Get yourself acquainted with top-notch food spots and cool bars at Boat Quay in Singapore.
A stone’s throw from party central aka Clarke Quay – and not too far from Robertson Quay – Boat Quay is home to a dizzying array of restaurants and bars despite it being a tiny enclave. Come dusk, the street comes to life with imbibers, tourists and foodies. Don’t know where to start? We let you in on the best spots…
Boat Quay guide: Best restaurants and bars
1. Dumpling Darlings
If the name of this restaurant makes you think of towers of steamed dumplings, brace yourself. These dumplings are a second act to its noodle bowls. Check out the miso mushroom noodles topped with braised mushrooms, miso tare and fried shallots, or the dumpling platter of 15 that serves five different types of signature flavours including the original, momo curry and smoked duck. Hell yeah!
Dumpling Darlings, 86 Circular Road, Singapore 049438
2. Ramen Bar Suzuki
If you’re already bored of the conventional versions of ramen, Suzuki offers variations like emerald green tonkotsu (tonkotsu broth enhanced with fresh basil and cheese) and sakura pink tonkotsu (the pink comes from three types of shrimp). Otherwise, you can always go for the “safer” options of cardinal red or jet black ramen. What colours will these chefs come up with next?
Ramen Bar Suzuki, #01-01, 61 Circular Road, Singapore 049415
3. Wild Child Pizzette
Sporting the cheeky slogan “all good things come in 10 inches”, Wild Child Pizzette’s petite-sized pizzas prove it’s not all about size. Opened by the people behind Cicheti, we love its unconventional and playful creations that pack a punch. Don’t forget to pair these irresistible slices with an ice cold beer or a freshly shaken cocktail.
Wild Child Pizzette, 50 Circular Road, Singapore 049405
4. Tom Yum Kungfu
If you love Thai food like we do, Tom Yum Kungfu will definitely please you. The affordable menu is packed with classic dishes like tom yum soup, chicken basil and green curry. Hanging out late? Order the traditional mookata, which uses charcoal. It’s the perfect belly-warming meal after a slew of drinks!
Tom Yum Kungfu, 16 Circular Road, Singapore 049372
5. The Dragon Chamber
Hidden behind the beer fridge of a kopitiam, The Dragon Chamber is a surprisingly spacious 93-seater space that prides itself on its unconventional guerilla-style menu. Its delicious but unusual Chinese food is just as unique as its beverage menu. We love the Land of the Rising Sun, a delightful concoction made with yuzu-infused bourbon and elderflower liqueur.
The Dragon Chamber, 2 Circular Road, Singapore 049358
Oysters and alcohol? Best. Combo. Ever. If you’re like us, be sure to hit up Southbridge. The bar, which overlooks the Singapore River, serves up these glorious bivalves in four ways: umami (with ponzu and yuzu sauce), nikkei (with tonkatsu sauce and tograshi), mignonette (with banana shallot and sherry vinegar), and natural (with lemon and hints of tobacco). Complement the experience with cocktails like the vodka-based Livin’ Va Lida or the fruity Catrina Roja, which is spiked with celery-infused tequila.
Southbridge, 5/F (rooftop), 80 Boat Quay, Singapore 049868
7. Barbary Coast
Two vastly different experiences, one fab location. That’s exactly what you get at Barbary Coast, which is set up by the founding bartender of 28 HongKong Street, Michael Callahan. Looking for a casual, no-frills spot? Take a seat at Deadfall, a watering hole inspired by the 1800s San Franciscan district, and be prepared for cheeky cocktails. The second floor Barbary Coast Ballroom is for discerning drinkers who have a keen eye for details. Each drink is concocted with finesse, from the spirits to the garnish.
Barbary Coast, 16 North Canal Road, Singapore 048828
8. Kinara West Frontier Cuisine
Craving North Indian deliciousness? Don’t think twice, just head here! Apart from offering the cuisine’s usual stars such as tandoori grilled meat, biryani, fiery curry and savoury naan, Kinara also has vegetarian-friendly options. Its assorted paneers and dals make it the perfect spot for a catch-up with your vegetarian buddies.
Kinara West Frontier Cuisine, 55 Boat Quay, Singapore 049846
9. Dallas Restaurant & Bar
Carnivores, this one is for you. The riverside restaurant puts out wicked plates of juicy steaks, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs and gut-busting burgers. Dining with a group of friends? Dive straight into the meat platter, which features lamb cutlets, angus prime rib and spicy braised pork ribs alongside garden greens, tomatoes and potatoes. Wash it all down with a few pints of beers.
Dallas Restaurant & Bar, 31 Boat Quay, Singapore 049820
10. 109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo
For a good bowl of the local dish, make your way down to the famous 109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo. It’s been around for more than 30 years! For just under $10, you’ll be treated to a variety of classic ingredients including handmade fishballs, fried beancurd and lady’s fingers stuffed with fish paste to go with your noodles and broth.
109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo, 90 Circular Road, Singapore 049441
11. Meat and Green
For lunches that register high on the health-o-meter, make your way to Meat and Green to grab salad bowls with a dash of local flavour. These include pulled pork seasoned bak kut teh-style, beef rendang and BBQ chilli fish. Want a cheat day treat? Try its version of Korean fried chicken.
Meat and Green, 84 Circular Road, Singapore 049436
12. Hans Im Gluck
This German joint takes great pride in its burgers. Sandwiching simple and tasty ingredients alongside the mysterious namesake sauce between sourdough or multigrain buns, the burgers are anything but pedestrian. Highlights include Scharfrichter, which sees a juicy beef patty topped with mushrooms and a three-pepper sauce; and Geselle, a chicken burger with bacon and parmesan sauce. Vegans and vegetarians can get in on the action too with plant-based creations.
