From the first day in the town, Malacca became one of my favourite places in Malaysia. After spending two weeks in this small town swarming with tourists during the weekends, it was hard for me to leave.
Almost all the places of interest in Malacca, also spelled as Melaka, can be visited in less than three days. Most tourists and locals from other cities spend the weekend there and leave. So, what made me stay in Malacca for two weeks? Well, I came to like the slow-paced lifestyle of Malacca. Moreover, I prefer the ‘small town’ vibes instead of noisy, chaotic big towns. And it’s easy to roam around Malacca on foot. That’s exactly what I did all those days, in fact.
While walking through the streets of Malacca, I came across many interesting people and places. On my first evening in town, I was invited by some locals to have dinner with them. During the next few days, I visited museums, bakeries, cafes, and other shops where I was able to learn about the interesting history of the town. One such place was a shop selling handmade Nyonya shoes — which I talked about in my previous article.
The most interesting part, however, was to visit different cafes of Malacca. One cafe after another, I met some enthusiastic business-owners who are knowingly or unknowingly giving the ‘food-scene’ of Malacca a much-needed boost. After visiting many of the town’s cafes, I thought, why don’t I come up with a list of my favourite cafes in Malacca?
So here it is — an article about some of the best and my favourite cafes in Malacca where you will find food, drinks, and satisfaction. All the places mentioned here are run out of passion more than anything. You will find delicious food and highly satisfying drinks made with fine ingredients and a splash of love. So check this list out and let me know which one is your favourite.
1. Limau-Limau Cafe
I met Kelly, the director of Limau-Limau Cafe on a busy evening when her cafe was full of youngsters enjoying their time and food. Even though she was busy, Kelly welcomed me with a smile and we decided to meet again the next day.
When I met Kelly again, she welcomed me with the same sweet smile. I was presented with dragon fruit and lychee freeze — which, at first, literally ‘froze’ my brain. “How is it? Kelly asked. I returned to normalcy soon as she waited for me to answer her question. “It’s very delicious. And cold, too,” was my reaction. That large glass of dragon fruit shake was a pleasure to finish.
During those 90 minutes I spent at Limau-Limau Cafe, I enjoyed their banana pancake, avocado on toast, and Hawaiian. Their handmade banana pancake — served with local honey and fruits — had a nice structure. I loved the offering and its presentation.
With little avocado experience on hand, I was a bit skeptical about trying the toast. But the avocado on toast was surprisingly tasty. Hawaiian was another good-looking, insanely delicious dish. Presented with nicely marinated roasted chicken, fresh pineapples, rosemary herbs, olive oil, and mayonnaise dressing with mozzarella cheese on top of homemade focaccia bread — Hawaiian was simply mind-blowing.
The most surprising offering of the day, however, was their homemade pumpkin soup. The freshly-made soup was slightly thick and presented mild but fruitful taste. Simple, tasty, and worth finishing every drop of it.
Kelly sat with me as I enjoyed the food presented to me. We spoke about various topics including how the cafe began. The place belonged to another owner, Kelly told me, which was then undertaken by her management.
Located very near to Masjid Kampung Kling, Limau Limau Cafe is a chic place with counter-sittings as well as more spacious sitting upstairs. It’s popular with young locals and is fully-occupied mainly on weekends.
2. Eat At 18 Cafe
As I entered Eat at 18 cafe one sunny morning, I was welcomed by some smooth jazz music playing at the cafe. A few minutes later, I was having a conversation with Eli — the founder of Eat at 18. As a passionate business owner, Eli does a great job in the kitchen and beyond.
I was presented with one of Eat at 18’s most popular offerings — their hot chocolate. A cup of hot milk nicely decorated with chocolate which you are supposed to dip in the milk and stir. My level of excitement kept increasing as those chocolate balls slowly melted in milk. A mild fragrance of hot chocolate hit my nose soon and from the very first sip, I fell in love with it.
I also had the pleasure of trying roasted chicken leg — which was basically erm… a roasted chicken leg, presented with homemade bread and a side of greens. The chicken, I was told, was only roasted upon order. It was nicely marinated and had a balanced taste.
