Last Updated: December 26, 2016
Cafe hopping can be a very expensive hobby – but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Enjoy the genuine cafe experience with authentic cafe food for only a fraction of the cost.
To meet the budget, I can only recommend at most one or two dishes at each place. However, be rest assured that each and every dish here has been carefully chosen to be worth your trip down. In the words of Bruno Mars, don’t believe me just watch. I dare say you will not regret cafe-hopping with this list.
What I especially like is the batter they use, and how perfectly crisp they make it. When you cut into the waffle, the buttery aroma fills the air and you can taste the butter subtly melting it in your mouth.
The Whoa-ffles! ($8.90) here come with 3 different types of ice cream; Vanilla bean with Salted Caramel Sauce, Pandan with Gula Melaka and Homemade Chocolate ice cream with Chocolate sauce. The serving of each waffle is just nice for one person. Students get 10% off here when they show their card, so come down with friends after school to check this place out.
Address: 212 Hougang Street 21, Singapore 530212 | www.hatterstreet.com | Opening hours: Tues – Sun: 1PM -10PM
It is very hard to find decent cheap churros in Singapore. The only one that really comes close is [email protected] and there was so much outcry when Spanish Donuts @OC was closed. Well now, you can get Churros ($10) right here in the east at Craftsmen!
They present it rather differently here, cut up and served in an ice cold dip of vanilla ice cream, dusted with sugar in a light chocolate drizzle. That way, the dessert does not get too jelak with ice cream between churro bites. The place has not caught as much traction yet and is mostly frequented by residents, so make your way here before it becomes too popular.
Address: #01-01, Siglap V, 2 First Street, Singapore 458278 | Opening hours: Mon-Thurs,Sun: 8.30am – 8.30pm and Fri,Sat: 8.30am to 9.30pm
Eggs poached soft and runny in the middle, served on top of candied bacon with a hint rocket for only $12. I get goosebumps thinking about how the honey glaze from the bacon melts with the hollandaise sauce to give that sweet and savory after taste.
The bacon is what elevates the eggs benedict to a whole new level. Do try to avoid driving here though, parking is really hard to find in the Tanjong pagar district.
Address: 94 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088515 | 6222 6698 | Opening hours: Mon,Weds-Fri: 9am to 10pm and Sat,Sun: 10am to 6pm
Oblong is located in Serangoon Gardens, just behind [email protected] Gardens. It is rather remote so if you might prefer driving in when coming. I always like to come here after a meal at Chomp Chomp.
The waffles come in three variants; Matcha, Red Velvet and Charcoal. Enjoy the set meal of one waffle + ice cream + gourmet coffee (includes lattes like green tea) for only $10.
You can choose to have your waffle served with either cream cheese or their butterscotch/chocolate sauce. Be sure to come here with friends for desserts on weekdays or even supper on weekends. They close at 12PM on weekdays and 2AM on weekends. It is an awesome supper place.
Address: #B1-07, Balmoral Plaza, 10 Maju Avenue, Singapore 259708 | Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 12pm to 12am and Fri,Sat: 12pm-2.30am
I love saveur because it brings you exposure to authentic French cuisine for only a mere fraction of the price. Bored of having your carbs as bread/pasta/rice? Try the Pork Belly ($10.90) . It doesn’t say much but the presentation is superb. A slow cooked piece of three layered pork atop a sea of baked green beans topped off with a few egg to bring the real European experience across.
The Duck Confiti ($12.90, sadly above the budget), Chicken Roulade ($10.90) are as good and while the servings may not look like much, rest assured you will be full and happy leaving this place.
5 Purvis Street #01-04, 188584 (Bugis) and 14 Scotts Road, #01-07B Far East Plaza, 228213 (Orchard Outlet) | http://www.saveur.sg | Opening Hours: Mon-Sat:12am-2.30am and 6pm-9.30pm
While the menu at this place can be rather limited, they offer a lot of decent western food for mostly below ten dollars. Togather does not skimp on their portions too so this is one of the few cafes I would not mind having lunch at.
However, the real steal here are their lava cakes – which go at only 4.90 per piece!! (6.90 with a scoop of vanilla gelato) I like their matcha lava best, it has a rich and intense kick which sends you straight to matcha heaven but that’s not to say the chocolate lava isn’t as good either.
Address: 84 Bedok North Street 4 # 01-25 / 27 Singapore 460084 | http://www.togathercafe.com.sg | Opening hours: Tues-Thurs,Sun: 11am – 10pm and Fri,Sat: 11am-11pm
Before I visited Knuckles, I never knew pork knuckles actually had German origin. Try the difference from the regular Chinese three-layer pork. The authentic German pork knuckles ($10) are served with sauerkraut (fermented shredded cabbage) for contrast and tonality to flavor. In fact, most of their menu Is well below $12 and they do not charge any GST/service-charge.
