Bored of the sights and sounds of Singapore, and frankly need a short getaway from everything? The understated charm of Melaka awaits, just a bus ride away!
More than just a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a vibrant historical past and beautiful architecture, Melaka is undoubtedly a foodie’s paradise – whether it be street snacks, cafe grub or quick eats by the roadside.
The list of tastebud teasers is growing as we speak, so we’ve wasted no time in bringing you this list of cool cafes that’ll surround you with all kinds of #goodvibes.
1. Calanthe Art Cafe (Pork-free)
Tucked away in a quiet alley, stepping into this cafe is akin to entering another world.
A master of revival, this is where television sets are reborn as aquariums, antique furniture is given a new lease of life, and timeless quotes artfully adorn the walls.[caption id="attachment_28486" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Burpple User SuLin Ang[/caption]
Must-try: Baboon Beef Burger, Oriental Chicken Burger, Pork Belly Burger, Terriyaki Porkchop Burger, Cheese Burger, Mango Smoothie, Fresh Juices
The Baboon House
Address: 89 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Kampung Bukit Cina, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 10am – 5pm; Closed on Tue
3. Geographer Cafe (Halal)[caption id="attachment_28488" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: @yap_yk[/caption]
Must-try: Unique and tasty coffee blends
Address: 14 Jalan Tukang Emas , 75200 Malacca, Malaysia
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 6pm
5. The Daily Fix Cafe and Restaurant (Pork-free)[caption id="attachment_27753" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: Image Credit: The Coverage[/caption]
The cafe’s retro decor with painted blinds, wooden sofas and potted plants all add a touch of je ne sais quoi that makes this cafe stand out. Together with their delicious pancakes and mean cups of coffee, The Daily Fix has us pledging our loyalty for a long time to come.[caption id="attachment_28492" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: @natiweez[/caption]
Must-try: Pandan Gula Melaka Pancakes, Durian Pancakes, Salted Egg Pancakes, Durian Cheesecake, Duck Aglio Olio
The Daily Fix
Address: 55 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 11.30pm; Sat – Sun: 8.30am – 11.30pm
6. Locahouz Breakfast and Brunch Restaurant
An oasis of cool comfort away from Melaka’s hot and busy streets, the sister cafe of Baboon House offers a Western-style menu too, albeit with greater emphasis on desserts.[caption id="attachment_27767" align="alignnone" width="1170"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Stepping out of Babylon[/caption]
An antique shop that doubles as a port-of-call for hungry diners, here is where you can enjoy simple, authentic Malaysian fare in a cosy and homely environment.[caption id="attachment_27771" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Image Credit: ParentheticalPilgrim[/caption]
The friendly pakcik and makcik prepare the food on the spot, ensuring that the ingredients are fresh and each dish is piping hot. If you’re vegan, this place offers tofu options as well.
Must-try: Laksa, Lontong, Nasi Lemak, Nasi Ambeng
Sayyid Antique & Cafe
Address: 74 Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 8.30am – 5.30pm; Closed on Tue
8. The Stolen Cup[caption id="attachment_27772" align="alignnone" width="1048"] Image Credit: Jay W on Tripadvisor[/caption]
A quaint hole-in-the-wall coffee stop along Jonker Walk, The Stolen Cup has stolen our hearts with its rustic interior decorated with wooden planks, old clocks and posters.[caption id="attachment_28495" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Image Credit: TripAdvisor[/caption]
Besides the barista specialty of iced gula melaka coffee, enjoy their freshly-toasted, crispy croissants which go down with a buttery crunch.
Must-try: Iced gula melaka latte, croissants
The Stolen Cup
Address: 21A Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed – Sun: 9am – 9.30pm; Closed on Tue
9. Backlane Coffee[caption id="attachment_28497" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image Credit: Image Credit: @yuanlin_steven[/caption]
Must-try: Mr Owl Coffee (owl-shaped coffee ice cubes), Pesto Pizza, Teh Tarik Macaron, Passionfruit Surprise Macaron, Salted Caramel Tart, Raspberry and Praline Mille-Feuille, Backlane Passion (passionfruit cream with chocolate mousse on a white chocolate base)
Address: 129 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon – Thu, Sun: 9.30am – 11.30pm; Fri & Sat: 11am – 12am
10. Ola Lavanderia Cafe[caption id="attachment_28500" align="alignnone" width="1020"] Image Credit: @shiyin122[/caption]
Well-located within walking distance of the heritage site, this all-white, minimalistic cafe is perfect for a pop of caffeine.
What’s best is it doubles as a launderette – at only RM 4.80, pop your feet up while your clothes get washed, folded and ironed. Cue Instagram hashtag #taitailife.[caption id="attachment_28499" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: @spinnincarousel[/caption]
While you’re here, be sure to order their famed cheesecakes.
