Where to hang out in Singapore's burgeoning neighborhood.

Those in the know have always loved Tiong Bahru for its white-washed art deco architecture and some of the best local food around. Yet over the past year, so many funky cafés and stores have opened their doors that it now vies with Duxton Hill and the Arab Quarter for the title of Singapore’s trendiest neighborhood. Here’s 13 good reasons to spend your weekend there.

1. Open Door Policy

A newbie from chef-owner Ryan Clift of the Tippling Club, partnering with Spa Esprit and Harry Grover of 40 Hands, this casual bistro is already drawing the crowds.

2. Books Actually

Embrace your inner bookworm at this delightful indie store. They stock the widest collection of Singapore literary publications including some out-of-print titles. And they host the fortnightly Babette’s Feast literary get-together.

3. Strangelets

Having moved from Amoy Street, Strangelets is still one of the best spots in town for cool lamps, accessories, bags, notebooks and other unusual objets d’art.

4. Bhutan Shop

Dedicated to all things Bhutan, this space carries a small selection of contemporary works by Bhutanese artists (with 20 percent of sales donated to transport children books to Bhutan’s rural schools), organic teas, handmade bags and other lifestyle products. They also organize specially curated tours of the country.

5. 40 Hands

Unbeatable coffee and a convivial vibe (they’re packed every weekend) continue to make this year-old joint the place to see and be seen in.

6. Nana & Bird

What started out as a pop-up concept store is now a staple among trendy young things. Highlights here include accessories by local brand By Invite Only and ready to wear by emerging Guangzhou label aijek. It only opens on weekends, 11am-7pm.

7. White Canvas

Setting the tone here since 2009, this truly indie gallery is a friendly and welcoming space showcasing emerging local and regional artists. Currently on show through November are the watercolor works of Ong Kim Seng.

8. Thrive

Not just a regular fitness center, newbie Thrive specializes in workouts that focus on natural human movement patterns, with personal trainers watching over your every move (in a good way). Rates start at $96 for an introductory session.

9. Flea & Trees

Opened just last month, this is a treasure trove of eclectic vintage furniture, clothes, accessories, books, ceramics, homeware and magazines, mostly one-of-a-kind, founded by designer Terence Yeung and his wife Bella Koh.

10. Nostalgia Hotel

Quaint and charming (even if the rooms are incredibly small), we often come here to watch football at the alfresco bar Potion out front. You should, too.

11. The Orange Thimble

A great place for brunch or an espresso. Highlights include its Breakfast Burger and the BBC (bacon, brie and cranberry), with artworks adorning its wall and a nice open space out back.

12. Drips

This old-school-styled café and bakery is one of the newer additions here, dedicated to whipping up sweet and savory treats as well as coffee standards.

13. Foodie Market Place

A great alternative to Cold Storage, with friendlier service to boot. Cheese, ice cream, yogurt and coffee grounds are well-stocked at this new spot—great if you’re passing through on your way home.


Dining Retail Art Hotel Fitness


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