Sip your hot tea as you get lost in a good book at one of these cosy, quaint bookshops.
Take that experience up a notch, head to a bookstore cafe. There’s nothing like getting lost in the world of a good fiction novel or learning a life lesson or two from Michelle Obama. Not only are you able to cosy up in a comfy couch with fluffy cushions in a beautifully decorated and peaceful space, these often charming and whimsical spots also provide food and drinks, so you’re able to stay immersed in a fantasyland for hours on end without disturbance.
From Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop that #SingLit purveyors would love, to enjoying a good book with a side of delectable dishes, here are some bookstore cafes in Singapore to chill out at and tick off your cafe-hopping list. Whether you’re a bookworm, a bibliophile, or a sapiosexual, this list will be a dream come true.
1. Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop
Fans of Singapore literature will not find Epigram an unfamiliar name. After all, the local publisher is known for its strong emphasis on local authors and supporting and advocating for stories with local flavours. If you haven’t jumped onto the SingLit bandwagon, now’s your chance at the Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop. At the cafe — a gorgeous space with glass walls and natural sunlight streaming in — you can sip on a cup of brew by Huggs Coffee (Sumatran coffee and masala tea, anyone?) and indulge in pastries and sandwiches while leafing through a locally authored or published book or two from over 400 titles available. You can even buy any book — they allow cashless payments for book purchases — that caught your fancy on the spot. You can also commemorate your visit with a picture for the ‘gram with the 11m long bookshelf that would serve as a great backdrop to show off your sapiosexual life.
Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop, The URA Centre, 45 Maxwell Rd., #01-01, 069118.
2. The Moon
A chance visit to a bookstore in her hometown in Pakistan prompted graphic designer and branding consultant Sarah Naeem to start her own bookstore cafe to recreate and share the atmosphere and feeling she had gotten there. The first floor of The Moon, as the bookstore-cafe-event space is called, is where you can find tons of books on sale and its cafe, while its second-floor space is an Instagram-worthy reading area reminiscent of someone’s living room. The homey spot is decorated with cushions, throws and rugs — a welcoming invitation to get lost in a book, with options ranging from young adult fiction to non-fiction and children’s books. The cafe also serves a selection of coffee, teas and food including haldi doodh, or golden turmeric milk, avocado toast and chia seed pudding. In addition, The Moon also champions female writers, who make up over 50 percent of the offerings. We’re so down with that.
The Moon, 37 Mosque St., 059515.
3. Grassroots Book Room
It might be easy to miss the Grassroots Book Room located at Bukit Pasoh because it is located at the back of bookstore Grassroots Backroom. Differing itself from the bookstores that stock mostly English titles, this bookstore cafe stock mainly Chinese tomes so it is a great place to expand your literary horizons, all while enjoying a yummy beverage and a sweet treat. The cafe has a charming, homely vibe with wooden tables and benches filled with fluffy cushions that will make you want to while away a rainy afternoon poring over a book.
Grassroots Book Room, 25 Bukit Pasoh Rd., 089839.
4. The Book Cafe
As the name suggests, The Book Cafe in Robertson Quay is a place for bibliophiles to unwind and leaf through various magazines and books. The cafe serves a large array of food including all-day breakfast dishes such as Eggs Benedict, French toast and pancakes, and main menu dishes such as chicken schnitzel, ravioli and kimchi fried rice. Of course, there are also desserts, hot and cold beverages and yay — wine. The Book Cafe is also a conducive space to work as there are power plugs and WiFi available for patrons — just remember to keep your volume down to keep it a peaceful nook for everyone. Alternatively, you can visit its sister cafe that’s blessed with a bigger space, Lowercase, at Laselle College of the Arts.
The Book Cafe, 20 Martin Rd., #01-02 Seng Kee Building, 239070
5. Jing Si Books and Cafe
Photo: Jing Si Books and Café
Founded by Buddhist organisation, Tzu Chi Singapore, Jing Si Books and Café — which means to contemplate in silence — was created as a reprieve from the pace of modern city life. The quiet and cosy cafe is designed with an Oriental zen concept and is filled with its own English and Mandarin publications relating to Dharma, spiritual development, education, medicine, and holistic living. The space also plays host to public talks by renowned speakers who share their expertise on topics of life and spirituality.
Jing Si Books and Café, Block 134, Geylang East Avenue 1, #01-219, 380134.
By Ho Guo Xiong / Updated August 2019 / Updated by Willaine G. Tan, February 2021.
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