The cafe scene in Ipoh is more vibrant than ever, with all sorts of new boutique cafes or hipster cafes popping out so fast that it’s hard to keep track. In the beginning of 2012, there were barely 10 cafes in Ipoh to do a Top 10 List and now at the beginning of 2014, there are more than 30 cafes to sample. The cafes never fail to amaze me with their individualistic, sometimes themed interior decoration such as Parisian, child’s play, Korean, nostalgia, vintage and heritage. Some cafes have amusingly incorporated spa, hair saloon, DIY classes, ukulele lessons, art gallery, custom bikes or politics, serving more than just coffee and cakes. As for cuisine, most of them serve western food along the lines of pasta, sandwiches and burgers with a fewer number of them serving local / Asian cuisine. My overall experience in the cafes is enjoyable with the pricing being the least charming because they tend to be pricey, even somewhat exorbitant, considering that I find some cafes still have room for improvement on their food. Nonetheless, dining experience is subjective and your opinions might differ so do use the list of 34 Cafes To Visit in Ipoh as a guide to choose your preference. Click on the link for each cafe for a detailed post.
The list of cafes is in 3 parts – the first section is dedicated to cafes that commenced in 2013, the second section is for Halal cafes that commenced in 2013 and the third section is for cafes that commenced in 2012 or before. The list will be a dynamic list, adding new cafes that open in 2014 and so on, so be back often to check out what’s new and cooking. **2017 update** This post was written a few years ago, you should double check if the cafe is still in business before going to avoid disappointment.
Happy Cafe Hunting & Bon Appetit.
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Section 1: Cafes that Commenced in 2013
1. Ben & Lynette Maison Patisserie (next to Secret Garden)
A little tucked away in the back lanes, Ben & Lynette Maison Patisserie is set in a colonial mansion serving pasta, pizzas, desserts and with a pick-your-own salad bar, you can easily customize salads and sandwiches to your liking. Signature dishes include Sandwich Train and Charcoal Burger, big enough for 2-3 people to share.
Ben & Lynette Maison Patisserie Facebook
Address : No.42, Lorong Cheah Cheang Lim, 30350 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours : Daily 9 am – 12.30 am
Tel: 1 700 817773
2. Bougainvillea City Cafe on Jalan Lau Ek Cheng (Opposite Bricks & Barrels)
Rarely, you get the chef behind the scene to come and explain to you about food on his menu, but that’s what Chef Mac does when he is not too busy in the kitchen. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu, his food screams passion and creativity, using seasonal items, turning simple to gourmet.
Bougainvillea City Cafe Facebook Page
Address: 21 Jalan Lau Ek Ching, 31300 Ipoh, Perak (Opposite Bricks & Barrels)
Tel: +605 241 3782
3. Coffee At 91 in Tambun Inn Hotel
Coffee @ 91 has a Korean flair to it with its dreamy colors and k pop music in the background. Absolutely be there if you are the greedy type that want to eat every dessert you see because you can do just that at Coffee @ 91 as the desserts come miniature sized with the price about half of other cafes too. Do take note though if you are hungry and need a good meal, the cafe only serves two very light meals of mushroom soup and Korean Kimchi Shin Ramen.
Coffee At 91 Facebook Page
Address : 91 Jalan Raja Dihilir, 30350 Ipoh, Perak (end of Tambun Inn Building)
Opening Hours : 11.30 am – 6.30 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Tel: + 6012 576 1687
4. Espresso Lab @ Ipoh Garden
Liquored cakes are Espresso Lab‘s specialty. The evocative combination of whisky, caramel and chocolate cake is to die for I think I could lick the plate clean if nobody is watching. I tried the kahlua tiramisu on another occasion and it was just as enchanting with crunchy caramalized almonds adorned atop. The food though is not as spectacular.
Espresso Lab Facebook Page
Address : 105 Jalan Canning Estate, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours : Mon – Thurs, Sun 10 am – 7pm. Fri & Sat 10 am – 10pm
5. Happy 8 Retreat Cafe in Happy 8 Retreat Hotel @ Ipoh Old Town
Designed with retreat and nature in mind, the earth toned cafe has many wood and forest elements. If cafes exist in magical kingdoms, they would look like the Happy 8 Retreat Cafe. The main courses on the menu consist of a good mix of local and western food at typical cafe pricing though the desserts are pricey, sometimes even costing more than the main course.
