Throw a stone in any direction in Singapore and chances are, it’ll land on a cafe. It’s official, Singaporeans are mad about cafes—and we’re only getting madder. But gone are the days where cafes used to be places offering people a respite from the hustle and bustle, to catch up on reading or simply to lounge about in the comfort of good company, a nice warm beverage and a light snack to match.
Nowadays, the appeal of hipster cafes is a tad different. It’s all about the aesthetics, the so-called ’wow factor’ and whether or not certain qualities—be it the food, drinks or interior—are worthy of the ‘gram’ or not.
It’s times like these where one really should know where to find a nice quiet cafe, one devoid of the hipster crowd, the noise and simply a place that offers a conducive space to work, read or lounge about. Here is our list of 10 quiet cafes to get lost in a good book without distractions.
Like all their other outlets, % Arabica Chip Bee Gardens is decked out in its signature clean and minimalistic white interior. The shop space is also more spacious and less crowded as compared to their other outlets at Arab Street and 313@Somerset and it has both air-conditioned seating as well as an al fresco area.
% Arabica Chip Bee Gardens is also the only % Arabica outlet in the world to have a food menu which has been carefully considered and crafted to pair well with % Arabica’s skillfully brewed cuppas, so you know that you’ll be in for a treat.
44 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-58
Tel: +65 6261 4516
Sun to Thu: 8am – 6pm
Fri & Sat: 8am – 8pm
Nearest Station: Holland Village
BAKER’S BENCH BAKERY
This artisanal neighbourhood bakery along Bukit Pasoh Road churns out stellar bakes and gourmet sandwiches. From sticky cinnamon rolls to twice-baked croissants, they’ve got everything you need for a dignified brunch.
Caffeine junkies, not to worry, they also have a respectable selection of coffee brews and tea beverages.
Their interior brags of elegant Scandinavian vibes, replete with muted greens and lush plants. It’s the perfect backdrop for a peaceful getaway.
6 Bukit Pasoh Rd
Wed – Mon: 8.30am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Outram Park
Tucked away in the iconic former Singapore Badminton Hall, Brawn & Brains’ clean interior allows for ample natural light to stream in. Visitors can look forward to fresh bakes, coffee, as well as scrumptious lunch options here. Avoid visiting them during lunchtime because the cafe packs quite a crowd then.
100 Guillemard Road
#01-02, Singapore Badminton Hall
Tel: +65 6348 0501
(Closed on Mondays)
Tue to Sun: 8.30am – 6pm
Nearest Station: Paya Lebar
Fans of Group Therapy Coffee no longer have to travel to the CBD area for their Roasted Almond Latte. Its second outlet at Katong V Singapore is armed with the same laidback ambience and is considerably quieter.
The menu is slightly different from the original outlet at Duxton Road, but their promise of comfort food at affordable prices for the masses still stands. If you’re looking for a productive or meditative afternoon in the comfort of a warm dim cafe, Group Therapy is your best bet.
30 East Coast Road
Katong V #01-11
(Closed on Mondays)
Daily: 10am – 6pm
Nearest Station: Eunos / Paya Lebar
JIMMY MONKEY CAFE AND BAR
Tucked away in a tranquil neighbourhood in One-North, Jimmy Monkey is known for their fantastic coffee blends. With the help of their state-of-the-art coffee machines, every sip of their brews is sheer indulgence at its best and make for a fantastic pick-me-up on any day.
#01-51 One-North Residences,
9 One-north Gateway,
Tel: +65 6777 8470
Daily: 8am – 6pm
Nearest Station: One North
We all know how disgustingly humid Singapore’s weather can be, and more so especially if you’re wandering through Haji Lane. But fret not, because Looksee Looksee is the quintessential refuge for cafe hoppers and book lovers alike.
This gorgeous reading room cum tea salon is dressed in pretty pastels fit for a princess. They have plenty of books for browsing if you’d like, you can actually bring the books you fancy home!
267 Beach Road,
Tel: +65 6338 8035
(Closed on Saturdays & Sundays)
Mon to Fri: 11am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Nicoll Highway
ONE MAN COFFEE
One Man Coffee is a specialty coffee concept that focuses on the art of the espresso. They share the premise with French eatery, Garçons, which operates in the evening once the humble coffee shop closes.
As stunning as their humble brews and latte art is, what we appreciate even more is the peace and quiet we get here during non-peak hours. Surrounded by the cafe’s chill music and occasional hissing of the espresso machine’s steamer spout, One Man Coffee is one of our favourite hideouts on a relaxing afternoon.
215R Upper Thomson Road
Tel: +65 9658 1685
Daily: 9am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Marymount
THE BOOK CAFE
If peace and quiet are what you’re looking for then The Book Cafe is your best bet. There is a diversified range of reading materials available here—several hundred local and foreign books, magazines and newspapers—all free for your reading pleasure.
Their all-day breakfast line-up is simple yet hearty nonetheless and there are many couches indoors, allowing you to simply chill the afternoon away in comfort.
#01-02, 20 Martin Road,
Seng Kee Building,
Tel: +656887 5430
Daily: 8.30am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Clarke Quay
Pancake lovers, you have every reason to rejoice! The Bravery Cafe—one of our favourite halal cafes—serves possibly the tastiest and fluffiest pancakes in Singapore. The cafe’s renowned Pancakes Stack features a triple stack of fluffy pancakes topped with caramelised bananas and a dollop of ricotta cheese, and is drizzled generously with golden syrup.
Once you’ve demolished that, feel free to fall into the serene embrace of the place with a cup of their signature Lavender Latte.
Avoid lunchtime if you want to spend some quality peaceful time alone. The Bravery is usually relatively quiet for the rest of the day.
66 Horne Road
Tel: +65 9388 2973
Mon, Wed, Thu & Sun: 9am – 6pm
Fri & Sat: 9am – 9.30pm
(Closed on Tuesdays)
Nearest Station: Lavender
Seated in the heart of Chinatown, The Moon is a great refuge from the tourist-saturated streets. This gorgeous book cafe calls out to our inner hippy spirits with its charming Bohemian vibes, replete with earthy tones and exotic rugs. Sit back with a cup of their specialty coffee or a slice of cake.
Their abode houses a ton of good reads that you can browse through. But note that the books are limited to within the reading area only!
37 Mosque St
Sun – Tues: 11am – 9pm
Wed: 11.30am – 9pm
Thurs: 11am – 9pm
Fri – Sat: 11am – 12am
Nearest Station: Chinatown