Charlene Feng, author of The Best Digital Nomad Neighborhoods in Singapore, shares her picks for this vibrant metropolis' best restaurants and bars, plus the hottest places to work from casual cafes to creative coworking spaces.
The Best Restaurants in Singapore for Digital Nomads
Burnt Ends: Despite expanding to a new, larger space, a reservation at Burnt Ends is still hard to come by. There’s a reason Chef Dave Pynt’s smoky menu cooked over custom-built, dual cavity, wood-burning machines remain such a hot table. The flavors at this Michelin Star eatery are bold, straightforward, and, unadulterated.
The Coconut Club: This nasi lemak specialist is worth its padded price tag: the spiced-and-fried organic GG French poulet is next-level juicy and the creamy coconut milk used to cook its “fatty rice” is delicious down to the last grain. Don’t leave without having a bowl of their homemade chendol (local ice dessert with coconut milk, green rice jelly flour, and palm sugar syrup).
Violet Oon Singapore @ National Gallery: Of their three locations, the elegant, art-deco style dining room overlooking The Padang is the prettiest. Their menu of Singapore and Peranakan favorites (the Dry Laksa, Beef Rendang, and Ayam Pong Tay are hard to beat) never disappoints and service is always impeccable.
The Kongsee: Go here for unpretentious sharing plates curated by Willin Low, arguably the father of Singapore’s Mod-Sin cuisine. The decor is distinctively Singaporean with Peranakan tiled tables and HDB gate railings as is the menu with dishes like the Roxy Crab Laksa and Krapow Prata Pizza.
Forma: Specializing in handmade pasta—they make it on-site in a street-facing, floor-to-ceiling-glassed kitchen—there are just seven choices but if you have to choose, opt for the hand-formed Tortellini in Brodo, pork-filled parcels in a comforting chicken broth.
Bollywood Veggies: It’s a trek to get out to this 10-acre farm in Kranji but the simple pesticide and fertilizer-free fare emerging from its on-site bistro are quite literally, farm-fresh. You won’t go wrong with an order of The Warrior’s Chicken Curry and a Bollywood 3-in-1 plate of local desserts.
Thevar: This hot new restaurant has already earned a Michelin star for its menu of contemporary Indian cuisine like plump Canadian oysters topped with rasam granita and pork ribs glazed with medjool dates.
New Ubin Seafood: What started as a seafood restaurant on the island of Pulau Ubin has grown into a household name known for dishes like its Sri Lankan crab in salted egg sauce and perfectly-seared US Black Angus ribeye.
Milano Pizza and Wine: Singapore has no shortage of good pizzas but these airy, crisp-edged two-inch-thick pies are next level. Don’t underestimate the comforting goodness of their flavor-bomb Margherita pizza and the Neo-Neopolitan Char Siu, baked at a higher temperature for a “uniquely developed crumb.”
Sin Hoi Sai: This casual dining restaurant has been serving its menu of seafood favorites (they’re known for their chili and black pepper crab) for over 30 years. Pick what you like from the on-site tanks and order starters like the deep-fried prawn rolls and yam ring.
The Best Bars in Singapore for Digital Nomads
Wine RVLT: This laidback gastro bar is a hot favorite of the island’s wine-inclined foodies who decamp here to polish off bottles of minimal intervention vino alongside menu staples like the dashi crystal bread with spanner crab and caviar, and the lobster tail pasta with house-made XO sauce.
The Elephant Room: Tipples that are big on spice and audaciously bold to the palate, this cocktail bar blends Indian culture through all its libations and bites. The house Tekka is a brilliant concoction of Old Monk rum with coconut and lacto-fermented bananas.
Level 33: This microbrewery’s fruity lagers and banana-scented wheat beers are the main draws, but its prime position with a panoramic view of the sparkling Marina Bay area is pretty impressive as well.
Spago: Situated next to the infamous infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands, Spago’s 57th-floor terrace bar is a popular spot for sunset tipples. There are over a dozen original cocktails (try the Rough Love) and an impressive by-the-glass list of bubblies.
Analogue Initiative: Housed within the historic CHIJMES compound, this plant-based watering hole champions sustainability through creative cocktails like the Soursop, a vibrant and floral-scented concoction.
Le Bon Funk: Drink better at this natural wine bar. Sommelier Josée Yeomans’ selection sees rotating vintages from boutique natural producers like Ontario’s Domaine Mosse and young and upcoming winemakers.
D.Bespoke: A regular fixture on the 50 Best Bars list, a drink at this hidden Ginza-style bar fronted by sharp-suited mixologists is an experience. Cocktails are individually designed to guests' personal tastes with an excellent selection of sherries, calvados, Armagnacs, and vintage rums.
Revival Bar: Pop into this loft-style and art history-inspired neighborhood bar for elevated cocktails like the gin-based Portrait of Pablo Picasso and Le Jardin with Lake Bartezek Vodka, linden leaf, and champagne.
Smith Street Taps: Knocking back cold ones in a hawker center is a quintessential Singapore experience. At this low-key, unpretentious craft beer bar you’ll have more than just Tiger Beer for choice. There are over 20 rotating taps, from malty chocolate stouts, hop-heavy beers, and light pilsners.
Atlas: Go for the glorious art-deco setting with intricate gold and bronze balconies, and stay for the excellent selection of drinks. Housing a massive gin collection of 1,300 bottles and a staggering selection of wine, champagne, and whiskies.
The Best Digital Nomad Cafes in Singapore
Lowercase: If you vibe with creative spaces, this cafe within Lasalle College of the Arts is the spot to get your hours in. Free WiFi means it’s almost always busy but there’s plenty of space and the boozed-infused gelato is the perfect mid-afternoon perk-up.
Genius Central: This cafe/workspace/networking hub just makes sense. Buy a four-hour pass from them and get the fee back in food and drink credits.
Botany: When you need a change of scene, leafy Botany with its ample amount of natural light does the trick. The menu is pretty bougie but there are a few comforting favorites like the Chicken Congee to fuel that focus.
The Book Cafe: Before there were coworking spaces, there was The Book Cafe with its snug living room-like ambiance and bookshelves. They also have a printer that's free to use, as long as you don’t abuse their hospitality.
For The People: Popular with students thanks to its ample power plugs, free WiFi, and hearty brunch fare. Beware, they may charge a fee to stay for two hours or longer.
The Best Coworking Spaces in Singapore for Digital Nomads
The Great Room: We can’t decide what we like about this coworking space more: the occasional perks (massages, fresh-brewed coffee) or its slick interiors with plenty of luxe touches. Either way, we love that they have multiple locations and loads of in-office events.
Working Capitol: Its 11-floor location on Robinson Road is hard to beat with its own gym, cafe, and pool, but don’t discount the Keong Saik location that boasts a beer garden, screening room, and in-house cafe.
Trehaus: This family-friendly coworking space offers more than just a desk and meeting space but a real community vibe to the space with child-minding and learning facilities, as well as a sun-kissed deck for some much-needed vitamin D breaks.
Crane: As a kid-friendly coworking/retail/cafe space, this is a top choice for globetrotting families and it's accessible to some of the buzziest areas (Joo Chiat, Arab Street, Robertson Quay). There are also fitness perks and you can choose between daily, monthly, and yearly passes.
The Cocoon Space: Located on Orchard Road is a major plus, but this space also has a special edge for workers in the fashion and design industry with a Maker Studio set up with drafting tables and sewing machines.