Happy 8 Official Website
Happy 8 Retreat Cafe Address: 46 Jalan Market, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: +605 2438388
6. JJ Cafe on Jalan Kampar
Vibrant clashing colors and mismatched corners have merged unusually well to give you the lively JJ Cafe. The cafe probably has the most unique chairs in town where the chairs come in velvet fabric, dalmatian dots and leopard prints. The food is decent though I thought some fine tuning could improve the food. The walnut mille crepe was a delightful dessert.
JJ Cafe Facebook Page
Address: Jalan Kampar, Housing Trust, 31250 Ipoh, Perak.
Opening Hours : Mon – Tues 10 am – 6pm. Thu – Fri 10am – 6pm. Sat – Sun 9 am – 7pm. Close on Wed.
Tel : +605 241 2972
7. Missing Marbles @ Ipoh Old Town
People not in the know might pass Missing Marbles thinking it’s an optical shop because the original facade and yellow signboard still remains. With child’s play in theme, going to Missing Marbles could be taking a trip down memory lane, reigniting your memories of childhood toys like marbles, bicycles and origami fortune tellers, while enjoying noodle or rice meals at the same time.
A not so mythical Myth Cafe that needs to be experienced with M Boutique Hotel, or at least the lobby of M Boutique Hotel. The hotel’s lobby depicts a safari expedition base camp, and the Myth Cafe could very well belong to the wealthy Safarian sponsoring the expedition, welcoming you into his rustic house with white-washed table mats already laid out, ready for a feast. The pricing is much more premium than the average cafes.
Myth Eatery & Bar (in M Boutique Hotel) Website
Address: No 2 Hala Datuk 5, 31650 Ipoh, Perak
Tel : +605 2555566
9. Patisserie Boutique Cafe @ Ipoh Old Town
A Parisian cafe that might just make you think you have stepped into a cafe in Paris for a moment with its simplistic and elegant charm. The chicken lasagna was a gorgeous dish with brilliant colors of tomato red, cream-white and salmon pink.
Patisserie Boutique Website
Patisserie Boutique Address: 103 Jalan Sultan Yusof, 3000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Daily 11am – 6pm; closed on Wednesdays.
Tel: +605 241 1385
10. Pronto Daily Cafe @ Ipoh Old Town
A down to earth cafe that’s not too fancy but more soothing with its nature inspired interior decor. Besides the typical cafe menu of sandwiches and pastas, the cafe becomes a fine dining restaurant at night, serving gourmet items like lobster, foie gras and Angus beef.
Cafe Pronto Facebook Page
Address: 55 Jalan Market, 3000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Opening Hours : Daily 11.30 am – 4 pm, 6 pm – 10.3 pm.
Tel: +605 241 3648
11. Roquette Cafe @ Ipoh Old Town
Assemblyman YB Nga Kor Ming and local coffee maker Check Hup team up to bring you a somewhat peculiar yet harmonious combination of a DAP service cafe – where constituents can discuss matters with YB Nga every Tuesday and at the same time enjoy a cup of coffee. The paper drip coffee was captivating with a sweet after taste while the food was not too impressive.
Roquette Cafe Facebook
Address: 101 Jalan Sultan Yussuf, Ipoh, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursday (9am to 6pm), Friday and Saturday (9am-7pm) and Sunday (11am to 5pm). Closed on Mondays.
Tel: +605 241 2616
12. STG (Sabah Tea Garden) Tea House Cafe @ Taman Chateau
With the opening of STG Tea House Cafe, we get to enjoy organic and pesticide-free tea which hails from the highlands of Sabah in a pristine white mansion. I enjoyed the lamb but thought the chicken was a tad dry and did not have the “smoky” flavor as it is supposed to be “Tea Smoke Chicken Whole Leg”. The price is relatively high for the small portion served but the enchanting atmosphere did make up for the imperfections.
STG Tea House Cafe Facebook
Address: 2 Jalan Taman Kinta, Taman Chateau, 30250 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours : 12pm – 11pm. Closed on Mondays
Tel: +605 255 0188
13. The Sands Bistro & Cafe @ Kinta Riverfront
Situated along the Kinta river bank, the Sands Bistro & Cafe is a dazzling place with gem- studded neon tress to have dinner or a drink. The menu caters to please the public with everything under one roof – barbecue, Italian, steamboat, western and Taiwanese. There were some negative comments about the food on another blog, hopefully they have buckled up by now – but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the romantic scenery with a drink.
