The area between Tanjong Pagar and Raffles Place MRT station is paved with unique restaurants and merchants. If anything, the central roads of the CBD including Telok Ayer, Amoy Street and Boon Tat Street are proving to be an emerging favorite among Singaporeans for its laid-back vibe and central location. In fact, some of our favorite hang-out spots are in and around this little district, which is why we've rounded up of some of our top picks for spots to check out for drinks, dinner and more.
The decor may be nothing to write home about, but Freehouse is more about the finer details that go into each of their craft beers and ciders than fancy furniture and fluffy artworks. Located in a shophouse on Boon Tat Street, this laid-back locale features bottles and cans of microbrews from around the globe, as well as 16 taps that change on a regular basis to showcase brews like Lervig White Dog Wheat Ale and Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black Porter. Grab some Asian-inspired pub grub to soak up all those IPAs and ciders.
21A Boon Tat Street
Hours: Mon - Thurs; 5pm - 12am, Fri: 3pm - 12am, Sat: 5pm - 12am
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The Spiffy Dapper
Once a speakeasy style dive bar in Boat Quay, The Spiffy Dapper is now housed in more stylish digs on the second floor of a shophouse on Amoy Street. The ambiance here is laid back and trendy with decor that includes a long copper bar and plenty of wood beams, and the bartenders serve great housemade coffee by day and bespoke cocktails by night. Despite offering a hipster’s dream drink menu with craft beers, small batch bourbons, and handcrafted cocktails, the vibe at The Spiffy Dapper is anything but pretentious. The tunes are great, the staff are always up for a cheeky chat, and George the owner is an absolute riot.
73A Amoy St
Tel: +65 8233 9810
Hours: Daily: 4pm - midnight
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Singapore’s bar scene has been buzzing for months about the opening of Employees Only, a New York City institution that consistently wins top spots in the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Situated smack dab in the middle of happening Amoy Street, Employees Only is already giving its neighbours a run for their money with cool speakeasy style interiors and sophisticated cocktails shaken and stirred by world-class bartenders.
Where: 112 Amoy Street, Singapore 069932
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 5pm – 1am, Saturday 5pm – 2am, Sunday 6pm – 1am
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Employees Only is listed in our Top 50 Bars in Singapore
Also feature din Restaurants with a Good Buzz (they do have great food!)
Jigger & Pony
The chic yet unpretentious atmosphere in this bar just goes to show that the people behind Jigger & Pony know exactly what they're doing. If you're looking for a classy happy hour spot for a nice evening with some friends, you will not go wrong here. There are also about 24 cocktails to choose from (at $20 each), a good selection of wines and great nibbles to go along with the drinks. Just be sure not to load up on the oh-so-addictive tapioca chips or you won't have any room for our favorite, the Ribeye Steak Sandwich ($18). Jigger & Pony was also recently ranked #21 on Asia's Top 50 Bars.
101 Amoy Street
Tel: +65 6223 9101
Hours: Mon to Thu: 6:00pm - 1:00am, Fri & Sat: 6:00pm - 3:00am
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igger & Pony is listed on our Top 50 Bars. Read the full review.
Cool beats, smokey grilled meats and a pirate-worthy stash of over 50 bottles of rum are the main draws at Sugarhall, a hip bar and grill concept on Amoy Street just next to their sister operation Jigger & Pony. Sample some of their signature cocktails, try a flight of various rums, or go big with a communal punch bowl. Their shared plates and grilled steaks will also hit the spot.
102 Amoy Street
Tel: +65 9732 5607
Visit Sugarhall's website
Le Quinze Vins
New to the CBD is Le Quinze Vins, a branch of the highly respected Parisian wine bar of the same name. The space is small at just 200 square feet, but the wine list is huge with over 5,000 bottles on offer, many of which hail from wine growing regions from all over France. This is a great little spot for an after-work drink when you’re craving decent vino and really good cheese and crusty bread flown in directly from France. Be sure to ask the bartender for their suggestions, as they’re always getting in new bottles from both big-name and lesser known winemakers.
