yeonnam cafe

10 Must-Visit Yeonnam Cafes: A Guide to Cafe-Hopping

  • August 28, 2023

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Here are a few general cafe-hopping tips to keep in mind:, cafe layered (카페레어드), cafe neulbo (카페늘보), yeonnam cherry blossom house (연남동벚꽃집), kokorokara (코코로카라), cake dabang (카페다방), brady’s coffee bar (브래디스 커피바), cheongsudang gomyeong (청수당공명), konsider (컨시더), urban beach (어번비치), yeonnam jang (연남장).

With cafes and coffee playing such a prominent role in South Korean daily life, cafe-hopping is almost obligatory when visiting South Korea. One of the best places in Seoul to find cafes is Yeonnam, a neighborhood just northwest of Hongdae . The area floods each weekend, with Seoulites looking for the trendiest cafes to hang out at. Going to a cafe is one of the most affordable activities to do in Seoul so make sure you start in Yeonnam. 

With so many choices, knowing where you should go is hard. You can only go to many places and drink so many coffees daily. In this article, we’ve picked 10 of the best Yeonnam cafes to visit while cafe-hopping.

  • Like other Seoul neighborhoods, some of Yeonnam’s independent and smaller cafes don’t strictly follow the opening hours posted on their storefronts or map apps. Sometimes they will close early if there isn’t enough business. Because of this, be prepared with multiple alternatives if your top choice is closed when you try to visit.
  • When you’ve picked out a cafe, find seats before ordering anything. If no seats are available, you will probably have to take your drink to go. Sometimes a barista may ask how many people are in your group when you enter and tell you if enough seats are available. If you’re lucky enough to find seats, claim them by placing your bag or personal items down and ordering at the counter. Everyone leaves their bags at their seats in South Korea because stealing is relatively uncommon.
  • A lot of cafes require that everyone who sits at the cafe buy a drink, even if you’re already buying a dessert or pastry. No one can hang out in the cafe without making a purchase. This rule is also typical of most Seoul cafes.
  • Some cafes may also have time limits to manage the flow of customers. Typically, time limits are only in place at the most popular and busy cafes, so it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter this sort of policy. It’s still good to remember. If you encounter a time limit policy, don’t worry about running out of time, as many time limits give you plenty of time to consume your treats and drinks.
  • If you’re hoping to bring your laptop to work at a cafe, make sure the cafes have wifi and allow laptops in the first place. I’ve only encountered a small number of cafes that don’t allow customers to use laptops. Typically, this policy is only in place at particularly popular or touristy cafes. While it’s unlikely that you will encounter this policy on your trip, it’s good to keep this in mind.

Here are 10 of the best Yeonnam cafes to visit on your cafe-hopping trip:

yeonnam cafe

When you enter Cafe Layered ’s Yeonnam location, a spread of cakes and scones greets you at the door. The beautiful desserts match the cafe’s charming interior, filled with British paraphernalia (Try to find all the Princess Diana images). Its charming decor has gained a lot of attention from Seoulites, possibly making the cafe one of the area’s most popular. We recommend embracing the British theme and trying the Earl Grey cake, which is a perfectly light and moist dessert to pair with your coffee.

Cafe Layered Address: 161-4 Seongmisan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 성미산로 161-4)

yeonnam cafes

Cafe Neulbo is all about taking it slow. Neulbo, or 늘보, actually means sloth in Korean. At Cafe Neulbo, people can take a break from their busy lives and enjoy drawing. You even can turn your pictures into keychains to keep as a souvenir. The slow-living and wholesome atmosphere of Cafe Neulbo is perfect for a rejuvenating weekend afternoon.

Cafe Neulbo Address: 2F, 26 Donggyo-ro 51-angil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로51안길 26 2층)

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by 연남동 벚꽃집 (@yn_cherryblossom)

As its name suggests, Cherry Blossom House is known for its cherry blossom trees. In the spring, this Yeonnam cafe’s terrace is the perfect spot to get a photo with baby pink flowers. Even when the cherry blossoms are not in bloom, Cherry Blossom House is a great place to get coffee. We recommend trying the aesthetically pleasing Blossom spanner.

Yeonnam Cherry Blossom House Address: 50 Donggyo-ro 29-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로29길 50)

yeonnam cafe

Kokorokara in Japanese roughly translates to “from the bottom of my heart” in English, and you can be sure that all the sweet treats at Kokorokara cafe are made with love. At Kokorokara, you can try a wide range of their specialty dessert and pudding. The cafe sells pistachio cherry, mint chocolate, and cheese flavors. This cafe evokes the atmosphere of Parisian cafes with the pops of primary colors and checkered tile stairs to the entrance.

Kokorokara Address: 41 Yeonnam-ro 1-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 연남로1길 41)

yeonnam cafes

At Cake Dabang , you can decorate your cake for 30,000 to 40,000 won, depending on how many decoration materials you use. Cake-decorating cafes have recently become popular, so getting a reservation last minute may be difficult (You could also try the Kondae location!). Even if you cannot decorate your cake, Cake Dabang has colorful ready-made cakes for you to enjoy.

Cake Dabang Address: 1F, 13 Donggyo-ro 51-angil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로51안길 13 1층)

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by 브래디네 커피바 𝙱𝚛𝚊𝚍𝚢𝚜 𝙲𝚘𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚎 𝙱𝚊𝚛 (@bradys_coffeebar)

This small Yeonnam cafe has a rustic feel, with wood furniture and white textured walls. The light and relaxing ambiance make this the perfect place to unwind with a cup of your favorite beverage. While Brady’s Coffee Bar is a smaller cafe, it still offers everything one could want from a cafe: a good atmosphere, good food, and good photo opportunities.

Brady’s Coffee Address: 2F, 23 Seongmisan-ro 23-Angil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 성미산로23안길 23 2층)

yeonnam cafes

You may have seen Cheongsudang’s popular Insadong location on Instagram or TikTok, but did you know that the cafe also has a location in Yeonnam? The Yeonnam location opened in 2021 and is just as beautiful as the Insadong location. With greenery and lanterns hiding the cafe from view on the street, Cheongsudang Gomyeong offers a whimsical and tranquil respite from the city. 

Cheongsudang Gomyeong Address: 152 Seongmisan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 성미산로 152)

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Konsider Bagel (@konsider.seoul)

If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, consider checking out Konsider . This bakery’s specialty is bagels. You can order one of the nine types of bagels. The variety continues with Konsider’s unique cream cheese flavors. You can pair your bagel with maple bacon cream cheese or fig walnut honey cream cheese. The mix-and-match options are endless at Konsider.

Konsider Address: 119 Donggyo-ro 51-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로51길 119)

yeonnam cafes

Urban Beach continues Yeonnam’s reputation of having unique cafes. This cafe is beach-themed and has sand inside the cafe. Urban Beach’s interesting interior makes it one of the best Yeonnam cafes for taking pictures. If you want to embrace the beachy vibes of this cafe, we recommend trying the summery passionfruit ade. Come here to have a beach day without even leaving the city.

Urban Beach Address: 3F, 245 Donggyo-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로 245 3층)

yeonnam cafes

Yeonnam Jang ’s art deco interior aesthetic sets it apart from other cafes in the neighborhood. However, this cafe is famous because it was a filming location for the 2022 K-drama Business Proposal , starring Kim Se-jong and Ahn Hyo-seop. This cafe is quickly becoming a popular spot for drama fans and coffee lovers. The cafe also serves pasta and other foods if you want a filling meal.

Yeonnam Jang Address: 1F, 22 Yeonhui-ro 5-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (서울 서대문구 연희로5길 22 1층)

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Sam Nguyen is a fourth-year University of Oregon student double-majoring in Journalism and Global Studies and minoring in Korean. During college, she wrote feature stories and served as managing editor for the multi-cultural independent student publication Ethos Magazine. Her interests include writing, editing, the Korean language, and Korean culture.

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Café Hopping in Seoul

Advisor - Janet Huang

Janet Huang

City Travel

Food & Wine

South Korea

A table with coffees and flowers with a window in the background.

Curator’s statement

Seoul's café culture is amazing, unique and constantly evolving. They are so different from any other place I've been to and I can make a whole day of café hopping around the city. I particularly love the theming of all the places and how different they can be. Some cafés can be very popular, so there are a lot of lines, but the experience is worth every minute.

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Cafés in Seoul

1. Cafe Onion Anguk

This is housed in a restored hanok (a traditional Korean house built in the 14th century) with traditional roof tiles and blends old-world charm with modern design. All the pastries are displayed like works of art and are almost too beautiful to eat. One of its signature dishes is the pandoro — a famous Italian-style bread covered in powered sugar. They also have an Injeolmi version of this, which is a Korean cake powder with the sugar piled on top to resemble a snow-capped mountain. Onion Anguk is constantly packed, so avoid peak hours to get a good spot to enjoy the moment

2. C. Through Cafe

This cafe is known for cream-filled cub pastries that look like tiny presents, but they also offer coffee and other desserts. Everything including the entrance is super Instagramable, including their famous Creamart coffees. The latte art is very delicate and intricate. There are so many unique desserts and they are all delicious. Popular with younger crowds.

3. Stylenanda Pink Hotel

This is much more than a cafe — it is a six-story pink palace that has a popular fashion store, photo studio and café in one. Stylenanda is a beauty and fashion brand that is very popular with Korean youths. The pool cafe is a cute concept with umbrellas and picture-taking shops. This is definitely a pink lovers dream.

4. London Bagel Museum

There are multiple locations across Seoul — it has taken the city by storm with freshly baked bagels, creative cream cheese flavors and a cute atmosphere. There are a wide variety of bagels and the cream cheese flavors are very interesting. They have truffle, basil, fig and their potato cheese bagel and spring onion cream cheese are especially popular. Some locations offer online ordering so you can skip the line, but it is still incredibly popular, so be prepared to wait.

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Seoul. Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out Juliette Michaels' guide, A Not-So-Touristy Guide to Seoul, South Korea.

What is cafe hopping?

Cafe hopping has become an increasingly popular trend among coffee enthusiasts, foodies, and people looking for a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. It involves exploring various cafes and coffee shops, trying out their coffee, food, and ambiance. Cafe hopping offers a unique experience of discovering new flavors, appreciating different interior designs, and enjoying the overall vibe each cafe has to offer.

What is the allure of cafe hopping?

Cafe hopping provides a delightful change of environment from traditional coffee shop experiences. It allows individuals to explore their local cafe scene, discover hidden gems, and indulge in a variety of coffee beverages, food options, and sweet treats. Additionally, cafe hopping enables people to socialize, work, or spend quality time with friends and loved ones, all while enjoying a warm and inviting ambiance.

Is cafe hopping only for coffee lovers?

No, cafe hopping is not exclusive to coffee lovers. While the main focus of cafe hopping is usually the coffee itself, cafes often offer a wide range of beverages that cater to different tastes such as tea, hot chocolate, smoothies, and fresh juices. Furthermore, cafes often provide a selection of pastries, sandwiches, salads, and other delicious food options, making it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

What should I consider when cafe hopping?

When cafe hopping, it is crucial to consider a few factors such as location, ambiance, menu variety, and customer reviews. Explore different neighborhoods to find cafes that suit your preferences and interests. Pay attention to the ambiance and interior design, as it greatly affects the overall experience. Check the menu to ensure they offer a variety of options that cater to your taste. Lastly, read customer reviews online to gain insight into the quality of the coffee and service.

How can I make the most out of cafe hopping?

To maximize your cafe hopping experience, plan your visits in advance by creating a list of cafes you want to try. Consider visiting cafes in different areas, as each neighborhood often has its own unique and captivating vibe. Don’t hesitate to try specialty coffee beverages or ask the baristas for their recommendations. Additionally, take the time to appreciate the decor, ambiance, and overall aesthetics of the cafes you visit.

What are some benefits of cafe hopping?

Cafe hopping offers several benefits beyond just exploring new coffee flavors. It allows individuals to discover new places within their local community, supporting local businesses and contributing to the growth of the local economy. Moreover, visiting cafes provides an opportunity to meet new people, expand social circles, and foster a sense of community. For those who work remotely or need a change of scenery, cafes can serve as inspiring and productive spaces.

Is cafe hopping an expensive hobby?

Cafe hopping can vary in cost depending on the individual’s preferences and the location of the cafes. While some cafes may have higher price points, there are also many affordable options available. Choosing to visit cafes during off-peak hours or opting for simpler coffee beverages can help keep the cost down. Cafe hopping can be an enjoyable hobby regardless of one’s budget.

Can cafe hopping be done alone?

Yes, cafe hopping can absolutely be enjoyed alone. Many people find solace and solitude in exploring cafes at their own pace, providing an opportunity for self-reflection or quiet productivity. Additionally, cafes often offer cozy corners, free Wi-Fi, and a comfortable environment that is perfect for reading, studying, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in peace.

What are some trending cafe hopping destinations?

