Explore every nook and cranny of the buzziest neighbourhood in the CBD. Here's where to eat, hang out, shop and even work out!
There’s no denying that we seriously dig Telok Ayer. The locale is the home of Honeycombers HQ and has everything we need to live the good CBD life. Lunch is never dull, thanks to the huge variety of hawker centres and coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants. Since we love it so much, we thought we’d give you the low-down on what’s buzzing in our neighbourhood.
Free the Robot / Bitters & Love
Yes we come here a lot because we love Free the Robot’s mascot, Baileys (that’s him up top). But we’re gonna come out and say it: Free the Robot serves the best coffee on Telok Ayer: and believe us, we’ve rigorously tested every cafe on this strip. We’ve sung the praises of the breakfast menu before: try the BAE, a bacon-and-egg beauty with Sriracha mayo, and the amazing French toast. Our hot tip is to swing by for breakfast as this place gets seriously packed at lunch. After hours, the place transforms into Bitters & Love: a buzzy alcove of specialty cocktails and bar snacks – our personal Honeycombers hangout!
Free the Robot/ Bitters & Love, 118 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068587
Park Bench Deli
If indulgent, messy and substantial sandwiches are more your speed, Park Bench Deli hits the spot. A departure from your ordinary sandwich, PBD knows just how to satisfy any sandwich snob by piling beautifully toasted bread with double fried egg, crispy bacon and tater tots (fried egg power from the breakfast menu) or tender pulled pork, ham and delish coffee dijonnaise (the popular Cubano). So good, we almost shed a tear every time we bite into one.
Park Bench Deli, 179 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068627
Plain Vanilla Bakery
Try the cupcakes from Plain V and you’ll know why we have such high standards. You could probably hear our internal screams when the bakery opened an outlet at Telok Ayer. Too pretty-to-eat tarts and glazed galettes aside, there’s also a deli section with wholesome options and great set lunch deals. And you know how we feel about single-use plastic and why we love this: bring your own lunchbox to get five percent off all deli, breakfast and lunch items!
Plain Vanilla Bakery, 134 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068600
Pot Yummy Yummy
Craving hotpot but too lazy to arrange one with the buddies? Follow our lead indulge in hotpot for one at Pot Yummy Yummy. You get a mini hotpot to yourself with a choice of over seven soup bases. Ingredients are placed on a conveyor belt so all you gotta do is plonk your favourites in the pot. There’s a sweet set lunch deal (meat of your choice with up to six ingredients from the belt) that we keep going back for over and over again.
Pot Yummy Yummy, 80 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01, Singapore 048466
This new hang at the head of Telok Ayer is quite a pretty sight with swanky interiors, cut-out motifs and customised chairs with designs that almost look like batik prints. Beyond the facade, the resto offers everything from breakfast feasts and healthy lunch bowls to themed cocktails with an Asian twist.
51 Soho, 51 Telok Ayer Street #01-01, Singapore 048441
Chuan Hung Noodles
This unassuming noodle place is a burst of Sichuan flavours. Hidden at a quaint spot in China Square, it offers Sichuan rice noodles and noodles with the choice of clear, red (spicy) or mixed (less spicy) soup options. If you can’t handle the heat, the less spicy option has just the right amount of kick. Go for the signature braised beef with a side of ox tongue.
Chuan Hung Noodles, 51 Telok Ayer Street #01-01 Singapore 048441
We’re kinda obsessed with MeatSmith’s brisket and fried chicken sandwiches, not to mention all the other juicy meats prepared on-site using smokers specially flown in from the States. Expect all the good stuff with just enough charred and fatty bits, comfort food including the best mac and cheese in town, and if you’re game for a serious feast, suckling pig.
MeatSmith, 167 & 169 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068620
Fu Lin Bar & Kitchen
Who’d ever guess that you could fuse hipsters and Yong Tau Fu together? At this trendy Yong Tau Fu spot, they serve delicious crispy Yong Tofu, served with minced chicken and mushroom broth and springy noodles. And guess what? When the sun goes down, this place turns into a stylish tapas bar!
