In Raffles Place, a café is not judged by the quality of the coffee they serve but rather by the prices they charge and whether or not there is ample seating. You see, the CBD is all about the perfect coffee meeting. Quite often for newbies to the area, the price of a new friend or business connection is a cup of coffee at Raffles Place. Read on to learn about my favourite coffee haunts in Raffles Place.
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This is my favourite place for coffee in Raffles Place. Their coffee has a rich aroma, tastes moderately bitter, and the barristas really know how to make a café latte that is extra smooth. Every cup of coffee served at Providore has a luxuriant crema and the milk is never over-frothed. Just make sure that you order your beverage to-go as the café is very noisy inside and therefore is a terrible place to hold a conversation. My go-to drink here is a large flat white.
7 Raffles Place, Singapore 048625
Do you like cheap and good-tasting coffee in a take-away cup? Then Parallel is the café for you! They only accept cash payment and all coffees come in one size only – small – but it is really affordable at $2.90 for black coffee and $3.90 for white coffee. Some of the staff here look like models from the heroin-chic era and they have the dour expressions on their face to match! Despite the less-than-friendly service, did I mention the coffee tastes really good?
1 Raffles Place, B1-34, Singapore 048616
De Paolo Gastronomia
Don’t be fooled by the Italian-sounding name. An espresso from De Paolo’s tastes more akin to mud than coffee, however they make really yummy hot chocolate and mocha. Their secret is using chocolate buttons rather than powdered cocoa and boy, do their chocolately drinks taste heavenly. They also taste like calories – do you know what that tastes like? That is the taste of my thighs getting fatter and fatter! Just as well a hot chocolate at De Paolo costs an arm and a leg, which is a suitable deterrent from ordering too many. This café also has abundant indoor and outdoor seating.
6 Battery Road, #01-K Bank of China Building, Singapore 049909
Dimbulah at JustCo
The Dimbulah café inside JustCo only opened this year and it is already my favourite place for coffee meetings. The location is perfect, just opposite the Fullerton Hotel along Collyer Quay. Even better is the ambiance. This open café boasts plenty of natural light and comfy seating. Cosy! The service here is personable and friendly – they have to be because they are always understaffed and it takes forever for your drink to arrive. I like to describe the coffee here as thick-tasting because after you drink a cup your tongue feels coated in gunk. But screw that, this is a really good spot for meetings! You can also buy toasted sandwiches here.
20 Collyer Quay #01-02, Singapore 049909
If you love drinking lattes, flat whites and other milky drinks, then pay a visit to Mellower. This is the prime café in Raffles Place for weak coffee drinks. They are also difficult to find, which gives this place a sense of secrecy and makes it even more special. Head to the Republic Plaza, walk past the weird German Hans im Glück burger restaurant, and take the lift up to level six. Viola! Here you will find the Mellower café with its average city views and milky beverages. Seating is ample!
9 Raffles Place, Level 6 Republic Plaza, Singapore 048619
Boufé Boutique Café
You gotta love this place just for the name. It reminds me of a bouffant hairdo, such as the Scarlett Pimpernel would have would have sported back in revolutionary France. Even though the café was founded by three Singaporean boys the café name sounds French! It must have something to do with all the yummy pastries and cakes they serve, which are totally Instagramable. The location of Boufé in Raffles Place is not ideal, as it’s hidden on the top floor of the Collyer Quay shopping complex. Poorly located cafés in Raffles Place generally do not last long… However, I like the fact that the coffee at Boufé doesn’t taste pretentious and they also stock soy milk. For a real treat, try one of their “coffees with a twist” such as a Rose Latte or Matcha Latte.
16 Collyer Quay #02-12, Singapore 049318
Jamaica Blue is an Australian coffee chain that is considered quite shit in Australia but their Raffles branch in Singapore is reasonable. By reasonable I mean a slight step up from Jewel coffee chain. The coffee at Jamaica Blue tastes chemical-like but the serving sizes are generous, which is helpful during long and boring coffee meetings when you want to keep your hands occupied. On that note, this Raffles Place café is great for holding business meetings due to the convenient location inside the UOB building. With the Jamaica Blue loyalty card, you can also earn points and get a free coffee on your birthday!
1 Raffles Place #01-62, Raffles Place Tower 2, Singapore 048616
I like cheap expat-style coffee. Although I am an ex-barrista and coffee connoisseur, nine times out of ten I will go with the cheaper option. That is why I like Huggs. They are a local coffee chain who have studied the art of Italian coffee making and make expat coffee using Brazilian coffee beans. Unfortunately, they need to study a little harder. Their milk coffees tend to be more foamy than creamy. But hey, it’s cheap! And I feel good about supporting local businesses. Their Phillip Street branch is small but service is quick and they have indoor and outdoor seating.
3 Phillip Street, #01-01 Royal Group Building, Singapore 048693
Strangers at Work
This place is popular and I respect the young Singaporeans who work here. They remember all of their regular customers and will sometimes even preempt your order! Their White Magic iced milky coffee is also TO DIE FOR!! There are a couple of standing tables at Strangers but this place is really designed for take-away coffee orders. Unfortunately, the hot coffee tends to be a little weak and too milky for my liking. It’s also expensive. However they make up for it with their delicious vegemite toasted sandwiches, which make for a perfect mid-morning snack.
11 Collyer Quay, #01-21 The Arcade, Singapore 049317
This place a bit of a wank. I mean the name alone… calling themselves the coffee “academics,” PULLLLease! But, perhaps that is a little unfair. Yes, the logo is a bit posh but they do have delicious coffee and are well-practiced in coffee art. They also have a strong commitment to CSR, as they parter with Capricornio Coffees in Brazil to ensure all coffee sold is grown in compliance with ecological, social and economic standards. That means providing the coffee farmers and their families with a permanent livliehood.
Coffee Academics have the most polished premise and menu of all the cafes in Raffles Place, but seating is limited. The coffee is also a little pricy, although on Monday they have a buy-one-get-one-free happy hour.
Ocean Financial Centre, #01-03, 10 Collyer Quay Lobby, Singapore 049315
Spinelli Coffee Company
This one is a bit of a “pity mention” because I like them. The service here is so nice! The staff greet you with a smile, make your coffee quickly, and they always offer a napkin if you are having your coffee to-go. I’d come here more regularly if I was not so discerning about how I spend my money. Unfortunately, the taste of the coffee is a bit hit and miss though (more miss than hit). Sometimes, the coffee possesses a machine-like taste due to over-cleaning of the espresso machine. The venue is also gloomy and old-fashioned. With some new furniture and a fresher decor, this place could really be something. Because Spinelli is shrouded in shadow, it is ideal for confidential or awkward meetings, when you do not want to be seen.
9 Battery Road, Singapore 049910
If you know any other great places for coffee in Raffles Place, please let me know by dropping your comments below!