A Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in South Asia – part 2

We love coffee!!! When traveling it’s the one thing that many people don’t want to give up. During our 20 months in South Asia we had a lot of coffee in many different cities and kept track of the best. No longer do you have to suffer with awful instant coffee, typical in Asia. We created this guide to help fellow travelers find the perfect cup of coffee on their trip to South Asia.
Part 2: Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand

We usually had Americano or, if not available, French Press so reviews are based on those drinks. We didn’t list prices as these will change but tried to give an idea of price compared to others in that area. (Foolishly) we are not making revenue from these coffee shops. ( $ cheap, $$ mid-range, $$$ North American prices.

Most cities don`t have street addresses, so the easiest way to find the shop is to enter the name and city in Google Maps. Click to see coffee shops in Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, or Part 1: Sri Lanka, India, Nepal

Laos

Find your perfect cup in many Laotian cities, listed in alphabetical order.

Huayxay

Dream Bakery $
Location: Th Saykhong, Huay Xai
We didn’t expect to find this little gem in Huay Xay. They serve great coffee, although small sizes, and a few options for breakfast. It’s open-air with no A/C but pretty good Wi-Fi.


Luang Prabang

Joma Café $$$
Location: Kingkitsarath Rd, Luang Probang
There are many places for average espresso in Luang Prabang. Joma is a chain coffee shop, but offers a pretty good Americano, but at a high price. They also have a full menu with good western and Laos dishes and have many vegetarian options. There’s an indoor A/C area or outdoor seating and good Wi-Fi. This one just off the main tourist area on a quiet, treed street. There is another location in Luang Prabang.

Zurich Bread Factory and Café $$$
Location: Sakkaline Road, Luang Prabang
Other than coffee, we missed good bread while traveling in Asia. Zurich Bread Factory had great European bread for delicious sandwiches to go with their Illy coffee. Its was pretty expensive, but worth it. It’s air-conditioned and has Wi-Fi.


Muong Ngoi

Phetdavan $$
Location: Main street
Run by a Swedish/Laos couple, Phetdavan offers great drip coffee and tasty treats. It’s a bit more expensive than you would expect in this little village, but it has the best coffee. They also offer a huge breakfast buffet (35,000 kip) with a large variety of European and Laos items, it’s worth the price tag.


Nong Khiaw

CT Restaurant $
There isn’t much to chose from in Nong Khiaw, but this rustic restaurant was able to serve a pretty good French Press coffee. Their western and Laos breakfasts and dinners are pretty good too. There’s no A/C or Wi-Fi which is typical in Nong Khiaw.


Vang Vieng

Noc et Mika Guesthouse $
Location: Nam Song Road Ban Savanh, Vang Vieng
There are many places for a good cup of coffee in Vang Vieng. Our guesthouse, run by a Frenchman, makes an excellent espresso so we had most of our coffee there. It’s open-air with no AC, but Wi-Fi is pretty good.

Coffee Inn $$
Location: Sengsavang, Vang Vieng
Around the corner from our guesthouse is Coffee Inn. It’s a small air-conditioned café serving excellent Americano. Wi-Fi is very good too.


Thakhek

DD Bistro and Café
Location: In front of the fountain on Main St
There’s not much to choose from in Thakhek. The coffee in DD Bistro was quite good and cheap, but the service is very poor. We didn’t eat here, but they have a full menu with Lao and western food. It’s air-conditioned and has pretty good Wi-Fi.


Vientiane

Common Grounds Café
Location: 101 Chao Anou Rd. Wat Chan, Vientiane
This trendy café is very popular with locals and tourists. They have very good Americano and tasty baked goods including cookies. It’s a nice place to hang out with good Wi-Fi and comfortable seating in a clean air-conditioned café. We went here a few times during our time in Vientiane.


Malyasia

Find your perfect cup in many Malaysian cities, listed in alphabetical order.

Georgetown, Penang

Lagenda House $$
Location: 43, Lebuh Campbell, George Town
We stayed in this cute restaurant/hotel and it ended up also being our favourite place to eat. A good cup of coffee was served with breakfast so we didn’t try any other cafes. We highly recommend Lagenda House for their coffee and especially their food.


Melaka

The Daily Fix $$
Location: 55 Jalan Hang Jebat Melaka
With a strong coffee culture in Melaka, it’s not difficult finding a good cup of coffee. We liked the Daily Fix’s Americano (Double Black) the best. They also serve sandwiches, pasta and appetizers with the tangy flavours of Melakan cuisine.

Geographers Café $
Location: 83 Jalan Hang Jebat, Melaka
Right on Jonker Street this café takes advantage of its location. There are tables inside and outside on the patio with the atmosphere of Jonker Street all around. The coffee was good, and the price was even better. We also went for a vegetarian dinner which was awesome.


Kota Kinabalu

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Location: Jln Haji Saman, across from Suriah Sabah Shopping Mall
This chain serves a consistently good cup of coffee, but prices are a little high and their menu is small. As with most locations, they have A/C and Wi-Fi.


Kuching

Bing! Coffee @ Jln Padungan $$
Location: No. 84, Jalan Padungan, Kuching
There are quite a few good coffee shops in the cute city of Kuching. In the tourist zone we found Bing! Coffee to have the best Americano at the best price. The downside is they don’t open until 10 and they serve mostly deserts and snacks so it’s not really a breakfast place. It has A/C and very good Wi-Fi.


Myanmar

Find your perfect cup in a few Myanmar cities, listed in alphabetical order.

