The neighbourhood of Joo Chiat is best known for its unique blend of history, culture, and cuisine, such as the vibrant and colourful shophouses featuring a mix of Chinese, Malay, and European architectural styles. It is also famous for its food, especially Peranakan cuisine, and it is also home to a diverse and vibrant cafe scene! The best way to explore the neighbourhood is on foot, while taking in the sights and sounds of the bustling street, and ducking into one of the many cafes for a coffee break whenever you feel like it. With a range of options to suit all tastes and preferences, here are 20 cafes in Joo Chiat worth checking out.
Love Japanese-style sandos? Make sure to check out Hello Arigato’s second outlet at Joo Chiat. Best known for their thick cut Wagyu and Gyu Sandos, you’ll also find other variations such as Tamago, Teriyaki, and the HCG Sando which is exclusive to the Joo Chiat Branch.
A lifestyle concept store with a café, vinyl records retail and co-working space all in one, Jungle Groove by Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee has vinyl records on the first floor, and a cafe by day and bar by night on the second floor. Take your pick from four different single origin coffee beans for their Drip Coffee, namely Guatemala, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Brazil.
Helmed by Lewis Barker, head chef of the Michelin-starred Sommer, Café Natsu has opened its second outlet at Crane Joo Chiat. Come for the Western brunch classics with a Japanese flair, made using the freshest Japanese ingredients. Dining here is a luxurious yet comforting affair, and the menu is impressive with hearty dishes like Wagyu Beef Sando, Shio Kombu Gnocchi and Mochi Fried Doughnuts!
Nestled at the heart of the charming Joo Chiat. 7s Cafe is a customer centric yet cafe centred concept with a focus on modern Australian cuisine. Enjoy diverse coffee beans to the savoury cafe classics and artisan sweets and bakes. With thoughtfully designed interiors and lush surroundings, the cafe makes for a great spot for hearty breakfast, high teas, romantic dates and a place for intimate gatherings.
If you have a sweet tooth and you take your pastries seriously, Tigerlily Patisserie is not to be missed. Helmed by pastry chef Maxine Ngooi from the now-defunct Michelin-starred restaurant Vianney Massot Restaurant, expect curated pastries inspired by the delicate beauty of nature, baked with equal parts refined techniques and radiant flavours. You can’t go wrong with items such as Spiced Cherry Danish, Kouign Amann, Maple Pecan Ruffin and Asparagus & Jerusalem Artichoke Danish!
Hailing from Bangkok, Kohi Roastery & Coffee Bar has opened a takeaway kiosk in Joo Chiat, making it a great place to pick up a coffee while you’re on-the-go! Their self-roasted Aka Blend underscores a juicy acidity, with a syrupy finish, and for a more unique drink, try out their Kohito – a refreshing iced black topped with milk and mint.
Featuring a cosy glass-enclosed dining area, and a kids and pets-friendly alfresco area, The Brewing Ground offers not only good coffee and beer, but also an European-inspired menu using the freshest ingredients and local produce as much as possible. Yummy options include the Eggs Benjamin, which is eggs benedict with your choice of thick cut maple bacon or king oyster mushrooms on sourdough, and Brewers Breakfast that comes with two eggs, thick cut maple bacon, chicken cheese sausage, hash brown, sauteed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, and toast.
British Hainan is a quaint family-run restaurant tucked away along Carpmael Road in theJoo Chiat estate. They serve a myriad of classic British dishes with a Hainanese twist, such as their signature oxtail stew and their braised lamb shank. Decked in antiques and vintage artwork, the charming space almost like a mini museum and is a time portal into the past.
Sinpopo Brand is an amalgamation of classic local favourites combined with Singapore flavours to deliver a tantalising and sensation-rich experience. An ode to Katong and its heritage, you’ll find a wide array of savoury local food with hints and dashes of new flavours, such as the Signature Nasi Lemak, Crab Bee Hoon and Har Jeong Kai Wings.
