Once sort of a backwater area in Singapore nobody goes to except for fellow residents around the area, Tiong Bahru is now known as a hub-centre of cafés that seems to draw the hip crowd to the area like flies to fruit.
So you might be thinking to yourself, does Tiong Bahru really deserve the hype it gets? And surely, whether you consider yourself a “hipster” or not, the thought of going there to check it out yourself has surely crossed your mind, and so comes the next step: where do I begin?
We’ve done the research for you and have scoured the 18 best cafés in Tiong Bahru, so that diet you were thinking of going on? We say you’re going to want to forget you were even on a diet when you see what Tiong Bahru has to offer.
P.S. And if you’re a self-proclaimed anti-hipster convinced that Tiong Bahru is a one-dimensional hipster, trendy, full of nothing but youth saturated stuff – you thought wrong – we’re here to convince you that it is more than just a hip hangout for hipsters only.
1. Tiong Bahru Bakery
Tiong Bahru Bakery, out of all the cafés in Tiong Bahru, is surely, the one that needs absolutely no introduction.
Proclaiming itself to be the best French Bakery in Singapore, it specialises in just that – a beautiful selection French baked goods.
Favourites include its croissants (SGD 2.90 and up), baguettes (SGD 4.50 and up), and its Black Squid Bun (SGD 9.50), for those seeking a more savoury note.
Price range: Mini breads go from SGD 1.80 and up. The online menu can be viewed here.
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 8:00AM – 8:00PM
Telephone: 6220 3430
Address: #01-70, 56 Eng Hoon Street, 160056
2. Cream and Custard
Cream & Custard may proclaim on their website to serve down-to-earth cakes – but their cakes speak of nothing but elegance and sophistication.
But what Cream & Custard offers is the eccentric, modern fare with galaxy designs, and other items featuring such beautiful aesthetic, with sophisticated, artisanal-level presentation.
This is reflected in their menu with favourites like their house specialty, Unicorn Poop (SGD 9.80), an apricot mousse with a playful popping candy centre.
Other honourable mentions goes to Galaxy (SGD 8.80), a galaxy-coloured chocolate mousse with a tinge of rum soaked cherry, as well as Black Ball (SGD 8.90), a dark chocolate dome akin to an artisanal version of a Kinder surprise that is sure to make any chocolate lover sing.
And get this – hot chocolate sauce will be provided so that you can melt down the chocolate dome yourself to reveal the hidden surprise within. Get your friends talking about it when you post this on your IG Story, yo.
Price range: Prices not available on their online menu. Their online menu can be seen here.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 11AM – 7PM | Saturday: 10AM – 6PM | Sunday: Closed
Telephone: 9111 8696
Address: 70 Shenton Way, Singapore 079118
3. Forty Hands
Coffee addicts, this is your turf. And if you call yourself a coffee-lover and don’t know this place? Well, you do now.
Forty Hands, to coffee lovers, isn’t a place that needs much introduction – all you need to know is that they serve some pretty darn bomb coffee.
We’re talking coffee that doesn’t just give you that needed perk-me-up on gloomy Monday mornings, but also delivers the right balance of flavours – not too bitter, not too acidic or strong, and goes oh-so-satisfyingly down the throat.
Forty Hands has a pretty extensive list of coffees – from the regular black, to white coffees, to cold brews, for those who like it strong.
P.S. For those not just looking for coffee, Forty Hands also has its own brunch-style food items, and other mains to accompany your daily dose of coffee too!
Price range: from SGD 4 and up per regular sized cup of coffee
Opening hours:Tue – Thurs: 08:00 – 19:00 | Fri – Sat: 08:00 – 22:00 | Sun: 08:00 – 19:00 | Mon: Closed
Telephone: 6225 8545
Address: 78 Yong Saik Street, #01-12, 163078
4. Drips Bakery Cafe
Flanked with minimalistic, simple furnishings, Drips Bakery Café invites patrons into a comfortable, homey space reminiscent of a living room area.
But you’re not here for that – Drips Bakery Café mainly specialises in its sweet tarts – special mentions go to the Cherry Brandy Crumble Tart (SGD 7.80), and for those looking for something more decadent – the White Chocolate Mascarpone Tart (SGD 7.80) is worth a try too.
Yum yum in the tum? We think so too.
You might also be interested to know that the owner of this café, Alfred Chan, was originally a hotel pastry chef at Shangri-la Hotel before deciding to start his own café, at lil ol’ quaint Tiong Bahru, so high level of quality can be assured.
