The ultimate list of my favorite speciality coffee shops in Singapore
This post was originally written in January 2021 and was recently updated.
I am a genuine coffee lover. And although it sucks that we are still stuck in the city-state, there is one thing I cannot complain about: the huge amount of great coffee specialties that Singapore has to offer. There are already over 20 Coffee Roasters in the little red dot alone, let alone the coffee shops where they serve excellent coffee variations. Here is my list of favorite coffee roasters in Singapore, from well-established players to newer ones in the market.
Anteroom Coffee Brewers
Exclusive to D’Leedon residents, Anteroom Coffee Brewers offers coffee that is roasted with flavor clarity in mind, which allows every coffee to be a true representation of the effort and quality that goes into farming, harvesting, and processing
19 Leedon Heights, #01-61 Farrer Wing Clubhouse, Singapore 266227 | @anteroomcoffee
Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.
After months of hype and anticipation, % Arabica’s Singapore outpost has finally opened its doors. Originally from Kyoto, this roastery and café have 37 outlets worldwide, and two more outlets are slated to join this Arab Street joint by the end of the year. Known for its excellent brews, its house blend comprises of beans from single-origin estates in Brazil and Europe, roasted to a medium roast for a balanced flavor (from $4.50). Its roastery is housed at the back of the café, so patrons can also take a peek at the roasting process. Currently, the café only sells drinks, and if you’re dropping by, remember to snap a photo of your cuppa with its distinctive logo for the ‘gram.
In a residential house right in the heart of Bukit Timah and just a stone’s throw away from Singapore Botanic Gardens sits the Atlas Coffeehouse in an old shophouse. Helmed by the team behind Assembly Coffee, you can expect significant coffee variations.
Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee
The CCG+C started as a vinyl record store but has just moved to the main street in hip Joo Chiat to a larger space to focus on food and coffee. Choice Cuts Goods and Coffee’s food menu is fairly limited to bagels and hot dogs and listed on an overhead board, which gives it a cool, rough New York style. There may be a few other special items and cakes available from time to time. The coffee is pretty good, too, and comes with oat or soy milk on request.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
Do not be misled by the name of this establishment that the former store occupant inherited. Chye Seng Huat Hardware was founded by one of Singapore’s pioneers of specialty coffee, PPP Coffee which is why you can expect amazing coffee, first and foremost. Headquarters of Third Wave coffee pioneers PPP (formerly known as Papa Palheta), the two-story coffee complex hides a roastery and a ground floor café. Coffee is the bestseller here, of course, but you may find small bites as well.
COMMON MAN COFFEE ROASTERS
The baristas at Common Man Coffee Roasters not only brew my favorite coffee in town, but they also serve excellent breakfast. I appreciate the environment and its large outdoor space, making it ideal for those working from a cup of coffee moments. Common Man Coffee Roasters also provide holistic training programs with their Barista Academy, which is at the top of my list for fun activities in Singapore. From their Expresso Blend made using a Synesso espresso machine to their manual brews of single-origin beans like TirgZero from Ethiopia, coffee is the star of the show here.
Sells: Coffee blends, single-origins, decaf, coffee accessories, merchandise
Craftsmen Coffee Roasters
Craftsmen Coffee Roasters is known for their excellent coffee, but their breakfast and brunch menu isn’t too bad either. The food is largely Western-influenced with sandwiches, baked goods, and desserts. The ambiance at Craftsmen Specialty Coffee outlets sports a retro industrial look, which reminds me of New York.
Another of the hot cafes in Singapore that seem to attract a strong following is Curious Palette, a sister of the popular Stranger’s Reunion (and Wakey Wakey, which you will learn about a little later). Next to one of the best breakfast dishes I have ever had in Singapore (Berry Ricotta Hotcake!!!), you will most likely go to Curious Palette to feast and work. There are plenty of communal tables (to go from breakfast straight to WFH) in the naturally lighted space and even an event space in the second story of the shophouse that (in non-pandemic times) provides an ideal venue for corporate events and private parties.
Dutch Colony Coffee Co.
Dutch Colony Coffee Co. was started with the inspiration to bring the best bean-to-cup experience, from the farmers who harvest the beans to the roasters and baristas, and finally into the hand of the customers. With three retail outlets in Singapore and a centrally-located roastery and training center, they proudly serve the community with excellent specialty coffee.
Mouth-watering-sounding food but also instagrammable designs and drinks make it hard to resist visiting Earlybird every once in a while. And the small-little inclusion of bird decorations, wall painting, and greenery add to the feel of the space, too, inside and outside.
