Geylang might be known as Singapore’s red light district but it’s also synonymous with great food. We went for a little walk and found a whole bunch of exciting new openings sprouting up in Geylang's fringe areas, giving the area a renewed vibe. Here’s what you can eat, drink and do the next time you’re in the hood.
 

Aside from the countless local food stalls selling authentic street side grub, we’re seeing the emergence of a new neighbourhood within the old, a juxtaposition between the old and the new—with modern eateries peppering the traditional shophouses. There’s been a slew of mid to high-end restaurants and cafés popping up in Geylang’s outskirts like Cassia Crescent and Guillemard Road. Not only does it add an air of sophistication to the area, it also provides residents an escape to the bright lights and loud noises of Geylang. Cafés and restaurants are also springing up along the scenic Geylang River, giving east siders a lively, hip riverside enclave to call their own. 

EAT

Here are 8 dining hotspots to check out when you're next in the area. 


The Tuckshop

The Tuckshop
This might look like a regular hipster café, but it’s really a beer bar at heart, serving five varieties of craft beers by local brewery Archipelago as well as modern takes on local delights. Vintage wooden and rattan furniture create a laidback vibe, perfect for alfresco late night drinks.


Spicy Thai-Thai Cafe

Spicy Thai-Thai Café 
A cult favorite among Thai food aficionados, this no-frills joint is all about serving up authentic Thai food like steamed catfish and a mean fusion green curry spaghetti.

La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar
This swanky Italian restaurant is housed in Goodman Arts Centre and serves Tuscan-style cold plates, pastas and pizzas with a contemporary touch. Far from being stuffy, the interiors are minimal and elegant, perfect for a date night.

Café Melba
Also located within the arts hub is this popular brunch spot, an Aussie café with a laidback vibe and fuss free menu. Breakfast favorites include eggs benedict, eggs Florentine and pancakes, but they also do simple, satisfying pizzas and pastas.


Maple and Market

Maple and Market 
Located in Cassia Crescent, a sleepy residential neighborhood, this cute bakery and café serves freshly-baked cakes and pastries to locals.

The Hideout
Just a block away from Maple and Market is this trendy waffle specialist. Waffles are typically served with gelato, although they do a savoury brunch version as well.


Brawn & Brains

Brawn & Brains
This tiny coffee joint serves seriously good artisanal coffee by devoted baristas at affordable prices. (Think $3.50 for a latte—and it’s a double shot, too.)



Bottle Cap

Bottle Cap
This charming, pet-friendly alfresco bistro-café lets diners tuck into simple Western plates while seated next to the serene Geylang River.

DRINK

There’s no need to go all the way to town when you can easily hit up these places in the vicinity for chill-out drinks.

Brewerkz
With the opening of an outlet at the stadium, locals get their very own offshoot of the well-known microbrewery, which specializes in freshly-brewed craft beers. Insider tip: the earlier you come, the cheaper the beers are.


Myra's Beach Club

Myra’s Beach Club
The popular East Coast bistro-bar also has a new outlet here, serving a comforting mix of North Indian and Mexican food and beachy cocktails.



The Papa Shop

The Papa Shop
This unassuming liquor kiosk has a penchant for obscure craft beers and boutique spirits at wallet-friendly prices. You can either enjoy at the premises or get them takeaway.

Bar Bar Black Sheep
This popular casual bar chain serves an approachable array of beers, cocktails and standard spirits starting from just $7. Its extensive food menu comprises not only the usual Western pub grub, but also Thai and Indian fare.

DO

Along with all its hot dining options, there are also a wide range of activities on offer in the neighborhood. Here are some fun ways you can work up a sweat in the area. 

GymKraft

Try indoor rock climbing or parkour. Sharing a communal space with massive rock climbing walls, Onsight Climbing and GymKraft are two unusual gyms that can teach you how to conquer vertical spaces, working muscles you never knew existed.


Yoga Inc.

Sweat it out with hot yoga. Independent studio Yoga Inc. offers affordable hot and non-heated classes. The friendly, neighborly vibe here distinguishes it from the big studios around the city, making it perfect for beginners.

Rent a bicycle and ride along Kallang Riverside Park. Imagine feeling the breeze in your hair as you whizz down the riverbank. If you don’t have your own bike, rent one at hip café Loysel’s Toy.

Tee off at Marina Bay Golf Course. Avid golfers will love this beautiful 18-hole course, which is open to public—no country club membership needed.

Dance up a storm at Goodman Arts Centre. On top of indie plays and performances, this arts hub also offers ethnic, ballet and contemporary dance classes.


The Strength Yard

Lift weights at neighborhood barbell club The Strength Yard. Sure, you can lift at your gym, but at this low-key strength and conditioning gym you can get together with like-minded enthusiasts.

Row, row, row your boat down Kallang River. Canoes and kayaks are available for rental from the Sports Hub’s Water Sports Centre. Beginners can take lessons here and at WaterVenture, while expert rowers can challenge themselves with a 500-metre Regatta course in Kallang Basin.


The Cage

Play floor hockey at Valhall or indoor football at The Cage. Even when the weather is bad or if the urge to play strikes after dark, you can still play a friendly game or two at these cool standalone facilities.


Coming Soon

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Paya Lebar Central will be getting a complete makeover. Plans for the future include a 12-hectare cluster of office buildings, retail developments and beautiful public spaces. There’ll be a public plaza next to the MRT interchange for recreational activities and will also double up as a gathering space. In the next few years, we can expect the Geylang Serai pedestrian mall, new Lavender shopping mall Aperia and new developments at the old Kallang Airport and along Tanjong Katong Road.