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Jalan Besar Neighbourhood Guide — 7 Exciting Things to Eat, See and do

More than just cafe-hopping.

Hipster brunch spots, ice cream parlours, and aesthetic coffeehouses — Jalan Besar has plenty of them. However, dig a little deeper and you might discover other hidden gems.

From vintage thrift shops, lesser-known street arts to underrated cafes, here are seven things to eat, see and do the next time you visit the neighbourhood of Jalan Besar.

1) Experiment New Fashion Styles While Thrift-Shopping

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The best way to experiment with new fashion choices is thrift shopping, and there are a few options around — just a three-minute walk from Jalan Besar MRT.

Loop Garms is known for its carefully curated selection of vintage tees, and Stake Out for everything else — from floral shirts and oversized jackets to fancy overalls. Both stores showcase handpicked thrifts from the United States and Japan!

For streetwear, check out Conformity for a range of graphic tees, fancy sneakers and hipster accessories from brands such as ADLV, Anti Social Social Club and Balenciaga.

*Pro-tip: Bring your friends along to Stake Out as the items get cheaper the more you buy!

Loop GarmsOpening hours: 12:30PM – 7:30PM (Mon – Thu), 12PM – 7:30PM (Fri – Sun)
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Jalan Besar MRT. 3min walk from Exit B

Stake OutOpening hours: 12:30PM – 6:30PM
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Jalan Besar MRT. 3min walk from Exit B

ConformityOpening hours: 2PM – 8PM
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Jalan Besar MRT. 1min walk from Exit B

2) Visit Underrated Cafes

Jalan Besar has a strong cafe culture.

Apart from well-known ones including Chye Seng Huat Hardware, Two Bakers and The Tiramisu Hero, here are two more worth checking out.

+886 Bistro

neighbourhood guide, singapore, things to do in singapore, jalan besar neighbourhood guide — 7 exciting things to eat, see and do

Photo credit: @vincentfoodstagram via Instagram

The next time someone reminisces about Taiwan’s amazing food, here’s where to bring them: +886 Bistro.

Popular dishes here include the signature Ah Bao Braised Pork Rice (S$5.80), the Honey Glazed Crispy Chicken (S$8.80) and Plum Fries (S$4.80). Until Taiwan gets on the list of VTL countries, this is where we’ll be satisfying our cravings for Taiwanese food.

Opening hours: 2PM – 8PM
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Bendemeer MRT. 8min walk from Exit A

Glacier

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Glacieris a minimalistic cafe situated near its more famously-known neighbour, Apartment Coffee. But apart from coffee and bakes, Glacier caters to those feeling a heartier meal.

The Glacier Big Breakfast (S$24) offers toast with eggs, bacon, and German sausages. Meanwhile, the Creamy Truffle Tobiko Pasta (S$16) comes with a strong fragrance — perfect for truffle lovers 😋

neighbourhood guide, singapore, things to do in singapore, jalan besar neighbourhood guide — 7 exciting things to eat, see and do

As for dessert, Glacier’s signature Pandan Mochi Waffles (S$8), paired with a scoop of one of their unique Gelato flavours is definitely a must-try!

Opening hours: 9:30AM – 10PM (Sun – Thu), 9:30AM – 1AM (Fri – Sat) 
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Bendemeer MRT. 5min walk from Exit B

3) Hunt Down Vibrant Street Art and Architectural Gems

Monochrome Illustrations Outside Chye Seng Huat Hardware

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Found along an alley outside Chye Seng Huat hardware cafe, these six unique illustrations showcase creative artworks, each with its own story.

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I personally loved the piece with a campfire in front of a quaint hut, inspired by the connection between humans and nature. The dreamy setting fuels our desire to venture out in nature!

How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Jalan Besar MRT. 10min walk from Exit B

Red-Tongued Dog Mural at Plumer Road

neighbourhood guide, singapore, things to do in singapore, jalan besar neighbourhood guide — 7 exciting things to eat, see and do

Few know this, but this vibrant art piece was inspired by Guinness’s nickname Ang Ji Gao, affectionately given by locals in the past.

Given its connection with the locale, the Ang Ji Gao (Red-Tongued Dog in Hokkien) was found uniquely on Singapore’s Guinness bottles back then. It thus became a key icon that gave rise to the bold murals found at Plumer Road.

*Pro-tip: Look out for two other Ang Ji Gao murals located in the area!

