Talk about “Lavender”, and you may think about the Immigration and Customs Authority (ICA) building, a rather vintage-looking district, or perhaps the famous Michelin-starred Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles at Crawford Lane.

Due to the proximity to the hipster area of Jalan Besar, this is also home to several cafes and brunch places.

Here are 12 Lavender Cafes you can head over to:

Tolido’s Espresso Nook
462 Crawford Lane, #01-63, Singapore 190462
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon – Sun)

Melbourne-Inspired Cafe Serving Comfort Food and Specialty Coffee Since 2013
The café which had its beginnings from the Omni-Theatre at Singapore Science Centre, is usually packed to the brim during the weekends.

It was made even more popular after Benjamin Kheng’s endorsement on Food King.

For brunch, go for the Rosti with Smoked Bratwurst ($18) which is a classic crowd favourite since they opened. Expect russet potato pancake which lightly fried and freshly shredded, topped with a sunny egg with juicy smoked pork bratwurst.

One of the signature mains is the Prawn Laksa Pasta ($19) made permanent thanks to the overwhelming response from SG50. This is Singapore coconut-rich sambal laksa pasta sauteed with succulent prawns.

Another locally inspired dish is the Pandan Pancakes ($14) with fragrant pandan pancakes, topped with vanilla / coconut ice cream and gula melaka sauce.

809 French Rd, #1-50, Singapore 200809
Opening Hours: 9am – 5:30pm

Western Mains, Pastas, And Rosti-Specialty Café
“Oberstrasse” is a common street name in German-speaking towns – it means Upper (Ober) Street (strasse).

There is a sentimental reason behind the name as well. 31 Oberstrasse at Switzerland was where the owner met his first and only girlfriend. Aww…

If you love your Rosti, there are several variations here from Rosti with Streaky Bacon ($17), Rosti with Smoked Salmon ($17), Rosti with Veal ($18), to Rosti with Mushroom Ragout ($17).

For their regular mains, you can have your fill of Bacon Shrooms Carbonara ($17), Chilli Crab Pasta ($20), Marinara Seafood ($19), and Oven Baked Cajun Chicken Thigh ($16).

Coffee is brewed from beans roasted locally by OBX Coffee Roasters.

Habitat Coffee
803 King George’s Ave, #01-242/244, Singapore 200803
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon

Industrial-Themed Brunch Cafe Shifted From Upper Thomson To Jalan Besar
One of the main-stayers at Upper Thomson since 2011 (yes, that’s a full decade ago), Habitat Coffee has shifted out of their home ground and into the Jalan Besar neighbourhood.

This new space now accommodates 3 long communal tables and 8 tables nicely spaced apart.

It is decked in a similar style as their defunct outlet at Upper Thomson with shades of white and black, cemented floorings and wooden furnitures.

All-Day Brunch is available till 8pm, with signature brunch items such as Big Ben ($18), Pulled Pork Benedict ($17), Avocado & Eggs ($17) and Stuffed Berries Hotcake ($16).

Do not be confused with the name of Big Ben ($18) – which is a plate of ‘big breakfast’ rather than Eggs Benedict, containing scrambled eggs, maple glazed bacon, toast, pork sausage, grilled tomato, and sauteed mushrooms.

For a more substantial meal, 3 different Rice Bowls are offered on the menu: Veggie Bowl ($13), Honey Garlic Prawn ($17) and Beef Yakiniku ($13), Pasta with Mushroom Truffle ($17), Chilli Crab Linguine ($18) and Grilled Teriyaki Salmon ($14).

Read more at: Habitat Coffee (Jalan Besar)

The Hainan Story – Hotel Boss
500 Jalan Sultan, Hotel Boss, #01-09, Singapore 199020
Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours Daily
(except for Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice 7am – 10pm daily; Swiss Rolls till 5pm or sold out

24/7 Hainanese-Style Concept At Hotel Boss
After the 5-in-1 multi-brand Hainanese restaurant in Hillion Mall, this is The Hainan’s Story 2nd outpost located at Hotel Boss along Jalan Sultan.

It is of short walking distance from Lavender MRT, quite near to the hip Jalan Besar area.

Good news for both early risers and supper-goers, The Hainan Story is a 24-hour concept with brand-new offerings.

There are colourful splashes of red and green, tables done in the traditional kopitiam fashion, and a feature wall tiled to look like a Hainanese stage opera for #OOTD at the back of the restaurant.

With 7 brands under this umbrella, these include The Hainan Story Bakery, The Hainan Story Coffee & Toast, Newspaper Hainanese Curry Rice, Uncle Robert Hainanese Western & BBQ, Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice; along with new concepts of Jin Jin Golden Porridge and Whole Street White Kway Chap.

They also offer a Hainanese high tea set, great for those who want to take a leisure afternoon with local delights and cakes.

