Best Cafe to Chill

Nestled by the Malacca Strait, Melaka (or Malacca) isn't just a historical gem; it's a gastronomic treasure trove. The city's rich tapestry of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences has given rise to a culinary scene that's as vibrant and diverse as its storied past. From the aromatic blends of Peranakan dishes to contemporary takes on global favorites, every alley and corner teems with flavors waiting to be discovered. As you embark on this culinary journey, here are some of the city's most iconic eateries that promise to take your taste buds on an unforgettable adventure.

Kaya-kaya café

Tucked away on Jonker Street in the heart of Malacca, Kaya-Kaya Cafe is a hidden gem that offers a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle. This cafe is set in a traditional Chinese house, which has been thoughtfully converted into a rustic cafe, maintaining its historical charm while adding a touch of modernity. The interior features faded red brick walls, dark wooden furniture, and an array of black and white photographs, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. A notable highlight is the interior courtyard and a wall mural, perfect for photo opportunities.

  • Specialty: The menu is a delightful mix of Western and local dishes. For breakfast, their hearty Kaya Breakfast is a crowd-pleaser, featuring buttery scrambled eggs, toast, ham, sausages, mushrooms, and greens. Other popular choices include the Grilled Chicken Chop and Melaka ‘Elvis’—pancakes with banana and homemade kaya.
  • Must-try: Don't miss out on their signature Kaya Breakfast for a robust start to your day or the Melaka ‘Elvis’ for a sweet treat.
  • Address: 32 Jalan Tukang Besi, 75200 Malacca, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 8am – 6pm

This cafe beautifully captures the essence of Malacca's rich history and culture, making it a must-visit for both locals and tourists alike.

The Baboon House

Located in the historical heart of Melaka, The Baboon House is a serene hideaway perfect for those looking to escape the bustling streets. Set in a beautifully restored colonial house on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, this cafe combines an artsy atmosphere with a focus on gourmet burgers, making it a top destination for both locals and tourists.

  • Specialty: The Baboon House is celebrated for its unique and delicious gourmet burgers, offering a variety of options that blend local flavors with Western culinary traditions. The ambience of the cafe, filled with lush greenery and eclectic art, complements its richly flavored dishes.
  • Must-try: The pork burger and Aloha burger are standout choices here, known for their hearty portions and flavorful combinations.
  • Address: No. 89, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Melaka 75200, Malaysia
  • Unique Aspects: Beyond its menu, The Baboon House is deeply rooted in the local heritage, reflecting the Peranakan culture through its architecture and decor. The establishment initially started as a place for art and restoration before evolving into the renowned dining spot it is today. The owner's background in a Baba Nyonya household informs the authentic and personal touch seen in the menu offerings.

This cafe not only offers a dining experience but also a peaceful retreat filled with artistic expressions and a touch of Melaka’s historical charm.

Geographer Café

Located on the bustling Jonker Street in Melaka, Geographer Cafe is an iconic spot known for its historical ambiance and eclectic menu. The cafe, housed in a pre-war Malaccan shophouse, blends Asian and Western culinary traditions, offering dishes that cater to a variety of dietary preferences, including several vegetarian and vegan options.

  • Specialty: Geographer Cafe is celebrated for its diverse menu that includes local favorites like Nasi Lemak with a healthy twist, using brown rice and tempeh instead of meat, and signature dishes like Jonker Fried Rice. They also offer a selection of Western dishes like black pepper chicken.
  • Must-try: The Jonker Fried Rice and their fresh coconut water are highly recommended. The cafe also boasts a range of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, perfect for enjoying the live music that often accompanies the evenings here.
  • Address: 83, Jalan Hang Jebat, Melaka 75200, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 01:00 am, with extended hours until 02:00 am on weekends.

The cafe's commitment to a healthier menu by avoiding MSG and its strategic location in the heart of Melaka's historical district makes it a popular choice among both locals and tourists. The vibrant atmosphere, coupled with live music and a well-rounded menu, ensures that Geographer Cafe offers more than just a meal but a memorable dining experience

Calanthe Art Café

Located along the quaint Jalan Hang Kasturi, Calanthe Art Cafe stands out in Malacca for its unique concept of offering coffee from all 13 states of Malaysia. Known as the "13 States' Coffee" cafe, this spot provides a tasteful blend of traditional and modern elements, encapsulated in a vibrant and artistically decorated space. The cafe features colorful paintings and eclectic decor that contribute to its arty ambience, making it a favorite among both locals and tourists.

  • Specialty: While renowned for its wide array of Malaysian state coffees, Calanthe Art Cafe also serves a variety of Asian and Western dishes. Their menu includes favorites like Nyonya Laksa and Golden Rice. The cafe's diverse beverage selection extends beyond coffee to include smoothies, milkshakes, and even alcoholic options.
  • Must-try: The Melaka coffee, a special brew comprising coffee beans, sugar, salt, and margarine, is highly recommended for a unique taste of local flavor.
  • Address: 11 Jalan Hang Kasturi, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm

Calanthe Art Cafe is not only a place to enjoy good coffee and food but also a cultural experience that reflects the rich heritage of Malaysia.

