Written by Nur Batrisya
Assisted by Ivy
When we think about Ipoh’s hipster cafes, what comes first to mind might be the Harry Potter themed cafe that generated so much buzz when it was launched in 2019.
But Ipoh’s vibrant cafe scene is more than just the hyped up popular ones; there’s so many unique cafes around town, especially around Concubine Lane in the heart of Ipoh’s most happening foodie district. Have you heard of Ipoh’s first glass forest cafe? Or found this hidden cafe in an alleyway? There’s even an oriental teahouse!
So come along with us and let’s go cafe-hopping in this hipster old town this weekend!
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1. Little magicians, this magic train is about to go! – Platform 9 & 1/2 Café
When I was a kid, I’ve always loved waiting by the window for my snowy white owl to bring me my Hogwarts letter (Don’t laugh at me! I’m sure I’m not the only Harry Potter fan who does this).
Although that letter never came, the closest thing I can get would be at the magical platform – Platform 9 ¾ , sorry I mean, Platform 9 & ½.
Originally an old roofless building, it has since been magically transformed into a cafe where you can enjoy ice-cold butterbeers (known as Butter Brew here) with your fellow wizards and witches while all dressed up in your favourite Hogwarts robes (which House do you belong to? ;)) which are available for loan. It really reminds us of Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter!2. Ice-cold melt-in-your-mouth dessert – Chakori
Update: This cafe is currently open only for deliveries and takeaways.
Are you a fan of gelato, sorbets, waffles, and other tasty cold desserts? Here at Chakori, they serve eye-catching colourful cold servings that will just make your Insta-feed a little more popping!
Set with neon lights, large glass windows and a touch of old urban warehouse vibes, this dessert cafe has hipsters flocking in for a taste of their treats and IG-worthy photo ops!
3. Beary craving for some crispy Belgium Waffles? – Mooghurt
You might think that judging by its name, this place must be filled with cows. After all, it is called MOO-ghurt, but you’d be surprised! Once you step in, you’d see shelves, walls and tables filled with bears! Even their desserts and platings are bear-themed! It’s almost reminding me of my old bedroom which used to be filled with stuffed bears in every corner, and till this day, I still keep a bear or two.
This place is perfect if you’re looking for a cutesy date with bae! Their most popular dish – the Belgium Waffles – is to die for! Served with sliced fruits and froyos dipped in choco syrup, sprinkled with nuts and other tasty toppings, you wouldn’t want to miss this. It’s healthy too, so don’t worry about those calories. 😉
Psst… They also have a promo for their famous froyos in waffle bowls where you can buy 3 and get 1 free during RMO (valid for only dine-in or takeaways).
4. The front door? back door? A hidden cafe in the alley — dé Cafe & Rest House
Now this cafe gets a little playful with their visitors upon visiting, which adds a fun twist to your whole experience. Most people are confused about where the exact entrance to this place is. Is it at the front or back? The truth is, it’s located right along Concubine Lane, where you’ll see a narrow wooden path that leads you to the entrance of the cafe.
Once you’re in, it’s all smooth sailing! The place isn’t overcrowded and has a soft grunge tone to it. Grey walls, spacious seating, and just the right amount of sunlight shining through their window, this place makes for a good reading spot or even workstation if you prefer quieter places.
5. A garden cafe filled with…skulls? – Just Say Cafe
Okay this place isn’t as dark and scary as it seems. In fact, when you come across this little shop, you’d be delightfully surprised to see a room filled with plants, aesthetically pleasing dried tree barks, flowers and hanging lights. It’s like a miniature indoor garden, but the dark side is, you can spot some cool (fake) skulls around.
Have you ever drank from a skull? You should try out their highly recommended Just Say Latter which comes in 6 different yummy flavours! Or if you in the mood for some russian roulette, try out their 4 small cups of Southeast, Northwest! The flavours are determined by the Barista, so you’re in for a treat! These drinks are also sugar-free!
6. An oriental teahouse that’s perfect for vegans – Seong Man 上 文
When it comes to cafes, I love spending time in places where everything seems light, open and most importantly, carries a little sense of history. And if you’re like me, you might like this cafe!
From the walls to their floors and chairs, everything has its own oriental touch with a modern twist. I’d see it as a very relaxing and calming space if you’re looking to work away from home for awhile. What better way to ease your work than with a little tea on the side!
Here, they also serve delicious desserts, some pastries and even have vegetarian food as well! Sometimes they also hold small performances by upcoming or indie artists to keep you entertained throughout the day.
7. Step into a zenful garden cafe – Purple Moon Lover
Known as Ipoh’s Most Beautiful Garden Cafe, Purple Moon Lover really encapsulates a stylish nordic architectural concept when it comes to their overall structure of the cafe. With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, angled roofing and zenful garden, it’s very different from most cafes you’d see around Ipoh.
Their charm goes well beyond their appearance too; their desserts are also creative and unique. Check out their cute teddy-bear inspired small cakes like Sleepy Ted. They also have main dishes that’s mostly Japanese cuisine, but no worries, it tastes as good as it looks!
8. Feel the life in an elegant cafe – The Happy 8
Stepping in, this place would remind you of a log house. There’s several accents of wood that decorate the cafe as well as plants that somehow recreate a mini forest within the cafe itself. An added touch of the sweet aroma of freshly brewed coffee and baked goods just amps up the ambience of the whole cafe!
Here, you can chill and enjoy their daily treats all day or if you’re thinking of spicing up your weekend plans, why not stay overnight here as well? Each room has various artworks and balconies which overlook Ipoh’s Old Street. So you can sit back and relax and enjoy the view day and night!
9. Have coffee in Ipoh’s first glass forest cafe – Asow Eatery Station
Truly one of my fave places out of the list, the Asow Eatery Station. Colourful flowers, flourishing plants, bright green hanging leaves with sunlight peeking through behind their huge glass windows – this sounds like a sweet place to seek tranquility in the middle of town.
Fun fact, did you know that being around plants (both indoor or outdoor plants) has a positive effect on your psychological health as it reduces your cortisol levels? Flowers evoke positive emotions, so if you’re feeling stressed out or need a break, hop by this cafe!
They also serve Western cuisine with delightful options of coffee, in case your stomach gets hungry!
Are you excited to go cafe-hopping in Ipoh? Comment below and let us know which ones you’re looking forward to visiting! 🙂