Where to Stay Guide in Balestier/Novena (Foodie Edition): La Ristrettos, Wheeler’s Yard and More Cafes

Eugenia Liew
Where to Stay Guide in Balestier/Novena (Foodie Edition): La Ristrettos, Wheeler’s Yard and More Cafes
Centrally located and close to town, with Orchard Road and the CBD located just a few MRT stops away, along with a multitude of bus connections, it’s not tough to see why the Novena and Balestier areas are some of the most popular districts for homeowners.
Novena is slated to be transformed into an integrated healthcare hub, Health City Novena, by 2030, making it the biggest of its kind in Singapore with upcoming care facilities and medical schools. Balestier retains its old school charm with early to art deco style two-storey shophouses in the Balestier Conservation Area, Balestier and Whampoa markets, and scores of hardware and lighting shops amidst a variety of newer and established condos.
Most importantly for food-obsessed Singaporeans, the area boasts a variety of food options from hawker shops, cafes and pubs, to famous specialty fare such as bak kut teh, tau sar piah, and durian stalls. Those looking for a place to buy or rent can choose from the many condos in the vicinity, putting you within walking or cycling distance to your favourite food establishments.
Let’s take a look at some popular cafes in the area.

6 Popular Cafes in Balestier and Novena

Popular Cafes in Balestier and Novena
Ideas on Where to Stay
La Ristrettos Coffee Roastery
Soleil @ Sinaran
The Clueless Goat
Neu at Novena
Artisan Boulangerie Co.
Wheeler’s Yard
HDB Flats at Jalan Rajah
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee
Birmingham Mansions
Kamome Bakery
Novelis @ Novena

1. La Ristrettos Coffee Roastery

Coffee lovers will be in for a treat with this cafe that has “Coffee Roastery” in its name. Located in an eight-floor unit at Novena Medical Centre amidst all the private clinics, La Ristrettos makes good on its name with a roasting machine right beside the entrance and a bevy of coffees on the menu. There are also coffee beans for sale if you fancy brewing at home.
The food menu includes all day breakfast dishes and casual Italian fare such as pasta, wraps and burgers. Take your pick from dishes such as Cajun Shrimps & Scrambled Eggs Bruschetta, Signature Crab pasta tossed in a creamy tomato sauce, Pork Ragu, and a classic Carbonara.
  • Address: 10 Sinaran Dr, #08-37, Novena Medical Centre, Singapore 307506
  • Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 8am – 6pm; Sat: 8am – 2pm

Where to Stay: Soleil @ Sinaran, $1.05m – $8.45m

Live right in the heart of Novena in one of the 417 units in this high rise 36-storey condo. The 99-year leasehold condo has a variety of units for everyone, from 1- to 5-bedroom units, ideal for everyone from singles, couples to families. Facilities wise, there’s a gym, fitness corner, lap pool and spa pool, tennis courts and a function room.
Moreover, you’ll never find yourself lacking in anything with Novena Square, Square 2 and Velocity just downstairs. You have access to a variety of shops that include Cold Storage and FairPrice, foodcourts, fast food, restaurants and bubble tea, as well as fashion, beauty and other retail shops. What’s more, healthcare is easily accessible, be it at the hospital or private clinics.

2. The Clueless Goat

Located across Novena MRT at Goldhill Plaza and easily recognisable by its distinctive peach tone, The Clueless Goat is an unassuming brunch cafe with a variety of affordable dishes.
Most of the brunch fare is priced below $15, with the majority under $10. Choose from dishes such as the British Breakfast Platter, Salmon Benedict, sandwiches such as the Avocado BLT and Beef Salami, or give the Breakfast Waffle a go for a sweet and savoury combo.
There is also a nice variety of espresso-based coffees, milk-based drinks, teas and sodas.
  • Address: Goldhill Plaza Mall, 189 Thomson Rd, Singapore 307631
  • Opening hours: daily 8am – 4pm

Where to stay: Neu at Novena, $1.3m – $3.4m

Slated to be completed in 2023, this 17-storey freehold has all the trappings of a modern condo. It is located on Sinaran Drive behind Novena Square, right beside the future Health City Novena, so you’ll have close access to healthcare if you need it, or if you want to work there.
The development has 2-, 3- and 4-bedrooms, as well as 3-bedroom dual key and 4-bedroom duplex units, great for families or those who plan to expand their household, or even for investment purposes.
Those who want to enjoy all the amenities of condo living will not be disappointed. There will be a 25m lap pool and children’s pool, garden spaces, cocoon pods, BBQ pavilion, a 14th storey sky terrace with another pool and aqua gym, open patio spaces and even an al fresco dining area.

