Aside from the usual hotspots in Singapore like Clarke Quay or Orchard Road, one that has garnered popularity recently (and a district name you can’t escape from your Instagram-crazed friends) is Tiong Bahru. Being one of the oldest housing estates in Singapore, originating long before World War II, it now houses some of the most hip and modish establishments sitting alongside classic, long-running businesses.
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From places to purchase vinyl records to eateries with excellent playlists, here are some Tiong Bahru joints you should visit.
We’ve covered this store before in our comprehensive (at least we try) guide to vinyl shopping in Singapore but it certainly bears repeating that Curated Records is a must-visit. Housing a catalog of records that span an impressive variety of genres for all music fans, hang loose and enjoy the sounds of wax in Curated’s cosy shindig.
Where?: 55 Tiong Bahru Road, #01-53, Singapore 160055.
When?: 1pm - 8pm on Tuesdays to Sundays. Closed on Mondays.
The Orange Thimble
This cafe prides itself as a place “corner for creativity fuelled by passion and espressos.” They aren’t selling themselves short, with an impressively spacious area — its walls adorned with colourful and intriguing paintings and photographs. The Orange Thimble is a great place to do some work but we found it an excellent space if you want to isolate yourself from everyone and plug into some music.
Where?: 56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-68, Singapore 160056.
When?: 11am - 11pm on Mondays, 9am to 11pm on Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays, 9am to 12am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Tiong Bahru Community Centre
A familiar sight for the old and young in the neighbourhood, Tiong Bahru Community Centre promises many activities for the family. If you’re looking to learn a little bit of our multi-cultural history, the centre offers courses to learn the Erhu, Pipa, violin and piano.
Where?: 67A Eu Chin Street, Singapore 169715.
When?: 9am to 10pm everyday.
Everyone’s favourite independent bookstore also houses a neat section of music. Stacks of used CDs and a shelf of 70s records immediately greet you once you make your way at the back of the shop. However, it’s BooksActually's concise but excellent selection of local music that’s most commendable — it’s the only place where we can still find copies of The Observatory’s Dark Folke on vinyl.
Where?: No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645.
When?: 10am to 6pm on Mondays and Sundays, 10am to 8pm on Tuesdays to Fridays, 10am to 9pm on Saturdays.
Woods in the Books
One to bring your children or to satisfy the child in you, Woods in the Books is nestled two doors away from Booksactually. The shop may be minimal but they’re chock full of vivid and picture books, with a perfectly suitable playlist to go along with the experience of losing yourself to flipping through their many illustrated books.
Where?: No. 3 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645
When?: 11am to 8pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 6pm on Sundays. Closed on Mondays.
Tiong Bahru Bar
When you’re done with the quirky, quaint, and atas-ness of Tiong Bahru, and the obscure indie tunes in the shops are driving you crazy, there’s someplace where you can have a tall glass of beer, or perhaps a whiskey along with some familiar tunes — Tiong Bahru Bar is the place for you. They used to host live music performances in the venue but we’d say it’s still a decent place to check out while you’re in the area!
Where?: 3 Seng Poh Road, #01-01, Singapore 168891
When?: 5pm to 1am everyday.
Quintessentially Tiong Bahru with vintage bikes lined, dried flowers hanging from the ceiling and industrial-meets-rustic decor, Plain Vanilla is famous for their trademark cupcakes. And if you’re in the mood for some quiet time, to listen to your music, or tap on their playlist to soundtrack your day, here’s the place for you.
Where?: 1D Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168641
When?: 11am to 8pm on Tuesdays to Fridays, 9am to 8pm on Saturdays, 9am to 6pm on Sundays. Closed Mondays.