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Johor Bahru has become quite a foodie haven with cafés popping up everywhere like mushrooms after the rain. With the rise of coffee culture, it appears that every business owner thinks they can simply own a coffee machine and voilà, they are now a café owner. But here’s the truth: being a good café requires so much more than just serving up a ~*cHiCkeN ChOP*~ and a mediocre cup of coffee. As a seriously picky coffee drinker, I’ve embarked on a caffeinated journey, trying out every café in Johor Bahru. I’ve sifted through the noise and the hype, separating the beans from the chaff, to discover the true gems of the city’s café scene.
Having traveled around the world and writing about destinations far away, I figured it was about time I wrote a guide on my beloved hometown, Johor Bahru. This guide is for the serious coffee drinkers, the aficionados who savor every sip and cherish the art of a perfectly crafted brew. These are my own personal picks, the cafés I frequently visit, and wholeheartedly recommend to my friends.
These cafés are not just about the aesthetics or being Instagram-worthy; they are places where the coffee takes center stage, and the flavors dance on your taste buds like a perfectly choreographed ballet. But it’s not just about the coffee; it’s about the entire experience. I’ll be considering various factors so you’ll know what to expect.
So, to my fellow coffee connoisseurs and discerning palates, here is my no-BS local guide to the best cafés in Johor Bahru.
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Best Cafes in Johor Bahru – Key Criteria
When it comes to being a café, there’s a fundamental requirement that cannot be compromised: serving a good cup of coffee. It’s as simple as that – no ifs, buts, or excuses. A café that takes pride in its coffee offerings understands that every aspect matters, from the beans to the barista’s expertise. A fancy La Marzocco espresso machine may look impressive, but if it’s merely serving as decoration, it’s a clear red flag.
A genuine café is more than just a place that sells coffee; it’s a sanctuary for coffee enthusiasts seeking the perfect brew. When I step into a café, I expect the barista to be knowledgeable and passionate about their craft. If they can’t tell me where their beans are sourced from, it’s a clear sign that they’re not taking their coffee seriously.
For a coffee experience to be truly memorable, the coffee itself has to be punchy, robust, and rich in flavor. It should awaken the senses and leave a lasting impression. A well-trained barista can expertly craft the perfect espresso, cappuccino, or flat white, knowing exactly how to extract the best flavors from the beans.
Furthermore, when I order a latte, I expect to taste the coffee, not just a cup of frothy milk. The essence of a latte lies in the harmonious blend of smooth milk and a strong espresso shot, creating a comforting and delightful beverage. It’s not a cup of milk with a faint hint of coffee buried somewhere beneath the foam.
The ambiance of a café is a crucial factor that can either make or break the entire coffee experience. When I step into a café, I yearn for more than just a good cup of coffee; I seek an environment that nurtures conversations and fosters connections. It’s that perfect balance between creating a cozy atmosphere that welcomes friendly chatter while allowing moments of quiet contemplation.
I’ve walked into cafés that are so badly soundproofed that all I hear is the echoes of everyone else’s conversations. Or the music is blaring so loudly that you can barely hear yourself think, let alone hold a meaningful conversation.
A place that looks lazily put together and lacks attention to detail can leave us feeling as if we’re sitting in a cold, sterile office cubicle. Comfort is key, and that means more than just providing cushy chairs. The entire setup, from the furniture arrangement to the decorative touches, should exude warmth and coziness. It’s those little details that make us feel at ease, allowing us to truly unwind and enjoy our coffee experience.
To be honest, I’ve been hard-pressed to find a café that excels in both food and coffee. Usually, if a place has good coffee, you’d have to forego good food, and vice versa. We’ve all encountered those cafés that seem to settle for the mundane, offering the same old *~cHiCkEN ChOp~* or ~*sPaGheTti AGliO OliO*~ that I’ve seen a hundred times before. And honestly, when I encounter such uninspiring menus, my expectations inevitably plummet.
It’s a delicate dance between coffee artistry and culinary creativity that only a handful of cafes in JB have managed to master.