The three-tiered set will present the best of Hainanese teatime favourites paired with a choice of Singapore Style hot beverage, all at a reasonable price of $19.90 per person (minimum of two pax for dine-in).

Read more at: The Hainan Story (Hotel Boss)

Pacto 忆缘 by Parchmen
Jalan Besar Community Centre, 69 Jellicoe Road #01-05, Singapore 208737
Tel: +65 9833 0858
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 6pm (Sat – Sun)

Cafe Hidden Within Jalan Besar CC With $2 Espresso
The cafe is opened by the same team behind pet-friendly Sun Ray Cafe at Serangoon Garden and Parched at Ubi. One of the key differences is that Pacto has a stronger tea focus.

The one thing to note is their coffee is more on the wallet-friendly side, with an espresso priced at $2.

A Long Black is at $3.50, with no additional charges for an iced version.

Other coffee-based drinks include Flat White ($4), Latte ($4), Cappuccino ($4) and Mocha ($5).

There was a small selection of cakes available, from Sourcream Cheesecake ($6), Hazelnut Royaltine ($7), Green Tea Azuki ($6), Matcha Swiss Roll ($4.50) and Houjicha Swiss Roll ($4.50).

The Yuzu Osmanthus Cake ($6) was a not-bad choice, of soft and fluffy layers of yuzu-soaked sponge cake, layered with fresh osmanthus whipped cream.

Read more at: Pacto 忆缘 by Parchmen (Jalan Besar)

Holy Cow Creamery – Lavender
465 North Bridge Road, #01-5051, Singapore 191465
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Sun – Thurs), 11:30am – 11pm (Fri – Sat)

North Bridge Road Cafe With Ice Cream From $3.50
Holy Cow Creamery has a relatively new outlet 465 North Bridge Road – near Lavender and of short walking distance from the famous Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles at Crawford Lane and old-school kopitiam Heap Seng Leong.

This is not a typical place you would find a hipster ice cream café, as the shop is surrounded by a mish-mash of nostalgic shops, provisions stores, baking central kitchens, and employment agencies.

Holy Cow Creamery offers a rotating selection of more than 40 flavours of ice cream all churned in their kitchen.

Popular flavours include Mao Shan Wang, Earl Grey Lavender, Ondeh Ondeh, Salted Gula Melaka, Sour Plum Sorbet, Blue Hawaii, and Honeycomb, while we also have more unique flavours like Movie Night (popcorn gelato), Muah Chee and Rojak.

Their MSW ice cream is made with durian flesh imported from Pahang, Malaysia.

When I visited, other interesting flavours included Someak (watermelon sorbet, Soju and Hite beer), Chocolate OD with 4 types of chocolate, and Pink Panther (raspberry and lychee sorbet).

Read more at: Holy Cow Creamery (North Bridge Road)

Zerah Coffee Roasters
465 North Bridge Road, #02-5063, Singapore 191465
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 5pm (Tues – Sat), Closed Mon, Sun

Hidden Indie Minimalist Cafe On Level 2 of North Bridge Road Flat
“Zerah” is inspired by the Hebrew word for “seed”. From a home micro-roastery to a brick-and-mortar café, Zerah Coffee Roasters has quietly joined the Lavender neighbourhood.

The team hopes to bring out the best of every coffee’s origin, using roasting methods to highlight the inherent sweetness that is smooth and well balanced.

Even if you reach North Bridge Road, Zerah Coffee Roasters is still slightly off the radar as they are located on the 2nd storey. You can find them above Holy Cow Creamery.

Using a single origin of Ethiopia for their Espresso ($4) and Black ($4.50), the cup has notes of lemon, grapefruit and elderflower.

My cup of White ($5.50) is a single origin of Colombia, smooth, medium bodied, robust with a distinctive sweetness of brown sugar, and a citrusy body of plum and cherry.

Read more at: Zerah Coffee Roasters (North Bridge Road)

Elijah Pies
803 King George’s Ave, #02-216, Singapore 200803
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 5pm (Sat), 10am – 1pm (Sun)

Carefully Crafted Pies made with simple, Honest Ingredients
The brand story was simply born out of Elijah’s desire to satisfy his girlfriend’s sweet tooth. After several experiments, he developed his first pie for her – Nutella Pie. After curating more flavours for his pies, he eventually launched Elijah Pies.

They have recently opened a takeaway shop at King George’s Ave.

Elijah’s philosophy on dessert is that it brings people together, and best enjoyed together over celebrations. Whether it’s a birthday party, wedding, or festive period Christmas, desserts are guaranteed to draw people.

