photo: Local dishes offered in a Singapore cafe

The traditional coffee shop located on the ground floor of a two or three storey shop house is a common feature for Singaporeans growing up within closely clustered residential estates. In the good old days, customers ventured to spartanly furnished coffee shops to enjoy a cup of coffee and a light breakfast consisting of half-boiled eggs, toast spread with local coconut jam or butter. It was the ‘must have’ breakfast for many Singaporeans.

However over the last decade, in an attempt to compete for a larger market share, Singapore local cafe chains like Ya Kun Kaya Toast and Killiney Kopitiam have moved out of their traditional non air-conditioned shop house locations to the pleasantly furnished air-conditioned outlets at major shopping centers.

Typically, the prices of their beverages are 50 per cent lower compared to international chains.

The local chains also offer an extended menu consisting of local dishes such as curry chicken, noodle soups, as well as sandwiches with local spices and ingredients. They continue to serve traditional comfort food for customers who prefer not to deviate much from their daily diet. The high number of orders sold throughout the day is clear evidence of the success of the local coffee chains at their new operating environment.

The local coffee shop is here to stay.