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7 best cafés in Bras Basah for artisanal coffee, board games and old school brews

For languid weekends spent over a hot cup of good coffee, this guide to the best cafés in Bras Basah should come in handy.

Despite being bounded by more popular haunts of Bugis and City Hall, the area holds its own when it comes to cafés with character. Narrative and Pinhole, for instance, highlight single origin beans and careful brewing techniques. Kurasu takes a mediative approach to coffee, while Clap does house made cakes.

Crossings is a social enterprise café that offers quality drinks at affordable prices, and YY Kafei Dian upholds tradition as a Hainanese coffee shop. Over at King and the Pawn, espressos and brunch fare offer sustenance as you play board games.

(Main and featured image credit: @fatandhungryyy)

Your weekend guide to the best cafés in Singapore’s Bras Basah for artisanal coffee and old school brews

1 /7

Clap Cafe

Clap Cafe is a cozy spot at Waterloo Centre that opened in 2021. They make their own pastries here, from a Maple Pecan Tart with shortbread crust to Sticky Date Cake with warm toffee sauce, vanilla gelato and butter crumbs.

Daily, 8.30am to 8pm

Waterloo St, #01-28 Blk 261, Singapore 180261 google map
6980 6392

Do good with a great meal at Crossings café. The social enterprise hires and trains people with special needs, and all profits go towards charity. Their Shepherd’s Pie, Pan-seared Barramundi and Truffle Fries – all under S$17 each – are noteworthy, while coffee comes from local roaster Jewel.

Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 10pm

#01-01 55 Waterloo St, Catholic Centre, Singapore 187954 google map
6338 2669

Outwit everyone at King and the Pawn, a board game cafe and bar along Purvis Street. They have over 350 titles suitable for date nights and big groups, and their menu offers comfort food like Truffled Honey Croque Madame and nachos with jerk chicken. There’s also coffee from Dutch Colony, and a weekend brunch menu.

Tuesdays to Thursdays, 5.30pm to 11.30pm
Fridays, 5.30pm to 1.30am
Saturdays, 11am to 1.30am
Sundays, 11am to 10pm 

24 Purvis St, level 2, Singapore 188601 google map
6259 1913

4 /7


Kurasu is a Japan-leaning coffee retailer and cafe that started in Australia. They sell all the equipment you need to make your own cup at home, and their zen-like space presents a chance to sip their house blend in a calming environment.

Daily, 10am to 6.30pm

261 Waterloo St, #01-24, Singapore 180261 google map

5 /7

Narrative Coffee Stand

If you can tell your Nicaraguan from your Ethiopian coffee, Narrative is your destination. They have beans ranging from delicately floral to dark roast, and recommend a brewing method based on your choice. To take home, they sell vacuum-packed beans enough for a single serving so you don’t have to commit to a whole bag.

Weekdays, 9am to 4pm
Weekends, 10am to 5pm

Blk 231 Bain St, #01-05, Complex 180231 google map
9488 4493

6 /7

Pinhole Coffee Bar

Pinhole offers a peek into the geeky world of craft coffee, from single origin beans roasted locally and studied brewing techniques to detailed latte art. There’s also artisanal tea by Antea Social and a selection of delicious bakes.

Daily, 8am to 5pm

27 Purvis St, #01-02, Singapore 188604 google map

7 /7

YY Kafei Dian

YY is a Hainanese coffee shop that keeps it classic. They brew coffee using a coffee sock, bake their renowned kaya buns fresh daily, and serve Hainanese fare such as chicken rice, pork chops and kong bak. A quaint and a nice respite when you’ve had enough of fifth-wave brews.

Weekdays, 7.30am to 7pm*
Weekends, 8am to 7pm

* Closed every second and fourth Monday of the month.

(Image credit: @eileen_eats_alot / Instagram)

37 Beach Rd, #01-01, Singapore 189678 google map
6336 8813

Jethro Kang

Jethro enjoys wine, biking, and climbing, and he's terrible at all three. In between them, he drinks commercial lagers and eats dumplings.

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