Joo Chiat is one of those neighbourhoods where you’ll find Peranakan culture, delish food and quirky buys all in one place. Here’s how to get started on your exploration of this fantastic heritage neighbourhood
One of Singapore’s best hidden gems, Joo Chiat first got its name from several roads in the vicinity that had been named after philanthropist and plantation owner Chew Joo Chiat. Sometime in the early 20th century, the Peranakan and Straits Chinese communities migrated into the neighbourhood to live alongside the existing Malay, Indian and Chinese communities. This gave Joo Chiat the multi-ethnic identity it is known for today. Don’t be fooled by its slightly gritty vibe, because Joo Chiat is actually an eclectic mix of colourful Peranakan houses, delicious local and international cuisine, popular bakeries and much more. Want to explore Joo Chiat with the kiddos? We’ve got all the info you need to get started!
Best Places to Enjoy Joo Chiat Food
Things to See & Do in Joo Chiat
Best Shopping Spots in Joo Chiat
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Best Places to Enjoy Joo Chiat Food
Ask any Eastie and they’ll rave about Joo Chiat’s foodie haven status. Food in Joo Chiat is a delicious blend of cuisines, so whether you’re in the mood for Italian, American or local dishes, you’ll probably find it here! Here are some of our favourite Joo Chiat restaurants for a food fix.
233 Banh Mi
If you’re looking for Vietnamese food in Joo Chiat, 233 Banh Mi delivers with yummy sandwiches and refreshing drinks. Follow this restaurant in Joo Chiat on its social pages to find out what the Saturday Specials are – previous editions included Vietnamese Beef Stew, Vietnamese Crab Meat Noodle Soup (Banh Canh Cua) and Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu).
233 Banh Mi, 216 Joo Chiat Road, #01-07, Singapore 427483, Tel: (+65) 9457 9351
328 Katong Laksa
Considered one of Singapore’s top places for laksa, its East Coast location is the most famous since celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay visited it. The aromatic dish is filled with a spicy, coconut-based gravy and there’s always a generous portion of noodles and ingredients like cockles, fishcakes and shrimp.
328 Katong Laksa, 51 East Coast Road, Singapore 4289770
The Awfully Chocolate Bakery & Cafe
One of Singapore’s top spots to cure a chocolate hankering, this Joo Chiat cafe specialises in the humble chocolate cake, with several varieties to satiate any appetite. It offers gift sets and hampers, and delicious meals if you’re in the mood for brunch.
The Awfully Chocolate Bakery and Cafe, 131 East Coast Road, Singapore 428816, Tel: (+65) 6345 2190
Formerly known as the 1925 Brewing Co., this Joo Chiat restaurant has since rebranded into an Asian smokehouse with a menu that’s filled with flavours such as Hyogo oysters, Grilled “Sai Ua” sausages, Curried Pumpkin Soup and more. Pair your plates with bottles from The 1925 microbrewery.
Blue Smoke, 261 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427515, Tel: (+65) 8923 1425
Famous for its German beer and authentic German cuisine, Brotzeit is a cosy hangout spot with a friendly atmosphere. We’d recommend tucking into its sausage varieties. You can enjoy rebates on your bill and other discounts if you sign up to be a Brotzeit regular.
Brotzeit Katong, 126 East Coast Road, Singapore 428811, Tel: (+65) 6348 7050
Craving a juicy steak in Joo Chiat? Braseiro Restaurant is where you’ll find them. Patrons rave about French steak-frites here, loving its flavour and affordability. There’s even a choice to upsize your steak size if you’re really hungry, or opt for a plant-based meat patty (pictured).
Braseiro Restaurant, 333 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427588, Tel: (+65) 911 633 04
Joo Chiat Caphe
Another Vietnamese restaurant in Joo Chiat, expect fusion Banh Mi with fresh ingredients, paired with a hot cup of coffee made with Vietnamese-grown coffee beans that are ground in-house.
Joo Chiat Caphe, 263 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427517, Tel: (+65) 6988 1900
The Cheese Shop
A gem in the East, this cheese paradise stocks a wide variety of European cheeses along with tasty high-end crackers, jams and biscuits. We love that there is no delivery charge for orders over $100.
