Where to eat, drink and club along this dining and drinking hotspot near Singapore River
Once lined with sleazy KTV bars, Circular Road is shaping up to be hipper than ever, what with a slew of quirky watering holes and chic eateries popping up along the buzzy stretch. Parallel to Boat Quay and within walking distance to Clarke Quay and Raffles Place, it’s fast becoming our go-to spot for a snazzy lunch meeting (at the quaint ramen bars, the unpretentious burger joint or the romantic crêperie) and a post-work dance off. And just like the swinging Ann Siang and Club Street, Circular Road is closed to traffic on the weekends (Fri-Sat, 6pm-1am) so everyone has more room to breathe.
Decked in Scandi-style wood furnishings, this airy Italian restaurant is a great place for hosting big groups. Here, you get to build your own pasta, paninis, and pizza, plus they have gluten-free options, too, for the fussiest-eaters in your group. Prices are easy on the wallet, with dishes starting from as low as $7.90.
Marco Marco, 23 Circular Road, Singapore 049379, p. 9710 5306.
Ramen Bar Suzuki
Slurp a steaming, solid bowl of ramen at Ramen Bar Suzuki, which also offers free flow green tea, eggs, mashed potatoes, and bean sprouts during lunch. Plus, you get to customise the Tonkotsu broth to suit your palate.
Ramen Bar Suzuki, 61 Circular Road, Singapore 049415
Outfitted with brick walls, an elevated carousel and mottled furniture, this trendy hideout feels clubby, but in a good way. Taking a leaf out of UK’s underground bar scene, Gong hosts an open DJ set on Saturday for up and coming DJs. Swing by after work: The drinks are pretty affordable so you won’t feel guilty about having a weekday swig.
Gong, 25 Circular Road, Singapore 049381, p. 8393 2216.
Pork burgers are a rarity in Singapore, so you can imagine how excited we were to find this gourmet pork burger specialists. On the menu are cheekily-named choices like the Elvisu (bacon, peanut butter and jelly), and the Hadoken – pork patty topped with spicy Asian chilli con carne, onions, cheese and bacon bits. Prefer a good ole’ chicken burger? There’s Fowl Play, the only chicken burger on the menu. Best of all, their edible goods don’t cost over $15.
Dojo, 72 Circular Road, Singapore 049426, p. 6438 4410.
BK Eating House
Frequented by trendy hipsters, backpackers and, of course, ah peks, BK Eating House, open 24 hours, is the coffee shop to go for a taste of real Singapore in the neighbourhood. Grab a table along the road and catch all the Circular Road action from your seat while chugging bottles of Anchor beer, priced at only $14 for three bottles. The Bak Chor Mee Sua (minced pork with thin salted Chinese noodles) from Yan Kee Noodle House is also a popular supper choice for hungry folks.
BK Eating House, 32 South Bridge Road (start of Circular Road), Singapore 058667.
Draft and Craft
It goes without saying that beer and greasy comfort food are a match made in heaven. If you want both, head to Draft and Craft for a serving of mouthwatering South Cali grub (think grilled cheese sandwich), and wash it all down with a pint of artisanal beer from the States. This cosy joint offers awesome deals throughout the week; our favourite is $5 Tacos on Taco Tuesdays!
Draft and Craft, 31 Circular Road, Singapore 049387, p. 6532 0604.
The sister branch to Gemmil Lane’s Ô Batignolles, Ô Comptoir is an all-day dining crêperie-pub that specialises in fluffy buckwheat flour crepes. Grab a coffee and a crepe in the afternoon – the airy joint whips up an amazing selection of fusion crepes that comes with funky names including ‘Khao San Road’, ‘Vietnam Calling’, and ‘Morning Texas’. Or stay ’til nightfall – the bar livens up with a live DJ set that spins all the way ‘til 2am.
Ô Comptoir, 79 Circular Rd, Singapore 049433, p. 6534 7645.
Tom Yum Kungfu
If you love your Thai food like we do, Tom Yum Kungfu will definitely please. This place is perpetually packed during the day with their delish lunch sets (below $10), which include a complimentary side dish and drink. Hanging late? Order their 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, p. 6536 1646.
Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang
A local treasure, Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang dishes out good ol’ nasi padang (Malay mixed rice) with a selection of traditional Malay curries and meats. If you’re looking for a “shiok” experience, this is your answer.
Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang, 13 Circular Road, Singapore 049369, p. 6536 5302.
We’ve seen many merry days at Molly Malone’s, Singapore first Irish pub. Pop by on Monday for quiz night – the crowd gets pretty hyped up and are hilariously offensive, especially after knocking back glasses of frothy Guinness. If you’re feeling peckish, a serving of their crispy fish and chips will certainly set you straight.
Molly Malone’s, 56 Circular Road, Singapore 049411, p. 6536 2029.
A well-known online ramen delivery store in Japan, Takumen is in fact the store’s first ever brick and mortar eatery. It’s basically ramen galore within; serving six popular ramen brands from Japan, you can find anything from tonkotsu-based options to miso-flavoured ramen, and even a spicy Sichuan-inspired tantanmen, served ramen-style.
Takumen, 66 Circular Road, Singapore 049420, p. 6536 4875.
The newest dancing and drinking spot in town, Refuge is a super sleek two level club-lounge that’s dedicated to only hip-hop and R&B music. Kick back with a couple of cocktails to the downtempo grooves of old school funk at the lounge, or bust a move to the bass-heavy flavas of old school and contemporary hip-hop and R&B sounds on level two. Unlike most clubs, Refuge cover charge won’t burn your pocket; cover charge is first drink charge at $12 nett from 10pm onwards on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Refuge, 79A/B Circular Road, Singapore 049433, e. [email protected].
+39 Gelato Bar
Super smooth gelato (made fresh daily) takes centre stage at this new outlet on Circular Road. There are eight flavours to choose from; not all are permanent offerings, so you’d have to drop by to see what’s available for the day. There have been some pretty interesting ones (guacamole and mashed potato, anyone?), but familiar like dark chocolate and raspberry are on offer as well.
+39 Gelato Bar, 29 Circular Road, Singapore 049385, p. 6532 0380.
Meat and Green
This sandwich and salad bar whips up the most innovative bites and is the perfect place for a quick but delicious lunch. We love that their sandwiches comes with a unique flavours, including a decadent pulled pork bak kuh teh and Malay beef curry sarnies.
Meat and Green, 84 Circular Road, Singapore 049436, p. 6557 0457.
Coasters and tawdry decorations are plastered all over this quirky drinking joint. Come here for a casual drink with the mates – or by yourself, even; the staff are extremely welcoming, you won’t even feel out of place coming here alone.
Public House, 42 Circular Road, Singapore 049398, p. 6533 3545.
This live music venue boasts an extremely neat feature that allows guests to pour their own ice-cold draft beer – either Asahi or Kronenbourg 1664 – right at their table! The volume of beer consumed is tracked and displayed in real-time on a screen, so if you’re afraid you go overboard, simply let the waiters know how much you’re intending to spend before you start pulling pints.
Hero’s, 69 Circular Road, Singapore 049423, p. 6438 6058.