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Singaporean cafés have grown from simple spaces offering a humble selection of pastries and drinks to full-fledged establishments that boast hearty meals (think anything from pasta to waffles) and freshly-made artisanal coffee. 

Those in the Thomson area are no exception and today boast sleek interiors and specialty dishes to draw crowds in. Read on for our guide to the neighbourhood’s most beloved eateries — perfect for when you’re around just to grab a cuppa or looking to grab a bite. 

Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters

Pacamara is a stylish café in the heart of Upper Thomson founded by the team behind Oz Speciality Coffee. Expect lots of natural light, long communal-style tables, and coffee that’s proudly roasted in-house. The eatery offers brunch options all the way up till five in the afternoon, meaning that you can tuck into hearty dishes such as eggs Benedict (S$18.50) and duck confit hash (S$19.50) practically any time of day.

One Man Coffee

One Man Coffee has garnered a loyal following for artisanal coffee. Here, each barista crafts only one drink for a customer at a time — upholding the traditional idea that an espresso should be brewed on the spot for an individual. The café also offers a selection of pastries and all-day brunch dishes, such as smashed avocado on sourdough (S$15) and French toast topped with caramelised banana (S$15).

Columbus Coffee Co.

Columbus Coffee Co. was established by the team behind Atlas Coffeehouse in Bukit Timah and Lunar Coffee Brewers downtown. Choose between the eatery’s two signature espresso blends Atlas and Nautica, which consist of beans sourced from the renowned Two Degrees North Coffee Co. Typical café dishes such as buttermilk fried chicken (S$14.50+), buttermilk waffles (S$12.50++), and white wine mushrooms on sourdough (S$14) accompany the brand’s famous selection of cold brews (S$7).

Habitat Coffee

Habitat Coffee is a stalwart of Upper Thomson’s bustling café scene, having been around since 2011. The eatery roasts its coffee beans locally once a week and serves two shots of espresso with each brew. Over the years, the eatery has evolved to offer breakfast dishes, Asian-inspired pastas, and grain bowls, making it the perfect place for a weekend brunch date.

Thrive by Boxgreen and An Acai Affair

Thrive offers a selection of acai bowls and wholesome snacks that are perfect for those moving towards a plant-based diet. The brand is dedicated to using only quality acai free of any artificial sweeteners and strives for sustainability by using 100 percent biodegradable cups. Topped with fresh fruit, superfoods, honey and various nut butters, these nutritious bowls are bound to satisfy any dessert craving.

Craftsmen Specialty Coffee

Head to Craftsmen if you’re serious about getting your daily cuppa. The brand proudly sources its single origin beans from countries such as Brazil, Honduras and Kenya and boasts a notable selection of classic and dessert-style coffees (a Baileys latte, anyone?). The café’s offerings from the v-60 coffee dripper and French press are bound to please even the most discerning drinkers.

All the Batter

All the Batter is Singapore’s first dedicated avocado café and shows there’s more to the fruit than just serving it on toast. Expect desserts that showcase the ingredient’s versatility, such as the avocado rhapsody slice (think chocolate cake stuffed with layers of avocado cream), the fresh avocado milk ball (an avocado-tinged cream puff), and avocado citrus cheese tarts. The brand also offers catering services for a selection of avocado-based cakes, tarts, and canapé.

Stephanie Yeap
Stephanie writes about food and culture. She has a soft spot for the visual and literary arts and can be found at the latest exhibition openings. Currently, she's on a quest to devour as much SingLit as possible.