The Cheese Shop, 267 Joo Chiat Road, #01-01, Singapore 427521, Tel: (+65) 9152 3601
The Cider Pit
Owned and run by an Englishman (as you might gather from the hilariously dry Facebook page), this cosy spot has dozens of delicious ciders (Toffee Apple, yum!) and beers on offer, at totally reasonable-for-Singapore prices.
The Cider Pit, 328 Joo Chiat Road, #01-03, Singapore 427585, Tel: (+65) 6344 5759
Dunman Road Food Centre
It pales in comparison to behemoth Old Airport Road Hawker Centre down the street, but Dunman’s got some solid stalls on offer including Ah Eng Wanton Mee, insane fried chicken wings at Jia Hui BBQ (stall 02-21) and, for the adventurous, Dragon City Frog Porridge.
Dunman Road Food Centre, 271 Onan Road, Singapore 424768
Eng Seng Crab
Specialising in black pepper crab, this open-air spot is known for its delicious food, lengthy lines and surly service in equal measure. Get there early to queue, as they’re known to run out and close early.
Eng Seng Crab, 247 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427935, Tel: (+65) 6242 4847
Fei Fei Wanton Noodles
This family-run noodle stall’s been around since the 1940s. It’s open 24 hours and always buzzing, and you can’t knock a meal that sets you back less than $5!
Fei Fei Wanton Noodles, 72 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427789
Geylang Serai Market
Quite possibly Singapore’s Malay cuisine capital! The ground floor wet market purveys fantastic Halal meats and produce, while the upstairs hawker centre features a number of notable nasi lemak and briyani stalls.
Geylang Serai Market, 1 Geylang Serai, Singapore 402001
This well-loved Joo Chiat restaurant is almost always crowded, as patrons flock here for decadent servings of Malay dishes like rendang, ayam goreng rempah, lemak siput and much more. Come early if you’re hungry, or be prepared to join the queue to order.
Hjh Maimunah, 20 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427357, Tel: (+65) 6348 5457
Long Phung is best of the Joo Chiat’s many Vietnamese restaurants – just ask the working girls who hang out at the tables in between jobs. The pho is straightforward but delicious.
Long Phung, 159 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427436, Tel: (+65) 6344 2005
Micro Red House
Get your carb fix at this quaint little bakery in the Joo Chiat district, which dishes out plates like Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Tartine, Grilled 4 Cheese Sandwiches and a range of mouthwatering bread loaves.
Micro @ Red House, 63 East Coast Road, #01-06, Singapore 428776, Tel: (+65) 8339 4133
Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata
This Joo Chiat hawker stall is one of the island’s best spots for a steaming plate of roti prata. This literal mom & pop stall may have lost the popular Mr Mohgan earlier in 2022, but Mrs Mohgan still doles out breakfast to Joo Chiat’s hungry hordes starting at dawn. Doughy, delicious, and made fresh on the premises; get there early because they close by 1pm or as soon as the prepared dough for the day runs out.
Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata, 300 Joo Chiat Road, Tin Yeang Restaurant, Singapore 429356
The Original Vadai
Specialising in vadai, a South Indian fried dough fritter, The Original Vadai is known for doling out soft and fluffy vadais with a crispy prawn on top. Expect snaking queues – that’s how popular it is. This Joo Chiat hawker stall has also recently introduced kid-friendly flavours like Nutella!
The Original Vadai, 82 Joo Chiat Road, #01-01, Singapore 427379, Tel: (+65) 8588 4181
Peranakan Inn Restaurant
Part of the House of Peranakan group of restaurants, you’ll find traditional Peranakan cuisine that’s perfect for sharing. Highlights include Long Beans Sambal, Nonya Ngoh Hiang and the Chili Pomfret.
Peranakan Inn Restaurant, 210 East Coast Road, Singapore 428909, Tel: (+65) 6440 6195
At this small-batch Joo Chiat bakery, everythin is free from preservatives and artificial flavours. Its savoury loaves, croissants and sweet bakes are in demand, and things sell out between noon and 2pm, so come early to avoid disappointment!