Affordable pricing is essential when choosing a café. It’s crucial to align the prices with what other cafés in the area charge and for the value they bring. Charging RM39.90 for a mediocre Big Breakfast just because others are doing it doesn’t cut it. You need to be offering some type of added value or innovation to your customers, not just another reiteration of the same old thing we’re seeing everywhere, and then stacking a 20% price increase for nothing.
The heart and soul of any successful café — the service staff. It’s that intangible factor that can turn a simple coffee outing into a memorable experience. It’s like stepping into the cozy living room of a dear friend, where you know you’ll be taken care of and treated with warmth and respect.
Efficiency is also a key element of exceptional customer service. No one likes to wait forever for their order, especially when they’re craving that perfect cup of coffee. A well-trained staff knows how to manage the flow of customers, ensuring that everyone is attended to promptly and efficiently.
36 Best Cafes in Johor Bahru
Every single cafe on this list has their own unique specialty and although some may not have coffee as their specialty per se, they are still absolutely coffees I would personally drink.
1 Sweet Blossom Coffee Roasters
If you ask me what’s my number 1 cafe in JB, it’d be Sweet Blossom Coffee Roasters. These guys have their own roastery and also supply their beans to other cafés. They are as authentic and specialized as they come in JB. Their main focus is on coffee so you know that they’ll do it damn well. They don’t serve anything else besides coffee which unsurprisingly doesn’t suit the JB palate too well, but this place is really for the serious coffee aficionado.
Here you’ll find light to medium roast beans, which are harder to find in JB. If you like brighter notes in your coffee, give Sweet Blossom a go. So far, I have introduced this to my friends and haven’t got any negative feedback! I love the modest price on their coffees too, one of the more affordable price tags on damn good coffee in JB.
Come and have a cuppa, have some good conversations with friends or dive into your favorite book because this place has no Wi-Fi. Perfect to disconnect to connect, if you know what I mean. They have friendly owners too so why not engage them in some banter!
There’s minimal seating in the place, but my favorite spot is the two lazy chairs by the floor-to-ceiling windows—perfect for watching the world go by on a rainy day–see if you can grab these seats!
- Address: 28, Jalan Maju, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-5pm Sat-Wed (Closed on Thursdays and Fridays)
- Specialty: Coffee!
2 off day cafe
In Nusajaya area, this will be my number 1 choice. They have never ever failed me with their coffee.
I love the minimalist design too with bare concrete seats and large windows for lots of sunlight. It’s a place I frequent a lot when I’m in the area and need to get a caffeine fix or get some work done on my laptop.
I haven’t tried their food, but I’ve heard good things about their creamy tomato pasta. They also have a selection of pastries that are worth a try. For the matcha lovers, Niko Neko matcha is served here. Their matcha lattes are pleasantly not too sweet—something many other cafés fail to master.
Oh, and they’re pet-friendly which makes it a total winner in my book!
- Address: 57, Jalan Eko Botani 3/7, 79100 Gelang Patah, Johor
- Opening hours: 10am-6pm daily
- Specialty: Coffee and burnt cheesecake
Keijometo might just be synonymous with the best cafe in JB. But I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this one. The design of the space is so well done that it inevitably attracts a lot of IG-influencer wannabes, which usually means a lack of substance in their food. BUT. I hate to admit but Keijometo might just have the best cafe food in JB.
What sets them apart is their delightful fusion of Japanese flavors that surprisingly work wonders. Keijometo has somehow struck the perfect balance between delectable food, divine coffee, and stunning aesthetics.
Now, I must warn you that this café’s popularity comes at a price – be prepared for extremely long queues, especially on weekends. You might find yourself waiting for a good hour or more during lunchtime. But they’ve implemented a smart queueing system that makes the wait a tad more bearable. And their huge space allows customers to take lots of Instaphotos while waiting.
This one’s for the matcha lovers too and they get quite experimental with their drinks, offering concoctions like watermelon matcha lattes.
I must confess; I have a particular weakness for their truffle carbonara udon, which is surprisingly not overly creamy. I usually avoid carbonara or anything creamy like the plague, but theirs has managed to win me over. The sauce is more watered down and is reminiscent of Japanese soup bases.
