A Definitive Guide to JB Cafe-Hopping [Updated]

Cross-border cafe hopping is quickly becoming a popular weekend activity. With the current exchange rate and accessibility, Johor Bahru has become a destination to go-to for many cafe-hoppers and food enthusiasts.
We ventured across the border and curated a detailed guide to cafe-hopping in Johor Bahru, featuring some of the best cafes in the area. Jalan Dhoby, widely known as the hipster street of Johor Bahru is a stone throw away from the checkpoint and is home to numerous new cafes and hipster hangouts. It is an approximate 10 – 15 mins walk away from City Square and should not cost you more than RM10 for a cab ride. To the frequent cafe-hoppers and avid explorers, every nook and cranny of this street should present you with many instagrammable opportunities and will satisfy your inner desire for new adventures.
Listed below is SHOUT’s definitive guide to Johor Bahru best cafes.

No. Roads in Johor Bahru Cafes
1 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee Chaiwalla and Co. Container Cafe
2 Bev C Cafe
3 Jalan Trus Faculty of Caffeine
4 Roost Repurposed & Recycled. Salad Bar
5 By Grace, Trus
6 Coffee Valley Jalan Trus
7 Jalan Dhoby The Replacement – Lodge and Kitchen
8 Koone
9 Alicafe Specialty Coffee
10 The Ice Cream Project
11 Sangkaya [NEW]
12 Flowers In The Window [NEW]
13 Jalan Serampang Coffee Signature
14 Jalan Ibrahim Pace Cafe and Wine Lounge
15 Maco Vintage

1. Chaiwalla and Co. Container Cafe [Update]
An eye-catching cafe constructed from cargo containers, the Chaiwalla and Co. Container cafe is Malaysia’s first container cafe since 2012. Located at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, the cafe is a popular pitstop for a cup of iced drink by the famous cultural street. Do take note that the cafe has shifted its location to just across the carpark, situating itself right outside of Maco Vintage.
Thai Milk Tea (RM9.30)

Vietnamese Drip Coffee

2810 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Thursday: 12pm to 12am
Friday to Saturday: 12pm to 1am
Sunday: 12pm to 12am
Phone: +60 12-735 3572
Instagram: @chaiwallaco
2. Bev C Cafe
A cross between a boutique and cafe, the 2-storey Bev C Cafe stands out from the other cafes in the district with its homely and cozy interiors. Founded by Beverly, who also runs her own boutique The Girl Next Door on the first floor of the store, the cafe has been coined by its customers as ‘a place of inspiration’ given its rustic and homestyle ambience. The cafe also has a bed that is a perfect instagramming spot for cafe-hoppers.

Espresso Ice Cubes with Caramel + Milk (RM14.90)BevC4

The Espresso Ice Cubes are Bev C Cafe’s house special and it comes in three options – with milk, chocolate and milk, and lastly caramel with milk. 
The Espresso shots are frozen into ice cubes and served with milk at the side. Pour in the desired amount of milk and the espresso would melt to form an iced latte. Other than the novelty factor, the unique presentation of the iced coffee allows you to control the concentration of the espresso and keeps it from being diluted.
Charcoal Croissant with Smoked Salmon (RM18.90)BevC5
Bev C offers a two main types of croissants for patrons to choose from – almond or charcoal. Of which, patrons are offered the choice of flavors including chicken ham, smoked salmon, mushrooms, butter or strawberry. The Charcoal Croissant with Smoked Salmon is served with a side of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and lemon.

Chocolate Mint Pie (RM12.90)

A slice of pastel-mint colored goodness, the Chocolate Mint Pie is another signature dessert in Bev C that is a popular choice amongst its patrons.
54 Jalan Tan Hiok Nee
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Closed on Mondays
Tuesday to Thursday: 12pm to 8pm
Friday to Saturday: 12pm to 10pm
Sunday: 12pm to 8pm
Phone: +60 16-725 3530
Instagram: @bevcclothingbrand
3. Faculty of Caffeine
Founded by a medical student and an interior designer who are both passionate about coffee, food and design, the Faculty of Caffeine is a halal cafe with an industrial-chic concept and an old school vibe, as patrons may spot vintage elements such as stamps or artwork in the cafe interior.

Salted Caramel Affogato (RM11.50)
A combination of partially-melted vanilla ice cream, butter cookies, sea-salt in espresso and topped with a pretzel, the Salted Caramel Affogato offers coffee-lovers a twist to the usual affogato.
Bana-nuts (RM13.50)

The dish Bana-nuts was coined from the highlights of the dish – bananas and peanut butter. Other than the two main ingredients, Bana-nuts is also served with a scoop of ice cream, some blueberries as well as a crispy croissant – a treat for the sweet-toothed.

106 Jalan Trus
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Sunday: 9am to 6pm
Phone: +60 16-713 2714
Instagram: @facultyofcaffeine
4. Roost Repurposed & Recycled. Salad Bar
With a feature wall of vintage books and CDs, Roost Repurposed & Recycled Salad Bar boasts a vintage interior with its concrete walls, colorful floor tiles and wooden furniture. Originally a salad bar that offers healthy options such as yogurt and salad, the bar has recently introduced mains into their menu, featuring dishes such as meatballs and eggs benedict

Mashed Potatoes with Chicken Meatballs (RM16.50)

A new addition to their menu as one of the mains, the Mashed Potatoes with Chicken Meatballs is a classic dish that is also popular amongst the patrons of Roost.