Sands Bistro & Cafe Facebook
Address: Jalan Lim Bo Seng, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours : Mon – Thurs, Sun 5 pm – 1 am. Fri, Sat 5 pm – 2 am.
Tel: +6010 4654954
14. Something’s Brewing @ Medan Ipoh Bistari
While most cafes emphasize on coffee, Something’s Brewing has a stellar range of gourmet teas where the tea concoction is made from an assortment of organic spices, flowers and teas. Take my chocolate chai for example, it has pu-erh tea, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, roasted dandelion roots, long pepper, yerba mate and vanilla bean. The owner is looking to increase the already comprehensive tea selections from 20 to 40 items so you will be spoiled for choice when that happens.
Something’s Brewing Facebook
Address : 19 Jalan Medan Ipoh 1B/1, Medan Ipoh Bistari 34000 Ipoh Perak.
Opening Hours : Mon – Thurs : 7.30 am – 11 pm. Fri – Sat – 7.30am – 12 am.
Sun 7.30 am – 11pm.
Tel : +605 541 5900
15. Stan & Brew Roast Coffee – in Soho Complex next to Sam Tet School
With the proliferation of cafes in Ipoh, it is becoming harder and harder for cafes to come up with unique desserts when tiramisu, macarons, cheese cakes, chocolate cakes are all over the place. The plant cake at Stan & Brew Roast Coffee was something that caught my attention and it was fun digging through the “soil” (chocolate cookie crumbs) to find out what was underneath. The lamb was scrumptious and reasonably priced.
Stan & Brew Roast Coffee Facebook
Address: Block C, G8, Soho Ipoh, Jalan Sultan Iskandar Shah, 3000 Ipoh.
Opening Hours : Daily 7.30 am – 12.00 am
Tel: +605 2559722
16. Vanity Haus Boutique Cafe & Spa Salon @ Canning Garden
The European-inspired Vanity Haus Cafe functions as both cafe and spa salon, occupying a bungalow house that was previously a hair salon. Some mirrors from the hair salon were kept and used as part of interior decoration, echoing the past and present connection with “vanity”. The food is homey, with the heavenly marshmallow brownie being my favorite that has completely won me over.
Vanity Haus Facebook Page
Address: No 8, Jalan Keliling, Canning Garden, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours: 10.30 am – 10.30 pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Tel: 05 541 2047
17. 42 Foodies @ Fairpark
42 Foodies is a warm & cozy Italian Restaurant with a not-very-Italian interior decor. The overall atmosphere is cafe-ish and artsy with the tree mural, chalk-board menu, so I have included this restaurant in this list. All the dishes were well executed except the chicken chowder that was less memorable for me.
42 Foodies Facebook
Address : No 16 Jalan Hussein Nordin, Taman Kin Mee (Fair Park), 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Opening Hours : Tue – Sun: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Closed on Monday.
Tel : +605 547 7442
Section 2 – Halal Cafes that Commenced in 2013.
I like this first-floor cafe with its huge windows, where light or darkness fills the room at ease, giving the cafe a different atmosphere depending on the time you are at the cafe. The scenery varies too, where you get to observe Ipoh through the windows, whether it’s the roaring Ipoh by day when many lorries rumble the earth underneath during rush hour, or placid Ipoh by night. The food is not bad in general.
El Negra Website
Address: 121 First Floor, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, 3000 Ipoh.
Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs 4 pm – 12 am. Fri 4 pm – 1am.
Sat 12pm – 1am. Sun 12 pm – 12am.
Tel: +605 241 2544
An artsy funky cafe with event venue / art gallery combined all in one. An amusing and engaging space although it was a bit musty and smoky. The cafe is supposed to serve light items like maggie mee, burgers and drinks but only drinks were available when I visited the cafe. Maybe they cater more to weekends or when there are events.
Old Town White Coffee with its signature branch, has just become more plush under the candle-like chandeliers, with a touch of colonial and heritage elements. The food is similar to the standard branches but it is made more wholesome with additional items such as vegetables and fishcakes, and presentation is definitely taken into account.
