Leisure travel is out of the question at the moment, what with the pandemic and all, and it seems like the only solution to cabin fever now is to go on staycations. But if you’re looking for a short getaway (with a meal no less) that’s easy on your finances, then you should take a look at these Singapore cafes that’ll make you feel like you’re overseas.
We’ve rounded up 13 Singapore cafes with decor and food that can transport you to another place. From a Greecian cafe decked out in blue to a cafe that feels like you’re walking through Yeouido Park in autumn – take a look at these family-friendly options.
The spot to be for Francophiles and lovers of French cuisine alike, Merci Marcel’s Parisian-inspired decor will sweep you right off your feet. Our favourite is the beautifully chic garden patio that sports lush greenery, bricked walls, and natural light — perfect for the ‘gram. Standing out amongst the many hipster cafes in Tiong Bahru with its large menu, you’ll find a rotating cheese menu, main dishes, and sharing plates available. You must get a croissant while you’re at it — light, buttery and crispy, the humble pastry is done perfectly here. Don’t forget to browse their wide selection of wines, spreads, and cheeses and bring a little French flavour back home with you.
Merci Marcel is located at #01-68, 56 Eng Hoon Street, Singapore 160056, tel: 6224 0113.
Take a walk on the wild side at TBB’s exciting new locale which has set up camp in lush and historic Dempsey. The spot used to be a nutmeg plantation and then military barracks, but is now a great place to unwind and feel like you’re in an African safari. Try their exclusive offerings such as Beetroot Latte and Turmeric Latte, plus a limited-edition Zebra-Inspired Wild Safari Cake infused with rum and decorated with gold leaf.
Tiong Bahru Bakery Safari is at 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819, tel: 6877 4876.
Lucha Loco is a casual and vibrant Mexican cocina and garden bar that serves a contemporary take on Mexican food. Using fresh and premium ingredients that are cooked with inspirations from the delicious street fare of Mexico, their menu ranges from the classics like Baja tacos to twists like buttermilk fried chicken burritos with serrano mayo. We recommend making your reservations just before sunset, their outdoor seating is strung with fairy lights and together with the Spanish music, it’ll transport you to another time and place.
Lucha Loco is at 15 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089598, tel: 6226 3938.
Sabio By The Sea was one of the very first tapas bars in Singapore and their dishes are all created with the freshest ingredients delivered from Spain and across Asia. Their menu is handpicked with Spanish favourites like patatas bravas, churros, paella, jamón and queso. Plus, for the adults, there’s freshly made sangria. Their most loved items of the menu are Gambas al Pil Pil, spicy Spanish prawns that are cooked in garlic, parsley and sweet paprika powder and Croquetas, a Spanish take on croquettes. Their laidback spot is surrounded by the waters of the Sentosa Cove and make it the perfect respite from the city.
Sabio By The Sea is at 31 Ocean Way, #01-02, 098375, tel: 6690 7568.
Tucked away in a corner of Changi Village facing the sea is a sprawling microbrewery and smokehouse restaurant, complete with rustic decor and fairy lights that will transport you to an Australian beer garden. Besides locally-brewed craft beers, they also serve up delicious smoked beef brisket and pork belly that melts in your mouth. Perfect for a large get-together with friends! (Plus, it’s so far away even for Easties you’ll feel like you’ve actually gone overseas.)
Little Island Brewing Co is at 6 Changi Village Rd, #01-01/02, Singapore 509907, tel: 6543 9100.
If you’re all about Latin-American flavours, love your meat grilled and your spices kickin’ hot, you’ll want to make a reservation at Panamericana Singapore right away. With their signature “farm-to-fire” philosophy, look forward to wolfing down a fresh, hearty meal while enjoying the stunning view this jewel offers. Our recommendations? Its refreshing Peruvian Ceviche with green mango and fresh slices of snapper, or the Land and Sea which is an intriguing mix of crackling roast belly and scallops topped with jicama salsa. Don’t forget the Churros with dulce de leche which will send you to dessert heaven.
