The cafe hopping culture has taken the world by storm, or at least it seems to be that way in many parts of Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia. While many young Singaporeans flock across the causeway to cafe hop in Johor Bahru (JB), my travel companion and I found ourselves at Melaka (Malacca) once the border reopened in May 2022.
During our 4-day trip, we chanced upon uncountable coffee places – some of which we have tried many years back – but there’s only so much coffee and food that one can savour.
With our attention split between local coffee shops and specialty coffee cafes, we set a limit to have no more than 2 cups of coffee per day. I like to emphasise that cafe hopping (to us) is about experiencing and enjoying, quality over quantity; and definitely not about scoring on Instagram or just ticking off a list. 🙂
So here’s our shortlisted top 3 recommended cafes in Melaka to visit, or even a revisit. I know I would like to if given a chance.
The Coffee JAR [呷珈琲]
Address: 38, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Operating hours: Daily 9.30am to 6pm (except for Mon that closes at 5pm)
We stumbled upon The Coffee JAR when we were looking for Alley No. 5. This hole-in-the-wall cafe was too charming for us to resist, and in hindsight, that was a great decision. Amongst the specialty coffee that we had on this trip, the ones at The Coffee JAR were the best! 😍
Housed in one of the old shophouses near to Jonker Walk, The Coffee JAR is an unpretentious local roastery with a somewhat limited menu. The space is pretty small, which adds to its charms, and one can find old photographs and cleverly repurposed furniture that speaks of sustainability. We visited on a Wednesday afternoon and it was a nice place to chill.
If you are looking for a good cuppa western coffee, The Coffee JAR is a really good choice in Melaka. Many of the dessert items were out of stock during our visit (we reckon it was because border restrictions were just easing then) but the tart that we tried was delicious.
Alley No. 5 [五號]
Address: 18, Lorong Jambatan, Kampung Pantai, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Operating hours: Sun to Wed: 12pm-9pm, Fri to Sat: 12pm-12am, Closed on Thu
There are many specialty coffee cafes in Melaka and it can be hard to make a choice. Through my research, Alley No. 5 seems most appealing and it is one that we have yet to visit in our previous trips. Along our way to this cafe, we kept going the wrong way or got distracted by shops and art in the back alley.
When we finally arrived at our destination, Alley No. 5 proved to be full of surprises. At first glance, we thought the cafe was not in operation as the doors were closed… and then we found a sign leading to their cute doorbell (surprise #1).
Upon entering Alley No. 5, we were greeted by an empty space with several cages of cats and a strong stench. Many of these cats looked injured, and we soon found out that they were stray cats that were taken in by the kind owner who housed and treated their wounds (surprise #2). *heart melts*
As we moved on to the main hall, we found Alley No. 5 to be decked in nostalgia vibes (think Wong Kar Wai’s ‘In the Mood for Love’ ambience). It is a cafe by day and a bar by night. Many items on the menu were not available during our visit (similar to The Coffee JAR as businesses were just resuming operations after the COVID-19 lockdown and border restrictions) (surprise #3).
Nonetheless, we managed to get a slice of their signature onde-onde cheesecake – which I enjoyed thoroughly (surprise #4). At time of writing, it seems like Alley No. 5 is undergoing renovation, so do contact the cafe prior to visiting. Yes, I believe it is worth a visit / return visit. 🙂
Address: 8, Jalan Bukit Cina, Kampung Bukit China, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia
Operating hours: Daily 10am to 5pm except for Wed
In case you haven’t noticed, there are similar qualities amongst the cafes that I chose to visit. They are rustic and quaint, and serve quality food and beverages. While I appreciate the arts and nice ambience, I value the quality of food more than the aesthetics.
So if given the choice to choose an insta-worthy cafe versus one that looks understated but serves good food, then the latter will win hands-down. I don’t have this dilemma when it comes to Locahouz in Melaka though, for it looked beautiful and the food was very good!
Housed in yet another old shophouse unit, Locahouz evokes nostalgia through its Chinese Peranankan decorations. They serve a wide variety of beverages and food items, including their signature homemade pumpkin buns.
It’s been several months now but I could still recall the fluffy pumpkin bun texture with the well-marinated stewed pork. Simply mouthwatering! The portion was very generous too. This is one cafe I would return to for its food. 😀
What about you? Do you have any favourite must-visit cafes in Melaka? I would love to hear from you.
– To be continued-
Upon the easing of border restrictions in May 2022, my friend and I took the 707 coach from Singapore to Malacca directly. This Malaysian city is more charming than usual, and it definitely warrants a visit beyond the old town. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.
The above information is based on personal experiences and should only be used as a reference. For more information on the destination, do check out: https://www.malaysia.travel
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