How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Jalan Besar MRT. 8min walk from Exit B

4) Pick Up a New Skill With Workshops

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Photo credit: @thegeneralco via Instagram

The General Co. offers various classes from candle-making to leathercrafting, and even calligraphy.

neighbourhood guide, singapore, things to do in singapore, jalan besar neighbourhood guide — 7 exciting things to eat, see and do

Photo credit: @mudrockceramics via Instagram

If you like getting your hands dirty, check out Mud Rock Ceramics for their Pottery-making workshops. They offer courses for beginners to advanced, with a junior class for little ones aged 6–12.

The flagship five-week course covers the five basic techniques of pottery. But if you’re just testing waters, ad hoc classes are held on alternate Fridays every month at 7PM.

The General Co.Opening hours: 11AM – 7PM, closed on Sun
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Bendemeer MRT. 6min walk from Exit B

Mud Rock CeramicCost: S$83/ pax for ad-hoc workshopsAd-hoc workshop timings: Every alternate Fridays, 7PM – 9:30PM
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Jalan Besar MRT. 6min walk from Exit B

5) Shop for Plants

Jungalore

neighbourhood guide, singapore, things to do in singapore, jalan besar neighbourhood guide — 7 exciting things to eat, see and do

Whether you’re a hardcore collector or a casual plant appreciator, Jungalore is the go-to place for aesthetic plants ranging from Jewel Orchids (S$9), Scindapsus Pictus Silvery Ann (S$90), to the Philodendron Melanochrysum (S$688).

With lush greenery surrounding the store’s exterior, it’s definitely hard to miss!

Opening hours: 3:30PM – 10PM (Tues – Sun), 4PM – 10PM (Mon), closed on Thu
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Bendemeer MRT. 5min walk from Exit B

6) Try Unique Creations in Newly-opened Shops

Aphrodite Waffles & Gelato

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Newly opened in January 2022, unique ice cream flavours at Aphrodite Waffles & Gelato include adventurous ones like Blue-cheese chocolate (Aphrodite) and Goat Cheese to delicious classics like Hojicha, Roasted Pistachios, and Buttery Biscoff.

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Interesting items offered also include the ice cream milkshake (S$6), which comes with a scoop of ice cream blended with milk for extra creamy goodness.

*Pro-tip: Get a free scoop of ice cream when you guess their mystery flavour right!

Opening hours: 1PM – 11PM (Mon – Thu), 1PM – 2AM (Fri – Sun), closed on Tue 
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Jalan Besar MRT. 5min walk from Exit B

La Levain

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Photo credit: @fatpigdiary via Instagram

Enter the world of artisanal bakes with La Levain and say hello to some lovely cruffins (croissants + muffins) along Hamilton Road!

Interesting creations from Chef Wythe’s here include the Bo Bo Cha Cha Croissant (S$6.50) and the Nian Gao Croissant (S$5.20).

Opening hours: 8:30AM – 6:30PM, closed on Mon
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Bendemeer MRT. 5min walk from Exit B

7) Go for a Relaxing Staycation 

Hotel YAN

neighbourhood guide, singapore, things to do in singapore, jalan besar neighbourhood guide — 7 exciting things to eat, see and do

Photo credit: @hotelyan via Instagram

Conveniently located near a ton of hipster cafes in Jalan Besar, book a stay at Hotel Yan — a quaint boutique hotel with a simplistic charm.

Apart from the deluxe and premium rooms, you can opt for a stay at their new single loft room, especially if you’ve got a thing for higher ceilings!

Cost: From S$126.31/night
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Bendemeer MRT. 6min walk from Exit B

The Vagabond Club

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Photo credit: @thevagabondclub via Instagram

If you love art and whiskey, here’s a place that has both — The Vagabond Club. The rooms are lavishly styled with Parisian-inspired designs and the Whiskey bar stocks a massive collection of up to 1,000 whiskeys!

Cost: From S$311.84/night
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line to Jalan Besar MRT. 7min walk from Exit B

Discovering New Things to Do in Singapore

neighbourhood guide, singapore, things to do in singapore, jalan besar neighbourhood guide — 7 exciting things to eat, see and do

With plenty of exciting activities in the neighbourhood, Jalan Besar is definitely worth a second take. From cafe-hopping to mural-hunting, head down for a fun day out with some friends, or bring along your date for a memorable adventure!

The next time someone goes “isn’t Jalan Besar just filled with cafes”, share this article with a resounding “nope!”.

If you’d like to explore more of Singapore, check out our Changi Neighbourhood Guide and Yishun-Sembawang Neighbourhood Guide for some ideas!

What else did we miss out on in this Jalan Besar guide? Share with us in the comments!


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