Quintessentially, the same motto follows; Cafe hopping does not always have to be expensive. I will be the first to admit that the cafe scene in Singapore is slowing down (not yelling timber) – but who is to stop you from exploiting the best and cheapest of cafes in Singapore?
Cafes sometimes get too overly pretentious with their food and in turn serve sup par quality meals but in this list of 12 MORE cafes below $12 as per my previous article, I bring you the same cafe ambience with that value-for-money. Read on and get your same Pat-bingsu, chicken steak, ice cream brownies and waffles all under $12. And yes, budget cafe food can be a thing.
1. Rice & Fries
Located barely 5 minutes from the Kembangan MRT, Rice & Fries adopts a retro feel with chalk boards for walls, the different murals are done by local artistes with their instagram captions to the side.
What I love here is the rosemary chicken ($11.90), the skin caramelized by honey sauce with pepper and salt for flavor. The rosemary seasoning is exceptional, very ‘pang’ that it invigorates all the senses. You cannot get something like this at Astons and hence makes it very worth the premium. One of the few places i will pay for premium western food
On weekdays, they run a $10 promotion from 12 – 3pm (one starter + soup + main course of chicken/fish subject to chef choice).
Address: 484 Changi Rd, Singapore 41989 | Tel: 9738 6648 |Opening Hours: 11am -11pm (daily)
2. Churros Factory
I discovered Churro Factory’s at one of their pop up stores a while back. All year round, they try to at least have one around the island to garner brand awareness, their current outlet being at Farrer Park. Check out their current host of stores here.
Their churros are crisp on the outside, soft and chewy inside – with a dough to sugar ratio that does not leave flour balls clumping in your mouth. These are definitely one of the better churros out there, a standard above those at the Pasar Malams.
They come in a variety of flavors too Ondeh Ondeh & Red Velvet (3 pieces for $4, 6 for $7). I love love love how they even offer a pre-order option, call in a few hours before and they will prepare a ready box. All you have to do is heat it up and enjoy in your destination of comfort, perfect for parties or even a coffee trip near your workplace.
Address: 15 Cheong Chin Nam Rd, Singapore 599739 | Opening Hours: 12:00 – 6:00 pm
3. Holqa Café
Holqa is a small shophouse located in Katong, just behind one of those old school by-the-road busstops. I always take a peek in while waiting for my bus home and stumbled across their paddlepop brownies ($4.80).
This is for those nostalgic of their childhood, I was intrigued to find the paddlepop ice cream layer paired well with its cakey-brownie base. They mesh together nicely like a ice cream cake, I enjoyed having the marshmallows to scoop up remnants of the paddle pop. It is not exceptional on the taste but rather interesting to actually taste what a ice cream brownie would be like.
Address: 37 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428755 | Tel: 6635 7010 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm -9pm Sat & Sun 9am – 9pm
4. Crown Bakery
The hainanese chicken rice $4.50 is one of the must-trys here, Crown bakery has actually have managed to westernize the dish into a baguette without compromising on the hainanese taste. There are chicken chunks seasoned in that signature garlic with a chilli dip to the side, language said the chicken rice experience with this loaf of bread is very real.
The Matcha brioche ($3.20) & Mentaiko garlic toast ($3.50) were pretty good, and one of their hot favorites. Not exceptionally novel but the pastries were very crisp and rich in taste, this is the real run for your money when you buy pastries.
They even have a waffles and ice cream set, its only $9.60. Crown Bakery is located at Crown Plaza, a tad bit off from the MRT which probably explains the cheaper rates.
Address: 557 Bukit Timah Road, #01-03 Crown Centre, Singapore 269694 | Opening Hours: 7.30am – 9.30pm (Sun-Thu), 7.30am – 10.30pm (Fri-Sat)
5. Bunny & Pony
My new favorite supper hangout in the east at Changi Village; last orders are at 11.15pm on weekends. Bunny & Pony offers an extensive range of artisan gelato flavors like Pina Colada, Dark Seasame, Coconut Chendol, Potato chip chocolate etc. 2 scoops of premium ice cream with one waffle costs only $10.10.
You could pay a bit more for their in house special to have a few toppings thrown in but I find it does not little to add novelty and only a marginal improvement in taste.
I will warn you though that this is one of the few cafes you have to pay for water so come prepared if you are making this a café stop. The prices here are absolutely ridiculous that even with the water-policy I still come back for late waffles nights.
Address: Blk 1 Changi Village Road #01-2000, Singapore 500001 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Tues-Thurs), 12pm – 10pm (Fri-Sun) Closed Mon
The Charcoal Salted Egg yolk waffle ($8 with one scoop on ice-cream) is viral on instagram to which I find extremely overrated. The Salted egg yolk has a powdery texture and a mild salted yolk taste at best,it did not live up to its Instagram hype. Fatcat Ice cream Bar however should pride themselves in ridiculous ice cream choices.
The watermelon soju has the best candy syrup taste (a tad bit artificial but i honestly love the taste) I have ever tried in Singapore. Chicken up, watch and learn.
What I would recommend here on your first trip are their plated desserts, with limited sets everyday. Their marketing team is ingenious to create this level of exclusivity. You will have check their facebook for the in house special, the nutella banana $9, deconstructed cheese cake $15, Mojito cocktail spheres $4.50/ea just to name a few.
It is absolutely impossible to get such avant garde food at low prices anywhere else but here which provides the ultimate culinary experience, not just on taste but presentation too at really cheap prices.
