The best restaurants in the Civic District of Singapore are all centred around the popular City Hall MRT Station. Drawing similarities to Marina Bay and the Financial District, restaurants here are sophisticated, often offer award-winning quality, and encompass a variety of flavours from around the world.
The best places to eat in the Civic District includes world-famous restaurants that consistently feature in ‘Top 50 Restaurants in Asia’ lists, as well as a selection of eateries where you can feed the whole family for under S$40 and still leave happily. This area is also one of the most historic parts of the country, right in the centre of the city.
Shinji by Kanesaka
Shinji by Kanesaka is the perfect place for sushi lovers with some cash to splash. Dubbed as ‘the best sushi restaurant in Singapore’ (which in our book means Southeast Asia), this simple, almost sterile restaurant was named after the original owner, Shinji Kanesaka, a Michelin-starred sushi guru who once plied his trade in some of the best restaurants in Tokyo.
Shinji by Kanesaka keeps the decor simple, paving way for the ultra-fresh and meticulously prepared dishes to take the much-deserved limelight. Lunches start at S$75, while you can pay all the way up to S$300 for a full dinner set.
Location: Carlton Hotel Singapore, 76 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189558, Singapore
Open: Monday–Saturday from 12pm to 3pm and from 6pm to 10.30pm (closed on Sundays)
Phone: +65 6338 6131
Jaan’s wow-factor(s) start well before you’ve even taken your first bite of their critically acclaimed food. As soon step out of the elevator onto the 70th floor of the Swissotel The Stamford, the panoramic views blow you away. You’ll be even more impressed by the food.
Jaan’s 5 or 7-course set menu brings the finest seasonal ingredients to centre stage, enhancing delicacies such as fresh oysters, langoustine, caviar, foie gras and pigeon. Each dish is good enough to eclipse that stunning view. The venue is relatively small with only 40 seats so bookings are advisable well in advance.
Location: Swissotel the Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Level 70, Equinox Complex, 178882, Singapore
Open: Monday–Saturday from midday to 2.30pm and from 7pm to 10pm (closed on Sundays)
Phone: +65 6837 3322
Inle Myanmar Restaurant
The Peninsular Plaza opposite City Hall MRT has been described as a ‘vertical Burma in the centre of Singapore’, offering an enclave for the minority Burmese workers and migrants to meet, eat and shop. Where the Burmese go, you’re sure to find lots of tasty Burmese food, and the best place to sample it is at Inle Myanmar Restaurant in the basement of the building.
There are lots of other cheaper vendors serving up food, but we think Inle Myanmar is the tastiest, cleanest and easiest to order if you’ve never experienced this cuisine before. For the really adventurous, try Inle’s crispy eel or go for their devilishly spicy prawns in tamarind sauce. Most dishes are good for sharing, and you could come with your whole family and all leave with full stomachs for less than S$40.
Location: 111 North Bridge Road, #B1-07 (A/B) Peninsula Plaza, Singapore
Open: Daily from 11am to 10pm
Phone: +65 6333 5438
Stuttgart Blackforest Boutique S-Cafe
Stuttgart Blackforest Boutique S-Cafe is like a tiny slice of Bavaria in the middle of the Bugis area and the Civic District, so it’s difficult to say exactly which ‘area’ Singapore it sits in. The German food is meaty and hearty – just as it should be – with their signature pork knuckle served with sauerkraut and potato salad a real highlight.
Stuttgart Blackforest Boutique S-Cafe also creates the whole Bavarian vibe nicely with plenty of wooden features and servers clad in traditional German attire. You can also pop in just to buy their imported beer, German snacks or range of fine cigars. Walk to Stuttgart Blackforest Boutique S-Cafe from Bugis, City Hall or Bras Basah MRT Stations.