Panamericana Singapore is at Sentosa Golf Club, 27 Bukit Manis Road, Singapore 099892, tel: 6253 8182.
Calling all book lovers, this picturesque cafe is the place you’ve been looking for. Emitting elegant English vibes, get comfy here with a good novel and some coffee against a backdrop of towering bookshelves, quirky oddities and plush couches. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported straight to London. You may want to skip breakfast and drop in early, since it’s worth noting that their brunch offerings are very popular and affordable.
The Reading Room is at 19 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089833, tel: 6223 1608.
Dreaming of spending an idyllic getaway on one of Greece’s many gorgeous islands? Get one step closer to your dream destination and treat yourself to some authentic Mediterranean cuisine at Blu Kouzina. Gather a few friends and indulge in their plates of flavourful food, such as the Kalamaki Souvlaki, a beef kebab served with fresh onions, sliced tomato, and pita, and the Xtapodi, a firm yet tender grilled octopus. Made with fresh ingredients directly from Greece, you’ll definitely feel refreshed after a meal spent lounging by the lovely floor-to-ceiling windows of this white-and-blue themed eatery.
Blu Kouzina is at #01-21, Dempsey Hill, 10 Dempsey Road (Blk 10), Singapore 247700, tel: 6875 0872.
When you think of comfort food, does a piping hot burger and a side of fries, all washed down with a frothy milkshake come to mind? If so, you’ll have to hit up Overeasy. Featuring Instagram-ready neon signs and arcade game machines, dig into classic American fare in this picturesque diner straight out of old comic books. Take it from Overeasy: They’re “familiar, but never boring”.
Overeasy is at #01-06 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213, tel: 6684 1453, or #01-01 Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Road, tel: 6684 1453.
For those of you who miss the Cha Chaan Teng experience and the streets of Hong Kong, then you should pay a visit to Legendary Hong Kong. Led by 8 established chefs with their own specialty from Hong Kong, the restaurant has four narrow entrances that mimic the streets of Hong Kong. Each entrance calls to a theme, from Roasted Meats, Noodles and Congee, to Dim Sum, and Cha Chaan Teng. Go in early and spend your morning trying meals from each theme for the full experience.
Legendary Hong Kong is at 63 Jurong West Central 3, #03-80 Provisional Unit Jurong Point 2 Shopping Center, 648331, tel: 6794 1335.
The menu here is straightforward and simple: coffee available in hot or iced selections. But this acclaimed coffee bar serves up quality brews from iced cappuccinos to matcha lattes. If you love the classic flavour and exquisite notes of Japanese coffee then this stop is a must-visit. The wooden details call to Japan’s traditional architectural designs and for that alone it’s worth a look.
Omotesando Koffee is at OUE Downtown Gallery, 6 Shenton Way, #04-03, 068815.
While going on a regular vacation can have one gain some weight (from all the yummy food you’re bound to try!), eating at this tropical-themed cafe is unlikely to. Beriwell not only serves up Bali vibes, but also healthy and deliciously fruity snacks. Grab a berry delicious signature acai soft serve with your choice of toppings ($6.90/$9.90) and enjoy the icy cold treat while hanging out at their wooden tables and rattan chairs. While you’re at it, take a photo against their coconut tree murals for that Instagram-worthy shot.
Beriwell is at #01-01, 19 East Coast Road, Singapore 428746.
Kreams Krafthouse is designed to feel like autumn in Korea all year round, decorated with colourful leaves around the ceiling it feels like you’ve stepped into Yeouido Park. At the moment their menu holds coffee and scones, and other than the typical caffeinated drinks they even have the (now Tik Tok famous) Dalgona Coffee. But here’s the twist, theirs is topped with homemade toffee crisps for an additional texture. Along with other Korean drinks like Sweet Potato Latte and Cloud Latte.
Kreams Krafthouse is at 32 Maxwell Road, #01-07 Maxwell Chambers, Singapore 069115, tel: 9620 7739.
Text: Zoe Zeng, Elizabeth Liew & Farisia Thang
This post was first published on December 20, 2018, and updated on September 8, 2020.