20 Best Things to Do in Tiong Bahru — Singapore's Hipster Enclave

20 Best Things to Do in Tiong Bahru — Singapore’s Hipster Enclave

Lose yourself in the heritage, food, and art of this beautiful neighbourhood.

Most Singaporeans know Tiong Bahru for its trendy cafes and Insta-worthy vibes. However is there anything beyond its vibrant coffee culture? As an avid explorer of this little enclave in Singapore, I can confidently say: Yes! 

After spending many a weekend here, I’ve stumbled upon plenty of hidden gems that go beyond hipster hangouts. From ambient art galleries to Michelin-approved restaurants, here are 20 of the best things to do in Tiong Bahru, as recommended by a local! 

Also read: 34 Singlish Phrases to Know Before Visiting Singapore

Galleries and murals along Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail

1. Admire the architecture of Tiong Bahru neighbourhood

Did you know that Blocks 81 and 82 along Tiong Poh Road were known to early residents as the Airplane Flats, because of how they resemble airplane wings? They were designed by architect Alfred G. Church, and they remain a popular spot in Tiong Bahru today. 

In fact, most of the buildings in the neighbourhood resemble automobiles, trains, ocean liners, and more. So the next time you’re in the vicinity, make sure to try checking out these uniquely designed buildings! 

2. Mural-hop along Tiong Bahru

tiong bahru mural

Image credit: cattan2011

While you’re admiring the unique architecture of the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, why not track down murals like the ones pictured above too? 

Mural-hopping in Tiong Bahru is a fun activity that may even take up your whole afternoon as there are plenty of fun murals to discover in the area. I recommend starting at 73 Eng Watt Street and 69 Seng Poh Road since they are the most popular murals. 

3. Take in Vietnamese art at ArtBlue Studio

Guided by the principle that “Art transcends cultural boundaries”, founder Phuong Nguyen set out to showcase the varied talents of Vietnamese contemporary artists at ArtBlue Studio.

As you stroll about the quiet space, you’ll be able to treat yourself to an ambient, artsy afternoon. While checking out the creative pieces, you’ll also be able to get a little insight into the lives of the artists that created them. 

Opening hours: Wed and Thu: 10am to 6pm; Fri: 10am to 7pm; Sat and Sun: 9am to 7pm
Address: 23 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru, Singapore 168652

4. Behold fine artworks at Degiosart Gallery

Founded by a former Italian banker, Giuseppe De Giosa, Degiosart Gallery puts antiques, vintage and contemporary fine objects and artworks on display, thus giving them a new purpose. 

From sculptures and exotic paintings, to textiles from Europe, there are plenty of delicate artworks to admire here. What’s more, the collection frequently changes so each showroom feels a little different depending on when you visit.  

Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 10am to 7pm
Address: 1092 Lower Delta Rd, #07-02, Singapore 169203

5. Be immersed in the all-in-one Grey Projects

tiong bahru gallery

Image credit: Grey Projects

A non-profit art space, Grey Projects serves as a library, residency apartment, and two galleries — all at the same time. Their residency apartment attracts international artists, who stay to observe and create art from local Singaporean culture. 

Many of their residency artists have their work displayed outside the art space like the National Gallery Singapore. But it is here where the magic happens. 

Opening hours: Wed to Fri: 1pm to 7pm; Sat: 1pm to 6pm 
Address: 6B Kim Tian Rd, Kai Fook Mansion, Singapore 169246

Things to eat in Tiong Bahru

6. Dine at the famous Michelin-approved Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice

Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice received its Michelin Bib Gourmand for the sixth consecutive year in 2022! Established 30 years ago, the food stall has set itself apart from other stalls through its speciality of blanched chicken and ngo hiang rolls (five-spice mince meat rolls) handmade by the owner himself. 

If you’re ever in Tiong Bahru, make sure not to miss the chance to sample this incredibly delicious delicacy! 

Opening hours: Tue to Sun: 10am to 8pm 
Address: Tiong Bahru Market #02-82, 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898

7. Feast at the popular Sin Hoi Sai Seafood Restaurant

With over 30 years of history, Sin Hoi Sai has made a name for itself by only offering the freshest live seafood. Don’t miss the famous local favourites of chilli and black pepper crab; the local tze char dishes are also good. 