Due to their popularity, they do implement 90-minute dining restrictions during their busy periods, so you might not be able to lounge around for too long.
- Address: 3, Jalan Chengai, Taman Melodies, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 11am-7pm Tue-Sun (Closed on Mondays)
- Specialty: Coffee, matcha, I’d say try anything on the menu that tickles your fancy!
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Alleylab is another one for the coffee connoisseurs. It feels like an experiential coffee bar where their offering of coffee beans can please any palate. From India to Ethiopia, Brazil to Colombia, and Ecuador to name a few – their coffee bean selection is a globetrotter’s dream.
The beauty of Alleylab lies in its personalized coffee experience. Just share your preferred coffee notes with the barista, and like a coffee wizard, he’ll whip up a concoction that suits your taste buds perfectly.
These guys take their coffee seriously, just the way I like it!
Granted, there is nothing to shout out about their space. With limited seating and dim lighting, it’s perfect for a quick pop-in and coffee fix. But like I said, it’s an experiential coffee bar so might as well sit at the bar and watch the barista work his magic.
- Address: 1-18,1st floor, Sunway Citrine Hub Persiaran Medini, Medini 3 Sunway Iskandar, Sunway, 79250 Iskandar Puteri, Johor
- Opening hours: 10am-6pm Wed-Sun (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
- Specialty: Coffee
5 Vamos Coffee Roastery
Vamos Coffee Roastery has been in the business for a while now, and I’ve seen it grow through so many transitions and innovations. If nothing, Vamos really knows how to grow with the times and adapt to the market’s needs. They definitely don’t shy away from experimentation.
They have their own roastery, and although their coffee lacks a bit of a punch as the previous contenders, they still manage to serve a decent cup of coffee.
This is another rare cafe that serves up good coffee and good food. Their sandwiches are some of the best I’ve had in JB and their pastas are decent. My craving for Vamos’ spag bowl hits at least once a week.
If you’re a Kombucha fan, I recommend trying their selection of flavors served on tap! It’s something I’ve definitely not seen elsewhere in JB.
The space is very relaxed and chill, almost like stepping into a cafe on Bondi or Bali—which is no surprise as the owner is a recreational surfer who has infused the café with his love for the waves, adorning the walls with surfboards that add a touch of coastal charm.
It’s one of my favorite cafes in JB for a good lunch and working coffee.
- Address: 155, Jln Beringin, Taman Melodies, 80050 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-7pm daily
- Specialty: Coffee, sandwiches and kombucha
6 Re Patisserie
I’ve known these guys since their days at Whoops! by Soulless Patisserie. They specialise in making intricate French desserts, which often sell out quite early.
The space is small, but it’s nice for an intimate catchup with friends over a good cup of coffee and some pastries. Prices are a little steep but that is to be expected for the quality they deliver.
- Address: 77, Jln Beringin, Taman Melodies, 80259 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 11:30am-7:30pm Wed-Mon (Closed on Tuesdays)
- Specialty: French pastries (Entremets & Viennoiseries)
7 Flowers in the Window
Another OG in the JB cafe scene, Flowers in the Window has been around enough to know what works. Situated just 10 minute’s walk from the CIQ, it’s perfect for those arriving from the causeway. So, expect a queue especially on weekends.
Adorned with dark green accents and surrounded by a lush display of leafy plants, it’s like a quaint garden in the city. Every inch of this café is a tribute to nature’s beauty, with greenery adorning every nook and corner. The old-school furniture adds a touch of charm, creating an undeniably cozy and inviting ambiance.
Apart from its whimsical interior, the food offerings don’t disappoint. I especially like how simple their salmon and sourdough toast is—something so simple yet so easily screwed up. I highly recommend their Hainanese Beef Noodles, something you don’t usually find at cafes.
And as you enter the cafe, you won’t miss their display of decadent cakes boasting flavors that are nothing short of inventive and extraordinary—definitely not your boring cheesecake-tiramisu-chocolate cake assortment here.
