10 Best Cafes With A Cause To Show Your Support | Eatbook.sg
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10 Cafes With A Cause To Show Your Support While Eating Good Food

25th January 2018

Cafes with a cause in Singapore

Growing up, I’ve learnt that life can be challenging for many who face difficulty or are differently-abled. Recognising, not turning a blind eye to their small successes, and helping them to stand on their own feet is the best support we can offer. Here are 10 cafes with a cause that serve delicious food and make a positive difference.

1. Five&2

cafes with a cause - Five&2
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Five&2 occupies the space of the now defunct Wild Oats, which is just two bus stops away from Hougang MRT Station. This new bistro’s name is inspired by the biblical story of Jesus feeding thousands with five loaves and two fish. They hire ex-inmates as well as the physically disabled to do jobs with the help of re-designed tools, and donate one meal to an underprivileged child for every five meals sold.

Image credit: @smolbitesss

Nestled in the tranquillity of Punggol Park with an amazing view of the lake, the ambience here is ideal for a dressed-down weekend lunch. Their Sarawak Curry Chicken Shepherd Pie ($17.80) is loaded with tender chicken, seasoned with herbs and spices, and topped with cheesy mashed potatoes. For dessert, try their Pulut Hitam with Coconut Ice Cream ($6.80) for dense and cold creaminess that comes with a whiff of fragrant black glutinous rice.

Address: 97 Hougang Avenue 8, Punggol Park, Singapore 538792
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 4pm to 12am, Fri-Sat 4pm to 1am
Tel: 6282 8801
Five&2 is not a halal-certified eatery.

2. APSN Cafe for All

cafes with a cause - APSN Mystical Cafe for All
Image credit: @collaboration.tea

Orders from APSN Cafe for All may take longer to serve but they come with plenty of heart. The restaurant is entirely run by trainees from the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) and profits go back to paying their allowances and supporting their programmes. What’s interesting is their “pay it forward” initiative which encourages customers to buy a meal voucher for $20.20. This meal voucher can then be pinned to the cafe’s board and given to the next person in need.

apsn-cafe-flatlay-cafes-with-a-causeImage credit: @iztasty

The menu at APSN Cafe for All is produced in collaboration with ANDES by ASTONS. Here, you’ll find the familiar Chargrilled Chicken ($10), Grilled Fish with Herb ($12) and more at a lower price. Like the menu at ASTONS, each main comes with your choice of two side dishes. For something different, get their Salmon Skin ($8.10) and Prawn Rolls ($4.50) as a side.

Address: 11 Jalan Ubi, #01-31, Block 4, Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub, Singapore 409074
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9:30am to 4:30pm
Tel: 6708 9876
APSN Cafe for All is not a halal-certified eatery.

3. First Story Cafe

first-story-cafe-cafes-with-a-causeImage credit: First Story Cafe

First Story Cafe is Foreword Coffee Roaster’s flagship cafe which serves ice cream, waffles, rice bowls, and all-day breakfast meals. They employ the less-advantaged, such as those with physical or hearing impairments, and train them in food preparation.

first-story-cafe-food-cafes-with-a-causeImage credit: Vera Peh

Opt for their Smoked Salmon ($12.90++), which features smoked salmon on a slice of sourdough, topped with cream cheese, and comes with a side of scrambled eggs and mesclun salad. If you’re looking for something sweet, they offer Belgian Waffles with Single Scoop Icecream ($9.80++), where you can choose from flavours such as black sesame and hojicha mochi. Don’t miss out on their specialty drinks which include Timeless Yuan Yang ($7++) and Oatside Double Chocolate Mocha ($8.20++).

Address: 149 Serangoon North Avenue 1, #01-917, Singapore 550149
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9:30am to 5pm
Tel: 8949 0142
First Story Cafe is not a halal-certified eatery.

4. Seeds Cafe

cafes with a cause - Seeds
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Seeds Cafe is located in Rainbow Centre at Margaret Drive School. Its name alludes to planting seeds that grow into tall and strong trees, as they provide training to the disabled to smoothen their transition to employment. The clean look and Instagrammable interior is decorated with students’ artworks that you can pick up for purchase, with contributions channelled towards the vocational school’s funding.

seeds-food-cafes-with-a-causeImage credit: Verlyn Hing

Seeds Cafe is operated by 2Six which also has a cafe in Tampines. Most popular on the menu is their 2Six Breakfast ($16.90), which is served with bacon, scrambled eggs, baked beans, toast, sausages and more. BBQ Jumbo Beef Burger ($14.90) and Teriyaki Chicken with Rice ($14.90) are also some of the chef’s recommendations.

Address: 501 Margaret Drive, Rainbow Centre, Margaret Drive School, Singapore 149306
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am to 4pm, Sun 8am to 12pm
Tel: 6817 9414
Seeds Cafe is not a halal-certified eatery.

5. The Social Space

the-social-space-ambience-cafes-with-a-causeImage credit: David Tong

The Social Space is a multi-concept social enterprise cafe run by husband-and-wife duo, Cheryl Ou and Daniel Yeow. The cafe strives to be environmentally conscious and promotes inclusive employment, actively providing opportunities to differently-abled individuals. Besides food, The Social Space also operates as a nail salon and has a fair trade retail area offering sustainably sourced products.

the-social-space-food-cafes-with-a-causeImage credit: @yogatomoe.sg

Indulge in one of their smoothie bowls, such as Tough Nut ($13++) that’s topped with house-made peanut butter, seasonal fruits, granola, toasted coconut flakes, and drizzled with honey as a final touch. Round off your meal with their Classic Tiramisu ($8++), the iconic Italian layered dessert known for its rich coffee flavour.