Must-try: White Melaka Cheesecake, All Day Breakfast
Ola Lavanderia Cafe
Address: 25 Jalan Tukang Besi, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 8am – 5pm; Sun: 8am – 1pm
11. Handmade Bakery Cafe (Halal)
Upon entering this cafe, you’ll be hit with the ridiculously yummy fragrance of freshly baked breads, pastries and cakes.[caption id="attachment_27819" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Image Credit: Image Credit: @tiantian91[/caption]
Sweet treats aside, the cafe serves up a large range of savoury dishes such as pizza and salad which will please your growling tummy.
Must-try: Chocolate Guinness Cake, Baked Polish Cheesecake, Tunisian Orange Cake, Oreo Volcano
Handmade Bakery Cafe
Address: 77 Jln Kota Laksamana 3/8, Taman Mahajaya, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm
12. The Coffee Jar (呷珈琲)
A quaint little coffee shop with its own mini roaster, its specialty, lightly roasted coffee, will tickle the tastebuds of third wave cafe-goers. Apart from coffee, The Coffee Jar also stocks a selection of pies and cakes for you to munch on while you sip away.[caption id="attachment_27826" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Tripadvisor[/caption]
Must-try: Coffee, Earl Grey Tea Cheesecake, Jar of Pie (a unique in-house rendition of Shepherd’s Pie)
The Coffee Jar
Address: 38 Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening hours: Daily, 10.30am to 6pm; Closed on Tue
13. Plat Kitchen
While it may be a coincidence that Plat rhymes with “fat”, this is where we wouldn’t mind piling on the calories at.
For those with more adventurous tastebuds, you’ll find the ingenious play on local ingredients very intriguing and tempting indeed.[caption id="attachment_27830" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Image Credit: Hazel W on Tripadvisor[/caption]
Keeping up with the Joneses has never been this fun.
At this family-run music bar, kick back with their wide selection of freshly-squeezed health juices and alcoholic mixes. The music is the highlight here, so don’t drop by on an empty stomach! Come jam with the owner, Hawk, and his wife, Joan, as they sizzle up this vibrant, energetic bar with music ranging from blues to rock-and-roll.
Must-try: Freshly-squeezed health juices
Me & Mrs Jones Cafe
Address: 3 Jalan Hang Kasturi, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening hours: Daily: 7pm – 1am; Closed on Wed
16. TPC Home Cafe
At this cafe that’s housed in a homestay, you’ll truly feel like you have balik kampung.[caption id="attachment_28503" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: @sinlinglingling[/caption]
Retro wooden tables, paper lanterns and old-style Chinese swing doors adorn the establishment. Unlike the modern Western dishes served in most cafes, their home-style dishes are a refreshing change.[caption id="attachment_27865" align="alignnone" width="960"] Image Credit: TPC Home Cafe Facebook[/caption]
Sample their signature crystal dumplings, roast pork and egg over rice, and handmade noodles or ban mian.[caption id="attachment_27866" align="alignnone" width="2048"] Image Credit: TPC Home Cafe Facebook[/caption]
As a added perk, they serve yummy cups of coffee too, with some even adorned with cool latte art.[caption id="attachment_27867" align="alignnone" width="960"] Image Credit: TPC Home Cafe Facebook[/caption]
Must-try: Crystal dumplings, handmade noodles (ban mian), roast pork rice with egg
TPC Home Cafe
Address: 35 Jalan Bukit Cina, Kampung Bukit China, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening hours: Tue – Sun: 12pm – 12am; Closed on Mon
17. Halia Inc. (Halal)
Located right next to the river and at the heart of the historical district, Halia Inc. is the perfect pit stop for a casual brunch.
The atmosphere is tranquil and restful, elevated by the spacious cafe’s high, open ceiling which gives it a touch of industrial chic. This cafe is much larger than most, so it’s the perfect stop if you’re touring with a big group of friends.[caption id="attachment_28504" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Image Credit: Image Credit: these hipster cafes in JB you’re sure to love.
(Header Image Source: Nitalovestoeat Wordpress)
A month ago, I visited Melaka for the first time. At least it is the first time that I could recall (my mother tells me we visited Melaka more than a decade ago, but I have no recollection). Melaka, also known as Malacca, is a state in Malaysia most well known for its historic past and amazing food choices. Just four hours from Singapore by bus, it is an ideal place to check out for a day trip or weekend jaunt.
If, like me, you have heard a lot about Melaka but have never been to the historic state, don’t fret. There are so many things to do in this UNESCO World Heritage City, but we’re telling you that you’ll be able to accomplish a lot even in just 14 hours.
Don’t believe us? Read on to find out what you should try:
Melaka in 14 hours – 8 AM: Breakfast
Whether you’re in the mood for a fruit platter or a plate of warm, yummy chicken rice balls, Melaka’s got you covered for the best local breakfast dishes you can try.
