11 cafes to go on a BUDGET

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What sparked me to write this post despite my crazy school schedule these days are all the misleading “budget” cafe lists I’ve been seeing on my Facebook feed. No. It is not cheap and budget if I need to spend up to $20++ per pax for a meal with coffee at a cafe. THAT. IS. AVERAGE. I mean, EXPENSIVE.

And NO, I’m not gonna pay $8-$9 for one slice of cake and say that it is affordable. No.

Angst aside, let me share with you guys MY definition of cheap, or more honestly, affordable. Because come on, it’s not going to be cheap when you decide to visit cafes in Singapore! To me, I would think that it is affordable if my FILLING and QUALITY main costs less than or equals to $10-$12, and what makes it better is, getting a quality cuppa together to go with it for $15.

1. Drury Lane

Drury Lane is my all-time favorite hang out because it not only has a nice, cosy ambience to boot. They have amazingly affordable food and CAKES. Think, $6 for a slice of cake and $4 for this AMAZING Banana Bread with espresso butter, which left me filled till late afternoon.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Photo 9-9-15, 4 33 39 PM This is their GRILLED STEAK SANDWICH with caramelized onions at just $8. Yes, that beef. $8. Their sandwich selections are under $10, and are all pretty filling. Photo 21-9-15, 4 20 41 PM
This will set you back $12, with cheese, mushrooms, egg, turkey ham, homemade baked beans. But hey, this dish is on the Sugar app too, and you could probably get it cheaper than $12. Photo 17-9-15, 4 49 49 PM
Their selection of cakes taken from In the Brick Yard, is almost always kept affordable at $6-$7. The best part of Drury Lane? COFFEE IS WAY MORE AFFORDABLE THAN ANY OTHER CAFES OUT THERE. Both my iced and hot mocha cost $5.50 only – and they are one of my favorite places for coffee. They do have the “pay-as-you-wish” muffins too! 😉

*do note that not all the items on their menu are affordable, they do have their share of $16 brunches (like their salted egg eggs ben), but overall their cakes, sandwiches and coffee did the job for me!
Drury Lane: 94 Tg Pagar Rd, Singapore 088515

2. Ciel Patisserie

If you’re looking for affordable yet, delicious cakes and tarts without feeling like you could have eaten a meal with the amount you spent on a cake, Ciel Patisserie is the place to go.
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All their tarts and cakes will set you back just $5-$7. And they are good. Get the bombe if you’re a fan of chocolate, it’ll be amazing. Wait till I find pictures of it in my phone.
Ciel Patisserie: 124 Hougang Ave 1, 530124

3. Bread Yard

Bread Yard is probably one of the most affordable places I’ve been to for brunch.Photo 30-3-15, 12 05 35 PM

$15 for a HUGE all day breakfast is pretty affordable, and $12 with smoked salmon is reasonable. Check out their sandwiches too, their HK pork belly sandwich at $8 is to die for. Oh, and they have AMAZING AMAZING LOOKING PANCAKES. I haven’t had them yet, because FAT, but I’ve heard nothing but good reviews about it!Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Enough said.

Bread Yard: 1 Fusionopolis Place, #01-23/24 Galaxis, 138632


4. One Man CoffeePhoto 2-12-14 12 32 41 pm

One man coffee, one of my favorite places for coffee! Their signatures – French Toast and Gashouse eggs are just affordably priced at $10!Photo 2-12-14 12 54 04 pm BEST-EST FRENCH TOAST EVER.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

They have expanded to 3 outlets now, making their amazing fare more accessible and affordable for us!

One Man Coffee:
215R Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574349
1 Maju Avenue #B1-23/24 myVillage@Serangoon Garden Singapore 556679
4 Fusionopolis Way #01-15 Kinesis Singapore 138635

5. Ah Bong’s Italian 

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Not a cafe, but my all time favorite Italian place. I’ve recommended Ah Bong’s to everyone I know, and every one leaves here a very, very satisfied diner. Nothing more than $9 usually.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Not even this TRUFFLE MAC AND CHEESE. Only at $6.
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Because it’s so affordable, I’ll order everything off the menu for 2 every time I’m there. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
Expect nothing but fresh ingredients, and a very homely affair. Oh, and get me a Kopi Siew Dai to go with my pastas here.
Ah Bong’s Italian: 56 Eng Hoon St, #01-46, 169793

6. Clueless GoatPhoto 21-2-15, 1 25 40 PM 

Probably the cheapest brunch you can get in the town-ish area. 
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This breakfast platter is only $13.80 – and it’s the most expensive item on the menu. I don’t know where you can actually find such a great deal.

The Clueless Goat: 189 Thomson Rd, 307631

7. Tuk Tuk Cha Photo 11-8-15 4 28 53 pm 

The only thing missing in this list, is a place to go for desserts and since Shibuya toasts are such an in thing now. Photo 11-8-15 4 28 19 pm

Here’s the most affordable and best Shibuya toast I’ve had so far in Singapore at $10.80! Ya, $10.80 not cheap hor, but in comparison with all the other toasts offered every where else, this is considered really affordable.

Tuk Tuk Cha:  3 Temasek Boulevard, #02-605A Suntec City Tower 3, 038983

8. 23 Jumpin

My favorite to-go cafe because it’s so near my place and the food is pretty awesome and affordable!  Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Not exactly the cheapest, but it is rather affordable, with their spicy chicken burger at just $9?! And their mains averaging at $12, except for the truffle mushroom pasta ($15) and duck confit ($16)! Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

23 Jumpin: 1 Irving Pl, #01-25 The Commerze, 369546

9. Percolate

Photo 28-5-15, 1 14 44 PM

This place is super pretty. I loved the paint work in there, and the best part? $10 is the most you should expect to pay for one dish here.Photo 28-5-15, 3 40 59 PM
This is the Tomyum chicken sandwich that sets you back $10, but it’s worth every cent because this tom yum sauce is made of unicorn tears. SO FLAVORFUL AND ADDICTIVE. Not forgetting, really really filling too!

