Best Themed Cafes in Malaysia for a Unique Coffee Experience

14 Themed Cafes in Malaysia for a Unique Coffee Experience

Let the good times brew — with a side of quirky!

To revisit the great How I Met Your Mother vs Friends debate: Is it better to hang out in a bar or a cafe? Personally, I’d argue for bars with every breath I have. However, there’s no denying that cafes in Malaysia are all the rage these days. And honestly, I can’t even be mad about it. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado hunting for the best bean brews, or just looking for a cool spot to hang out with friends, a good cafe serves all those needs and more.

Of course, some cafes go the extra mile to stand out amidst the competition. I, for one, will never reject a little bit of pizazz in an establishment. Whether you’re looking at Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor, or beyond, there are tons of fun coffee spots to explore.  So, let’s take a look at some cool, quirky, and perhaps even zany themed cafes in Malaysia.

Most unique cafes in Malaysia

1. Kohi-Ya

Kohi-Ya expresses Japanese minimalism within its design in a beautiful way. Its interior consists of vast swathes of white, framed by furniture pieces in blonde wood. Walking in, you could easily mistake the space for a dojo. 

If you ever find yourself in Kuantan, make sure to drop by for some hearty Japanese food. Among the more popular menu items are the Tamago Sando and Shoyu Ramen. Kohi-Ya also serves freshly baked sourdough that you can bring home with you.

After getting your coffee fix, why not explore Kuantan a little more to check out some local attractions, like Dinosaur Encounter Zoo Teruntum, a winner of the TripZilla Excellence Awards 2023 – Most Popular Attraction for Children. If you’ve got kids who love dinosaurs, this is the perfect theme park to visit for an educational and exciting experience. Look forward to giant dinosaur animatronics, fossils, fun games, and much more!

Address: Jalan Kubang Buaya, Taman Mayfair (Green), 25250 Kuantan, Pahang

2. Viola Flower Cafe

Prepare yourself for a pastel paradise at Viola Flower Cafe. Simply calling this flower-themed cafe pretty is an understatement. Beautiful flowers hang from the ceilings and adorn the walls, lining the interior space in shades of purple and pink. Nearly every surface in this place is great for the ’Gram, making it a great place to get dolled up for brunch or tea with friends. 

Viola Flower Cafe serves Japanese-Western fusion courses like an okonomiyaki omelette, tilapia teriyaki pasta, and tori mentai pizza. Of course, these are just some popular items on the all-day menu, so be sure to pop in and check it out for yourself.

Address: H-1, 03, Persiaran Jalil 1, Bukit Jalil City, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

3. Old China Cafe

Old China Cafe is a unique cafe in KL that wears its historical theme proudly on its sleeve. Located on Petaling Street, the premises of this cafe-restaurant previously served as the Guild Hall for the Selangor & Federal Territory Laundry Association in the 1920s. Most of the pre-war architecture of this cafe remains unchanged. 

Today, Old China Cafe specialises in serving traditional Peranakan cuisine like Nyonya laksa and kari kapitan alongside a variety of beverages. You can try their traditional Melaka blend coffee, teas ranging from jasmine to pu’er, or just some fresh fruit juice.

Address: 11, Jalan Balai Polis, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

4. Cafe Ame Soeur

Among the many themed cafes Malaysia has to offer, the French-inspired Cafe Ame Soeur definitely goes above and beyond when it comes to its decor. From the white-panelled walls and generous gilding, to framed paintings and frescoed ceilings, this place is definitely giving Renaissance riches. 

In stark contrast to its aesthetic appeal, however, Cafe Ame Soeur has a pretty simple and reasonable menu consisting of mostly Western fare. You won’t really be spending a bomb here, but it’s a unique place to hang out and take some pretty pictures.