The popularity of cafe hopping has led to the emergence of several trendy destinations around the world that are renowned for their vibrant café culture. Some of these destinations include Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Seoul in South Korea, Portland and Seattle in the United States, and Vienna in Austria. These cities not only boast a wide variety of cafes but also offer unique experiences for coffee enthusiasts.

What makes a cafe stand out during cafe hopping?

Various factors contribute to a cafe standing out during cafe hopping. Exceptional coffee quality is often a major highlight, along with friendly and knowledgeable staff who are passionate about their craft. Aesthetically pleasing interior designs, cozy atmospheres, and unique features such as latte art, specialized brewing methods, or innovative food options can also make a cafe memorable.

How does cafe hopping contribute to trying different coffee beans?

Cafe hopping provides an excellent opportunity to try different coffee beans since each cafe typically has its own selection of beans and blends. Coffee enthusiasts can explore the flavor profiles of various regions and types of coffee, allowing them to expand their palate and deepen their understanding and appreciation for different coffee origins and brewing methods.

What is the difference between cafe hopping and traditional coffee shop visits?

The main difference between cafe hopping and traditional coffee shop visits lies in the exploration and variety. Traditional coffee shop visits generally consist of visiting the same establishment repeatedly, while cafe hopping involves venturing to different cafes each time to discover new flavors, atmospheres, and experiences. Cafe hopping adds an element of excitement and adventure to the coffee-drinking routine, making it a favored activity for many coffee enthusiasts.

Can cafe hopping become a social activity?

Yes, cafe hopping can be a fantastic social activity. Gathering a group of friends or loved ones and exploring different cafes together creates an enjoyable and memorable experience. It allows for sharing recommendations, discovering new places collectively, and engaging in engaging conversations over cups of coffee. Cafe hopping can strengthen bonds and create cherished memories among coffee lovers and friends alike.

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About Julie Howell

Julie has over 20 years experience as a writer and over 30 as a passionate home cook; this doesn't include her years at home with her mother, where she thinks she spent more time in the kitchen than out of it. She loves scouring the internet for delicious, simple, heartwarming recipes that make her look like a MasterChef winner. Her other culinary mission in life is to convince her family and friends that vegetarian dishes are much more than a basic salad. She lives with her husband, Dave, and their two sons in Alabama.

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trip cafe hopping

The Art of Cafe Hopping in Seoul: Tips to Make Your Trip a Success

Anyaa M

 4,484 total views,  1 views today

trip cafe hopping

Discover the best cafes in Seoul with our expert tips for successful cafe hopping as you plan your perfect cafe hopping adventure in Seoul.

Wander the bustling streets of Seoul and witness countless cafes that are just as remarkable, captivating, and delightful as they come. South Korea’s capital is popular for having more per capita coffee shops than any other city – a stunning feat considering how vibrant this metropolis truly is.

Everywhere you look, in every nook and cranny, cafes abound – both chain-operated establishments and independent coffee shops created by imaginative individuals. Whether it be a sidewalk cafe or one perched atop the highest floor of a towering skyscraper, there is no denying that cafes are ubiquitous.

Exploring the coffee shops of Seoul has become a popular pastime for visitors and locals alike. With its wide variety of charming cafes boasting distinct themes, comfy interiors, and delectable beverages and snacks – it’s not hard to see why this city is a paradise for cafe aficionados. This post will provide helpful hints and tips to ensure your next cafe hopping adventure in Seoul is an outstanding success.

Table of Contents

Finding the Perfect Neighborhood: Exploring Seoul’s Cafe Culture

Seoul is a bustling metropolis that has been partitioned into various areas, each with its unique atmosphere and charm. If you are looking for the perfect cafe-hopping destination, look no further than Garosu-gil in Gangnam or Hongdae in Mapo-gu – both renowned for their fashionable yet hip coffee shops. For an entirely different experience, why not visit Samcheong-dong in Jongno-gu; these charming cafes offer something more traditional.

Get the most out of your cafe hopping journey by researching beforehand to determine an area that suits your needs. Read online reviews, scroll through Instagram hashtags, and don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions! After identifying the right spot for you, it’s time to explore.

Timing is Key: Avoiding the Crowds and Finding the Best Deals

If you are seeking a tranquil experience, then be sure to enjoy Seoul’s cafes during off-peak times like early mornings and late nights. That way, you will dodge the crowds of people who frequent them on weekends and have time to savor your snacks and beverages in an unwinding atmosphere.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by 카페 대너리스 (@cafe_daenerys.official)

Maximize your cafe hopping experience by taking advantage of discount deals and offers. Many cafés offer discounts during certain hours or days, so look out for these. You can find information on the Internet or get advice from the staff at each establishment.

Must-Try Drinks and Snacks: Exploring Seoul’s Taste

Seoul’s cafe culture isn’t just about the atmosphere and decor; it is also popular for its delicious drinks and treats. Get ready to be surprised by Korean cafes’ unique libations like honey grapefruit ade or a strawberry latte. Try a cup of Korean-style drip coffee or even sweet potato lattes for something more traditional! Embrace Seoul’s cafe scene and enjoy these unique creations you can only find in Korea.

Korean cafes have a broad range of sweet and salty options for the perfect snack. Indulge in something light like chiffon cake or a crunchy Korean-style waffle for sweetness. Craving savory? A plate of fried chicken made with traditional preparation methods or fiery rice cakes will satisfy your taste buds.

Exploring Beyond the Coffee: Finding Unique and Creative Cafes

While most cafes cater to those looking for a good cup of coffee, the cafe scene in Seoul offers something more – unique and innovative concepts that provide experiences far beyond your typical brew. For example, why not take a trip to one of the city’s cat cafés , where you can sip on an espresso whilst playing with cute cats ? Or maybe prefer browsing through books while having a cappuccino at one of its book cafés? Whatever your preference may be, there is no doubt that Seoul has you covered when it comes to creative café options.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by 고양이별 Cat Cafe 💕 발산역 고양이카페 마곡고양이카페 강서구고양이카페 서울고양이카페 (@cat_planet_cafe)

Have you ever considered visiting a café where your sight is limited, and the waitstaff is blind? This “blind café” experience encourages customers to focus on their other senses while enjoying coffee and snacks in a new, unique atmosphere. It’s an opportunity that you cannot duplicate anywhere else.

Ready to explore the remarkable café culture of Seoul? With numerous neighborhoods, cafes and drinks options available, it can be challenging to discover where your journey should begin. But don’t worry! By researching unique finds online, steering clear of tourist-filled areas and sampling delicious snacks and coffee varieties while keeping our cafe hopping tips in Seoul in mind, you’ll make your café hopping experience in Seoul a resounding success. So get ready to unlock creative potential with your camera while tantalizing your taste buds with different drinks – seize this exciting opportunity full of adventure today.

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 4,485 total views,  1 views today

Anyaa is a versatile writer with an insatiable wanderlust and a deep love for all things Korea. Her passion for exploration and storytelling shines through in her diverse articles covering every aspect of Korean travel. From the bustling streets of Seoul to the tranquil beauty of Jeju Island, her articles serve as a virtual passport for readers, providing them with insider tips, detailed itineraries, and practical advice to ensure an unforgettable journey through Korea.


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25 best cafes in JB for your cafe-hopping weekend trip


Caption for the lead photo.

1. the founders cafe , 2. principle cafe by tam, 3. nimmies pastry cafe, 4. dona bakehouse, 5. seven oaks bakery, 6. bloom by mok mok, 7. dusk by mok mok, 8. brooos & co by jwc, 9. keijometo, 10. space cafe, 12. nikko & yoryo, 13. jwc, the factory 30, 14. padi kopitiam, 15. beans factory, 16. palates & bagels by t.a.m., 17. bev c’afe, 18. the ice cream project.

  • 19. D'cafe

20. Maco Cafe

21. ukiyo cafe, 22. commune by the creators, 23. flowers in the window, 24. rowan & parsley food atelier, 25. morihana pastry.

No prizes for guessing Singaporean’s favourite pastime — pigging out at cafes in JB . 

Whether it’s Insta-worthy aesthetics , a  good cup of joe , buttery pastries , hearty mains, decadent desserts or more, we all have different things we look for in an ideal cafe.

With the strong Singapore dollar and a stellar exchange rate, we’d say it’s a worthy endeavour to brave the Causeway jams so you can indulge in cafe hopping without breaking the bank. 

But yes, we get it: It seems like there’s new JB cafes popping up every month. Yet, there’s only so many hours and places you can squeeze in during your one-weekend trip to JB.

To save you from the misses, here’s our curated list of hits — our ultimate guide to 25 of the best cafes in JB . 

Save this list for your next cafe hopping in JB sojourn — your tummy and wallet will thank you. 

Tiong Nam Tebrau, 45, Jalan Tiong Nam Emas​, Kawasan Perindustrian Tebrau 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 10pm)


Why visit? Founders Cafe is brought to you by the team at the well-known, but now-defunct People & Places Cafe. Huge and spacious with high ceilings, the cafe has plenty of space for everyone, especially for big groups of friends and families. 

Having been around since 2020, Founders Cafe is an established and highly-raved cafe in Johor Bahru. A nd for good reason, too — its food doesn’t disappoint and consistently hits all the right spots.

If you only have time for one cafe and one cafe alone in JB, this is the one to go to.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: Bagel with smoked salmon, green onion cream cheese, capers, tomato (RM29.90 or S$8.60) is highly recommended as its bagels are made fresh daily. Its quesadilla (RM29.90) is a tasty combination of fluffy tom yum scrambled eggs, chicken ham, sliced tomatoes, Sriracha aioli, coriander, and cheddar cheese sandwiched between tortilla sheets. 

82-B, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (8.30am to 6pm)

51, Jalan Austin Heights 3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia   Open : Monday to Sunday (10am to 9pm)


Why visit? Your mornings in Johor Bahru just got better — Principle Cafe (at Jalan Trus) launched its breakfast menu to cater to morning risers, in November last year.

Look forward to an elevated brunch at this Muslim-friendly cafe, where there is no pork or lard used in any of its dishes. Those who love the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic will especially enjoy their time here. Tip: If it’s quiet while you’re there, make a beeline for the cosy nook at the front corner of the cafe. 

If you are driving into JB, get your first hour of parking waived simply by informing the friendly members of staff who will assist you. 

Crowd favourites: PCT (RM19) is an acronym for “perfect poached eggs, charred broccoli and toasted brioche”.

The eggs are indeed perfectly poached. Here, savour the creamiest mushroom and tomato omelette you would have ever eaten with OM… (RM22), which also features toasted focaccia and shaved parmigiano. 

Principle’s kombu mushroom pasta (RM29) is a filling vegetarian option that packs a punch and comes with Japanese seaweed, shitake, king oyster mushroom, a touch of dried chilli, and spaghetti.

171, Jalan Beringin, Taman Melodies, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (8am to 11pm)


Why visit? Be transported to Paris with the charming Parisian chic elements at Nimmies Pastry Cafe . Located not too far away from KSL mall — a hot spot for most Singaporeans — this cafe resides in a “mansion” of sorts, and is easily accessible by a short taxi ride or a 15-minute walk on foot, if that’s what you prefer. 

As its name suggests, it specialises in pastries of both the sweet and savoury kind. Diners are invited to choose from its selection of exquisite pastries in the glass display counters. And they taste as good as they look, if not better. The crispy, buttery pastries here are truly every foodies’ dream.

Crowd favourites: I nspired by the nasi lemak dish, the Hoe lemak croissant (RM16) is a croissant-based pastry with nasi lemak toppings such as sambal, cucumber, ikan bilis, and peanuts. Its pistachio supreme croissant (RM18) is filled with a generous dose of nutty and creamy pistachio cream that just oozes out of the pastry when you bite into it. 

14 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (8.30am to 5pm)


Why visit? If you’re a Singaporean making your way to JB, then h eading to Hiap Joo Bakery to queue for its famous banana cake is a necessary rite of passage.

While queueing, you may have spot a quaint new patisserie next to the famed bakery — Dona Bakehouse . We hear it was founded due to the founder’s passion for baking, which ignited during the pandemic. 

High on the list of breakfast cafes in Johor Bahru , Dona’s wide variety of exquisite French pastries is sure to draw you in. Come early, as the pastries are baked fresh daily and do get sold out by the afternoon, especially on weekends!

Other than flaky buttery pastries, try its breads (such as sourdough and focaccia), bagels and scones. 

Crowd favourites: Pistachio supreme swirl (RM14) is full of  pistachio cream that’s made in-house and topped with white chocolate icing. Its l emon meringue croissant (RM12) is a unique twist on the classic, with zesty lemon cream carefully piped atop the flaky pastry.

134, Jalan Serampang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 10pm)

50&52, Jalan Eko Botani 3/6 Taman Eko Botani Iskandar Puteri, 79100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (1030am to 930pm)

06-GO-best-cafes-in-JB-Seven-Oaks-Bakery-HungryGoWherein JB

Why visit? If you’ve ever been torn between getting a hearty brunch or getting your bakes craving fixed, you can g et the best of both worlds at Seven Oaks Bakery Cafe — it serves up not just appetising mains, but also delectable pastries. 

