This tourist-friendly hood offers more than just cool watering holes; aside from bars, Boat Quay in Singapore is also decked with amazing restaurants, hostels and more.
Think Boat Quay is just an after-hours smorgasbord of beer and loathing for brash bankers? Think again. Boat Quay offers a spate of R&R spots and good times without a dusk-to-dawn binge-drinking spree. From massages and yoga to fine dining, this tiny enclave in Singapore has something for everyone to dip into.
Da Paolo Gastronomia
Fans of household life-savers, Da Paolo Gastronomia, can head to the neighbouring Standard Chartered Building for a chilled-out lunch at their café space, or choose from their selection of pastas, ready-made salads, and soups for take-out.
Da Paolo Gastronomia, #K1-01, 6 Battery Road, Singapore 049909, p. 6535 4339. Open Mon-Fri 7.30pm-5pm. Closed on weekends.
Open ’til midnight, Hombre Cantina serves up authentic Mexican meals like tacos, quesadillas, burritos and nachos. If that’s a bit too heavy for you, simmer down from your night of revelry with the chicken tortilla soup or chill out with paletas (homemade Mexican ice pops). You’ll even get to enjoy a riverside view to boot.
Hombre Cantina, 53 Boat Quay, Singapore 049842, p. 6438 6708. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-12am. Closed on Sun.
Craving some exotic North Indian deliciousness? Don’t think twice; apart from offering the usual stars of North Indian cuisines – from tandoori grilled meats and biryanis to samundari curries and savoury naans, Kinara also offer vegetarian-friendly options like assorted vegetarian paneers and dals, making it the perfect spot for a catch up with your vegetarian buddies.
Kinara, 57 Boat Quay Singapore 049846, p. 6533 0412. Open daily 11.30am-2.30pm & 6pm-11pm.
Tuck into our favourite alfresco curry house hidden away from the busy-ness at Our Village. Specialising in Northern Indian, Sri Lankan, Punjab and Indian-Chinese cuisine, these guys have plenty of tricks up their sleeves. Be prepared for a mouthful as Our Village upholds a policy of consuming a minimum of $30 per person, which you’ll find accomplishing a cinch with plates this delish!
Our Village, 46D Boat Quay Singapore, Singapore 049835, Singapore, p.6538 3058
Dallas Restaurant & Bar
What used to be a former congregation point for members in the gambier and pepper community in Singapore is now a sleek, all-American dining spot. Be sure to order the massive slabs of fiery baby back ribs if you feel carnivorous!
Dallas Restaurant & Bar, 31 Boat Quay, Singapore 049820, p. 6532 2131
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, #01-01, 61 Circular Road, Singapore 049415; Open Mon-Thu 11am-3pm & 6pm-10pm; Fri 11am-3pm & 6pm-10.30pm; Sat 11.30am-3pm & 6pm-10pm. Closed on Sun.
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 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. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm & 6pm-10.30pm; Sat-Sun 6pm-10.30pm.
109 Teochew Yong Tau Fu
For a good bowl of yong tau fu, make your way down to the famous 109 Teochew Yong Tau Fu (which has been established for more than 30 years!). For just under $10, you’ll be treated to a variety of classic ingredients (think hand-made fishballs, fried beancurd, lady’s fingers stuffed with fish paste and more), noodles and broths.
109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo, 90 Circular Road, Singapore 049441, p. 62991643. Open daily 11am-10pm.
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. Scrumptious staples you’ll usually find are beef rendang, asam pedas, sambal sotong and tahu goreng.
Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang, 13 Circular Road, Singapore 049369, p. 6536 5302
A bowl of tender beef slices, savoury broth, light rice noodles, spices like cinnamon and star anise, and a dash of lime and fish sauce – pho seals the deal for lunch (or even dinner) especially when the weather’s a tad wet and chilly. Slurp down a bowl of warm, comforting pho, or try the crisp Vietnamese omelettes and spring rolls, at Viet Inn.