For breakfast, we avoided the “famous” restaurants with a queue and popped by one of its quieter competitors across the road. It was a risk, but to be fair, most restaurants in the Jonker Street district are pretty decent, so you won’t go wrong with a few dishes of chicken and rice. Plus, by doing that, you effectively gain another 20 to 30 minutes in your itinerary. Yay to trying more food and exploring even more![caption id="attachment_10905" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @nicholasng925 / Instagram[/caption]
If you’re up for dessert, try Christina Ee’s Nyonya Cendol. While it may come in a small bowl, it is deceptively filling. It’s affordable at RM 3.80 per bowl and it hits the spot every time. Furthermore, with the shop hidden away in an alley on Jonker Street, you’ll definitely get a seat and good service.[caption id="attachment_10906" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @addy_lynne / Instagram[/caption]
However, if you want something healthier, try Melaka’s Tropical Fruit Farm for a morning of fruit plucking and eating. Only 20 minutes from Melaka Town via car, you will be able to enjoy fruits like durian, rambutan and others. What’s more, the entrance fee is extremely affordable at only RM 4 for adults and RM 2 for children!
Christina Ee Pineapple Tarts & Cendol
Address: 75200, 8, Jalan Hang Lekir, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 6-281 2023
Opening Hours: 10.30 AM – 7 PM except Thursdays
Melaka Tropical Fruit Farm
Address: Sungai Udang, Malacca, Malaysia
Tel: +60 6-351 0130
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily except Saturdays
Melaka in 14 hours – 10 AM: Sightseeing
By 10 AM, you must be ready to hit the attractions. Having secured its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008, Melaka has quite the heritage to boot. If you’re a history buff, you’ll find yourself enamored with old churches, and what is left of forts, museums and palaces.
A Famosa Fort
The image below is a photograph of the A Famosa Fort gate, which was built by the Portuguese after conquering Melaka.[caption id="attachment_10907" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @luxuryfitnesstraveller / Instagram[/caption]
Nonya and Baba museums
Plus, don’t miss out on the Nonya and Baba museums that will give you a better insight to Melaka in the late 1500s when the Chinese had migrated to the Malaysian city to trade and do business. Many interracial marriages, between the Chinese and local Malays, were formed in that period and resulted in what is now called ‘Peranakan’ culture. For the Baba Nonya Heritage Museum on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, there is an entrance fee of RM 16.[caption id="attachment_10908" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @enialeeee / Instagram[/caption]
A Famosa Fort
Address: Jalan Parameswara, 78000 Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 6-552 0888
Baba Nonya Heritage Museum
Address: 48-50, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 6-283 1273
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 12.15 PM, 2 PM – 4 PM daily
Melaka in 14 hours – 12 PM: Lunch
It’s noontime! Are you hungry again? If your feet hurt, try sitting down at a restaurant like Nancy’s Kitchen. It boasts scrumptious Peranakan dishes. The owner and chef — Nancy, obviously, is a Peranakan lady who was born and raised in a small town called Batu Berendam in Melaka.
Growing up, she watched and helped her mother in the kitchen, and learnt to cook at a tender age. The restaurant is pretty popular with travellers, and everything is fresh, so Image Credit: @marygem / Instagram[/caption]
And if you are not a fan of sitting down, or prefer standing while you finish your lunch, try Jonker 88. If you’re lucky, you might just get a seat but going to an extremely popular restaurant might just mean you won’t be resting your legs any time soon. Our favourite is probably the Assam Laksa, which is just the right amount of spicy.[caption id="attachment_10911" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @theparadeux / Instagram[/caption]
Address: 13, 13-1, 13-2, Jalan KL 3/8, Taman Kota Laksamana, Seksyen 3, 75200, Melaka, Malaysia.
Tel: +606-2836099 / +6013-6183608
Opening Hours: 11 AM – 5 PM Sundays to Thursdays, 11 AM – 9 PM Fridays and Saturdays, 11 AM – 9 PM Public Holidays, Closed on Tuesdays.
Address: 88, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 19-397 5665
Opening Hours: 9.30 AM – 5.30 PM Sundays to Thursdays, 9.30 AM – 8.30 PM Fridays to Saturdays
Melaka in 14 hours – 2 PM: More sightseeing!
Check out a few more attractions like the Royal Malaysian Navy Museum, Christ Church Melaka or even the official Mamee Jonker House, a great place to relive your childhood days.
The Royal Malaysian Navy Museum is an indoor-and-outdoor facility that offers you an insight into the role of the Royal Malaysian Navy since it was established. You will be able to see actual uniforms worn by the navy officers, medals awarded, and the sort of communication devices used back in the day. If you’re feeling tactile, leave the indoor premises of the museum to visit the Sri Terengganu Warship, which looks like quite a wonder. Pity you won’t be able to sail it any time soon!