Price range: Normal-sized tarts go from SGD 7.80 and above. For more details, the online menu can be found here.
Opening hours: Mon: 10:30 – 21:30 | Wed – Thu: 10:30 – 21:30 | Fri: 10:30 – 23:00 | Sat – Sun: 10:00 – 21:30 | Tues: Closed
Telephone: 6884 6884
Address:#01-05, 82 Tiong Poh Road, 160082
5. Whisk Café
A cute little dessert café in Tiong Bahru, for those of you who like a little personal touch – you might be interested to know that Whisk Café is family-run, served primarily by a mother-daughter team – mom serves the customers, and the daughter whips up the sweets.
Must-tries include homely, unpretentious confectionaries like their Carrot Cake (SGD 7) and its Lemon Tart (SGD 5), and the New York Style Cheese Cake (SGD 7), which is smooth, without being overly rich.
Price range: Online menu unavailable, but you can check out their Facebook page for more details here.
Opening hours: Tue – Thurs: 9AM – 7PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM – 11PM | Sun: 9AM – 9PM
Telephone: 6222 6543
Address: #01-15, 58 Seng Poh Road, 160058
6. Plain Vanilla Bakery
A favourite amongst Singaporeans, Plain Vanilla Bakery holds no secrets – its recipes are kept simple and classic, but what differentiates it from the rest and makes it so loved is their use of only the freshest, high quality ingredients, without the use of preservatives.
Their standards are so high that even day-old cupcakes don’t make the cut to be sold, testimony that they only sell the freshest to their customers.
Plain Vanilla Bakery often comes up with new seasonal flavours so you never get bored – think Christmas specials, Chinese New Year-themed flavours and just recently – their on 4th of July cake, a mini-tribute to America, decked in the colours of the American flag (SGD 4.70).
Price range: Cupcakes go from SGD 4.20 each, and a surcharge of SGD 0.50 for seasonal specials. Online menu unavailable.
Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 08.00 – 19.00 | Sun: 09.00 – 18.00
Creamier is another place which needs absolutely no introduction, having already made waves with its first pioneer outlet in Toa Payoh.
For those out of the loop – Creamier is an ice cream café that sells well, tons of ice cream flavours – from the eclectic to classic flavours, to coffee blends, as well as hand-brewed teas (SGD 7.50), exclusive only in its Tiong Bahru outlet.
Creamier boasts of a repertoire of a staggering 118 flavours in total, with 18 flavours being displayed every day. Flavours are swapped out throughout the year, so that repeat visits are always exciting to see what new flavours they have in store.
If you’ve perhaps eaten your fill elsewhere and looking for a place with good, relatively affordable dessert? Creamier is your bet for a reliable place which serves tasty, smooth ice cream huge variety of flavours that is sure to satisfy everyone’s different palettes.
Price range: SGD 3.80 per scoop, with an additional SGD 1 for premium flavours
Opening hours: Tues – Thurs: 12PM – 10PM | Fri – Sat: 12PM – 11PM | Sun: 12PM – 10PM | Mon: Closed
Telephone: 6221 1076
8. Lee Tai Fu
Plain and non-descript on the outside, inside Lee Tai Fu masks a hidden treasure trove for the vintage-loving peeps out there – tables laid inside are the very familiar but nostalgic Snakes and Ladders we’ve all played in our wee years that is sure to hit anyone’s soft spot, hipster, or non-hipster alike.
Lee Tai Fu specialises in Singaporean-Western fusion dishes, with special mentions such as their Home-Made Otak Pizza (SGD 24), a total crowd pleaser, and their Lee Tai Fu Pork Knuckle (SGD 55), slow baked to ensure the meat is tender and juicy, with a crispy crackling on the outside, and served with baguette and a Singaporean favourite – sambal sauce.
Price range: Mains start from SGD 19 and above. Their online menu can be viewed here.
Opening hours: Tues – Sun: 3:00PM – 11:30PM | Closed: Mon
Telephone: 6376 2338
Address: 16 Kim Tian Rd, Singapore 169251
Looking like something straight out of a steam-punk movie, the café is also built around a concept that’d likely perk your attention, or at least a raised eyebrow.
Bincho sells Mee Pok by the day in a fairly traditional coffee shop setting, but by night, it is a different beast altogether – behind the store lies a grungy, open-concept yakitori bar that sells meat skewers and a mean cocktail to go with it, open only at night.
Truly, the Jekyl and Hyde of cafés.
Price range: Prices are subject to availability, menu can be viewed here online. Omakase menu changes by the day.
