This former cemetery turned residential area is home to lush parks, great cafes and nostalgic spots, amongst other things.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Bishan? Is it the central location, beautiful parks, ample hawker food or just the slow paced nature of the heartland ‘hood? If you haven’t had a chance to discover everything it has to offer, now’s the time. In this guide, we explore all the best things to do in Bishan, fascinating places to check out and hidden gems to unearth.
Best things to do in Bishan: Eat
1. Burp Kitchen & Bar
If there’s one thing the regular patrons of Burp Kitchen & Bar will tell you is that the establishment is both cosy and affordable. The casual diner setting in nature is the perfect place for a catchup with friends. You’ll get to nosh on juicy beef, chicken, or pork burgers and tacos that range from baja fish and even miso tofu! Fancy having brunch in a lush garden setting? Pop by early to grab breakfast tacos and bagels with pastrami or smoked salmon.
Burp Kitchen & Bar, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, 510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569983
2. Covet Coffee
We don’t know about you, but we thrive on coffee, so we’re always looking for our next go-to for a caffeine fix. Not only is Covet Coffee aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but it also serves up incredible espresso-based drinks. If you’re not big on coffee, you can always go for matcha lattes or chocolate drinks instead. And if you’re feeling munchy, there’s a small selection of pastries to snack on while enjoying your drink in this cosy spot.
Covet Coffee, #01-207, 284 Bishan Street 22, Singapore 570284
3. Denzy Gelato
Cool down on a hot day with homemade ice cream at Denzy Gelato. Choose unique flavours like whisky and salted pecan, oat milk dark chocolate, hazelnut, elderflower mojito and roasted pistachio. Or enjoy freshly baked waffles at the quaint cafe. Can’t get enough? Have a pint or two delivered to you.
Denzy Gelato, #01-404, 506 Bishan Street 11, Singapore 570506
4. Sin Ming Roti Prata
Many have debated if this is actually the best in Singapore so you’ll have to go over and try it for yourself. You won’t be able to resist its flavourful and fantastic roti prata, which is crispy on the outside and delightfully fluffy in the middle. Definitely good enough to be eaten on its own, but we recommend sampling the accompanying fish and chicken curries.
Sin Ming Roti Prata, #01-51, Jin Fa Kopitiam, 24 Sin Ming Road, Singapore 570024
5. Good Bites
We don’t deny that Bishan is rife with amazing hawker food and local eats. Looking for a change of scene? Hop over to the halal-certified Good Bites for fusion western meals, burgers and pastas. Plus, the gorgeous space is located in Bishan Sports Centre so you can fuel up after your workout.
Good Bites, #03-01, 5 Bishan Street 14, Singapore 579783
6. Ming Kee Chicken Rice
Bishan residents will know of the snaking queues at this humble chicken rice stall. Oh, and don’t go sending your chicken back if it’s cold, ‘cos that’s exactly how they do it here. Yup, the chicken is dunked in an ice bath before it’s served with your warm rice. Apparently, the cool temperature creates a smooth jelly under the skin, resulting in flavourful and tender meat.
Ming Kee Chicken Rice, #01-522, Kim San Leng Coffee Shop, 511 Bishan Street 13, Singapore 570511
7. 284 Kway Chap
Night owls, cure your hunger pangs with a hearty bowl of kway chap. This famous stall serves its star dish till the wee hours. For the uninitiated, the lesser known local delicacy consists of silky rice noodle sheets in a warm soy sauce broth or thick gravy. It’s served with an array of pork skin, intestines, tongue, ear, rinds and belly. Not your scene? Other side dishes like boiled eggs, fishcakes, preserved veggies and dried tofu will fill you up nicely.
284 Kway Chap, Blk 284, Bishan Street 22, Singapore 570284
8. Hup Seng Duck Rice
Are you a fan of duck rice? Don’t miss this unassuming stall in Ah Sin Family Eating House. Tuck into a plate of tender braised duck served with white rice (no yam rice here) and the peppery salted vegetable duck soup. You’re guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face.
Hup Seng Duck Rice, 22 Sin Ming Road, Singapore 570022
Grub serves up delectable Asian-Western cuisine in a chic restaurant setting. Burger lovers can choose from hot classics like crispy fish burger and truffle angus cheeseburger. You can also grab fusion favourites such as har cheong gai burger and mentaiko pork katsu burger. For brunch lovers, drop by on the weekend to get the brunch plate with ciabatta, scrambled eggs, and sausage. Or try the har cheong gai chicken and waffles, a local twist on the brunch classic.
