Photo credit: CALEB LAU

10 cafes to try out at Johor Bahru

These picks offer varying ambience and food choices, and are all within a 10-min car ride from the customs checkpoint.

Caleb Lau

Grew up a musician, found a calling in photography and writing. Still in love with all of them.

Published: 16 September 2022, 3:51 PM

Be it a day trip or a convenient weekend retreat, Johor Bahru proves to be a great destination for a quick getaway. 

Aside from numerous fun-filled activities to do, there is also a profound selection of cafes within reach to try out.

With unique dishes and Instagramable decor, here are 10 newly opened cafes in Johor that Youthopia visited.

1. Dusk by Mok Mok

Opened in April last year, this cafe is the second establishment run by Mok Mok Brunch and Bistro and is known for its Bohemian indoor theme. A variety of seating arrangements are available – well-lit ones near the glass windows or more dimly-lit areas with neon lights as the backdrop.

The mains on the menu showcase a meld of Western and Asian cultures, like rice donburis, risottos, pastas and pao (poached) rice.


Reflecting the cafe’s tropical theming, the Kumo Ultimo (left), priced at RM25, features stacked soufflé pancakes topped with a mermaid tail-shaped chocolate and a mascarpone cheese mousse. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at 49, Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Dusk by Mok Mok is open from 12pm to 10pm daily and reservations can be made through WhatsApp (+60163290068).

2. Raw - Brew & Dine

Depending on the time of day, diners will be treated to one of two unique Asian-European menus – brunch or dinner. 

Raw – Brew & Dine opened in January last year. Its casual dining atmosphere, coupled with western flavours like Guacamole Sour Cream burger or locally-inspired flavours such as the Ayam Masak Merah (chicken in spicy tomato sauce) rice bowl, provides a great experience for family or friend gatherings.


The Swiss Rosti (left), priced at RM28, reflects the cafe’s deft execution of European cuisine with crispy potato fritters and fresh salmon and avocado slices. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at 70, Jalan Pingai, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Raw – Brew & Dine is open 11am to 5pm and 6pm to 10pm daily and contactable through WhatsApp (+60176631336).

3. The Lightwood by MUES

Patrons will be greeted by a pastel green archway into a basement garden as they make their way to the establishment, transporting them into a realm of tranquillity and serenity. 

With sourdough bread as its housemade specialty, the cafe, which opened in April this year, doesn’t hold back on incorporating it in numerous offerings, such as sourdough brownies and breakfast sandwiches.


The Shakshuka with Sourdough Focaccia (left), priced at RM22, is a Tunisian dish that spotlights the cafe’s sourdough bread and paired with tomato sauce and poached eggs. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at 18K Basement, Jalan Abdul Samad, Kampung Bahru, 80100 Johor Bahru, The Lightwood by MUES is open from 8.30am to 6.00pm daily except Tuesdays and is contactable through WhatsApp (+60142788156).

4. Yeon Cafe

Opened in October 2020, this cafe offers a slice of Korea with not only its warm-coloured interior and cosy atmosphere, but also its food akin to what one might see in K-dramas.

Aside from the Korean food staples like kimbap, kimchi fried rice and tteokbokki, the cafe puts a western spin on its desserts by including items such as apple crumble tarts and scones.


The Japchae (left), priced at RM17, proves to be a good interpretation of the popular Korean dish which features chewy noodles, chicken pieces and purple cabbage. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at 12, Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Yeon Cafe is open 12pm – 10pm daily except Tuesdays and is contactable through WhatsApp (+60183856899).

5. Offee Cafe

With an almost round-the-clock service and just a 10-min walk from the Johor Bahru Checkpoint, this cafe is the perfect place for those quick weekend getaways.

Opened back in June this year, the cafe’s menu is by far the simplest of the lot in this list; it mainly offers caffeinated beverages and baked products like cupcakes and tiramisu.


The Honey Almond Butter Toast (left), priced at RM 12, combines savoury and sweet and is well-suited as both a brunch and dessert. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at 30, Jalan Dhoby, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Offee Cafe is open 9am – 12am daily.

6. Ikhwan Coffee

Beginning originally as a food truck in June last year and finding a permanent home in January this year, the cafe continues to serve as a pit stop and shade for many drivers. 

The halal-certified establishment serves a variety of outsourced cakes alongside house made items like Matcha Espresso and Chicken Pie.


Among its desserts, the Pavlova (left), priced at RM14, stands out because of its Australian and New Zealand roots as well as its visual presentation. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at 13C Jalan Yahya Awal, Lorong 3, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80100 Johor Bahru, Ikhwan Coffee is open 3.30pm – 12am on Sundays to Thursdays and 3.30pm – 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

7. 80000 by Fam

The second outlet by breakfast and brunch restaurant Fam Cafe, this establishment serves up western and Nanyang fusion dishes in a rustic space ornamented with abstract paintings.

Since its opening in January this year, the cafe has a wide selection of food ranging from rice bowls, pastas, pizzas to beverages either caffeinated or non-caffeinated.


The Salmon Mash (left), priced at RM35, is an ideal sharing platter with plenty of fries and sliced toasted bread best paired with the creamy white sauce. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at 36, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, 80000 by Fam is open 9am – 6pm daily except Wednesdays.

8. Principle Café by T.A.M

Also a stone’s throw from the Johor Bahru Checkpoint, this cafe provides a rather intimate setting with minimal decor, soft lighting and muted colour tones. 

Opened in November last year, the cafe’s offerings dabble between Asian and Western cultures with dishes like Pulled Duck on Brioche and Hojicha Terrine Tart.


Diners can round off their hefty meals with a cup of slightly sweet but tangy Yuzu Rose Tea (left), priced at RM14.90. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at 82-B, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Principle Café by T.A.M is open 11.15am – 8.30pm on Mondays to Fridays and 10.15am – 8.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

9. Sunday Morning Coffee Shop

Opened back in February this year, this quaint cafe-cum-film lab along with its large collection of vinyls on display attracts foodies, film photographers and jazz addicts.

Though not as extensive as other cafes on this list, the menu offered here features Japanese staples like Japanese Curry Rice, Udon Noodle Soup and Cold Drip Coffee.


The Japanese-inspired menu also features the Purin (left), priced at RM10, a smooth custard pudding eaten with fresh cream and creme caramel. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at 124, Jalan Trus, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Sunday Morning Coffee Shop is open 10am – 6pm daily except Wednesdays.

10. Space Cafe

As its name suggests, this establishment is outfitted with floor-to-ceiling glass panes and widely distanced seating, suitable for long conversations over coffee. 

Since opening in November last year, the cafe focuses mainly on French pastries like croissants and doughnuts along with a good selection of coffees and lattes.


Diners can also check out the cafe’s several alcoholic beverages including the Watermelon Tea Tonic (left), priced at RM20, composed mainly of Schweppes tonic water. PHOTO CREDIT: CALEB LAU


Located at Holiday Villa, G-11, 260, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Space Cafe is open 8am – 12am daily.

Hopefully this list of places to eat, chat and unwind can ease the planning of your next trip across the border! Do make a call or check the cafes’ social media pages for the latest updates on their opening hours and menus.

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