Other dishes worth trying at Eat at 18 are their classic scramble and beef stew. Classic scramble is presented with eggs lightly scrambled and topped with a spoonful of button and portobello mushrooms. Beef stew is a slow-cooked dish with a variety of fresh garden vegetables and herbs.
Looking for some dessert? Try their Victoria Sponge which will leave a sultry feeling in your mouth!
Located at 18, Jalan Hang Lekiu, Eat at 18 is perfect for hangout if you’re looking for some delicious western offerings to enjoy in peace.
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3. Miyakori Cafe
Located at the entrance of Jonker Walk just a few steps away from my hostel, Miyakori is one of the new ventures in town. I had the pleasure of tasting Miyakori’s popular coffee with coconut sugar, chocolate waffles, and the traditional nasi lemak.
After my first visit to Miyakori, I received a message from Kok Chong Tan aka KC — who runs the cafe — telling me about the coconut sugar. He told me that the coconut sugar used in my coffee didn’t have the intended taste and that it was arranged from a different source than their regular one. He invited me to taste the coffee once again.
I visited Miyakori the next day and KC explained the difference in taste between the coconut sugar used the previous day. The coffee tasted a little different, indeed, but more than that, I appreciated the efforts KC put into inviting me over again so that I didn’t leave with a bad impression.
Nasi lemak — a popular Malay rice dish — was the match-winner at Miyakori. I loved the way it was presented and tasted. Both the chicken and rice were nicely cooked while the spicy sauce presented along gave the dish a rich addition.
Besides the food, I liked the minimal setup of Miyakori cafe. The cafe is spacious and has an all-white interior with wooden frames hanging on those white walls. KC’s dedication into running the cafe is the cherry on top. Moreover, KC’s wife dropped me off at the bus station on my last day in Malacca. In short, I enjoyed both the food and the hospitality at Miyakori Cafe.
4. Calanthe Art Cafe
Now, Calanthe was one of the most interesting places I visited in Malaysia. I met Joseph one evening when he was busy managing the crowded cafe. A few days later, I was sitting with a few cups of coffee sourced from different states of Malaysia.
Calanthe Art Cafe is known in Malacca for offering coffee from all thirteen states of Malaysia. All these coffees taste different — mainly due to the difference in the roasting process. As I sipped coffee through those cups, Joseph patiently explained to me the difference.
I was also presented with laksa — a popular Peranakan dish. A bowl of laksa consists of rice noodles, chicken, prawn or fish with spicy soup usually based on either coconut milk or sour asam. The result is a bowl of mouth-watering laksa rich in taste and richer in satisfaction.
Calanthe Art Cafe is owned by Joe Ng — a talented and very enthusiastic local who also runs Joe’s Design and Calanthe Artisan Loft. The cafe is located at 11, Japan Hang Kasturi and is popular among locals as well as tourists.
5. Sin Sing Cafe
Located at the Jonker street, Sin Sing was the cafe where I had my coffee every morning. Tan – the guy who managed the place would welcome me every day with a smile. “Coffee C…!” The ‘coffee lady’ would exclaim upon seeing me — referring to my usual order. I also met Ping — the cat who spent most of his time at the back of the cafe.
Sin Sing doesn’t offer much in terms of a menu. They have a few types of coffee like Coffee C and Coffee O. In food, they serve kaya butter toast with a boiled egg. What made me frequent Sin Sing was the quiet ambiance where I could begin my day and enjoy my coffee in peace. The cafe didn’t seem popular among tourists but was frequented by some locals who visited it at the same time, took the same table, and ordered the same coffee every day.
As they don’t serve food, I used to bring some bread from a nearby bakery and have it with my coffee. It’s not a huge cafe in term of size but it’s quite, has a homely feeling, and serves some good coffee.
Also worth mentioning that the ‘coffee lady’ who might seem rude at first is actually one of the sweetest ladies in town. She does not speak English and would respond with a dull ‘hm’ when I thanked her for serving me coffee. But after visiting the cafe for a few days in a row, she came on to friendly terms with me! And yes, she does smile!
