5 Hipster Cafes in Kota Kinabalu You Must Visit!

Joe Sun – Food & Coffee Co

    Where: Lot 47 - 0, Ground Floor, Block D, Damai Plaza Phase 4, Lorong Pokok Kayu Manis 2, Luyang, Kota Kinabalu

    Opening Hours: 7 am – 10 pm every day (Except Monday)

    Price Range: RM6-RM26

    Instagram: @joesuncoffeeco


    (Photos taken from the cafe's Facebook Page/Instagram Account)

    Walking into Joe Sun will make you feel like you just stepped into a perfectly decorated hipster haven with its fern pots decorations on the wall and overall white ambiance. Joe Sun aimed to be the third wave of coffee making in KK and it is evident in their coffee selection menu, from their famous green tea latte, caramel macchiato, V60 Filter Coffee, as well as other range of beverages. Not to mention their Rainbow Latte, it is definitely worthy of your daily coffee fix and your Instagram feed! 

    One of the best parts of Joe Sun is their All Day Breakfast menu that you can enjoy all day, daily! What separates Joe Sun from other hipster cafes are their unique Asian fusion food such as the Ramen Burger 2.0, if that ain’t fusion then we don’t know what is! The name Ramen Burger 2.0 may sound a little dubious but it is made of beef patty, teriyaki sauce, sunny side up egg and mushrooms in between layers of pan seared crispy ramen. Those combinations may sound a little adventurous for those who haven’t tasted it, but the Asian tongue has a knack for weird food combinations!


    (Photos taken from the cafe's Facebook Page/Instagram Account)

    Joe Sun should definitely be your weekend hangout spot for aesthetically pleasing pictures of not only you and your friends but pictures of the food and beverages as well! It is a great place to enjoy good food and good company. It is best to visit Joe Sun, but if you are craving for their food in the comfort of your own home during lazy days, they do deliveries too! Another plus. 


      Where: 7 Lorong Dewan, 88000, Kota Kinabalu

      Opening Hours: 9.30 am – 11.30 pm every day

      Price Range: RM11-RM20

      Instagram: @eatplaywoo


      (Photos taken from the cafe's Facebook Page/Instagram Account)

      Woo! is quickly becoming the up and coming hipster café in Kota Kinabalu winning the hearts of its locals and tourists from its calm and minimalist ambiance to its great coffee and scrumptious food choices. Black and white seemed to be the main theme for most hipster café and Woo! is no exception, and they did it with style and put their own twist to it. It is a great and calming place to engage in conversations with your peers, or simply just spend some quality time with yourself along with your latte.

       (Photos taken from the cafe's Facebook Page/Instagram Account)

      If you’re more of a foodie than a coffee enthusiast, you will be presented with an array of choices that include Pumpkin Poached Egg, Chicken Nanban, Lamb Loin (with beetroot yogurt puree!), and Pressed Lamb Shoulder (with fried enoki mushroom and pickled daikon!). Woo! Serves you western food with an Asian twist that will surely make your mouth water with delight! Do not forget to also try their signature dish the Salmon Spaghetti, especially if you’re a pasta lover. For those who have a sweet tooth, they do have ranges of dessert to choose from such as chocolate cake, lemon pistachio cake, and salted caramel tarts. 

      The Workshop

        Where: Lot 19 Lorong Dewan, Kota Kinabalu

        Opening Hours: 8 am – 10 pm

        Price Range: RM8 – RM25

        Instagram: @theworkshop.kk

        (Photos taken by writer)

        Do not be fooled by its name, The Workshop is a far cry from the greasy oil and full of auto parts or tools image that you may have in mind. This café is not just a space for social interaction and relaxation; it is a coffee place with a conscience in which they only sell fair trade coffee that contributes towards the preservation of the rainforest. What else could you ask for? You can enjoy your coffee knowing that at the same time you are also doing a good deed. Since its opening in February of 2017, The Workshop is rapidly gaining brownie points from café enthusiasts and deservingly so, not only did they decorated their space with colourful and artsy pieces, but they also provide an alternative of having an outside patio. As compared to other hipster cafes around KK, The Workshop focuses less on the minimalist theme but rather a very ‘ruined’ aesthetic that involves brick walls, woodwork pieces, and vintage couches. It will remind you a lot of the loft from the popular 90’s series, Friends. The staffs are very friendly and efficient as well, great bonus! 

