PUBLISHED July 13th, 2021 06:00 am | UPDATED July 21st, 2021 04:15 pm
Air-conditioned hideouts are aplenty in Singapore’s sweltering heat. But sometimes, we just want to feel the sunshine on our skin and the breeze in our faces. Nothing quite complements that experience like a good tipple in hand for the quintessential kickback sesh. From rustic enclaves to beachside bars, here’s our definitive guide to the best al fresco bars in sunny Singapore.
Publico‘s very own terrazza is home to a riverfront view that’s just as good as its concoctions, as evidenced by its latest edition of its World’s Best Bars series featuring Maybe Sammy, the eleventh best bar in the world. While we eagerly await future collaborations (rumoured to be from Bangkok and Kyoto), savour their mainstays Caffe Italia (S$18), Dirtier than your Martini (S$20), or the cheeky Publico Sling (S$23) with a rosemary twang. Wine aficionados can sample from their extensive wine list, featuring everything from magnum bottles and Old World wines, to biodynamic labels.
Publico is located at 1 Nanson Road, Singapore 238909, p. +65 6826 5040. Open Mon-Thu from 12pm-10.30pm, Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 8.30am-11pm, and Sun 8.30am-10pm.
If you miss Bali, Bikini Bar is one of your best bets in Singapore for that quintessential beach bar experience. Catch the sun over a Daiquiri (S$16) or a Somerita (S$26) – an extra refreshing tipple featuring Somersby apple cider served upside down into a margarita – and keep your tummy filled with bar bites like Spicy Pork Belly Tacos (S$14) and Mantou with Chilli Crab Dip (S$15). Weekdays are the best beach days at Bikini Bar with great deals on Asahi Super Dry (at just S$30 for bucket of five) and selected premium spirits.
Bikini Bar is located at 50 Siloso Beach Walk Sentosa Singapore 099000. Open Mon-Fri from 2pm-10pm, and Sat-Sun, PH from 12pm-10pm.
Adorned with overhanging lightbulbs and colourful flags, Lucha Loco‘s hideout on Duxton Hill is a quaint watering hole. Their garden bar comes to life at night, with candlelit tables and agave-forward tipples to go with. Their unpretentious El Classico (S$19) is everything you want in a margarita, with the optional addition of wild cupreata mezcal for a smokey kick. Give their signature dark Smoky Ron (S$19) a go, or Scraps & Hot Lips (S$19) for a dash of surprise. Bar bites include the classic Elotes (S$8) and Loco Churros (S$14), as well as our favourite spicy Alitas de Pollo (S$14).
Lucha Loco is located at 15 Duxton Hill, Tanjong Pagar, Singapore 089598, p. +65 3158 3677. Open Mon-Sat from 11.30am-10.30pm. Closed on Sun.
Basque tapas and DIY Sangria Punch Bowls (from S$70) are the stars of the gastronomy txa txa (pronounced “cha cha”) here. The latter can be customised to your palate, with a choice of red or white, rum or brandy, and fresh fruits. Their other creations include Tinto de Pintxos (S$18) and the fruity La Case Grande (S$18). Also on menu are house-pour spirits, and an exhaustive list of Spanish wines. Sip your evening away while munching on Iberico Chorizo (S$22) or the decadent Tarta De Queso “La Viña” (S$10), the classic Basque burnt cheesecake, taking in the gorgeous setting at the historic Alkaff Mansion.
TXA Gastrobar is located at The Alkaff Mansion, 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178, p. +65 8123 8484. Open daily 4pm-11pm.
A good view like this begets a good Negroni, and boy does Caffe Fernet deliver. Specialising in the art of the aperitivo, this al fresco experience pays homage to timeless Italian classics like the Turin Vermuttino (from S$13), and Sicilian Spritz (from S$13), the briney cousin of the Aperol Spritz (from S$14). Their Negroni section invites appassionati to debate which of the four is best: the Classico, Secco, Elegante, or Vecchio. They concoct, you concur. Satisfy your post-aperitivo appetite by digging into their famous Mafaldine Cacio e Pepe (S$26).
