9 best bars in Singapore with great drinks and atmosphere
The Mad Men Attic Bar
Hours: Mon – Wed: 5:00 pm – 1:00 am, Thursday: 5:00 pm – 2:00 am
Fri – Sat: 5:00 pm – 3:00 am
11 North Canal Road #03-02, Tel: 6222-3529
The intimate rooftop bar tucked away in a back street may not have the best views but it does live up to its moniker. Patrons here seem to have truly internalised the meaning of cutting loose.
Even the blare of the live band will not quash the exuberant chatter (and the occasional drunken squeal) of the tired and happy. There is a real sense of solidarity at The Mad Men, and it’s also ideal for those who want the rooftop experience without the towering height.
Try: Sour Plum Shots
The Secret Mermaid Bar
Hours: 5pm to 11pm, Mondays to Fridays
#B1-08, Ocean Financial Centre; Reservations Mon – Wed only
The Secret Mermaid has expanded its cocktail offerings over the past year but the sushi-joint-by-day and hidden-watering-hole by night is still at its best when peddling its wide range of craft spirits.
It’s the bar equivalent of that well-travelled friend you have who always wants to have you over for shared stories and tipples. Adventurous drinkers can try everything from smoked salmon vodka to legitimate moonshine, so opt for its Spirits Tasting Flights and go wild.
Try: Owney’s Rum
Hours: 5pm to 3am from Mondays to Fridays, 7pm to 4am on Saturdays 82 Boat Quay, Tel: 9653-8886
A place doesn’t have to be swank to offer a good time, and Skinny’s Lounge truly is as unpolished as a dive bar gets. And yet it’s packed to the rafters nearly every night with people of all ages and professions.
Opened by Nick Haas, formerly of cocktail bars Vasco and The Cufflink Club, the riverside American KTV bar was meant to welcome those in the F&B industry. Joshua and Sarissa Schwartz (the duo behind Employees Only Singapore, Lulu’s Lounge, Bang Bang and Pangaea) are among its die-hard fans.
Everything about The Black Swan’s mezzanine bar oozes seduction and glamour reminiscent of the roaring twenties. Exquisite crystalware, glistening cocktail shakers, Art Deco interiors and heady cocktails will transport you to a time when after-office enjoyment meant tailored suits (and conversations) and a gentle toast to a hard day’s work.
Try: The B.B King
Hours: 7pm to 4am on Wednesdays, 9pm to 6am on Fridays and Saturdays Pan Pacific Hotel, Tel: 9829-1922
There is no shame in admitting that we just can’t party the way we did in our twenties.
A horde of barely legals and overworked bartenders notwithstanding, many clubs just don’t play the music you broke in your dancing shoes to.
But Lulu’s Lounge will help recapture that magic with an eclectic mix of boogie, funk, soul and old-school hip hop — and with better drinks to boot. Because a jack and coke is just not worth the nostalgia.
Try: A Little Dirty, A Little Cheesy
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11.30am – 12.00am, Fri – Sat: 11.30am – 2.00amSun: 12.00pm – 12.00am, Eve of PH: Extended to 2.00am, PH: Hours Begin begin at 12.00pm #33-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1, Tel: 6834-3133
Sometimes the only thing that can take the edge of a rough day is just a good old fashioned pint of beer. But don’t settle for the standard house draughts. Your central air-conditioning-parched palate deserves brews crafted with care. LeVel33 has five signature beers along with a food menu just for pairing. And its modern, coppery decor and breezy views don’t hurt, either.
Try: Beer Paddle
Hours: 5pm to 1am from Sunday to Friday, 5pm to 2am on Saturday 112 Amoy Street, Tel: 6221-7357
The award-winning New York bar’s second outpost has inherited the same service-focused experience, top notch cocktails (courtesy of veteran Steve Schneider’s menu and staff training) and easy atmosphere. It’s not every bar that can get away with hiring a fortune teller and avoid the label of gimmicky. If the drinks and people don’t have you coming back for more the bone marrow poppers will.
Try: Ready Fire Aim
Ce La Vi
Hours: 11am till late on weekends, 12pm till late on weekdays SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands. Tower 3, Tel: 6508-2188
Clubbing real estate doesn’t get more prime than a spot atop the photographed-to-death Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The rebranding from Ku De Ta to Ce La Vi hasn’t messed with the establishment’s infallible formula: breathtaking views, solid drinks and a lineup of international DJs.
And it’s one that clearly works because in just a year Ce La Vi has climbed 10 spots in the DJ Mag Top 100 list to place as Asia’s 80th top club.
Try: Fireside Old Fashioned 3.0
Hours: Sunday – Tuesday : 6pm to 2am, Thursday : 6pm to 3am Eve of Public Holiday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday : 6pm to 4am 1 Raffles Place, Tel: 6438-0410
The world’s highest alfresco bar has one heck of a view going for it but it’s the convenient location, beautiful crowd and energetic tunes that keeps the white collars streaming in.
And it does the rare job of having just the right amount of people for the mood to be vibrant (even on a Friday night), but never too populated that it feels claustrophobic.
Our tip: Leave before last call, because there’s only one elevator down. Try the Nebula.