Petit Pain, 315 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427566
Picotin – Katong
This family-style European bistro in Joo Chiat is tops for a quick afternoon cuppa, after-work glass of wine, Sunday lunch with the whole fam or even a romantic meal for two on date night. There’s also a foosball table and a dart board to keep the kiddos entertained.
Picotin – Katong, 382 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427622, Tel: (+65) 6342 0382
Almost every American in Singapore has found their way to this barbecue joint that serves up ribs, brisket, corn bread, and a wide array of American craft beers and wines. The big screen TVs almost make it feel like a stateside sports bar.
Smokey’s BBQ, 73 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427790, Tel: (+65) 6345 6914
Things to See and Do in Joo Chiat
Joo Chiat was designated as Singapore’s first “heritage town” in 2011, and is a wonderful representation of Singapore’s aim to preserve the old while promoting all that is new. The next time you make a trip to Joo Chiat with the fam in tow, be sure to make a stop at these interesting spots in the neighbourhood.
Take the kids to Carpmael Park
A lovely little park if you’ve got tinies in tow, especially if you’re a fan of old school swing sets. Renovated in late 2015, Carpmael Park in Joo Chiat also got some rad climbing structures.
Carpmael Park, 99 Carpmael Road, Singapore 429834
Get a new hairdo at Expat Hair Studio
We’ve sung their praises already, but scoring a coveted appointment with talented mamas Jacky & Kat has only added to Joo Chiat’s so-hot-right-now status.
Expat Hair Studio, 422 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427642, Tel: (+65) 6444 7929
Get a foot massage at Feet Haven
Tired out after walking all around Joo Chiat? Swing by Feet Haven for a relaxing foot reflexology session. 60-minute body massages are now available, too!
Feet Haven, 136 East Coast Road, #01-01, Singapore, 428821, Tel: (+65) 6344 7311
Try a heritage and art trail @ Katong-Joo Chiat
The best way to discover Joo Chia’s intriguing street art is to walk around and snap a few pics for the ‘Gram. Simply download one of The Admin’s easy-to-use maps and get going!
The Admin, Tel: (+65) 9635 1574
Check out a playground at Joo Chiat Terrace Park & the Ernest Zacharevic Mural
There’s a fun playground at this cute little green space that’s also got shaded benches and exercise equipment. Across the street is a cheeky mural painted by infamous Penang street artist Ernest Zacharevic, whom the BBC calls “Malaysia’s answer to Banksy”.
Joo Chiat Terrace Park, Corner of Joo Chiat Terrace and Everitt Road
Snap pics of the heritage shophouses on Koon Seng Road
Joo Chiat’s most famous block is home to a cluster of pastel heritage shophouses decorated with super pretty Peranakan tiles. Watch out for tourists and wedding photographers! Want a private tour? Jane’s Tours organises customised tours for small groups – perfect for a little weekend fun.
Koon Seng Road, between Joo Chiat Road and Tembeling Road
Get your fortune read at Kwan Im Tng Temple
A major destination within Joo Chiat, Kwan Im Tng Temple blends Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, and is home to a number of gorgeous statues. This Joo Chiat temple has been known to take on a carnival-like atmosphere on holidays, and you can get your fortune read too.
Kwan Im Tng Temple, 62 Tembeling Road, Singapore 423586, Tel: (+65) 6348 0967
Discover Peranakan culture at Rumah Bebe & Rumah Kim Choo
Joo Chiat is chockfull of Peranakan culture, and there are two ways to explore that. Tucked away in a two-storey shophouse in the Joo Chiat district, Rumah Bebe sells stylish Peranakan costumes and traditional kasut manek (beaded shoes). In addition to the beading classes conducted there, you can also sign up for a private tour to learn about the different elements of Peranakan culture and try on Nyonya attire.
Rumah Bebe, 13 East Coast Road Singapore 428803, Tel: (+65) 6247 8781
Rumah Kim Choo is a hidden Joo Chiat gem that promises an authentic Nyonya experience at this hidden Joo Chiat gem. Rumah Kim Choo is a shophouse filled with Peranakan antiques and family heirlooms that date back to Singapore’s early years. Pick up beautiful Peranakan collectibles and the signature rice dumplings, sign up for one of its beading workshops or enquire about purchasing a Peranakan Baju Kebaya for your wardrobe.
