A Local Guide to Joo Chiat, Singapore: Food, Shopping, and More!

A Local Guide to Joo Chiat, Singapore: Food, Shopping, and More!

Dive deep into this unique neighbourhood!

As someone born and bred in Singapore, I’ve spent most of my life exploring Singapore’s various estates, and my specialty lies in places located in the east region of Singapore. So in this article, I’ll be sharing about one of my favourite local east-side neighbourhoods: Joo Chiat. Joo Chiat, Singapore, is a relaxed, yet fun neighbourhood that offers a fantastic blend of tradition and modernity. It’s home to streets of hipster cafes, traditional shops, and local and international cuisines. I highly recommend Joo Chiat as a must-visit attraction in Singapore for any traveller, especially for those who appreciate a more laid-back atmosphere!

Over the years, super-cool shops and establishments have been popping up all over Joo Chiat. As such, the district has been steadily growing in popularity amongst locals and international visitors. For a unique, relaxing experience in Singapore, I highly recommend spending at least half a day, or even up to two full days exploring the abundance of hidden gems nestled within Joo Chiat

This Joo Chiat guide is a collection of my top-recommended places to visit in Joo Chiat. These are places I’ve personally visited before, and found perfect for eating, photography, shopping, and chilling with animals!

Also read: 15 Best Brunch Cafes in Singapore That Locals Rave About

A local guide to outstanding places in Joo Chiat, Singapore

Pet cafes

1. Snow Pawttage

Joo chiat singapore

Image credit: Courtesy of Emily Yue

You might’ve heard of the samoyed: a huge, playful dog that boasts fluffy snow-like fur and looks like it is always smiling. We don’t often see samoyeds in tropical Singapore, but there’s a samoyed cafe in Joo Chiat where you can get up close with these super-cute dogs! Snow Pawttage is the only samoyed-only dog cafe in Singapore, having opened just a few months ago.

Image credit (L–R): Courtesy of Emily Yue, Esther Yue

Snow Pawttage is home to a total of eight fluffy samoyeds, known in short as ‘sammies’. You can tell them apart by looking at their adorable coloured tails! I visited Snow Pawttage with my friends, and we found the sammies really friendly and excitable. One might even come and sit on your lap — if you’re the chosen one! Visiting Snow Pawttage is one of the best things to do in Joo Chiat for a one-of-a-kind experience. Fun fact: the sammies have quirky Korean names!

TripZilla Tip: Visitors are required to make a reservation with Snow Pawttage through its Instagram, Facebook, or XHS!

Estimated cost: The entrance fee is S$40 on weekdays, and S$45 on weekends, public holidays, and the eve of public holidays. 

Note: Children aged 8-11 years old must be accompanied by at least 2 adults, while children aged 12-15 years must be accompanied by at least 1 adult. Children must be at least 8 years old to enter Snow Pawttage.

Best food places in Joo Chiat

One of the best things about Joo Chiat is its amazing food scene. While some of its food stops may seem unassuming, don’t overlook them — from traditional to hipster cuisine and local to international cuisine, you’ll find many options in the neighbourhood! Furthermore, there are lots of places where you can get a delicious full meal under S$10. Eating in Joo Chiat is an absolute must-do experience! 

2. Bánh mì 233

things to do Joo chiat

Image credit: Esther Yue

In Joo Chiat, you’ll discover a myriad of small eateries selling authentic Vietnamese cuisine — and Bánh mì 233 is one of my favourites! As its name suggests, Bánh mì 233 specialises in bánh mì: a popular Vietnamese dish that typically consists of French-style baguette bread, meat, fresh vegetables, and pâté (a flavourful paste made of ground meat or fish with different seasonings).

I absolutely love the bánh mì here, which is always bursting with flavour. In particular, the pâté is deliciously savoury without an overpowering gamey scent. The bánh mì tastes even better when paired with the in-house Thai green milk tea, oolong milk tea, or sweet Vietnamese coffee. Bánh mì 233 also sells other delicious Vietnamese dishes, so if you have an appreciation for Vietnamese cuisine in general, make sure to drop by this eatery when you visit Joo Chiat!

Estimated cost: S$6-15

Fun fact: Joo Chiat is a bánh mì hotspot. I’ve tried two other amazing bánh mì eateries in Joo Chiat: Bánh Mì 29 and Joo Chiat Bánh Mì Cà Phê

3. Ang Moh Noodle House

Image credit: Courtesy of Emily Yue

Ang Moh Noodle House definitely gets a spot in the food section of this Joo Chiat guide for being one of the best places in Joo Chiat to enjoy delicious local cuisine served at wallet-friendly prices. Its specialty is its wanton mee — a staple local dish consisting of thin noodles (often made from egg), meat dumplings, and a small serving of char siew (barbecued pork) and vegetables. Wanton mee can either be served dry or in soup. 

When I come to Ang Moh Noodle House with my family or friends, one of our go-to dishes is the signature dry wanton mee. It’s served with a portion of in-house chilli, which really gives an added edge of savouriness to the noodles and makes it extra satisfying, especially for chilli lovers. If you’re trying to cut the carbs, the wanton soup (dumpling soup) here is an equally great choice. 

