Where to eat: 10 places in Singapore to people-watch

Every now and then, nothing quite beats the comfort of outdoor dining in solace—phone tucked away, the best food on your table and an astounding view to keep you company as you observe others out and about above the brim of your coffee mug. People-watching offers an opportunity for quiet reflection and does wonders to soothe and calm the overworked mind.

There are many ways one can judge a restaurant, and apart from obviously the food, the dine-in views they offer is one of them. If you’re in the mood for people-watching and are looking for a restaurant to relax and wind down, here are 10 eateries in Singapore that will suit your fancy.

1. Tiong Bahru Bakery @ Eng Hoon St

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Credit – Tiong Bahru Bakery

Nestled in the heart of the ever-so-nostalgic Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, Tiong Bahru Bakery serves the perfect opportunity for you to immerse yourself comfortably within an artsy environment—croissant and coffee in hand.

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Credit – Tiong Bahru Bakery

Tiong Bahru Bakery is known islandwide for their delicious renditions of brioche, pain au Chocolat and Kouign-amann, with artisanal coffee served by a group of brewers from Australia and Singapore, collectively known as The Common Man.

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street: 56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-70, Singapore 160056 | Tel: 6220 3430 | Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Daily) | Facebook | Instagram | Website

2. 6oz Espresso Bar @ Tokio Marine Centre

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Credit – Facebook/6oz Espresso Bar

Come for their 6oz Espresso Bar’s delicious Iced Genmaicha Latte (S$6), stay for the best seats in CBD of businessmen and women hustling and bustling about. This snug cafe is strategically located along the junction of McCallum Street and Cecil Street, on the ground floor of Tokio Marine Centre. If you work in the CBD area, it’s the perfect place for a much-needed break. With oven-fresh pastries and coffee brewed from 100% Arabica beans, this bistro is the ideal spot to people-watch when in the CBD.

6oz Espresso Bar: 20 McCallum Street, Tokio Marine Centre, Singapore 069046 | Tel: 6509 6602 | Opening Hours: 7am – 5.30pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on Sat & Sun | Facebook | Website

3. Piedra Negra @ Haji Lane

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Credit – Facebook/Piedra Negra

Piedra Negra serves made-at-your-table fresh guacamole and margaritas that are sure to make your appetite dance the salsa. This Mexican restaurant is located at the entrance of the buzzing Haji Lane, which more often than not transforms into a long, mini Mardi-gras on Friday nights and weekends.

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Credit – Facebook/Piedra Negra

It’s a great place to indulge in some authentic Mexican food while taking in the sights, sounds and colours of all that Haji Lane has to offer.

Piedra Negra: 241 Beach Road, Singapore 189753 | Tel: 9199 0610 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 12am (Tue to Sun), Closed on Fri & Sat | Facebook 

4. Tanjong Beach Club @ Sentosa

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Credit – Facebook/Tanjong Beach Club

Get away from the concrete jungle and treat your senses to the cool breeze and hot sands of Sentosa Beach at Tanjong Beach Club. This famous beachside bistro serves a power-packed menu, starring their Lobster Bun (S$39)—a sandwich consisting of live Maine lobster coated in burnt butter mayonnaise and avocado, served with a side of chips.

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Credit – Facebook/Tanjong Beach Club

Tanjong Beach Club is best for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Lounge on a beach chair and while the time away in this little slice of paradise, away from all the city commotion, surrounded by the positive vibes of other beach-goers.

Tanjong Beach Club: 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, 098942 | Tel: 6270 1355 | Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon to Fri), 9am – 8pm (Sat & Sun) | Facebook | Website

5. Oriole Coffee + Bar @ [email protected]

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Oriole Coffee + Bar sits right outside the entrance to [email protected], near the Pan Pacific Serviced Suites. As the entrance of the mall leads to Somerset MRT, the foot traffic here is always heavy, making it the best spot to idly observe the hoi-polloi while you sip away on your coffee.

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The cafe offers interesting choices of drinks—like the Death Cream (S$9), which is an old recipe consisting of bright-tasting vanilla beans, espresso, and heaps of cream. Also famous on their menu is their sweets and pastries, such as the Avocado Panna Cotta (S$14) and their Fresh Baked Pear Frangipane Tart (S$12).