29 Boon Tat Street
Tel: +65 6222 8266
Hours: Mon, Tues, Sat: 3pm - 12pm, Wed - Fri: 11am - 12pm
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Le Quizne Vins is also listed in our picks for 10 Best Wine Bars in Singapore
Argentinian darling BoCHINche recently made the move to hip and happening Amoy street, which was definitely a good call. The space is smaller, but it gets busy, which makes it a great spot to pop into when you’re looking for a buzzy ambiance and ridiculously good steak and wine. For appetizers the Provoleta never disappoints with provolone cheese, almonds and oregano honey, and the Entrana skirt steak is a good bet for mains, as it comes charcoal grilled the way you like it with traditional sauces and your choice of chips or salad.
115 Amoy Street #01-02
Tel: +65 6235 4990
Hours: Mon - Thurs: 12pm - 2:30pm and 6pm - 10:30 pm, Fri: 12pm - 2:30pm and 6pm - 11pm and Sat: 11pm - 3pm and 6pm - 11pm and Sun: 11pm - 3pm
Bochinche is also featured in our Ultimate Saturday Brunch Guide and Singapore's Top 5 Bloody Mary's
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Tucked away in a conservation shophouse on Amoy Street, Burlamacco is a quiet little spot to dig into great Italian fare. Owner and Executive Chef Gabriele Piegaia draws on his Tuscan heritage to create authentic regional dishes that are both rustic and hearty. To go along with his culinary creations, guests can peruse the floor-to-ceiling glass wine cellar for fine Italian wines.
77 Amoy Street
Tel: +65 6220 1763
Hours: Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 6pm - 10:30pm, Sat: 6pm - 10:30pm
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Read our full review on Burlamacco
Fyr Cycene ond Drink
The concept here is modern European cuisine with Asian accents, and each dish is fired up primitive style in a Josper Wood Charcoal Oven and served on wooden planks. If you’re looking for a welcoming spot for a group dinner, this is a super easy and casual place where you can eat, drink and be merry and really get bang for your buck.
19 Boon Tat Street
Tel: +65 6221 3703
Hours: Mon - Fri: 11am to 11pm, Sat: 9am to 11pm, Sun: 9am to 4pm
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This humble Japanese restaurant was modelled to mimic the interiors of a typical Japanese home. Run by a friendly couple who love to mingle with their customers and are always eager to share their knowledge of sushi, the atmosphere here is casual and relaxed. The menu features classic Japanese fare at generous portions and affordable prices. If you're craving sushi, tempura and sobas on a slightly tight budget, this is the place to go.
Tel: +65 6535 2988
Hours: Mon to Sat: 10:00am - 10:00pm
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It seems that the Unlisted Collection can do no wrong, especially with the addition of their newest venture, Meat Smith, an American style smokehouse where the focus is on smoky BBQ meats prepared in special smokers brought in from the US. The vibe here is casual and cool, and you get delicious gourmet dishes like pork ribs, roasted half chicken, and even smoked ice cream at great prices.
167 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 6221 2262
Hours: 11:45am - 2pm, 5:30pm - 11pm
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Read our full review on Meat Smith
The name really says it all. But what it doesn't tell you about this muffin paradise is that the muffins are baked every morning sans preservatives and artificial additives. This unpretentious cafe also serves other pastries and fine coffee that perfectly complements the muffins. There's even an array of never-heard-of-before flavors to keep things interesting! Pay a visit to this cozy cafe and sink your teeth into some really amazing baked goods. The muffins here are made fresh daily, so you ca be sure they'll be moist and flavorful. Definitely check it out—you won't be disappointed.
112 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 6509 6462
Hours: Mon: 8:00 am - 6:00pm, Tue to Fri: 8:00am - 10:00pm, Sat: 11:00am - 4:00pm
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Check out our top picks for Best Bakeries in Singapore
Park Bench Deli
Lunchtime lineups are the norm at Park Bench Deli, a crave-worthy sandwich spot in the Telok Ayer hood. You won’t find the same old soggy tuna or ham and cheese fare here. Instead this small spot is putting out gourmet creations like the Southern Fried Chicken with corn and cabbage slaw and Russian dressing and the Kong Bak Banh Mi with braised pork belly, pickled carrots and daikon, peanuts and cilantro. Round it off with a healthy side of spinach or quinoa salad.
