Remember when cafes were just places where you stop for food and drinks, refueling yourself for whatever reason you wish. Simple decor, functional interior and of course modestly plated food that served its’ purpose. Not anymore.
With the rise of hipster culture, there is a shift of focus towards the aesthetics of a cafe’s outlook. Pretentious or not, we’ve got to give an A for effort.
Here’s my list of tell-tale signs when you’re in a hipster’s territory. Run if you don’t belong there – hipsters may or may not pour their cold brew on you. Flat white for you, sir? If you see these signs below, you’re definitely in a hipster cafe.
1. Old School Toys
Hipsters love their old school kits, makes it easier for them to have their cold brew with. Forget the iPads kids, it’s Tru Vue and Nokia in the house.
2. Vinyl Records
Analog is not dead.
You obviously need a gramophone for all those vinyls right.
4. An Old Box TV
Hipsters don’t actually watch television but they do admire the aesthetic beauty of an old boxed television. You know, the shape and uniformity of a square gets to them like a triangle.
5. Old Receipts/ Calendars Framed
Anything old is gold so you’ve found gold on the wall. Hipster cafes are all about the vintage atmosphere as well, so do not panic and think you’re in a time capsule, you’re just reliving the golden age.
6. Things That Shouldn’t Be On The Ceiling Are On The Ceiling
Chairs are not for sitting, they’re ceiling top material.
Cupboards are commonly mistaken for storage space, they are actually for the ceiling top as well.
Disco balls because why not?
7. Clocks and Fans That Don’t Work
Analog clocks because tick tock goes the heartbeat of a hipster.
More clocks. Air conditioning is too mainstream, a fan is much more hip and I can finally ask, can you paint with all the colours of the wind?
What did I say about vintage?
8. Outdoor Fairytale Settings
Other than the old school vibe, there is another school of hipsters that love their interior modern and instagram worthy. There’s usually flowers to transport them to their garden-like fairytale world where ferns are the Alexander Wang of plants.
9. White, White Space Everywhere
All white decor is a good indication that you’ve wandered into the land of the hipsters. Hush, don’t speak, just take in the wholesomeness of minimalist white walls and what it has to offer your instagram. Psst, it also helps if the cafe’s location is at some godforsaken hilltop, adds the extra mile, literally.
10. Clipboard Menus With A Twist
What can I say, pointing out and speaking out loud to a waiter about the dish you want is way too mainstream. Everyone’s doing it. So why not write down what you want, tick your options, tear off the slip of paper and gently slide it into the waiter’s pocket. Remember not to make a big fuss about it and oh, don’t breathe because that’s also too mainstream.
11. Ingredients You’ve Never Heard of in Fancy Presentations
This is not your usual iced lemon tea, this is a lemon tea brewed from Himalayan tea leaves for 48 hours, simmered in spring water, infused with lemons that are grown underground and lastly served in a cup rimmed with vanilla sugar cause ice ice baby.
12.Rainbows In Your Food
‘L is for the way you look at me, O is for the only one I see, V is very, very extraordinary, E is even more than anyone that you adore and’ macarons are so damn pretty and colourful. Hipsters love rainbows and you’ll see it expressed in many of the foods served.
13. Walls with Local Artist Graffiti
Hipsters can get quite lonely, so they actually need wall art as friends. But remember that they are still mainly lone wolves, they think better that way and they don’t have to share their coffee or kinfolk.
14. Manifesto On The Way of Life
Oh my god, I’m getting to the essence of hipsters. This is their manifesto, their coffee, their brew. There’s usually some quote somewhere describing the cafe owner’s attitude towards life, and how awesome food is.
“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child
15. Filter Coffee (Chemex)
Sorry it ain’t about the espresso machine. Chemex coffee maker flask takes the front seat as we watch the therapeutic filter coffee drip away.
16. Kinfolk Magazine Somewhere Around
Because how else will you do your brunch flatlays for Instagram without a kinfolk magazine to fill up the space?
17. Random Bicycles In Weird Places
Bicycles are the only transport of choice for hipsters. So of course, you’ll see them randomly hanging on walls or in the toilet under the sink.
18. Cold Brew Coffee
This is it, we have reached the epitome of hipsters. It’s not just filter coffee, it’s the cold brew. The cold brew that every hipster yearns for. The cold brew that hipsters pray to their hip deities for. It’s here and it’s in a glass vial because it’s secretly a potion to Narnia.
This is all done in good fun though, I mean no harm to any hipsters or beavers or anything, really. I myself am usually guilty of appreciating filter coffee way too often in a vintage setting with lifestyle magazines that focuses on aesthetics and slow living. There’s also the analog items I very much covet.
What really deserves a mention is how these cafes not only sells food but are also selling a more wholesome stay to their customers as well. They pride themselves on making them feel at home and of course visually stimulating them in order to create a unique experience that will leave them pinning and returning for more.
If you do find yourselves surrounded with these items, you’re more or less in a hipster cafe. So why not let loose, soak in the atmosphere, have a good cuppa joe and read that novel you’ve always wanted to start on but found a million and one reason not to because your dog will be displeased.
Related Guide: Best Cafes in Singapore Perfect For Brunch