- Address: 9, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-3pm Wed-Mon (Closed on Tuesdays)
- Specialty: Hainanese beef noodles, brunch, cakes
8 Space Cafe
When it comes to finding the ideal spot for a productive work session, this café is a reliable go-to. However, I must admit, the pasta offerings didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Their saving grace is their coffee selection, boasting an innovative range of flavors that even include unique concoctions like orange coffee – a refreshing twist on a classic favorite. And their pastries do not disappoint.
Stepping into Space, you’ll be greeted with a spacious and minimalist interior, providing an uncluttered ambiance that allows you to focus on your tasks with ease. What’s even better is the café’s convenient location, just a short 5-minute walk from KSL Mall.
- Address: G-11, Holiday Villa, 260, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 8am-12am
- Specialty: Coffee and pastries
9 Mrs Whó
If you’d like to experience exceptional customer service, let me introduce you to the maestro of hospitality – Mrs. Who. The moment you step into this café, you’re welcomed like an old pal, and that warm feeling lingers throughout your entire visit.
But it’s not just the service that shines here; the food offerings are truly *chef’s kiss*—I can honestly say that I haven’t come across anything on their menu that I didn’t absolutely love. Their creative approach to dishes sets them apart, and you won’t find anything quite like it elsewhere in JB. I personally recommend their Laksta and Hawker-Fry Noodles. On the weekends, here you’ll find some of the best brunch in JB too.
I love how bright the space is with large windows surrounding the space. And they’re just a short 5-minute journey away from the CIQ.
- Address: Jalan Storey, Bukit Senyum, 80300 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 11am-8pm Tue-Thur; 2pm-8pm Fri; 9am-8pm Sat-Sun (Closed on Mondays)
- Specialty: Food!
10 SHAKA by Poké Twins
On days I crave something non-greasy and healthy, I make a beeline to SHAKA. They serve the best poké bowls in JB – hands down, no arguments here. They are quick to innovate and have offerings for anyone even if you usually wince at the thought of “healthy food”. Their coffee is pretty darn decent too.
The location within a sports hall means that the space is incredibly generous – I love the triple volume space that makes you feel so free. But here’s the real icing on the cake, or should I say, the bone for your pup – it’s dog-friendly! Now, that’s a massive plus in my book. On beautiful days, you can bask in the outdoor seating area with your furry friends, soaking in the breeze.
- Address: Tiara Sport World, Jalan Pasir Pelangi, Pasir Pelangi, 80500 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9.30am-9.30pm Wed-Mon (Closed on Tuesdays)
- Specialty: Poké bowls
Brewsmith, a haven for coffee enthusiasts, is primarily a roaster and bean supplier, but they’ve thoughtfully carved out a small space for customers to enjoy their coffee creations. It’s all about no-frills simplicity here, which is precisely what I adore.
When it comes to coffee choices, they keep it straightforward yet exceptional – you have four options: black or white, iced or hot. It’s pure coffee bliss, just the way I like it.
The café’s layout perfectly complements their no-nonsense approach, boasting a minimalistic design with just a bunch of benches and chairs lining the sides of the room. It’s a space where the focus is solely on the coffee experience.
- Address: C-1-12 Block C. The Lakefront, Persiaran Southkey 1, Kota Southkey, 80150 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 11am-6pm Tue-Sun (Closed on Mondays)
- Specialty: Coffee
12 Haru Coffee 하루 커피
Haru Cafe, a charming Korean-inspired café, exudes simplicity and minimalism, but it’s the warmth of their staff that truly steals the show. As you walk through the door, you’re welcomed with bright smiles that instantly make you feel at home.
Their menu is impressively extensive, offering a variety of delectable options, but I must confess, I haven’t tried anything else besides their coffee, which never disappoints.
I love sitting by the window and having a working coffee here. It’s the perfect place to let the natural light wash over me as I dig into my tasks. The ambiance is soothing, creating an ideal environment for productivity and relaxation.
- Address: 48, Jalan Adda 7, Taman Adda Heights, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 8am-6pm Fri-Wed (Closed on Thursdays)
- Specialty: Coffee
If the thought of irresistible pastries makes your mouth water, this charming cottage-style cafe is where your cravings will find their perfect match. The interior exudes a rustic charm while the foliage-covered facade makes it oh-so-Instagram-worthy.