Fu Lin Bar & Kitchen, 127 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068596
Moosehead Kitchen Bar
Nestled in a shop that’s endured since pre-war times, Moosehead Kitchen Bar features an array of palate-teasing Mediterranean food in a fun and laid-back ambience. The bar also offers a smorgasbord of fine beverages from new-world wines to boutique labels.
Moosehead Kitchen Bar, 10 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068579
The Tipsy Owl
Remember The Muffinry? The place has evolved, rebranded as Bakery & Bar, and is now known as The Tipsy Owl by Bakery & Bar. Don’t worry, loyal fans, you can still get your fave muffins, quiches and sandwiches made from bread baked in-house (or a baguette if you catch them on time!), but the scene changes after hours to a bar and restaurant vibe, with $5 bar bites on Fridays. Grab a charcuterie platter, or pizza and prosecco: this is one chill little spot worth checking out.
The Tipsy Owl, 112 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068581
The Market Grill
This snazzy, industrial-chic restaurant has us salivating with its sizzling meats and naturally flavourful seafood. The buttery chargrilled lobster is a top choice, as is its sinful burgers – for a unique take, try the Bleu Cheese ($25 for 150g, $33 for 200g). The complex beef patty burger comes with bleu cheese, sweet burnt onion marmalade, and bacon sandwiched in a walnut raisin bun.
The Market Grill, 208 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068642
The impressive range of wine available at this underrated bar and French bistro should very well please vino lovers. Sampling the South European labels by the glass is easy on the wallet too, with $8, $12, $18 and premium options to taste.
Napoleon, 206 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068641
One of the most affordable healthy options in the CBD, Sun Moon is a fruit shop that whips up nutritious, juices (think a combination of apple, beetroot and carrot for $3.50) and fresh salads for a mere $5 (that’s no typo!). We frequently pop in for a juice as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up – this is a real winner in our books.
SunMoon, 167 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068618
Manna Korean Restaurant
Manna serves up a fragrant and hearty ginseng chicken soup, as well as Korean cuisine staples like spicy tteokbokki (sliced rice cakes and vegetables in hot sauce), seafood pancakes and bibimbap.
Manna, 101-109 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068574
Sizzle things up with a good ol’ Japanese BBQ boasting a wide selection of beef cuts, flown in from Japan. If you’re looking for a wallet-friendly lunch, then be sure to check out their lunch specials that start from $8. A new lunch spot contender, perhaps?
Yakiniku-Oh, 122 Telok Ayer, Singapore 068591
If you are yearning for an Australian hipster café, this is your place. Sarnies was one of the first decent coffee shops to open in the CBD, with seating that spills out onto the pavement, so it’s a hotspot for meetings over coffee (and after-work drinks). It’s been one of our go-tos for coffee and lunch fare – yep, we still pop in even though the staff haven’t cracked a smile for four years…
Sarnies, 36 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068601
It’s safe to say that Korean BBQ lovers have plenty of options to choose from along Telok Ayer. A popular hangout spot for big groups, this Korean BBQ restaurant serves everything from flavourful beef cuts to dolsot bibimbap (bibimbap served in a hot stone bowl).
Magal BBQ, 123 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068592
Bumbu is an ideal spot for spice-loving folks looking to dig into scrumptious Thai-Indonesian cuisine. Some key dishes include tom yum seafood soup and pandan leaf chicken – perfect for sharing.
Bumbu, 125 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068594
My Awesome Cafe
With its Chinese medicinal store façade, and charming interior made up of random bits and bobs, My Awesome Café is absolutely endearing. The great range of salads makes for a satiating, healthy lunch – we can’t go past the My Awesome Salad, a generous portion of mesclun with smoked salmon, herbed chicken breast, duck rillettes, avocado and tomatoes.
My Awesome Café, 202 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068639
If your body’s screaming for a detox from the indulgent and not-so-diet-friendly grub around the area, you’re in luck. Shake Farm will save your diet with shakes, breakfast bowls, protein bowls, acai bowls and super toasts. we’ve been craving the avocado and feta cheese toast ever since we tried it!. For guilt-free after-work drinks in the evening, the space transforms into a healthy bar with organic cocktails, biodynamic wine, gluten-free organic beers and healthy tapas. Oh, and if you’re looking for a quiet meeting spot or a quick workout, levels two and three have a cosy workspace and offer yoga, pilates and boxercise classes.