Viet Inn, 49 Circular Road, Singapore 049404, Singapore 6563 1847
Meat and Green
For lunches which register high on the health-o-meter, make your way to Meat and Green for salads and wraps with a dash of local flavour, like pulled pork seasoned bak kut teh-style, or chilli crab and fish or Malay beef curry with Nyonya achar and peanuts. Want something a lot more filling? Try its epic beef mac and cheese!
Meat and Green, 84 Circular Rd, Singapore 049436, p. 6557 0457. Open Mon-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 11am-7pm.
If you’re on a budget and craving an authentic Japanese meal, head over to this Japanese tapas bar. Their lunch sets – consisting of salad, miso soup, and a don (rice bowl) of your choice – are a bargain, considering the generous servings they dish out. Their impeccable and personable service wins them brownie points too.
Katanashi, 77 Boat Quay, Singapore 049865, p. 6533 0490. Open Mon-Fri 11.45am-2pm, 5pm-11pm, Sat 5pm-10.30pm. Closed on Sun.
Can’t decide between Japanese and Italian cuisine? Get the best of both worlds! Dig into a Japanese-Italian lunch at the quaint Bene Spaghetti, which offers gratin lunch sets and mushi pasta lunch sets served with green salads, homemade breads, and a drink of your choice. The cheerful greetings and brisk service from their friendly staff will brighten even the dreariest of days.
Bene Spaghetti, 83 Circular Rd, Singapore 049435, p. 6536 1726. Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-11pm. Closed on Sun.
Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
This is not your regular kopitiam drink stall; it’s a cosy bespoke cocktail bar opened by former Jigger & Pony bartender, Sam Wong. The lack of a menu means you have free reign to order anything you want, although we recommend trying Ah Sam’s unique cocktails that incorporate local flavours like soya bean milk, Milo, and chin chow.
Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, 60A Boat Quay, Singpaore 049848, p. 6535 0838
Guzzle freshly brewed beers at happy hour prices at RedDot BrewHouse’s riverside Boat Quay outlet. Try classic beer styles like the Weizen and English Ale, or more eclectic variations like the RedDot Lime Wheat ale or eye-catching Monster Green Lager Beer.
RedDot BrewHouse, 33/34 Boat Quay Singapore 049823, p. 6535 4500
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub and Brasserie
Knock back a couple of cold pints of the black stuff while taking in live Irish music at Singapore’s oldest Irish pub. In addition to Guinness and Kilkenny, Molly’s offers quintessential Irish drams like Jameson, Tullamore Dew and Bushmills. If you’re craving a wholesome Irish feed, tuck into a bowl of Guinness beef stew or a plate of bangers and mash.
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub and Brasserie, 56 Circular Road, Singapore 049411. p. 6536 2029; Open Mon-Wed 11am-1am; Thu 11am-2am; Fri 11am-3am; Sat 12pm-2am. Closed on Sun.
Now here’s a brand new Italian resto and rooftop bar under the ilLido Group – the gourmands responsible for Aura and Osteria Art, just to name a few. The “casual-luxe” 16-seater restaurant features an open kitchen and serves up progressive Italian nosh like pork cheek with candied celeriac and blueberry sauce, and seabass with eggplant parmigiana and saffron sauce. After dinner, retire to the rooftop bar and take in the cool breeze with cocktails like the Tiramisu – a velvety smooth orange-and-vanilla-infused-vodka with coffee, chocolate and hazelnut bitters. Sounds like fuel for the long night ahead!
Braci, 2 Boat Quay, #05-01/ #06-01, Singapore 049841. p. 6866 1933; Open Mon-Sat 5pm-12am. Closed on Sun.
This unpretentious, inviting riverfront bar provides both upbeat ambience for a perfect TGIF, as well as a laid-back environment for you to chill at its alfresco seating area. Famous for its martinis and mojitos, its refreshing specialty cocktails and party shots are definitely ones to try and get tipsy for. Bottoms up!
BQ Bar, 39 Boat Quay, Singapore 049828, p. 6536 1571; Open Mon-Thu 11am – 1am; Fri 11am-3am; Sat 5pm-3am. Closed on Sunday.
Head down to this cocktail and shooter bar that even comes decked with dartboards (post-work stress-reliever, anyone?). Aside from its 60 different types of cocktails, PurPle TurTle is also the only bar in the vicinity that offers Magners’ PEAR Cider on tap.