Unlike the many other cafes, which tend to be cosier in size, this one takes up an entire building of its own and has several levels to house all its patrons. Pretty grand and fancy, we think. 

The pastries and cakes look equally as fancy, with interesting creations such as a Tacro, which are croissant-shaped and presented like tacos, and Crombolini, a mash-up of a croissant and a bomboloni . If you love new and interesting flavours, you’d be glad to know that Seven Oaks frequently releases new flavours for its pastries, on top of seasonal, limited-edition ones. 

Crowd favourites:  Try its C romobolini (RM12) in various delightful flavours like pistachio creme brulee, hojicha milk chocolate, dark chocolate churro, garlic cream cheese, strawberry cheese and more. Its unique Tracro (RM20) creations come with beef, chicken or lamb.

87, Jalan Mutiara Emas 2A, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (12pm to 10pm)


Why visit? If you’re cafe hopping with your significant other, you’d want to bring your date to Bloom by Mok Mok . It’s got a romantic ambience complete with dried flowers artistically hanging from the ceiling and dim neon lighting. 

This iconic floral cafe checks all the boxes in terms of its food, too, offering hearty rice bowls and burgers, creative asian fusion dishes and delightful desserts. If Mount Austin is one of your cafe hopping in JB spots, be sure to add this to your list of places to go. 

Crowd favourites: Its chilli crab pasta (RM32) is every pasta and chilli crab lover’s dream. If you’re looking for something sweeter insteadl, opt for its fresh mango cream cheese souffle pancakes (RM32), which features its signature soft souffle pancakes, paired with fresh mango and cream cheese.

49, Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 10pm)


Why visit? A concept by the Mok Mok Group, Dusk by Mok Mok is dripping with Bohemian vibes, reminiscent of Bali cafes or beach clubs . If you’re looking for that one spot to chill your afternoon away, this relaxing and comfortable cafe is it. 

The menu here is very much similar to its sister cafe Bloom by Mok Mok, with the main difference being the addition of smoothie bowls, tropical-themed drinks and smoothies, and is worth every single calorie you might consume.

Crowd favourite: Gyutan (RM30), also know as beef tongue, is a dish that boasts melt-in-your-mouth stir-fried gyutan , cooked with chilli and soya sauce. Desserts fanatics should try its kumo ultimo (RM25), which are souffle pancakes embellished with a white chocolate mermaid tail.

18, Jalan Sri Pelangi 4, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (11am to 12am)


Why visit? Office-inspired cafe in the day, neon lights-adorned bar at night, Brooos & Co is JWC’s newest concept located at Taman Pelangi. If you’re wondering what JWC is, it’s an F&B company with multiple food and drink ventures in Malaysia.

Expect a menu that carries the same influence but is slightly differentiated from its OG outlet named JWC, The Factory 30. 

Besides its sourdough and wrap offerings, the highlight here would be its draft cocktails with kooky names like Drama Queen (RM20), Email Expert (RM25) and Like a Bossy (RM20), keeping to the corporate theme of the cafe.

Visit this spot both in the day and at night to soak up the vastly different vibes, or better yet, grab a late-afternoon coffee and stay till the evening. 

Crowd favourites: If you are into theatrics with your food, you will enjoy the flaming brownie (RM25) where you will see your chocolate brownie being lit on fire. We stan a healthy and delicious dish and its grilled squid & avocado sourdough (RM25) is just that, with perfectly-cooked squid, guacamole and homemade ricotta.

3, Jalan Chengai, Taman Melodies, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Tuesday to Sunday (11am to 7pm)


Why visit? For those who head to TikTok to plan their cafe hopping in JB, you should be well-acquainted with Keijometo . Well-loved for its raw industrial aesthetic, this social media-famous cafe, adorned with plenty of concrete and unfinished elements, needs no introduction. 

Besides its vibes, the cafe is known for its specialty matcha drinks and Japanese-inspired dishes. Go early as heavier mains like udon aren’t served in the afternoon — you’ll only get to order its sandos then.

Crowd favourites: Its mentaiko tamagoyaki sando (RM20) is a Japanese-style sandwich featuring velvety mentaiko sauce and is flame-torched for a charred flavour. We never thought watermelon could complement matcha, but the refreshing watermelon matcha iced latte (RM15) made us think otherwise.

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G-11, Holiday Villa, 260, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (8am to 11pm)


Why visit? If you’re at the much-frequented KSL City Mall or staying at Hotel Holiday Villa — a popular hotel choice with Singaporeans — Space Cafe is a must-visit cafe spot.

Located in the lobby of Hotel Holiday Villa, this minimalist cafe offers — in our opinion — the best coffee in Johor Bahru, hands down.

Coffee connoisseurs would appreciate being able to choose your own beans for your pourover coffees. Apart from hand-brews, it also has unique specialty coffees such as caramel cinnamon cafe latte (RM18) and orange americano (RM18), which includes freshly-squeezed orange juice.

You can even opt to enjoy its coffees at home, by bringing back its specialty blends of beans from Costa Rica, Brazil and Indonesia. 

Crowd favourites: For those opting for hand-brews, you’ll want to try the Ethiopia Haru Suke (RM25), which has notes of lavender, fresh apricot, orange peel, and bergamot. Its canele (RM14) is just how we’ll like it, crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside.

Unit SL009, Spring Lab, Jalan Ekoflora Utama, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 6pm)


Why visit? Being at Eco Spring Labs — a retail park located thirty minutes from the checkpoint by car — feels like you’re visiting a small town within JB itself. And it’s a very picturesque one, too, with eateries and photo opportunities at every corner.

If you have time to spare and are looking to cafe-hop away from the usual crowds, venture there and treat yourself at Soil , a hidden, minimalist spot located at Eco Spring Labs. 

We think that Soil is easily the best JB cafe for French pastries, with each one freshly baked daily by its artisanal partner bakery — The Atlas Bakery. A wide array of buttery and flaky bakes welcome you at this charming cafe, with both savoury and sweet options. 

Crowd favourites: You can’t go wrong with the classics like its French croissant (RM9) and its blueberry cream cheese danish (RM9).

86, Jalan Beringin, Taman Melodies, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (11am to 10pm)

No 72, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4, Taman Sutera Utama, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (11am to 11pm)


Why visit? Right opposite the famed Nimmies Pastry Cafe at Taman Melodies is another trendy cafe called Nikko & Yoryo . Hailing from Malacca , the brand has since opened two branches in Johor Bahru, with another branch in Sutera. 

Unlike regular cafes, it dishes up Japanese-inspired cuisine such as rice bowls, sandos and pastas. However, the highlight has got to be its divine desserts that are just as photo-worthy. 

Crowd favourites: Come here for its souffle pancakes (RM26) that “jiggle jiggle” and come in flavours like strawberry and matcha. With a range of sides to choose from, don’t miss out on its tori katsu don (RM11.90), featuring deep fried chicken that is perfectly fried, with truffle curry and the creamiest tamago (egg) .  

30, Jalan Mutiara Emas 5/3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (11am to 11pm)


Why visit? The people at JWC, The Factory 30 , take its coffees seriously, and you can tell this by the coffee competitions it organises and the many barista accolades to its name. If you’re wondering what the initials JWC stand for, it’s simply an acronym for “just want coffee”.

While the location isn’t the most central — it’s located in an industrial area — it is definitely worth taking a short car or taxi ride out just for its robust brews alone. Exceptional specialty coffees await you here — you won’t regret it. 

Price range: $$

Crowd favourites: Its classic cold brew latte (RM16) comes in enticing flavours like rose, mocha, hazelnut and salted caramel.  And it serves more than just coffees, too — we recommend diving into its spaghetti al nero di seppia (squid ink pasta with perfectly-cooked squid, RM35).

82-B1, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (8am to 5.30pm)

15, Jalan Austin Heights 3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (8am to 5.30pm)

109, Jln Anggerik Emas 1, Taman Perusahaan Ringan Pulai, 81300 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (8am to 5.30pm)


Why visit? Not your typical brunch spot, Padi Kopitiam is the go-to place for all things local. The cafe’s exterior resembles a traditional kopitiam with round tables and stools while its interior is a touch more modern. 

Enjoy mouth-watering rice and noodle dishes, local snacks (such as bolo buns and egg tarts) and local delights such as cendol — all at wallet-friendly prices! You’re guaranteed plenty of wok hei and umami flavours in these dishes.

If you’re up early looking for the best cafe in JB town , you’d definitely want to start here, as it is opens early at 8am.

Crowd favourites: You’ve got to munch on its signature pisang goreng (banana fritters, RM6.90) that sell out daily. A must-try would be its tom yum char lao shu fen (RM11.90) which resembles char kway teow but cooked with lao shu fen, a thick noodle that’s more commonly known in Singapore as mee tai mak.

Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4, Taman Sutera Utama skudai, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (12.30pm to 1am)


Why visit? Supper-goers rejoice! Here’s the perfect cafe and supper spot to visit when in JB. Beans Factory , Malaysia’s beloved dessert cafe opens till 1am. 

Don’t miss out on its silky smooth signature beancurd, traditionally known as “tau fu fah”. All the desserts come in an array of options and you can even customise your own dessert and toppings.  

Its shaved-ice desserts taste incredible, too. And we daresay no other taro balls anywhere else come close to embodying this level of chewiness. 

Crowd favourites: Signature tau fu fah (RM4.90) is the plain option which has a pudding-like texture. But of course, there are other options with toppings such as taro balls, grass jelly and more. Its mango shaved ice (RM7.90) has generous amounts of mango, which are delightfully sweet.

10, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (8.30am to 6pm)


Why visit? One of the newest cafes in JB , Palates & Bagels by T.A.M. has been trending on TikTok. One needn’t look far to guess why. Its retro and vintage interior makes for aesthetic content, while its signature bagels look absolutely mouth-watering, even from your phone screens.

Bagels aren’t exactly common in JB cafes, so this cafe is a good find for those who are searching for that 10 out of 10 bagel. Each bagel is baked fresh everyday and there’s a wide variety of flavours to choose from. If you’re looking for a heavier meal, opt for the bagel dishes that are filled with savoury ingredients. 

Crowd favourites: For a quick bite, choose from its variety of freshly baked bagels (RM6) with flavours like cranberry and mixed black sesame. One savoury-filled bagel to try would be Ah Seng (RM30), which is loaded with hae bi hiam (spicy dried shrimp) mayo and prawn patties.

54, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Thursday to Tuesday (10am to 6pm)


Why visit? Located at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee old town’s heritage street, Bev C’afe is one of the OG cafes in JB, with a strong focus on their coffees. 

If you’re a fan of multi-tasking, you can do some shopping for designer apparel at this spot, too. The first floor of this two-storey cafe houses an eclectic mix of independent designers’ creations. 

Holding true to its motto of “we serve what we like to eat”, the cafe also serves up interesting eats such as squid ink cream pasta (RM25) and even leicha cake (thunder tea rice cake, RM16).  

Crowd favourites: For that quintessential cafe pic of your drink, try the i ced cube espresso (RM16), which has you pouring milk over espresso cubes. Its Oh Mama (RM18) features slow-cooked traditional chicken rendang with either an original croissant or a charcoal croissant.

31, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (12pm to 10pm)


Why visit? Jalan Dhoby is a prominent spot for cafe-hopping amongst Singaporeans in JB, as there are a number of popular cafes and eateries in the area. Located in the middle of this area is The Ice Cream Project , the place to be for all your ice cream cravings.  

Don’t be alarmed if you see plenty of smoke around your ice cream — it’s just the liquid nitrogen used to freeze the dairy into freshly churned ice cream quickly! Not only does this result in a decadently creamy texture, but is also said to lock in the flavours of the ingredients used. 

Crowd favourites: Its Rocher fudge (RM21) is inspired by Ferrero Rocher chocolate and lives up to its name — it’s chock-full of rich, oh-so-chocolatey goodness. Its butterscotch (RM19) is made with classic butter sauce for its sweet and nutty flavour.

19. D’cafe

9, Jalan Kelewang, Taman Sri Tebrau, 80050 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 7pm)


Why visit? Love that warm natural light in your cafes? We got you covered with this spot, D’Cafe . Its floor-to-ceiling windows and glass ceilings in this cafe make for a welcoming and cosy ambience — they let in plenty of natural light for your photos. 

In fact, wherever you go within the cafe, you’re bound to find a great photo opportunity not just for your OOTDs, but for Food Tok too. But don’t just write it off as a pretty spot — you can definitely count on them for classic brunch grub like big breakfast dishes and healthy pastas. 

Crowd favourites: A mix of our favourite things at brunch, P ot-a-tato rosti (RM32) is a classic potato rosti dish with eggs benedict. Health nuts will like Sweetie Sally (RM40) for a delish salmon trout, mushrooms, baby spinach, tomatoes, and couscous.

65, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/2, Taman Sutera Utama, 81300 Skudai Johor Bahru, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (10.30am to 10pm)


Why visit? Mille crepe fans, look no further for a splendid slice of the beloved cake. At Maco Cafe , there are a whopping 30 variations to choose from.

Famously called the “thousand layer cake”, mille crepe cakes are made with multiple layers of crepe and cream. It is notoriously known to be laborious to make and can be quite a rare find in dessert cafes.

Thankfully, we don’t need to put in all that effort to indulge in these soft and fluffy cakes — we just need to head to Maco Cafe.    

Crowd favourites: With a combination of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavours, the 3-in-1 mille crepe (RM11.50) brings to mind a nostalgic ice cream sandwich. Its French chestnut mille crepe  (RM11.50) is another go-to dessert for fragrant chestnut flavours.

17-02, Jalan Austin Heights 8/3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Tuesday to Sunday (12pm to 7pm)


Why visit? Ideal for the sweet tooth girlies, Ukiyo Cafe tops our list of dessert cafes in JB. Decked out in a pink theme and terrazzo tables, this cafe at Mount Austin is the go-to spot for afternoon tea and tete-a-tetes with your besties. 

They say there is always room for dessert, and Ukiyo’s delicate French-Japanese cakes and tarts should take priority.

Crowd favourites: A raspberry mille-feuille with pistachio praline and rose cream, its Sicily (RM28) is a need, and not a want. Relish in its fudgy matcha cube with a rich dark chocolate middle named Genie (RM22).

228 & 230, Jalan Adda 7, Taman Adda Heights, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 6pm)


Why visit? Commune by the Creators scores with its Nordic-inspired, minimalist, clean, and white interior, all-day brunch menu and creative fusion fare. To top it off, the cafe is staffed with friendly crew that spare no expense at ensuring its guests are well taken care of.

This is one cafe not to be missed on your search for the best cafe in JB town , especially since this is yet another Muslim-friendly cafe that serves pork-free dishes. So go on, settle on its comfortable cushions, order, and relax your afternoon away at this gorgeous spot. 

Crowd favourites: If you’re curious about how a chicken marinated with yogurt would taste like, check out its yogurt chicken leg (RM29), served with homemade mashed potatoes, pumpkin beetroot salad and spiced seeds and nuts. 

For something interesting, dig into its tomato soup with kimchi grilled cheese sandwich (RM28) — a twist on a classic comfort dish.

9, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Wednesday to Monday (9am to 4pm)


Why visit? In your pursuit of the best JB cafe , make time to swing by this enchanting garden-themed cafe Flowers in the Window , a two-storey cafe by the team behind the new-defunct Roost Juice Bar, in the Jalan Dhoby area.

Those who love their flora and fauna will appreciate the picturesque foliage all around the exterior and interior of the cafe — all two floors of it! The menu’s offerings include interesting rice bowls, enticing cakes and buttery bakes. One thing’s for sure, you ought to have a go at its sourdough and  hummus — both homemade — if you don’t know where to start. 

Crowd favourites: Starring its homemade beetroot hummus, beet hummus on a slice of toasted sourdough (RM14.90) also has feta, organic nuts, chia seeds, and rocket. If you’d prefer its roasted red pepper hummus, try its meatball chicken/beef hummus (RM16), which also has sauteed mushrooms and grilled meatballs. 

17, Jalan Cenderai 20, Taman Perindustrian Kota Puteri, 81750 Masai, Johor, Malaysia Open: Monday to Sunday (11am to 10pm)


Why visit? A rustic find, far from the hustle and bustle of busy city life in both Singapore and Malaysia, is Rowan & Parsley Food Atelier , located a 15-minute drive from the checkpoint. Before you baulk at the description, trust us when we say it is truly a respite from the usual cafes you might be used to. Think lush greenery and an ethereal outdoor garden. 

Claiming to be JB’s first authentic Texas barbecue smokehouse, Rowan’s house-smoked meats can be enjoyed in various dishes on its menu, such as in the L ittle Brother Benedict (RM32), which comes with pulled pork. Want the usual brunch specials? This spot also has a regular brunch menu of classics, such as eggs benedict and toast.

Crowd favourites: Try B ig Brother Benedict (RM46) for eggs benedict with savoury, house-smoked beef cubes. Smoked for eight hours, its signature pork belly (RM36) with a creamy mash potato should not be missed, either.

Lot B, Jalan Ekoflora Utama, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Open: Tuesday to Sunday (12pm to 7pm)


Why visit? Situated at the Eco Spring Labs retail park, Morihana Pastry checks all the boxes for a charming dessert cafe in JB. We’re talking dainty cakes and tarts with a robust selection of flower teas, set in a quaint spot. You will even be able to spot this cafe from miles away, owing to its quaint shape — a little like the house you see in the animated film Up. 

Morihana serves limited-edition, seasonal specials so you get to try different variants of its signature desserts throughout the year. Make your trip to this cafe as soon as it opens at 12pm, as its fresh pastries sell out by the late afternoon!

Crowd favourites: For refreshing watermelon, lychee and strawberry flavours in an almond cake, savour its signature watermelon lychee rose cake (RM20). Its Fuji (RM20) is essentially a matcha mousse, with matcha nama chocolate and caramel nuts.

For more food options in JB, check out 10 places in Johor Bahru for a day’s worth of food or if you’re heading further up North, here’s our guide on the best KL cafes to visit . 

Do check out amazing deals on the GrabFood Dine-in service .

Gracia Ow

A self-professed foodie, Gracia searches for good food everywhere she goes. Her go-to comfort food is anything with noodles or soup.

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The Travel Intern

JB Cafe-hopping — 13 Cool Cafes to Check Out in Johor Bahru

trip cafe hopping

From petting dogs to DIY toasts — check out these cool and relatively new cafes in JB with your family and friends!

Update: 22 Feb 2024

We love heading over to Johor Bahru (JB) for a quick weekend getaway to shop, eat and cafe-hop to our heart’s content — it’s basically our second home.

But sadly, some of our favourite JB cafes have closed down for good during the pandemic. So instead, here are 13 new and unique ones to check out if you’re thinking of where to go on your next JB trip!

1) Chill ‘N Chow Cafe


Opened in July 2023, Chill ‘N Chow Cafe by Ng Kitchen  is every dog lover’s dream. It’s home to four five Chow Chows puppies — Waffle, Mochi, Pudding, Donut, and its most recent addition, Latte!

For RM18/RM22, you get 1 hour of playtime and a cup of coconut ice cream. The staff even gave us dog treats for free!

The owner of the cafe, Angie, mentioned that she loves Chow Chows so much that she decided to open this cafe to share her love (which we’re all thankful for 💖).

Entrance fee:  RM18/pax (~S$5) (Tue – Thu), RM22/pax (~S$6) (Fri – Sun) Opening hours:  11AM – 7PM, closed on Mon Address:  16-01, Jalan Austin Heights 8/4, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

2) Shi Ba Cafe

Boy with Dog at Shi Ba Cafe - JB Cafe

Malaysia now has its very first shiba inu dog cafe in Johor Bahru 🐕.

Launched in February 2022, Shi Ba Cafe is home to 10 adorable shiba inus . The cafe is located on the second storey of a shophouse, with plans to turn the third storey into a pet hotel in the future.

Corgi at Shi Ba Cafe - Things to do in Johor Bahru

In the meantime, pet lovers are welcome to bring their own fur babies too. Aside from the shibas , we got to pet and play with other breeds like German Shepard, Alaskan Malamute, and my personal favourite — Corgi!

*Pro-tip: Purchase some dog treats for RM2 per packet and you are guaranteed to attract their attention.

Shi Ba Cafe Ticket and Drink - Things to do in Johor Bahru

Like most animal cafes, you’ll need to pay an entry fee before you can cuddle these furry creatures. You’ll be given a complimentary coca-cola drink but the cafe also serves dishes like Japanese curry rice and saba fish to fill your tummies while you’re there 😋.

*Note: Reserve at least one day in advance as cafe time slots fill up quickly.

Entrance fee: RM32/pax (~S$9) (Weekdays), RM38/pax (~S$11) (Weekends) — 1hr slot incl. free refillable soft drink Opening hours:  10AM – 3PM, 4PM – 8PM Address:  12-01, Jalan Austin Heights 8/4, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor

3) Outline Cafe

People in Outline Cafe - JB Itinerary

Go glamping at Outline Cafe — you’re guaranteed a great view of the moon 🌑 

The cafe has a really cool camping concept, with gravel flooring and tents (minus the mosquitos)! Menu-wise, there’s the Crunchy Caramel Latte (RM16.90) and Hot Yuri Matcha (RM14.90) for drinks and the Ham & Cheese Croissant (RM17.90) for small bites.

Opening hours:  11:30AM – 10PM, closed on Wed Address:  22, Jalan Austin Height 7/8, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

4) Meow Me Cat House

Kitty at Meow Me Cat House - Things to do in Mt Austin

If you’re not a dog-lover, there are plenty of adorable cats at MeowMe Cat House ! FYI, this isn’t a pet cafe but a cat-friendly cafe so yes you can bring your own fur pets 🐈

You don’t have to pay an entrance fee but we encourage you to order some drinks and pastries while relaxing among these furry felines. When we visited, we also met four resident cats roaming about and of course, gave them loads of pets! Do take note that feeding and carrying is not allowed.

Some kitties are also up for adoption if you’re thinking of giving one a forever home 😻

*Pro-tip:  Avoid visiting in the afternoon as that’s usually their nap time 😴

Opening hours:  12PM – 9PM, closed on Wed Address:  28-01, Jalan Austin Height 7/7, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

5) Cafe Eden by Wizards

Entrance to Eden by Wizards in Mount Austin - What to eat at Mt Austin

Also newly opened in 2023, Eden by Wizards  is an aesthetic and IG-worthy cafe in Mount Austin. You’ll feel like you’re taking a stroll in the garden with plant decor scattered all over 🌿

It specialises in fusion dishes — specifically Western and Southeast Asian flavours — like Siamese Prawn Spaghettini (RM35) and Green Curry Soft Shell Crab Pasta (RM35) which we tried. Verdict: It was surprisingly flavourful and balanced!

Opening hours:  10AM – 6PM (last order at 5:30PM) Address:  19, Jln Tiong Emas, Kawasan Perindustrian Tiong Nam Tebrau 3, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

*Pro-tip:  Make a  reservation  in advance as it gets crowded during the weekends.

6) Forever Twenty Cafe

Pink Interior at Forever Twenty Cafe - JB Cafe

Show off your creative side at Forever Twenty Cafe , where the main highlight is its DIY concept. For a fee, you can opt for toast painting with colourful edible “paint” (AKA yogurt) and then eat it after!

Don’t worry if you can’t paint, they serve other food like pizza and croffles too.

Colourful Toast Painting - JB Cafe

Besides toast painting, you can also customise an item of your choice by decorating it with charms and buttercream.

Person Picking Charms - Things to do Johor Bahru

There are a couple of different set options to choose from but we went for set C, which gave us 13 charms and two different coloured “buttercreams” to decorate items such as phone casings, water bottles, and photo frames.

Ultimately, we decided on a soap dispenser so we could display it in our office 😂.

Person Putting Charms on Soap Bottle - JB Cafe

Cost for toast painting: From RM18 (~S$5) — book a day in advance Cost for DIY set: From RM26 (~S$7) Opening hours:  11AM – 7PM, closed on Wed Address:  51-02 Jalan Jaya Putra 7/6, Bandar Jaya Putra 81100, Johor

People Walking into Cafe - JB Cafe

Don’t let its looks fool you — Soil might look like a rustic home covered in overgrown vines, but that’s all part of its charm.

Located in Spring Labs, this charming JB cafe serves freshly baked pastries and cakes from The Atlas Bakery . Our favourite picks are the croissant aux amandes , creme brulee tart, and the chocolate raspberry entremet .

Pastries and Matcha Latte - Things to do in Johor Bahru

The cafe also serves coffee and tea, plus other specialty drinks like houji yuzu latte, matcha latte, and mint chocolate!

Opening hours:  9AM – 6PM, last order at 5:30PM Address:  Unit SL009, Spring Lab, Lot A GF, Jalan Ekoflora Utama, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor

Read also: Cafe hopping in Thailand — 5 Cafes Surrounded by Nature

8) Keijometo

Keijometo Industrial Exterior - JB Cafe

Photo credit: @keijometo via Instagram

With an industrial, factory-like exterior, it’s easy to miss Keijometo’s entrance.

Once you’re inside though, you’ll be greeted with concrete tables, leather sofas, and even an old television box — recreating a cosy, industrial home.

Old TV Box Inside Keijometo - Things to do in Johor Bahru

Photo credit: @kllyhsu via Instagram

On top of its intriguing design, Keijometo is also known for its Japanese dishes and specialty matcha drinks. We’d recommend trying the mentaiko tamagoyaki (Japanese-style sandwiches) and watermelon or lychee matcha drinks for tea-lovers.

