Singapore’s Best Local Hangouts

An ever-shifting mix of high and low cultures, Singapore loves the glamour of a cocktail bar as much as it does the grit of a cold beer at a food court. This island of malls, skyscrapers and open-air markets is full of weird spots to have a cold one alongside a pile of chicken wings or a plate of spicy noodles. From hotel roof bars to garden brunches to cheap food stalls, here are a few of the best places to find the local side of Singapore.

  • 1

    Lantern Bar at The Fullerton Bay Hotel

    When the sun sets and a light breeze kicks up, Singapore comes alive. This sleek rooftop bar and pool overlooking Marina Bay is a picturesque place to savor the waking city with a Champagne cocktail and stellar view of Singapore’s twinkling skyline. Lantern Bar is a little bit pricy and a little bit touristy, but still worth the visit.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • outdoor / patio
    • hotel bar
    • singles scene
    • full menu
    • good wine
  • 2

    Old Airport Road Food Centre

    One of the most beloved food courts in the Little Red Dot, Old Airport Road is the place to go for the quintessential Singaporean food and drink experience. Between the open-air complex’s sun soaked location and the spicy noodles most everyone is slurping, icy cold lager is essential to an afternoon browsing the foods stalls. Find the cheapest and coldest and stay awhile.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • day drinking
    • outdoors / patio
    • historic
    • full menu
  • 3

    Potato Head Folk

    This three-story space encompasses three distinct dining and drinking concepts. At 10 p.m. every day of the week, the gallery-like Three Buns space buzzes with post-work crowds scarfing burgers and beer amidst oddball sculptures. One flight up, the alluring Studio 1939 hums with guests lounging on rattan club chairs and around a marble bar slinging classic cocktails. And at The Rooftop Garden, Mai Tais adorn every cute little bistro table beneath strings of dainty lights. Each space is playfully outfitted with murals, vintage furniture and a whimsical ambience that—combined with a couple of cocktails—is nothing if ...

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    KNOWN FOR

    • outdoor / patio
    • bar food
    • full menu
    • tiki
    • lots of rum
    • lots of whiskey
  • 4

    P.S. Cafe

    The lush and airy P.S. Cafe was designed for day drinking. Known for its massive brunches and afternoon tea service (sticky date pudding is a must), P.S. Café’s drinks are equally appropriate for a hair-of-the-dog fix or a Sunday afternoon buzz. Choices here fall on the playful side—there’s nothing serious about white Sangria, blood orange Margaritas or Mojitos—so settle in for a pitcher alongside a croissant or Tiger Beer-battered fish and chips.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • day drinking
    • outdoor / patio
    • craft cocktails
  • 5

    Standing Sushi Bar

    Mall culture is a serious pursuit in Singapore, and locals spend afternoons browsing, eating and pulling out their credit cards. This no-nonsense sushi joint is a perfect meeting ground for residents looking for a solid bite between meetings and tourists seeking a mid-shop beer without breaking the bank.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • full menu
    • cheap beer
    • sake

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