Here’s a local tip: Choose to dine outside for a more relaxing atmosphere at this eatery listed in Singapore’s Michelin Guide. 

Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 4pm to 4am
Address: 55 Tiong Bahru Road, #01-59 Singapore 160055

8. Experience day-to-night dual concept dining at Bincho Singapore

Blink once and you may miss this hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Bincho Singapore.  Inspired by Osaka’s yakitori-ya (traditional small grilling stalls), this eatery offers authentic Japanese dining with a literal local twist.  

That’s because, in the morning, Bincho sells old school mee pok (a local Singapore must-eat) — before transforming into a modern open-concept yakitori bar at night. 

Housed within a 70-year old coffee house, this dual concept eatery is one of my favourite spots in the area. Sipping on Japanese-inspired cocktails while enjoying fresh yakitori is definitely one of the best things to do in Tiong Bahru! 

Opening hours: Tues to Wed: 6pm to 12am; Thu to Sun: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 12am
Address: 78 Moh Guan Terrace, #01-19, Singapore 162078

9. Take away sweet treats from Tiong Bahru Galicier Confectionery

Selling handmade nonya kuehs at Tiong Bahru since the 1970s, Tiong Bahru Galicier Confectionery has been attracting a steady stream of customers with its mouth-watering treats. 

The bakery constantly upgrades its menu so you can expect a little something different with each visit.  In addition to their old-school treats, Galicier Confectionery also offers German-style black wheat bread, brownies, jelly cakes, and more.

Opening hours: Mon to Sat: 10am to 8pm 
Address: Blk 55 Tiong Bahru Rd, #01-39, Singapore 160055

10. Soak in the heritage at House of Peranakan Petit

House of Peranakan Petit’s founder, Bob Seah, has clinched awards for his home-cooked Nonya food during his time at the former Negara Hotel. 

Featured in The New York Times, Asian Wall Street Journal and The Straits Times, Seah has been introducing many traditional and delicious dishes such as Ayam Buah Keluak (chicken, tamarind gravy, and buah keluak nuts), Bakwan Kepiting (tender crab, pork and fish meatballs in a delicate broth) and Babi Pongteh (Nonya braised pork stew) to his diners since 1985. 

When you dine at House of Peranakan Petit, you’re sure to be in for an unforgettable culinary experience. Definitely one of the must-try things in Tiong Bahru. 

Opening hours: Mon, Wed to Sun: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm 
Address: 42 Eng Hoon Street, Singapore 169785

11. Slurp some yummy noodles at Tiong Bahru Yong Tao Hu

Since 1989, Tiong Bahru Yong Tao Hu has been a household name with its daily handmade yong tao hu (a Hakka Chinese food, which literally means “stuffed tofu”). Hands down one of the best yong tao hu in Singapore, their authentic 1980s secret recipe is sure not to disappoint. 

Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 7am to 4.30pm 
Address: 56 Enghoon Street #01-46, Singapore 160056

Check out Insta-worthy cafes

12. Feast at the award-winning Tiong Bahru Bakery

One of the best things to do in Tiong Bahru is obviously to check out the trendy cafes! 

Known for their delectable award-winning croissants, the cosy Tiong Bahru Bakery became the cafe for hipsters when the term was floating all over the internet. 

The cafe uses all-natural ingredients for its bakery products in order to promote healthy and sustainable living. Some of their best-sellers include their chocolate danish, squid ink sandwich, and 100% sourdough waffle. Enjoy the tasty treats with your fur kid alongside you as the bakery is pet-friendly!

Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 7.30am to 8pm
Address: 56 Eng Hoon St, #01-70, Singapore 160056

13. Be enticed by the unique concept of Sevens Kissaten

Often only known through word of mouth, Sevens Kissaten is a secret we’ll let you in on. During the day, it’s a dual-concept cafe and a Japanese-style tearoom. At night, it’s a Kappo-style (to cut and to cook) omakase named Sevens Kappo.

For the uninitiated, omakase is a unique dining concept where the chef has full control over your meal. They will prepare dishes that they think you would like best and serve them up fresh! 

Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 8.30am to 5.30pm
Address: 58 Seng Poh Road, #01-15 Singapore, Singapore 160058

14. Indulge in sweet treats at Drips Bakery Cafe

Drips Coffee’s charm lies in their sweet bakes being perfect for every occasion. The cafe rolls out new themed designs for many public holidays, such as scary wacky designs for Halloween and the patriotic National flag for National Day. 