Choose from 8 kinds of pies from the bestselling Nutella Pie to fruit-centric Wild Berry Lavender Pie and Raspberry Ripple Pie; from tea-inspired pies like Matcha Latte Pie and Earl Grey Rose Pie to local flavours like Pandan Coconut Pie; from the aromatic Black Truffle Mash Pie to the floral Honey Chrysanthemum Pie.

Ideal for lovers of the famous choco-hazelnut spread Nutella, Nutella Pie (from $45) is an all-time favourite among regular customers.

This 9-inch pie combines the bittersweet taste of luscious dark chocolate and roasted hazelnuts all in one smooth paste. Enjoy this pie chilled for maximum goodness.

Two Bakers
88 Horne Road, Singapore 209083
Te: +65 6293 0329
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues

Creative French and Fusion Inspired Pastries
Nestled in the hippie enclave of Horne road, Two Bakers is an artisanal bakery cafe run by Le Cordon Bleu Paris trained chefs.

They serve up mains, brunch items, bespoke French and Fusion inspired pastries, and specialty coffees.

For brunch till 3pm, You can look forward to Spicy Crab Omelette ($18), Corned Beef & Spam Hash ($16), Spicy Crab Eggs Benedict ($18), Shashuka ($16), Bak Kwa Stuffed Omelette ($16), Golden Kaya French Toast ($16), Pandan Pancakes ($14), and Earl Grey Pancakes ($14).

One of the popular cakes is the “Pure” ($8.50) of pandan sponge cake topped with desiccated coconut; and nestled within the coconut mousse is gula melaka jelly.

Ai Cafe
74 Horne Road, Singapore 209076
Opening Hours: 11am – 10:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon

Cute Matcha Bamboo And Lychee Bao Desserts At Jalan Besar
“Ai” is the abbreviation for Artificial Intelligence and not Ai(Love 爱).

This was what the owners projected to be initially, a cafe fully automated by machines and robots to create an immersive and futuristic experience.

Instead of the usual brunch food, Ai Cafe serves Burgers ($16 – $20), Pasta ($16 – $20), Pizza ($18 – $20), Mains ($12 – $20), Bites ($8 – $20) and Desserts ($8 – $10.80) on their menu.

Their signature mains is their Fish & Chips with Homemade Tartar Sauce ($18) that comes with beer-battered fish, fries and apple slaw.

Crispy and golden brown on the outside with a moist and tender texture, it was comforting dish and probably safe option.

Instead, their selection of desserts is more eye-catching, ranges from AI Magnum ($9.80) to MSW Durian Truffle Chocolate ($10.80), Black Forest ($9.80), Mango Passion ($8.80), Bao de Litchi ($8.80), Matcha Goma ($9.80), Lemon Cremuex Tart ($8) and Banoffee Tart ($8.50).

Read more at: Ai Cafe (Jalan Besar)

The Refinery
115 King George’s Ave, Unit 01-02, Singapore 208561
Opening Hours: 11am – 4pm, 5pm – 10:30pm (Tues – Sat), 11am – 4pm (Sun), Closed Mon

Trendy Bar, Grill and Workspace at Jalan Besar
Set in the Jalan Besar district, The Refinery is a hip multi-storey concept which houses an industrial chic cafe by day, and turns into a trendy beer drinking modern yakitori joint by night.

Fun fact: You can also sign up for craft workshops over the weekends to learn new skills and have brunch all at the same venue.

Other than Double Confirm Shiok Burger ($20), The Epic Beef Gyudon with Foie Gras ($25) and Refinery Waffles ($14) which are the top favourites, almost every other table seemed to be having the Salted Egg Yolk Onion Rings ($13).

These are large, crisp, thin onion rings drizzled with grainy salted egg yolk sauce. Singapore’s obsession with salted-egg-anything doesn’t end.

217 Lavender Street, Singapore 338772
Opening Hours: 10am – 4pm, only by reservation, available dates are updated on their website

NEW Japanese Lifestyle Cafe That Only Opens On Certain Days
Just 5 minutes walk from Asylum Coffeehouse at Jalan Besar, HAUS217 is an events space on days where weddings and events are taking place.

On random days of the month where there is no bookings for their event venue, HAUS217 will be transformed into a cafe with art installations.

Diners who are interested in their pop-up concept will have to check out the dates on their website, with limited slots on an hourly basis.

Tickets are priced at $8 per person, with $8 credits given to spend (technically free to enter).

Seasonal bakes are sourced and available on different days and timings, specially curated to bring something new for diners.

There were Pineapple Meringue Tart ($6.50), Coconut Yuzu Donut ($5.50), Red Velvet Cake ($8.50), Croissant ($5), Matcha Canele ($5), Ondeh Ondeh Roll ($6.50), Matcha Coconut Mochi Cake ($6.50) during my visit.

Read more at: HAUS217 (Lavender Street)

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* Compiled by Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary and Nicholas Tan @stormscape.


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