Boat Quay is one the most popular places for a waterside drink or nibble in Singapore, with its wide range of colourful bars and alfresco restaurants. It’s sandwiched in between Clarke Quay in the north and Marina Bay in the south. The main stretch comprises a walking lane that loops around the Singapore River.

    Besides being a favourite sundowner spot in the city, the famous quay is a real photographer’s playground. Most of the bars and restaurants at Boat Quay are set in old multi-coloured houses which ooze personality, while evening reflections across the water are equally impressive. Head to Elgin Bridge for the best vantage point – take in the gleaming CBD skyline towering over the waterside houses in all their glory.


    Canvas Club

    Hit the neon-lit dancefloor or check out some cool art

    Canvas Club is a clubbing hotspot between Singapore’s Boat Quay and Clarke Quay area where you can expect bass-heavy underground music late on. Interestingly, you can arrive earlier in the day to check out the cool art gallery space that’s attached to it, hence its name.

    The club isn’t technically at Boat Quay – you can simply reach it across South Bridge Road and along the way to Clarke Quay. It isn’t only about art exhibitions and late-night partying either, as Canvas Club regularly hosts international acts and even holds hilarious stand-up comedy shows from 7pm onwards for a great evening with good laughs.

    Location: 20 Upper Circular Rd, #B1-01/06 The Riverwalk, Singapore 058416

    Open: Tuesday from 5 pm to 1 am, Wednesday–Friday from 5 pm to 3 am, Saturday from 6 pm to 4 am (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +65 8125 0166


    photo by celebrityabc (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    RedDot BrewHouse

    A brewery set in a historical building

    RedDot BrewHouse offers a great chilled ambiance with views over the Singapore River. The venue is part indoor, part alfresco, and is one of the go-to spots for a quality ale around the boat quay area. Views are pleasant, but the real winner here is the homebrewed beers.

    Some of their beer selections are truly unique and worth trying. Check out the Monster Green Lager Beer, which is literally green. You can also order steaks, burgers and snacks if you’re feeling peckish. They regularly have live bands to keep the mood alive as well, which usually play from about 9pm onwards.

    Location: 33/34 Boat Quay, Singapore 049823, Singapore

    Open: Monday–Friday from midday to midnight, Saturday from 3 pm to midnight (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +65 6535 4500


    The Spiffy Dapper

    A no-frills spot for cocktails

    The Spiffy Dapper is probably the best cocktail spot along the stretch of Boat Quay. Their in-house mixologist puts his unique touch on classics such as the signature Bloody Mary and Old Fashioned. Expect a price tag that goes from S$20 and up to match the atmosphere. The upstairs’ setting is a nod to its ‘speakeasy bar’ approach.

    Besides the great cocktail selections, there are simple bar snacks for grabs if you’re feeling peckish, such as guacamole and tortilla chips. If you’re interested in the history and science behind famous cocktails, you can sign up for one of their workshops, such as the gin and tonic masterclasses.

    Location: 73 Amoy St, Second Floor, Singapore 069892

    Open: Monday–Friday from 5 pm to 1 am, Saturday from 6 pm to 2 am, Sunday from 7 pm to 1 am

    Phone: +65 8742 8908


    photo by Gordon Wrigley (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Cat Café Neko no Niwa

    Enjoy furry cuddles over coffee

    Cat Café Neko no Niwa is where you can drink tea and coffee at Boat Quay, all in the company of a furry feline friend. Drinks are priced from S$2 – and for an additional S$12, you can enjoy your sips with an hour-long cuddle with your newly met resident cat. If you’ve made that ‘purring connection’, you can add S$5 more for a next half hour.

    The cats here are well cared for, ensuring their welfare and wellbeing. There are even certain café rules that you need to follow – you can take as many pics as you like, but you should never wake up a slumbering cat. Note that kids under 7 aren’t allowed in the café’s cat space.

    Location: 54A Boat Quay, Level 2, Singapore 049843, Singapore

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 10 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm (closed on Tuesdays).

    Phone: +65 6536 5319


    The Penny Black

    A British-style pub at the quay

    The Penny Black is a Victorian London-style pub at Boat Quay where you can choose from 7 different international beers – on tap. These range from Kilkenny and Guinness to Erdinger and Tiger. The pub supposedly had all its parts shipped halfway across the world from England. Along with all the traditional pub furniture and beers, there’s live sports – with a strong bias towards Newcastle United FC.

    Hit a spot at The Penny Black’s quayside alfresco seating area where you can sip your beers and hearty London pub meals while enjoying the views over the Singapore River. Or head down to the ground floor with its spacious seating and décor that hark back to an authentic Victorian London tavern.

    Location: 26-27 Boat Quay, Singapore 049817, Singapore

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 11.30 am to 1 am, Thursday–Friday from 11.30 am to 3 am, Saturday form 11.30 am to 4 am

    Phone: +65 6538 2300


    photo by Nicolas Lannuzel (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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