The Best Cafes in Kuala Lumpur

by Joe Kelly
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The Best Cafes in Kuala Lumpur

Travelling to Malaysia or in KL at the moment and need to know where the best places to go for coffee are? Here are the best cafes in Kuala Lumpur that I’ve found that keep my caffeine addiction in check. Keep checking this growing list for the best cafes in Kuala Lumpur, and if you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments below.

Merchant’s Lane

Located in Chinatown just a few minutes’ walk from Petaling Street is Merchant’s Lane. You can’t miss the artisan cafe. Or maybe you can as a blue door is the only thing to see from the outside of the shabby chic building. Behind that door is a set of stairs, which brings you up to this somewhat speakeasy café.

Within the spacious interior is an open aired section full of jungle vibes with its clinging fauna and rustic furniture, and inside there’s a swinging seat that looks great on any feed. Both places are great instagrammable options to have an excellent cup of coffee (Latte is RM 11). Everything we ate there was fried, which was not great for any diet intentions and the other options on the menu were on the heavy side, so go with a carefree appetite.

Closed Wednesday and there’s often a small queue waiting at the stop of the stairs, Merchant’s Lane is a memorable café to stop in for a cup of coffee or to go to with a group of friends looking for somewhere different for their caffeine fix.

Best For: The coffee and the gram, and, if you’re into your speakeasy bars, look down through the grates when in the open-aired section.


VCR is one of the most authentic artisan cafes in the city. Located approx. 10 minutes’ walk from Bukit Bintang, the hipster café is undoubtedly one of the most popular and best cafes in Kuala Lumpur to go for a specialist coffee. Their smooth coffee (Latte is RM 13) is superb as is the food, and each are given in generous portions.

VCR’s varied menu has options on both ends of the healthy spectrum. On the healthy side, there is the delicious Smashed Avocado on Toast (RM 23). On the other, the indulgent French Toast (RM 18), which is really a large scoop of ice cream plopped upon brioche bread and garnished with biscuit crumbs. So, whether you prefer sweet or savoury, VCR’s a fantastic brunch option.

Also, if you’re an animal lover, don’t forget to say hi to the two outdoor cats who have made VCR’s front porch their home and spend their days people watching.

Best For: Coffee and brunch


LoKL is an artisan café within 5 minutes’ walk of Merdaka Square and Chinatown, which makes it an ideal stop off in between all of the sightseeing. If you need any help finding the café, look for the two looming palm trees that protrude out through and high above the rooftops.

The café has less of a hipster vibe than either VCR or Merchant’s Lane and is more clean and modern in design, with a trendy indoor section and a relaxing open aired outdoor area. LoKl is attached to and managed by the owners of the Back Home Kuala Lumpur Hostel, which makes it a convenient option for any coffee lovers who are looking for a convenient place to stay in when in Kuala Lumpur.

Their artisan coffee (Latte RM 12) is smooth and lovely but it’s in the food department that LoKL really shine. We tried three separate dishes and it’s impossible to say which was the nicer because all three were divine. They were presented with such care that it almost felt a shame to eventually gorge into them but we did. The chicken confit was cooked to perfection as the meat flaked from the bone and the spaghetti pesto was extremely tasty, but if we were forced to make a choice then their extremely healthy breakfast homemade granola bowl was probably my favourite.

Best For: A healthy breakfast with your morning coffee.

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