffles topped with chocolate sauce.
Address: 15 Simon Rd, Singapore 545907
Opening Hours: 1–10 pm Wed to Mon. Closed on Tues
A relaxing restaurant and bar in the Kovan neighbourhood, Offshore Kitchen & Pub serves pizzas, pastas, salads, mains and bar bites alongside a wide variety of drinks. Must-trys include the Crispy Pork Knuckle, Wagyu Beef and Tandoori Pizza. Make sure to come thirsty too, because you’re definitely gonna want a nice cold pint to wash it all down!
Address: 25 Simon Rd, Singapore 545912
Opening Hours: 2 pm–12 am Mon to Fri, 12 pm–12 am Sat & Sun
For brunch and coffee with a Korean twist, make sure to check out Two Cranes. Dig into yummy dishes such as the Big Breakfast, Simple Brekkie and Beef Shakshuka. From 12 pm onwards there is also a selection of Korean-style mains that includes the Army Stew, Tofu Kimchi Stew, Bibimbab and Jjajangmyeon. These Korean-fusion dishes are definitely a welcome and refreshing change to the local cafe scene!
Address: Hougang St 21, #01-291 BLK 211, Singapore 530211
Opening Hours: 9 am–9 pm Mon to Thurs, 9 am–9:30 pm Fri to Sun
Expect a mix of comforting traditional and modern Taiwanese dishes at 8degrees. Their comprehensive menu includes Stewed Pork Belly Rice, which features tender and fatty pork chunk set atop fragrant and fluffy white rice. Other classic favourites include Oyster Omelette, Fried Chicken Cutlet and scrumptious Scallion Pancake, as well as more adventurous offerings like Century Egg Tofu with Pork Floss!
Address: Lowland Rd, #29, Singapore 547421
Opening Hours: 11 am–9 pm daily
Let’s be honest – acai bowls are not the most wallet-friendly foods out there. However, at Ola Acai you can get your fix of affordable acai bowls from just $5.90! This cosy neighbourhood gem in Kovan has four signature bowls to choose from – Island Gal, Ola Amigos, Nuts for Nuts and Plain Jane – or you can also DIY your own bowl!
Address: 210 Hougang St 21, #01-273, Singapore 530210
Opening Hours: 11 am–10 pm daily
The Bread Rack is a must-visit for everyone craving scrumptious baked goods. Specialising in artisanal European-style breads and pastries made from premium ingredients such as French flour and natural yeast, everything is handmade fresh daily. Crowd favourites include the Salted Caramel Cube Croissant, Almond Croissant, Cinnamon Swirl, Truffle Mushroom Danish and many more. While you’re there, make sure to also pick up a Sourdough Loaf to bring home!
Address: 9 Yio Chu Kang Rd, #01-55, Space@Kovan 545523
Opening Hours: 9 am–5 pm Thurs to Mon. Closed Tues & Wed
Tachinomiya is Singapore's first heartland izakaya serving authentic Japanese street food and drinks. Alongside a good selection of Japanese beers and sake, dig into yummy bar bites like the Cheese Mentaiko Scallop, Pork Belly Kushiyaki, Salmon Sashimi, Shishamo and more. If you need something more filling, Tachinomiya also has rice bowls, sushi and noodles dishes!
Address: 211 Hougang St 21, #01-285, Singapore 530211
Opening Hours: 5 pm–12 am Mon to Fri, 11:30 am–12 am Sat & Sun
While The Bread Shop nails freshly baked bread, they are also a cafe that serves all-day breakfast. You’ll find a bread-centric menu with items such as Prawn Cream Croissant, Roast Beef with Truffle Cream Sandwich and Smoked Salmon & Beetroot Toast, alongside more filling mains like Fish & Chips, Curry Chicken, Pan-Seared Duck Breast and Classic Beef Stew.
Address: 953 Upper Serangoon Rd, Singapore 534715
Opening Hours: 11 am–8 pm Mon, Thurs, Fri, 11 am–9 pm Tues, 9 am–8 pm Sat & Sun. Closed on Wed
Hashtag #3 is where you can get European-style grub and cocktails under a HDB block. Showcasing an expert flair for harmonious flavour combinations using quality ingredients, enjoy tantalising signatures including a Grilled Blank Angus Flank Steak with Carmelised Shoyu, Slow-Cooked Chicken Leg, Pan-fried Barramundi with Tiger Prawns and Soy Confit Pork Belly with Roasted Apples. Drink connoisseurs will appreciate the plethora of beverages served, from wine and beer to handcrafted cocktails!
Address: 212 Hougang St 21, #01-337, Singapore 530212
Opening Hours: 3–11 pm Tues to Sat, 12–4 pm, 5:30–10 pm Sun. Closed on Mon
While the famous French bakery chain is known for their breads, you won’t want to miss their croissant, which was named the best by Paris’s Figaro newspaper! They are made of premium butter, selected wheat flour and natural liquid leaven to create thousands of flaky layers and a unique golden look. If you prefer a sweet treat, their lemon meringue tart is also a showstopper. The lemon curd has a grainy texture that leaves a slight tang in your mouth, while their melt-in-your-mouth meringue balances out the overall flavour.
Address: 988 Upper Serangoon Rd, #01-28 Stars of Kovan, Singapore 534733
Opening Hours: 9 am–12 am daily
A proudly Singaporean ice cream cafe dedicated to creating high-quality ice cream, Udders specialises in alcohol-flavoured ice cream such as Rum Rum Raisin, Wineberries and Yakult Soju, once a niche in the local ice cream industry. They are also said to have some of best waffles in town that are crispy on the outside, buttery and dense on the inside!
Address: 212 Hougang St 21, #01-345, Singapore 530212
Opening Hours: 12–11 pm daily
Located in Heartland Mall, The Son Cafe is a convenient spot to drop by for some freshly roasted coffee beans, tea, baked pastries and yummy Western food. Enjoy some pastas, croissants and cakes over conversations with your loved ones!
Address: 205 Hougang St 21, #03-15, Singapore 530204
Opening Hours: 9:30 am–9:30 pm daily