From Bedok to Joo Chiat to Punggol, these hidden heartland cafes in Singapore offer great food, chill ambience and respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The nooks and crannies of our city will either lead you to stunning architectural landmarks, lush green spaces, under-the-radar watering holes or nondescript restaurants that offer superb nosh. Look even further and you’ll find one of our best-kept secrets: hidden heartland cafes in Singapore. To escape the crowds, put on your exploring boots and loosen those jeans as we take you on a delicious adventure across the island.
Best hidden heartland cafes in Singapore
1. Whisk & Paddle
This massive, open-air bistro provides tranquil views of Punggol Serangoon Reservoir and its surroundings. On the extensive menu, you’ll find a whole host of comfort grub, including macaroni and cheese, eggs benedict with smoked salmon served atop waffles, and a wide selection of pizzas. It’s also a charming watering hole in the evening, so come by to kick back over cocktails and bar bites.
Whisk & Paddle, #01-01, 10 Tebing Lane, Singapore 828836
2. Thus Coffee
On the fringes of Ang Mo Kio, in the quiet residential area of Jalan Kuras, lies a humble coffee spot that roasts its beans in-house. Take your pick from white, black or filter coffee, but a potent shot of piccolo will always be our recommendation. Pair your drink (the ginger latte is wickedly good, too!) with the all-day brunch menu that’s bursting with toastie options.
Thus Coffee, 4 Jalan Kuras, Singapore 577723
After gallivanting around Bedok, make a pit stop at Refuel for a little… refuelling (we couldn’t help ourselves!). The good thing about heartland cafes? They won’t leave your wallet high and dry. So treat yourself to a hearty brunch of eggs benedict or fluffy pancakes for less than $15. Feeling bougie? The Full Tank, which features bacon, smoked salmon, sausage, mushroom, scrambled eggs, tomato and toast, will only set you back $15.90. For those with a sweet tooth, the dessert menu boasts sweet treats like waffles, brownies and cakes well under $10.
Refuel, #01-3029, 744 Bedok Reservoir Road, Singapore 470744
4. Two Bakers
Apart from its main branch in Jalan Besar, Two Bakers has an outlet tucked away along Teck Chye Terrace in Serangoon. Showcasing mod-Asian flavours, its brunch menu offers dishes like miso French toast with umeboshi compote and chilli crab omelette. For lunch and dinner, the menu moves into Japanese-inspired plates. That includes teriyaki chicken don, ponzu steak and spicy tuna soba. Oh, and with a name like Two Bakers, you don’t want to miss out on its artisanal desserts!
Two Bakers, 9 Tech Chye Terrace, Singapore 545720
Nestled in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, away from the busyness of city life, Grub’s menu has a soft spot for burgers. Take your pick from unique and classic flavours such as the spicy mala burger, the vegetarian-friendly portobello burger or the popular beefy cheeseburger. Other noteworthy dishes include prawn paste fried chicken served with waffles, ribeye steak or sakura ebi pasta. After all that feasting, burn off the calories by exploring the lush locale. We hear there are two dog runs in the vicinity!
Grub, 510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569983
6. The Garden Slug
Not too far from the iconic colourful shophouses of Joo Chiat, this hidden heartland cafe is in a non-descript strip off Still Road. A permanent fixture in the area since 2006, the dog-friendly spot is a great place to catch up over good food: think pasta, salad and sharing platters. Make yourself comfortable in the alfresco area and just watch the world go by, we say. But do check its website before you head over, as the menu changes from time to time.
Garden Slug, #01-59/61, Bright Centre, 55 Lorong L Telok Kurau, Singapore 425500
7. British Hainan
Nestled in a private estate of Joo Chiat, British Hainan is a blast from the past. Step in and you’ll be whisked down memory lane. The cafe is decked out in a hodgepodge of antiques in a way that almost feels like a museum. Take your time to look at vintage telephones and radios, black and white photographs of old Singapore, and beautiful portraits of legends from yesteryear. But don’t miss out on the signature traditional oxtail stew, grilled rosemary lamb shank, Hainanese pork chop or mutton soup!
British Hainan, 75 Carpmael Road, Singapore 429812
8. South Union Park
Having worked in overseas restaurants, chef-owner Terence Chuah shows off his culinary skills in a cafe setting, where the tables are perpetually filled and the dishes are nothing less than brilliant. Make your way to Kembangan and you’ll be treated to a menu that boasts exquisite European fare. Try the duck confit tagliatelle, sorrel salmon or pork chop with pommery mustard. If you have room for more, dig into the brownie served with salted caramel ice cream.
South Union Park, 101 Jalan Kembangan, Singapore 419139
9. The Coastal Settlement
At this cosy, dog-friendly spot, you’ll find tons of vintage knick-knacks and quirky decor on display. Expect honest comfort food on the menu such as burgers and pizzas alongside local favourites like nasi lemak. Surrounded by nature, it’s a perfect venue for your pets to roam and explore while you dine. It’s also located next to a not-so-hidden haunted spot (ahem, Old Changi Hospital) that you can venture into if you’ve got the courage!
The Coastal Settlement, 200 Netheravon Road, Singapore 508529
Go on a foodie adventure and explore these hidden heartland cafes in Singapore!