The past years have seen Melaka evolve from a sleepy Malaysian coastal town into a bustling, world-class UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll by the Melaka River, and you will find its banks lined with 17th century shophouses painted with trendy colourful murals — an example of the city’s perfect blend of the old and new. Along with its evolution comes a thriving cafe scene, and it’s here where you’ll find some of the best in Melaka.
While Melaka has always been known for its delicious cuisine, where you’ll find a mix of Peranakan, Kristang and Malaysian food, the scene has really taken off over the past few years — with themed cafés, hip bars and stylish restaurants sprouting up all over the seaside city. Some of these these eateries even provide a humble blast from the past thanks to their retro-style interior and buildings, which make for a particularly Instagrammable dining experience.
While Jonker Street, the Chinatown of Melaka, used to be bustling with local restaurants, many have moved out and expanded to other locations — as their original venues could not accommodate the growing number of customers. If you’re overwhelmed with the number of food choices in Melaka, we don’t blame you. From the best mille crêpes in town to the most Insta-worthy cafes, we’ve put together a guide to all the eateries where you can eat to your heart’s content.
How to get to Melaka from KL
As Melaka isn’t located too far away — just 145km away, which is a couple hours — from KL, you can easily go there for a short day trip or quick weekend jaunt. You can travel via bus or car.
You can take a bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) from KL to Melaka; the journey is around 2.5 hours long. The ticket costs around RM15.
If you’re driving or taking a taxi/ private hire car, the journey will take around two hours — though you should be prepared for a slightly longer time during festive seasons and weekends.
Now that you know how to get to Melaka from KL, read on for our guide on the best cafes in the city.
11 best cafes in Melaka that are a must-visit
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This café chain, which operates outlets across Malaysia, is known for its decadent mille crêpes — cakes that are made with alternating layers of sponge and cream. It runs two branches in Melaka. Try the banana chocolate mille crêpe, a striking black and white layered cake with sweet banana puree, or the tiramisu variation, which is covered in tasty mascarpone cheese from Italy.
(Image credit: Nadeje)
Travel back in time by visiting Sayyid Antique & Cafe. The eatery serves Malaysian favourites such as Melaka Nyonya laksa, steamed nasi lemak, soto, lontong and the classic roti bakar (toast) and half-boiled egg set. Highlights include the Melaka Nyonya laksa and steamed nasi lemak. To avoid the long wait, be sure to arrive early to enjoy the cosy ambience and priceless collectable interior. You will notice unique antiques, from vintage posters and magazines to old grandfather clocks.
(Image credit: @gambakuw/ Instagram)
Located on Jalan Bukit Cina and 10 minutes away from Jonker Walk, this cafe offers a retro-style ambience amidst the serene lush greenery. As you enter, you will notice that the space is beautifully decorated with rattan furniture, art pieces and potted plants. For that ideal Instagram-worthy shot, opt to dine in the alfresco area by the stairs. The menu offers hearty mains and breakfast meals. Highlights include the signature pumpkin bao and the ciabatta pork belly.
(Image credit: Locahouz)
A day of exploring calls for a quick break – drop by The Upper. The cafe is perfect for unwinding over a delectable meal, thanks to the cosy ambience with vintage touches. Besides coffee and desserts, the menu comprises western dishes such as pasta, pizza and small bites. We recommend ordering the salted egg pasta and garlic butter spaghetti with prawns. As a sweet finish, try the signature cheesecake.
(Image credit: The Upper)
If you’re looking for an ultra photogenic café on Melaka’s Jonker Street, The Daily Fix is your best bet. This Australian-style eatery occupies the back of a heritage shophouse is famed for its soft and fluffy pancakes, which come in local flavours such as durian and pandan.
(Image credit: The Daily Fix Cafe)
Located in the heart of Melaka, Heesan Kopi is an excellent destination to kickstart your day. Step inside and be mesmerised by the old-school kopitiam vibes. Besides the unique decor curation, the murals and framed posters are beautifully decorated for that perfect Instagram-worthy shot. The extensive menu features western-meets-Nyonya cuisine such as breakfast dishes, Malaysian comfort favourites and more. Coffee lovers, try the iced gula Melaka latte, which comes with a heavenly scoop of ice cream.
(Image credit: Heesan Kopi)
Don’t be fooled by its name — this trendy joint is more of a bar than a café. The place features striking yellow walls and green panels, and has weekly live music performances. If you’re feeling peckish, try its signature offerings such as nasi lemak or mango chicken.
Geographer Café, 83 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca.
(Image credit: @shshyn)
Coffee lovers, consider adding Mods Cafe to your list. Praised for its homey ’70s interior, you can find quirky touches from the vintage minivan to the homeware and contrasting tones. The menu offers tasty coffee made with speciality espresso beans for a smooth yet fragrant roast. A favourite among many coffee enthusiasts is their filter brew and milk-based drinks. Order a slice of their homemade cakes with your coffee; you won’t regret it.
(Image credit: @coffeelovers_my)
A trip to Melaka is not complete without Peranakan food. Specialising in nyonya-style food, cookies and kueh, Nancy’s Kitchen serves up food based on recipes that have been passed down for generations. Try its kueh pie tee, which comprises a thin and crispy pastry tart shell filled with a spicy, sweet mixture of thinly sliced vegetables and prawns.
(Image credit: @keithleeky)
Fancy for fusion delicacies? Then head on over to Kin by The Daily Fix. Here, you’ll find in-house made ravioli, rice bowls, pasta, and brunch offerings that are influenced by Eastern flavours. Specialty dishes include Tempe Bolognese (a must-try for ardent vegans), Asian Honey Soy Chicken bagel, and Truffle Mushroom Ravioli.
(Image credit: Kin by The Daily Fix)
Satisfy your caffeine cravings at Calanthe Art Café, which offers coffee from all 13 states of Malaysia. The quaint eatery is also a lovely, Insta-worthy space with its lush hanging vines, and colourful paintings lining its concrete walls.
Be sure to try its Malacca coffee, a delicious brew comprising coffee beans, sugar, salt and margarine. If you’re hungry, the cafe also serves up a mean curry laksa, along with local favourites such as turmeric-tinged nasi lemak.
(Image credit: @dyfoodiesonthego)
(Featured image credit: Malacca.ws)