A holiday doesn’t have to be go go go – sometimes sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the world can be the perfect antidote to your trip. A lot of travelers like to play it safe and know they’re getting a signature Starbucks vanilla latte – the same as they order at home – BORING! You’re in a different country, a different city so why not change things up a little bit and visit a trendy and hip cafe! We’ve scouted high and low around Asia for the most hipster cafes around. So next time you’re visiting, ditch the double tailed mermaid and hit these hotspots around town.

Korea

Photo Credit: May Island

Photo Credit: May Island

May Island (study cafe)

If you need to get your head down and work whilst away, May Island “Coffee and Library” (known as the “study cafe”) is just the spot. The cafe strictly enforces a silence rule, but the funky furniture helps to give the place some life. The sofa study booths are perhaps the quirkiest addition to the room, but you may have to get their early to nab one of the top spots. The drinks are a little pricey, but you’re (hopefully!) investing in 5 hours of productivity on top of the coffee.

Address:816-6 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 서올시, 강남구,역삼동 816-6

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 09:00 – 23:00 / Sunday 09:00 – 22:00

Zombie Coffee Roasters

Not a fan of sickly sweet and extra creamy coffees? Zombie Coffee Roasters prides itself on providing some of the highest quality coffee in the area, roasting fresh coffee beans on site in the scientifically quirky ‘Roasting Room’. The interior has a swanky, industrial feel with a few artsy twists, like the 1950s style fans and the retro red refrigerator. It’s a little tucked away in the Hongdae neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea, but it’s well worth a trip if you’re looking for a quiet afternoon retreat with a decently priced cup of coffee. Their espresso is said to really hit the spot, so give it a try if you’re in need of a sharp wake up.

Address: 362-12 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, 서올시,마포구,서교동 362-12

Opening Hours: Monday 11:30 – 20:00 / Tuesday – Sunday 11:30 – 23:30

Singapore

Photo Credit: Fat Cat Ice Cream Bar

Photo Credit: Fat Cat Ice Cream Bar

Fat Cat Ice Cream Bar

You’re going to have to undo your bottom button and loosen your belt because a trip to Singapore’s trendiest ice cream parlour is an absolute must if you’re planning a visit to this muggy city. Fat Cat recently opened it’s doors and serves up a selection of innovative and unique desserts. Aside from their huge selection of gelato and sorbets, Fat Cat are certified Einsteins in the kitchen with desserts like Charcoal Waffles with Salted Egg Sauce and Mojito Spheres – with a gooey outside and a mojito explosion in the middle.

Address:Blk 416 Bedok North Avenue 2 #01-25, Singapore 460416

Opening Hours: Click here for details

Old Hen Coffee Bar

Ever swigged your coffee from a beer bottle?

The creative crew at Old Hen Coffee Bar specialize in serving their legendary cold brews in old beer bottles. Low in caffeine and cost, they’re the perfect light refreshment with an added quirky twist.

The place thrives on providing a chilled atmosphere away from the busy bustle of Singaporean life. It’s decor is pretty minimalistic and their menu is slightly limited, but the simplicity contributes to it’s humble and homely vibe. They stock various snacks from suppliers, but their homemade treats are the ones to go for. The waffles are topped with everything that you could hope for in an indulgent treat – greek yoghurt, apple compote, pistachios, and salted caramel sauce – and they add a personal touch to their panna cotta by serving it in a glass beaker.

Address: 88 Rangoon Road, #01-03 Singapore 218374.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 12:00 – 22:00 / Saturday 10:00 – 18:30 / Sunday 10:00 – 20:00

Hong Kong

Photo Credit: Teakha

Photo Credit: Teakha

Teakha

If you’re not looking for a blast of caffeine then a trip to Teakha must not go a miss. Situated in one of Hong Kong’s so called ‘trendy zones’ called Poho (a play on names from the area Po Hing Fong) the quaint café lies at the end of Tai Ping Shan Street.  Just like any other joint in Hong Kong, going to Teakha is a bit of squeeze and you may need to do a bit of bum shuffling to make sure everyone can fit it.

Teakha is most well known for its cooked teas in which western and oriental elements are fused. Teas take about 15 minutes to prepare but the wait is totally worth it if you want to treat your palette to some unique tastes. How about a ‘Sea Salt Yin Yang” or a Caramelized Lemon Iced Tea? Teakha also offers a range of floral and herbal teas if something more familiar is desired. Food served at Teakha also takes the fusion route with sweet treats like Green Tea Cheesecake, Hojicha Cheesecake.

