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Food

10 Neighbourhood Cafes In Singapore That You Can Walk To From Your House

Last Updated: October 24, 2019

Written by Lee Wei Yang

I’m a huge champion of our country’s beloved hawker food and culture. However, sometimes I crave for something a little more upscale and in a more atas environment.

With aesthetic interiors and food for the soul, neighbourhood cafes are the perfect places for that. They present a good alternative to the usual hawker centres and coffeeshops while still remaining accessible.

That said, we’ve gone around the heartlands, seeking out cafe spots which may have been hiding in those areas. So here’re 10 cafes to check out in neighbourhood areas of Singapore!

1. Pobo Gelato

Pobo Gelato West Coast 28

An ice-cold scoop of gelato always hits the spot, especially in this humid Singapore weather. Fortunately, you can get your gelato fix at Pobo Gelato, an artisanal gelato shop in West Coast Community Centre.

Damian, the owner, travelled all the way to Italy to master the art of making gelatos. In 2018, he returned and opened a shop in West Coast so he could share his passion with residents around. 

Pobo Gelato West Coast 14

My personal favourite flavour is hands down the Genmaicha (S$4/single scoop, S$7.50/double scoop, +S$1/cone). Freshly-churned, the gelato had a strong bitterness from the matcha and roasted brown rice, making it absolutely addictive.

Pobo Gelato West Coast 29 

To complement the gelatos, I always pair them with a freshly-made Waffle (S$9 with single scoop, S$12.50 with double scoop). Perfectly dense, eggy and aromatic, the waffles here at Pobo Gelato are exactly the way I like my waffles.

Pobo Gelato: 2 Clementi West Street 2, #01-02A West Coast Community Centre, Singapore 129605 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Wed – Mon), 6pm – 10pm (Tue) | Facebook | Instagram

2. Wild Wood Cafe

Wild Wood Cafe Yishun 2

Those of you who live in the North, specifically Yishun, may have heard of Wild Wood Cafe. The cafe, in Wisteria Mall, is well-known for serving up extraordinarily large portions of food.

Wild Wood Cafe Yishun 10

Their Wild Chief Breakfast Set (S$18.80) starred a massive piece of boneless chicken.

With a plethora of other ingredients, the dish was more than fit for a king, let alone a chief!

Wild Wood Cafe Yishun 22

If you love chicken and waffles, Wild Wood Cafe also serves up a decent W.W.W (S$14.80), or Wild West Waffles.

The dish featured their signature crispy fried chicken, but accompanying it this time were waffles. Firm on the outside yet chewy inside, the waffles certainly made for an indomitable pairing with the fried chicken.

Wild Wood Cafe: 598 Yishun Ring Road, #01-51/52, Wisteria Mall, Singapore 768698 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook | Instagram

3. Obsessive Chocolat Desire (OCD) Cafe

Obsessive Chocolat Desire (ocd) Cafe Ang Mo Kio 1

Located along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Obsessive Chocolate Desire (OCD) Cafe serves up a wide variety of ice cream flavours (S$3.60/single scoop, S$7/double scoop).

Run by two chocolate aficionados, they pride themselves particularly on their exclusive range of chocolate flavours.

Obsessive Chocolat Desire (ocd) Cafe Ang Mo Kio 6

If you’re a big dark chocolate fan like me, their Signature Africa 85% Dark is a must-try. The cafe’s strongest dark chocolate ice cream had a relatively sticky texture which made it satisfyingly chewy.

Ocd Cafe 5

OCD Cafe offers a variety of waffles too, with their Truffle Waffle (S$8) being one of the more interesting ones. It possessed a hint of truffle which, interestingly, only became more noticeable when consumed with ice cream.

Obsessive Chocolat Desire (OCD) Cafe: 529 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, #01-2353, Singapore 560529 | Tel: +65 9623 3336 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon – Thu), 12pm – 1am (Fri & Sat), 2pm – 10pm (Sun) | Facebook | Instagram

4. Sir Stamford Waffles

Sir Stamford Waffles Ang Mo Kio 1

Also within the Ang Mo Kio neighbourhood is Sir Stamford Waffles. The tiny cafe serves up local delights, but with a modern twist.

Sir Stamford Waffles Ang Mo Kio 10

Their Slipper Lobster Roll (S$12.90) featured huge chunks of glistening slipper lobster meat in a hot dog-style bun.

There was also an overflowing amount of buttery egg mayo inside, making it absolutely value for money.

Sir Stamford Waffles Ang Mo Kio 39

The cafe also serves up a variety of Instagrammable desserts, such as the Choochi Monster (S$14). It featured their housemade waffle, as well as Cookies & Cream and Blue Peppermint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

Sir Stamford Waffles: 727 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, #01-4264, Singapore 560727 | Tel: +65 9380 6563 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook | Instagram

5. EStation Cafe

Estation Cafe 1

Yet another cafe spot in the heartlands of Ang Mo Kio is Estation Cafe.

Opened in early 2019, the relatively new cafe offers primarily Western dishes. However, to spice things up, they’ve given some of their dishes a local twist.

Estation Cafe 11

Their Chilli Crab Crayfish Spaghetti (S$17.90) might not be the cheapest item on the menu, but it’s certainly worth the money.

Succulent and fresh, the crayfish was a showstopper. It was simply a bonus that the dish came with such a restaurant-quality presentation.

Estation Cafe 8

Meanwhile, the ES Café Otak with Pearl Rice (S$11.90) is EStation Cafe’s modern take of a nasi lemak

It came with a generous portion of thick fish otak which they make in-house from scratch. The tender fish and complex chilli spice blend formed an excellent flavour pair which left a deep impression in us.