Estimated cost: S$6-10

4. Kim Choo Kueh Chang

Joo chiat food

Image credit: Courtesy of Emily Yue

If you’re looking for tasty traditional food that’s hard to find beyond Southeast Asia, make sure to drop by Kim Choo Kueh Chang when in Joo Chiat! Kim Choo Kueh Chang is a local Peranakan heritage brand renowned for its Nyonya kueh chang (Nyonya rice dumplings). The famous kueh chang comprises the basic ingredients of glutinous rice and meat, and is made using a well-kept family recipe that was created over 70 years ago. I grew up eating a lot of rice dumplings from this shop, and could eat one kueh chang for a full meal.

Fun fact: Kim Choo Kueh Chang is a Made With Passion brand, which is awarded to local homegrown brands that have built an enduring reputation based on hard work, passion and reliable products.

Estimated cost: S$3-10 for one kueh chang

5. Kōhī Roastery & Coffee Bar

Image credit (L–R): Courtesy of Jean Chua, Esther Yue 

For a quirky experience involving some good, strong coffee, check out Kōhī Roastery & Coffee Bar, a little coffee store that features a hole-in-the-wall concept. Upon purchasing your beverage, the staff will literally hand it to you through the hole in the wall. This very moment is also a fantastic photo opportunity!

Something unique about Kōhī is its unique coffee blend known as the Red Dot, which incorporates citrus and tropical fruits. One of the signature drinks here is the Kohito: a cold blend of black coffee, mint, and milk. 

Estimated cost: S$5–8

6. Common Man Coffee Roasters

Joo chiat cafes

Image credit (L-R): Common Man Coffee Roasters | Official Facebook Page, Esther Yue 

I highly recommend Common Man Coffee Roasters as one of the best Joo Chiat cafes to enjoy a hearty meal in a pretty ambience. Firstly, the food here is superb, and the portions are pretty generous. The menu here is extremely comprehensive, with a wide range of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and dessert items. My personal favourite dish is the hearty Common Man Full Breakfast, which includes eggs, bacon, herbed tomato, with a choice of sourdough or wholemeal toast. 

Located at the edge of 185 Joo Chiat Road, the cafe is easy to spot, especially with its super-cool seating areas. If you sit outdoors, you might even see other patrons enjoying their meal with their fur-kids! 

Estimated cost: S$25-40 per pax

Also read: 15 Best Study Spots in Singapore, From Cafes to Libraries

Unique, photo-worthy spots in Joo Chiat

7. Peranakan Houses

Joo chiat guide

Image credit: mehdi33300 via Canva Pro

This Joo Chiat guide would not be complete without this place: the colourful Peranakan Houses located along 287 Joo Chiat Road, which is probably the most iconic landmark in the entire Joo Chiat neighbourhood. These buildings are actually heritage Peranakan-style shophouses, and are among the few remaining shophouses in Singapore. Thanks to their striking beauty, lots of tourists and photographers flock to the Peranakan Houses in hopes of getting an aesthetic photo. For a unique sightseeing cum photo-taking experience, I’d recommend a quick visit — 30 to 45 minutes should be more than sufficient. You’re guaranteed some really pretty photos here. Moreover, viewing the colourful houses is free of charge!

Shopping in Joo Chiat

8. Little Farms

Joo chiat guide

Image credit: Little Farms Katong Point | Official Facebook Page

Nowadays, I find myself becoming increasingly interested in grocery shopping — which is why Little Farms is my choice recommendation when it comes to Joo Chiat shopping spots. Little Farms is a Singapore-based gourmet grocery chain that sources food and organic produce from independent suppliers and farmers from Australia, Europe, and other countries. 

With its wide range of fresh produce that’s not always found in other local supermarkets, Little Farms is a good place to tick off your grocery shopping list with great satisfaction. Moreover, the outlet in Joo Chiat is equipped with a butcher counter, coffee kiosk, and bistro. While there are other Little Farms outlets in Singapore, the one in Joo Chiat is one of the largest!

Navigation tip: The Little Farms outlet in Joo Chiat is located in Katong Point, along 451 Joo Chiat Road

Estimated cost: It depends!

Also read: Inside Out 2 Singapore Festival is at Gardens by the Bay Until June 22

Joo Chiat is truly one of the best neighbourhoods in Singapore every traveller should visit for an unforgettable experience. With its laid-back atmosphere and unique shops, there’s always something fun for everyone to do. Hopefully, this curated Joo Chiat guide has inspired you to make a trip down to experience some of Joo Chiat’s best gems!

Featured image credit: mehdi33300 via Canva Pro

About Author

Esther Yue
Esther Yue

Esther is an inquisitive girl who enjoys uncovering the depths of life. She loves exploring new places and cultures. While travelling, she never skips the roller coaster rides in the amusement parks. In her natural habitat, you’ll probably catch her with a book and an iced drink, listening to some good music.