Grub, #01-38, Junction 8, 9 Bishan Place, Singapore 579837
10. Canopy Garden Dining
Can you imagine having your meal in a beautiful setting like this in your neighbourhood? Here you can. Kickstart your morning with a scrumptious brunch menu of salads, egg dishes, pastas, burgers and sandwiches, then wash it all down with a robust combination of fruit juices. Oh, and you’re welcome to bring along your fur babies at this hidden gem.
Canopy Garden Dining, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park 2, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569931
Best things to do in Bishan: Explore
11. Books Beyond Borders
Books Beyond Borders is on a mission to improve learning. Inspired by his trip to Nepal, founder Randall uses his passion for education to serve those on the fringes. The team collects and sells gently used books, investing all of the profits in rural classroom projects. The online store is updated regularly with new arrivals, ranging from children’s books to biographies and fiction. Alternatively, pop by the physical store and peruse the shelves overflowing with great reads.
Books Beyond Borders, #03-01E, Kong Beng Industrial Building, 41 Jalan Pemimpin, Singapore 577186
12. Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
Located in between two quaint heartlands, this picturesque park is a hotspot for joggers and cyclists. But did you know that the 62-hectare Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park also holds great eats and even a spa? Just check out Canopy Garden Dining for an elevated dining experience and the tranquil Aramsa Spa for a relaxing afternoon. Oh, and if you’re a canine lover like us, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a dog run! Go during the weekends to witness a parade of furry friends.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, along Bishan Road and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1
13. MacRitchie Reservoir
The most popular reservoir out of the four in Singapore, MacRitchie has well-marked hiking trails, clean waters for kayaking or canoeing (you can rent them on site from Paddle Lodge), and a lovely boardwalk for strolls around the water’s edge. For avid photographers, don’t miss the TreeTop Walk or the seven-storey Jelutong Tower – both offer gorgeous Insta ops and views of forest surrounds.
14. The Salvation Army
Did you know that the territorial headquarters of the charitable organisation is located right here? After 50 years in Clemenceau Avenue, growing services required a bigger space, hence the move to Bishan. Donate your preloved clothing as well as household goods, electronic devices, furniture, toys and books to those in need, right here. Just make sure they are still in good condition!
The Salvation Army, 20 Bishan Street 22, Singapore 579768
15. Bishan Public Library
The idea to build a library was conceived in the late 90s due to the crowds at the Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio community libraries. Finally, in 2006, this library opened with much fanfare. Spread over five levels, the library carries over 250,000 titles. Look closely and you’ll notice cool protruding windows – these are actually reading pods should you need some quiet time away from the crowd. The building has also won numerous awards for its unique design and architecture.
Bishan Public Library, #01-01, 5 Bishan Place, Singapore 579841
16. Junction 8
Junction 8 has everything you need in a heartland mall – a good mix of restaurants and cafes, a cinema, a departmental store, a supermarket and fashion boutiques. From a humble suburban mall (it was the second mall to open after Northpoint in Yishun) to a swanky, bustling building, Junction 8 has come a long way. Trivia: The name of the mall was derived from the old Bishan MRT station numbering N8.
Junction 8, 9 Bishan Place, Singapore 579837
17. Bishan Harmony Park
Located at the junction of Bishan Road and Braddell Road, this park may be smaller than its counterpart but it boasts a skate park, a hilly walking trail and a small hedge maze. Pros can strut their moves on the large bowl and ramps while beginners can practice on the flat concrete space.
Bishan Harmony Park, Bishan Road, Singapore 579778
18. Aramsa Spa
Aptly located within the lush greenery of Bishan Park, the exotic resort-like spa makes you do a double turn. Try one of the massage, specialised, detox, water, and anti-stress therapies for an overall top-to-toe pampering or a skin-specific Elemis facial.
Aramsa Spa, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park 2, 1384 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569932
19. Clock Playground
Talk about nostalgia! This clock playground screams 1980s with its sandpit and mosaic tiles. Feel free to bring the kids to this humble play area that looks like it has been taken right out of a nursery rhyme. It’s also one of the few standing sandpit playgrounds in Singapore.
Clock Playground, Blk 514B Bishan Street 13, Singapore 572514
20. Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
This monastery and Buddhist temple is a sight to behold. Built in 1921, it is one of the first traditional Chinese forest monasteries in Singapore. The massive space (equivalent to 11 football fields) is also a strong contender for the title of one of the most significant religious monuments in Southeast Asia. You can catch a glimpse of the serene space along Bishan Park.
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, 88 Bright Hill Road, Singapore 574117
Bookmark our guide to Bishan for interesting tidbits the next time you want to explore this neighbourhood!