Do you know that Bugis MRT station was first known as Victoria? We are glad the station changed its name, giving prominence to the historical significance and vibrant cultures of this area.
Bugis, named after migrants from Sulawesi Indonesia, had a colourful past known for street foods, drinking areas, and women (that is why it was also called ‘Boogie Street’). It is now the must-go to place for shopping, food, and can I add… cafes?
In less than a year, we have seen more than 20 cafes sprouting out at the surrounding spots at Bali Lane, Kampong Glam, Haji Lane, North Bridge Road, Beach Road and Waterloo.
Halal cafes are also gaining prominence. We like them for their creative takes of food – Western with a twist of local flavours. Think pasta with hot chili padi, and crème brulee with cempedak.
20 New Cafes In Bugis – Around Hipster, Colourful Arab Street and North Bridge Road
660 North Bridge Road Singapore 188797 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 7am – 11pm
First there was I Am, then And Why, now All In. This area is almost theirs! Taking over the corner designer clothing shop, All In is more of a takeaway counter for coffee, cold brew (I like), juices, some pastries and ice cream. Their rainbow ice cream ($3.90) may be the next Instagram hit. Good news for early wakers, All In is opened early enough at 7am for your caffeine fix.
31 Bali Lane Singapore 189867 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 9pm (Mon-Tues), 9:30am – 9pm (Thurs-Sun)
Also opened by the team behind the popular I AM Café, And Why is a Halal café set for a New-Yorkish theme. We liked the décor, and service staff dressed smartly for Broadway. The cakes are fab, but food not too bad, and hope there will be more varieties that can represent NYC.
778 North Bridge Road Singapore 198746
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm
This café is by the team behind Working Title. Beverages menu come in a Periodic Table. Chemistry folks should take time to study this. The café sells coffee, smoothies, brunch and desserts, and uses Halal ingredients.
Baker & Cook
InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road Singapore 188966
Opening Hours: 8am – 7pm
“Global Baker” Dean Brettschneider has found some success in Singapore, opening up store after store. We liked some of the pastries and cakes – the Carrot Cake, Lamingtons and Pecan Tarts were yummy. Service staff is friendly. However, the café is smaller than its other branches, seats can be cramped and it does get hot (I mean sweating hot) people-watching by the counter seats.
27 Bali Lane, Singapore 189863
2-storey Halal cafe which moved to Bali Lane, known for its various sweet treats such as Cookies & Cream Milkshake. Red Velvet Waffles with Ice Cream, Love Struck, Chocolate Bomb, and Red Velvet S’mores Stack.
465 Crawford Lane #01-08, Singapore 190465 (nearer Lavender Station)
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm
There is a physical cart within the store, thus the name. Coffee beans from Dutch Colony.
Hyde and Co.
785 North Bridge Road Singapore 198753
Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri), 10am – 6pm (Sat-Sun), Closed Tues
You would realise Hyde and Co. is rather different from all the other cafes. Oh, it is very English. A line on its wall say “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy tea, and that’s kind of the same thing.” This European inspired café has an extensive tea menu of 45 tea selections. They have tweaked their menu recently to offer more brunch items, and their photogenic Butterscotch Popcorn Waffles ($14) is going places – the tummies. (Read: Hyde & Co. North Bridge Road)
28 Bali Lane Singapore 189864 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Tues-Thurs, Sun), 11:30am – 11pm (Fri-Sat), Last orders 9:30pm and 10:30pm
The chef in charge of Krave is Chef Sufiyan Safee, with a resume of being Suria’s cookshow host and previously helming Jimmy Monkey’s kitchen. Some interesting East-meets-West dishes to try, one of which is the Arabiatta Chicken Pasta ($10.00) which our entire table praised for its tomato marina sauce with that chilli padi kick. (Read: Krave Cafe Bali Lane)
20 Haji Lane Singapore 189212 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 12am
Asian inspired French patisseries. Expect Pandan Creme Brulee, Gula Melaka Creme Brulee (which came in an unusual longish tray), La Tropique made up of caramel creme, passionfruit and gula melaka. We liked some of the tarts, though wished that the base could be less crumbly.
