Tiong Bahru maybe Singapore’s oldest housing estate, but it is also one of the more interesting residential neighbourhoods to visit. With a mix of unique architecture, quirky boutiques, and good old-fashioned traditions and food, here’s our list of the top 5 things to do in Tiong Bahru.
From heritage tours to a garden of singing bird cages, there’s nowhere quite as inspiring as Singapore’s trendy Tiong Bahru neighbourhood.
Food Trip at Tiong Bahru Market
Eggs benny, French pastries and speciality coffees not doing it for you? Start your day with a local hearty meal at Tiong Bahru Market instead. This hawker institution is home to some of Singapore’s best local food, including Chwee Kueh, prawn noodles, roast meat and even a Michelin Bib Gourmand chicken rice stall.
The Kampung spirit is very much alive in this market and everyone knows each other here! More than just special discounts, the patrons and stall vendors share a special bond and often chit-chat about their children. This unique relationship cannot be easily replicated elsewhere – much less in a supermarket setting.
One of our favourite flower stalls is also located here, grab some flowers and continue the rest of the trip.
Tiong Bahru Market
30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898
Walk down the geometric art deco shophouses
Singapore is a concrete jungle but you’ll be surprised to find that most housings in Tiong Bahru are low rise, unlike your conventional HDB Flats. Although built in the 1930s, the buildings were inspired by our modern transport system and resemble automobiles, trains, and aeroplanes.
The buildings here have gone through several facelifts but much of its low-rise pre-war buildings have been honoured and preserved. Just like everything else in Tiong Bahru, there is a story behind these establishments. The architecture is a blend of local and foreign and takes inspiration from public British housing. Designed in a unique horseshoe shape and accompanied by spiral staircases and courtyards, these buildings make an aesthetically pleasing backdrop for your #ootd.
Go cafe hopping
Tiong Bahru is a hipster haven of cafes that are perfect to grab a cuppa and have a leisurely brunch. Ready your cameras and be prepared for an onslaught of Instagramming patrons. Perennial favourites include the flagship Plain Vanilla Bakery and its delicious cupcakes, the stellar coffee at Forty Hands and the croissants of Tiong Bahru Bakery. Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry the famous family-run store is well-known for its array of Nyonya sweets and baked treats – don’t be surprised to find a queue here. It does things the traditional way, which means you’ll find an array of old school cakes and pastries to satiate your cravings. But there are plenty of cafe options available, as well as restaurants for more substantial meals.
Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry
Blk 55 Tiong Bahru Road, #01-39
71 Seng Poh Road, #01-35
Check out indie boutiques
You won’t find popular brands in the alleyways of Tiong Bahru, so be on the lookout for cute indie boutiques showcasing curated fashion and quirky retail concepts. Check out Nana & Bird, which stocks local and international designers, then get your fill of nostalgic tunes over at vinyl record shop Curated Records. Afterwards, pick up some lovely flower bouquets at One Olive.
Chill out at night
Look out for some surprises in Tiong Bahru’s streets when the sun goes down. Bincho @ Hua Bee is a traditional mee pok noodle stall in the day that turns into a hip yakitori joint by night, complete with a secret bar entrance near the back. Also popular is Coq & Balls, a cheekily named gastro bar with a healthy selection of alcohol, and so is Lin Rooftop Bar, which offers a great view with your cocktails on the roof of Link Hotel.
You can never discover Tiong Bahru all in one day, even a few visits we couldn’t explore all of the places. Now we are back to dine-in it is time to explore more places. At the same time keep in mind to keep a distance and stay safe.