Updated: Apr 10
The old Jonker town of Malacca, Malaysia, offers many eating places, guest houses, shops and places of interest for many travellers. But in the afternoon, when the hot weather becomes unbearable, travellers will duck into cool places to get out of the heat. Cafes are great spots for taking a break from all the sights-seeing, have coffee or tea and escape the scorching sun.
We cafe-hopped in Melaka old town on our last few trips and discovered many cafes with rustic, homely and artful ambiences. You will not be able to experience the rusticness in the modern cities. We also paid attention to new kids on the block.
1. The Coffee JAR (呷咖啡)
The Coffee JAR is a little cafe located behind Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball restaurant, after the entrance to a carpark. This cozy little place is owned and run by a friendly couple. The settings of the cafe is quite homely, like having coffee in the couple's own house. The cafe plays oldies from an old cassette player with cassettes that are still in good conditions. The owners will play them selectively depending on the customers in the cafe. So thoughtful.
The beverage menu are handwritten on wooden blocks with beautiful handwriting. The Chinese characters are written using Traditional Chinese which we believe are written by someone from either Hong Kong or Taiwan. You can try their specialty drink (an alcoholic coffee), homemade chicken pie and cheesecake. Their coffee beans are roasted in a big coffee machine just next to the doorway.
Facebook Address: 38 Lorong Hang Jebat, Malacca Opening Hours: Sun-Mon: 10:30am to 6:00pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
2. The Stolen Cup
The Stolen Cup is located along Jonker Street, a convenient place to rest your legs and have some beverage or order take-aways. The interior of this little cafe is nicely decorated with painted wooden planks, posters and old clocks, giving it a rustic look and feel. The cafe plays Bossa Nova in the background.
The friendly staff make great coffees with toasted, crispy croissants. Their barista's specialty is the gula Melaka coffee, where palm sugar (gula Melaka, a local product) is added to cappuccino (using local coffee) to give it some additional flavour. Another specialty is their Curacao coffee. Curacao is a liqueur flavoured with the dried peel of laraha citrus fruit (similar to orange) found in Curacao. The citrus-coffee is really unique.
Facebook Address: 21A Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca Opening Hours: Sun-Mon: 9:00am to 9:30pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
3. Alley No. 5
Alley No. 5 is located along a desolated alley towards Pedestrian Bridge Kumpung Jawa, tucked away from the bustling streets of Jonker old town. The interior is decorated with exhibits from the old days. The owner also runs The Bridge Loft, a guest house right above the cafe. This guest house is a single bedroom unit that can accommodate up to 6 person. So nice to wake up to the aroma of coffee every morning.
The cafe and its surrounding is wonderfully nostalgic, like drinking coffee in a village town in the 60s. In stark contrast to The Stolen Cup, where you can rest and look at people walking up and down the street, just a handful of people will stroll by in the quiet alley.
We ordered an affogato (ice-cream with espresso) for a change after walking in the heat. Their lemon cheesecake is a must-try.
Facebook Address: No. 5, Lorong Jambatan Kampung Pantai, Malacca Opening Hours: Daily from 11:00am to 6:00pm. Fri & Sat till 11:30pm.
4. Mods Cafe
Located along the quiet street of Jalan Tokong, near to Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, is this cafe which serves great coffees and cakes. At the entrance of Mods Cafe, a message on the glass door says "Serious Coffee Drinker Only". Well, don't just turn away. Even if you know nuts about coffee, you can still enjoy a cup of coffee from the wall menu.
Inside the cafe, a retro Volkswagen is the centre of attraction which also functions as a bar counter. Go with a slice of the homemade cheesecake, or other cakes, while sipping a cup of coffee. If you are into serious coffee drinking and know your stuff, go for their hand brews.
Facebook Address: 14 Jalan Tokong Malacca Opening Hours: Thurs-Tues: 10:00am to 4:30pm; Sat & Sun till 6:00pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
5. Rainforest Coffee Bean
Rainforest Coffee Bean is located along the main Jonker Street and co-exists with an antique furniture shop. You can rest at the antique table sets and sip on coffee. The cafe serves coffee as well as hot/cold flavoured tea. The desserts and snacks are awesome too. The macaroons are not too sweet and melt easily in the mouth.
