Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore based personal blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, people & places around the world

Sunday, 8 January 2017

2017 All the Hip Cafes near City Square Johor Bahru JB Checkpoint


Friends want me to take them cafe hopping in Johor Bahru 😃 Drink latte instead of kopi C kosong 😂

It's no longer news - once sleepy, old downtown JB is energized - came alive as hipster cafe central in Johor.

The transformation started not longer than 3 years ago or 4 years at most. Some cafes have shut in this short period - this list contains only hipster cafes (by the way, this place is full of heritage food) and only those that are still in business (as at today, 8 Jan 2017).

How to get here? Very easy.

If you are coming from Singapore by public bus, you can simply walk here from JB CIQ. Even Johoreans often use public transport to come here as parking is a nightmare in these narrow old streets.

My improvised map to cafe hopping in JB. Just find your way to Jalan Dhoby and you are all set 😃

After you cleared JB immigration, you will walk straight into City Square mall (follow the signs). Step out into the busy main street which is Jalan Wong Ah Fook. Head south by turning to your left i.e. in the direction of Singapore.

You will see construction work on your right. Walk south, keeping your eyes right. (You will see the long queue at Kam Long curry fish head ahead of you - don't go there - today is cafe day 😂 ) You will see a Hindu Temple on your right. Carefully cross Jalan Wong Ah Fook and you are on Jalan Ungku Puan. 

Keep going straight ahead 100 metres and you will come to the junction with Jalan Trus. Plaza Kotaraya (the red building) is diagonally across at the junction. To go to Jalan Dhoby, turn to your left and walk down Jalan Trus towards Singapore again i.e. south.

About 200 metres down Jalan Trus is Jalan Dhoby on your right. There you are, in JB's "hipster street". It will take just 10 - 15 minutes to walk here from City Square.

So easy, right? 👍


Jalan Dhoby has the most number of hipster cafes in a single stretch here - little wonder that it is known as "hipster street" to the Instagram generation.

Who would have thought that the sleepy laundry street where people once sent their best clothes to be hand washed and pressed, is now filled with handphone togging bands wandering the old streets, shooting pretty objects to feed their Instagram. (The Pokemon catchers are gone now, for the time being 😂 )

On a side note, Jalan Dhoby is still the home of Salahuddin Bakery which is one of the oldest in Malaysia. It still bakes it's pastries including triangle curry puffs (karipap) with a brick wall oven.

The Roost is the first Jalan Dhoby cafe you will see as it is at the junction with Jalan Trus.

  The Roost | No 14, Jalan Dhoby | +60 7-220 0920

Flowers in the Window | 9, Jalan Dhoby | +60 7-222 7489

The Replacement | 33, Jalan Dhoby | +60 10-400 5407

Sangkaya | 14, Jalan Dhoby | +60 16-751 5885

TIP - The Ice Cream Project | 31, Jalan Dhoby | +607 300 7286

Koone | 31, Jalan Dhoby | +6016-934 4850

Ali Cafe Specialty Coffee | 27, Jalan Dhoby | +60 16-719 3737 (Closed down in Jan 2017)


Jalan Tan Hiok Nee is a historic street named after the Chinese Kapitan of old JB. Locals know it as "culture street 陈旭年文化街". It is home to mainly heritage eateries like century old Hiap Joo bakery and now punctuated by a few hipster cafes. (By the way, do visit Hiap Joo even if you are here for latte and ice cream 😃 )

Bev C | 54 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee | +60 7-221 3530

Maco Vintage | 14 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee | +60 7-221 1475

Chaiwalla | Lot 2801 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee | +60 12 735 3672

Then, there is EHHE Art Cafe which I am not sure how to place it. It's menu is traditional and eclectic like a good Nanyang coffee shop. Yet, it's decor is hip, quaint and artsy. It also has Western inspired items like pastas and chops.

EHHE Art Cafe | 1 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee | +60 7-220 0866


Faculty of Caffeine is the only cafe at the northern half of this historic north-south oriented straight road - it's a bit off the main cluster of cafes. FOC is located across the road from the 柔佛古廟 Old Chinese Temple, the focal point of the deeply significant annual Chingay in JB.

Faculty of Caffeine | 106 Jalan Trus | +60 16-713 2714

Shakespeare Milkshares is newest player on Jalan Trus between Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and Jalan Dhoby.

Shakespeare Milkshares9, Jalan Trus Johor Bahru | +60 16-421 8530

Happy exploring, delicious cafe hopping and fruitful Instagramming 😃


All the hipster cafes near the JB Checkpoint - I am going to try them all 😋☕🍰📷

Date: 8 Jan 2017

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  1. Hi, Any places for seafood near these streets?
    Can email me to

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