3. Artisan Boulangerie Co.

This cafe occupies a corner unit of a two-storey heritage shophouse along Balestier Road, featuring iconic red windows and elaborate green and yellow ornamental details. We’re probably not doing the description justice, but you can spot ABC a mile away with its giant banner that boldly states “fresh baked goods”.
Founded in 2013 as a small bakery selling artisanal bread and pastries, Artisan Boulangerie Co., has since expanded its menu to serve a varied selection of hearty brunch fare, healthy salads, pastas and mains. Breakfast dishes such as Eggs Benedict and the ABC Big Breakfast are served on sourdough toast, while the salad selections include hearty, healthy options such as the Grilled Salmon Salad and Chicken Bacon & Avocado Salad.
Pair your brunch with coffee made with beans from Toby’s Estate, famous Aussie specialty coffee roaster.
ABC also shares the same space as Alt Pizza, which claims to be “SG’s Top Ranked Pizza”, so there’s a reason for another visit.
  • Address: 312 Balestier Rd, #01-01, Singapore 329743
  • Opening hours: daily 9.30am – 8pm

Where to stay: Okio, $700,000 – $999,000

Located along Balestier Road, just after Whampoa Drive, the freehold condo is in one of the most coveted districts. Completed in 2015, it stands at 17 floors, affording you a decent view of the surroundings. Units come fully furnished and there are two bedrooms + one bathroom (570 sqft) and one bedroom + one bathroom (430 sqft) types available, ideal for singles, couples and small families.
There’s no shortage of good food in the hood. Along the same stretch as ABC sits the famous Loy Kee Best Chicken Rice and traditional Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Factory. Across the road are two popular bak kut teh stalls—Founder Bak Kut Teh and Balestier Bak Kut Teh. If you turn in to Whampoa Drive, you can have your pick of cheap food from the famous Whampoa Hawker Centre.

4. Wheeler’s Yard

The distinctive tall blue doors with its name splashed across in bold block lettering peppered many an Instagram feed as people flocked to the industrial warehouse that’s both a cafe and bicycle workshop. Bicycles are also part of the decor, even as a centrepiece on the table.
But whether you’re a cyclist or not, you can enjoy the variety of all-day brunch toasts, delectable bar snacks such as chicken bites, beef nachos and truffle fries, and a variety of hearty fusion mains that will leave you spoilt for choice. Choose from 60°C Chicken Breast, Chilli Crab Pasta or the Ultimate Beef Yard Burger. There’s also A4 Wagyu ribeye and a Wagyu Beef Rice Bowl for the meat lovers. Drinks-wise, there’s the usual milk-based espresso drinks, homemade coolers as well as soju and wine.
  • Address: 28 Lor Ampas, Singapore 328781
  • Opening hours: Wed – Sun, 11am – 8pm

Where to Stay: 102 Jalan Rajah, $480,000 – $538,000

For those who want something more affordable, this 12-storey HDB block is located on a quiet road away from busy Balestier Road, in between the Whampoa and Kallang rivers. The block was completed in 1980 so its 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom units, are more spacious than newer HDB flats. It’s a 10-min to Zhongshan mall which has a FairPrice Finest, Guardian and a food court, and you have access to public transport. Residents can also walk over to Toa Payoh via an overhead bridge across the highway or take a direct bus there.