6. Bikini Toppings
There are cafes that offer coffee, tea, and food. And then there’s Bikini Toppings that offer desserts. While the name of this dessert cafe is interesting, the story behind it is even more interesting. And just so you know, you are not supposed to wear a bikini when you visit this cafe.
Jokes apart, Bikini Toppings is a popular joint among young locals. You will see flocks of youngsters here — especially during the morning and the evening time. There’s nothing notable in terms of interior or ambiance at Bikini Toppings but it’s their menu that attracts visitors here. Their homemade ice-cream and shakes are popular among regular visitors.
Everything present on the menu begins with the word — bikini. The most popular offering is Bikini Toppings’ coconut ice-cream that is made of coconut milk and presented in a coconut shell. The sweetness of your ice-cream can vary depending on the natural sweetness of the coconut so don’t expect your ice-cream to taste the same every time you order it.
Another signature and popular item to try here is their coconut shake. You can have your choice of ice-cream that is blended with coconut juice and coconut flesh. They also offer coffee, tea, milo, and other drinks. I didn’t try it but I heard their coffee is good, too.
You might want to visit this cafe after a walk around the town on a humid day. I’m sure you will appreciate some refreshing desserts after spending your day soaked in sweat.
7. Melipoly Honey Cafe
While Bikini Toppings has coconut as the primary ingredient, Melipoly has items offered with honey. Melipoly is the newest cafe in town and it’s completely worth visiting if you are looking for something different than regular cafe offerings.
The interior at Melipoly is attractive — with yellow being the dominating colour. The ambiance is relaxing and those young staff members are friendly and enthusiastic.
Before you order anything, though, go ahead and taste some of their honey. They have apis cerana honey, multifloral honey, and stingless bee honey sourced from local bee farms. As you taste different types of honey, you will be explained their benefits by one of the staff members. A video featuring the owner of Melipoly brand explains the process of sourcing honey from different places.
Besides honey, you can try their honeycomb waffles and coffee. Their waffles are shaped like honeycombs and are presented with an injection (yes, an injection) filled with honey. You inject this honey on your waffle before you begin. It’s deliciously satisfying if you ask me.
Melipoly’s core business is not to sell coffee or food. They are here to offer you some of the finest honey you can get in Malaysia. Honey is available in both small and big bottles. I love those transparent bottles and attractive packaging.
In short, Melipoly is your place to be if you are looking for something new in Malacca. I’m sure you will like everything they have to offer.
8. Royal Tea
Royal Tea is one spacious cafe that offers different types of tea. Try their royal cheese milk tea which is basically a huge glass of tea with… you guessed it… cheese. You remove the straw from the glass, lift the glass, tilt it at 45-degree near your mouth, and take a big sip — that’s how you enjoy the royal cheese tea — according to the staff. I ended up creating some mess on the table trying to sip my tea but I got the hang of it pretty soon.
Another offering at this tea cafe you should try is their creme brûlée matcha with red beans. It has a rich flavour of tea with brûlée on top and beans at the bottom.
Royal Tea has over a hundred branches in China and some franchisee stores across Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Their first store in the US just opened in Orlando, FL a few days ago. If you’re looking for some nice Asian tea or simply something different from your usual cup of coffee while in Malacca, Royal Tea at Jonker Walk is your place to be.
My Favourite Cafes in Malacca: Summary
From cafes that serve delicious western food and coffee to a cafe that focuses on honey, I had a pleasure of trying some of the best food and drinks in Malacca. After visiting different cafes of the town, I thought of writing this article that serves as a ‘thank you’ to those passionate and hospitable cafe-owners.
I am sure you will love what these cafes have to offer. Do visit them when you are in Malacca and share with me which one is your favourite.
If you are looking for places to stay in Malacca, there are many chic hotels as well as cosy hostels across town.
That’s all, folks! You were reading an article about some of my favourite cafes in Malacca. I hope you found this article worth your time and I would like to thank you for reading.
Cover Image: Jordan Christian at Unsplash