At Urban Journey, coffee is an essential part of our lives. Like most people, we wake up feeling grumpy and get ready for work in a lethargic haze. But the minute the scent of coffee hits our nose, we perk up. Just one sip and the brain starts to run, the eyes brighten, and a satisfied smile spreads across the face. Being serious coffee buffs, we make it our business to know where to find the best cup of java in the area we work – Singapore’s Central Business District. Read on to learn about our favourite secret, and not-so-secret, coffee haunts in our hood where you can score your morning latte, cappuccino, long black (or whatever your fave cuppa Joe is!).
Looking for a sleek new spot in the CBD to grab healthy breakfasts, excellent coffee and lunches? New to The Working Capitol at Robinson Road is Pickleville, a chic cafe by the same people behind Sarnies where you can fuel up on excellent coffee, smoothies, loaded toasts and super packed veggie and protein bowls.
140 Robinson Road #04-00, The Working Capitol
Located at OUE Downtown on Shenton Way is a sleek and minimalist cafe which serves up some great coffee. It is a sister cafe to Atlas Coffeehouse so we knew before we went the brews were going to be good. The cafe is located at one entrance of the new tower, so during lunch, there is a non-stop flow of people coming in and out. But if you like a cafe with a little bit of a bustling vibe during your lunch hour, then this is a great spot.
6 Shenton Way, OUE Downtown Gallery #01-49
Tel: +65 6224 4500
Hours: Mon – Fri: 8am – 8pm, Sat: 9am – 3pm
Common Man Stan
Common Man fan? Guess what, they’re now on Stanley Street. Grab your favourite coffee and some favourite options in the CBD. They’ve also got some new menu items like bagels, craft beers and more.
Hours: Mon – Fri, 7:30am – 4:30pm
Where: 11/12 Stanley Street
Free the Robot
This hole-in-the-wall cafe is fronted by just a white wall with a small window surrounded quirky blue graphics of robots, and inside you’ll find more robot illustrations along with wooden tables and a black and white tiled floor. The coffee comes any way you like it from straight-up espresso to cappuccino to cold brew, and the menu features great breakfast, lunch and brunch dishes like the Avocado Pesto Toastie, Croissant with egg mayo and smoked salmon, and Truffle Fries, all at very reasonable prices.
118 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 6438 1836
Hours: Tues – Sat: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Kyu Coffee Bar
Do you work on Cecil Street? Hit up this little Kiosk located in Prudential Tower. The coffee comes from Knockhouse Supply Co. and Nylon Coffee Roasters, so you know that this is going to hit the spot.
Prudential Tower, Level 1, 30 Cecil Street
Brought to you by the folks behind Populus in Chinatown, this spot serves up some stellar cuppas right by Raffles Place. It’s open from 8am to 5pm daily, making it an easy stop in the AM or for an afternoon pick me up. If you’re there around lunchtime, look out for their grain bowls too.
Five Square, #01-03 Great Eastern Centre, 1 Pickering Street
If you’re looking for a chill spot to while away a few hours over great coffee and hearty comfort food, Grain Traders should be on your radar. Their high-quality beans come from Papa Palheta with a good variety to choose from including Brazilian, Guatemalan and Ethiopian beans brewed by hand, filter or cold brewed. They also have fresh teas, hot and iced cocoa and enticing menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We highly recommend the Tequila-Cured Salmon Bagel with roasted jalapeno cream cheese and the Banana Cinnamon Oatmeal.
138 Market Street, Capitagreen #01-01/02/03 and 100 Tras Street, 100AM Mall #01-03/04
Hours: Mon – Fri: 8am – 8pm, Sat – Sun: 11am – 8pm (100AM Mall location only)
Any cafe that makes all their espresso-based cuppas with a double shot of espresso deserves kudos in our books, and even more so if those double shots are made with strong single origin beans from primo coffee-growing regions from around the world. Jewel Coffee was one of the pioneers in the artisanal third-wave coffee scene in Singapore, and to this day they continue to put out consistently good cups of joe prepared by baristas who really know and love their beans.