Caffe Fernet is located at 70 Collyer Quay, Customs House #01-05, Singapore 049323, p. +65 9178 1105. Open Mon-Tue from 4pm-10.30pm, and Wed-Sun from 12pm-10.30pm. Happy Hour is from opening till 7pm.
Set in a lovely backdrop of colonial architecture and lush greenery, the Raffles Courtyard is definitely your upscale al fresco bar experience. Their lineup of tipples boast summer-forward creations, including the iconic Original Singapore Sling (S$35), and the Raffles 1915 Gin Sling (S$29). Don’t miss out on their Happy Hour specials, with beer, wine, and spirits at S$10, classic cocktails at S$15, and The Beach Rd Bucket (S$48) for four bottles of Paulaner Bräuhaus-brewed lager.
Raffles Courtyard is located at Raffles Arcade, 328 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188719, p. +65 6412 1816. Open Mon-Fri from 3pm-10pm, and Sat-Sun from 9.30am-10pm.
There’s something appealing about Mexican food with sundowner tipples, and Chimi‘s is where you’ll find both. Situated in a 20-foot container in the CBD, it guarantees a buzzing atmosphere for your after-hours unwind sesh. Start the party off with a Fiesta Sharing Platter (from S$32) to feast on some Al Pastor Chicken Skewers, tacos, quesadillas, and loaded nachos, before guzzling down some cerveza, a Baby Mule, or the classic Paloma Chimichanga (S$20 for 2; HH).
Chimi’s is located at 1 Marina Boulevard, #01-01, Singapore 018989, p. +65 9100 0855. Open daily from 4pm-10.30pm.
Fronting the 150 year-old Riverhouse, once a secret society den to the infamous Ghee Hok Society, is Yin. Its bar bites pay homage to its Eastern influences, apparent from the bar’s charming Chinese architecture, from Crispy Baby Squid (S$14) to Sichuan Mala Chicken with Crispy Kang Kong (S$22). Sample their signature concoctions like The High Pot (S$21), a mixture of Gold Rum and Chinese tea, or the Kyoho Grape sake-based Dragon Glass (S$21). Their promotions also cover everything from wine, soju, to one-for-one cocktails for S$25++ all night to keep the party going.
Yin At The Riverhouse is located at 3A River Valley Road, #01-02 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179020, p. +65 8879 0688. Open daily from 6pm-11pm.
Brewerkz Riverside Point
Craft beer with a spanking view? Brewerkz Riverside Point has you covered. Take your pick from their Sentosa Beer Series, featuring creative beers like Tanjong Rimau Yuzu Nutmeg Witbier (from S$12), their star-studded Seasonal offerings like Resin Bomb DIPA (from S$14), and in-house Specials like Gula Melaka Imperial Stout (S$16). Pair with beer-battered Golden Ale Fish & Chips (S$26) or a simple Kombu Truffle Fries (S$16) for a meal that’ll leave you with a beer belly to be proud of.
Brewerkz Riverside Point is located at 30 Merchant Road, #01-07 Riverside Point, Singapore 058282. Open daily from 12pm-10.30pm.
The Coastal Settlement
Honestly, there’s no other place thus far that is quite like The Coastal Settlement. A hidden gem in the East with a charmingly rustic aesthetic, it is also home to some great booze. Their list of wines and spirits is impressive, but their original concoctions steal the limelight here. Whether you opt for the elegant and fruity Lady of Leisure “LoL”, the tropical blue pea-infused Miss Vietnam, or the effervescent Pink Atlantic (S$18), you really can’t go wrong here. A Sparkling Lychee Mojito (S$18) could do it for us on any day.
The Coastal Settlement is located at 200 Netheravon Road, Singapore 508529, p. +65 6475 0200. Open Mon-Fri from 10.30am-11pm, Sat-Sun from 8.30am-11pm. Open at 8.30am on PH.