4. Ooi & Comrades (near Ipoh Airport)
Another multitasking cafe with hair saloon, thrift shop and custom bikes all under one roof. Located in a bungalow with huge graffitied scissors on the walls, I thought there is a crazy Edward Scissorhands living inside, getting ready to play some hair. The cafe has one of the most affordable pricing with everything under RM 6. Light meals such as maggie mee and sandwiches are served.
O’oi & Comrades Facebook
Address : No 20, Jalan Lapangan Terbang, Kampung Melayu, 31350 Ipoh, Perak.
Opening Hours : Saurday – Thursday 12 pm – 2am. Friday 3 pm – 12 am
5. Plan B @ Old Town Ipoh
Transformed from an old furniture warehouse, Plan B is modern in a raw way – with the washed-out bricks and visible ceiling beams & ducts. It’s aligned with the that “old-town” feel with a contemporary twist. When it first opened, I only had velvet cake and juice which I enjoyed but others were not so lucky, receiving burnt or cold food, calling it overrated. I visited Plan B again few months later with a party of 7; all of us had no complaints about the food except that the service could have been more attentive. I still think it’s a good place to go, especially when you prefer somewhere airy, spacious and uncluttered.
Address: 75 Jalan Panglima, Ipoh.
Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs 9am – 10pm. Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holiday 9am – 12am.
Tel: +605 259 8286
6. Thumb’s Cafe @ Greentown
Looking very similar to a Malay kampung house, Thumb’s cafe serves a mix of Malay and Western cuisine. Old fashioned with yellow wooden windows, vintage floral curtains and cushy couches, it’s the kind of place you would expect some comfort food. The food is decent and very affordable, but I am under the impression that food is already prepared before you place the order as the food arrived our table lukewarm.
Section 3- Cafes that Commenced in 2012 or Before
1. Sin Yoon Loong @ Ipoh Old Town
Till now, all the cafes have been listed in alphabetical order except for Sin Yoon Loong. If we are talking about cafes that opened in or before 2012, it’s not possible to not mention Sin Yoon Loong “kedai kopi” at the top of the list, which was established in 1937 – who is the granddaddy of them all. There must be a secret recipe in the white coffee that just keeps luring me and patrons alike to keep going back for the same cup of familiar taste. The cafe serves simple items such as toast and pastries. Yong Tau Foo, pork rice, etc can be ordered from hawker stalls stationed in Sin Yoon Loong and also from the cafe next door, Sin Yoon Fong.
Sin Yoon Loong Website
Address : 15 A Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
2. Burps & Giggles @ Ipoh Old Town
Burps & Giggles is another cafe that deserves to cut the queue in the alphabetical list. If Sin Yoon Loong is the granddaddy of them all, then Burps & Giggles would be the father of them all because ever since B&G opened the whimsical outlet with quirky murals, old tattered charm; more cafes followed path, generating an unstoppable tornado of cafe culture in Ipoh.
Burps & Giggles Facebook
Address: 93 & 95 Jalan Sultan Yussuf, 30000 Ipoh Perk, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 8.30 am – 8.30 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Tel: +605 242 6188
3. Allegra @ Ipoh Specialist Hospital
Allegra belongs to the Burps & Giggles group of cafes, which first opened in Meru Valley Golf Club in Jelapang in 2012 and shifted to Ipoh Specialist Hospital in 2013. Hospitals aren’t exactly a first choice when it comes to choosing a location for a cafe, but like what Burps & Giggle had done to old town Ipoh, revitalizing the place and attracting more youngsters, Allegra too is enlivening hospital food which is most of the time associated with boring and tasteless. I actually haven’t been to Allegra at all as I guess the notion of going to a hospital to enjoy some good food is still daunting, but I think I will get pass that one day and go to the hospital and try their pastries.
Address: KPJ Ipoh Speciliast Hospital, 26 Jalan Raja Di Hilir, 30350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Opening Hours : Daily 8.30 am – 6.00 pm. Half day on Saturday, Closed on Sunday.
4. Bread, Espresso & Dessert Cafe (BED) in Bandar Ipoh Raya
With a naughty name of BED, which stands for Bread Espresso Dessert, the cafe bakes their pastries fresh out of the oven. The cafe is cozy with pastries available for take away, and some are used in their sandwiches. The smoked duck breast in carrot bun was delightful with a glistening bread-top and plump duck pieces.
