The start of Chinese New Year beckons the beginnings of good luck, fortune and blessings abound. In a nutshell, it’s the season of abundance—where we feast on time-honoured recipes, exchange red packets and don on new threads in celebration. Yet, on the flip side, the spring holiday also means a sharp decline of shops and eateries that stay open during the festivities. It’s a time where retail and service goes into a brief lull. So with a long weekend just around the corner, we can’t help but fret about the absence of our favourite cafes. It might just only be for a few days, but it’s hard to imagine going about our days without the charming spaces that supply a good cuppa, perfectly-pressed sammies and haystacks of truffle fries. Also, it’s where most people in Singapore go to spend the day, Instagram story and people-watch whenever they are out of the office.
Fortunately, beyond the ever so trusty Starbucks, there are a handful of places peppered across our island that remain open this Chinese New Year—even on day one and two. For folks who don’t celebrate the occasion and even for those who do, these cafes are the true beacons amongst desolated streets—from famed brunch spots to smaller coffee houses where you can be granted a solid pour. After all, a mid-day espresso boost will never not be appreciated, especially in between the pandemonium of family reunions and excessive snacking. We need all the caffeine we can get ahold of.
Below, we round up our favourite joints to count on this Chinese New Year, where you can drop in enroute to your next house visit or make plans for on a slower day.
1 / 9
Since arriving at its tenth year mark, Penny University’s brand new home at Jalan Klapa boasts of a bigger space and a bigger array of food offerings led by Asian and Levantine influences. Expanding on their specialty coffee arm, you can also expect delightful choices beyond your typical flat white. Honourable mention goes to their orange mocha.
17 Jln Klapa, Singapore 199329
2 / 9
This minimalist coffee shack serves up flat-whites, pour overs and a curated selection of pastries.
311 Jln Besar, Singapore 208970
3 / 9
Carrotsticks & Cravings
From superfood salads to avo platters, those who crave a healthier fix can head over to Carrotsticks & Cravings.
81 Loewen Rd, 01-05, Singapore 249701. Other outlets at Stanley St and Robertson Quay.
4 / 9
The Kyoto coffee franchise has long planted its seeds in our city—expect a consistent cup with every visit.
78 Airport Boulevard #01, K208, Singapore 819666. Other outlets at Arab St and Chip Bee Gardens and 313@Somerset.
5 / 9
Whether it be sweet or savoury, you can never go wrong with French Fold’s pillowy galettes. Those who prefer a cocktail to a coffee can also indulge in more options here.
204 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068640
6 / 9
Trust the brunch stalwart at Bugis to serve up a hearty menu, which spans from truffle fries to pasta.
9 Jln Kubor, #01-01, Singapore 199206
7 / 9
One can always find a decent selection of coffees at Dutch Colony, along with moreish selects.
113 Frankel Ave, Singapore 458230. Other outlets at UE Square, Fusionopolis One and New Tech Park.
8 / 9
The Wired Monkey
Even with limited parameters, The Wired Monkey has made clever choices in its unique auditorium-like seating. That, coupled with amiable baristas and really good coffee.
5 Dunlop St, #01-00, Singapore 209335
9 / 9
Prairie by Craftsmen
Options islandwide? Aplenty with the Craftsmen group—as well as its sister cafe franchise, Prairie by Craftsmen. You can find a good selection of grub and drinks at each outlet, furnished in a different way.
501 Bukit Timah Rd, #01-05C Cluny Court, Singapore 259760. Other outlets at Joo Chiat and River Valley.