Address: Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong 香港,上環 ,太平山18號

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10:00 – 19:00 / Saturday & Sunday 09:00 – 20:00

Fuel Espresso

Coffee lovers rejoice! Fuel Coffee landed on Hong Kong’s shores several years ago – straight from the land of the long white cloud more commonly known as New Zealand. Fuel Coffee serves up the good stuff and how do we know? Well the coffee is black and smooth (none of that murky and grainy nonsense that the twin tailed mermaid serves up). What we recommend, if making a trip to Fuel, is for those who have their coffee white – then order a Flat White, and those who like things dark – a long black. Fuel serves cakes and pastries on the side all inspired from the New Zealand café scene.

Address: Shop 3023, IFC Mall, Central / Shop B47, Landmark, Central

Opening Hours:

Monday – Friday 07:30 – 19:00 / Saturday & Sunday 10:00 – 19:00 (IFC)

Monday – Friday 07:30 – 19:30 / Saturday & Sunday 10:00 – 19:30 (Landmark)

Japan

Photo Credit: Julien Bourdon

Photo Credit: Julien Bourdon

Flower Market Tea House

Hidden away at the back of a flower store, this beautiful cafe is one of Tokyo’s best kept secrets. The Flower Market Tea House is designed like a greenhouse, with fresh flowers decorating every element of space. Orchids line the walkways and little white roses poke through holes in the tables. Exotic flowers stream up the walls and under the glass tables. Spend an afternoon sipping on fragrant herbal teas or refreshing homemade sodas as you take in the many wonderful scents that fill the air. The Tea House is the perfect place for a relaxing retreat if you fancy a change of scene from the busy city.

Address: Japan, 〒107-0062 Tokyo, Minato, Minamiaoyama, 5 Chome−1−2, 青山エリービル1F

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 22:00 / Sunday 11:00 – 19:00

N3331 Cafe

“The closest cafe and bar to a train in the world.” Situated atop the platform of the renovated Manseibashi Station, this trendy cafe promises an alternative people watching experience as well as adrenaline pumping ambience. Try and lock eyes with passengers as trains hurtle by dangerously close on either side. The ceiling high glass windows give the cafe a bright and airy feel, and there’s an open terrace at the back of the cafe which offers an even better view of the world passing by. Savor a smoky curry by day or delve into their impressive selection of sake by night. Even if you’re not a train fanatic, you should definitely check this place out for the unusual experience to be had.

Address: mAAch ecute Kanda Manseibashi-ten, 1-25-4 Kanda-sudachou, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0041

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 23:00 / Sunday 11:00 – 21:00

Taiwan

Photo Credit: AGCT Group

Photo Credit: AGCT Group

AGCT Apartment

Ring the bell of the nondescript building and travel up 3 floors in a dark elevator. That’s the only way to access this remotely located cafe. AGCT Apartment may be a little out of the way, but it’s therefore one of the best places to visit if you’re looking for a chilled vibe. More than just a coffee shop, the owners also use the space to showcase their local Taiwanese fashion brand AGCT. Even if you’re not in the mood for a browse, you can pass a pleasant afternoon people watching on the quaint Wen Zhou Street below. They claim to offer some of the best cocktails in town, so you know where to go if you fancy something stronger than a brew.

Address: 3F, No. 2-2, Lane 49, Wen Zhou Street, Taipei / 台北市溫州街49巷2-2號3樓

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 12:00 – 23:00

A Poet

Don’t be mislead by it’s minimalist exterior. A Poet houses an eclectic mix of elegant furniture, including large wooden tables, vintage lamps and fans, exposed cement walls and so on. One of the biggest perks of this little joint is the beautiful courtyard that’s hidden at the back of the cafe. Fresh flowers flourish and bloom in the backyard and light streams in through a sky light, making this an enchanting spot for an afternoon drink. If you’re feeling peckish, afternoon tea is served between 2:30pm and 4:30pm; but there isn’t a huge scope for choice on the 4 desert menu. At night time, the cafe turns into a cosy evening restaurant, serving a mix of small Mediterranean style dishes and a selection of seafood.

Address: No. 9, Alley 295, Dunhua South Road Section 1, Taipei

Opening Hours: Monday Closed / Tuesday – Sunday 11:30 – 22:30