Address: Blk 416 Bedok North Ave 2 #01-25 Singapore 460416 (10min walk from Bedok MRT) | Tel: 6241 0830 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon, Wed, Thurs), 12pm – 11pm (Fri, Sat, Sun), Closed Tues,
7. Wimbly Lu
Mostly reknowned for their Waffles, I personally prefer their pastries here. The Root Beer cake $5.80 is a Wimbly Lu exclusive, Chocolate root beer Ganache on a moist chocolate cake with a ball of vanilla ice cream to the side.
Most of the menu here runs below $12, their waffles with ice cream $8.50 are a hot seller which in my humble opinion is really average at best. Try the lemon meringue pie $7 or chocolate creme brule $5. Wimbly prides itself in chocolates hat it does very well and rightfully so you try these items when you are here. Desserts are great, but the mains are pretty meh.
I adore the place for its glass ceiling and beautiful ambience, while it may be located in the landed estates, Wimbly Lu is only a 10 minute walk from the Serangoon MRT. This is the first place I would recommend someone for a date.
Address: 15-2 Jalan Riang | Tel: 6289 1489 | Opening Hours: 1pm – 10:30pm (Tue – Fri); 9am – 11pm (Sat – Sun) Closed on Mondays.
8. Café Insadong
Not all Bingsus have to be overpriced, why pay so much for a pretentious Ice Kachang? The most expensive bingsu here is only $9, comes in 6 different flavors (Red bean, Sweet Potato, Oreo, Mango and Green Tea).
Sticky rice cakes are added in all the bigness for a contrast in texture and oomph. While the bingsus might be cheaper, they do not scrimp on the ingredients here either. This, to the best of my knowledge is the cheapest place to get a Bingsu in Singapore, my personal favorites are the Red bean/Mango, these 2 flavors tend to do better in Bingsus. Do share your other cheap bingsu haunts in the comments down below!
Address: 279 South Bridge Road Singapore 058828 (near Chinatown MRT) | Tel: 8533 2003 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Tues, Wed, Thurs), 12pm-10pm (Fri-Sat), 2pm-8pm (Sun), Closed Mondaysfr
They only offer one savory item here; A crossiant with scrambled eggs & smoke salmon for $8.90. The skills of the chef are top notch, none of their desserts go past $6.80. I suggest having the triple chocolate devil or sundae (both $6.80) here – this cafe guide brings you quality, and quality is in the form of soft springy mascarpone at only $6.80.
Much less those that carry such light flavors like cheese and strawberry, The triple chocolate devil is a mix of different Varholna chocolates with ganache, topped with a raspberry jelly core in the middle. It is very hard to craft such complicated desserts (structure-wise) and create distinct dimensions with just chocolates alone.
It can get rather jelak so I suggest to share this one with friends. If you want to see what culinary prowess is about, Cream and Custard is for you. They may not win on IG aesthetics but they are ridiculous in their bakes.
Address: 46 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee #01-894, Singapore 160046 (5 min walk from Tiong bahru MRT) | Opening hours: 11am-9pm (daily, closed on Tuesdays)
10. OMB – Oh My Bacon!
If you thought fries and ice cream at Mcdonalds was hardcore, check out the Jekyll & Hyde ($2.50 for 1pc, $12 for 6). A caramelized bacon dipped in a dark chocolate sauce enjoyed together with bacon Ice cream. The menu here is really Epic Meal time inspired. Or if you’re interested have their Bacon Ice Cream and brownie ($9) and candied bacon bits.
Its sheer ferocity in going all out Bacon still gives it a spot on this list. $9 Bacon ice cream and Bacon Brownie? I do warn however that the meal might get too jelak but i still dare say the place is at least worth a try once for the ultimate bacon experience.
Address: 7 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209337 (5-10 min walk from Bugis MRT)
| Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Tue-Fri), 10am – 10pm (Sat-Sun), Closed Mondays
11. Tom & Toms Coffee
The Starbucks of South Korea, the coffeehouse franchise brings their own Pat bingsu to Singapore too. It comes in 6 flavors (Mango, Milk Tea, Taro, Green Tea & Yoghurt Cheesecake), I personally prefer the Green tea bingu $11.50, my only comment being that I would have wished to have more ice.
The consistency to the ice is premium grade fine and the distribution of green tea flavor very consistent, and hence I personally prefer Tom & Tom’s to Insadong even though they come without my favorite rice cakes. Give both places a shot and tell me which one you prefer.
Address: 12 Gopeng Street #01-12 ICON Village Singapore 078877 | Opening hours: 8am-11pm (closed on Fri- Sun)
12. Les Patisseries
A 5-10 minute walk from the Toa payoh MRT, Le passterie is located within the neighbourhood district. The place is no service charge, no GST. The place gets really packed with office commute during lunch, so try to come around those periods.
I love the garlic food selections here. Garlic fries $7.80 soaked in olive oil, fried to a crisp yet slightly stings because it remains a wee bit raw. Just the way I like it. They offer a very simple array of pastas; Spaghetties, Carbonara, Aglio Olio.
On my first time here, I ordered the garlic chicken pasta $11.50, spaghetti soaked in a very rich creamy carbonara sauce to match with the ‘pang’ garlic. Warning though, do not order this on dates. I had my breath for a whole day in office after my trip here. (Much to my delight)
Le Passterie offers a range of waffles too, starting from $9.90. Their Horlicks $9.90 is a sincere indulgent mess of horlick powder, almond flakes and vanilla cream. Simple comfort food at a really cheap price. This is my favorite Cafe discovery in 2015.
Address: Blk 186 Toa Payoh Central, #01-428 Singapore 310186 (Toa Payoh MRT, 5-10 min walk) | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm Daily
Related Guide: 12 Singaporean Cafes $12 and Below