Address: 333 Kreta Ayer Road, #01-14, Singapore 080333
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 5pm
Tel: 6655 0221
Website | Full list of outlets
The Social Space is not a halal-certified eatery.

6. Professor Brawn Cafe

Image credit: Mei L

Established over a decade ago in 2009, Professor Brawn Cafe is a cafe that operates under the charity, Autism Resource Centre, to offer a meaningful dining experience. Their primary mission is to provide employment opportunities to students from Pathlight, and equip them with essential work readiness skills.

cafes-with-a-cause-professor-brawn-cafe-foodImage credit: @pictorialfood

Pop by their Redhill bistro outlet on weekdays for their set lunches priced at $17.90++. It includes a soup, main, dessert, and your choice of coffee or tea. Otherwise, dig into their chef’s recommendations which include the Battered Fish & Chips ($17++), Striploin Steak & Eggs ($22++), and Vegetarian Spaghetti ($13++).

Website | Full list of outlets
Professor Brawn Cafe is not a halal-certified eatery.

7. Dignity Kitchen

dignity-kitchen-ambience-cafes-with-a-causeImage credit: M

An atypical food court is Dignity Kitchen, which is a hawker training school for the disabled and disadvantaged. The social enterprise also helps to place their trainees in jobs at the end of the course. Dining here goes beyond taste and looks as the place offers a humbling glimpse of the patience and attentiveness of the staff. The work builds their confidence and skills and provides them with a training allowance. Similar to APSN Cafe for All, Dignity Kitchen also has a “pay it forward” initiative where you can buy a meal for a person in need for just $5.

dignity-kitchen-food-cafes-with-a-causeImage credit: @hamster06

There are seven hawker stalls to choose from, with mains such as Kolo Mee ($5.50) and Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken Wing ($5). To share, go for their Signature Rojak ($5) which also has a Vegetarian ($5) version. End it off on a sweet note with bakes from their in-house bakery, which includes muffins and cookies from $2.50. 

Address: 69 Boon Keng Road, Singapore 339772
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 8am to 3pm
Tel: 8189 7678
Dignity Kitchen is a halal-certified food court.

8. Metta Cafe

cafes-with-a-cause-metta-cafe-ambienceImage credit: V L

Let your meal mean more than just food at Metta Cafe, which is a cafe and a bakery under the Metta Welfare Association that was established in 2014. They aim to empower youths with special needs, providing them with employment opportunities, training, and development programmes in F&B.

cafes-with-a-cause-metta-cafe-foodImage credit: Susan Cheah

The menu here sees zi char options such as Hor Fun ($4.50), Crispy Noodles ($4.50), and Yang Zhou Fried Rice ($4.50). There’s even Traditional Hakka Thunder Tea Rice ($6) that’s served with various vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, long beans and more. Otherwise, go for their Wholesome Bento Set ($8.90) which comprises brown rice, a choice of one protein, one vegetable, and the fruit of the day.

Address: 32 Simei Street 1, Level 1, Metta Building, Singapore 529950
Opening hours: Daily 7am to 5pm
Tel: 6580 4624
Metta Cafe is a halal-certified eatery.

9. Soul Food

cafes with a cause - Soul Food
Image credit:
Soul Food

Soul Food was founded by Gerald Png in 2010, inspired by his daughter who has special needs. The restaurant is near Redhill MRT Station, making it convenient for parties, and it has simple furniture that gives it an easygoing charm. Their daily menu is updated on their Facebook page once a week, and you can expect Western fare for lunch━it’s $38 for a starter soup, main, dessert, and coffee or tea.

Image credit:
Soul Food

Some dishes served previously include their signature Porchetta, which is a stuffed roast pork belly with a crackling skin, and Salted Walnut Chocolate Brownie. The service here is said to be warm and prompt, and the food refined. Simply text or ring them up for reservations, private events, or catering.

Address: 20 Lengkok Bahru, Enabling Village, #01-10, Singapore 159053
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12pm to 2pm
Tel: 6472 0266
Soul Food is not a halal-certified eatery.

10. Crossings Cafe

cafes-with-a-cause-crossings-cafeImage credit: Genie

Located a minute away from Bras Basah MRT Station, Crossings Cafe is a must-visit to show support for a good cause. Most of the staff at the cafe have special needs or are less privileged. The cafe also partners with organisations such as Assumption Pathway School and Bettr Barista to provide employment to those who need it. All profits at Crossings Cafe are funnelled back to charity.

cafes-with-a-cause-crossings-cafe-foodImage credit: @ashleyoms

A must-try is the crowd favourite Crossings Laksa ($12.80++), which features thick bee hoon and prawns in a generous bowl of laksa gravy. Their other signature items include classics such as Fish & Chips ($14.50++), and Prawn Aglio Olio Spaghetti ($17.80++).

Address: 55 Waterloo Street, #01-01, CANA The Catholic Centre, Singapore 187954
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am to 10pm
Tel: 6338 2669
Crossings Cafe is not a halal-certified eatery.

Where to dine for a good cause

It’s easy to downplay what simple gestures can do, but weaving them into daily decisions gives us a chance to support those who need it. 

Do also check out Kunyah Cafe, a takeaway sando kiosk in SMU that employs differently-abled people! We also have a guide to the best vegan restaurants in Singapore, if you’re interested in plant-based dining.

14 Vegan Restaurants For Plant-Based Korean Food, Rendang, Sushi And More

Featured image adapted from @hamster06, @yogatomoe.sg, David Tong, and @collaboration.tea.

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