Opening hours: Tues – Sun: 12PM – 3PM (Last order at 2.30PM); 6PM till late | Mon: Closed
Telephone: 6438 4567
Address: #01-19, 78 Moh Guan Terrace, 162078
10. House of Peranakan Petit
A cute little Peranakan restaurant nestled in a mint shophouse dating back to the 80s, belies a restaurant with a huge historical significance, a Peranakan family-run restaurant that has been running for three generations.
Almost as colourful and vibrant as its architecture, it also serves a whole array of traditional Nyonya cuisine – from secret home recipes passed from generation to generation, to new creations with a more modernistic touch, such as their Scallop Lemak (SGD 28), usually cooked with crabs or prawns.
Not to worry, theres’s also your usual fare of classic Nyonya fare like Ngoh Hiang (SGD 12) or Babi Ponteh (SGD 16), for the die-hard traditional Nyonya food fanatics!
Price range: Prices unavailable online, but the online menu can be viewed here.
Opening hours: Mon, Wed – Sun: 12:00PM – 3:00PM; 6:00PM – 10:00PM | Tues: Closed
Telephone: 6222 1719
Address: Tiong Bahru Estate, 42 Eng Hoon Street, 169785
11. The Tiong Bahru Singapura Club
Designed like an old school kopitiam with vintage tiled floors and knick-knacks, this place pays homage to the many cultures and cuisines that make up our little red dot in the food they serve – a melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian food.
Always have that one friend who complains that they don’t know what to eat and when you do bring them somewhere, complain about it? Bring them here, gosh darn it.
One of this café’s specialties is its Club Devil’s Curry (SGD 8.50), a Eurasian dish of Portuguese origin, an assortment of chicken meat, sausages, potatoes, veggies, and it is just as spicy as it looks with its intimidating deep red hue.
We’re not talking about a cute, tiny tingle on the tongue kind of spicy, but a stomach-churning type of spicy-level. Yeah, it’s pretty darn hardcore.
Always wanted to do a spicy showdown with your friends? This dish is practically made for that.
Get some of house blended Chai Lattes to quench dem flames, yo.
P.S. We take no responsibility for any burnt tongues or upset stomachs from the overwhelming spiciness.
Price Range: Prices unavailable online, but online menu can be viewed on their Facebook page here. https://www.facebook.com/thesingapuraclub/photos/a.626166710835433.1073741829.598690236916414/1435715709880525/?type=3&theater
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 8:30AM – 11:00PM | Fri – Sun: 8:30AM – 11:30PM
Telephone: 6438 0168
Address: 57 Eng Hoon Street Tiong Bahru Estate, Singapore 160057
12. Cheng’s @ 27
Not the most typical looking zi-char store, with air-conditioning and modern furnishings, Cheng’s @ 27 also boasts of a desserts bar, full of Singaporean favourites like Gula Melaka Chiffon Cake (SGD 5), and their homemade Artisan Kaya (SGD 15 per jar).
Of course, a classic favourite that has stayed with Cheng’s @ 27 even before its revamp is its Pork Chop Hainanese Curry Rice (SGD 9).
Price range: Online menu unavailable, but you can check out their Facebook page.
Opening hours: Mon, Wed – Sun: 10:30AM – 2:30PM; 5:30PM – 9.30PM | Tues: Closed
Telephone: 6223 7883
Address: 27 Yong Siak St, Singapore 168854
13. Caffe Pralet
We love it when you guys tag us with your pictures of @caffepraletsg!! Tag us away #caffepraletsg and show us what you are having here at @caffepraletsg! Thank you @yongweikai for dropping by!
Specialising in Asian-Western fusion, the main draw of its menu (apart from the clean, bright looking colours of the café!) is its wide selection of fusion items, such as its Chili Crab Cheese Fries (SGD 12), and its Roasted Sesame Chicken Salad Bowl (SGD 11), as well as its Mentaiko Battered Fish Rice Bowl (SGD 12).
P.S. Caffe Pralet is also halal-certified now, has no GST nor service charge! For y’all who wanna grab some good food without breaking the bank – this is where you should be going.
Price range: Menu unavailable online, but you can check out their Facebook page.
Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 11AM – 9PM | Sun: 11AM – 6PM
Telephone: 6223 5595
Address: 17 Eng Hoon Street, #01-04 Eng Hoon Mansions, 169767
14. Coq & Balls
A place with… certainly an intriguing name that makes no secret of what it alludes to, Coq & Balls is a café/bar that serves both breakfast-types food as well as bar crawl grub.