Nine locations including Tanjong Pagar Centre, Cecil Street, Collyer Quay, Shenton Way
Dark wood and copper accents create a cosy ambience at Dapper Coffee, a casual cafe that has fab coffee, an eclectic lunch menu with a mix of healthy and hedonistic fare, and free Wi-Fi to help you while away the hours. Settle in with a latte and a slice of salted egg black sesame cake, or brighten up your Instagram feed with a photo of their famous Unicorn Tears, a sparkly blue bevvy that they swear is ‘mythical animal cruelty-free’. By night the space turns into the Spiffy Dapper, a speakeasy-style bar.
73 Amoy Street, 2nd floor
Tel: 65 8742 8908
Adding to Singapore’s specialty coffee scene is Mellower Coffee, a recent transplant from Shanghai. Both their locations are modern and roomy with a good mix of sofas and stools, and they offer a rich and nutty house blend made with beans from Brazil, Ethiopia and Colombia. If you’re into unique coffee creations, try the Sweet Little Rain, which consists of a ball of cotton candy suspended over a steaming Americano so that the candy slowly melts and drips into the coffee.
77 Robinson Rd #01-01 and 108 Middle Road, The Prospex, #01-01
Tel: +65 6532 2436
Conveniently located smack dab in the middle of Raffles Place, this glass cafe has become a popular hotspot for working professionals to catch up over great coffee and contemporary cuisine. Grab a seat on the terrace or in the air-conditioned interior and sip on smooth blends made with freshly roasted beans. Shouts go out to their Spanish Baked Eggs and Lobster Mac & Cheese, and craft beers, ciders and cocktails are also in the mix.
7 Raffles Place and OUE Downtown
Tel: +65 6533 1352
Three Cups Coffee Co
Escape the CBD crowds at this cosy little cafe on the fourth level of One Raffles Place. Here you will find speciality coffees made with custom roasted beans and served just the way you like it either cold brew style, straight up espresso, or using their V60 Aeropress for pour-over cuppas. They also have an eclectic food menu featuring items like the Open Roast Beef Sandwich with balsamic tomatoes, rocket and wobbly sous vide egg and the Guinness Stout Chocolate Cake.
One Raffles Place #04-31
Tel: +65 6438 4108
You’ve got to love a coffee shop that insists on giving double shots for all their coffee drinks, especially when those shots are made with freshly roasted single origin beans from coffee growing regions like Costa Rica, Brazil and Uganda. Not sure what single origin is your style? The staff are super friendly and happy to walk you through the different beans and flavour notes. They also have premium teas and tasty cakes to go with your caffeine.
One Raffles Place #B1-39
Tel: +65 6534 4167
The funky décor exudes a friendly and pulsating vibe, while the coffee beans are a good mix of regional and international blends. Organic low-fat soy milk is also used, enhancing the richness of the coffee drinks. Tip: If you’re just grabbing a coffee to go, be careful when heading at lunchtime, as this spot gets packed.
136 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 6224 6901
Hours: Mon – Tues: 7:30am – 6pm, Wed – Fri: 7:30am – 10pm, Sat: 9am – 4pm
Strangers at Work
An offshoot to Strangers’ Reunion (home of the two-time and current National Barista Championship by the way) brings speciality coffee to The Arcade in the CBD. Bitter-sweet and pungent; that’s how they make it, and that’s how we love it. You can be sure the passion and dedication that goes into every cup of coffee is second to none. This cosy corner is a great place to pick up your cuppa Joe and go.
11 Collyer Quay #01-12
Tel: +65 62224869
The Flying Squirrel
When you think of great coffee, a Japanese fusion joint may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but The Flying Squirrel offers up delicious Papa Palheta coffee along with their delicious sushi rolls and tempura. The vibe here is relaxed, the industrial chic design is cool, and the bar is the perfect spot to settle in for a coffee or tea either alone or with good friends. They also have a delicious Green Tea Latte ($5.20). It’s smooth and silky and perfect for a rainy day.
Tel: +65 6226 2203
Fans of Omotesando Koffee in Tokyo and Hong Kong can now get their high-quality coffee right here in Singapore. The kiosk is located at The Work Project, a co-working space in OUE Downtown Gallery Mall. The cafe features their signature minimalist design as well as artisan coffees made with beans roasted in Kyoto by Ogawa Coffee Roasters. We hear the baristas have all been trained by baristas from the Tokyo and Hong Kong cafes, so you can be sure your cuppa will be perfect every time.
6 Shenton Way, OUE Downtown Gallery Mall Level 4, The Work Project