The best part is that the cafe is only a 10-minute drive from Woodlands Checkpoint!

Opening hours:  11AM – 7PM (last order at 6PM), closed on Mon Address:  3, Jalan Chengai, Taman Melodies, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor

9) Offee Cafe

Yes, that’s coffee without the “c”.

Interior of Offee Cafe - Things to do in Johor Bahru

Recommended by a local, we came across this hidden gem in JB named Offee Cafe . Apart from the usual espressos and lattes, the cafe serves up interesting flavours like coffee coconut and coconut matcha.

There are also carrot cakes, lemon cakes and chocolate chip cookies for a quick snack!

Girls Drinking Coffee - Things to do in Johor Bahru

Psst, while the physical store closes at 12AM, it’s available on Grab Food Delivery 24/7 😉

Opening hours:  8AM – 12AM Address:  30, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor

Ukiyo Pink Interior - JB Cafe

Photo credit: via Instagram

Decked in pink decor and fitted with terrazzo tables, Ukiyo gives off a very stylish and trendy setting — perfect for a day out with the girls.

This pretty cafe specialises in French-Japanese handcrafted desserts which come in various shapes, colours, and flavours such as passion fruit jelly and pistachio lavender mousse.

Ukiyo Petite Desserts - Things to do in Johor Bahru

There’s also tiramisu coffee and rose-flavoured latte up on the menu if you’re looking for something different to add to your afternoon tea ☕.

Opening hours:  12PM – 7PM, closed on Mon Address:  17-02, Jalan Austin Heights 8/3, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor

11) The FOUNDERS Cafe

The Founders Cafe Interior - JB Itinerary

The FOUNDERS Cafe is founded by the same people behind the popular (but now defunct) Melbourne-inspired JB cafe, People and Places.

The first thing you’ll notice is the high archway ceiling and shower curtains in the middle of the cafe — resembling a cascading waterfall.

Girls Eating Food - JB Itinerary

For your meal, we recommend getting the juicy Aussie Beef Bagel (RM38.90) and the Shakshouka Pizza (RM43.50) — it has a runny egg yolk in the middle! Yumz.

Opening hours:  9AM – 10PM (last order at 9PM) Address:  45, Jalan Tiong Emas, Tiong Nam Tebrau, Kawasan Perindustrian Tebrau, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor

12) Commune by The Creators

White Cafe Interior - JB Cafe

Photo credit: @communebythecreators via Instagram

Opened while borders were closed in 2021, Commune by The Creators rose to fame for its white interior which exudes a sleek and minimalistic look.

Don’t be shy to snap some OOTD photos here against the clean, white background and also taste some of its unique dishes like miso alfredo udon and yogurt chicken leg!

Person Serving Miso Alfredo Udon - Things to do in Johor Bahru

If you prefer something less adventurous, there are the usual brunch items of eggs benedict croissant and avocado toast too 🥑.

Opening hours:  9AM – 6PM (last order at 5:30PM) Address:  228 & 230, Jalan Adda 7, Taman Adda Heights, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor

Bonus: 13) Origin Cafe Kulai

People Eating at Cafe - JB Cafe

Photo credit: @origincafe.kulai via Instagram

It’s around an hour’s drive from the JB checkpoint but if you’re thinking of heading to Kulai for a day trip , don’t forget to check out Origin Cafe Kulai !

It’s recognised for its Japanese-inspired layouts such as circular cut-out doorway frames and rattan seats. Although the interior looks simple, it sets a relaxing and zen mood for those desiring a peaceful environment away from the bustling city.

Fig Mulberry Leaf Tea on Table - Things to do in Johor Bahru

It also has a wide variety of food options from braised meat rice to chicken katsu curry rice and satay burger. End the day with a soothing cup of rose herbs, ginger jujube or fig mulberry leaf tea 🍵

Opening hours:  11AM – 8PM, closed on Mon Address:  41, Lorong Ismail, Taman Kulai, 81000 Kulai, Johor

Read also: Cafe-hopping in Singapore — 11 Instagrammable Cafes with Overseas Vibes

Tips for Planning a Cafe-hopping Day in JB

Painted Toast on Display - Things to do in Johor Bahru

We really enjoyed discovering new cafes and trying our hand at new experiences like toast painting 🖌️ — so here are some tips for planning a memorable cafe-hopping day in JB!

1) Take the train to JB instead of the bus — it only costs RM5 (~S$1.40) one way there and you won’t have to squeeze with the morning crowd in a tight space 2) Ask locals for recommendations — after all, they would know what’s new in town 3) Travel around JB by Grab — it’s faster and not too expensive (a ride to nearby places can cost around RM10 (~S$3)) 4) Make reservations in advance — some popular cafes may be fully booked if you walk in 5) Bring sufficient cash — not all places may accept credit cards so it’s good to be prepared

For other JB guides and itineraries: – JB Day Trip Itinerary — Where to Eat, Play and Shop Under S$70 – 3D2N JB Itinerary — Mount Austin, Kulai, JB Sentral – Mount Austin Guide — 13 Things to Do in JB’s Trendiest Neighbourhood – 12 Best JB Hotels Near Sentral, Mt Austin Other Popular Areas Best for Shopping, Cafe-hopping – 12 Cosy JB Accommodations near Popular Malls from S$18/night — City Square, KSL, Paradigm

Know of any other new cafes in JB? Share with us in the comments below! 

Like what you see? Follow us on  Facebook ,  Instagram ,  YouTube , and  Telegram  for more travel inspiration!

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Bangkok Cafe Hopping Private Tour (Morning)


Local Experience by

Nattawoot S.

Private Car

ไทย, English

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Indulge in the rich coffee culture of Bangkok . Join our tour to discover the city's coolest and most unique cafes, sip on delicious drinks and specialty brews, meet local coffee roasters and learn about the art and science of making great coffee. Don't miss this opportunity to elevate your coffee game and experience Bangkok like never before.

Meet up at BTS Station (Phrom Phong)

Join me for an unforgettable cafe hopping experience in Bangkok ! Let's meet up in Sukhumvit, the birthplace of Bangkok 's coffee culture. Here you'll find an abundance of unique cafes, each with their own special brews, ambiances, and interior designs. This is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the city's rich coffee culture and discover the true essence of Bangkok 's cafe scene. Let's start our journey together, and get ready to be amazed by the taste and experiences that awaits you

We'll visit 4 unique locations, where you'll savor signature drinks handpicked by me, hear the stories behind each cafe, and meet the passionate coffee roasters.

Thanks for joining the cafe hopping adventure. I hope you've discovered new favorites and memories that will last a lifetime. See you again soon for more coffee discoveries.

Price Conditions

Transportation fares are included.

Admission fees are included.

Meals are excluded

Why this trip?

Hey there, my name is Natan and I'm a passionate foodie and coffee enthusiast! I love nothing more than sharing my cafe hopping experiences with others. Let's explore the city's trendiest cafes in many areas, sip on delicious brews and indulge in the rich coffee culture of Bangkok together. Are you ready for a taste adventure? Let's do this!"

Things to prepare for the trip

Travelers should prepare for a fun and enjoyable experience on this cafe hopping trip. Be open to trying new things and be ready to indulge in the rich coffee culture of Bangkok. It's also a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and clothing!

Meeting Point

Bts station.

- Phrom Phong

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Cafe Hopping in Gyeongju: 10 Yummy Cafes Tour

The magnificent ten: gyeongju’s cafe scene.

Gyeongju is one of my favorite cities. Luckily it’s only a little over an hour away from Daegu, so I can visit often. The city is a captivating destination steeped in history. As you step into its ancient streets, cafe hopping in Gyeongju becomes a delightful journey that immerses you in the city’s rich tapestry while offering a vibrant and inviting atmosphere. Gyeongju  is the city with the most World Heritage Sites in Korea . This ancient city gracefully blends traditional and modern cafes, each with its own unique allure and offerings.

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This post is sponsored and/or contains affiliate links, from which I earn a commission at no extra cost to the reader. I appreciate your support and know that all the views expressed are my own.

In this city of wonders, every cafe holds a story. They serve as gateways to the past, allowing you to experience the essence of Gyeongju’s rich history. Whether you choose to sample traditional Korean flavors or enjoy Gyeongju coffee culture, each cafe offers a unique opportunity to explore the city’s culinary and cultural heritage.

Do you know what to look for in a group tour?

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Cafe Hopping in Gyeongju

Gyeongju’s cafe scene is a perfect reflection of the city itself—a harmonious blend of the old and the new, the traditional and the contemporary. It invites you to savor a taste of the past while embracing the vibrant energy of the present. So, venture into the enchanting world of Gyeongju’s cafes, where every sip and every bite becomes a gateway to the past and a celebration of the city’s enduring legacy. Here are 10 cafes that do just that.

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Ffreci Brunch Cafe Rhapsody in Blue Sannae Grove Cafe Page9 Cafe Basila Cafe Aden Cafe Yeo Gi Dang Eyst1779 Interfall Coffee LLOW

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Ffreci Brunch Cafe

Ffreci Brunch Cafe in Gyeongju is truly amazing. It’s a cute and cozy storefront cafe that I absolutely adore. As soon as you step inside through the weathered blue doors, you’ll find yourself in a small courtyard with a stone floor, creating a charming entrance. The cafe is bathed in filtered light, which beautifully illuminates the honey-stained wood and highlights the large windows that overlook the street, adding a warm and inviting touch to the overall atmosphere.

Korean Traditional Architecture

One of the most captivating aspects of Ffreci Brunch Cafe is its traditional Korean open beamed ceiling. This architectural feature reflects the rich heritage of Korea and adds an authentic and distinctive charm to the cafe. The intricate designs and craftsmanship of the ceiling are truly mesmerizing, showcasing the beauty of the hanok-style architecture that has stood the test of time.

But Ffreci Brunch Cafe isn’t just about its ambiance; the food is equally delightful. When you visit, I highly recommend trying their open-faced shrimp salad on a bed of fresh greens, topped with a delicious wasabi mayo. The combination of flavors and textures in this dish is simply exquisite.

For the Sweet Tooth

For those with a sweet tooth, their french toast is a must-try. It’s light, airy, and served with a generous serving of fresh fruit, making it a delightful treat for brunch. And if you’re in the mood for something comforting, their corn soup, garnished with homemade croutons, is warm, savory, and sure to satisfy your cravings.

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The Brunch Experience

To complete your brunch experience, I suggest washing it all down with a refreshing cherry ade. Its fruity and invigorating taste will provide the perfect accompaniment to your meal, leaving you feeling refreshed and satisfied.

Before you leave, don’t forget to mention that Stacey sent you! It’s always fun to share a little inside joke and who knows, Ji Su, the passionate owner who moved to Gyeongju from Seoul after getting married, might just have a surprise in store for you.

📍Ffreci 쁘레씨 970, Poseok-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue is a captivating music-inspired cafe located within the same building as the Kpop Museum in Gyeongju. I know,– Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin and K-pop share the commonality of being forms of music. However, their similarities end there. They diverge greatly in terms of style, genre, cultural influences, and historical context. “Rhapsody in Blue” is a classical composition blending elements of jazz and orchestral music. While K-pop is a contemporary genre characterized by its catchy pop hooks, electronic beats, and big group performances.

Once insude, you get where they were going with the name. The cafe offers a unique experience by combining coffee and entertainment. The blue devor, walls adorned with thousands of vinyl LPs, CDs, and vintage music equipment are impressive. This nostalgic decor adds a charming touch, taking you back to a time when record players were the primary means of enjoying music.

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The Kpop Museum

Adjacent to the Kpop Museum, Rhapsody in Blue provides a perfect opportunity to explore beyond the museum’s confines. While the museum might not be of personal interest to everyone, the cafe’s allure is undeniable. In fact, the beauty of the lotus pond situated behind the museum was the initial reason for my visit.

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When it comes to enjoying your coffee, the cafe offers multiple options. You can choose to relish your beverage indoors, on the inviting patio, or even venture a short distance to the serene lotus pond. Each setting offers its own ambiance, allowing you to find the perfect spot to relax and savor your cup of coffee.

📍 CAFE RHAPSODY IN BLUE 9, EXPO-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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Sannae Grove Cafe

Yesterday, despite the darkened skies caused by an approaching typhoon, my husband, Steven, and I decided to embark on a cafe-hopping adventure. We were determined not to let the weather dampen our spirits during the long holiday weekend. Our destination was the picturesque Sannae Grove Cafe, located just outside of Gyeongju, where we hoped to find a taste of travel-inspired dining amidst the clouds.

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As we arrived at Sannae Grove, the first thing that caught our attention were the stepping stones placed across a reflection pool, leading to the massive hinged door that stood before us. The door seemed heavy at first, but with a gentle push on the handle, it effortlessly pivoted on a single axis, smoothly gliding open. As it swung, the captivating interior of the cafe gradually revealed itself, one pivot point at a time.