Chope Reservations

Oriole Coffee + Bar: 96 Somerset Road, Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, #01-01, Singapore 238163 | Tel: 6238 8348 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10.30pm (Daily) | Facebook | Instagram | Website

6. Whisk and Paddle @ Punggol

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Credit – Facebook/Whisk & Paddle

Punggol is a treasure trove of wonderful sights and sounds of nature. A great part about the area is that it’s relatively new, making it a less-popular destination for tourists and visitors. It’s a good option for those looking for more peaceful alternatives away from busy Central Singapore—and what better way to appreciate all that Punggol has to offer than by dining in at Whisk and Paddle.

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Credit – Facebook/Whisk & Paddle

This restaurant has an al fresco deck that overlooks Punggol Waterway, giving diners a sense that they are dining within a thick, lush jungle. It is a great environment to enjoy a nice little meal in solitude while joggers trod past amidst the sounds of tropical birds.

Whisk & Paddle, Punggol: 10 Tebing Lane, Singapore 828836 | Tel: 6242 4617 | Opening Hours: 3.30pm – 10.30pm (Mon to Fri), 9.30am – 10.30pm (Sat & Sun) | Facebook | Website

7. TWG Tea Salon & Boutique @ Marina Bay Sands

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Credit – Facebook/TWG Tea

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique is located right beside the waterway that runs through the middle of Marina Bay Sands, amidst the throng of shoppers in the heart of Singapore’s swankiest mall.

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Credit – Facebook/TWG Tea

The local tea company is known for its exciting and heavenly-tasting brews, with each pot being large enough to fill four cups with tea (S$11 onwards). They also serve freshly baked scones and muffins to go along with the tea for a total of S$19, which sounds like a splendid way to spend tea time, if you ask me.

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique: 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, B1-122 /125, B2-65/68A, Singapore 018972 | Tel: 6535 1837 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook | Instagram | Website

8. The Halia @ Botanic Gardens

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Credit – Facebook/The Halia

If you like the thought of dining while being surrounded by the serenity of nature, then Halia at Botanic Gardens is the perfect option for you. The restaurant has a quaint, glass-sheltered al fresco dining area that is enveloped by lush and diverse greenery—with views of joggers and passersby taking in the surrounding beauty.

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Credit – Facebook/The Halia

Food-wise, their Singapore-style Chilli Crab Spaghettini (S$26) has been known to cause tongues wagging amongst customers. The Paperbag Oven-Baked Halbut Fillet (S$33) comes highly recommended too.

ChopeDeals: Save up to 50% at The Halia >

Chope Reservations

The Halia: 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569 | Tel: 8444 1148 | Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon to Fri), 10am – 9pm (Sat & Sun) | Facebook | Website

9. Da Paolo Gastronomia @ City Hall

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Credit – Facebook/Da Paolo Gastronomia

Situated nicely beside a calming water fountain in the heart of Raffles City Shopping Centre, is Da Paolo Gastronomia, an Italian Deli serving pizzas, croissants, and a perfect atmosphere for quiet reflection.

Get comfortable with their delicious Almond Croissant (S$4.20), and if you’re looking for a light snack, their Grilled Chicken Pizza (S$7.70) comes in convenient bite-sized portions—making for a perfect brunch.

Da Paolo Gastronomia, City Hall: 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City Shopping Centre, B1-45, Singapore 179103 | Tel: 6265 4850 | Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook | Website

10. Fill A Pita @ Pickering Street

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Credit – Facebook/Fill-A-Pita

Fill A Pita serves pitas made with 100% halal and vegetarian ingredients. It is located at the entrance of Nankin Row in Pickering Street, making it a great place to absorb the lively surroundings of China Square on a Friday Night.

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The Eggplant Pita Sandwich (S$11) is a favourite amongst regulars, and the restaurant is the perfect introduction to traditional Middle Eastern cuisine for those looking to venture into new food territories.

Fill A Pita, Pickering Street: 3 Pickering Street, Nankin Row, China Street, Central, #01-29, Singapore 048660 | Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon, Tue & Sun), 11am – 10.30pm (Wed to Sat) | Facebook | Website

Final thoughts

One of the perks of dining outside is that we get to immerse ourselves in the energy and spirit of others. Therefore, a nice ambience can make or break an experience dining in at a restaurant. Surrounding ourselves with good energy can add value to a dining experience, and when coupled with great food, makes for a fulfilling and magical night out.

Give these restaurants a try the next time you’re considering dining out—after all, the food is only as lovely as a restaurant’s atmosphere, and with these options on the list, it’s hard to go wrong.

The delicious joy of Singapore food culture: Enjoy Eating House And Bar

Have an interesting hawker story or good food to share? Email us at [email protected]