The 8 best cafes in Singapore worth skipping hawker stalls for

Singapore might be known for its South East Asian street food and buzzing hawker centres, but it also has a thriving café culture well worth exploring. Visitors to the lively city can expect to see familiar faces on the menu like avocado on toast and interpretations of the good ol’ big breakfast, but keep an eye out for items inspired by the local cuisine. Here are eight cafes that are changing the brunch scene while still incorporating some quintessentially Singaporean flavours into their menu.

Stray by Fat Cat

Fat Cat Ice Cream Bar’s savoury sister is located at Orchard Central. While the original outlet in Bedok North is a sweet tooth’s haven, Stray focuses on Chinese cuisine through modern techniques that push the boundaries on flavours that locals might have grown up with. The Yu Sheng Bowl for example, pays homage to “Yu Sheng” or “Yee Sang”, the tossing salad made synonymous with Chinese New Year. Here, Stray has incorporated the usual yu sheng ingredients (fresh salmon, shredded carrot and radish, crackers), with an added onsen egg and the subtle hit of calamansi to tie everything together. For those who still need a bit of sugar at the end, Stray has three separate dessert sections with items ranging from their Keep Popping Spheres to Salted Egg Yolk soft serve.

Address: 181 Orchard Road, #04-23, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Website: http://stray.sg/
Hours: Everyday 11am–10pm

P.S. Café

With eight locations dotted around this compact island, P.S. Café certainly needs no introduction as one of Singapore’s most established café groups. While the food menu is simple and a little on the pricy side, the venues more than make up for with thoughtfully designed interiors that accentuate the style of the neighbourhood. The Morocco Miracle Stack is one to look for if you’re after a main that’s both wholesome and light. A centralised kitchen churns out the baked goods that go to each outlet so consistency in flavour is almost certainly guaranteed.

Address: various locations (check website linked below)
Website: https://www.pscafe.com
Hours: Check website as hours may vary according to location

Super Loco

You might be forgiven for thinking Mexican for breakfast is a little loco. But the team behind Super Loco (that’s The Loco Group) have devised a contemporary Mexican menu that’s perfect for a leisurely brunch. The Grande Breakfast ($24) has everything and the proverbial kitchen sink thrown in, mix the scrambled eggs with ancho mayo and your tastebuds will sing. I’d also encourage you to make friends with the Ensalada Loco ($14), a hearty bowl once you’ve added in chicken (+$5) that plays nicely with the friojoles, tortilla crisps and chipotle dressing. Take your pick from two Super Locos and one Lucha Loco located around Singapore. And if you’re in Jakarta, feel free to say hola to another Super Loco there too.

Address: various locations (check website linked below)
Website: http://www.super-loco.com/
Hours: Check website as hours may vary according to location

Two Men Bagel House

The art of bagel-making mystifies many who try, thus, it’s a pleasant surprise that such a fine bagelry can be found in Singapore. The foundation of Two Men Bagel House is built on three pillars, ‘bagels, coffee and humanity’. I happened to chance upon their second outlet at Royal Square on their very first day of trading. I’m told that both restaurants are roughly the same size but the Tanjong Pagar original location boasts a more extensive menu. In this instance, I’ve opted for the Guaca ($10), which has everything I love for breakfast (eggs, avocado, tomatoes), sandwiched between a chewy seeded bagel. These bagels are utterly packed with tasty fillings, I know I’ll be back, hungry, and after one of the ‘Legends’ on the menu.

Address: Royal Square at Novena, 103 Irrawaddy Road #01-04
Website: http://www.twomenbagels.com/
Hours: Weekdays 8–6pm Weekends 9–6pm

Ergon Deli and Café

At a fundamental level, Ergon brings quality Greek products to cities around the world. This deli and café, their only outlet in Asia, is an extension of their business, churning out Greek-inspired brunch, lunch and dinner options. The pancakes with butter and orange blossom honey ($16) are sure to hit the sweet spot after a long day of shopping around Suntec Mall. You can also enjoy pastries and bread, sourced from Nick Vina Bakery.

Address: ERGON Singapore, Suntec City Mall (Convention Centre Entrance), 3 Temasek Boulevard #01-365
Website: https://www.ergonfoods.com/restaurants/singapore/#!
Hours: Weekdays 8.30–10pm , Weekends 10–10pm

Nassim Hill Bakery

The name might be slightly misleading as the place is more of a bistro than a café, but Nassim Hill Bakery is still worth checking out for the food and the vibes. Nestled in the Tanglin Post Office building, this bakery/bistro boasts an extensive drinks menu comprising of many beers, wines, whiskies and champagnes. For dining, try the Egg White Soufflé Omelette ($19) that is both fluffy on the outside and creamy on the inside. If you’re in the mood for something larger, the Steak and Eggs ($22) should satiate the hangriest of moods. And if all else fails, everything comes with a basket of toast on the side .

Address: 56 Tanglin Road, Tanglin Post Office #01-03
Website: http://nassimhill.com.sg/
Hours: Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday 8am-10pm. Friday and Saturday 8am–11pm. Closed on Mondays

Coffee Academics

Singapore’s coffee game is fairly strong no matter where you go. But if you’re after something a notch up, Coffee Academics is your go-to. With beginnings rooted in Hong Kong, the team at Coffee Academics share an ethos to make specialty coffee accessible to the masses. At their Scotts Square outlet, there are even five stations dedicated to coffee, these include an espresso bar, cupping corner, custom blend concierge, hand brew bar and a roasting corner. The food menu boasts a selection of breakfast favourites, small bites and pastas, all with an Asian twist. It’s food that’s good enough to stay for as you down cup after cup of caffeine.

Address: Scotts Square, #02-01/02, Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209
Website: https://www.facebook.com/TheCoffeeAcademicsSg/
Hours: Monday to Thursday 9-10pm, Friday and Saturday 9-10.30pm, Sunday 9-9.30pm

Symmetry Cafe

Traipsing along Bali Lane and Haji Lane will have your head turning at a seemingly infinite number of interesting shops, eclectic street art and cool-looking cafes. Symmetry Cafe, a quick five minute walk away, boasts a sharing concept menu with Australian and French influences. Despite its name, the place is more comfort chic with an artistic slant rather than straight lines and minimalism. Swing by for coffee and chat with friends over snacks of zucchini and feta fritters.

Address: 9 Jalan Kubor #01-01 Singapore 199206
Website: http://www.symmetry.com.sg/
Hours: Monday 10.30-9pm, Tuesday to Thursday 10.30-11pm, Friday 10.30-12am, Saturday 9-12am, Sunday 9-7pm