Ever since we did our first article on 5 Quaint Cafes In Your Neighbourhood, there has been an explosion of HDB cafes in every possible corner in Singapore. This suburban cafe culture has taken flight since the first half of 2014, bringing our well-loved cafes to the heartlands for those lazybones who want the convenience of popping by a cafe just beneath their HDB block. We have curated an extensive list of a whopping 16 HDB cafes for your reading pleasure. Perhaps it’s time to make a journey to a neighbourhood you’ve never visited, to discover these gems and another side of Singapore.
TIAN KEE & CO
photo credit: Tian Kee & Co
Cafehoppers would probably have caught on with the trend of old-school cafes reusing the names of their predecessors. Tian Kee & Co is one of these, up the nostalgia by it housed in a 54-year old provision shop. Sans air-conditioning, and with elements of the past scattered throughout the premises, the cafe gives its young clientele a flavor of a period in Singapore’s history.
12 Dakota Crescent, #01-48 Singapore 390012
THE TASTEMAKER STORE
photo credit: The Tastemaker Store
In the unassuming neighbourhood at Havelock Road, The Tastemaker Store has opened up alongside the row of traditional provision stores. It’s amazing how it has kept its decor to a minimum, such that it blends smoothly into this neighbourhood. You would be delighted to find a unique crowd consisting of even old uncles in old school boxers chilling out at a modern environment like this. The menu is not much to speak of, but still, this is a great place for those who had enough of the much-raved about Tiong Bahru neighbourhood at the opposite side.
Blk 22 Havelock Road #01-705 Singapore 160022
SIN LEE FOODS
Photo credit: Sin Lee Foods
Yet another name to add to the Tiong Bahru collection of cafes, Sin Lee Foods stands out by (1) being located slightly out of the hipster enclave where all the other cafes are (2) not having a Facebook page (how is that even possible!!) and (3) keeping the sentimentality by retaining its old signboard. Their Fried Chicken & Waffles sounds like a strange combination, but is a crowd favorite among customers.
4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee Singapore 162004
TIONG HOE SPECIALTY COFFEE
Photo Credits: Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee
With a history dating back to the 1960s, Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee has built a legacy in roasting and being a wholesaler of coffee beans. As Singapore rides a new coffee wave, Tiong Hoe’s concept has been updated to stay relevant to coffee aficionados. Offering tasting portions of their gourmet blends in a small shop space allows interaction with the baristas, and a tipping system is adopted in lieu of a menu.
Blk 170 Stirling Road #01-1133 Singapore 140170
Photo Credits: Shrove Tuesday
In the same area where Creamier is, Shrove Tuesday has also found its home in the low-storey hdb shophouses. By the looks, it might just be an ordinary hangout for a quick treat serving its Toa Payoh residents. However, their affordable prices for its quality coffee and ice cream has created a following for itself. The great thing about HDB cafes is always the reasonable prices for a similar sweet treat in the prime areas, isn’t it?
Block 94 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh #01-32, Singapore 310094
Ever since our first visit, Percolate has always been a preferred cafe when we chance by the Bedok area. Especially in regions where cafes are not common, gems like this will always be well-received and very much appreciated. The owner was once an apprentice in a famous specialty coffee joint, before he opened one of his own. No doubts about the coffee served here and kudos to them keeping everything affordable in this cafe. Its charming interior has earned itself a place in its customers’ hearts.
136 Bedok North Avenue 3 #01-152 Singapore 460136
Photo credits: Sunday Market
This café has been garnering fab reviews since its opening, with fusion dishes including Sirloin Rendang Toast and Bangkok Toast.
22 Lim Tua Tow Road Singapore 547772
Photo Credits: Pan Delights
Serving up tasty nosh at affordable prices (no GST & service charge!), the owners at Pan Delights regularly update their offerings to keep patrons enticed.
161 Bukit Merah Central #01-3725, Bukit Merah Estate, Singapore 150161
THE BAKERY CHEF
Photo credits: The Bakery Chef
A tiny café with minimal seating, but is great for a stop for some sweets if you are in the vicinity.
161 Bukit Merah Central #01-3711, Singapore 150161
Photo credits: To-gather Cafe
With pastas and mains that are almost all under $10, this café offers value-for-money food and a cosy ambience. Easties rejoice!
84 Bedok North St 4 #01-27 Singapore 460084
MAPLE & MARKET
Photo Credits: The Audacious Cakery
With numerous cafes almost side by side, The Audacious Cakery stands out with its elegant interior and a glass display of delectable desserts. Who can resist!?
Blk 2 Everton Park #01-61, Singapore 081002
Photo credits: Ciel Patisserie
It is rare to find artisanal cakes at $4-$5 range nowadays. With such affordable prices, anyone can get a piece of heaven in this lovely HDB cafe!
Blk 124 Hougang Ave 1 #01-1444, Singapore 530124
Photo credits: Hatter Street
Hatter Street should get an award for having such intricate designs for their macaroons, such as Minions and adorable bears. Cozy, delicious and economical are what you get here!
212 Hougang Street 21, #01-333 Singapore 530212
We sure love the serenity and calmness in cafes located just at our doorstep, as well as the reasonable prices for quality coffee and food offered in these HDB cafes. Step into one of these cafes to experience your plain ol' neighbourhood differently, and go ahead to explore other neighbourhoods too!