179 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 6815 4600
Hours: Lunch: Mon, 12pm - 4pm, Tues - Sat, 10:30 - 4pm and Dinner: Mon - Fri, 5pm - 10pm
Don't you love finding tiny hole in the wall joints with delicious grub? If you're into fresh, tasty Vietnamese food and cheap eats, you may want to check out our new fave lunch spot, Pho 99 on Amoy Street. If you can only try one Vietnamese dish here, it should be the Pho Bo ($9), hands down. Pho is the national dish of Vietnam, and is a basically a tasty and aromatic beef noodle soup. The food is fresh, tasty and served at fantastic prices. We always head here on rainy days to indulge in stemaing bowls of hot Pho.
57 Amoy Street
Telok Ayer Conservation Area
Tel: +65 9678 8735
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am - 9pm, Sat-Sun 10am - 8pm
With a name honoring the British slang for "sandwiches", Sarnies offers exactly that and a lot more on their enticing menu. The sheer dedication towards healthy choices is a definite selling point for us. For example, the beef is grass-fed and the chickens are hormone and antibiotic free. That says a lot for a restaurant already known for their fresh ingredients and healthy portions. Conveniently located in the CBD, Sarnies gives you every reason to eat healthy!
136 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 6225 6091
Hours: Mon & Tue: 7:30 am - 6:00 pm, Wed to Fri: 7:30am - 9:00pm, Sat & Sun: 9:00am - 4:00pm
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The thing about most chocolate lovers is that they can't actually tell one class of cacao from another. Whether you fall into this category, or you're an avid enthusiast, it's obvious from first taste that Teng Ei Liang from Truffs is a true chocolate artisan. Having perfected the traditional methods of making chocolates and pastries, he heads the operations here, and we're mighty glad he does. Short for truffles, Truffs is home to the most heavenly chocolates, cakes and pastries around. If you love chocolate in its purest form, Truffs will not disappoint.
179A Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 9088 2736
Hours: Mon to Fri: 12:00pm - 7:00pm, Sat: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
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Located on the first floor of a shophouse along Telok Ayer, this vibrant restaurant serves Mediterranean and Western cuisine. Mostly Lebanese actually, owing to owner Mr Ghazi's ethnic roots. There are plenty of platters and Lebanese bread available on the menu, and despite it's modern look, the food is still as authentic as ever. We're sure you'll discover something new about Lebanese cuisine with every visit. This is the place we head to when we're craving Lebanese, as they have a variety of fresh dishes at very affordable prices. Some of our favorite dishes include the Kafta Kebab ($7),Chicken Kabab served with Lebanese rice and the Artichoke Salad ($8).
161 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 6327 9460
Hours: Mon to Sat: 9:00 am - 9:45pm
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Wang de Bak
Step into the industrial looking dining room at Wang Dae Bak and you feel as though you could be in Seoul with the sliding doors adorned with Korean characters, round tables with grills, low stools and hanging smoke vents. Premium BBQ meats are on offer, and the grills even have a unique side compartment for unlimited grilled omelettes.
98 Amoy Street
Tel: +65 6226 0450
Wanton Seng's Noodle Bar
Combining traditional hawker style food with modern flair, Wanton Seng’s Noodle Bar serves up the same classic wanton mee that the namesake location in Dunman Food Centre became famous for, but with amped up sides. A bowl of the springy noodles in rich broth with scallions and fried shallots can be topped with roasted pork belly, salted egg sweet potato, or pork fried wantons and then doused with lashings of oil and chillis. Signature cocktails, craft beers and sake add another element of elan.
52 Amoy Street
Tel: +65 6221 1336
Hours: Mon - Thurs, 11:30am - 2:30pm, 6pm - 10pm, Fri, 11:30pm - 2:30pm, 6pm - 11pm Sat, 6pm - 11:30pm
Wanton Seng's Noodle Bar
Corner Bar L’Operetta at Boon Tat
The menu may be a bit all over the place with pizzas, BBQ meats and paellas all up in the mix, but the food at Corner Bar L’Operetta is fresh and tasty and the vibe is fun and funky. Depending on which night of the week you rock up, you can expect to find different specials going on like free flow drinks for ladies on Wednesdays, seafood paella for two with complimentary glasses of Spumante, and BBQ seafood or meat platters at great prices.