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A Fusion of Architecture

Inside, we were welcomed into the enchanting world of Sannae Grove Cafe. The fusion of architectural elements was striking, with white adobe walls harmoniously blending with traditional hanok open trestle beams and cutout storage, reminiscent of the pueblo design found in Southwest United States. It was a visual feast that transported us to a realm of tranquility and serenity. I liked it.

As we explored the inside of the cafe, we were fascinated by its unique design features. The cavern-like entrance led us to a spacious seating area with Mediterranean windows that stretched from floor to ceiling, allowing natural light to flood the space and providing a breathtaking view of the grounds below. It was a sight to behold.

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Stepping Stones & Reflection Pools

The attention to detail was evident in every corner of Sannae Grove. The reflection pool and the stepping stones added a touch of elegance, while the massive hinged door served as a grand entrance, inviting us to uncover the wonders within. Each pivot of the door revealed a new facet of the cafe, creating an element of surprise and intrigue.

While the cafe’s ambiance was exceptional, we couldn’t help but wish for more options on the menu. The selection was rather limited, consisting mostly of cookies, cakes, and open sandwiches. However, we did find solace in a hot herbal tea that was perfect for the chilly day spent high up in the clouds.

📍Sannae Grove 산내그로브 734-14, Munbok-ro, Sannae-myeon, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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Yesterday, my husband, Steven, took charge of planning our activities in Gyeongju, and he did a fantastic job by dedicating a whole day to exploring Bomun Lake. We started our adventure by visiting Page9 cafe, a brunch cafe located near the Gyeongju Colossal Coliseum, which drew a laugh from us due to its imposing presence.

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Pizza, Pasta and Much More

Page9 cafe offered a delightful selection of desserts, sandwiches, pasta, rice dishes, pizzas, and specialty coffees and lattes. We decided to share a large bowl of shrimp pilaf topped with fish roe, which turned out to be incredibly delicious. To our delight, the shrimp were already peeled—a detail that often irks me, so I appreciated the extra effort they put into it.

The cafe itself was a spacious, single room that featured a prominent Page9 statue, serving as a visual divider within the space. As we indulged in our meal, we savored refreshing beverages like peach iced tea and mango passionfruit ade. We leisurely observed the foot traffic around the lake, enjoying the lively atmosphere, all while pondering the intriguing bite-like chunks that were mysteriously missing from our table.

Page9 cafe also had a distinct bookish charm, with books scattered throughout the establishment—adorned over the register and perched on the window sills. It added a cozy and intellectual ambiance to the already inviting setting.

Captivating Sunsets

One recurring theme we discovered while reading various blog posts was the captivating sunset at Bomun Lake. If one finds themselves in Gyeongju during sunset, Page9 is undoubtedly the place to be. We learned that the sunsets over the lake are renowned for their striking red hues, with stunning photographs to prove it. It left us yearning to witness such natural beauty firsthand.

Additionally, the cafe boasted a lovely garden, easily accessible from within its confines. This added touch of nature enhanced our overall experience, providing a serene and tranquil environment to enjoy our time at Page9.

📍 PAGE9 132-24, Bomun-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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Basila Cafe

If you love big, beautiful sunflowers, then you need to visit Basila Cafe in July when there is a sea of them to admire. That’s why I discovered Basila Cafe in Gyeongju. The cafe is a traditional-style hanok, snugly anchored to one end of a reservoir and bursting with sunflowers. Every angle of this place is picture-perfect, and despite the crowd, it never felt crowded.

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A Seat with a View

I found a great seat to people-watch, set my things down, and went inside to order a latte and an apple turnover. The cafe is lovely, with airconditioning seating that offers a view of the patio, sunflower fields, reservoir, and beyond to the mountains, But the best views are outside on the patio. I could tell it had rained earlier because the clouds were still overhead. The air was still filled with moisture, creating a pleasant ambiance that made sitting outside bearable.

While my latte was yummy, the apple turnover had an unnatural taste, so I ended up picking at the crust and leaving a heap of mush on my tray. I would suggest opting for a coffee or trying something else on the menu.

Sunflowers Galore

The cafe is surrounded by thousands of fully matured sunflowers, creating a light and airy atmosphere. It attracts couples, groups, and families with young children. The main building of the cafe has upper, lower, and balcony seating. Don’t forget to explore the interior courtyard with its stepping stone water feature. There is additional seating available in two other buildings, with one entirely made of floor-to-ceiling glass.

Parking is available, although some spots might be a little tight. Each outdoor table has an umbrella to provide shade from the sun. Just be aware that where there are sunflowers, there are bees.

It still works. One of my favorite tips is to ask the waiter or anyone you meet at an activity, like a restaurant, cafe, or shop, to recommend another place similar to it.

I would definitely go back to Basilla Cafe for the stunning views it offers. If you’re planning a trip to Gyeongju soon, I highly recommend adding it to your itinerary.

📍 Basila 바실라 88, Hadongmosan-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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Aden Cafe is truly the “Greatest of All Time” (GOAT) when it comes to hanok cafes in Gyeongju. This gem quickly gained popularity and continues to thrive with thousands of positive reviews, maintaining an impressive 4.4 rating on Naver.

Situated on a prime location along the picturesque Bomun Lake, Aden Cafe is undeniably beautiful. As you enter the courtyard, you’ll cross a bridge adorned with a lily pond, adding to the serene ambiance. The main hall awaits, with large windows along the back, inviting abundant natural light.

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Beautiful Hanok Cafe

Before grabbing a tray, it’s best to secure a seat first. In my opinion, window seats on the first floor provide a better view than those upstairs, unless you prefer to enjoy the scenery from the outdoor terrace.

Once you have a seat, it’s time to indulge in Aden Cafe’s offerings. It’s worth noting that the coffees here may be slightly pricier, but judging by the crowd, it seems that price is not a concern for most visitors.

The seating options vary, with some chairs covered in leather and others featuring cowhide, providing a unique touch of diversity. The interior of the cafe has an earthy aesthetic that is difficult to put into words. Hanging foliage adds a natural touch, and a grand decorated tree serves as the centerpiece. Honestly, the best way to appreciate the ambiance is to check out the captivating pictures.

Get a hobby. I love to collect wine by the case.

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A View of the Lake

If you step out to the lake, you can catch glimpses of Gyeongjuland’s bigger rides on your left, adding a touch of amusement to the scenic setting.

Aden Cafe offers a variety of delectable treats. While my husband, Steven, wasn’t thrilled with the cream in his chocolate croissant, I thoroughly enjoyed my honey bread and iced peanut butter latte.

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Before leaving, don’t forget to visit the gift shop conveniently located near the entrance. It’s hard to miss, and you might just find something delightful to take home as a memento.

📍 Aden Cafe 424-34, Bomun-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

Yeo Gi Dang (It is Here)

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The name Yeo Gi Dang, meaning “It Is Here,” may seem unusual for a cafe, but it adds a touch of intrigue and curiosity to the establishment, inviting people like me to wobder what is inside. This time, my curiosity paid off.

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A Cozy Veggie Cafe

Yeo Gi Dang is a hidden gem in Gyeongju—a cozy cafe that only opens for a few hours a day, known to those in the know. It’s a place where you can savor the delights of Korean vegetarian cuisine, such as the mouthwatering Shiraejeon, a savory pancake filled with scallions, shrimp, and squid perfectly fried to crispy perfection. Another must-try dish is the Doenjang Jjigae, a comforting Korean Soybean Paste Stew that pairs wonderfully with the siraegi rice.

And while I’m no vegetarian. However, the food was filling and full of simple ingredientd which can be a blessing herr in Korea.

Located near Seochulji Temple, Yeo Gi Dang offers a unique dining experience. This charming restaurant, with its old yet ever-new atmosphere, captivates visitors from the moment they step inside. The only downside is that it’s open exclusively for lunch, making it a coveted spot to visit.

Limited Cafe Hours

During my recent visit at 1:20 pm, I was fortunate enough to be one of the last customers of the day. It’s a testament to the popularity of this establishment, as it fills up quickly with patrons eager to indulge in the delectable vegetarian dishes it has to offer.

If you have the opportunity to visit Gyeongju, I highly recommend checking out Yeo Gi Dang near Seochulji Temple. It’s a place where you can appreciate the artistry of vegetarian cuisine and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings of this historic city. After your meal, take a leisurely stroll near Seochulji to soak in the tranquility and beauty of the area. 📍It is Here 여기당 34, Chilburam-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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Eyst1779 is a unique little cafe located near the Woljeonggyo Bridge in Gyeongju. It provides a refreshing escape from the lively ambiance of Hwanglidan-Gil. Hwanglidan-Gil is known for its Instagram-worthy spots. It has lots of charming restaurants, adorable cafes, gift shops, and bookstores. So this place offers a serene respite from all that.

20220720_145645-01-519x692 Cafe Hopping in Gyeongju: 10 Yummy Cafes Tour

Instagram Ready

The cafe itself is undeniably Instagrammable, but it’s rather impractical. There isn’t enough seating. And if you’re alone it can be rather awkwatd too.

The space consists of three small rooms, with an art piece serving as the central focal point and seating area. Unfortunately, all the seating options are communal benches or part of the art installations. As much as I wanted to find a chair, I had no choice but to sit outside in the courtyard, although the heat made it a less comfortable experience.

Each room features a large picture window offering a view of a pond with a small waterfall. I had to politely ask a couple to move so I could capture a few pictures. They had good intentions, but there was a slight misunderstanding. It gave us a good laugh. They thought I wanted the gentleman to take my photos. As if I was looking for an amateur Ang Lee.

I decided to try the specialty latte—a thick and creamy espresso drink. However, I found it to be just okay and quite expensive at 8,000₩.

A View of Woljeonggyo Bridge

One advantage of this cafe is the free parking available in the vicinity. It’s also conveniently close to the Woljeonggyo Bridge and a charming traditional restaurant called Yosokkoong. Yosokkoong has a cozy setting reminiscent of Japanese-style dining, with separate wooden rooms in a park-like environment overlooking a serene pond. Additionally, the trolley service runs nearby, making transportation more convenient.

20220720_144858-01-519x692 Cafe Hopping in Gyeongju: 10 Yummy Cafes Tour

Solo Cafe Hopping Gyeongju

During my last visit to Gyeongju, my husband and I wore hanboks as part of a guided tour. However, I personally prefer exploring at my own pace, wandering along the bridge and discovering hidden nooks and crannies. On that occasion, I even had the chance to meet a few recent graduates from UC Irvine. We spent a delightful time enjoying the lotus park nearby before heading home.

In my opinion, Eyst1779 is worth checking out. But only if you are already cafe hopping in Gyeongju. I wouldn’t recommend making a special trip solely for this cafe.

📍 Eyst1779 21, Gyochonan-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

2022-05-01-12_55_18.0850900-01-519x692 Cafe Hopping in Gyeongju: 10 Yummy Cafes Tour

Interfall Coffee

Welcome to Interfall Cafe, a beautiful place where you can enjoy brunch and dessert. It has a cool beachy vibe that’s perfect for relaxing on the weekends. The cafe is really spacious with lots of seating inside and outside, including terraces and a patio. And the best part is that many of the seats have a great view or are close to a stunning waterfall.

The 3-story waterfall at Interfall Cafe is definitely manmade but it also stunning. The sound of the water cascading over the tumbled rocks and through the lush plantings is pure ASMR. On a hot day the spray from the crashing water is refreshing.

The best seats in the cafe are on the terrace overlooking the waterfall on the 3rd and 4th floos. However, the view from the ground level patio directly is lovely too.

The cafe has been awarded several design awards. The design is clean and modern with highly polished concrete floors and lots of ambient lighting. It also holds concerts in the amphitheater seating area with baby grand piano. Today, a little girl about 3 or 4 years old was performing to the delight of her parents on the other piano in the cafe.

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Songdaemal Lighthouse

We shared a chicken tenders sandwich and a slice of chocolate cream cake. Both were reccommended by our server, a nice guy from Chicago. And both were really good choices.

Make it a day trip and visit Songdaemal Lighthouse. The Songdaemal Lighthouse, also known as the Songdo Lighthouse, is situated near Songdo Beach in Gyeongju. It is a popular spot for visitors, offering beautiful coastal views and the opportunity to explore the beach and nearby attractions.

📍Interfall Coffee 인터폴커피 475, Chunghyo-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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The Yellow Cafe , also called llow by the staff. The cafe was once a rotisserie and brunch cafe. Now it’s a dessert cafe with a huge secret. Enter from the front parking lot onto the 2nd floor or from the lake onto the main floor.

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A Fusion of Traditional and Modern Elements

The cafe’s exterior resembles a traditional hanok. While the interior boasts a modern ambiance with open ductwork. It has a spacious layout. The cafe offers diverse seating options including benches, tables, and bean bags.

It artfully combines contemporary elements with subtle nods to traditional hanok features such as wooden ceilings and framed interior windows.

A wall of glass windows offers a great view of the grassy lawn and Bomun Lake beyond. A large wooden deck on the side offers outdoor seating.