Address: No. 20, Jalil Link Block 2, Jalan Jalil Jaya 2, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Also read: 15 Best Cafes in Kuala Lumpur That Will Light Up Your Socials

Best themed cafes in Selangor

5. Meeples – European Boardgame Cafe

For those of you that enjoy a playful twist to your coffee-drinking routine, Meeples is the place to be. This unique cafe in Selangor is home to a huge collection of different board games, from Cards Against Humanity to Catan. There’s a sort of simplistic beauty to what Meeples has to offer. There’s no fancy decor or gimmicks, just a really interesting place where you can hang out and play board games with other people.

Beyond a bevy of board games, Meeples serves a decent roster of coffee, tea, and milkshakes. There are also snacks like nachos and chicken nuggets. Don’t forget to give their Nutella Latte and Nutella Milkshake a try!

Address: 64-1, Jalan SS 15/4d, Ss 15, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

6. Homesick Alien Cafe

There’s a real retro-alien invasion vibe going on at Homesick Alien Cafe — and it’s pretty cool. Not many themed cafes in Malaysia serve as an ode to Cold War-era sci-fi cheesiness, but this one does it just fine. From Panton-style bubble walls to Aarnio ball chairs, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a diner from the world of Stranger Things.

True to its theme, Homesick Alien Cafe serves unique UFO burgers alongside plenty of other fun snacks like french fries, fried wontons, and even panipuri. As for drinks, they’ve got a cool variety of mocktails going like the Orange Goblin, which consists of matcha, orange juice, soda, and asamboi.

Address: Level LG1, Unit A-G-05, Dataran Cascades, Jalan PJU 5/1, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

7. Fujiwara Tofu Shop Malaysia

Initial D fans, this is your moment! Fujiwara Tofu Shop stands as a Malaysian tribute to the iconic tofu shop of the same name from the manga and anime. The front of the cafe has been painstakingly constructed to recreate the fictional shop. It kind of looks like someone stole a chunk of street from Japan’s Kanto region and placed it in Petaling Jaya instead.

Once inside, you’ll be greeted by Initial D posters, car miniatures, and more cool merch. There’s even an exact replica of the main character Takumi Fujiwara’s car — an AE86 — sitting in the middle of the cafe. Here, you can enjoy a variety of tofu-based snacks including tau fu fah and more delightful Japanese cuisine. Be sure to try their Homemade Black Tofu and Chicken Katsu Don, too.

Address: 19, Jalan Industri USJ 1/16, Taman Perindustrian USJ 1, 47600 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Unique cafes in Penang worth checking out

8. Kopi Hutan Cafe

Guess what? This unique cafe in Penang sits at 730 metres above sea level! Tucked away in the Monkey Cup Garden atop Penang Hill, Kopi Hutan doesn’t really have to try that hard to live up to its jungle theme. It’s surrounded by the lush wilderness of Penang Hill, and the only music playing here is the sound of birds softly singing as sunshine streams through the trees.

Sit back and enjoy a pot of Arabica coffee, alongside a variety of home-baked cakes and finger foods. Some yummy options to try are the peach cheesecake and chocolate mousse cake.

Address: Summit Road, Penang Hill, Penang

9. Ice Cafe

Oh, the amount of ice puns I could make here. I’ll settle for saying that Penang’s Ice Cafe is just a really cool place to chill at. Located along Victoria Street in George Town, this is the first ice-themed cafe in Malaysia, with “freezing” walls patterned to look like blue ice blocks and other wintry decor. There’s also a life-sized igloo that’s guarded by a cute polar bear statue.

 Don’t fret; while it is pretty chilly (around 20℃), you can skip the winter clothing for this one. Try their bubble waffles with ice cream and the cream puffs that are also served with ice cream. Apparently, cold food in a cold room just seems to work! Ice Cafe Penang also serves a variety of seafood dishes, if you’re in the mood for something heavier.

Address: 193(Level 1), Lebuh Victoria, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Coolest themed cafes in Johor

10. Dreamliner Airways Cafe

The next time you’re in Johor Bahru, Dreamliner Airways Cafe is the perfect place for an in-flight dining experience without actually having to get on a plane. Designed to look like the inside of a commercial plane, the cafe walls are lined with faux airplane windows while the ceilings actually have baggage compartments. These delightful theatrics are brought to new heights by the staff, who dress as pilots and flight attendants.