From flaky croissants to decadent cakes, each creation is a work of art that leaves you craving for more. Nothing to complain about their coffee either.
- Address: Unit SL009, Spring Lab, Lot A (GF, Jalan Ekoflora Utama, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-6pm daily
- Specialty: Pastries
14 Doña Bakehouse
Another brainchild of the Poké Twins, this bakehouse has a different focus: French pastries. Their croissants are the perfect amount of flakiness. Their display of other pastries is simply mouthwatering. And their coffee is decent.
What’s often perplexed me is its Spanish name “Doña” which contradicts the French-themed cafe. But the space is charming nonetheless. The skylight filtering in natural light creates an enchanting French-inspired setting, giving off an air of elegance and sophistication.
While they also offer mains on their menu, I haven’t yet ventured into that territory. It’s just 10 minutes away from the CIQ, so if you’re in the vicinity, Doña is definitely worth a shot. And to top it all off, you’ll find the famous Hiap Joo Bakery right next door.
- Address: 14, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 8.30am-5pm daily
- Specialty: French pastries
15. CHAMPS x RUEYS
CHAMPS x RUEYS is located within Y Space, a hidden bungalow tucked away in the middle of JB City. To be honest, what I like most about this café is the space. There’s a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, so take your pick based on the weather of the day.
I haven’t tried much of their mains, but I can atest for their coffee which is decent enough for me.
- Address: 2, Jalan Yahya Awal, Gertak Merah, 80100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 11am-9.15pm Fri-Wed (Closed on Thursdays)
- Specialty: Ambience
16. D’ Cafe
When I first stepped into D’ Cafe, I fell in love with the skylight. I love how much natural light floods the greenhouse-inspired space, but sometimes you might even need sunglasses indoors!
Surprisingly, the food offerings are great too. I especially like their salmon trout. What I dislike is the lack of parking. But if you can put up with that or you’re Grab-ing down, D’ Cafe is a great spot for a nice lunch or coffee.
- Address: 9, Jalan Kelewang, Taman Sri Tebrau, 80050 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 10am-7pm daily
- Specialty: Great lunch options
17 FOUNDERS Cafe
If anything, FOUNDERS Cafe is a marketing success story that should be a case study for any other business owner looking to start a cafe.
Do they serve the best food in JB? Can’t say so. Do they serve the best coffee in JB? Highly doubt it. But they’ve managed to market their brand so well that FOUNDERS will be etched in their customers’ minds for a long time.
But that’s not to say they don’t serve quality offerings. They serve some mean bagels which is hard to find in JB. And they’re quick to innovate and move with the times.
I love the spaciousness of the warehouse setting. Dining there feels so liberating, like you’re in this vast space where you can just breathe freely and enjoy your time. Now, I have to admit, the service can be a bit hit or miss. Sometimes, the wait times can get ridiculously long, and there have been moments when they’ve managed to get my order wrong.
But don’t let these hiccups put you off from giving FOUNDERS a try. FOUNDERS is one of the few places where you can have a good meal and good coffee all at once.
They are the same team that started People&Places and ROUTINE by Soon, that have both closed down now. But it atests to their constant evolution in the JB cafe scene.
- Address: Tiong Nam Tebrau, 45, Jln Tiong Emas, Kawasan Perindustrian Tebrau, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-1pm daily
- Specialty: Bagels, ambience
While they may not have made it to my list of the absolute best cafes in JB, these next few options are still worth an honorable mention. If you happen to be in the vicinity or looking for something specific in a café, each of these spots has something noteworthy to offer. So, let’s dive into what sets them apart.
If anything, this is more of an IG-café than anything else and yes it is indeed perfect for your feed. The creamy grey-toned off-white interiors exude pure aesthetic bliss. From the walls to the cement screed flooring, and even the seats and textured counter area, every inch of this café is thoughtfully designed to create a serene and elegant ambiance.