Shake Farm, 126 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068595
If you’re in need for an affordable Indonesian feast that doesn’t skimp on flavour, then hop down to Nusantara Cuisine. This laid-back nasi padang eatery has a pretty straightforward menu of Indonesian classics like nasi goreng cabe hijau (green chilli fried rice) and beef noodles. Order the Teh Tarik for a midday caffeine boost. You’re welcome.
Nusantara Cuisine, 171 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068621
Gold Ocean Curry Fish Head
The go-to place for those with a hankering for authentic fish head curry, this seafood restaurant has stood the test of time and continues to draw in the crowds with its winning recipe and quality ingredients. Heads up: the queues here can get pretty insane, so go for an early (or late late) lunch!
Gold Ocean Curry Fish Head, 181 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068629
Chong Wen Ge Cafe
Nestled within Thian Hock Keng (Singapore’s oldest Chinese temple), Chong Wen Ge is a vibrant Peranakan cafe that serves heritage dishes with a modern approach, and an awesome spread of kueh. We’ll admit it: we’re suckers for beautiful decor and this place delivers with its gorgeous tiled tables and heritage setting. Get the full review of Chong Wen Ge Cafe on our sister site HoneyKids.
Chong Wen Ge Cafe, 168 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068619
Offering freshly baked croissants, Pantler does a rendition of the traditional French pastry that consistently wins us over. Beautifully crusted with buttery texture and a soft, fluffy consistency, Pantler’s chou a la crème – priced from $4.90 – are definitely worth a try!
Pantler, 198 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068637
Royz et Vous
Once located in Bali Lane, Royz Et Vous is now thriving in our very own Honeycombers ’hood of Telok Ayer. Mains here are nothing short of spectacular, with classic dishes like herb-crusted salmon, steak and smoked duck with roasted potatoes. But one thing that puts this restaurant ahead of the game is its Halal wines (yup, you read that right) – these have been de-alcoholised through vacuum distillation.
Royz Et Vous, 137 Telok Ayer Street #01-01, Singapore 068602
Perk by Kate
Take a respite from the food (and heat) and enter Perk by Kate’s intimate boutique just above Plain Vanilla Bakery. Expect to find a great selection of lingerie brands including Perk by Kate, Eberjey, Timpa, Addiction Lingerie and Commando. There are also sizes for fuller-bust women, bralettes, lace slips and even a maternity range. The brand also practices sustainability by offering complimentary strap changes, band tightening and band replacement for delicates purchased at Perk by Kate. Oh, and we gotta talk about that lovely boutique! It’s filled with blush and deep blue hues and rose gold accents that scream French chic. You’ll never want to leave.
Perk by Kate, 134A Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068600
Odds ‘N’ Collectables
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Odds N Collectables is a prime example. Opening hours are up to the owner, Telok Ayer icon Mr Juzer, but you’ll often catch him after lunchtime on weekdays. His collection of vintage collectables, trinkets and nostalgic local treasures include cool oddities and legit collectors’ pieces: have a chat with Juzer and you’ll learn just how serious a collector he is! We’ve snapped up everything from vintage coffee cups to antique kueh molds, cool posters and original rattan chairs here.
Odds ‘N’ Collectables, 128 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068597
Want to dress to impress? Then Q Menswear is the way the go. The menswear label, which was founded just four years ago, offers ready-to-wear casual apparel, accessories, and grooming tools. But if you’re looking for something more unique, they do bespoke too.
Q Menswear, 116A Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068585
Founded by local shoe aficionado, Donovan, and having recently relocated to Telok Ayer, Custom Made is the go-to place for bespoke shoes for men. No ‘middle-men’ involved in the selling process means that Custom Made is able to offer quality dress shoes for the fraction of the cost. Also, with a huge variety of colours and customisation to select from, on top of using premium genuine leather, you can definitely expect the finest quality of shoes here. Still unsure if this is your best bet? Its comprehensive step-by-step customisation guide can help you understand the process. By the way, do check out the instructions on how to find the CustomMade showroom as it can be tricky to locate – look for stairway S94 on Telok Ayer St, next to Ying Fo Fui Kun, a Chinese National Monument.
