Yup, it’s true! The northside of Singapore has plenty of cafés for coffee and brunch in the heartland...
As someone who grew up in the north side of Singapore, I can’t tell you how often I get snide comments from people about my proximity to Malaysia, or how blah my area is compared to buzzy ‘hoods like Siglap or even Queenstown. Well jokes on them now – the North is looking pretty great now, with countless cafes in leafy Seletar and busy Ang Mo Kio, and even sleepy neighbourhoods like Woodlands and Yishun.
FO.H cafe may be humble in its decor, but it sure is big on its potent coffee brews and decadent milkshake flavours. For newbies, ask for a regular card – collect enough stamps and you’ll receive a free drink. Pop in on a rainy afternoon for a steaming mug of hot chocolate, served with tiny, fluffy marshmallows on the side.
FO.H Cafe, 30 Woodlands Avenue 1, #01-02/18, Singapore 739065
Citrus by the Pool
Popular amongst Woodlanders, this poolside halal cafe is the go-to place in the neighbourhood for burgers and shakes. Take your pick from meaty stacks like the Big Boss Burger (giant beef patties, crispy fried onions, coleslaw and a spicy satay sauce) or the Da Burger Bomb, which contains the succulent teriyaki chicken and sunny side-up).
Citrus by the Pool, 3 Woodlands Street 13, Woodlands Swimming Complex, Singapore 738600
Rabbit Owl Depot
Northerners, in case you haven’t heard, famed Rabbit Owl Depot is now open in Woodlands. The ice cream parlour has some of the best crispy waffles we’ve tried. Shaped like snowflakes, they’re made to accompany scoops of housemade ice cream, in flavours like Earl Grey and Rocky Road.
Rabbit Owl Depot, 30 Woodlands Avenue 1, Singapore 739065
The Daily Scoop
The Daily Scoop takes pride in the fact that its ice creams are made from local ingredients and seasonal fresh fruits. Hit your sweet spot with conventional flavours like lychee martini or chunky peanut butter, or take a walk on the wild side with bizarre (and savoury) ones likes Miso Sesame Brittle.
The Daily Scoop, #01-05 Cottage, 369 Sembawang Road, Singapore 758382
Baker’s Brew Studio
Over at Jalan Tampang, Baker’s Brew Studio welcomes both inspiring bakers and cake lovers to wile the day away over moist cakes and steaming hot cuppas, or to hone their skills in its hands-on baking classes.
Baker’s Brew Studio, at multiple locations including Sembawang, 6 Jalan Tampang, Singapore 758950
We’re not crazy about its name, but Fart Tartz has won over Northerners with its signature no-bake cakes and muffins, as well as tarts served in little jars. Grab a spoon and dig into favourites like the salted caramel pistachio, sea salt nutella short tart and “mud” tarts like nutella oreo and cookie butter.
Fart Tartz, 8 Yishun Avenue 9, #01-02, Singapore 768897
Holy Cow Creamery
Like Creamier in Toa Payoh, Holy Cow Creamery has the same charming vibe and tiny store size, but with equally delish ice cream flavours and desserts. Loads of flavours are always available to choose from, so check the blackboard for what’s available
Holy Cow Creamery, 292 Yishun Street 22, #01-291, Singapore 760292
If it’s decent cuppas and cakes you’re after, visit residential favourite, Doughwory bakery. It’s loved by both the young and old, thanks to a selection of both local-style (pandan cake, anyone?) pastries and fancier offerings like tarts and macarons.
Doughwory Bakery, Block 504, #01-03, Yishun Street 51, Singapore 760454
Ang Mo Kio
Canopy Garden Dining
Canopy Garden Dining proves that lush brunches don’t have to be restricted to the city. Located in Bishan Park, it offers weekend staples of egg dishes, waffles and salads in a gorgeous glasshouse surrounded by thick foliage. Alternatively, swing by for a dinner date, as the outdoor premises and twinkling lights will spark romance.
Canopy Garden Dining, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569931
We’ve a soft spot for humble hideouts in Singapore outskirts – Thus Coffee is one of them. While its space is simple, its food is not. Think chocolate lava cake with truffle ice cream. Deconstructed french toast with greek yoghurt, and even ginger lattes.
Thus Coffee, 4 Jalan Kuras, Singapore 577723
Next time you’re hankering for a mean cuppa, just head to this famed cafe in the sleepy suburb of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9, which delivers full-bodied coffee from as far as Guatemala and Kenya. Alongside its coffee, you’ll also find hearty meals of pastas, barramundi and beef bowls.
Prodigal Roasters, 625 Ang Mo Kio Ave 9 Street 61 #01-112 Singapore 560625
The Workbench Bistro
The Workbench Bistro describes its food as “practical and honest” – a winning combination as proven by its many fans on social media. Its menu is packed with hearty dishes of pastas, burgers and deep fried sides (think salted egg wings and spam fries) as well as its super sweet original creation of Smoreffles: waffles stacked with marshmallows, jam, Oreo biscuits, whipped cream and ice cream.
The Workbench Bistro, Blk 332 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 #01-1881, Singapore 560332
For some undeniably good grub, stop by this Bishan Park eatery for comfort food sans the guilt (all of its food are created with responsible ingredients). The entire restaurant is surrounded by glass, leaving the interior bright and cheery. But the alfresco dining are is where all the action’s at – order up a coffee and a breakfast plate, and unwind within the soothing surrounds of the park.
GRUB, 510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569983
Not to be confused with Corner House at Botanic Gardens, Cornerstone at Bishan Park serves up modern American cuisine in a laid-back atmosphere. On the menu, you’ll find homey comforts like country-style smoked meats (think beef brisket and BBQ chicken) as well as spicy buffalo wings and burgers.
Cornerstone, 1380 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569930
Yio Chu Kang
Once Chinese diner Koon Kee Restaurant, Kombi Rocks is now a ride-and-dine (said fleet are available for rent!) cafe. The menu offers local and Thai favourites, as well as bucket deals to quench that thirst. Be transported back to the 50’s at this pretty cafe by day and diner by night!
Kombi Rocks, 66 Yio Chu Kang Road, Singapore 545568
Located in a beautifully restored colonial bungalow amidst lush greenery, the breathtaking locale is an Instagrammer’s dream come true. Fairy lights line its manicured lawn at the alfresco cafe, where diners chug back beers and munch on modern Australian pizza or grilled meats over live tunes.
Wheeler’s Estate, 2 Park Lane, Singapore 798386
Wildseed Cafe and Bar
Located below The Summerhouse, Wildseed is a café nestled within the dining enclave of Seletar Aerospace Park. Thanks to its original colonial architecture and tranquil gardens, the space has oodles of old-world charm – total Instagram fodder! The menu’s made for a lazy Sunday. Think hearty brunch bites, sandwiches, cakes, pastries, and freshly roasted coffee. It gets better: Wildseed transforms into a bar at night and even has an in-house florist, Poppy Flora Studio.
Wildseed Café, 3 Park Lane, Singapore 798387, p. 6262 1063.
Brimming with old-world charm, The Summerhouse is a multi-concept dining space with an edible garden, farm-to-table restaurant and bar, a coffee roaster, and even an in-house florist. It never fails to charm us senseless – just check out our next level dining experience at the restaurant’s stunning domes.
The Summerhouse, 3 Park Lane, Singapore 798387