As well as being one the best-known areas of Singapore, Bugis is a place where quite a few of the different elements to the city-state are visible. On the one hand you’ve got malls, malls, and more malls – and on the other, an alternative, dare we say it, almost hipster-type scene with plenty of independent bars, cafes and restaurants. Then, of course, you’ve got the vibrant Islamic influence that adds so much to the Bugis foodscape. Bugis restaurants are therefore a complete delight and you’ll be able to find just about any type of food you want in this district, if you look hard enough. Certain areas are naturally better for certain things, so we’ll go ahead and get started with this breakdown of what to expect from the many types of restaurants in Bugis.
Now, just because Singaporeans like convenience doesn’t mean that food always has to take a hit in terms of quality. Granted, it does sometimes, but at Bugis Junction the restaurants are of such excellent quality that they really make a shopping spree at this high-end mall extremely satisfying. Popular with locals as well as tourists because it’s very central and located close to the MRT station, Bugis Junction seems to define Singapore’s appetite for an extravagant shopping complex, meaning the choice of restaurants is seriously impressive. You have no less than 30 restaurants inside Bugis Junction with cuisines varying from French to American and Portuguese to Japanese. Most of them are names you’ll know, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with that if you know you’re guaranteed a great plate of food – they’re all at one end of the Bugis restaurant scale, let’s say.
At the other end of Bugis restaurant scale, restaurant and cafe hopping has become quite the way to pass the time these days. As well as Kampong Glam, Bali Lane and Haji Lane are central to areas of Bugis that have restaurants and cafes in abundance, and if your day is shaping up to be a little more chill than a stint inside Bugis Junction, we’d really recommend a little tour of the best ones. Why not stop by an English-style cafe and indulge in an artisan tea menu, or an independent Mexican restaurant for tacos that are loaded with fresh meat, veg and guac? Japanese restaurants in Bugis are also quite a big deal because the food they offer is fresh, exciting and super sociable, so you’ll find some damn good ones hiding away in between the mains roads of Victoria Street and Nicoll Highway. Then, of course, just in case you aren’t actually hungry, Bugis has restaurants, bars and cafes that quite happy to have you in for just a coffee or a cocktail.
Yep, perhaps more so than anywhere else in Singapore, Kampong Glam and Bugis are buzzing with Islamic influence and the Muslim communities that live here bring colour, flavour, aroma and, well, glamour to the streets. This is the case pretty much anywhere you go around the Malay Heritage Centre or the Masjid Sultan mosque, but Arab Street is probably the epicentre of it all. Here, Bugis restaurants are definitely at their most vibrant and you’ll find all kinds of Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines on offer. Naturally, almost every Bugis restaurant here offers meat that’s halal as well as vegetarian food to fill you up, whether it’s from a street stall or a stainless steel kitchen. Offering variation from dining at restaurants in Bugis Junction, you can browse bazaars, boutiques and colourful shopfronts around Arab Street and when you’re done, take the edge off with some of the best food in Singapore.