Hard Rock Cafe Melaka

Nestled in the historic heart of Melaka, Hard Rock Cafe combines the global appeal of its brand with the unique cultural backdrop of Malaysia's UNESCO World Heritage City. Positioned near famous attractions like Jonker Street, this cafe offers a lively dining and entertainment experience, making it a popular spot for both tourists and locals.

  • Specialty: Hard Rock Cafe is famous for its American cuisine with a local twist, offering a wide range of meals from brunch to late-night dining. The menu includes international and vegetarian options, ensuring there's something for everyone. Notable dishes include their legendary burgers, nachos, and special Hard Rock desserts.
  • Must-try: The cafe's signature burgers and nachos are highly recommended, providing a taste of classic American comfort food with robust flavors.
  • Address: 28 Lorong Hang Jebat, Melaka 75200, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours: The cafe operates from 11:30 am to 1:00 am on weekdays, and until 2:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays, making it an ideal spot for both early diners and late-night revelers.

With its eclectic mix of memorabilia and live music performances, Hard Rock Cafe Melaka not only serves food but also a vibrant slice of pop culture, making it a must-visit for music lovers and food enthusiasts alike.

Nancy's Kitchen

A haven for Peranakan culture enthusiasts, Nancy's Kitchen is a beloved destination for authentic Peranakan (Nyonya) cuisine. Located just a short distance from Jonker Street, this restaurant is known for its intimate atmosphere and a menu that celebrates the rich heritage of Peranakan cooking.

  • Specialty: Nancy's Kitchen is renowned for its traditional Peranakan dishes, made using fresh local ingredients and time-honored recipes. Some of the standout items include Ayam Buah Keluak, a classic dish made with chicken and the unique buah keluak nut, and the fragrant Laksa Nyonya.
  • Must-try: The Ayam Pongteh, a comforting chicken stew made with bean paste, and the Nyonya Chap Chai, a mixed vegetable stew, are highly recommended.
  • Address: 13, 13-1, 13-2, Jalan KL 3/8, Taman Kota Laksamana, Seksyen 3, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours: Nancy's Kitchen operates from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Fridays to Sundays, it opens from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm and then from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Note that the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.

The restaurant's charming decor, which echoes the historical ambiance of Melaka, along with its extensive menu, makes Nancy's Kitchen a must-visit for anyone looking to experience genuine Peranakan flavors in a warm and welcoming setting.

Restoran Capitol Satay Celup

Restoran Capitol Satay Celup in Melaka is a renowned destination for satay celup enthusiasts, offering a unique dining experience where guests dip skewered ingredients into a communal pot of bubbling satay sauce. This restaurant is famous for its rich and flavorful satay sauce, which is a blend of spices and ground peanuts continuously stirred to maintain its quality.

  • Specialty: The restaurant's signature is the satay celup itself, which involves a variety of raw and semi-cooked ingredients like seafood, meat, and vegetables available on sticks. Diners can also enjoy a selection of premium items like tiger prawns and scallops at an affordable price per stick.
  • Address: 30, Jalan KPKS 3, Kompleks Perniagaan Kota Syahbandar, Kota Syahbandar, 75200 Melaka
  • Business Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM, and Sunday from 5:00 PM to Midnight.

This spot is popular among locals and tourists alike, often resulting in long queues, so arriving early or visiting during off-peak hours is advisable for a shorter wait​

Jonker 88

Jonker 88 is a well-known spot in Melaka, particularly famous for its traditional Peranakan dishes like Nyonya Laksa and Baba Laksa, as well as its variety of cendol, including a highly popular durian cendol. Located right on the vibrant Jonker Street, this eatery is a favorite among both locals and tourists for a taste of authentic local cuisine in a bustling, historical setting.

  • Specialties: The Baba Cendol, drizzled with rich gula melaka and creamy santan, and the Nyonya Assam Laksa with its spicy and tangy broth, are standout dishes here. Their menu also features a diverse range of traditional Malaysian desserts and snacks.
  • Location: 88, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
  • Business Hours: Open from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM on Monday to Thursday and Sunday, and from 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday.

Jonker 88 is celebrated not just for its food but also for the ambiance that captures the essence of Melaka’s rich cultural tapestry. It's recommended to visit during less busy hours if possible, as the place can get quite crowded, especially on weekends​

Asam Pedas Pak Man

Asam Pedas Pak Man in Melaka is renowned for its authentic and flavorful Asam Pedas, a classic Malay dish characterized by its sour and spicy notes. The restaurant, a favorite among locals and tourists alike, is situated a bit away from the main tourist area, providing a more laid-back dining experience.