        (Photos taken from the cafe's Facebook Page/Instagram Account)

        The Workshop’s menu is like reading through a series of well-written puns along with their interesting description, for beverages you have choices of espresso, cortado, cappuccino, or even a Belgium hot chocolate. If you’re not into coffee, they also serve tea such as Earl Grey, lemon, green tea, and chamomile. For desserts, they have ‘punny’ names such as Great Balls of Fire which is a cake made up of three layers of cheese with bits of fruits and nuts. Sweet Dreams Baby is a chocolate cake made of rich Belgian dark chocolate truffle, and All I Want Is You is a carrot cake with walnuts, raisins, and cream cheese. What an interesting way to order and expect some witty reply from your waiter(s) while ordering! Their breakfast list also has the same attention-grabbing names like Breakfast In Bed (toast and egg), and I Got You Babe (French toast) that will surely make your meal a whole lot more interesting.

        Nook Café

          Where: No 8 Lorong Dewan, Kota Kinabalu

          Opening Hours: 8 am – 10 pm (Closed every second Wednesday of the month)

          Price Range: RM8-RM25

          Instagram: @look.for.nook

          (Photos taken from the cafe's Facebook Page/Instagram Account)

          Nook Café gives you the chill ‘lepak’ vibe, their aesthetic is more rusty and woodsy but the atmosphere is perfect for an all-day chill. Nook café has a book corner that allows customers to learn the wonders of Sabah, a great addition not only for the tourists visiting but even locals. You will be able to enjoy the Gaya Street view with your cup of espresso (or hot chocolate/tea) and maybe with a plate of their famous grilled cheese too.

          (Photos taken from the cafe's Facebook Page/Instagram Account)

          Nook Café’s menu is very impressive with their choices for different taste buds, such as their scotch eggs (soft boiled eggs wrapped in minced beef),  Ocean Avenue (dory fish, grilled tomato, toasted baguette and sunny side up), and Fat Boy Brekkie (Scrambled eggs, sautéed mushroom, grilled tomato, chicken sausages, and baked beans). Other than that you also have waffles and pancakes such as Jungle Book (banana, dark chocolate, whipped cream), Sweet Charity (Caramelized apple, vanilla ice cream), and Strawberry Field (strawberries, blueberry compote, whipped cream).  They do have daily specials or festive specials so do keep an eye out for that!

          The B-Side

          Where: Lot 21, Ground Floor, Lido Plaza, Jalan Nosoob, Penampang

          Opening Hours: 10 am – 11 pm (Tuesday – Sunday)

          Price Range: RM8 - RM30

          Instagram: @thebsidekk

           (Photos taken from the cafe's Facebook Page/Instagram Account)

          Although The B Side is in the Penampang area but it is not very far from Kota Kinabalu and it is definitely one of the top five hipster cafes that you should visit, not only for its chill and minimalist atmosphere; great for pictures, but also the vibe and the menu! The B Side’s concept is more about social gathering (although chilling alone is cool too), they have long tables and the seating arrangements are very group friendly. Again, the theme of The B Side is minimalist with mainly black and white colours for its decorations, walls, and furniture. Both the interior and exterior of the café matches so it gives you a wide range of shots and angles to choose from for your picture taking sessions.

          (Photos taken from the cafe's Facebook Page/Instagram Account)

          Not only that, they also aimed to lure you in as a loyal customer through their menu that includes Rib-eye with char vegetables, Tilapia with Mango Tomato Salsa, Soft-Shell Crab dish, The B Breakfast (typical English Breakfast), Grilled Chicken, and unique desserts like the Bababanana; egg-washed brioche, banana brûlée with hazelnut and mocha nutella, sprinkled with cinnamon, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The desserts at B-Side are definitely to die for! Other than that they of course do have coffees on their menu such as mocha, black coffee, espresso, piccolo latte, and other beverages as well. 

          The B-Side is a great place to host social gatherings with the guarantee of great menu choices and friendly staffs. Be unified at the B-Side!

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