For the breakfast types food, special mentions goes to their Pancakes with Bananas (SGD 17.90), English Muffins with Poached Eggs (SGD 16.90) for their café classics.
For those interested in pub-type food and drinks, you might be interested in their Mini Wagyu Beef Sliders (SGD 12.90), Coq & Balls Cheese Burger (SGD 17.90), and of course, drinks from SGD 9 and up per pint, all great accompaniments to watch the end of this season’s World Cup.
Price range: Bar snacks start from SGD 5.90 and up. The food and drinks menu can be viewed on their website here.
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 5PM – 1AM | Fri: 4.30PM – 1AM | Sat – Sun: 3PM – 1AM
Telephone: 6276 6609
Address: 6 Kim Tian Road, Kai Fook Mansion, Singapore 169246
15. Chapter 55
Chapter 55 is a Japanese-Western fusion restaurant, with the hardwood alarm clock flanked on its brick and mortar walls, it creates a sort of rustic, almost fairy tale-esque ambience.
Must tries are their Bonito Thin Crust Pizza (SGD 25), which has the usual toppings normally seen in Western style pizza like cheese, mushroom, ham, BUT topped off with bonito flakes, which gives an extra hit of unexpected umami in every bite. The perfect marriage of two very different flavours.
P.S. There is also a gelato booth with 16 different flavours (SGD 8 per scoop) for ye sweet-toothed people out there!
Price range: Mains go from SGD 16 and up. The online menu can be viewed on their home website.
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Telephone: 6221 2219
Address: #01-37, 55 Tiong Bahru Rd, 160055
16. Merci Marcel
Located right next to the superstar of Tiong Bahru’s cafés – Tiong Bahru Bakery – Merci Marcel doesn’t hold back its punches in attracting its own steady stream of customers.
Worth noting, of course, is its ambience – Merci Marcel has a gorgeous al fresco area with rustic looking brick walls, and splashes of greenery with potted plants strewn cleverly around to create the impression of a vineyard (sort of) – the ultimate playground for avid Instagrammers.
Must-tries are their cheese platters (SGD 24 and up) to live life like a true Parisian, as well as their array of interesting cocktails (SGD 19 and up) and wines (SGD 54 and up). Perfect for a night for you and the gals (or your boo!).
Price range: Mains start from SGD 22. Menu unavailable online.
Opening hours:Tue – Sat: 08:00 – 23:30 | Sun: 08:00 – 22:30 | Closed: Mon
Telephone: 6224 0113
Address: 56 Eng Hoon St, #01-68, 160056
17. Big Mama Korean Restaurant
Wanna have something homelier in the sea of hipster cafés in Tiong Bahru or find yourself with a hankering for some good ol’ Korean food, in the midst of your K-drama binges?
Come on over to Big Mama Korean Restaurant, a family-style restaurant started by a Korean mother who used to cook for her students, before deciding to start her own business.
Must-tries include their Dakgalbi (SGD 15/pax), or spicy stir-fried chicken with vegetables, rice cake, sweet potato pan-fried on the spot at your table.
P.S. Remember to add in a bowl of rice (SGD 3) and save some leftovers after; Big Mama’ll whip that right up into fragrant, spicy chicken fried rice that’ll be sure not to leave you hungry.
If that’s not quite your thing, don’t fret – Big Mama Korean Restaurant has over 30 different dishes that’ll be sure to cater to each and everyone’s different palettes.
Price range: Prices unavailable online, but menu can be viewed here.
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 11:30AM – 3PM; 5:30PM – 11PM
Telephone: 6270 7704
Address: 2 Kim Tian Rd, 169244
18. Bakalaki Greek Tarverna
Looking for something a little more exotic without the usual French and Italian fare that often dominate the Tiong Bahru café scene?
Try Bakalaki Greek Tarverna, a Greek café serving authentic Mediterranean eats like their Htapodi (Grilled Octopus, SGD 32.90), their Moussaka, a minced beef casserole with eggplant, potato & béchamel sauce (SGD 25.90), as well as their Bakalaki, a Greek salad with olives, fresh tomatoes and pickled vegetables (SGD 23.90).
For a full on authentic Greek experience, try out their Baklava (SGD 14.90), made of a filo pastry stuffed with walnuts, cinnamon, and Greek honey syrup.
Price range: Mains and appetisers go from SGD 14.90 and up. For more details, check out their online menu on their home page.
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 6PM – 12AM | Fri – Sun: 6PM – 1AM
Telephone: 6836 3688
Address: 3 Seng Poh Rd Singapore 168891