7 Dunlop Street Singapore 209337
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Tues-Fri), 10am – 10pm (Sat-Sun)
Oh My Bacon! That is right. A bacon inspired café. If in your wildest dream, you thought about Bacon Ice Cream on Waffles ($14), let it come true here. If not, a Bacon Brownie ($9)? (Read: OMG Oh My Bacon Dunlop Street)
302 Beach Road Concourse Skyline #01-03 Singapore 199600
Opening Hours: 8am – 10:30pm Daily
If you cannot find it, it is right opposite Pizza Hut. (We are sure it is a coincidence). The menu items contain the usual diet of salads, starters, pasta, Italian-inspired thin-crusted pizza. You can’t run away from those, and yes, cakes from Les Patisseries. (Read: Pizza Face Beach Road)
17 Bali Lane, Singapore 189853 (Bugis MRT)
A cup of tea and some crumpets, my dear? How about some freshly baked scones with home-made jam and Devonshire cream? A British-inspired café with pastries made in-house and wholesome food. There are the 3 Burger Combo ($24), Norwegian Salmon with Pesto Sauce ($25.90) and Zesty Crab Angel Hair Pasta ($18.90). Wait! Where’s the Fish N Chips? (Read: Richmond Station Bali Lane)
Selfie Coffee Singapore
11 Haji Lane Singapore 189204 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon-Thurs, Sun), 11am – 11pm (Fri-Sat)
If you are feeling kind of narcissistic, admire your selfie for a while, then drink it down. This is Singapore’s 1st selfie café, after it got trendy in Taipei and Malaysia. Selfies are printed on edible foam on drinks. You either love it or find drinking your face disturbing. (Read: Selfie Coffee Haji Lane)
261 Waterloo Street #01-23 Singapore 180261 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon-Fri); 11am – 10pm (Sat); 11am – 8pm (Sun)
Duck is in their flavour. The Betterfield is a relatively quiet café which seemed to fare better in their duck dishes, namely Pulled Duck Burger ($20) with charcoal buns and Duck Confit ($20). Chef had experience working in hotel and restaurant kitchens, and online reviews have been favourite. The better news, prices are nett. No GST and service charge.
The Delights Heaven
470 North Bridge Road Bugis Cube #05-09 Singapore 188735 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 8pm (Mon), 11am – 8pm (Tues-Sat), 1pm – 7pm (Sun), Closed PH
A blink and you may miss shop at Bugis Cube. There is only one table there, so bakes are mainly for take-away. Owner Chef Joey Ling graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Australia, and spent 2 years working as a part time pastry chef at Sydney’s 360 Bar and Dining restaurant. More of a place to get customised whole-cakes.
25 Arab Street Singapore 199724 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri), 9:30am – 5pm (Sat-Sun)
Café inspired by those in Melbourne. The team from The Hangar roast their own coffee, and source from the finest beans from farms in the region. Their roast is unique due to their method of slow roasting, approximately 25 to 30 minutes a roast, which churns out sweet and heavy bodied coffees. (Read: The Hangar)
The Lab SG
1 Jalan Pisang #01-01, Singapore 199069 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 12:30pm – 10pm (Mon-Sat), 1pm – 9:30pm (Sun), Last orders 9:15pm and 8:45pm. Cash only
The Lab SG is experimental. Do not be surprised if you find yourself walking into an underground lab, with multiple metallic sewage pipes sprawling across the walls and huge jars of chemicals (I mean fruit juices) hanging above the counter. (Read: The Lab SG Jalan Pisang)
The Return Cafe Bistro
29 Bussorah Street Singapore 199447 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10:30pm (Mon-Thurs), 3:30pm – 10:30pm (Fri), 12pm – 10:30pm (Sat-Sun)
Sarang Café had undergone a complete revamp and is now known as The Return Cafe Bistro. Besides changing its name, additions were made to the menu and they promised a seasonal special dish that will change every 3 to 4 months. A monthly-special set meal will cost $19.90 which includes a main dish, a soup-of-the-month and a soft drink. (Read: The Return Cafe Bistro Bussorah Street)
749 North Bridge Road (Jalan Kledek), Singapore 198717
Opening Hours: 12:30pm – 10pm (Tues-Sat), 12:30pm – 9pm (Sun)
The Halal café Wilder incorporates some of their own twists into familiar brunch items. Their signature items include Prawn and Corn Fritter, avocado, homemade tomato sauce topped with egg ($12.80), and French Toast ($12.80) with fried eggs.
Bugis Plus #07-04, 201 Victoria Street Singapore 188067
From Kreta Ayer, to Orchard Central and now Bugis+. This café is going strong. Their most popular dish is the Tom Yum Seafood Pasta – nice balance of sour and spiciness which can stimulate your appetite. The chilli padi added gave it an extra fiery punch. “Shiok ah”.
* Compiled by Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary and Nicholas Tan @stormscape. Special thanks to @stormscape for your extensive research on the newest cafes in Singapore.