I tried their chocolate cake which was nice and moist, and not too sweet. They serve a decent cup of coffee, so it’s a spot I’d hit up when I’m in the Eco Palladium area.
- Address: Jalan Ekoflora 7/1, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 1pm-7pm Tue-Sun (Closed on Mondays)
- What I like: Ambiance
19 Yara Yara
Yara Yara is located in a big bungalow in the residential area of Taman Pelangi with both indoor and outdoor seating. For those who like the fresh air like me, you can pretend to camp in their outdoor area and sit on their cute little camping-style chairs, on a good day of course.
When it comes to their coffee and cakes, Yara Yara delivers a decent experience. While they may not be the talk of the town, the offerings are still decent enough if you are in the area.
I especially like that it’s never really crowded, so if you want some peace and quiet, Yara Yara is a good choice.
- Address: 12, Jalan Cermat 5, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 11am-7pm Wed-Mon (Closed on Tuesdays)
- What I like: The peace and quiet
20 Nikkō Yōryō
Nikkō Yōryō has two branches: The first one is in Taman Melodies, and the second is in Taman Sutera. I like the aesthetics of the Taman Sutera branch: as you walk in, you’re greeted with this adorable pebbled walkway that just sets the perfect mood for some amazing café shots.
On the other hand, the Taman Melodies branch takes a different approach – it’s all about that bare and concrete look, giving off those chic minimalistic vibes. It’s a sleek and straightforward ambiance that some people really dig.
They’ve got quite the selection of mains, which is reminiscent of Keijometo’s menu and I do believe Nikkō Yōryō were in the market before Keijometo existed. But, somehow they seem to have missed the mark. They’ve been around longer but haven’t been able to achieve the level of success that Keijometo has in a matter of months.
As for their coffee, it’s decent – nothing to write home about, but it’ll do the job. Their slightly higher price tag does turn me off a bit, so it wouldn’t be my first pick. The fact that they charge an extra RM2 for iced drinks turns me off a little, so an iced white comes up to RM14. I mean… if the coffee was superb, I wouldn’t be complaining that much but to be honest, it’s just okay.
But if I’m in the Taman Sutera area, due to a lack of good cafes, this would be my go-to. And if you got turned off by the long line at Keijometo, Nikkō Yōryō’s Taman Melodies branch is strategically just 5 minutes away.
- Address: No 72, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4, Taman Sutera Utama, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 11am-11pm daily (Taman Sutera); 11am-10pm daily (Taman Melodies)
- What I like: The ambience, maybe?
21 The Brew Orchestra
Back in the day, The Brew Orchestra was the bomb diggity. They’re another one of the OGs in the JB cafe scene. But with the market getting so saturated in recent years, it’s hard to keep them floating at the top.
The original owner has now moved on to BREWSMITH, and since then, The Brew Orchestra has been taken over by a new owner, and sad to say, it hasn’t managed to impress me.
The coffee offerings are decent, but this is another place where I find their coffee to be slightly pricier (charging an extra RM2 for iced drinks). They have a selection of brunch dishes that I have not tried recently, but who knows? I might just give it a shot one day but then again, it being all the way in Mount Austin is an obstacle in itself. If you happen to try it and have any thoughts, leave me a comment below!
Oh and if you haven’t noticed my love for natural light yet, I’m a sucker for big windows that let as much sunlight stream in. If I have to wear shades indoors, you’re doing it right. But The Brew Orchestra feels more like a night-time bar to me, with its dark interior that doesn’t align with my inner plant-self. So it’s not somewhere I would gravitate to naturally (pun unintended).
- Address: 19, Jln Molek 1/5C, Taman Molek, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-7pm Mon-Fri; 8:30am-7pm Sat-Sun
- What I like: Coffee if I happen to be in the area
22 The Replacement – Lodge & Kitchen
The Replacement – Lodge & Kitchen is a true OG in the JB café scene! They’ve been around for a while, and they used to serve some of the best brunch in JB. But they’ve gone through so many menu changes that I can barely keep up!
I can’t atest to their quality now as I have not been lately, but if you happen to be in the area, it’s definitely worth giving them a try. They used to have one of the prettiest café decors too, of course taken over by so many other cafes sprouting up over the years.