7 Boon Tat Street / +65 9127 4611 / Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar
This sister restaurant to Katanashi at Boat Quay serves up intriguing Japanese tapas like their take on grilled chicken with ultra-crispy skin and a hit of tang from the lemon and yuzu pepper sauce, fried fish balls laced with edamame and topped with a slightly sweet ponzu sauce, and their Unaretto, simmered eel inside a fluffy omelette. Seafood lovers also won’t want to miss their Kani Tofu resting in a delicate homemade dashi broth and topped with succulent Hokkaido crab. 1 Boon Tat Street #01-01 / +65 6221 5101 / Japanese Tapas
You’re in good hands at No Menu, a warm and welcoming family-run spot where Chef-owner Osvaldo Forlino, his wife, children, and nieces and nephews greet guests personally and make them feel right at home in their cozy Italian bistro. The food here is as authentically Italian as you’re likely to get anywhere else in the city, and each dish is made by hand with high-quality imported Italian ingredients and fresh local produce. Top rated dishes including the Fettucine with Wild Boar Ragu and Ravioli Burrata made with burrata from Puglia, Sicilian tomatoes, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil. 21/23 Boon Tat Street / +65 6224 0091 / Italian Cuisine
The Sapporo and sake flow freely at this cozy izakaya, and the spirited chefs put out a range of small plates that make use of fresh seafood and charcoal-grilled meats. Crab Gratin comes in the shell and includes sweet crab meat smothered in melted cheese, roe and soft macaroni. The Iberico Pork Collar Yakitori is meaty and succulent, and the Ika Kuro-age features tender Surume squid dipped in squid ink batter and deep fried until crispy on the outside. Their sashimi lunch sets are particularly good value. 8 Stanley Street / +65 6327 9240 / Japanese Izakaya
Bar B Q Tonight
Buffets may not be the most in-vogue dining trend going at the moment, but you can’t knock a good feed when the food is done right, the prices are reasonable and the environment is relaxed. Bar B Q Tonight is a famous Pakistani chain that manages to tick all the right boxes with flavourful Pakistani and Afghani feasts of chicken biryani, mutton kebabs, daals and curries. You can also order a la carte to try special dishes like the Brain Masala, Palak Paneer, and Grilled Whole Pomfret Fish. 11/12 Stanley Street / +65 6327 9280 / Pakistani Cuisine
Pepenero was recently taken over by Chef Gabriele Peigala of Burlamacco, who revamped the space and the menu to create a more modern trattoria experience. The easy-going Southern Italian dishes are simple and straightforward, and made with only the freshest ingredients. Try the creamy Burrattina flown in from Italy and served with a peppery rocket salad and bright cherry tomatoes, or the delicate Angel Hair pasta with baby clams in a white wine sauce. They also offer great value set lunches with your choice of a starter, main and dessert, and they do BYO Mondays when you can bring your own bottle of wine for no corkage fee. 14 Stanley Street / +65 6222 5808 / Italian Cuisine
The owner of Teppei has opened this ramen spot on Stanley Street where you will find authentic and affordable ramen bowls packed with thick slices of pork, soft boiled eggs, and slippery slurp-worthy noodles in a savoury broth. You also get all-you-can-eat complimentary side dishes like grilled corn and steamed greens from the souzai bar. This is a great little spot to pop into for lunch on a rainy day. 17 Stanley Street / +65 9062 6379 / Japanese Ramen
Kitchen by Food Rebel
Kitchen by Food Rebel describes a food rebel as someone who believes in the power of choice, wants to know how their food is produced, and understands the impact that food has on the body. If that sounds like you, then you’ll definitely want to check out this wholesome food cafe in the heart of the CBD that caters to vegans, vegetarians, athletes and healthy eaters. 28 Stanley Street / Healthy Eats
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