From their cakes and scrummy tarts to cookies and scones served with homemade jam, Drips Coffee is the perfect cafe in Tiong Bahru to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 9am to 9pm
Address: 82 Tiong Poh Road, #01-05, 82, Singapore 160082

15. Savour gluten-free foods at The Butcher’s Wife

The Butcher’s Wife is that rare thing: A cosy backstreet bistro that delivers hearty, modern, and gluten-free European dishes. Go easy on your gut with the stellar menu featuring meals such as chargrilled Spanish octopus, fluffy baked focaccia, and the marinated chicken thigh dosa. 

That’s because I recommend combining a trip to The Butcher’s Wife with a dessert raid at the aforementioned Drips Bakery Cafe for the perfect day out at Tiong Bahru! 

Opening hours: Tue to Sun: 11.30am to 3pm, 5pm to 9.30pm
Address: 19 Yong Siak Street, Yong Siak View, Singapore 168650

16. Chill at Flock Cafe

Run by four siblings, this Tiong Bahru old-timer wins hearts with its deliberately relaxed atmosphere. If you’re hard-pressed to find good vegetarian options in cafes, you’ve no need to worry at Flock Cafe as they offer vegetarian options in their classic all-day breakfasts, sandwiches, and salads. 

Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 8am to 10pm
Address: 78 Moh Guan Terrace, #01-25, Singapore 162078

Also read: Top 5 Cafes in Singapore for Solo Dining

Rediscover the joy of childhood

17. Go on an adventure at Tiong Bahru Park Playground

Perfect for the young at heart, the Tiong Bahru Park Playground is open to all ages! The most iconic part of the playground is its beautiful Tilting Train which doubles up as a tricky obstacle course. 

You can also find a mini climbing wall and two flying fox courses here! On top of the fun workout, you could take a stroll in the Therapeutic Garden filled with horticulture wonder, which will undeniably be a reprieve from a stressful day. 

Continue your day out in nature by trekking through the nearby Henderson Waves Trails

Lighting hours: 7am to 7pm
Address: 1 Henderson Rd, Singapore 159561

Also read: ​​23 Nature & Hiking Trails in Singapore To Discover on Your Weekends

Hunt for souvenirs at local artisanal shops

18. Flip through illustrations in the whimsical Woods in the Books

The storefront is sure to catch your eye as you walk past with its bright colours and wall drawings. Woods in the Books has a focused collection of picture books, comics, and graphic novels which make for awesome gifts and keepsakes. 

You can also pick up engaging publications written by locals here. 

Opening hours: Mon: 10am to 6pm, Wed to Sat: 10am to 7pm, Sun: 10am to 6pm
Address: 3 Yong Siak St, Singapore 168642

19. Sift through timeless pieces at Nana and Bird

Established in 2010 by two fashion-loving friends, Nana and Bird considers itself  “a  timeless fashion company for the self-assured women” and its main principle is simply to “sell what they want”. 

Here you can find clothing and accessories from local and Aussie brands. Add to that its hole-in-the-wall charm, and Nana and Bird becomes one of the top things to do in Tiong Bahru for avid shoppers! 

Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 11am to 6pm; Sat to Sun: 10am to 5pm
Address: 1 Yong Siak St, Singapore 168641

20. Bring out the best in your fur kids at Mewtants and Woofs

You may have heard of the well-loved stray cat in Tiong Bahru. Bobby, an amazingly friendly tabby that welcomes all visitors to the neighbourhood by snuggling up against them.

In a neighbourhood well-known for its residents’ love for animals, it’s no wonder a pet grooming store has opened a shop here. Mewtants and Woofs is a professional grooming studio that brings out the best in your furry lovelies. For pet lovers, make sure to visit to bring a souvenir home for your fur kid! 

Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 10.30am to 6.30pm
Address: 70 Seng Poh Lane, #01-04, Singapore 160070

Also read: Singapore Souvenirs: 27 Unique Things to Bring Home

And there you have it — the best things to do in Tiong Bahru, as recommended by a local hipster!  

About Author

Tamlyn Richards

Tamlyn enjoys collecting mementos, from flight tickets to photo booth pictures, for her journal entries. She can often be found trawling the internet for the next rom-com or horror show to binge when she isn't planning for her next getaway.