- Address: 33, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-4.30pm daily
- What I like: General vibe
23 The Atlas Maison
The pastries! Yes these guys do French pastries like no one else. I love their flaky buttery croissants, that they also supply to Space Café. I’ve tried some of their mains and I guess they are just – okay.
Their coffee is pretty decent too, but what might be a bit of a letdown is the ambiance. It’s nothing that’ll blow your socks off, but hey, sometimes all you need is a quick pick-me-up and a scrumptious croissant to-go.
- Address: 32, Jalan Austin Heights 8/7, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-5pm
- What I like: The croissants!
outstandcoffee is a place where you can grab yourself a decent cup of coffee, and what’s even better is the friendly vibe the owners create. It’s a small and simple cafe, perfect for a quick pick-me-up.
- Address: 32, Jln Sri Pelangi 4, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-6pm Tue-Thur (Closed on Wednesdays)
- What I like: Coffee and the service
25 The RUD Cafe
The RUD cafe is a one-of-a-kind café perched right on a go kart track! While the coffee might not be extraordinary, the experience of sipping coffee in a glass box while watching go-karts race by is one-of-a-kind. They also have a selection of questionably pricey mains that I have not personally tried.
So my take is to come for the experience, not so much the food and drinks. They open until midnight too so it’s a nice place for drinks with friends when the sun goes down.
And if you’re up for it, why not try a few laps on the track yourself?
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- Address: PTD 200284, Persiaran Medini Sentral 6, Bandar Medini Iskandar, 79250 Iskandar Puteri, Johor
- Opening hours: 11am-12am daily
- What I like: The atmosphere
Nestled in a cozy little house tucked away in a quiet residential area, Grind.jb is truly a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Their coffee is decent, but what really steals the show for me is the skylight that bathes the entire space in warm natural light.
It’s located just a few doors away from the famous Bak Kut Teh in Taman Sentosa, so it’s a perfect coffee spot after lunch!
- Address: 222, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, 80150 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-6pm Wed-Sat, Mon; 12-6pm Sun (Closed on Tuesdays)
- What I like: The skylight
27 Rabbit Softserve
Another one that’s on the same row as Grind.jb is Rabbit Softserve. They offer a selection of ice creams and softserves, and also do coffee.
- Address: 254, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, 80150 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 11.30am-7pm Wed-Mon (Closed on Tuesdays)
- What I like: Ice cream and coffee
28 COMMUNE by the Creators
You know, I really wanted to like this place, but so many things have disappointed me in the few times I’ve visited: food was lacklustre; and no WiFi and no service even, so it felt like I was trapped on a remote island.
But I really like the interior of the place, which gives off Nordic minimalistic vibes with their all-white furniture. And if their 4.7* Google rating is anything to go by, they’ve done well for themselves. I’ll have to pop by to give them another shot soon but until then, do let me know if you have any personal experiences!
- Address: 228 & 230, Jalan Adda 7, Taman Adda Heights, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-6pm daily
- What I like: The interior
Mokmok has many branches, but let’s start off with the EcoBotanic one as they all serve different styles of foods. This one is the latest addition to their arsenal, offering a wide range of fusion Japanese food including don, fried rice, risotto, porridge, and sushi. I like their aesthetically pleasing, creamy interior. If anything, the guys behind all Mokmok’s outlets know how to design a space and make it simply alluring.
- Address: 23, Jalan Eko Botani 3/7, taman eko botani, 79100 Iskandar Puteri, Johor
- Opening hours: 10am-10pm daily
- What I like: The interior
30 Dusk by Mokmok
Dusk by Mokmok is located in Taman Pelangi, so it’s the closest to town. The bohemian-styled eclectic decorations and furnishings add a touch of whimsy and character to the space. It’s a delightful mix of vintage and modern elements, blending together seamlessly to create an ambiance that’s both nostalgic and trendy.
The theme of their food offering is a little more vast, ranging from pastas to Japanese delicacies. I love their Gyutan Rice Bowl.