If you’re feeling adventurous, have a go at the shooters with espresso caviar in the background.

Percolate: 136 Bedok North Ave 3, 460136

10. Shen Yang Feng Wei 

Photo 7-1-16, 7 32 46 PMYet again, the newest addition to this list isn’t any cafe. But can you imagine Dimsum restaurant quality Xiao Long Baos and Dumplings at hawker center prices? I HAVE to share eh? $4.50 for 5 of these fat long baos. WHERE ELSE TO FIND?

Tai Hwa Eating House: 466 Crawford Lane, #01-12, Singapore 190466

11. Teppei Syokudo – to save your pockets even when you’re feeling indulgent.
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Probably the only place that would cost you more than $15 for a dish. BUT, can you imagine chunks of salmon sashimi, tuna sashimi and ikura PLUS MORE from just $8.90 to $19.80, when it’d have easily gotten your pockets bust with $60 for a bowl of this anywhere else.

DIY concept exclusively at ION Orchard. Their usual kaisen don with salmon, tuna, ikura and sushi rice is available at all Teppei Syokudo outlets at just $16!

Teppei Syokudo: ION Orchard, #B4-57

The best part of all the abovementioned cafes? NO GST AND SERVICE CHARGE. What you see, is what you get. Here you go, my top 10 affordable cafes you can visit on a budget!

Here are some of the food lists you guys may be interested in too!
Salted Egg: http://explodingbelly.com/2015/03/18/the-ultimate-guide-to-salted-egg-yolk-dishes-in-singapore/
Shibuya Toast: http://explodingbelly.com/2015/05/02/shibuya-toast-singapore/
Cafes with Wifi: http://explodingbelly.com/2015/04/15/23-secret-hideouts-for-closet-muggers/

Otherwise, do check out @explodingbelly on Instagram for your daily dose of food porn!

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  1. Xavier Xavier
    September 28, 2015    

    Check out Crossings Cafe at Waterloo street. It can also qualify the for the budget cafe list!

    • Anonymous Anonymous
      December 28, 2015    

      I checked out their main menu and I’d say they really don’t qualify to be in this list.

      Aside from that, I love this post! Totally agree on your definition of “cheap” / “affordable” and I’m glad that I chanced upon your site. Keep eating & writing! :)

  2. Anonymous Anonymous
    October 7, 2015    

    Hi there! A genuine question out of curiosity, how often do food bloggers like yourself pay for your own meals? Given that you are a student and the frequency at which you post new content, I think that it would cost quite a substantial amount for you to sustain your blog/feed. I love your honesty in your reviews and your posts btw!

    • Anonymous Anonymous
      October 14, 2015    

      Hi there! I guess my comment sort of sparked the recent rant to a certain extent. I really appreciate all the effort you take out of studying/daily life to do this blog and all the things that come with it. Now that I know how genuine your posts are + the amount of money you spend out of your own pocket, I feel like I can trust your reviews a lot more. So cheers to that and I hope you’ll continue doing this for your passion for food!

      • Bean Bean
        October 14, 2015    

        HAHA! Yes your comment was actually the driving force for me to do up the post that I’ve been procrastinating for the longest while!

        Always wanted to write up something like that but I’ll think that writing up reviews will be more useful for you guys! So actually, thank YOU for allowing me to let you guys understand some of the challenges that may come together with food blogging! Nonetheless, it’s something really enjoyable to do as well, and I’m really glad that people actually bother to read my posts! (:

  3. Liz Liz
    October 20, 2015    

    Hi there
    I really appreciate your time writing (this post esp).
    I do have another dessert cafe recommendation. All of D’zerts cafe’s cakes/tarts are also $4-8ish, based on what I’ve seen. Heh. They offer waffles at (max price) $10 with specialty gelato. I believe and they are sumptuous! They do have pastas at ~$10 but nothing over $15 for sure.

    Also to-gather cafe has mains that are <$10 and chocolate lava cake at $3.80 or $5.90 (ww ice cream). Student lunch price at $7-8 too!

    I'm not exactly familiar with these two cafe's because I don't frequently go to cafes but these are very spoken about cafes in the east (yeah might have figured by now I'm an eastie).

    Just passing by~ If you decide to try any of these suggestions I hope I didn't let you down. Heh.

    Blessings ~

    • Bean Bean
      October 20, 2015    

      Hi Liz!

      Yay! Thank you for giving me more suggestions and places to visit! I’ll probably drop by these 2 places in November and hopefully, I’ll be able to expand this list!

      Thank you so much, and hope you’ve enjoyed reading the post! (:


  4. Je Je
    February 28, 2016    

    Went to ah bong Italian nothing is really cheap over there. Above 12$? Pasta 16$ and above

    • Clara Clara
      February 28, 2016    


      You’ve probably mistaken it for the “Night” concept the hawker currently runs. Ah bong’s Italian is only operating from 10am to 3pm everyday, except for Sundays!

  5. Anon Anon
    February 28, 2016    

    nice post!
    you might want to consider the xiao long baos at chinatown complex’s hawker centre, they go at 10 for $5.50 and its really good as well. comparable to Ding Tai Fung in my opinion haha

  6. Jun yang Jun yang
    February 29, 2016    

    Where can I get the egg toast from the picture at the most top ? Looks delicious though ….

    • Clara Clara
      February 29, 2016    

      It’s from Bread Yard (number 3) at One North!

  7. Britney Britney
    September 24, 2016    

    Tuk tuk cha is also available at bishan junction8 second floor now~ my sister works there so please check it out!!

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