Bread Espresso Dessert (BED) Facebook
Address : No 3, Medan Istana 6, Bandar Ipoh Raya, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Opening Hours : 11 am – 5.30 pm. Closed on Tuesday
Tel : + 605 241 1948
5. Buku Tiga Lima @ Ipoh Old Town
The shabby in chic Buku Tiga Lima serves both savory and sweet pancakes which come steaming hot; and with the bagels resembling bagel burgers, they have something a little different to other cafes in Ipoh. The little notebooks with triple 5’s set the cafe’s aura of the yesteryear with ingenious lamps and antique items.
Jose & Deli Eatery is located on the 1st floor of French Hotel so getting to the cafe is like an adventure, where you start at the elegant staircase with chandeliers made of green wine bottles on the ceiling, then eventually making your way up to the cafe, discovering the american-ish mixed light-industrial themed cafe. Some of the food I liked, some I didn’t, but the atmosphere was definitely superb.
Jose & Deli Facebook
Address : 60-62 Jalan Datao Onn Jaafar Ipoh, Perak 30300, Malaysia
Opening Hours : Daily 8 am – 10 pm
Tel: + 605 2413 712
7. Josephine Cafe @ Ipoh Garden South
I visited the cafe once 2 years ago and the only thing I could remember about the cafe was the awful servitude. Needless to say, I did not go back there again with so many choices of cafe now but the cafe is still standing today so maybe there is something nice about it which I was not fated to discover.
Josephine Cafe Facebook Page
Address: 39 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah Utara, Taman Ipoh Selatan, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs, Sun : 10am – 11.30pm. Fri – Sat: 10 am – 12.30am.
Tel: + 605 547 326
In clashing colors of red and white, Lim Kopi is a fashionable “kopitiam” that’s hard to miss on Hugh Low Street. The cafe has a fun name – Lim Kopi (啉咖啡), where the pronunciation of “Lim ” (林) refers to the surname of the owner, at the same time the written word of “Lim”(啉) refers to the action of drinking. Lim Kopi’s menu consists of local food such as curry noodles, wantan noodles, yong tau fu, paos and traditional desserts.
Lim Kopi Facebook
Address : 10 Jalan Sultan Iskandar, 30000 Ipoh, Perak
Opening Hours : 7 am – 5pm, closed on Mondays.
Tel : +605 253 2898
9. Purple Cane Tea House on Osbourne Street (same building as the old Foh San Dim Sum)
Located in a unseeming building, Purple Cane Tea House is a marvelous place to dine with natural light shining through glass covered sky well. Since it’s a tea house, tea is an important ingredient in all their dishes, making their meals super healthy. The lunch sets vary daily and I just can’t get enough of the “tea soup” that is cooked in a tea-pot, and drank out of a tea-cup.
Purple Cane Website
Address: 2. Jalan dato Tahwil Azar (Osborne Street), 30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Opening Hours : Daily 9 am – 10 pm
Tel : + 605 253 3090
10. Ray of Hope Cafe @ Bercham
The exceptionally clean Ray of Hope Cafe in Bercham is a community charity program to provide employment to those with learning disabilities. The staffs in the cafe are not as speedy, but they are the most dedicated bunch of staff I’ve seen; fully focused, doing one thing at a time with full concentration. The food turned out to be amazing unexpectedly and I would definitely return not just for the food, but for the cause too.
11. Zakka Loft @ Medan Ipoh Bistari
Zakka Loft serves traditional Hakka set meals and a variety of cakes with the rainbow cake being their signature, a cheerful cake that has a different flavor in every layer. Zakka Loft started off as a cafe cum venue for DIY classes. The first phase is the “zakka” phase where the cafe is adorned with soft toys, bags, all made from basic materials like socks and cloths. When the cafe expanded, the second phase was more “cosmic” that encourages interaction among friends and it’s one of the rarer cafes that has no wifi.
Zakka Loft Facebook Page
Address: No 2, Jalan Medan Ipoh 1C, Medan Ipoh Bistari 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Opening Hours : Closed on Mondays. Other Days 11 am – 9 pm.
Tel : +6013 488 8503