Homegrown patisserie LUNA has recently opened its second outlet in the Joo Chiat enclave. With a charming industrial minimalist interior, the space is much more spacious than the Amoy outlet, and the new menu features sweet and savoury treats exclusive to Joo Chiat, such as the Tofu with vanilla mousse and moist vanilla sponge, along with a unique mix of silken tofu, hazelnut praline and a toasted buckwheat crust. You’ll also find familiar favourites, such as the Orh Nee Cake, Goma x PB, Matcha Opera, and LUNA 2.0.
Taking over the space that Homeground Coffee Roasters used to occupy, what’s special about Humble Origins is that it uses coffee beans from Shan Hills in Myanmar, and as far as we know, they are the only cafe in Singapore doing so! Shan Hills is not only known for its great culture, but also the quality coffee beans produced, thanks to its temperate climate and altitude. Apart from great coffee, you also have yummy bites such as Roast Beef Ribeye French Butter Croissant with Arugula Salad, Dashi Onsen Eggs with XO Kaya Yorkshire Pudding, and Shan Origin Tofu Fries.
Opened by local wholesaler Kings Cart Coffee, this is a popular spot in Joo Chiat for some solid coffee, made using beans roasted by their own coffee roaster. You’ll also find food pairings to further complement or enhance the taste profile of your specialty coffee, such as the King’s Breakfast, Pulled Pork Croque Monsieur, Mentaiko Carbonara, or sweet treats like Souffle Pancakes and Fresh Berry French Toast.
A chain café by now with multiple branches across the island, Prairie by Craftsman is the group’s latest concept. Along with coffee by Craftsmen Specialty Coffee, expect all-day breakfast like Avocado Toast, Acai Bowl, Rustic Mushroom, Bacon & Sausage, Prairie Breakfast, along with two outlet-exclusive items: Spam & Cheese Bagel and Smoked Salmon Rosti.
Tiong Bahru Bakery has long been known to be a great spot for quality pastries and coffee, and you can now do that too in Joo Chiat. You might be tempted to go straight for their signature Kouign Amann, but you might want to try some dishes that are Joo Chiat-exclusive. The Breakfast Croffle is airy and crispy, paired with candied bacon, portobello mushroom, a fried egg, and a robust herb ranch sauce. Or, there’s also the Pull My Pork Croffle – topped with Mexican pulled pork, pickled jalapeño, avocado, sour cream, and coriander.
Family-run bakery Olsen Bakehouse has shifted from Lavender to Joo Chiat, and the new place is done up so it feels just like home, which is exactly the vision of owners Darren and Jia Min. The bakes too are made all-natural, and with less sugar, just like how they would for their own family!
Previously known as C Cafe at Joo Chiat, the space has been rebranded into Nimbus. The space spots a sophisticated interior for a café, with cosy booth seats and ambient lighting. The lunch menu starts from 11am and includes hearty offerings like Lobster Roll, Wagyu Beef Burger, Tuna Steak, Duck Confit and Golden Waffle.
Need an ice cream break? Head over to the crowd favourite Apiary. The quaint ice cream shop features a selection of homemade ice cream and waffles and is most well known for their Blue Milk, which is a milk-flavoured ice cream dyed with blue pea flower, along with the intensely nutty Sicilian Pistachio and highly acclaimed Hojicha!
We’re not gonna complain about another burger joint! Burger Frites may look like your typical American burger house, but its flame-grilled burger patties are really good, and we love how you can customise your burgers with the numerous add-ons. Expect artisanal buns, 180g premium Angus beef patties, fresh vegetables and homemade french fries that are double fried. This is how Burger Frites does burgers!
What’s a Starbucks doing here, you may ask? Well, that’s because this is probably the nicest Starbucks outlet in the whole of Singapore, and it deserves a mention! Paying homage to the Peranakan heritage in Katong, you'll find arched doorways and Peranakan-inspired artwork hanging on the walls of this Starbucks outlet at the Conservation Building of Katong Square. The airy shop is a pleasing palette of pastels complemented by wood furniture. If you’re in luck, sit by their large windows to watch the world go by.
First established in 2013, Common Man Coffee Roasters has gone on to expand across Singapore and Malaysia. They now have four outlets in Singapore, including one at Joo Chiat. Look forward to their familiar all-day brunch fare such as the Beef Cheek Eggs Benedict, Common Man Fluffy Pancakes, Turkish Common Man Breakfast and, and Common Man Full Breakfast.