Originally painted in white, Christ Church Melaka is an Anglican church built in the 18th century. Today, it is still functioning as a church, and conducts three services within its premises every Sunday. Regardless of religion, many travellers are interested in the church for its Dutch Colonial architectural flair and its role in Melaka’s Dutch era.[caption id="attachment_10955" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @meychan178 / Instagram[/caption]
Founded in Melaka, snack brand Mamee can be seen everywhere, especially in the city centre, plastered on walls and advertising billboards. So, while you’re in town, why not check out the Mamee Jonker House? See how the company makes its famous noodle snack and get a few souvenirs for friends back home who grew up eating this fantastic crunchy delight.
Royal Malaysian Navy Museum
Address: Muzium Tldm, Jalan Merdeka, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 6-283 0926
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 5.30 PM daily except 12.15 PM – 2.45 PM on Fridays
Christ Church Melaka
Address: Gereja Christ, Jalan Gereja, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 17-824 6391
Mamee Jonker House
Address: 46 & 48,, Jalan Hang Tuah 2 & Jalan Hang Tuah, Taman Bukit Terendak, 76300 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 6-286 7666
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM Mondays to Fridays (closed on Tuesdays), 10 AM – 7 PM Saturdays to Sundays
Melaka in 14 hours – 4 PM: Chill out
Take a break from visiting attractions and learning more about the historic nature of Melaka by sipping some coffee at a cafe. Melaka has many amazing cafes that you can sit back, relax and chill at. We have selected three for you to visit!
Backlane Coffee Shop is exactly what it sounds like – a cafe tucked away in the back alley of a street. Take a breather with a beverage and some refreshments. With glass windows that almost go from wall to floor, and high ceilings, the bistro is a breath of fresh air. It has quite a range of desserts and drinks to choose from. Plus, borrow one of their many board games to kill some time.[caption id="attachment_10988" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @shanlukerichards / Instagram[/caption]
Calanthe Art Cafe and Restaurant is another brilliant choice if you’re looking to escape from Singapore’s hustle and bustle with some artsy respite. Plus, it boasts coffee offerings from all 13 states in Malaysia, making your coffee adventure a little more exciting than usual.[caption id="attachment_10989" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @norhanfahmierayza / Instagram[/caption] [caption id="attachment_10990" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @calantheartcafe / Instagram[/caption]
Truly Two Cafe is the sort of place you’ll want to visit if you have a particularly sweet tooth. Indulge in slightly over-the-top milkshakes and other desserts at this cafe — no regrets needed![caption id="attachment_10991" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: @fatinlahh / Instagram[/caption]
Backlane Coffee Shop
Address: 129, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 6-282 0542
Opening Hours: 11 AM – 11.30 PM Sundays to Thursdays, 11 AM – 12 AM Fridays to Saturdays
Calanthe Art Cafe and Restaurant
Address: Jalan Hang Kasturi, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 6-292 2960
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 11 PM Sundays to Wednesdays, closed on Thursdays, 9 AM – 12 AM Fridays to Saturdays
Truly Two Cafe
Address: No. 9, Jalan PNBB 2, Pusat Niaga Seksyen IV, Mukim Bukit Baru, Melaka, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 6-284 3488
Opening Hours: 12 PM – 9.30 PM daily except Thursdays
Melaka in 14 hours – 6 PM: Jonker Street
In the day, Jonker Street may look just like any other street in Melaka, but do not be fooled. At night, the street comes alive with hawkers selling all sorts of things, from malt candy to watermelons to radish cake to little knick knacks.
Go slightly earlier and take your time while walking down this street because chances are, if you see something you like, it’ll be pretty difficult to go back to that specific stall later on.
Melaka in 14 hours – 8 PM: River Cruise
For only RM 15 per adult, you will be able to enjoy an unmissable opportunity. Learn more about Melaka and enjoy scenic river view at night for 45 minutes on its signature River Cruise. It’s best to go on this cruise at night since it’ll be a lot breezier and well, your legs are probably tired from all that walking.
The ticket also comes with a complimentary gift pack, which includes a beverage and some snacks, in case you get hungry on the cruise! We would recommend buying your tickets about 30 minutes earlier.[caption id="attachment_11383" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: Image Credit: @gezgincift / Instagram[/caption]
Of course, there is a lot more to Melaka than a 14-hour itinerary, but if this is your maiden expedition to a food paradise/ historically alive state/ wonderful land of fresh air and places to chill, check out these suggestions!
As for us, we’ll just count down to the days we have till we visit Melaka again. To the most scrumptious Peranakan dishes, the graffiti on the walls, the beautiful cafes and river view…
(Header image credit: Hung Nguyen Leong/Shutterstock, words by editor)