Last week, I was fortunate enough to catch a breather from school and take a short escape with my friends to JB for a quick day trip. We took the bus there bright and early and got down to some intense cafe-hopping. Catching up over a couple cups of coffee and many good brunches, can only mean good things to share and many positive vibes. So here’s a list of cafes that we visited that you might be interested in as well, should you plan a quick getaway yourself. (P.s, do check out the in-depth reviews of the cafes if you’re interested as well).
A minimalist cafe located right across the causeway, the Replacement is a typical hang-out spot among Singaporeans. It’s common to see teenagers hanging out with their friends, and of course many people cramming over getting that ‘insta-worthy’ shot. The food here is decent and the price is decent. A cafe worth visiting if you’re in the area.
Address: Malaysia, 33, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Everyday 10am-9pm
If you’re into the au naturale lifestyle and love nature, this cafe’s the one for you. Instead of the usual bright-and-cheery-somewhat-pretentious coloured flowers decor, Flowers in the Window is keeping it real and authentic, decorating with ferns and greenery. The food is not bad and the atmosphere is relaxed. Quite a different setting from most cafes in Singapore and the sun-dried tomato pasta with salmon is a definite must-try. A stop I would recommend.
Flowers in the window
Address: 9 Jalan Dhoby, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Everyday 10am-10pm, Closed on Tuesdays
A quiet and dim little shop tucked away among shop houses, faculty of caffeine is another one of those ‘Singaporean spots’. Though the menu is pretty limited with the choices they have, the items are all pretty safe bets. I would recommend going for the pancakes and pasta instead of the Japanese ramens, you’ll definitely leave feeling extremely satisfied.
Faculty of Caffeine
Address: 106, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Operating Hours: Everyday, 9am
A little cafe located at the top floor of city square mall, this little coffee and cake shop specialises in mille crepe cakes and are sold for affordable prices. It’s location is perfectly hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping mall so it’s a great place to catch a break from all the shopping and enjoy some peace and quiet. If you’re not feeling cake at the moment, you can even choose to takeaway!
Address: J6-05, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 12pm – 10pm daily
A shop located along the famous Wong Ah Fook cafe street, this coconut ice cream place is a new must go for me. It’s the perfect refuge from the blazing heat and every item on the menu is bound to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to go. The portion is pretty small and is basically all you need to cool down and finish off after all that cafe hopping.
14 Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru (500m from JB Checkpoint)
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon-Sun)
Tody (coconut wine) shop
A personal favourite and a definite memorable part of my trip, was when we took a 3RM uber to this old and tiny shop that sells tody, or rather coconut wine. It looks questionable from the outside, and definitely inside as well, but it’s popular among locals who would stop in for a quick drink before heading off again.
The coconut wine has a strong coconut taste at the start, a sour after taste and a slight smell of vinegar. It was interesting and I brought a 1.5L bottle (12RM) of it home for my family to try. They loved it despite the extremely dubious packaging of filling a 1.5L Dasani coke with Tody from a pail. If you’re not a germa-phobe and are up for an adventure which does not involve hygiene, you definitely have to go here.
Tody (coconut wine) shop
Address: Along Jalan Sulaiman, downtown Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 10am-4pm
Hiap Joo banana bread bakery & biscuit factory
Opening hours: Everyday 7.30am-5.30pm, Sunday Closed
This place pretty much sells the best coffee of all time. If you’re like me and don’t like your coffee sweet, you will love this. My standard order is the Iced Miyakori Kuramitsu coffee (15.90 RM) which is essentially coffee infused with a Japanese black honey. I always ask for only 1 pump of honey (less sweet) and it’s the perfect amount for me. A really light and flavourful taste of the honey complementing the acidity and slight bitterness of the coffee. I would travel to JB just for this. If you like your coffee sweeter, you could just get the regular without reduced sugar and I’m sure you will love it just as much.
Address: 41 Jalan Indah 22/14, 81200 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
City Square Johor Bahru, Level 5 106-108
Opening hours: Mon- Fri: 12pm- 10am, Weekends: 12pm- 11pm
Hope this post was insightful and you’re already planning your next trip to JB. If you have any recommendations of other exciting cafes and places to visit, do let me know and I’ll be sure to include them into my next trip!