Rumah Kim Choo, 60 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427784, Tel: (+65) 6741 2125
Where to Shop in Joo Chiat
Joo Chiat is home to a range of quirky, independent boutiques, where you can find modern, trendy brands and stylish homeware to vintage buys and eclectic souvenirs. Here’s where to go to shop to your heart’s content.
Also known as The Attaby Collective, The AC retails independent labels from fashion, accessories and lifestyle, all under one very stylish roof. The curated labels within The AC all stand in their own right, but complement each other as a whole. The labels’ designers all work within the boutique, selling across brands.
The AC, 420 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427641, Tel: (+65) 8742 7670
This independent retail shop in Katong carries unique and unusual souvenirs, books and home décor. Look out for the resident tabby too, who’s always up for a scratch between the ears.
Cat Socrates, 448 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427661, Tel: (+65) 6348 0863
The neighbourhood’s go-to spot for high-quality bouquets and floral arrangements, plus they’ve got a fab range of Peranakan ceramics (perfect Singapore souvenirs) and cute plush toys from baby fave Jellycat.
HIEW Floral.Gifts.Home, 268 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427522, Tel: (+65) 6348 8408
Joo Chiat Complex
Head to this old-school Joo Chiat mainstay that’s set at the base of an HDB for all sorts of affordable textiles and fabrics, as well as traditional Malay clothing, crafts and jewellery. Around Hari Raya, heaps of speciality tents and yummy snack vendors will also pop up !
Joo Chiat Complex, 1 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 420001
Whatever your need, you’ll probably find it at La Tienda, a one-stop concept store along Joo Chiat Road. What’s on the shelves? Think cute art prints (lots of kid-friendly ones, too!), natural soaps and skincare choices, stylish fabrics, clothing, accessories and much more.
La Tienda, 370 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427615, Tel: (+65) 9774 0688
If you want homeware and decor that’s inspired by Singaporean heritage, Onlewo’s the store to shop at. Pick up all sorts of lifestyle good at this Joo Chiat store – think upholstery, furniture, curtains and even gifts. The store is only open on Wednesday to Saturday, so check ahead before heading down.
Onlewo, 17 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427747, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vinyl is a serious business here at RetroCrates. Not only does the store release new vinyl often, but it also has limited edition and pre-loved ones as well as hardware up for grabs.
RetroCrates, 448A Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427661, Tel: (+65) 8718 7370 (Whatsapp)
Functional, chic and long-lasting – those are but some of the things you can expect when you shop at this Joo Chiat furniture store. Its collections are made from sustainable teak wood grown in plantations in Java, Indonesia.
Scanteak, 341 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427593, Tel: (+65) 6342 5718
Singapore Trading Post
Singapore Trading Post houses a plethora of home décor, accessories, furniture, souvenirs and the like from places that used to be trade routes during Singapore’s colonial past, and most of its pieces are truly one-of-a-kind.
Singapore Trading Post, 426 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427644, Tel: (+65) 8891 9950
A Vintage Tale
Expect colourful wallpaper, vintage furniture and a wide selection of clothing and accessories from the 50s to the 90s at this Joo Chiat shopping paradise. On the shelves, you’ll find vintage jewellery from Trifari, Fendi and Prada, as well as pieces from classic designer brands like Dior, Chanel, Versace and more.
A Vintage Tale, 277 Joo Chiat Road, #01-01, Singapore 427531
The WYLD Shop
The WYLD Shop was founded by Aussie mama Kara Bensley-Austin, who wanted to introduce more Singaporeans to Australian High Street chic. The WYLD Shop stocks more than 26 fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands like Vine and Branches, Staple the Label, Riau Candle Co., Indii Breeze, Frankitas, Envet and more.
The WYLD Shop, 412 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427637, Tel: (+65) 8727 1380
Check out these other neighbourhood guides and get to exploring!