Take a look around Kampong Glam and Arab Street with the kids on your next family day out. Here’s what to do in this culturally rich enclave
Kampong Glam (also called Kampong Gelam) is one of Singapore’s oldest neighbourhoods. In the 1800s it was a Muslim quarter and was home to the Arab community. Arab Street is a prominent part of Kampong Glam which in the past has also been known as The Arab Quarter. Culturally rich Kampong Glam is a fab area in Singapore with lots going on around Bussorah Street, Haji Lane, Bali Lane and Arab Street. Packed with indie businesses, it’s buzzing with creative spirit and is a world away from the slick and shiny CBD or the shopping malls of Orchard Road. There might not be playgrounds or baby superstores, but there’s plenty of family-friendly fun to be had (including discovering colourful street art, outdoor swings and even a cat cafe and pug cafe!) So grab the kiddos and let’s eat and shop our way around Kampong Glam, including Arab Street and Haji Lane!
Kampong Glam has a mixture of cool cafes (many of them are halal), ice cream joints, and laid-back eateries on every corner. It’ll be hard just picking a place to eat! But a good place to start would be the central section of our Halal Restaurants Guide, where you’ll find many cafes and restaurants along Bussorah Street, Haji Lane, Arab Street and Beach Road – all located in the Kampong Glam area.
All Things Delicious
This homegrown halal cafe is well known for their delicious bakes and hearty menu options. They’ve just had a mini interior revamp, so it’s looking brand spanking new and ready for your next brunch date!
All Things Delicious, 34 Arab Street #01-01, Singapore 199733
Fika Swedish Café & Bistro
A veteran in the local halal cafe scene, Fika is best known for their cosy cafe setting and unbeatable Swedish meatballs. Fika is also run by a super cool former That Mama!
Fika Swedish Café & Bistro, 257 Beach Road, Singapore 199539
The French American Bakery
Try some yummy authentic bakes from this Muslim-owned kitchen. Expect a variety of French pastries of the sweet and savoury kind.
The French American Bakery, 49 Haji Lane, Singapore 189242
One of the best places to check out for delicious nasi padang! The queues during peak mealtimes can be crazy though so make sure you head there early for your nasi padang fix.
Hajjah Maimunah, 11 Jalan Pisang, Singapore 199078
Grill Ninety Nine
Grill Ninety Nine serves Western fare with Singaporean faves. The halal Ribeye steak, New York strip and Angus beef ribs are all top picks on the menu, with recommended sides including homemade mushroom soup, crab cakes, raclette cheese and fresh Canadian oysters.
Grill Ninety Nine, 142 Arab Street, Singapore 199828, Tel: (+65) 6292 7363 / 9731 2902
The Straits Teppanyaki
Need a spot for date night? Try this classy halal teppanyaki spot along Bussorah Street. They’ve got romantic interiors and delicious freshly grilled dishes, from premium steaks to seafood and more with a variety of sides to choose from.
The Straits Teppanyaki, 16 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199437
The delicious waffle smell from this cafe will immediately draw you in! We love the unique ice cream flavours and indulgent dessert combos here.
Twenty Grammes, 753 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198721
Momolato makes halal gelato with fresh, natural ingredients. They even have keto-friendly ice cream! It’s a very simple, laidback dessert spot that’s perfect for cooling off if you’re in the Haji Lane area on a particularly hot day.
Momolato, 34 Haji Lane, Singapore 189227
Konditori offers pastries and decadent breads that often draws long snaking queues. Top picks include the Dark Angel (dark chocolate mousse-filled bread), scones, tarts and savoury options like the Jumbo Chicken Wiener Roll.
Konditori, 33 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199451
After 10 years in the East, you can now find Penny University in Kampong Glam along Jalan Klapa to get your coffee and halal breakfast fix. The specialty coffee house is best known for their cuppas and all-day breakfast menu. Top rated menu items include the Turkish Eggs and Folded Eggs with Crab & Harissa, and you can’t miss their cakes and pastry selection. It also has one of the earliest opening times in Kampong Glam, opening as early as 8am for those who want to grab their morning cuppa while on-the-go!
Penny University, 17 Jalan Klapa, Singapore 199329
Located at Gedung Kuning (the iconic yellow heritage building in the heart of Kampong Glam), Permata Singapore serves a modern heritage menu with progressive Nusantara cuisine. For those who prefer more casual dining, the alfresco area of Gedung Kuning offers a more laid-back ambience with Bumi Café so you can dine under the stars. We love that there’s a prayer room located on site too.
Permata Singapore, 73 Sultan Gate, Gedung Kuning, Singapore 198497
Ciao bella! Positano Risto is a halal Southern Italian restaurant in Kampong Glam with Instagram-worthy dishes that offer punchy flavours. Customers rave about their no-nonsense pizzas and pastas.
Positano Risto, 66 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199479, Tel: (+65) 6292 1866
The Ramen Stall
It’s always a full house at The Ramen Stall, and for good reason! The halal Japanese fare on offer is as authentic as it gets, using fresh Japanese ingredients and techniques (we hear their ramen broth is boiled for up to 30 hours to achieve its rich flavour!). The Ramen Stall is open throughout the night, closing at 2am, which makes it a great spot for late-night noms when the ramen cravings hit.
The Ramen Stall, 787 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198755, Tel: (+65) 6655 0800
The Secret Garden by Zeekri
This French-inspired bistro in Kampong Glam is delightfully decked out in flowers and already buzzing no matter the time of day (so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment).
The Secret Garden by Zeekri, 19 Baghdad Street, Singapore 199658
Wakuwaku Yakiniku is a halal Japanese concept brought to you by the dudes behind Fat Boys and Fat Papas. They pride themselves in offering authentic wagyu beef from Australia, and their head chef even hails from Japan.
