The Ultimate Guide to Singapore Nightlife
From posh hotel bars to dance-fueled dives, Singapore’s diverse after-hours scene is a night owl’s dream.
When it comes to global travel destinations, it’s no secret that Singapore is on the tinier side. Measuring in at just over 283 square miles, this pint-sized country is just a hair smaller than New York City—yet this curious microstate comes equipped with one of the most robust drinking and dining scenes on planet earth. Historically imbued with a multicultural culinary landscape that marries Chinese, Malaysian, Tamil, and British flavors, Singapore also excels at the art of mixology, providing tourists and locals alike with a treasure trove of high-end cocktails bars to explore.
First established as a humble 10-room inn back in 1887, the opulent Neo-Renaissance Raffles Hotel has grown to become one of Southeast Asia’s crown jewels of hospitality, with nine lavish bars and restaurants onsite. Just past the lobby, the Writers Bar celebrates the legacy of the many poets and authors who have walked the hotel’s storied hall—with no shortage of high-end beverages on hand to keep the words flowing. In between bites of vegetable samosas and smoked salmon blinis, guests can sip on complex cocktails like the Barcarole, a refreshing blend of coconut, lime, and lemongrass rum.
Boasting top-shelf spirits and a wealth of colorful decorative flourishes that change on the regular, Junior The Pocket Bar serves as one of the most dazzling venues in all of Chinatown. After a long day spent perusing the neighborhood, guests can dine on hearty dishes from creamy baked spinach dip to ultra-savory meatballs, while housemade kombucha and Thai ginger beer are perfect for a little evening refreshment—especially with an added shot of rum. And while the overall theme changes every few seasons, 2023 saw the debut of a refined menu inspired by historic Korean royalty, with seaweed cocktails and hearty tteokguk topping the roster.
A far cry from the sophisticated cocktail dens scattered across the nation, Skinny’s brings some much-appreciated dive bar energy to the shores of Boat Quay. You’ve got all the classics up for grabs here—boilermakers, picklebacks, and Fireball shots, to name a few—with the added option to snag hot dogs, pretzels, and a wealth of other pub snacks in between sips. And of course, no trip to Skinny’s is complete without a few rounds of karaoke in the dedicated KTV room just beyond the bar.
After an idyllic afternoon stroll through Fort Canning Park, Kanpai 789 offers fresh craft brews and thin crust pizza a few steps away from the Singapore River. Pies around here run the gamut from teriyaki chicken to tuna curry—and as an added bonus, this vibrant venue is also well-versed in the art of flavorful Thai cuisine. Green mango salad, tom yum seafood vermicelli, and spicy steamed fish are just a few of the Southeast Asian dishes up for grabs, each one pairing perfectly with a pint of New England IPA on draft.
Fried calamari, boquerones, and grilled octopus are just a few of the tantalizing dishes at Sabio by the Sea, a top spot for tapas located in the eastern reaches of Singapore’s Sentosa Island. While small plates reign supreme, the breezy venue is no stranger to large format presentations, with decadent seafood paella and beef ribeye both making appearances. During the evening hours, guests can toast to a day at the beach with a glass of housemade sangria, while weekend early risers can take full advantage of the joint’s lively Hangover Brunch.
In need of a quick pint before jetting? Little Island Brewing Co. has you covered. Positioned just north of Changi Airport, this open-air outpost is a go-to for craft beer aficionados thanks to a stacked lineup spanning more than 10 different options on tap. Hardcore hop heads should be sure to try the Yeast of Jupiter East Coast IPA, while the White Light Hefeweizen is the perfect option on for sweltering Singapore afternoon—and, best of all, the space also excels at top-quality barbecue, with savory selections like garlic pork sausage, herbed lamb ribs, and wagyu beef brisket.
When the craving for a perfectly prepared martini strikes, there’s no better destination than No.5 Emerald Hill. Operating out of a stately Peranakan-style building, this Orchard Road-adjacent outpost has been in the cocktail business since 1991, earning abundant local acclaim for their diverse martini list that ranges from starfruit to lychee to chrysanthemum. While guests can sip on all sorts of classic concoctions here, no visit is complete without treating yourself to some classic Asian pub fare, with karaage shrimp, mutton samosas, and crispy chicken wings all gracing the menu.
Located in the southernmost reaches of Chinatown’s iconic Amoy Street, Native showcases the splendor of Southeast Asian spirits and botanicals at their absolute best. Oolong kombucha, butter-roasted coffee, and jackfruit rum are just a few of the exceptional cocktail ingredients found here, while the menu also includes a dedicated fermentation section home to fruit-forward pours like mango lapsang wine and calamansi mead. And when it comes time to eat, Native offers a wealth of family-style dishes to share, with wild mushroom dumplings, miso clams, and butterflied snapper routinely turning heads.
A younger sibling of New York’s renowned West Village speakeasy, Singapore’s iteration of Employees Only offers all the incredible flavors found stateside with added regional flair. For a deep dive into the history of the brand, visitors can snag a cocktail from the EO Classics menu, with options like the agave-forward Ready Fire Aim and strawberry and vanilla-infused Fraise Sauvage serving as all-time best sellers, while the EO Singapore Signatures menu showcases elaborate concoctions invented right here in the Little Red Dot. In terms of the latter, Mr. Big being a particular highlight thanks to its complex blend of Sri Lankan arrack and papaya-infused vermouth.
Sustainability takes center stage at Analogue, a polished space launched in 2021 by bartender extraordinaire Vijay Mudaliar. Upon arrival, guests can marvel at the property’s many tables grown from mycelium spores, while the bartop itself is a true work of art, carefully 3D-printed from more than 1.75 tons of recycled plastic—and to sweeten the deal, the food and beverage program is pretty stellar as well. Equipped with a completely plant-based menu, visitors dine on savory jackfruit tacos and vegan nuggetz with curry sauce, while cocktails range from guava-forward rum tipples to the Cactus, an ultra-refreshing blend of mezcal, prickly pear, and pink dragon fruit.
There’s a wealth of complex, locally inspired cocktails to discover at Jigger & Pony, a refined Chinatown venue that’s spent the past eight consecutive years on the Asia's 50 Best Bars list. While happy hour selections revolve around classic negronis and yuzu marmalade-loaded whiskey sours, serious cocktail aficionados should be sure to snag a drink from the IDENTITY menu, a creative roster of beverages debuted in early 2023. Each one is united through the common theme of sustainability, with options including the local honey-infused Honey Magnum and Ugly Tomatoes, a gin-based tipple made with produce deemed too unsightly to be sold in conventional grocery stores.
Singapore is no stranger to dazzling lounges, but in terms of true splendor, it’s tough to beat ATLAS. Stashed in stately Parkview Square, this iconic venue is a feast for the senses, adorned with red carpets, towering ceilings, and a back bar that soars 26 feet high. While spirits span all walks of life, gin is the main focus, with more than 1,300 options to choose from. And to experience the British classic in cocktail form, spring for the citrus- and chocolate-infused Orange Blossom Martini, while Champagne fans will find a world of opportunity dwelling within the Parkview Family Cellar, which stocks over 250 high-end labels.