Your cheat sheet to all the best restaurants, shops and things to do in the main areas of the city centre including Ann Siang Road, Club Street, Gemmill Lane, Telok Ayer Street and Amoy Street.
Guide to Telok Ayer
Telok Ayer may have taken its name from the Malay community (it translates to ‘bay’ and ‘water’, respectively), but the area was mainly populated by Chinese immigrants back in the day. Originally a coastal road situated along the island’s old waterfront, the street has transformed itself into a buzzing lifestyle district, teeming with restaurants and bars to feed the CBD office crowd. Pay a visit to one of the museums around the area or pop into the lean shophouses that dot the strip, where boutiques, gyms and a dance studio are tucked away.
Guide to Amoy Street
Anyone who tells you Amoy Street is 'boring' has clearly never stepped foot down the lane before. Because trust us, it's the complete opposite of that. Previously known for its opium-smoking dens during the British colonial era, the shophouses lined along this one-way street now house chic cafés, bars and even gyms. But if you'd like to have a taste of Singaporean flavour, hit up the hawker centre in the area that's always buzzing with people.
Guide to Ann Siang Road and Club Street
Named after Chia Ann Siang, a wealthy businessman, Ann Siang road is home to restored shophouses (some are still decorated with Peranakan tiles) that house clan associations, restaurants, bars and niche boutiques. There’s also a hidden green space behind the row of shophouses for a quiet stroll. On Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm to 1am, both Ann Siang Road and Club Street – the name comes from the Chinese clubs that used to line the stretch – come to life as the area is closed off to traffic and the crowd spills out onto the streets.
Guide to Gemmill Lane
The small stretch between Club Street and Amoy Street – whose namesake is 19th-century banker John Gemmill – is home to a handful of stylish restaurants and bars, making it the perfect spot for a laid-back hangout. Don't stop at the end of the road either, the back alley of Amoy Street has a few hidden restaurants to wind down at for an after-work dinner and drinks sesh.