FIVE OARS COFFEE ROASTERS
Five Oars Coffee Roasters offers to relax in its minimalist coffeehouse in Tanjong Pagar and is said to be Melbourne-café inspired. Their coffee is served “Black” or “White” and is instead on the fruity side, which is also very much Melbournian-style.
Forty Hands was the first café place of the Common Man Coffee Roasters family, starting a Singaporean coffee revolution and breathing new life into the once so-sleepy neighborhood of Tiong Bahru. With the famous CMCR specialty coffee, tasty Australian-style brunch, and lovely decor, it’s always worth a visit, at least for a quick box stop in between strolling through the quaint quarter of Tiong Bahru with its many boutiques and shops. Since May 2018, there has been a second Forty Hands outlet in the bustling hood of Joo Chiat.
Found out of Singapore’s famous Ronin Café, the Gather is a coming together of a crêperie and an edit of covetable in a superb location (the Raffles Arcades). Next to the next-level-crêpes and the famous Ronin French Toasts (well-loved by former Ronin customers), there is also a small retail space that sells a small selection of clothing, home scents, candles, and body care, from well-curated labels, such as my favorite hand soap from Frama Copenhagen.
328 North Bridge Road, Raffles Hotel, Arcade, Unit 01-12, 188719 | @gathershop.co
Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, weekends from 8 am to 8 pm
Glyph Supply Co
A collaborative co-roasting/cafe concept space located at 111 Somerset, serving up specialty coffees, teas, and bake
Grounded by CMCR
Grounded by CMCR is a concept born out of opportunity, friendship, and fun. Located above Common Man Coffee Roasters café, Grounded occupies the leafy al fresco areas of the Yoga Movement studio in Robertson Quay.
The famous coffee shop is situated in one of the many shop houses along Upper Thomson Road, just a five-minute walk away from the MacRitchie Reservoir Park. This makes Habitat Coffee a perfect brunch hang to kick off your weekend hike or to refresh with coffee and bowls after a long walk.
Homeground Coffee Roasters
Homeground Coffee Roasters is a coffee roastery, art gallery, and retail space in the bustling hood of Joo Chiat in East Singapore. Tall ceilings with industrial-like designs and the corridor near the entrance are shaped in an elongated manner, with art paintings hanging on the walls. The menu is short, with black and white coffee.
Sells: Espresso blends, single-origins, coffee equipment
Mellower Coffee is an established coffee chain that started back in 2011 and has since expanded with a handful of stores under its belt across Shanghai, Nanjing, and Kunming. Despite serving excellent coffee, people are really here for their signature creation, Sweet Little Rain ($9.80): A concept involving cotton candy over a cup of Americano.
108 Middle Rd, #01-01 Bernhard Schulte House, Singapore 188967 and others | @mellowercoffee_sg
Open varies depending on their location (Bugis, MSpace @ Orchard) and others.
Monument Lifestyle is a lifestyle concept store selling a curated collection of menswear, grooming products, crafted goods but also excellent coffee. The menu is relatively simple, but you will find many toasts and pastries sourced from a local bakery. The coffee beans are sourced from Four Barrel, a cafe and roaster touted to serve the best coffee in San Francisco. Overall, the vibe is excellent here, and I would certainly be back for more coffee and the teas they offer.
Starter Lab is a sourdough specialist in Singapore (coming from Bali), with delicious bread, pastries, but also excellent coffee.
Open seven days
Right from the beginning, Glasshouse has always strived to present what we feel is the best representation of specialty coffee. From sourcing, roasting, and finally brewing, they are dedicated to always ensuring customers have the best cup ever.
181 South Bridge Road #01-05, K1-04, Singapore 058743 | 30 East Coast Road #01-11 Katong V, 428751 |
Sunday to Tuesday, from 8 am to 5 pm; Wednesdays & Thursdays, from 8 am to 9 pm; Fridays & Saturdays, from 8 am to 10 pm (Cross Street Exchange); 8 am to 6 pm daily (Katong)
The Social Space
A multi-concept social enterprise promoting low-waste, conscious living, and inclusive employment.
Tiong Hoe Speciality Coffee
Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee is a specialty coffee roastery that does wholesale, academy, cafe, as well as a retail shop.
170 Stirling Rd, #01-1133, Singapur 140170 | 1 Fusionopolis Pl, #01-28/29 Galaxis, Singapore 138522 | 1 Harbourfront Walk, Vivo City Fairprice Xtra, Unit, #B2-23, Singapur 098585 | @tionghoespecialtycoffee