Facebook Address: 36 & 38, Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm; Fri-Sun till 10:00pm.
6. Ola Lavanderia Cafe
To most people, Ola Lavanderia Cafe looks just like a cafe from the outside. Few people notice that it is a cafe & dormitory too until they saw the wordings printed on the yellow-painted folding gate. This is another great place for budget lodgings and coffee in the morning. And they offer laundry service too.
Ola Lavanderia Cafe serves great breakfasts and good coffee as early as 8am, whereas other cafes open at or after 9am. Their white Melaka cheesecake is also a hot favourite, Melaka style and definitely a must-try. Unlike those strong and cheesy cheesecakes that can make people sick of finishing it after few bites, Ola Lavanderia's cheesecake is light and goes well with unsweetened coffee.
Address: 25, Jalan Tukang Besi, Malacca Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm; Sunday till 1:00pm
7. Limau Limau Cafe (狸猫咖啡馆)
Limau Limau Cafe is located along a narrow road off Jonker Walk towards Masjid Kampung Kling Mosque. The cafe's walls are decorated with photos in all makes of photo frames and big and small mirrors. The cafe looks small at first glance, but there are more tables available on the second floor and outside the cafe (which is why we don't have a photo on the front of the cafe, there are people sitting there).
Limau Limau Cafe is another great place to go for breakfast, lunch and coffee. They have quite a list of sandwiches, salads, Italian cuisines and desserts, especially banana pancakes, and a lot more options. Apart from coffee, there are fruity milkshakes and other beverages too. The cafe is often crowded during breakfast time, especially on weekends.
To those who wonder what "limau-limau" means, it is actually quite interesting, almost teasing. In Malay, limau means lime, which is why some Malaysian websites interpret them as "lime cafe". When we learned that the Chinese name of the cafe is "狸猫咖啡馆", we realised that li-mau actually means civet cat (狸猫 is "li-mao" in hanyu pinyin).
Facebook Address: 9, Jalan Hang Lekiu, Malacca Opening Hours: Thurs-Mon: 9:00am to 5:00pm. Closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays.
8. Backlane Coffee
Backlane Coffee can be easily missed as it is hidden behind a toy collectibles store almost towards the rear of Jonker Walk. The cafe uses toy soldiers and pots of plant as simple decors, giving the feel of having coffee in a small garden. Comfy sofas and spacious environment allow customers to chill out from the scorching sun.
Besides coffee, they also serve western-style food, such as pizza, desserts and cakes.
Address: 129 Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca
Opening Hours: Daily from 11:00am to 12:00am.
9. The Daily Fix Cafe
The Daily Fix is another cafe that is located along Jonker Walk and behind a souvenir shop. The cafe uses vintage decor to preserve the heritage culture of the town and maintain a rustic ambience. There are great selection of food and variety of beverages to suit different preferences. You can always pop by for an afternoon coffee. The pancakes and brownies are also popular choices among customers.
Western-style food such as burgers, fish and chips, duck breasts and cold pressed juices are available too. You should try their smoked duck breast with passion fruit sauce, it's good. The cafe is usually packed during meal times. The cafe also organises exclusive events where special guests are invited to perform in the courtyard.
Address: 55 Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca
Opening Hours: Daily from 9:00am to 11:30pm. Sat & Sun open at 8:30am.
10. Calanthe Art Cafe
Calanthe Art Cafe's specialties are the local coffees from all 13 states of Malaysia on top of other beverages. Iced and creamy drinks options such as milkshakes, smoothies and teas and soda are also available. The cafe also serves local food. Their signature dishes are the Calanthe laksa and claypot laksa among others. Nasi lemak and roti canai are also served as breakfast set.
We have a special write-up for Calanthe Art Cafe as our top cafe pick in Malacca for its wide variety of coffees, local food and arty ambience. Check it out.
Join us in cafe-hopping around Malacca too