Hans Im Gluck, 71 Boat Quay, Singapore 049860
13. The Mask Restaurant and Bar
If you’re craving North Indian cuisine, The Mask hits the spot. Chicken reshmi kebabs, mutton rogan josh and samosas are great with an ice cold beer. And for that friend who doesn’t do spicy food, the menu also offers pizzas, burgers, bar bites and quesadillas.
The Mask Restaurant and Bar, 23-26 Circular Road, Singapore 049379
14. Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore
This Italian chain continues to thrive with its dedication to freshly-made pasta and heartfelt service. Thirty years on, Pasta Fresca stays fresh by constantly revamping its menu, with current mainstays like alle vongole (pasta with clams sauteed in olive oil), crespelle al funghi (Italian-style crepe baked with mushrooms, onions and parmesan), and risotto al frutti di mare (seafood risotto).
Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore, 30 Boat Quay, Singapore 049819
With a Michelin star in hand, this Italian restaurant and rooftop bar features an open kitchen and progressive Italian nosh. On the degustation menu, you’ll see seasonal ingredients like swordfish belly, Hokkaido scallops and Iberico pork taking centre stage. After dinner, retire to the rooftop bar and take in the cool breeze with a cocktail in hand.
Braci, #05-01/#06-01, 52 Boat Quay, Singapore 049841
16. The Public House
Coasters and tawdry decorations are plastered all over this quirky drinking joint. Swing by for a casual drink with your mates – or by yourself. The vibe is extremely welcoming; you won’t even feel out of place coming here alone.
The Public House, 42 Circular Road, Singapore 049398
17. BK Eating House
The 24-hour BK Eating House is your answer to getting a taste of Singapore in the neighbourhood. Grab a table along the road and catch all the Circular Road action from your seat while chugging bottles of beer. Oh, and the bak chor mee is hands down the crowning jewel of this coffee shop.
BK Eating House, 21 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058667
Inspired by the legendary party bar, Mogambo Tokyo, this watering hole attracts all kinds of party animals, from boozehounds to lightweights to weekend warriors who drink like a fish. Depending on your choice of poison, there’s a wide range to pick from, including premium spirits that go by the bottle. But before you start the night, down a shot or two. These are grouped in four flavour profiles: Juicylicious, milky, layered and lethal. Psst: we’ve heard that if you inhale 15 different shots in one night, you’ll enter Mogambo’s Shot Hall of Fame.
Mogambo, #01-01, 3 Canton Street, Singapore 049745
19. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
Knock back a few cold pints of stout while taking in live Irish music at Singapore’s oldest Irish pub. This institution, in all its warm, wood-panelled glory, has served as an authentic den of all that is Irish for over two decades. In addition to Guinness and Kilkenny, Molly’s offers quintessential Irish drams like Jameson, Tullamore Dew and Bushmills. It’s also the place for wholesome Irish feed like beef and Guinness pie or a plate of bangers and mash.
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, 56 Circular Road, Singapore 049411
20. BQ Bar
This unpretentious, inviting riverfront bar provides both an upbeat ambience for a perfect TGIF, as well as a laid-back environment for you to chill at its alfresco seating area. Famous for martinis and mojitos, its refreshing cocktails and party shots are definitely ones to get tipsy with. Bottoms up!
BQ Bar, 39 Boat Quay, Singapore 049828
21. The Penny Black
This English-style pub at Boat Quay is our go-to spot when we’re down for mouthwatering London pub meals along with myriad beers on tap. Also, extra points for its cosy Victorian setting.
The Penny Black, 26/27 Boat Quay, Singapore 049817
One of Singapore’s most enduring dining and bar chains, Harry’s is decked out with memorabilia gathered from the owner’s globetrotting adventures. The vibe is relaxed and homely – great for an unpretentious, no-judgment session with the pals over beers and decent bites.
Harry’s, 28 Boat Quay, Singapore 049818
Guide to Boat Quay: Things to do
23. Sabaai Sabaai
Pamper yourself after a long day’s work at this massage parlour by the river. Its Thai-style interiors, furnishings and fragrances will make you feel like you’re on a holiday in Bangkok. Worried about pain? Its team of experienced massage therapists knead with the right pressure to make sure you feel comfy and at ease throughout the session, which can range from 30 to 120 minutes.
Sabaai Sabaai, 49a Boat Quay, Singapore 049838
24. Cat Cafe Neko No Niwa
This is the one that started it all. Having set up shop in Boat Quay back in 2013, Neko No Niwa is the pioneer that sparked off a slew of copycat (pun intended) cat cafes. The cosy shophouse space houses a clowder of adorable kitties – all lovingly rescued by owners Sue Lynn and Sam. We’re especially fond of brother-sister pair Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the mischievous tabbies with a penchant for stealing food and nibbling fingers when you’re not looking. Order coffee, cake and smoothies, and proceed to de-stress by watching some kitty antics.
Cat Cafe Neko No Niwa, Level 2, 54A Boat Quay, Singapore 049843
25. Hom Yoga
While you’re surrounded by go-getters and time-strapped execs, find peace and strength with a session at Hom Yoga. A cosy boutique yoga studio huddled inside a restored shophouse, Hom’s classes are a welcome respite from the bustle outside. Lift your spirit with a cleansing session of hot yoga or realign your chakras with a restorative yin class.
Hom Yoga, 3 Canton Street, Singapore 049745
There you have it. All the best food spots and bars to check out in Boat Quay!