All Singaporeans know that Johor Bahru is the place to go when you want a short escape from all things expensive in Singapore. Everything is cheaper there — shopping, massages, transport, and most importantly, food!
There are a plethora of well-known cafes near the causeway that many of us Singaporeans love to visit. Aside from that, however, there are a number of other fantastic eateries deeper within Johor that we feel you need to check out.
With that, here is our list of our 23 favourite cafes in Johor Bahru that you can refer to for your next day trip over the causeway.
If you’ve ever travelled to Europe, you’ll understand the joy that walking up to a pastry stand would entail. The aroma of freshly baked bread comes second to none and the endless varieties of brightly coloured tarts and pastries never fails to seduce the senses. Over at La’Farine located in JB’s Taman Mount Austin, you can experience just that with their many numerous French desserts and pastries.
For the love of Western pastries, local delicacies and everything in between, this is one place to visit to kickstart your JB day trip proper. For first-timers, Taman Mount Austin is just a short 15-minute drive from the checkpoint. We suggest hailing a cab or booking yourself a GRAB because it’s literally impossible to walk there. READ ON
Offering diners a spacious, charming respite from the midday heat, humble cafe, Restoran Tastea is one that deserves a stopover when exploring the cafe-laden enclave of Taman Mount Austin. Their menu focuses heavily on Western dishes, leaning more towards Italian comfort food with their wide spectrum of pasta dishes from the humble linguine to risotto.
If you’re on the prowl for a decent cafe-style brunch, we highly recommend coming here. Their food is delicious, portion sizes generous and above all, much more worth paying for than a cafe back in Singapore.
No trip to Malaysia is complete without a piping-hot plate of KL-style Hokkien mee stall.
Brimming with intense charred flavours and heady wok hei aroma, the famous KL version is special in that it is stir-fried over a charcoal flame and is infused (heavily) with pork fat, a smattering of crispy golden pork lard and a dark soy sauce that gives it its signature dark colour.
While prowling the food-laden streets of Taman Mount Austin in JB in search of solid local Malaysian fare, we stumbled upon Petaling Street Hokkien Mee—or Lai Noodle House as they are also called—an unassuming eatery specialising in Malaysian-style zi char. Only a few days old when we visited, their food was remarkable
Situated in Pelangi, Johor Bahru is Ink N Water, a well-known café that has been around for the past few years. It takes just a 10-minute drive from the immigration checkpoint close to Johor Bahru City Square to get to Ink N Water and it is not uncommon to see Singaporeans amongst the locals over there.
This café whips up a wide range of dishes, ranging from pasta to pizza to meatballs and salads. Coffee lovers will also be pleased to hear that they have a myriad of caffeinated drinks, made with coffee beans sourced from both Ethiopia and Brazil.
Just a short 3-minute walk from City Square Mall in Johor Bahru, Kam Long Curry Fish Head is a top choice of many locals and Singaporeans who frequent the eatery for its affordable and delicious Curry Fish Head.
Whether you are visiting on a weekday or weekend, there is always a snaking queue here. The reason is simple—the curry fish head is unique and pocket-friendly! At just S$7 for a small portion (good for 2 to 4 people), you get a bang for your buck for this huge and delicious bowl of curry packed with incredible flavours!
You need to add this to your itinerary the next time you visit Johor Bahru. Kam Long Curry Fish Head is truly a gem!
Looking for more cafes in Johor Bahru?
With the surge of new cafes across the border, cafe-hopping is no longer confined to our sunny shores. From the folks that brought you The Replacement Lodge & Kitchen and Faculty of Caffeine, Shakespeare Milkshakes is a wonderful addition to the hipster enclave in Johor Bahru.
This Scandinavian-style café specialises in decadent milkshakes (that isn’t for the weak). Besides sweet treats, look forward to a range of savoury croffles (croissant pressed between a waffle iron) and a wide selection of hot beverages and iced tea that will keep you coming back for more.
When it comes to Instagram-worthy interiors and flat lay-worthy food, Shakespeare Milkshakes is your best bet. Time to cross the border for this beautiful cafe in Johor Bahru!
Home to a vast number of cafes and trendy hangouts, the Jalan Dhoby area of Johor Bahru is a place that Singaporeans flock to most during their day trips.
New to the Jalan Dhoby enclave is Amphawa, a cafe that specialises in authentic Thai boat noodles. Besides their myriad of jaw-dropping noodle options that feature 3 different soup bases and a variety of noodle types, what diners can expect is a cosy space filled with lots of natural lighting, lush greenery and even an inbuilt waterfall.
For Thai boat noodles that are close to the real deal and super chill vibes, head on over to Amphawa Thai Boat Noodle Restaurant the next time you decide to cross the border for a day trip.