There’s more to Singapore than shopping malls and the CBD. Get out and explore more of the city-state on your next vina date with ideas all over the island:
Chye Seng Huat (Jalan Besar):
This converted hardware shop has hand roasted third wave coffee, fancy pastries, and an intriguing mix of brunch options including dishes like salmon or beef rib donburi and poached eggs on sourdough. Decor is hip, lighting is warm, and there are also industrial seats outside in the courtyard. In the afternoon the beer stall serves a selection of craft beers, so you can keep the conversation going!
PS.Cafe (Harding Road):
There’s nothing like a sit down tea in the middle of the jungle. PS.Cafe in Dempsey’s french minimalist vibes and huge floor to ceiling windows make the most of the city’s greenery, and the spot is perfect for an afternoon tea. They are also known for their decadent and large scale desserts like the chocolate nut “doorstop” and the flourless orange cake, perfect for sharing with your vina.
Toby’s Estate (Robertson Quay):
It can be lonely working from home, so grab your new vina and cowork at Toby’s Estate in Robertson Quay. There’s lots of natural light from the three story brick facade of the renovated warehouse and a nice view of the river (I love writing in a spot where I can daydream with water in the middle distance). This Australian roaster takes their coffee seriously, they’ve got decent wifi, and a nice long communal table so you don’t have to feel bad about sticking around for the afternoon.
Open Farm Community (Dempsey):
Farms in Singapore? Open Farm Community is a fantastic dinner spot, but make sure you get there before sundown to take in the gardens around the property, play a little table tennis or lawn bowling, and enjoy an herbaceous cocktail on the cozy porch couches. Their handmade fresh pastas are to die for, and if you’ve got a big group of vinas together to celebrate, they make some cocktails by the pitcher.
Loof (City Hall):
Happy hours are best spent on a roof, in my opinion. Get out from the bracing A/C of your office and take in the skyline and the breeze from Loof in the Odeon building near TK subway stop. Their happy hour house pours run Monday through Friday 5–8PM and get progressively cheaper the earlier you start.
Employees Only (Chinatown):
Check out the start of the craft cocktail craze with New York’s Employees Only. This Singapore speakeasy’s Chinatown shophouse perfectly mirrors their outpost in the big apple. Look for the neon sign, fortune teller, and enter through the velvet curtain. Tell Igor I sent you.
"In order for the city and its neighborhoods to offer the rich and varied association that is their promise and potential, there must be neutral ground upon which people may gather. There must be places where individuals may come and go as they please, in which no one is required to play host, and in which we all feel at home and comfortable."
MacRitchie Reservoir and Southern Ridges Trail:
Singapore is a jungle city, so get out and explore some of that jungle! Two of my favorite hikes are along the Southern Ridges connecting 9km of different parks and around MacRitchie reservoir deep in the jungle. If you aren’t afraid of heights, the latter includes a canopy bridge that lets you walk across the tops of trees. Just watch out for the macaques!
Singapore Botanic Gardens:
Every time I have an out of town guest I take them to the Botanic Gardens. It’s free, aside from the special Orchard Garden, which is definitely worth the price of entry if you and your vina are into exploring the huge range in orchid varieties. Makes for a great place to walk and talk and take in the beautiful flora (and sometimes fauna!).
PasarBella (Bukit Timah):
Bring your foodie vina to the indoor farmers’ market concept PasarBella at The Grandstand. Sample European cheeses, poke around in kitchen gadgets and gourmet specialty goods, and taste some wines or beers while you are there. If it’s meal time, there are plenty of stalls to sate your appetite.
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Pasar Panjang Food Centre:
Sharing is key when it comes to hawker center vina dates. Check out Pasar Panjang for lots of good evening options including seafood (sambal stingray!), kway tiao, thai, and of course, satay. You pretty much can’t go wrong at this west coast gem.
Why go to a basic movie theater in the mall when you can check out indie and international films at The Projector in the historic Golden Mile Tower. This hip theater is always showing the best global film and cult favorites, and concessions serve wine and beer along with salty and sweet popcorn options. After the movie, check out TK name the outdoor bar in the parking garage around the corner.
Palm Ave Float Club (Lavender):
For a relaxing date your zen vina, go for a sensory deprivation float at Palm Ave Float Club. Meditate, float, and feel your stress melt away in the salty water pod. Connect back in the lounge after on super comfy recliners and share your float experiences. And if she’s hooked, you can get a deal if you get a friend to sign up for a package.
Whether you’re a local or a traveler, you and your vina are guaranteed to have a great time! Know of a place we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!
(Feature image via pintrest)