- Address: 49, Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 10am-10pm
- What I like: The interior
31 bloom by Mokmok
So this is my least favorite Mokmok installation because of its dark interior but I’m including it for completeness’ sake to showcase all of Mokmok’s outlets. It gives off underground bunker vibes, with pretty dried flowers hanging from the ceiling. Very whimsical, yes.
But the food offerings are consistent with the other Mokmok branches. This one is located in Mount Austin.
- Address: 87, Jalan Mutiara Emas 2A, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 12pm-10pm daily
- What I like: Just including it for completeness’ sake
32 Awesome Brew
A semi-industrial decor café with an outdoor section overlooking the Iskandar landscape, my favorite thing about Awesome Brew is its ambience. The natural light flooding through the large windows infuses the space with a warm and inviting glow. Then it pretty much ends there.
The food and coffee aren’t exactly showstoppers and their less-than-creative name hardly impresses me.
But if you’d like a nice setting for brunch, Awesome Brew might just be a good option.
- Address: 1-19, First Floor, Hab Citrine, Sunway Citrine, Sunway Iskandar, Persiaran Medini 3, Bandar, 79250 Iskandar Puteri, Johor
- Opening hours: 9am-10pm daily
- What I like: The ambience
33 Content Grain Bowl
If you need a break from greasy char kuey teow, Content Grain Bowl serves up delicious healthy grain bowls. I love their Muji-inspired interior that’s warm and inviting.
- Address: 39, Jalan Austin Heights 8/1, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 10am-8.30pm daily
- What I like: The ambience
34 Brooos & Co by JWC
Brooos & Co is JWC’s newest cafe setup. With wooden panel walls, working desks and swivel chairs, you’ll feel like you’re transported to a 1930’s American office space. Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of JWC coffee, but it’s worth a mention if you are into Instagrammable cafes.
They serve cocktails on tap, which is something I’d like to try in the future. I’ve tried their speakeasy in Taman Sutera, and I must say, JWC’s mixologist is one of the best in JB, so that’s saying something.
- Address: 18, Jln Sri Pelangi 4, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 11am-12am daily
- What I like: Cocktails
35 YOU by JWC
JWC is one of the pioneers in the JB coffee scene but sad to say, I think they’ve fallen behind in recent years. Their beans don’t taste as good as other cafes in JB now so I see no reason to choose this over other cafes. Their prices are also slightly more expensive.
The space however is nicely designed, and is worth a try if you happen to be in Taman Sutera.
- Address: 102, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/3, Taman Sutera Utama, 81300 Skudai, Johor
- Opening hours: 11am-12am daily
- What I like: The interior
36 Bev C’afe
Bev C’afe was opened by the owner and fashion designer of the Bev C label. The rustic, industrial and somewhat eclectic loft cafe is perfect for those looking for a different cafe experience, and you can shop the label’s apparel here too.
I like their signature ice cube coffees, which is basically a frozen shot of espresso, which ensures your iced coffees don’t get diluted with water.
Definitely worth visiting this hub of creativity if you’re in the area.
- Address: 54, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
- Opening hours: 10am-6pm Tue-Mon (Closed on Wednesdays)
- What I like: Ice cube coffees
So there we have it—my ultra-filtered, no-nonsense list of the best cafes in Johor Bahru. These are of course just my personal opinions. I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you have any differing thoughts, leave them in the comments section below!
Need another dose of coffee?
MY TOP TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES
Here are my top travel tips and resources to help you save money and plan your trips effectively! If you're looking for more tips, head over to my travel tips resource page or my comprehensive guide on trip planning.
- Booking Flights: When it comes to finding great flight deals, I always start my search on Google Flights or Skyscanner. To save some cash, consider flying mid-week or on the weekends, opt for carry-on only with budget airlines, and be open to red-eye or early morning flights. Check out my in-depth guide on how I find the cheapest flights.
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- What to Pack: I always have packing anxiety once I've left home—you know the phantom feeling that you've forgotten something even though you've checked 372836 times. So I made my own packing list and use it religiously before every trip, and by religious I mean I tick off that list at least 7 times before I zip up my bag. Check out my in-depth packing list here.