EStation Cafe: 505 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, #01-2674, Singapore 560505 | Tel: +65 6452 9741 | Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Tue – Sun), Closed on Mon | Facebook | Instagram

6. Starter Lab

Starter Lab Sg 14

Joining the bevvy of cafés in Tiong Bahru is Balinese cafe Starter Lab

Interestingly, they make their signature sourdough bread with the mother starter hailing all the way from Bali.

Starter Lab Sg 6

Their Avocado Bawang (S$12) is worth your curiosity, especially if you’re an avocado lover. It came with smashed avocado, tangy sriracha, and fried shallots atop crunchy sourdough bread.

Starter Lab Sg

Their Starter Lab 3 Cheese (S$19) is essentially a grilled cheese sandwich. It may be a tad pricey, but the trio of oozy cheese and spicy jalapeños will definitely leave you wanting more.

Starter Lab: 721 Havelock Road, Singapore 169645 | Tel: +65 9839 0408 | Opening Hours: 8.30am – 5pm (Daily) | Facebook | Instagram

7. Lee’s Confectionery

Lee's Confectionery 1

I’m a firm believer that no distance should ever stop one from getting to good food. And if you share the same sentiments, Lee’s Confectionery in Chinese Garden is definitely a place to bookmark.

Nestled amongst your typical neighbourhood provisional shops, the patisserie offers a lean but mean selection of French pastries.

Lee's Confectionery 3

The local-inspired Puff (S$7) featured two perfect rounds of puff pastry sandwiching a decadent layer of Earl Grey kaya.

We appreciated that the puff pastry was absolutely crisp, yet it was the Earl Grey kaya that sealed the deal. Smooth and sweet, it carried distinct floral notes of Earl Grey, as well as fragrant notes of coconut.

Lee’s Confectionery 20

Every dish we had at Lee’s Confectionery never failed to impress us with their Instagrammable plating. The Puck (S$8) chocolate dessert, in particular, was a showstopper, boasting a shiny coat of chocolate ganache.

Apparently, Lee Yin Quan, the owner and head baker, trained for two years in two-Michelin-star restaurant Jean-François Piège in Paris. This definitely explained the refined surgical precision with which she plates her dishes.

Lee’s Confectionery: 343 Jurong East Street 31, #01-59, Singapore 600343 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat & Sun), Closed on Wed | Facebook | Instagram | Website

8. Tenderbest Makcik Market

Tenderbest Makcik Market 1

With floor-to-ceiling bay windows and rustic wood accents, Tenderbest Makcik Market certainly exudes chic cafe vibes. The Tenderbest Group’s latest concept in Bedok Point serves up affordable unique local fusion dishes in a premium setting.

Tenderbest Makcik Market 5

They prepare their Indomie Loaded Fries (S$5.90) with the addictive seasoning mix that Indomie noodle packets come with.

And as though that isn’t sinful enough already, they even topped it with a sunny-side-up and their housemade sweet sauce.

Tenderbest Makcik Market 10

Likewise, the Roasted Boomerang (S$10.90) was a dish of bold flavours. The sambal fried rice won over our hearts instantly with its punchy notes of spiciness.

With a generous portion of tender and succulent chicken meat, it was a simply hearty and satisfying dish.

Tenderbest Makcik Market: 799 New Upper Changi Road, Bedok Point Shopping Mall, #02-01, Singapore 467351 | Tel: +65 6755 6900 | Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook | Website

9. Creamier

This next place certainly needs no introduction unless you’ve been living under a rock.

Creamier Ice Cream Toa Payoh 2

Earlier this year, Creamier shocked their loyal fans when they announced their closure. However, they reopened shortly after in a different location that’s still within the Toa Payoh heartlands.

Creamier Ice Cream Toa Payoh 1

Many regular customers have raved about Creamier’s Earl Grey Lavender (S$3.60/scoop, S$3.10/scoop with waffle order) ice cream and for good reason. Refreshingly light with an alluring floral aroma, it was one of the strongest Earl Grey-flavoured things I ever tasted.

Their freshly-made Waffle (S$6) also made for a perfect combo with the ice cream. A single portion came with two thick and dense slabs of waffles which they finish with maple syrup and chocolate sauce.

Creamier: Block 131 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #01-02, Singapore 310131 | Opening Hours: 12noon – 10pm (Tue – Thu), 12noon – 11pm (Fri – Sat), Closed on Mon) | Facebook | Instagram | Website 

10. Ms Durian

Ms Durian 1

Last but not least, for all you durian fanatics is Ms Durian in Potong Pasir

True to its name, the cafe specialises none other than in durian desserts. Yet, they only have a small selection of seven items on their menu.

Ms Durian 10

Their Durian Mousse Cake (S$8.50/slice, S$65/whole cake) consists of rich Mao Shan Wang durian mousse and decadent gula melaka. Lightly salted macadamia nuts, as well as light cream, then completed the dessert.

Despite having ingredients with such strong flavours, the cake was surprisingly light in its taste.

Ms Durian 13

That said, if you’re a hardcore durian lover, the MSW Durian Cake (S$12/slice, S$90/whole cake) may appeal to you more. It had a stronger durian taste which made us feel like we were eating an actual piece of durian.

Ms Durian: 51 Upper Serangoon Road, Poiz Centre, #01-70, Singapore 347697 | Tel: +65 6962 0057 | Opening Hours: 2pm – 10pm (Mon), 12pm – 10pm (Tue – Sun) | Facebook


Nothing brings me more joy than knowing that there are easily-accessible cafes in the heartlands serving up comfort food. I only hope that more cafes will open up within our populous heartlands in time to come.

That said, there are bound to be plenty more neighbourhood cafes we’ve yet to uncover. So do share with us if there’s one hiding in yours!

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