PurPle TurTle, 36A Boat Quay, Singapore, p. 9876 1338; Open daily 5pm-2am.
The Mad Men Attic Bar
Getting here takes a little bit of effort – look out for the alley along North Canal Road, find the glass door at the back of the restaurant, and take the elevator up to the fourth floor. Its black forest mojito, Aussie beers, chilli cheese dog, raucous atmosphere, and great live music will be worth it.
The Mad Men Attic Bar, #03-02, 11 North Canal Road, Singapore 048824, p. 6222 3529 or 9822 1789; Open Mon-Thu 5pm-1am; Fri-Sat 5pm-3am. Closed on Sun.
The Penny Black
This London-style pub at Boat Quay is our go-to spot when we’re down for some mouthwatering London pub meals along with a myriad of beer on tap, in a cosy Victorian setting.
The Penny Black, 26/27 Boat Quay, Singapore 049817, p. 6538 2300; Open Mon-Thu 11.30am-1am; Fri-Sat 11.30am-2am; Sun 11.30am-12am.
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-judgement session with the pals over beers and decent bites.
Harry’s, 28 Boat Quay, Singapore 049818, p. 6538 3029; Open Mon-Fri 11am-1am, Sat-Sun 11am-2am.
Headquarters by The Council
A hideout for some of the best parties in Singapore – spanning house music, techno and disco, Headquarters by The Council is one nightlife spot that will get your rave on. Possibly the hippest underground club in Singapore right now, Headquarters by The Council doesn’t rely on gimmicks – what attracts people to this club is purely the music! Read our full review of Headquarters by The Council.
Headquarters by The Council, Lvl 2, 66 Boat Quay, Singapore 049854
We could spend the entire afternoon with a cup of coffee at the lounge area of this quaint hostel – it looks just like a hipster café! Nestled at the start of Circular Road (Boat Quay), Quarters is ideal for travellers who are intending to party all day and night.
Quarters, 12 Circular Road, Singapore 049368, p. 6438 5627
The Port By Quarters Hotel
Nestled in between the bars and restaurants along Boat Quay, this capsule hostel – also Singapore’s first – offers a comfortable and affordable stay along the Singapore River, with picturesque views of the city’s skyline.
The Port By Quarters Hotel, 50A Boat Quay Singapore 049839, p. 6816 6960
Prince of Wales
Modelled after famous pubs in Melbourne, Prince of Wales embodies a laid-back vibe, catering to easy-going backpackers. While the hostel is tucked away in Little India, be sure to visit its pub which is right smack in the historical Boat Quay district, and a walking distance to the iconic Merlion statue – remember to take a selfie with it!
Princes of Wales, 101 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209420, p. 6299 0130
Neko No Niwa
Having set up shop in Boat Quay back in 2013, Neko No Niwa is the pioneer that sparked off a slew of copycats (pun intended). The cosy shophouse space houses a clowder of 13 adorable kitties – all lovingly rescued by owners Sue Lynn and Sam. Besides coffee and fruit smoothies, you can tuck into a spread of desserts like cakes and ice-cream sandwiches from The Ice Cream Cookie & Co. And if you’re looking to further de-stress, the cafe also holds cat yoga seshes – just expect adorable interruptions and loads of giggles. Read our full review of Neko No Niwa here.
Neko No Niwa, 54A Boat Quay (Level 2), Singapore 049843, p. 6536 5319; Open Mon, Wed-Fri 11am-10pm; Sat-Sun 10am-10pm. Closed on Tue.
Pamper yourself after a long day’s work at this massage parlour by the river. Its Thai-styled 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 ranges from 30 minutes to 120 minutes.
Sabaai Sabaai Thai Massage, 49a Boat Quay, Singapore 049838, p. 6536 3306. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12am-6pm.
In the midst of 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 madness below. With hot yoga and restorative yin classes, weekly warriors can opt for the biannual 30- and 40-day Hot Journey, guaranteed to get, and keep, your juices flowing.
Hom Yoga, 3 Canton Street, Singapore 049745, p.6438 0103; Classes held daily.