  • Specialty: Asam Pedas Pak Man is celebrated for its Asam Pedas, which is a spicy and sour curry soup traditionally made with fish, tamarind, and a variety of spices, offering a deeply savory and aromatic experience.
  • Location: No 51, Jalan KNMP 2A, Kompleks Niaga Melaka Perdana, 75450 Ayer Keroh, Melaka, Malaysia.
  • Business Hours: It operates from 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM, and is closed on Wednesdays.

The restaurant provides a wide range of seafood and meat options that can be enjoyed in the Asam Pedas style, making it a must-visit for those looking to experience authentic local flavors in a traditional setting​

Donald and Lily's

Donald and Lily's in Melaka is a beloved spot for authentic Nyonya cuisine, particularly famous for its Nyonya Laksa. This restaurant began with the founders, Donald and Lily, and has since been handed down to their daughter, Jennifer Tan, who continues to uphold the tradition of serving rich and flavorful Laksa. The restaurant started from humble beginnings, originally selling from a pushcart, and has grown into a cornerstone of local culinary tradition, emphasizing the richness of Nyonya flavors.

  • Specialty: Donald and Lily's is renowned for its Nyonya Laksa, a coconut-based curry noodle soup that is rich and creamy, often cited as a must-try for visitors to Melaka.
  • Location and Hours: No. 16, Ground Floor, Jalan KSB 1, Taman Kota Shahbandar, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia.
  • Business Hours: They are open from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM from Wednesday to Sunday, and closed on Tuesdays.

The restaurant is known for its cozy and welcoming environment, filled with local décor that reflects the cultural heritage of Melaka.

In addition to their famous Laksa, Donald and Lily's also offers a variety of other Nyonya dishes, making it a popular destination for those looking to explore the authentic tastes of Melaka's unique cuisine​

Kedai Kopi Chung Wah

Kedai Kopi Chung Wah is a notable destination in Melaka, renowned for its unique Chicken Rice Balls, a delightful twist on the traditional Hainanese chicken rice. This eatery is strategically situated on Jonker Street, making it a magnet for both locals and tourists eager to sample a staple of Melakan cuisine in a lively and historic environment.

  • Specialties: Chung Wah’s Chicken Rice Balls are the main attraction, where the rice is shaped into compact balls instead of the typical mound, purportedly to keep it warmer longer and to provide a different textural experience. The chicken served here is praised for its tenderness and flavor, perfectly complemented by their homemade chili sauce which adds a robust kick to the dish.
  • Location: 18 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
  • Business Hours: Open daily from 9 AM to 3 PM, or until supplies last.

Visiting Kedai Kopi Chung Wah offers more than just a meal—it's a chance to engage with Melaka's rich culinary heritage in the vibrant atmosphere of its most famous street. Given its popularity, especially on weekends and public holidays, it's advisable to arrive early to avoid long waits.

Manis J Nyonya

Manis J Nyonya in Melaka is celebrated for its authentic Peranakan cuisine, offering a delightful experience of traditional Malaysian flavors with a focus on Nyonya dishes. Located in the heart of Melaka at Jalan Bunga Raya, this restaurant is a favorite for both locals and tourists.

  • Specialties: Manis J Nyonya is renowned for its rich and flavorful dishes, with the Chendol being a highlighted dessert. This sweet treat is made with gula melaka and is highly recommended for its authentic taste. The restaurant also offers a variety of traditional Malaysian dishes that cater to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, making it a versatile dining spot.
  • Location: 167 Jalan Bunga Raya, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia
  • Business Hours: Manis J Nyonya operates from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. It is important to note that they are closed on Tuesdays.

The restaurant provides a cozy and genuine Nyonya dining experience, which is enhanced by its friendly and welcoming service.

Manis J Nyonya is not only appreciated for its food but also for its commitment to maintaining the culinary heritage of the Nyonya community. Whether you're craving a hearty meal or a sweet ending with their acclaimed Chendol, this eatery promises an enriching cultural and culinary experience​

Halia Inc Coffee Bar

Halia Inc Coffee Bar & Restaurant is a notable establishment in Melaka, renowned for its delightful blend of Western cuisine and local Malaysian flavors, served in a setting that combines the charm of Melaka's river views with a contemporary dining experience. Situated on Jalan Merdeka, it offers a scenic spot for dining near the bustling historical areas of the city.

  • Specialties: The restaurant is celebrated for its western dishes and a variety of coffees, making it a preferred stop for those looking to enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the riverside scenery. It also features live music performances that add to the relaxed ambiance, perfect for unwinding.
  • Location: 1 Jalan Merdeka, Malacca / Melaka 75200, Malaysia
  • Business Hours: Daily from 7 AM to 11 PM, providing flexibility for breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

Halia Inc Coffee Bar & Restaurant is distinguished not just for its food and coffee but also for the overall experience it provides. Its location by the river and the provision of live music make it a must-visit for those seeking a leisurely dining experience in Melaka. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the outdoor seating to fully appreciate the river views and vibrant atmosphere