5. Craftsmen Specialty Coffee

This established brand is no stranger to the cafe scene, having been around since 2013 and with five outlets around Singapore. Its Thomson Road outlet is at Goldhill Plaza, just beside United Square.
Brunch lovers will be spoilt for choice with Craftsmen’s extensive menu with all day brunch dishes from filled croissant sandwiches, salads and breakfast items such as Egg Florentine and Truffle Scrambled Eggs Sourdough, to sweet and savoury waffles. Those who prefer something different can also choose from pork, chicken or beef burritos served with nacho chips. Lunch dishes include a wide selection of mouthwatering western fare such as various pastas, burgers and meat dishes.
As a specialty coffee cafe, it offers the usual espresso-based drinks, as well as flavoured lattes — think butterscotch latte and gula melaka latte — for those who take their coffee sweet. Retail single origin coffee beans are also available for sale.
  • Address: 173 Thomson Rd, Singapore 307623
  • Opening hours: daily 8.30am – 9pm

Where to Stay: Birmingham Mansions, $2.05m – $2.9m

Ideal for families who want convenience at their doorstep, Birmingham Mansions units come in spacious 3- or 4-bedroom units with three bathrooms. Although it’s a 20+ year old condo, most of the units available are fully or partially furnished, and it has a swimming pool and its own covered carpark.
Located right across United Square, residents have access to Cold Storage, a variety of enrichment centres, a food court and eateries, and retail stores. The sheltered walkway outside Goldhill Plaza leads you to an underpass that takes you directly to Novena MRT and the malls there.

6. Kamome Bakery

A recent newcomer to the Goldhill block is a cozy little Japanese bakery that will make any bread lover go gaga. Come for the soft, fluffy Kamome Toast, made from the bakery’s original recipe that has no preservatives, as well as the extensive range of loaves (baguettes, sourdough and croissants).
There’s also a variety of savoury breads, the kind you can find in bakeries in Japan, all lined neatly in the display cabinets, from pork cutlet buns, creamy crab buns, and mentaiko baguettes to melon pan and mascarpone red bean.
There’s also a small space for dining in and the small but hearty menu includes breakfast dishes such as the Kamome Breakfast, that comes with a satisfying thick slice of toast, Teriyaki Burger and clam chowder soup set.
  • Address: 169 Thomson Rd, Singapore 307621
  • Opening hours: Thu – Tue, 8am – 5pm

Where to Stay: Novelis @ Novena, $1m – $1.6m

Completed in 2009, this freehold condo located just around the corner from Novena Square along Moulmein Road, offers a lower price compared to others in the vicinity. The units here include 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom; 2- and 3-bedroom units — ideal for singles and families.
There are also a few schools nearby or a short bus ride away such as SJI Junior, SJI International, ACS Barker and international preschools.
For a condo though, it doesn’t have much in terms of facilities, save for a rooftop swimming pool, but its proximity to the nearby malls will make up for its lack of facilities.
For more property news, content and resources, check out PropertyGuru’s guides section.
Need help financing your latest property purchase? Let the mortgage experts at PropertyGuru Finance help you find the best deals.
This article was written by Audrey A.. She can’t wait to move into her own place so she can finally get a cat (or two) and an espresso machine to fuel her love for flat whites. For now, she’s saving up and dreaming of her next trip.
Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. PropertyGuru Pte Ltd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More FAQs about Balestier and Novena

Named after American Joseph Balestier, Balestier was formerly a sugar plantation and is now known for its many lighting shops, food shops (chicken rice, pork ribs soup), budget hotels, and two-storey shophouses of different architectural styles, which have been gazetted for conservation.

Balestier is a famous foodie hotspot for chicken rice (Boon Tong Kee, Loy Kee), pork ribs soup (Balestier Bak Kut Teh, Founder Bak Kut Teh, Herbal Claypot Bak Kut Teh), durian (Combat Durian, 319 Teck Seng Durian), bean paste pastry (Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah, 603 Tau Sar Piah, House Of Tau Sar Piah), as well as various lighting and furniture shops.

Managed by UOL Group, Velocity is the extension of the Novena Square mall, which lies directly above Novena MRT (NS20), and was rebranded to Velocity@Novena Square. Connected to it is Square 2 mall, which is managed by Far East Organization.