CustomMade, 82 Telok Ayer Street, #02-04, Singapore 048467
Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre
Did you think Telok Ayer was gonna be all about food? Think again! This culturally-rich enclave also has a plethora of historic landmarks that would excite any culture vulture. Take a peek inside Nagore Dargah – arguably one of the more prominent landmarks in the area – and you’ll find a gallery that showcases Singapore’s Indian Muslim culture and heritage.
Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre, 140 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068604
Ying Fo Fui Kun
Another historic landmark to check off the list is Ying Fo Fui Kun. It’s the home to Singapore’s Hakka clan association – a smaller Chinese dialect group. And while centuries have passed since its construction, its heyday is far from over, with meetings and events still held there to this day.
Ying Fo Fui Kun, 98 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 048474
Thian Hock Keng temple
A visit to Telok Ayer is never complete without checking out this marvel of ancient Southern Chinese architecture! Singapore’s oldest Hokkien temple has been a familiar sight in this area since 1839, and is now a must-visit for tourists looking to explore Singapore’s rich and diverse history.
Thian Hock Keng, 158 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068613
Beng Kong Ee Seah
Ever been curious about acupuncture? Steel your nerves and book an appointment at acupuncture centre, Bee Kong Ee Seah. There, the resident acupuncturist will insert needles in specific chi paths, practising a healing art that is widely believed to have many health benefits.
Bee Kong Ee Seah, 210 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068643
Sandwiched between shophouses, this low-key mosque is one of first few mosques ever to be built in Singapore. A place of worship among Tamil Muslims back in the 1850s, this mosque was later refurbished to accommodate 900 people, a whopping five times its original capacity.
Al-Abrar Mosque, 192 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068635
Singapore Musical Box Museum
Venture within the ancient confines of Thian Hock Keng temple, and you might spot this museum that houses an extensive collection of musical boxes that date back centuries. Fun fact: these artefacts were left behind from European settlers back in the day.
Singapore Musical Box Museum, 168 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068619
Telok Ayer Green
On cooler days, have your lunch at Telok Ayer Green and watch the world go by. Located behind the Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre and Thian Hock Keng temple, this spot gives you a quick history lesson on Telok Ayer’s origins and the Malay fishing community (who were also the first residents of the hood). The sculptures around the area paint quite a picture and depict the simple life from the past.
Telok Ayer Green, Telok Ayer St (behind Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre and Thian Hock Keng temple)
Aside from being a beautiful place to work out and its convenient location, Level keeps fitness interesting with a huge variety of original, high-end equipment that creates a different, dynamic and fresh routine every time you visit – there’s not a running machine in sight! Whether you’re looking for boxing, weight-lifting, toning, or cardio, you’ll find a bit of everything at Level.
Level Gym, #01-03, 137 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068602
The Yoga Mandala
Relax, recharge and rejuvenate at Telok Ayer’s only yoga studio. All it takes is a short climb up the stairs to find this hidden sanctuary of stress-free vibes in the midst of this buzzing street. Classes are available for drop-ins, beginners, and advanced yogis. Remember to bring a mat!
The Yoga Mandala, 134 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068600
SPAS AND SALONS
While not exactly a men’s only spa, Beaute Hub is an award-winning spa and skincare specialist that caters to both sexes. Here, they provide an array of services such as body contouring and slimming, skincare and spa. For the lads, highlights of its face, body slimming and spa services include Beaute Hub microdermabrasion, Beaute Hub Meso Body Slim Therapy and Beaute Hub Body Scrubs and Wraps with Tourmaline Hot Stone Sauna. The friendly staff at the outlets will walk you through the treatments to find one that best matches your needs.
Beaute Hub, 124 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068593
Okay, we admit it: a reflexology sesh can sometimes be a little torturous, but there’s nothing like a good kneading from a relentless reflexologist to get us back on track. Ancient Therapy on Telok Ayer is a traditional Chinese massage studio – we’re talking multiple massages going on in a room – but for us, it absolutely hits the spot when we need to turn the lunch break into an emergency therapy session. We’ve popped in for just a 15-minute massage, and this is one of the most affordable places in town, so no excuses: squeeze in a treat.
Ancient Therapy, 184 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068631, call 6223 3873 to make a booking