Location: 9 Bras Basah Road, #01-01 Rendezvous Hotel Gallery, 189559, Singapore
Open: Daily from 11am to 11pm
Phone: +65 6336 8675
Although not our number 1 steak house in Singapore, Wooloomooloo does come close. Don’t be put off by the eight ‘o’s in its name; this steakhouse is the real deal, with some lavish dining furniture as well as some huge glass panels allowing plenty of light in and offering modest views of the CBD in the background.
Wooloomooloo has a fine choice of cuts, mostly Australian prime ribeye, sirloin, and filet alongside some more expensive varieties such as Wagyu. The wine list as just as impressive as the food and helpful waiters are able to make informed recommendations as to which will complement your meal best. Find Wooloomooloo Steakhouse on the third level of the luxurious Swissotel The Stamford.
Location: 2 Stamford Rd, Level 3 Swissotel The Stamford, Singapore 178882, Singapore
Open: Monday–Friday from midday to 11.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 11.30am to 11.30pm
Phone: +65 6338 0261
Since its opening at the Swissotel The Stamford, the swanky Anti:dote has been making waves across Singapore for its inventive and downright delicious cocktails concocted by Tom Hogen, an internationally renowned mixologist. However, even if you’re teetotal and have no interest in cocktails, Anti:dote is worth a visit for its food alone.
Their in-house Catalan-born chef produces some of the finest tapas in Singapore we’ve ever tried. The yellowfin tuna skewers (served raw) come from Japan every week, whilst their bite-sized chunks of rib beef are braised for 3 days before making it onto your plate. They also do a great pizza, which is pretty good value too at S$12. Most other dishes fall in the S$14-20 category.
Location: 2 Stamford Rd, Level 1, Singapore 178882, Singapore
Open: Bar daily from midday to 1am, Dinner Saturday–Wednesday from 6pm to 10.30pm, Thursday–Friday from 6pm to 11.30pm
Phone: +65 6431 5315
Standing Sushi Bar
Inspired by the table-less sushi joints all the way from the streets of Tokyo, Standing Sushi Bar at the Singapore Art Museum offers exactly what you would expect from a restaurant with such a name… kind of. You come in (bookings in advance are advisable), you order, then you eat your sushi, sashimi or whatever other Japanese delicacy takes your fancy – all while standing up.
Standing Sushi Bar has cheated a little bit, though. The restaurant has obviously realised that some diners, weary after their stroll around the Singapore Art Museum, would rather sit than stand. Therefore, you’ll find a range of seating options too. A word on the sushi: it’s some of the freshest you’ll find around and most dishes won’t break the bank either.
Location: 331 North Bridge Road 01-04 Odeon Towers, 188720, Singapore
Open: Monday–Friday from midday to 2.30pm and from 6pm to 10.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from midday to 10.30pm
Phone: +65 6333 1335
Victor’s Kitchen claims to have the best custard buns in Singapore, and with this snug little restaurant getting packed-out every lunchtime, they may just have a point. Their signature, the golden egg yolk lava bun (liu sha bao) will certainly wow you, whilst the rest of their menu boasts some of the best dim sum you’ll find outside of Chinatown towards the west of the city centre.
You can find Victor’s Kitchen in the Sunshine Plaza building on the outskirts of the City Hall area, walkable from Dhoby Gaut, Bugis or City Hall MRT Stations.
Location: 91 Bencoolen St, #01-49 Sunshine Plaza, Singapore 189652, Singapore
Open: Daily from 10.30am to 8pm
Phone: +65 9838 2851
Conveniently located on the ground floor of Raffles City Shopping Centre, The Botanic has shrugged off the stigma of being a mall restaurant in a variety of ways. Reflecting the chef’s travels and learnings throughout the region, the menu highlights global influences with Nyonya, Indonesian, Thai, Chinese, and Mediterranean inspired dishes.
From the bar, you can choose from a surprisingly sophisticated list of drinks as well as bar bites that can help you forget that you’re sat in the middle of a mall. The bar also presents a good range of imported beers, as well as a good selection of organic wines.
Location: Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, Singapore
Open: Daily from midday to 11pm
Phone: +65 6837 0995