Nyaung Shewe (Inle Lake)

Chillax Bistro
Location: Kyaung Daw Anauk St, Nyaungshwe
In such a touristy town we expected to have a great coffee, unfortunately we had a few average over-priced coffees. Chillax Bistro had the best coffee of those we tried. As with most places, Wi-Fi was quite poor.


Nyaung U (Bagan)

Black Bamboo
Location: Yar Thin Thar Street, Nyaung U
This restaurant has a nice garden setting with outdoor seating. The coffee was pretty good, but they don’t open early enough for a morning coffee. We did go here for two meals though which were very good.

A Little Bit of Began
Location: Thiri Pyitsaya 4 St Nyaung U,
There are quite a few tourist restaurants in Nyaung U, but most are only average. A Little Bit of Bagan is open early and offers good Americano and western or Burmese breakfast. They have a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s open-air seating so there’s no AC, but most of the tables are under a roof for shade.

Yangon

The Moment Tea Room $$
Location: Kandawguyi Nature Park, Yangon
Finding this new cafe near Kandawguyi Lake was a pleasant surprise. Despite the name, they had very good Americano and pastries in a clean café. The young owners are very friendly and helpful. They have AC and outdoor seating.


Singapore

Ronin $$$
Location: 17 Hongkong St, Singapore
There are many great coffee shops in Singapore, making it difficult to chose a favourite. This air-conditioned café is located close to Clarke Quay so the location good for us. They serve a great Americano and have a good breakfast menu, but we didn’t eat here.

Sarnies $$$
Location: 136 Telok Ayer St, Singapore
This small café serves excellent Americano. They’re centrally located making it a great spot for tourists. They have a big breakfast and lunch menu, but we didn’t eat. It’s air-conditioned and has good Wi-Fi.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
This international chain can be found throughout Singapore and Malaysia. It serves consistently reliable decent coffee, but their prices are high.


Thailand

Ayutthaya

Coffee Old City $
Location: Chikul Road, Ayutthaya across from the entrance to the Historical Park
Even though there are many places in Ayutthaya that say they make coffee we found that most were very weak or bitter. Coffee Old City doesn’t have the best service, but it does have the best coffee and the best location. There’s no Wi-Fi but it is air-conditioned.


Bangkok

Bangkok Café $
Location: 1147 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong Ton Sai, Near Thon Bury Metro Station
Bangkok is such a huge city with great restaurants and cafes in each neighborhood. If you stay in Thon Bury, the Bangkok Café is worth a visit. One of the owners is European and serves excellent Americano and western breakfasts. We returned several times and also had dinner as they have amazing Vietnamese and Thai dishes.


Chiang Mai

Doo Dee$
Location: 6 Suriyawongse Rd, Chiang Mai
More of a restaurant and bar than a coffee shop, but they served surprisingly good coffee. The best part though is they have very good Wi-Fi which is difficult to find in Chiang Mai. It is air-conditioned.

Graph Café $$$
Location: Ratvithi Road Soi 2, Near Tai Pe Gate
This small café serves excellent Americano, but their Wi-Fi is poor and the coffee is quite expensive. They have tasty, but equally overpriced pastries too. It is air-conditioned.


Haad Rin, Koh Pha Ngan

CoffeeDrinks $
Location: 111/1, Haad Rin Village, Ko Pha Ngan
Located on the main highway it’s not close to the touristy beach so we didn’t find this gem right away. They serve excellent Americano at a very good price. There’s a small menu but has a good selection of western breakfast including yogurt, fruit, muesli. There’s a small patio with umbrellas, but no indoor seating.


Lamai, Koh Samui

Our favourite place for coffee in Lamai, Koh Samui was a small cafe called Trattoria. Unfortunately we heard recently that it is now closed.


Sairee Beach, Koh Tao

Factory Café $$$
Location: 9/284 Sairee beach, Koh Tao
This industrial looking café has healthy meals, good wifi and air-conditioning. The coffee is good, but not great, but was the best we could find in Sairee Beach. Our meals were very tasty.


Krabi

Zoo Coffee $
Location: 10 Isara Rd., Krabi Town
This small café serves excellent Americano at a very good price. They also have very good western and Thai breakfasts. Staff are very friendly, there’s A/C, a patio and Wi-Fi.


Lopburi

Noom Guest House and Restaurant $$
Location: 15-17 Phayakamjad Rd, Lopburi
Noom’s is a guest house and restaurant. It’s a large open-air restaurant with no AC, but plenty of fans. They offer big western and Thai breakfasts and decent coffee. It’s a popular spot, because it’s prices are reasonable and the food is good. We stayed in one of their bungalow bedrooms which was small, but nice for the price.


Pai

Espresso Bar by Prathom 1 $$
Location: 100/1 Chaisongkram Road, Pai
There’s a lot of competition in Pai, but Espresso Bar, is one of the best. Located on Walking Street, this rustic coffee shop serves excellent Americano and yummy deserts.


Phi Phi

Phi Phi Bakery $$
Location: Amphoe Muang, Phi Phi Don
This busy café serves great breakfasts and pretty good coffee. Service isn’t always the best, but it’s because they’re always so busy. It’s an open-air restaurant so there’s no A/C.


Railay

Coffee Station $
Location: Railay West
Coffee Station has to be one of the coolest coffee shops anywhere. A local Thai ‘rasta’ and his wife run this laid back shop with amazing, hand-ground coffee and Thai pancakes. It’s a great place to hang out and chat with the owners while enjoying a great cup of coffee.


Coming up next: Seven Summits – Climbing Vinson Massif

For pictures from our blogs go to Gallery at monkeystale.ca

To read about more of our adventures go to Destinations.

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