Neighborhood Travel Guide: Jalan Besar, Singapore

Nestled between the frenetic Little India and the exciting Kampong Glam lies the peaceful heritage of Jalan Besar. Its quaint streets are lined with lovely Peranakan shops and dotted with cafes, bars and some of the best local restaurants on the island. Easy access to Lavender, Farrer Park and Jalan Besar MRT stations.

Apartment Coffee

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A newcomer to the caffeine cafe in Jalan Besar, Apartment Coffee is making a name for itself for its dedication to creating the perfect cup of coffee. 10-Seater Café Bench is the perfect place to engage baristas to chat. The coffee, a bit pricey because it’s sustainably sourced, is very good.

Petain Road Terrace Houses

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Marvel at the bustle of colors and ornate lines displayed in this wonderfully ostentatious Chinese Baroque shop. Built in 1930 by local landowner Mohamad bin Haji Omar, this heritage building strip features traditional Malay frilled eaves, Chinese symbols and motifs on plaster reliefs and hundreds of Floral glazed ceramic tiles.


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Take a slice of Singapore home with you in the form of a unique souvenir from local brand Onlewo. Known for their Singaporean-inspired, patterned fabric designs, the studio sells fun clothing, homeware and gifts. The criss-cross silk scarves are especially lovely.

The Tiramisu Hero

This kitty-decorated kitsch cafe is known for… well, its tiramisu! The original is great but if you’re feeling adventurous, call the durian flavor a bit polarizing. Each creamy dessert is served in its own glass jar, perfect for sharing.

Hong Kong 88 Roast Meat Specialist

Roast pork lovers should not miss the sio bak (Chinese-style roast pork) at this street stall. Owner Martin has perfected his recipe over the years, including a two-hour variable-temperature cooking process. Result? Tender, melt-in-your-mouth pork covered with crispy, just-eaten skin. It’s best eaten straight from the oven, so try to get there when the stalls open at 11am and beat the midday crowds while you’re there.

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