Kuala Lumpur, or more fondly known as “KL ” – is a pretty impressive city. From the snazzy Petronas Towers to the simplicity of the (absolutely incredible) street food, KL is definitely a vibrant city and the longer we stayed there the more we fell in love. Visiting more than once, we were able to experience many different parts that boast different bits of diversity.
“But what about the coffee culture?” you ask in an oh-so-interested tone.
Well… the coffee culture is booming! Each shop we visited offered something special and unique, along with amazing roasts and new flavour combinations in both coffee and food. For us, innovation and creativity maketh the cafe and is the key to something beautiful. KL cafes live up to all expectations, but here are our top 5 cafes to look out for:
1. Lim Kee
Lim Kee is a small, but stunning, cafe at the foot of the Tian Jing Hotel. Lim Kee offers the usual beverages – coffees, teas, juices and sodas, as well as craft beers and desserts. But, what makes their menu great is their Affogato.
Did we say Affogato? We meant Affogatos. That’s right – Lim Kee has four different Affogato options (for now). You can choose between Pandan, Mascarpone, Hazelnut and Double-Chocolate ice-creams to accompany your delicious espresso. We know, right? Mind blown!
Want to know something even cooler? Lim Kee cafe is one of the cheapest in KL – so, tasty & affordable! Being at the base of a hotel and really close to Chinatown, it buzzes, so if there isn’t a table inside and you’re ok with the humidty, grab one of the two tables outside (PS: also a great place to get that perfect Instagram shot or simply to people-watch).
Our top recommendations: Pandan Affogato or Dirty Coffee
There is something special about VCR.
It’s not just the fact that their coffee is all single origin or that their food menu is incredible, or the fact that the cafe has some feline residents roaming around as if they own the place. While all those things do play massive a part, it’s the atmosphere that makes this a one-of-a-kind place.
It just has a feeling to it and from the moment you step inside the doors to the instant you leave, you feel a ‘buzz’. The baristas are happy. The customers are happy. Even the cats are happy.
Their food menu is filled with a variety of tasty dishes from their soft shell crab burger (a deep fried soft-shelled crab with tartar sauce, onion jam and a sunny side egg), to their yummy caffeinated variation of French Toast (a thick slice of brioche with espresso ice-cream, raspberry compote, mocha sauce and crumbles… mmmm).
What about their coffee? Well, firstly, it’s incredible and along with the usual espresso-based coffees, they offer a variety of other options, namely Aeropress, Chemex, Hario V60, Hario siphon and even a Kalita Wave.
The two-story shop has much seating, good WiFi and is super popular. A great place to catch up with a big group of friends, or enjoy an intimate date. We really loved VCR, and just like their catch phrase – VCR loves you!
Our top recommendation: Coffee: Flat White, Food: Soft Shell Crab Burger
3. Feeka Coffee Roasters
You may know the Swedish term ‘Fika’ which means to take a break from whatever you’re doing to enjoy a coffee and cake with your friends/loved ones? Well, this cafe’s name is derived from exactly that (only spelt a little differently) and sits in a converted townhouse within the popular Bukit Bintang area.
Just like the Swedish tradition, it is a place where you bring your friends or family, or even a date to enjoy delicious coffee and mouth-watering sweet treats. Over and above the treats and roasts, they have an all-day breakfast menu and a decent selection of food dishes.
Another great reason to visit Feeka is to try their Coffee Creations. For now, they have three sensational options – Coco Sunset (orange syrup, dark chocolate and double espresso), Hazelnut Twist (espresso, milk and hazelnut syrup topped with red velvet dust) and Sticky Bun Latte (espresso, milk, caramel syrup and salted caramel sauce). Sounds like something you need in your life, doesn’t it?
We do hope that you’ll be visiting Feeka for a Fika, but if you’re looking for a place to check mails and enjoy a great cup, its a pretty good establishment with good WiFi and ample seating options.
Our top recommendation: Hazelnut Twist Coffee Creation (
One of the best looking cafes we have been to (and we’ve been to our fair share) is Pulp.
Situated in the cutting room of an old printing factory (there is still an old school cutting machine in the shop), the name, Pulp, pays tribute to venue’s history as well as the similarities between paper and coffee – paper is made from pulp and coffee needs to be ‘de-pulped’ to extract the bean from the cherry.
The cafe itself is focused on bringing people together to enjoy coffee and value their time with each other. With no WiFi available, they are not catering to digital nomads or students wanting to spend all day studying – they want people to order a coffee or two and leave the cyber world behind. They really do just want to bring people together with the power of coffee.
Pulp stock and brew Papa Palheta roasts, and it’s the flagship store for it in Malaysia. They excel in creating a really comfortable atmosphere for friends and family to catch up and share stories over a caffeinated beverage. They have a selection of classy sweet treats and cakes, and the baristas are extremely well trained and all ooze coffee passion. The cafe sells merchandise and brewing equipment including home coffee machines and ceramics. They also hold cupping sessions and are equipped with a training room too.
Our top recommendation: Either the black or white Cold Brew
5. Cafe 5
Do you love waffles & ice cream? Of course you do! Who doesn’t?
Located in the slightly more industrial Pudu district of KL, and in-between many printing shops (so many we actually ran out of fingers counting them), is Cafe 5. A snug little establishment specialising in Belgium Liege style waffles.
Not only are their waffles absolutely incredible, but so is their coffee! They have sweet waffles with cinnamon, chocolate or sugar or even savoury variants with cream cheese, bonito flakes or salmon. And as we mentioned before, there is ice-cream! And not just any ice cream – hand-crafted ice cream. You can top any of the fresh, crispy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside waffles with trendy and delicious flavours like Salted Egg Yolk (really yummy) or Curry Leaf. With a super relaxed atmosphere, good WiFi and reasonable prices, it’s a great place for a date or quick work-sesh that’s away from the hustle and bustle.
Our top recommendation: Waffles – any waffle on the menu, Salted Egg Yolk Ice Cream, Sweet Potato Latte
Energetic Kuala Lumpur
KL is full of life! The growing coffee scene is vibrant and finding coffee isn’t difficult at all – especially with the growth of coffee in other cities like Malacca and Penang. KL is a big city, making distances between cafes quite vast, so if you’re a Cafe Hopper like us, expect to sit in some traffic or to catch at a train ride or two between each establishment, but we do promise that the above mentioned cafes will be worth all the time spent.
Let us know in the comment section below if you have any other cafes recommendations you think we should visit next time we are in KL!