14 Jalan Trus
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Sunday: 6pm to 12am
Phone: +60 16-776 7489
5. By Grace, Trus 
A sister outlet of By Grace at Jalan Kuning, the all-new soft serve outlet at Jalan Trus is one of the newest additions in the ‘hipster cafe street’. By Grace Trus features a clean and sleek shopfront with clear glass doors and industrial-chic interior, and currently serves up 5 different flavors of soft serve that are instagram-worthy, but at the same time slightly pricey with prices ranging from RM17.90 to RM18.90.
Earl Grey Charcoal Soft Serve Raspberry (RM18.90)

A unique soft serve flavor, the Earl Grey Charcoal soft serve consists of cotton candy and can be paired with other toppings such as raspberry syrup, rice crisps, caramel drizzle that patrons can choose from. Other soft serve flavors include the top seller osmanthus, as well as fruity or caramel flavor.

9 Jalan Trus
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Sunday: 12pm to 10pm
Phone: +60 17-740 1733
Instagram: @bygrace.trus
6. Coffee Valley, Jalan Trus
Located at a small alley at Jalan Trus, cafe-hoppers might miss this cafe with only a signboard as an indication. One can find his way to Coffee Valley by heading up to the second level upon spotting the signboard, where the cafe is situated. Coffee Valley also has another outlet at Sutera Mall, where the spacious cafe sports a warm and earthy-toned exterior.
Egg Slut (RM9) Valley6
Crude name aside, the egg slut is a combination of a runny egg, cheese, mashed potatoes and sautéed mushrooms and goes extremely well with toast. This dish is highly recommended if you visit Coffee Valley.

The Big Brunch (RM24)


The Big Brunch makes for a great choice for individuals with a big appetite. The hearty meal consists of the cream of mushroom with garlic bread, the must-try egg slut, as well as creamy chicken pasta.

12 Jalan Trus
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Sunday: 11:30am to 8pm (Closed on Wednesdays)
Phone: +60 72956109
Instagram: @coffeevalley
7. The Replacement – Lodge and Kitchen
One of the more popular cafes in Johor Bahru from the same owners of Faculty of Caffeine, The Replacement Lodge and Kitchen features a clean and minimalistic design with marble walls and printed tiles, making it a popular spot for Instagrammers and cafe-hoppers to flock to. The cafe also serves up a unique menu of dishes with a fusion twist, suiting the locals’ palates.
Original Churros (RM14.90)

One of the more popular items on the menu, the Original Churros are dusted with cinnamon and fine granulated sugar and served with a bowl of homemade dark chocolate ganache. Patrons have the choice of adding on fruits or ice creams as a side.
Dips (RM5.90)

  • Dark Chocolate Ganache
  • Gula Melaka
  • Salted Caramel
  • Nutella
  • Peanut Butter
  • Salted Egg Yolk

Alishan Qing Xing Oolong (RM18.00)
One of the specialty teas launched a month ago in the cafe, the Alishan Qing Xing Oolong tea is refreshing and made from oolong that is lightly-oxidized and carefully hand-rolled. The tea carries distinct creamy and floral flavors with added honeysuckle sweetness, and is an alternative for non-coffee lovers.
33-34 Jalan Dhoby
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Friday: 10am to 7pm
Saturday: 9am to 10pm
Sunday: 10am to 7pm
Phone: +60 16-713 2714
Instagram: @thereplacementlandk
8. Koone 
Koone soft-serve is the first soft-serve ice cream parlour in Johor Bahru and the latest cafe-hopping hotspot with cafe-hoppers flocking to the ice cream parlour for their ice cream and yogurt. The soft-serves come in a variety of flavors and are served in pink cups with dry ice at the bottom not just for aesthetic reasons, but also to preserve the coldness of the ice cream for a longer period of time – just enough for you to take your Instagram photos.
Hokkaido Matcha (RM14.00)

The Hokkaido Matcha soft serve is made from premium japanese green tea with a hint of vanilla sweetness. It is served with dry ice and topped with Japan dango and a drizzle of honey.

Breakfast (RM24.00)

A twist to the usual ‘breakfast’, the Breakfast served at Koone is a combination of french vanilla soft serve with New York cheese, mixed berries cereal, honey corn flakes, red velvet donuts and yogurt sauces.

30 Jalan Dhoby
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Thursday: 1pm to 10pm
Friday to Sunday & PH: 1pm to 12am
Phone: +60 16-784 7833
Instagram: @koonesoftserve
9. Alicafe Specialty Coffee
Located in the heart of Johor Bahru along Jalan Dhoby, Alicafe Specialty Coffee is a quaint cafe with quilted leather sofa seats and a rustic interior. Serving up cups of coffee with unique latte art including cats and bears, the cafe is best known for their coffee art and desserts.
Cotton Candy Affogato (RM14.90)

The Cotton Candy Affogato, also known as ‘awan-awan’ (which means clouds) in Alicafe Specialty Coffee consists of a large serving of cotton candy, ice cream, chewy marshmallows and a cup of espresso. Unlike the norm, this affogato is slightly sweeter as the cotton candy melts into the coffee.

