Often referred to as the ‘Arab quarter’ in Singapore, Kampong Glam has turned into a hip neighbourhood enclave in recent years. Quaint restaurants, cool laidback bars and boutiques dot the area. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you must visit the Kampong Glam district.
If you are looking for a place to chill out during the weekends, here are our recommendations. Follow us as we unveil the many chill out places you never knew!
1. Going Om
Decent dive bars are hard to come by, yet Going Om ticks all the criteria of a good bar on our list. Tucked in the eclectic Haji lane, this bar brings a homely and cosy atmosphere. You can sit on little stools with small tables and listen to great live music. Chill at this bar and enjoy the relaxed vibes. This hidden gem is definitely a good getaway from the busy city life.
Drink prices here are pretty decent with a daily happy hour from 5pm to 9pm and house pours from $8.
Address: 63 Haji Ln, Singapore 189256
Tel: 65 6396 3592
Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 530pm-1am, Fri 5.30pm-3am, Sat 3.30pm-3am, Sun 3.30pm-1am (Closed on Mon)
2. Blu Jaz Cafe
Unwind and relax while you listen to live band performances at Blu Jaz Cafe. This cafe is a bohemian-style pub that has pretty cool interiors and a laid back feel. Set up in a restored shophouse along Bali Lane, Blu Jaz features authentic live jazz, resident DJs and comedy sessions. While the 1st floor usually plays host to local Jazz and Funk banks, the 2nd floor is frequently taken up by local DJs playing 90s Hip Hop to Reggae. On its top floor, expect a quieter lounge catering to their frequent spoken word and poetry performances by local troops.
Whether you are looking for an intimate cosy corner, or prefer outdoor seatings at the courtyard, this place provides it all. Blu Jaz has an extensive menu which features bar snacks to Western comfort food, Asian local delights, and a large selection of beers, spirits and cocktails.
Blu Jaz Cafe
Address: 11 Bali Lane, Singapore 189848
Tel: 65 6292 3800
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 12pm-1am, Fri-Sat 3pm-2am (Closed on Sun)
3. Piedra Negra
Chill the night away with authentic Mexican food at Piedra Negra. Opened by the same management at Blu Jaz, Piedra Negra serves up delightful Mexican food in an affordable casual dining style. Covered in colourful murals with eclectic pieces of furniture, this place is hard to miss.
Don’t worry about getting a seat here. The restaurant is pretty big and there are tables that are built in as part of the walls that can be unfolded out. Head in if you prefer relaxing in its plush cushioned bar stools casted in soft dim lights with Mexican music playing in the background.
Address: 241 Beach Road, Singapore 189753
Tel: 65 6291 1297
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-1am
4. Bar Stories
Located on the 2nd floor of a shophouse, Bar Stories is a quirky little bar. Don’t expect to refer to a drinks list, there is no menu. Every drink here is crafted by a team of mixologists who will bring out the best flavours. As this swanky spot gets a little packed in the evenings, it is recommended that you make a reservation before you make your way down.
Address: 55/57A Haji Lane, Singapore 189248
Tel: 65 6298 0838
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 3pm – 1am, Fri-Sat 3pm – 2am, Sun 3pm-1am
5. Maison Ikkoku
If you’re looking for a great brunch on a weekend, drop by this quaint little cafe. Exposed brick walls, old furniture and bare bulbs light the cafe with its industrial-retro interior. Maison Ikkoku serves up quite a good range of brunch items and is famous for their quality coffee.
While the 1st floor of the shophouse houses a cosy cafe, its 2nd floor is a cocktail bar by night. Head up to its cosy bar after a good meal at the cafe. Select from the menu of cocktails or simply let the bartenders serve you a cocktail specially catered to your taste buds. With the recent trend of mixology bar openings, this bar is a cut above the rest and is sure to leave you refreshed after a drink or two!
Maison Ikkoku (Cafe)
Address: Level 1, 20 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198885
Tel: 65 6294 0078
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-7pm
Maison Ikkoku (Cocktail Bar)
Address: Level 2, 20 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198885
Tel: 65 6294 0078
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 4pm-1am, Fri-Sat 4pm-2am
6. Working Title
If you’re looking for a chill out spot with good coffee, Working Title is the place to go. This cafe is connected to the hostel right above. It has a relaxed, slightly hipster, and indie vibe, with an eclectic choice of furniture that was collected from preloved stores. Pop in for a relaxing time with a friend or with your laptop after the long afternoon exploring the area around Arab Street and Haji Lane. If you’re looking for some extra peace with free wi-fi and sockets, you’ll find an unexpected light and breezy outdoor area to get some work done. The backyard space of the cafe also hosts musical performances at times.
Check out their wide variety of food here.
7. The Lab
As you can tell by their name, The Lab is all about experimenting and trying new things especially when it comes to food. Designed somewhat like an underground laboratory, with assorted lab equipments and copper pipes running down their walls, this cafe is a sight to behold.
The Lab serves up a mixture of experimental Western and European cuisine. You’ll find food from cuisines such as Dutch, Hungarian and Russian on the menu. When you’re here, do try their interesting drinks which are served in beakers and syringes of syrup or coffee.
Address: 1 Jalan Pisang #01-01,Singapore 199069
Tel: 65 6299 5681
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 1230pm-10pm, Sun 1pm-930pm
8. I AM Cafe
Located at the junction of North Bridge Road and Haji Lane, I AM cafe is inspired by the city of Amsterdam. Halal Certified and opened by 3 Muslim friends, this cafe is an open space concept which serves hearty sandwiches, burgers, pastas and pizzas. One of the must try dishes on their dessert menu is the Rainbow Mille Crepe and Red Velvet Cake baked by one of the owners’ mothers. If your definition of a good chill out place includes good cakes and drinks or a comforting lunch, I AM Cafe is the place to visit!
Do note that this cafe doesn’t take reservations so do drop by early to snag your seats!
Awed by all the bohemian vibes and cosy atmosphere at the Kampong Glam district? If your definition of a good chill out place includes good music, delightful desserts or a good meal, be sure to make your way down this weekend to explore the Kampong Glam area!
(Header image by expatliving, edited by writer)