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Traditional Treats

The cafe has some traditional treats and coffees. It also has some specialties like the persimmon-wrapped walnuts and cream cheese and the fresh blueberry iced latte.

I like the mix of young and old, something I also noticed at the other cafes in Gyeongju. And like Page9, there is access to the lake and a 6km walking path.

The second floor has the best view of the lake as well as a second register and dessert counter.

📍LLOW 375-16, Gyeonggam-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

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The-Magnificent-Ten-Gyeongjus-Cafe-Scene-519x692 Cafe Hopping in Gyeongju: 10 Yummy Cafes Tour

Cafe hopping in Gyeongju is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and vibrant atmosphere. This ancient city offers a captivating blend of traditional and modern cafes, each with its unique charm and offerings. From cozy storefront cafes to music-inspired venues, Gyeongju’s cafe scene allows you to indulge in delicious treats while experiencing the cultural heritage of this historic city. Are you are seeking a taste of traditional Korean flavors or a modern twist on coffee? Then cafe hopping in Gyeongju promises a memorable and flavorful adventure.

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Cafe Hopping in Fort Kochi

Photo of thewanderjoy

Fort Kochi is a charming area in Cochin, known for Dutch, British and Portuguese style architecture, the Chinese Fishing nets and lovely cafes and food joints. While you’ll find tourists there most times of the year, the Christmas and New Year weekend is particularly popular. Also, once every two years the Kochi Muziris Biennale brings an inflow of International and domestic artists and art aficionados to this part of the country. I was lucky to be able to visit the last one in late 2018.

This post though is about what makes Fort Kochi particularly inviting – its various cafes and food joints. Most of the particularly famous ones and the more popular cafes / restaurants are clustered around the Burger Street and the Princess Street, two parallel running cobbled stone streets in the heart of Fort Kochi.

Princess Street

Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by thewanderjoy

Burger Street

Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by thewanderjoy

If you’re staying in Fort Kochi, wake up early morning to take a walk on the beach road, pick a chai from the tea vendors opposite the Aquatic Club and enjoy a chai with a view of the brightly painted wall murals.

Hot piping chai in the morning with a view of these murals

Photo of Cafe Hopping in Fort Kochi by thewanderjoy

The Beach Road is brightened up with these wall murals

Photo of Cafe Hopping in Fort Kochi by thewanderjoy

Kashi Art Café

On my café hopping, the first port of call was Kashi Art Café. The prima donna of Fort Kochi. This café on Burger Street is a hub for the travellers and artsy gentry in Kochi. Living up to its name, the entry of the café is via a display room, exhibiting photographs and works of art (not just during the Biennale). And mind you, the popularity of this place is such that if you plan to visit on weekends or during the tourist season, you may have to wait to get a table, unless it’s early morning. Their breakfast options are great (delicious and filling. The coffee is great and so is the food, albeit a tad bit pricey.). But the ambience and the vibes more than compensates for it. You could be a solo visitor (like me) and yet not get bored. Do try their house cakes, which they bake with a lot of love.

An easy to miss entrance to the famed Kashi Art Cafe

Photo of Kashi Art Café by thewanderjoy

French Press and paperbacks - fabulous companions

Photo of Kashi Art Café by thewanderjoy

One of the installations in KAC

Photo of Kashi Art Café by thewanderjoy

This installation stands out in the first courtyard

Photo of Kashi Art Café by thewanderjoy

Oy's in Restaurant with Home Stay

Oy’s In Restaurant is just across the street from Kashi, and though is not as popular, but worth it if waiting for food is not your choice. Like me, you could sit here for hours, with a book and music in your ears, without being disturbed or having the constant feeling that someone else is waiting for a table. The French toast and Americano is something that I particularly enjoyed here.

Oy's Cafe and Homestay, across the street from Kashi

Photo of Oy's in Restaurant with Home Stay by thewanderjoy

The interiors of the Oy's Cafe

Photo of Oy's in Restaurant with Home Stay by thewanderjoy

Elite Bakery

If you ask any local in Fort Kochi, which is one of their favourite breakfast place, they will in most likelihood direct you to Elite Bakery on Burger Street. And that’s exactly how I found myself at this not so fancy café. From the outside, it may look like just another Bakery, but they have few tables inside. The best time to visit is in the morning for the freshly baked pork pies and other savoury pastries. Since I wasn’t in luck as the pastries hadn’t been baked yet, I settled for a banana pancake filled with freshly grated coconut and chai. When it was finally served, I was surprised at its similarity to the Bengali patishapta.

Burger Street, with Elite Bakery up left

Photo of Elite Bakery by thewanderjoy

My breakfast companions at Elite

Photo of Elite Bakery by thewanderjoy

Loafers Corner Cafe

Another café worth mentioning is the Loafer’s Corner Café at the junction of Princess St. and Bastian St. Sit by one of the first-floor windows overlooking the street with a cold coffee to satiate your thirst after walking through the streets of Fort Kochi.

The Loafer's Corner cafe was closed in the early hours of the morning when I clicked this image

Photo of Loafers Corner Cafe by thewanderjoy

Rasa Restaurant and Art Space on Bastian Street is a quaint little space that is a restaurant and a hostel / hotel together. A spacious eating joint to try the authentic Malabar Parotta and Kerala style chicken gravy. Looking over the street through the tinted glass windows is fun!

Interiors of Rasa

Photo of Rasa Hotel by thewanderjoy

OYO 16778 House Of Yesudas

And then there is the CCD housed in the House of Yesudas, where the café is built around a mango tree, infact you can sit by the trunk of the tree on the first floor of the café… Interesting indeed.

The Cafe built around the mango tree..

Photo of OYO 16778 House Of Yesudas by thewanderjoy

These are just a few among the several interesting cafes in Fort Kochi. Another trip is necessary to explore the rest.

To follow my travel journeys and more, ping me on Instagram @thewanderjoy . See you around!!

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  • Places to visit in Bangalore

Go Cafe Hopping

Taste Finest Coffees and Eclectic Cuisines

hopping banglore

Promising a wonderful time along with lip-smacking food, Bangalore has become a hub of hip cafés offering varied cuisines. From cosy eateries to thematic and work-friendly places, the cafes here have something for everyone.

Suggested Duration - 2-3 hours

What To Expect?

Hop over to Café Down the Alley for a comic themed experience, Champaca for a combination of bookstore, library and café, and Dyu Art Café for a Kerala-themed open courtyard dining extravaganza.

  • Head to Om Made Café for organic food and live music.
  • Justbe Resto Café offers lactose-free, gluten free and Jain dishes.
  • For vegan options, head to Little Green Cafe.
  • If you love bikes, the city also has plenty of options for bike themed cafes like Riders Inn and Driven Cafe.

Exploring a destination...

The joy of travel comes in exploring new things. Planting your feet somewhere you’ve never been before brings with it the rush of discovery and the joy of pushing back on the boundaries of your world.

But when one does arrive at that fresh frontier, there are ways better than others to begin your journey of discovery. Follow these steps and see the world with a new light.

• Discover a new city through a food tour. Food tour’s are the easiest way to take a tour, learn about the local delicacies, and the best of all, get great tips that aren’t just “local” tips for tourists, but sometimes, lessons for a lifetime too

• Use Public Transportation. When you are in a new city, you can possibly see places and people that you wouldn’t normally see when simply walking to the places that checks your list. Some buses or rails take you to parts of the city you wouldn’t get to see otherwise. Whilst using public transportation, just ensure that you are following the local norms and do remember to watch the locals!

• Find a local festival. Go beyond what other tourists might do while visiting a place. Look for the unique things you would want to do. Use social media or the local tourism website to find out what’s going on locally. You may have to move out of the center of the city to do some of the less popular but more unique things, so just keep that in mind!

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions about Go Cafe Hopping

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Frugal Traveler

Affordable Island-Hopping in Croatia? What Could Go Wrong?

A 30-percent-off Black Friday sale on a cruise aboard a yacht meant off-season sailing and being prepared for the unexpected.

A view from a hill of a red-roofed town surrounding a harbor. In the foreground, the ruins of an ancient fortification wall follow the downward slope of a steep hill. And in the distance, beyond the harbor with its numerous small boats, is a string of small green islands.

By Elaine Glusac

Elaine Glusac is the Frugal Traveler columnist, focusing on budget-friendly tips and journeys.

As Croatians tell the story , the Greek hero Odysseus was shipwrecked and held captive on the Croatian island of Mljet. Visiting in May, I and six other sailors embraced the myth when the motor on our 54-foot yacht failed.

“Remember, Odysseus spent seven years on Mljet,” said Ivan Ljubovic, our captain. “We can do two nights.”

In the scheme of things, the clogged fuel filter that impeded our progress on a seven-night, island-hopping cruise from Split to Dubrovnik on a yacht — which the passengers helped sail — was minor. Though an engine, even on a sailboat, is vital for docking and sticking to schedules on becalmed days, most of my shipmates agreed that getting waylaid in a village with Roman ruins on a turquoise bay was an acceptable fate.

I had been resigned to what were, in my mind, worse inconveniences when I had signed up for the trip last November. Then, the tour operator G Adventures had put several trips on sale over the Black Friday weekend. Its best deals were in the off-season, which meant potentially chilly weather and closed restaurants and attractions. But leaving in late April for seven nights of island hopping at roughly $1,300 — after a 30 percent discount — was too tempting to pass up.

My cousin Kim agreed and we made plans to pack rain gear and meet in Split to test the budget waters.

‘Everything between is an adventure’

Little about the itinerary was published pre-departure and none of it was firm.

“Split and Dubrovnik are fixed,” said the captain, who would pilot the ship solo and double as our guide, on our first day. “Everything between is an adventure.”

It started with the Sauturnes, a handsome Kufner yacht with four snug guest cabins, four economical bathrooms where the retractable faucet doubled as a shower spigot, and a spacious galley. Our “crew,” a mix of Australians and Americans ranging from 18 to 75 — all of whom had also jumped on the promotional pricing — spent most of the time atop the boat, where foam mattresses invited sunbathing and a cockpit awning provided shade.

The weather, which turned out to be sunny and comfortably cool, was not our greatest concern. The G Adventures website had mentioned well-known islands, including beachy Brac and Vis , which played a convincing Greek idyll in the movie “Mamma Mia 2.” But since many places would be closed in the shoulder season, we would proceed, according to the captain, based on the dictates of the weather and conditions on shore.

Meals were not included, which meant finding open restaurants was critical. For shipboard breakfasts and lunches, we each chipped in 50 euros (about $54) for communal groceries, which we shopped for at local markets. At night, we would dine at restaurants; G Adventures advised budgeting $250 to $325 for the week, which was accurate, though we often splurged on Croatian wine (a carafe of house red averaged $15).

Small ports

After the frenzy of grocery shopping and moving into the bunk-bedded cabin Kim and I shared, we experienced the Zen of sailing as the ship set off on a sunny morning for 43-mile-long Hvar , the longest and purportedly sunniest island in Croatia.

Neighboring islands drifted past as the wind patterned the sea in shifting ripples and ruffles. A flock of shearwaters soared by at eye level.

Within a few hours, the ridgelines of steep Hvar appeared, revealing terraced lavender fields and olive orchards. Motoring down a long, narrow inlet, we arrived in Stari Grad , a village of stone homes with terra cotta roof tiles, as travelers had since 384 B.C., when Greek sailors from the island of Paros settled here.

Our mooring provided a front-row view of fishing boats and cafes animating the waterfront. Stari Grad’s attractions, including the Greek ruins of Faros and a 17th-century Venetian cathedral, had yet to open for the season, but we relished exploring the old quarter’s narrow lanes and deserted plazas.

From the waterfront, an aerobic 20-minute hike up a steep hill crowned by a giant white cross offered views over Stari Grad and the plains beyond, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of fourth-century agricultural fields, with stone walls circumscribing grapevines and olive orchards.

That evening, we visited them to reach Konoba Kokot , a farm restaurant that specializes in “peka,” a kind of barbecue in which meat cooks under an iron lid piled with hot coals. The family that runs it opened in the preseason, welcoming us with bracing shots of rakija, a local herbal liquor. At a long table under an arbor, we gorged on homemade goat cheese, wild boar pate and, from the hearth, roast lamb, veal and octopus with limitless jugs of red and white wine for 35 euros a person.

Starry nights

Small ships are unmatched at getting into small ports, but a yacht trip is also a little like camping, starting most mornings with D.I.Y. instant coffee. Marinas offered free bathhouses with showers.

Cool temperatures apparently deterred the celebrity-filled mega yachts, which are known to anchor in the town of Hvar on the south shore of Hvar island. Our captain declared it the “Mykonos of Croatia” as we motored by the port bustling with visitors carrying shopping bags and cones of gelato.

With clear weather in the forecast, we moored in an undeveloped cove east of town. The mooring belonged to the owners of Moli Onte restaurant, who ferried us to land on a motorized dingy, allowing us enough time before dinner to visit the fortress above Hvar and have an Ozujsko beer on St. Stephens Square, the largest in the region of Dalmatia.