27 Jalan Dhoby
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Friday: 3pm to 12am
Saturday to Sunday: 2pm to 12am
Phone: +60 7-350 7739
Instagram: @alicafespecialtycoffee

10. The Ice Cream Project
Easily identifiable with glass doors and an eye-catching wooden swing at the entrance of the cafe, The Ice Cream Project is an ice cream parlor that serves up freshly prepared ice cream made with the use of nitrogen. As the ice cream is prepared with fresh milk, it has a very creamy and rich consistency – and is available in a variety of flavors. Other than their signature ice creams, the parlor also has a huge selection of tea.
Original Flavor (RM14)
The original milk-flavored ice cream is made with fresh milk — simple yet at the same time, rich and creamy.
31 Jalan Dhoby
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Closed on Mondays
Tuesday to Sunday: 3pm to 10pm (open till 12am on Fridays and Saturdays)
Phone: +60 7300 7286
Instagram: @tip_theicecreamproject

11. Sangkaya [NEW]

With many branches all around Malaysia, Sangkaya is a Malaysian-founded creamery brand that serves all-things coconut — coconut water, milk shakes, and coconut ice cream in a variety of flavors including Thai iced tea.
Signature Ice Cream (RM9.90)Sangkaya4
With 4 scoops of premium coconut ice cream and a choice of 3 toppings served (free flow at the self-service counter) on a half a coconut husk with flesh strips, the ice cream is a must-try especially for coconut lovers.
14 Jalan Dhoby
80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Sunday: 11am to 11pm
Instagram: @sangkayamy
12. Flowers In The Window [NEW]
A new addition to the widely popular hipster street, Jalan Dhoby, is Flowers in the Window café, another new avenue from the team behind the successful Roost Café and Sea and Saw. Aiming for a plethora of different vibes, the two storey café is reminiscent of a distinct carpentry-cum-verdant style.
Following their intent on flora, Flowers in the Window, despite being in the midst of a soft launch, are aiming to sell flowers and incorporate edible flowers in their already meticulous menu spread – making the café a must-visit because of their homely ambience and good food. Full write up can be found here.
13. Coffee Signature 
A relatively new addition to the cafe scene in Johor Bahru, Coffee Signature is a container concept cafe located in Jalan Serampang. The double-storey cafe is however, out of the vicinity of the other cafes listed above, and a cab ride to Coffee Signature is highly recommended.
Sweet Rain (RM16.90)

One of the most instagrammable dishes from our JB cafe-hopping guide, the Sweet Rain is Coffee Signature’s signature drink. Served with a drink (choice of coffee or tea), breadstick and cotton candy, the drink is presented to simulate the elements of rain – with cotton candy as clouds and pouring drink as rain.

Ice Blended Mocha (RM11.90)Signature6

Served in a light bulb flask, the Ice Blended Mocha is another Instagram-worthy drink from Coffee Signature.

53 Jalan Serampang
80050 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Business Hours
Monday to Thursday: 12pm to 10pm (Closed on Wednesday)
Friday to Saturday: 12pm to 11pm
Sunday: 12pm to 10pm
Phone: +60 7-330 5731
Instagram: @coffeesignature
14. Pace Cafe and Wine Lounge
Quite possibly the most eye-catching cafe of the lot with its tiffany blue exterior, Pace Café & Wine Lounge is located nearby other cafes including Chaiwalla & Co. and Bev C — making it almost impossible to miss this brightly-colored cafe. Pace also opened their very own wine lounge very recently within the two-storey space.
A glimpse of the cafe reveals that it is tiffany-blue themed — complementing the cafe’s exterior. The cafe is well-received by cafe-hoppers for its affogato and signature desserts.
Signature Magnum Shooter (RM15)Pace5
A combination of Magnum ice cream with cereal, strawberries, matcha kitkats, strawberry ice cream topped with the choice of either espresso or chocolate sauce, the Signature Magnum Shooter is a popular option for customers – not just for its taste but Instagrammable appeal as well.
Cheesecake Affogato (RM18)Pace7
Another popular dessert option at Pace is the Cheesecake Affogato that consists of slices of rainbow cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, cereal and oreo crunch, topped with the choice of either espresso or chocolate sauce as well.
For Marys (Rose Grape Fruit) RM11
Served with a pot of soda and cubes of kiwi and grape in a glass, the unique presentation of For Marys does not discount the taste of this refreshing iced drink with hints of tanginess. This drink is definitely recommended for warm and humid days.
40 Jalan Ibrahim
80000 Johor Bahru
Business Hours
Monday to Sunday: 10am to 8pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
Wine lounge
Monday to Saturday: 4pm to 12am (Closed on Sundays)
Phone: +60 7222 4896

Things to Do in February 2016

Jeffrey Koh, Founder of FLABSLAB