Wakuwaku Yakiniku, 27 Bali Lane, Singapore 189863
The White Label
The White Label offers halal French fusion fare with dishes like Cherrywood Smoked Contre-Filet, Chicken Chasseur and Croque Madame. Check them out for their pretty decor and wholesome food – we hear they also do high tea sets!
The White Label, 734 North Bridge Rd, #01-01, Singapore 198702
Approaching Kampong Glam, it would be hard to miss the golden dome of Sultan Mosque (also commonly referred to as Masjid Sultan by the Malay community). This mosque has a long history that goes back to 1824, in the era of Sir Stamford Raffles! The mosque has a breathtaking exterior and interior structure, with a large prayer hall that can accommodate up to 5,000 people in mass prayer. You’re free to snap photos from outside the mosque, and during certain hours they also accept visitors. During Ramadan, there’s a special Food Bazaar that’s set up right in front of the mosque, and is well worth a wander through for some delicious food!
*Visitor information for Sultan Mosque is available here. Open for walk-ins from Saturday to Thursday: 10am to 12pm & 2pm to 4pm. Closed on Fridays.
3 Muscat Street, Singapore 198833
Kampong Glam is teeming with funky street artwork at every corner. Start your walk at the famous Haji Lane, where you’ll find street art near some cool restaurants. At the junction of Haji Lane and Beach Road is a Mexican restaurant called Piedra Negra, which is a veritable burst of colours. Make sure you check out the interesting art along the exterior of this restaurant, too! At 29 Sultan Gate is a mural titled “Coffee Story” by artist Yip Yew Chong. The mural was commissioned by A.R.C., a coffee shop which no longer exists there. However, the mural itself is a timeless depiction of the old-school ways by which kopi used to be (and still is) made and enjoyed with the local breakfast of kaya toast.
Plus don’t miss the colourful murals and artwork along Muscat Street. Dubbed Gelam Gallery, the back alleys here comprise of murals and framed pieces created by over 30 local and international artists and art students, spread over two parallel walls.
Aliwal Arts Centre
Aliwal Arts Centre often hosts small theatre shows, workshops, exhibitions and shopping fairs. The Aliwal Urban Art Festival is one such event, which has featured live graffiti painting, exhibitions and art tours in the past. A number of dance and theatre groups call this building home, and you’ll even find The Fabulous Baker Boy, a sprawling cafe with a fab menu of dishes and desserts.
Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street, Singapore 199918
The Vintage Camera’s Museum
Take a walk along Jalan Kledek in Kampong Glam and it would be hard to miss the building shaped like a giant camera! The Vintage Camera’s Museum has some 1000 cameras on display, including a replica of the world’s biggest camera and all of the camera’s reiterations over time. Besides the various types of cameras (including a walking stick camera, spy cameras, pigeon cameras, 3D camera and pistol cameras), there’s also a rare collection of photographs, including an authentic replica of the first ever photograph taken.
The Vintage Camera’s Museum, 8C Jalan Kledek, Singapore 199263
Behind Sultan Gate you’ll find a lovely open space with some shade and a couple of old swings which make for a nice spot to sit down for photo ops!
Meomi Cat Cafe
Meomi Cat Cafe in Kampong Glam is a cosy spot to chill out with some cute kitties! The $13/hour entry fee includes a drink so you can kick back and watch the cats climb, play and laze around in the intimate space. Kids have to be 6 years old and above to be allowed in and must be accompanied by an adult if they’re under 13 years old. Reservations required.
Meomi Cat Cafe, 668 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188801, Tel: (+65) 6296 0339
What the Pug Cafe
How often do you get to visit a dog cafe in Singapore? What The Pug along Haji Lane is a kid-friendly spot to meet some cute and cuddly pugs! Entry is $25/person and includes a 45-minute petting session, a drink and a polaroid photo.
What The Pug Cafe, 80 Haji Lane, Singapore 189271
Malay Heritage Centre
Temporarily closed for upgrading until 2025
The Malay Heritage Centre at 85 Sultan Gate is home to a number of permanent galleries, which cover elements of trade and Malay/Muslim culture. From its location in the heart of Kampong Glam, the Malay Heritage Centre provides a range of cultural exposure and learning opportunities for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. From batik workshops to traditional music and puppetry performances, there’s plenty of hands-on fun for kiddos.
85 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198501, www.malayheritage.gov.sg
Amazing Chambers Escape Room
If you’ve got older kids and are looking for some fun, Amazing Chambers offers an escape room experience in the heart of Kampong Glam! Amazing Chambers has turned one of the Arab Quarter’s historical buildings into a home for escape rooms, all of which are themed with Singapore’s rich ancient history and culture. Amazing Chambers admits kids 12 and above, so this would be a great activity to try with your teens!
You may have heard of Haji Lane (one of the main shopping areas of Kampomg Glam with cute boutiques, swimwear shops, cafes and trinket shops), but make sure you also check out what Arab Street has to offer when you’re in Kampong Glam! We’ve come across a number of great stores here offering beautiful home textiles like cushion covers and runners (Dilip Textiles and Sarvan’s Carpets are just a couple of the stores we frequent), and there’s no shortage of fabric shops to make yourself some beautiful custom baju kurungs. There are also more ‘trendy’ stores, including Bana Bana Café (731 North Bridge Road) along Jalan Pisang which offers beautiful home decor by a brand called Jannat by Zaryluq, including baskets, cushions and tableware; and of course don’t miss all the cool shops along Haji Lane!
So that’s a local’s guide to Kampong Glam! If you have any favourite spots to shout out, send them my way at email@example.com and we’ll add it to this list!