Looking to enjoy sake and sashimi with friends? Visit the best Japanese izakayas that Singapore has to offer.
You (probably) won’t find the best ramen or sushi at izakayas in Singapore. But what you will find are the smoothest sakes, ice cold craft beers, and delicious savoury bar bites. Not to mention, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in a rowdy atmosphere that’s perfect for letting loose and going wild. What are you waiting for? Pop into the most happening watering holes in the city.
Best izakayas in Singapore
1. Izakaya Hikari
This cosy izakaya at Fortune Centre is the place for affordable kushiyaki, sashimi, and fried food. Its location makes it great for drinks after work with colleagues or close friends. You can sit at the tables outside or perch at the open bar in front of the sake shelves. Pair your sake and craft beer with umami delights like tamago yaki, mentaiko fries, and juicy karaage.
Izakaya Hikari, #03-01, Fortune Centre, 190 Middle Road, Singapore 188979
This is one hidden gem in Chinatown you’ll love. It’s only been around since 2021, but Nomiya has already snatched a place in our hearts for its chill vibes, stellar sake, warm service and fantastic take on Japanese food. Don’t expect traditional dishes – the chefs are happy to let loose their creativity with modern reinventions that taste oh-so-good. We’re talking about foie gras chawanmushi, lobster croquette, yuzu glazed char-grilled pork jowl, gold dust charcoal chicken, and cold udon with seasonal truffle. With its dimly lit space, wall murals by local artists and upbeat tunes, it’s easy to spend an evening here sipping on sake and catching up with good friends over good food. Kanpai!
Nomiya, 11 Trengganu Street, Singapore 058465
3. Shukuu Izakaya
Shukuu Izakaya is founded by four young individuals who harbour a deep love for all things Japanese. You’ll find a sublime selection of food and drinks, as well as an ambience that emulates the authentic izakaya experience in Japan. Think fun and exquisite dishes like kani miso, rosti mentai, and fried chicken skin served with ponzu sauce. Grab your pals and immerse in the izakaya culture – you might even make some new friends once you’ve got a drink or two in your system.
Shukuu Izakaya, 8 Stanley Street, Singapore 068727
4. Neon Pigeon 2.0
This modern izakaya boasts artsy, gritty interiors and a selection of unique tipples (that come served in bird-shaped glassware). We recommend kicking off the evening with small plates from the raw bar that feature seasonal catches. You can also expect mod-Japanese dishes like Tokyo hummus – a creamy blend of edamame and curry chips that’s a crowd favourite.
Neon Pigeon 2.0, #01-01, 36 Carpenter Street, Singapore 059915
If you’re a fan of rich flavours, you’ll want to give Mikoto a try. Think dishes like grilled yellow tail head and chicken nanban. Made Kyushu-style, these are way more flavourful than items from other Japanese prefectures. When you’re done selecting the food, choose your poison from a wide selection of alcohol including whiskey, house sake and Japanese-style cocktails.
Mikoto, 60 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238252
6. Tomo Izakaya
Meaning “friend” in Japanese, Tomo is an ideal watering hole to see the best (or worst) sides of your pals when they’re hammered. With irresistible happy hours for beers, it’s easy to see why this place is ideal for bonding and catch-up sessions. As for grub, expect typical izakaya fare like deep-fried king prawns, grilled squid and garlic fried rice.
Tomo Izakaya, #01-04, 3A River Valley Road, Singapore 179020
7. Jibiru Yakitori & Craft Beer
As its name implies with gusto, Jibiru is a post-work haven for those craving a bespoke tipple. Here, you’ll see beer brands you’d usually only find in the heart of Japan. But aside from these rare brews, Jibiru also feeds the hungry with grilled kushiyaki inspired by the Saitama region near Tokyo. Tempura, gyoza and Japanese curry are just some of the dishes you won’t be able to resist!
Jibiru Yakitori & Craft Beer Bar, #01-26, 313@Somerset, 313 Orchard Road, Singapore 238895
8. The Public Izakaya
The Public Izakaya, located on the ground floor of 100AM, is great for alfresco dining. Its Tokyo fish and chips is an interesting East-meets-West mish-mash we can’t get enough of. Want something a little more authentic? Try the Negitoro don topped with fresh raw tuna and spring onion. Delish!
The Public Izakaya, #01-09, 100AM, 100 Tras Street, Singapore 079027
9. Standing Sushi Bar
Pocket-friendly sashimi and cheap drinks? Best. Combo. Ever. Standing Sushi Bar serves up pretty attractive promotions that you’ll be crazy to pass on. Think $3 sakes and $6 beers to go with affordable salmon sashimi, nigiri, sushi rolls and donburi (depending on which day of the week you’re visiting). We particular love Mondays because we get to have slices and slices of sashimi for just $3.90 a plate.
Standing Sushi Bar, multiple locations including Marina One and Odeon Towers
10. Shunjuu Izakaya
You’ll be greeted by a wall of dining awards as you enter Shunjuu Izakaya. This joint specialises in sumiyaki (charcoal-grilled items). Offering over 50 types of sake by the glass, it can get real boisterous on weekends. It sure reminds us of youthful nights out in Japan!
Shunjuu Izakaya, #01-15, Riverside View, 30 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238251
No, we’re not talking about the anime. Furnished with huge sake barrels from floor to ceiling, Boruto reminds us of Tokyo’s upper-class tachinomi (standing) bars. It was founded by Patrick Tan, owner of one of the best robatayaki restaurants in Singapore – Tamashii Robataya. You can bet this sake bar has a steady following, most of whom are Japanese expats.
Boruto, #01-01, Golden Castle Building, 80 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058710
12. Ishinomaki Grill & Sake
Serving up robatayaki and izakaya dishes, this grill and sake restaurant in Orchard is all about fresh seafood and seasonal produce. Follow ’em on Facebook to see what’s new for the day. When you’re visiting, order from the yakitori menu or go for a kaiseki-style meal. Ishinomaki also takes pride in its sake selection and houses premium sake grades like the junmai daiginjo and junmai ginjo.
Ishinomaki Grill & Sake, #B1-02/02A/03, Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road, Singapore 238871
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