The cafe serves a delightful combination of standard Asian and Western cuisine. While the food is simple enough, Dreamliner Airways stands out among other themed cafes in Malaysia for its deeply unique premise that’s fun for all ages and occasions.

Address: 7, Jalan Harmonium 35/1, Taman Desa Tebrau, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor

11. High School Kopitiam

High School Kopitiam is one of the themed cafes in Malaysia that take you back to the days of yesteryear. Its decor and design are inspired by Taiwanese high school movies like You Are the Apple of My Eye and Our Times. Prepare to sit at classroom-style tables and read the menu from a chalkboard hung on the far wall. 

There are a number of must-try menu items to look out for, like the High School Pork Chop Sandwich. With its oozing yellow yolk filling, this one’s definitely worthy of the ’Gram. Also, don’t forget to sample the Taiwanese Mushroom Coffin Toast: a thick slice of toast filled with chunky mushroom soup. Meanwhile, the most popular drink is the High School Special, which is a heady blend of coffee, Milo, and chocolate.

Address: 57-G, Jalan Austin Heights 8/5, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 JB, Johor Bahru, Johor

Also read: 10 Cafes in Johor Bahru to Check Out on Your Next Trip Across the Border

Other must-visit themed cafes in Malaysia

12. The Bold Lab

The Bold Lab is among the themed cafes in Malaysia that’s dedicated to experimenting with delicious flavours and excellent coffee. However, they also make sure to manifest their theme of scientific experimentation in other ways. This includes using a siphon brewer, garnishing drinks from lab beakers, and serving mocktails that can be mixed with a syringe.

There’s plenty to try at this unique cafe in Kelantan, but their coffee and homemade waffles should be on top of that list. The Bold Lab also has studier dishes on its menu, like the Ulam Kelate Rice Bowl and Australian Beef Burger.

Address: PT 2497, Kg. Cherang, Jalan Abdul Kadir Adabi, Taman Kenangan, 15200 Kota Bharu, Kelantan

13. Feast and Furious Cafe

Take your tastebuds for a flavour-filled ride at Feast and Furious Cafe in Kuching. It’s owned by retired Malaysian racer Alex Wong, and the space is decorated with his personal motorcycles, cars, and other motorsport collectables. 

The food here is pretty standard, with a menu that serves both Asian and Western cuisine. There’s also a decent selection of coffee and other beverages. Expect espresso drinks like the standard Americano, latte, and cappuccino. But overall, you’d really be coming here for the cool cars and that unmistakable petrolhead vibe.

Address: 244 Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman , Kuching, Sarawak

14. Biru Biru Cafe & Bar

At Biru Biru Cafe, feeling blue is a good thing. A cafe by day and bar by night, this watering hole has an iconic blue exterior with a retro theme. It’s one of the more well-known cafes in Kota Kinabalu, and boasts a diverse menu ranging from healthy poke bowls to scrumptious burgers. There’s also a good selection of coffees, cocktails, and other beverages available. Biru Biru also features live music performances, so be sure to stop by and soak in the vibes for yourself.

Address: 24, Lorong Dewan, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Also read: A Foodie’s Guide to Malaysia: Where and What to Eat in Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, and Melaka

It’s perfectly fine to visit a cafe with the sole intention of getting your caffeine fix and carrying on with your day. However, encountering a little pizazz in said cafe almost magically turns your routine coffee run or lunch into a zany, memorable adventure. Are you ready to check out some of these themed cafes in Malaysia? I know I am.

About Author

Jeremiah Patrick
Jeremiah Patrick

A journeyman wordsmith wandering the creative lexicon, looking to craft a masterpiece. The only thing on par with Jerry’s love for a good story is the time he spends playing dauntingly difficult video games, reading works of fiction, and listening to horror podcasts. His mood shifts between dark brooding and cheery quips, depending on how much caffeine swirls in his system.