Long gone are the days when cafe connoisseurs had to travel to the city centre — only to be met with subpar coffee and small portions of avocado toast for their social media feeds. In the past couple of years, the number of hotspots where you can actually treat yourself to a decent cuppa and a mean brunch have grown in leaps and bounds, and especially so in the heartlands. And of course, is there really any convincing debate against the East side’s claim to house only the best, especially when it comes to food? Hailing from the rapidly popularising streets of Siglap to random neighbourhood estates, the East of Singapore does increasingly seem to be housing an abundance of hole-in-the-wall cafes amidst the already established coffee go-tos. So whether you’re a fully-fledged eastie or soon-to-be convert, here are all the rave-worthy cafes to check out in the ‘hood.
The Brewing Ground
Enter this tranquil cafe fitted out with a large grassy lawn — perfect for chilling while you sip on your morning coffee, The Brewing Ground is housed in a roomy glasshouse, where kids and furry kids (yes they are pet-friendly) are welcomed to bask in the lush greenery. Extensive brunch options include burrata and tomatoes tartine, as well as a mouth-watering wagyu beef burger.
Here to fill the void of the now-defunct Firebake, Neptune is the latest entrant on the East Coast address. From the same folks who brought us Atlas Coffeehouse and Apollo Coffee Bar, the charming cafe puts a new spin on the typical brunch classics, featuring creations like chili crab and chorizo on toast as well as a summer chicken stew that will excite your tastebuds. Noting its history, a cuppa here won’t disappoint.
A charming spot in the midst of Joo Chiat’s bustle, this local brewery takes its coffee very seriously. A quick gloss through their Instagram highlight reel will intrigue you as to the variant roasts and infusions that they offer through their cups of coffee — making them a must-try spot for the bean’s enthusiasts. Their food offerings are also unique and Japanese-influenced ranging from Hokkaido milk toast with kaya to chicken and japanese mayo sandwiches.
At Stamping Ground, you’ll find yourself good coffee, an affordable enough all-day menu, and a floral sidebar — all in the heart of Siglap. They also offer a bunch of bagel options for all those craving something different from the regular bacon and eggs.
More widely known for their takeaway coffees in the CBD, Alchemist’s flagship store, where you’ll actually find seating space, is situated in the old Khong Guan Biscuit Factory in Tai Seng. They occupy the first floor of the building — with an open concept coffee bar up front that makes it more approachable to their customers. Their coffee is as good value for money as it gets: at $3 you can get yourself a cup of solid espresso.
Dutch Colony Coffee Co.
No stranger to the scene, this coffee company is pretty much a small concept chain located in various locations across our island. Their coffee variants are abundant, and their hot teas don’t fall far behind, being served by the pot. The cafe spot serves the typical breakfast options — from hearty breakfast platters to regular eggs and toast, the experts have guaranteed this as a spot you definitely won’t regret.
You really don’t have to travel very far to get a decent coffee. Right smack in the middle of a Bedok HDB estate, Percolate is a space that is as humble as its surroundings. Though relatively small, they make up for it in a flavorful latte, tangy assortments of cakes, and homely interior.
East Coast Commune
The latest drop of the lot (and one we’ll be looking to try). Situated right in the midst of East Coast Park, this cafe pitstop houses a large seating capacity, with an overall design that is in full consideration of the panoramic marines surrounding the space. From foliage arrangements to works by local artists on the walls, this is definitely on our list just for its beautiful interior alone. The cafe also offers vegan options, definitely a plus for all those looking.
Kings Cart Coffee Factory
They opened up their physical space earlier this year and now, Kings Cart Coffee Factory is all set and ready to offer you specialty coffee. Especially since their already established mobile coffee services are so commonly hired for professional events. The exterior space itself speaks like a humble abode, but opens into a much more industrial-like interior. They’re also pretty much a mini day bar: with the cocktails and local craft beer that they’re putting on the menu.
One of the OG cafe spots in the Siglap area, Penny University is a classic space that many choose to return to over and over again. From delectable cakes to their specialty Turkish Eggs that feature poached eggs on lightly whipped yoghurt with sourdough bread, you’ll be in for a slightly more exotic brunch treat here.
Walking along the streets of Katong, you might have smelt the crusty, rising bakes before even spotting the red building it’s housed in. Specialising in freshly baked breads, this cafe is one for all the dough lovers out there. And of course, their cakes — or specifically their brownies — are reputable enough for the foodies to consider a second trip back.
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