If you are here with a friend, share a basket of truffle fries ($6) between the two of you. Skinny fries with truffle oil topped off with a nice serving of parmesean cheese, just the way I like it.
Address: Blk 212 Hougang St 21, #01-341, Singapore 530212
I normally scoff at people who order pastas at cafes cause I find them ridiculously overpriced. 49 seats is worth this special pardon because it is so damn good and value-for-money.
The cream based pasta is light yet thick, it beats Pastamania’s creamy chicken by a long shot. What normally goes wrong is that chefs use too much sour cream/pasta sauce, causing the dish to be super je-lak and unappetizing. This is definitely not the case here.
There is literally a promotion for everyone. For lunch at their OC outlet, the Seafood Marinara/ Fish & Chips is going at only $10. From 3-5pm, students get a free upgrade of soup + drink with every main course.
And the best deal is for all the night owls out there; From 10pm all pastas are $10, 11pm chicken orders become $11 and at 12pm all fish dishes are $12. To be honest, I cannot even figure how is this place still even earning a profit. Endlessly better than mainstream pasta brands, please do pay them a visit the next time you are in town.
Address: 49 Kreta Ayer Rd, Singapore 089007 (Outram/Chinatown outlet) | Opening hours: Mon- Thurs: 6pm to 2am and Fri,Sat: 6pm-4.30am | #08-08, Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road (OC Outlet)
This place is also very famous for its latte art. On weekdays, when the chef is not as busy you can even request what you get. Maybe a teddy bear, hello kitty, Hamtaro? I recommend the eggs benedict here at $12. A very safe, standard version – poached eggs served on a thick slice of bread with salad tossed to the side.
Chockful has a very relaxed vibe for you to chill your afternoons away. A great place for dates with the latte-art as a good conversational starter, and its not too taxing on your wallet too- everything here is nett price.
Blk 4 Changi Village Road #01-2090, Singapore 500004 | 62148839 | http://www.chockfullofbeans.com.sg | Opening hours: Tues-Fri: 11am-10pm and Sat,Sun: 9am-11pm
One of the rare places that actually offer an Eggs Altantic for only $12 (which means smoked salmon instead of ham!!) The Salmon + Poached eggs + hollandaise sauce go beautifully together as they melt in your mouth.
They have a small seating capacity so I try to come here earlier in the day. Although the kitchen closes at 5pm, Penny University is one of the few cafes that open very early at 8.30/8AM for you to enjoy a good hearty breakfast here to start off your day.
402 East Coast Road, Singapore 428997 | http://www.pennyuni.com | 63459055 | Opening hours: Mon- Thurs: 8am-6pm, Fri&Sat: 8.30am-12am and Sun: 8.30am – 9pm
I stumbled upon this place at Pasir Panjang while I here was for an interview and was pleasantly surprised to find a weekday lunch crowd. It means a few things, that the place had to be quick, cheap and affordable too – if it managed to attract the working crowd to dine.
Started by the same people from Lola’s cafe, this is their West franchise following their success in Kovan. You should get a plate of their Bangers&Mash($9). The mash is perfectly done, the right mix of milk and butter with little potato bits in the middle. That way you know its made from scratch. Try their honey glazed wings ($10) if you’re here with a friend. These are a few of the signatures they carried over from Lola’s.
Address: 118 Pasir Panjang Road | Opening hours: Tues-Fri: 11am-10pm and Sat&Sun: 10am-10pm
One of the few cafes that are actually quite family oriented. There is a playgroup and large spaces for kids to run around(at the Botanic Gardens outlet) so why not suggest this place the next time you are out with family?
Most of the menu is well below $12 so you are very free to take your pick here. I recommend the pulled pork burger ($10). Not as atypical as the regular chicken burger, and the pulled pork is excellent; tender to the best degree as the different juices melt into the burger.
And if you do have the chance, try their garlic mushrooms (+$3 to any meal) The mushrooms are soaked in olive oil as the garlic taste explodes In your mouth. Its definitely not for the calorie conscious.
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Tanglin Gate, #B1-00, S259569 (Botanic Gardens Outlet) | 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535 (SAM outlet) | 93 Stamford Road #01-04/05,
Singapore 178897 (Tanglin Outlet) | http://www.foodforthought.com.sg
Related Guide: Best Cafes for Brunch in Singapore