Back on board, with no artificial light to wash out the night sky, we hit the upper deck for stargazing. As my shipmates peeled off to bed, I grabbed a blanket and beanie and bedded down under the stars for the evolving show, periodically waking to catch the drama of the moon rising, reflected in the still water.

Little Dubrovnik

Fingers of gray rock reached down to meet sloping vineyards along Hvar’s south coast as we departed for its neighbor, Korcula. On our longest day of sailing, five hours, I welcomed the chance to play first mate, manning the lines on the jib sail.

To break up the trip, Captain Ljubovic navigated to a quiet cove off the Peljesac Peninsula where the Caribbean-blue waters, cloudless sky and sandy bottom convinced us to jump in despite numbing sea temperatures.

Fifteenth-century walls ring the historic center of Korcula, earning it the nickname “Little Dubrovnik.” Past the stone gates carved with a winged lion representing the empire of Venice, which controlled much of the Adriatic after the 13th century, narrow alleys led to ornate churches and mansions. There was no better history trip than getting lost in the web of pedestrian lanes. Or so we told ourselves as we passed the purported home of Marco Polo, still closed preseason.

Along the seafront walls, restaurants served pizza and seafood under lights strung in the pines and we caught sunset from a former turret, now converted into Massimo Cocktail Bar , which requires patrons to climb a ladder to the rooftop, a caution against second rounds.

The most romantic port of the trip was also the rowdiest, at least in the marina, which was hosting a Polish sailing regatta. When I headed for the showers at 6 a.m. the next morning, I found a group still cheerfully dancing atop a yacht littered in empty booze bottles and crushed potato chips.

Marooned on Mljet

We left Korcula on strong 20-knot “jugo” or south winds and Captain Ljubovic unleashed the sails, saying “You paid for a sailing vacation, not a motorboat.”

As we tacked back and forth toward Mljet , the boat heeled at a queasy angle and we took face shots of ocean spray.

On Mljet, where the western end of the island is home to Mljet National Park , we rented bikes (10 euros) to ride a lung-busting route over the park’s mountain spine. On the other side, we cycled around a pair of inland lakes and took a boat trip to a 12th-century monastery built on an island in one of them (park admission, 15 euros).

Docked in the still sleepy town of Polace, we heard tales of high season, when up to 100 yachts anchor in the bay and members of the band U2 were once seen biking in the park. After a brief shower, the town glimmered at sunset and the restaurant Stella Maris welcomed us with grilled sea bass (25 euros) and prawns (20 euros).

“I’m so glad I chose this time, because I don’t do crowds,” said my shipmate Nova Hey, 46, of Sydney, who was traveling with her 18-year-old daughter.

In the morning, I had the trail to the peak of Montokuc to myself. The roughly three-mile round-trip hike reached one of the highest points on the island, a rocky knob with stunning panoramas shared by a family of feral goats.

Not long thereafter, the Sauternes’ engine refused to turn over, stranding us in a national park on a remote island with no mechanics.

Teeming Dubrovnik

The next morning, Captain Ljubovic jimmied a fix but it didn’t last long and the engine died again, this time just opposite a cave on Mljet that we joked had to be the refuge of Odysseus.

After a morning of light sailing, a mechanic from the mainland arrived by speedboat and within an hour we were motoring toward the Franjo Tudman Bridge that spans the inlet to the Dubrovnik marina where hot showers awaited.

“Dubrovnik is the most expensive city in Croatia,” said Captain Ljubovic as we spent the last of our pooled money, 70 euros, hiring a taxi van to get us to and from the walled heart of the ancient city about 15 minutes away.

With two large cruise ships in port, Dubrovnik was teeming with visitors and the price to climb the stone walls that encircle the city was a sticker-shocking 35 euros. (In the ensuing two days Kim and I would spend post-cruise in the city, we bought the more comprehensive Dubrovnik Pass for 35 euros that included admission to the walls as well as several museums and public bus transportation.)

On our final evening, we measured the lack of crowds versus closed museums; perfect hiking weather versus swim-inviting water; ample dock space versus more restaurant choices — and felt we’d come out ahead sailing in the bargain season.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Open Up Your World

Considering a trip, or just some armchair traveling here are some ideas..

52 Places:  Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? Our 2024 list has all those elements, and more .

Ljubljana, Slovenia:  Stroll along the river, explore a contemporary art scene and admire panoramic views in this scenic Central European capital .

Cities With Great Beaches:  Already been to Miami, Honolulu and Sydney? These five other coastal destinations  are vibrant on land and on the water.

Southern France:  The Canal du Midi traverses the Occitanie region and gives cyclists of all skill levels  access to parts of France that are rich in lore .

Port Antonio, Jamaica:  The D.J. and music producer Diplo recommends spots in a city he loves  on Jamaica’s northeast coast. A dance party makes the cut.

New Mexico:  Visiting the vast and remote Gila Wilderness, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, is both inspiring and demanding .

Amtrak with kids is easier (and cheaper) than you think

Half-priced tickets and the Red Cap service made a trip from D.C. to NYC manageable.

trip cafe hopping

Driving back to D.C. after a long weekend in New York in March, my husband and I were dreaming of a different kind of trip: no bathroom stops, no need to gas up, no shrieks from kids tired of their car seats, no traffic jams.

It’s a shame, we agreed, that it would be so expensive to take the train from D.C. to NYC as a family of four. But wait. Would it?

We started to consider the cost of fuel and tolls — and the toll of meltdowns, frequent bathroom breaks for a preschooler and stop-and-go traffic. Then we discovered Amtrak’s half-price tickets for passengers between the ages of 2 and 12, and a free ride (on an adult’s lap) for a child under 2. We ended up booking three round-trip tickets for a total of $255 — only slightly more than I’ve paid for a trip just for myself.

Take a forgiving baggage allowance, invaluable assistance at the train station, bathrooms in close proximity and the ability to have mini-adventures in transit (cafe car, anyone?), and my husband and I agreed: It felt like we were on vacation the moment we got on the train. Arriving in less time than it takes to drive — under three-and-a-half hours to New York and a little bit longer on the way home — was another perk.

Some Amtrak regulars might wince at the idea of sharing train space with a 3-year-old and 9-month-old, so I’ll just say this now: We avoided the quiet car.

Here’s what we learned about riding the rails with tiny passengers.

Take advantage of the Red Cap service

I read that families with kids are allowed to pre-board, but I wasn’t sure how that would work. All my previous experiences taking Amtrak involved watching for the gate to pop up on a screen and then making a beeline to jockey for position with hundreds of fellow passengers.

But using the Red Cap service was hands down the best advice we got.

The employees are described as “dedicated Amtrak staff you can count on for free baggage handling assistance.” They also assist passengers with disabilities, older travelers, large groups — and, yes, families with small kids. Amtrak says customers can tip if they like; I’m here to tell you that this service is priceless for a family and you should definitely tip.

We arrived at Union Station in Washington about 30 minutes before departure with our eyes peeled for red. Near the gates, we spotted a sign and someone in the namesake red hat (plus polo shirt) and asked for help boarding. He rolled our Pack ’n Play on his cart and brought us and another group with a small child right down to the track, then helped both parties find seats designated for groups of three or more people. We were on board by 9:19 a.m., more than 15 minutes ahead of departure.

In a first for me, the train was entirely empty when we boarded.

On our way back to D.C., we asked police in Penn Station for directions to the Red Cap station. Once there, someone checked our ticket and once again, got us on the train a few minutes before anyone else. Both times, we were able to get situated without getting in anyone else’s way.

People who want to use the Red Cap service should arrive 45 minutes early, an Amtrak representative told me later. The service is only available at major stations including Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, New York, Wilmington, Del., New Haven, Conn., and Boston’s South Station on the East Coast. Elsewhere, find it in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and Seattle.

According to Amtrak, priority boarding is also available for families with small kids at some stations; travelers should ask a customer service representative at the station to find out.

Book early for deals, but read the fine print

I often take Amtrak to New York, so I knew from experience that great prices can be found by searching far in advance, staying flexible with dates and seeking out less-convenient times. By booking six weeks in advance for a Thursday through Saturday, we found times and prices that were doable with kids. (I’ve since been tempted by round-trip tickets for the family for $175.)

Our fare was in the “value” category , which doesn’t come with a lot of flexibility: changes are not allowed, and there’s a 25 percent cancellation fee. The restrictions are clear when booking, but I must have shrugged them off because I was surprised when I tried and failed to change our return time.

Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods said the half-price discount for kids aged 2 to 12 is “an everyday discount we offer to encourage families to get onboard and experience a better way to travel.”

Kids need to be accompanied by at least one adult, and the discount isn’t good for business class on non-Acela trains, first class or private rooms. One child under 2 is allowed on board for free with an accompanying adult, as long as they sit on a lap.

You’re allowed more free bags than on a plane

My packing strategy for family road trips is usually “better safe than sorry” — which leaves us with a bunch of bags. That likely would have been fine under Amtrak’s luggage rules for this route. Every passenger can bring two carry-ons and a personal item at no additional charge. For people traveling with a child under 2, an additional infant item, like a stroller or diaper bag, is allowed for no fee.

I knew we’d have to manage every item on crowded NYC streets and public transportation as well as “the big train,” as we started calling Amtrak. With a stroller, portable crib, diaper bag, purse, small duffel, tiny cooler bag and two backpacks that held clothes for the four of us, we felt unwieldy — but were still within the baggage limits.

I thought that I might check a bag at the station, but found out in the moment that the train only allowed carry-ons. That turned out to be fine, but it was difficult to suss out in advance if we would be able to check a bag.

The cafe car is your friend

Our seats on both legs of the trip were conveniently close to the bathroom and suitably far from the cafe car — a good arrangement for urgent restroom needs and time-killing sojourns to check out the food offerings.

Amtrak’s website noted that changing stations were available in the bathrooms on “most” train cars, but we never found one. A spokesperson later clarified that changing areas were available on the Acela and some long-distance trains.

Being able to walk around was key; my daughter loved to tap the button to open doors between cars. Seats were spacious, and the view was sufficiently interesting to entertain both kids in spurts.

“Mama look, we’re going fast!” my daughter said as we accelerated. We passed over a sparkling body of water and she excitedly pointed out “the ocean!” We’ll work on geography.

The cafe car’s menu had plenty to satisfy a preschooler’s palate, even if some items like a chewy, barely warm grilled cheese were not a success. An iced lemon pound cake was a hit, as were pretzels and a tropical fruit salad that was as delicious as it was messy.

But it’s still a confined space, so pack entertainment

If you’re a parent too, you know kids get bored and antsy over the course of three-plus hours doing anything. This definitely applies in a confined space.

To pass the time, we packed toys for both kids and a tablet with headphones for our preschooler. She drew using an art app and watched some of her favorite movies and shows on Disney Plus in between walks, trips to the bathroom and food car visits.

The baby nursed, squealed as he tapped on the window and, at naptime, cried a little until we soothed him to sleep. Thankfully, the tears were short-lived — and unfortunately, so were the naps.

My husband and I couldn’t help but overhear someone else’s temper tantrum: a loud, angry businessman cursing during a video meeting, which prompted an Amtrak employee to suggest he relocate to the bathroom if he wanted to use that language.

Unlike my solo train trips, I did not pass my time napping, reading and browsing social media. But I loved taking the ride with them and introducing them to a new travel experience.

The takeaway

We found Amtrak a refreshing alternative to driving, and one that we’ll choose in the future. But we were also lucky on several fronts: The trains were not delayed, which is not always a given . Red Cap service was available at our station. We had our choice of seats when we boarded. There were no diaper emergencies.

If we had boarded somewhere without the extra assistance, or when the train was already packed, it could have been trickier. And the lack of a diaper changing station could have required yogic maneuvering in the bathroom (next time I’ll bring some oversized changing pads). Packing our own snacks and entertainment was crucial.

For us, the best part of the trip was eliminating the drudgery of a drive and turning that time into an adventure where both parents could be present and engaged with our kids. We watched the skylines pass until New York’s came into view and marveled over how much less stressful the train felt than four or more hours on I-95.

“I love the train,” my husband said at one point.

“Me too,” echoed the 3-year-old.

More travel tips

Vacation planning: Start with a strategy to maximize days off by taking PTO around holidays. Experts recommend taking multiple short trips for peak happiness . Want to take an ambitious trip? Here are 12 destinations to try this year — without crowds.

Cheap flights: Follow our best advice for scoring low airfare , including setting flight price alerts and subscribing to deal newsletters. If you’re set on an expensive getaway, here’s a plan to save up without straining your credit limit.

Airport chaos: We’ve got advice for every scenario , from canceled flights to lost luggage . Stuck at the rental car counter? These tips can speed up the process. And following these 52 rules of flying should make the experience better for everyone.

Expert advice: Our By The Way Concierge solves readers’ dilemmas , including whether it’s okay to ditch a partner at security, or what happens if you get caught flying with weed . Submit your question here . Or you could look to the gurus: Lonely Planet and Rick Steves .

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