Mother Nature is calling out your name, and in a garden city like Singapore, it’s not hard to surround yourself with lush greenery. So step out of your air-conditioned homes and breathe in the fresh air of the great outdoors at alfresco tables or restaurants with their own edible gardens. Alternatively, if you truly can’t take the heat, we’ve also tossed in a bunch of garden-themed cafes that bring the elements to you.
Have a look below for ideas on where to host your next weekend chillax sesh.
Plop down on a seat wherever you want at this self-service café ensconced in the greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. With outdoor and indoor tables, the space is ideal for families, joggers, and nature lovers, serving up breakfast plates like eggs with your choice of meats and veggies ($17-$18) or stuffed croissants ($14), alongside heartier dishes such as sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas amongst the salads, snacks, and sweets.
L1 The Garage, 50 Cluny Park Rd. Daily 8am-10pm.
For a mouth-numbing Szechuan meal, gather your fellow spice enthusiasts and flock over to the eclectic Amoy Street restaurant, where the cloud-shaped ceiling lights fit in perfectly with the mismatched chairs, hanging plants, and tiny indoor garden. Dishes here take the contemporary route, with a mapo tofu burger ($26), fiery bolognaise with pork ragout and angel hair pasta ($22), and crispy pork trotters coated in cough-inducing spices ($12).
Best for diners who can’t take too much of what Mother Nature has to offer at one go.
#01-01, 115 Amoy St. Mon-Wed 10:30am-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Thurs 10:30am-3pm, 5pm-midnight; Fri-Sun 10:30am-midnight.
Epiphyte may be located along the busy Neil Road, but step through its doors and it’s like you’ve entered an urban sanctuary, complete with brick walls and a mini indoor vertical garden. Known for sweet treats like its galaxy cakes and deconstructed terrarium dessert, the cool café also serves up large plates like burnt miso salmon and pink risotto with scallops alongside greens and bar bites.
47 Neil Rd. Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm.
Comfortably nestled within the flora and fauna of Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park, Grub is where joggers and brisk walkers descend upon to take a breather after working up a sweat. Unfortunately, even though it’s a kid-friendly place surrounded by playgrounds, pets aren’t allowed on the industrial chic premises, so dog sitters may have to get their burger fix elsewhere.
If you manage to snag a seat on crowded weekends, peruse the menu for salads, grilled meats, pasta, craft beers, and coffees while your little ones run wild and get their hands dirty (because nature).
Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park, 510 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1. Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sat-Sun 9am-10:30pm.
An idyllic hideaway in Paya Lebar, the quaint café focuses on food, flowers, and furniture, welcoming visitors into the company of its indoor garden. While the menu may not be the most innovative on the list – think sandwiches and pasta alongside burgers and pizzas – it’s more about the cozy space and chill ambiance, which make for a cool hangout spot or even a casual first date.
#01-07 Orion @ Paya Lebar, 160 Paya Lebar Rd. Mon 10am-6pm, Tues-Thurs 9am-9pm, Fri-Sun 9am-10pm.
Unwind amidst the peaceful charm of Dempsey at Open Farm Community, where locally sourced and seasonal plates created with freshly harvested ingredients are the highlight of the kitchen. If you’d like to scoot a little closer to nature, pick a seat at the outdoor terrace and kick back while you admire the restaurant’s edible garden (and keep an eye out for chickens that roam the area).
130E Minden Rd. Mon-Thurs noon-4pm, 6pm-11pm; Fri noon-4pm, 6pm-midnight; Sat 11-5pm, 6pm-midnight; Sun 11am-5pm, 6pm-11pm.
Having staked a claim in the hearts of brunch-goers for over a decade now, the Bukit Timah Saddle Club eatery may not be the most accessible of cafes, but it sure beckons you to appreciate the beauty of nature. After you’ve jumpstarted your morning with a hearty meal of eggs benny, French toast, or salmon with sweet corn hash, feel free to wander the compound and check out the nearby playground or horse stables.
51 Fairways Dr. Sun-Thurs 8am-9pm, Fri-Sat 8am-10pm.
Three words: Maple bacon teacakes. Granted, they’re not the focus of the green-thumbed eatery, but one bite of the sweet and savory combination and you’ll already be planning your return. The botanical space, which houses a floral studio upstairs, exudes a laidback allure, with café standards like avocado toast, aglio olio, and carbonara on the menu.
That said, what will keep you coming back for more is its lovely selection of buttery, moist cakes that you should definitely enjoy with a cup of tea (and a ‘gram against the foliage backdrop). From orange passion fruit and gula melaka avocado to rose raspberry pistachio and honey chamomile, each slice is quite the delight.
134 Telok Ayer St. Tues-Wed & Sat 8am-6pm, Thurs-Fri 8am-10pm, Sun 10am-6pm.
Perched on a small hilltop opposite Liang Court, the café’s name tells you all you need to know, so don’t leave without sampling some of the fab cake creations, or you may live to regret it. Flavors include red velvet, raspberry lemon, and pandan cream cheese – but you can also go for the Danish pastries, croissants, and sourdough bread if you’re not into cakes.
Besides the sweet stuff, a chill morning at The Fabulous Baker Boy includes homemade granola with Greek yogurt, pancakes with blueberries, French toast with bacon, and eggs however you want ‘em.
#01-15 Fort Canning Foothills, 70 River Valley Rd. Tues-Thurs 8:30am-6pm, Fri-Sat 8:30am-10pm, Sun 8:30am-5pm.
A lush garden bar hidden away from the concrete jungle that is the CBD, this is the watering hole to down a few rounds of post-work, pre-dinner drinks and nibbles. Its tranquil, open-air setting makes for an ideal place to forget about the stresses of the week, especially with the melodies of live bands that take the stage on weekends.
13A Dempsey Rd. Mon-Thurs 5pm-midnight, Fri 5pm-1am, Sat 4pm-1am, Sun 1pm-midnight.
A multi-concept space housing a casual café, a floral studio, a farm-to-table restaurant, and an edible garden with air-conditioned dining domes, this Seletar Aerospace Park dining destination is quite the over-achiever. But that’s what we love about it.
So take your pick from breezy bistro seating, lush garden tables, or elegant indoor service – you can’t go wrong anyway, especially considering PM Lee and Obama chose to meet up over dinner at The Summerhouse, out of all the award-winning and Michelin-starred restaurants in town.
3 Park Ln. The Summerhouse: Sat-Sun noon-3pm, Wed-Sun 6pm-10pm; Wildseed Café: Daily 9am-5pm.
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