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. 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.
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.
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.
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
$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!
Bread Yard: 1 Fusionopolis Place, #01-23/24 Galaxis, 138632
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
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. Not even this TRUFFLE MAC AND CHEESE. Only at $6.
Because it’s so affordable, I’ll order everything off the menu for 2 every time I’m there.
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
Probably the cheapest brunch you can get in the town-ish area.
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
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
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)!
23 Jumpin: 1 Irving Pl, #01-25 The Commerze, 369546
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.
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
Yet 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.
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!