• Explore Joo Chiat, Singapore’s most traditional neighborhood
• Grab a bite at a famous wonton house or have a latte in an unconventional cafe
• Shop made-in-Singapore souvenirs, then sit back and relax with foot reflexology massage
Joo Chiat is Singapore’s most traditional well-preserved neighborhood, and it’s one of the few truly walkable places in the city-state. The main thoroughfares of East Coast Road and Joo Chiat Road are lined with period shophouses—don’t miss the oft-photographed row at the intersection of Joo Chiat and Koon Seng Roads, or the elaborate dragons gracing the upper floor of the 1928 shophouse at 185 Joo Chiat Road. The area is filled with coffee shops both old and new—try Avenue for a latte set in an architect’s office crossed with a retail shop—as well as affordably delicious restaurants that have been around for ages. Fei Fei Wonton Mee is justifiably famous for its wanton mee, and Sin Hoi Sai Eating House slings fiery Indonesian chicken and sizzling hot-plate tofu until 4 a.m. Also on offer here: unique shops including Cat Socrates, stocked with made-in-Singapore souvenirs, as well as our favorite, Chiang Pow Joss Paper Trading, where you can see intricate five-foot-tall spirit houses under construction before they go up in smoke at a funeral (the owners are friendly, so don’t be surprised if they invite you inside to take pictures). The scene is a fascinating mix of old Singaporeans, foreign laborers and French expats. After you’ve had your fill, head to Feet Haven for a foot reflexology massage at a bargain price.
Once you’ve made it to the Joo Chiat neighborhood, you can find most of these experiences right on Joo Chiat Road. Sin Hoi Sai Eating House and Feet Haven are located on East Coast Road, which is the major street that intersects with Joo Chiat Road. Make sure you walk down the Koon Seng Road Shophouses for the complete tour of this historic neighborhood.
KOON SENG ROAD SHOPHOUSES: Koon Seng Rd. between Joo Chiat and Tembeling Rds.
AVENUE: 454/456 Joo Chiat Rd.; +65-6779-7153; avenue.sg
FEI FEI WONTON MEE: 62 Joo Chiat Place; +65-6345-7515
SIN HOI SAI EATING HOUSE: 187 East Coast Rd.; +65-6440-6956
CAT SOCRATES: 448 Joo Chiat Rd.; +65-6348-0863; catsocrates.wix.com/catsocrates
CHIANG POW JOSS PAPER TRADING: 252 Joo Chiat Rd.; +65-6440-6683
FEET HAVEN: 136 East Coast Rd.; +65-6344-7311; feethaven.com