The Joo Chiat area has long been known as a Peranakan neighbourhood – in fact, most of the oldest and famous Peranakan restaurants are located in the area. Visitors to Joo Chiat often come for Instagram-worthy shots of the famously colourful Peranakan shophouses, or sample tasty Peranakan cuisine and kuehs.
If you head down to Joo Chiat Road these days, you’ll notice that the area itself is more than just about Peranakans. Linking Paya Lebar to East Coast Road, this straight road – divided into 3 sections – is actually home to a myriad of influences from the East and West.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect along Joo Chiat Road:
From Paya Lebar and Geylang Serai
If arriving by MRT, the closest stop is Paya Lebar, which is a five-minute walk to the beginning of Joo Chiat Road. This stretch of the road is part of Geylang Serai, and Joo Chiat Complex marks the beginning of the road. This portion of the road is lined with popular halal eateries like Hjh Maimunah, or places to get halal snacks like tauhuay and vadai.
There are also a number of old school kitchen supply shops for when you need to find a pestle and mortar, mixer bowl or other random kitchen accoutrements. It’s also got dedicated halal grocers and a baking supply store.
A little further down the road is Masjid Khalid mosque, which pretty much marks the end of the Muslim section of Joo Chiat Road as it intersects with Crane Road.
After Crane Road
The next section of the road is dedicated to all sorts of restaurants and cafes. These range from old school wanton mee at the famous Ang Moh Noodle House and vegan restaurant Loving Hut, to cafes like Okada Coffee & Sweets and Chezcake Bistro, which specialises in cheesecakes.
This stretch of Joo Chiat is very popular for Vietnamese cuisine, and many restaurants, like Long Phung, often have crowds during mealtimes. While the entire Joo Chiat is peppered with plenty of old school karaoke bars (the kind uncles like to hang out it), this stretch of the road has the most number of bars.
It should also be noted that from this point onwards, there are also plenty of shops related to pets – a pet swimming school, pet daycares, groomers, puppy sellers, and more. The further down the road you go, the more hipster these pet places are.
Those who want to explore this street can also opt to spend the night at one of the many budget hotels here, ranging from Aqueen to Ibis and even a backpackers. Just before you reach Dunman Road, you’ll find some hipster shops – like the craft beer bar The 1929 Brewing Company, A Vintage Tale clothing store, The Cheese Shop, and a vegan beauty store, Oasis:Skin.
From Dunman to East Coast
From this point onwards, Joo Chiat Road becomes more and more hipster. In addition to more pet stores, you’ll also find more fancy cafes including King’s Cart Coffee Factory, Homeground Coffee Roasters, C Cafe, and Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee which is also a purveyor of records (yes, music records).
There’s no shortage of eateries either – you have Burger Frites and Braseiro steaks to Sin Heng Claypot Bah Koot Teh and Alibabar Hawker Bar.
Other random interesting old school shops include one of Singapore’s last rattan stores (Teong Theng) and an old school bicycle shop (Chin Hong Cycle).
You’ll also find a number of quaint shops, including Cat Socrates (famous for its knick knacks), a funky wine shop called Wine Mouth, and a retailer of Mutt Motorcycles.
Across the road is Katong Point, the ground floor of which is taken over by Little Farms – a high end supermarket with an attached cafe/restaurant.
Awfully Chocolate marks the end of Joo Chiat Road before it intersects with East Coast Road. While the road itself technically continues on towards Marine Parade Road, it’s lined with residential building blocks.