Photo: HungryGoWhere Photos
You are never too far from a bar in the city's Central Business District. From those that cater to the post-work happy hour crowd to the city's top rooftop spots - the CBD has them all. We walk along Marina Boulevard and Collyer Quay to grab a beer, sip a few cocktails and sample bar snacks. In the process, we found 14 of our favourite drinking spots.
A grand brasserie and bar with irresistible promotions
At 5,000 sqft this is probably the CBD’s largest brasserie and bar. With its leather seats and marble tabletop, the place certainly feels grand and swanky, but you’ll feel comfortable at this the multi-concept restaurant, lounge and bar partaking in hearty breakfasts, coffee catch-ups, power lunches, languorous dinners and a good ol’ round of after work drinks. Alongside their impressive wine list is an extensive menu of vodka, gin, rum, tequila and champagne cocktails (from $16). They’ve also got a large range of single malt whiskies (from $16) and liqueurs ($13). Oh, and ladies? Pop by on Wednesday evenings and you’ll get to enjoy free martinis and cosmos at the main bar from 6pm to 9pm.
The Exchange | Address: #01-05, Asia Square Tower One, 8 Marina View | Tel: 66361200 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat Mon-Fri 8am-1am
Daily prosecco cocktail happy hour
You may not go to Erwin's unless you worked in the area, but those who do, are rewarded with prosecco cocktails for $9.50-$11.50 during their happy hour (5-9pm). The Bellini is a safe bet, but there is more to drink at this chill spot: craft beers, beer shandies, wines, spirits and cocktails. Bar bites include a chill roasted pork crackling, served with honey mustard ($6) and beef ($3.50) or lamb sliders ($15) in brioche buns.
Erwin's Gastrobar | Address: #01-01, Ground Plaza, 8A Marina Boulevard | Tel: 66348715 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8am-11pm
Microbrewing craft beer takes on new heights
Located 33 floors up Marina Bay Financial Centre, this craft-brewery and gastrobar is a favourite hangout of the financial types of this area. The bar serves four types of brews: 33.1 Blond Lager, 33.2 Pale Ale, 33.3 Stout, 33.4 House Porter ($13.33 for a pint before 8pm, 17.33 after) as well as seasonal creations which are brewed four times a year. Besides beer and the views, the bar also boasts a great bar grub and dining menu. Standout dishes include the medley of aged sirloin and braised wagyu beef ($43.50) as well as the chargrilled Iberico pork tenderloin brined in its house ale ($39). If you come in a group, try the sharing plates. The best seats in the house are those at the outdoor terrace where you can guzzle its range of craft beers while soaking up the awesome views of Marina Bay.
Level33| Address: #33-01, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1, 8 Marina Boulevard | Tel: 68343133 | Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11.30am-12am, Fri 11.30am-2am, Sat 10am-2am, Sun 12nn-12am
The Bank Bar + Bistro
Post-work drinks and mingling with suits
While it serves as the ‘local’ for many of the suits that work in the vicinity, you’ll always find a spot, even with people spilling out of the gastrobar. With its dark wood furniture and ample seats, it’s the perfect spot for a post-work tipple on a weekday. But make like the regulars by grabbing a beer and joining them in the outdoor area filled with high tables. The specialty cocktails (between $16- $35) are aptly named after the occupational hazards of the clientele like ‘Liquidated Damages’ (whiskey sour) and ‘Offshore Account’ (a rum-based, citrus and berry cocktail). ‘The Bank’s G&T’ ($17) is a refreshing spin on the classic, with mint and grapefruit juice added to the mix. The pub grub is sub-par unfortunately, and you’re better off just grabbing bar snacks ($8.90 - $48) if you’re really peckish.
BOOK A TABLE HERE| Address: #01-01, One Shenton, 1 Shenton Way | Tel: 66362188 | Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11am-12am, Fri 11am-1am, Sat-Sun 9am-12am
A popular institution for a nice cold one
From its humble beginnings as just a local bar at Boat Quay, Harry’s has grown into quite a popular bar institution. There seems to be one popping up at every corner, especially in the CBD area – there are more than 10 within the city centre perimeters. This is hardly surprising given that the bars target the PMEBs (professionals, managers, executive and businemen) who like nothing better than a stiff cold one after working hours. Apart from a good range of beers, wines, cocktails and house pours, Harry’s also offers its own brew – the Harry’s Premium Lager, a clear, crisp pilsner with a thin white head and aromas of grain ($14).
Harry's | Address: #01-03, Grand Plaza, 8A Marina Boulevard, Marina Bay Link Mall | Tel: 66346318 | Opening hours: Mon-Wed 11.30am-11pm, Thu-Fri & eve of public holiday 11.30am-1am
Ku De Ta
Drinks with view of the city
Love it or hate it, we can all agree this is one bar you’re guaranteed a gorgeous view of the Singapore skyline, and we’ve all taken our out-of-towners here once. Perched on the observation deck of the iconic Marina Bay Sands, the place offers drinks that, understandably, aren’t cheap (beers $16 onwards; cocktails $20-$30). At the sultry and loud Club Lounge, you’re going to get a mix of tourists, expats, high-spenders and sarong party girls. For a more relaxing session to nurse your Ku De Ta cocktail (cointreau, kahlua, drambuie, coffee and cream, $22), head over to Skybar – even if you’ve not booked a table, there are high-tops around the outdoor bar to slink over while overlooking the observation deck.
Ku De Ta| Address: Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3, 1 Bayfront Avenue | Tel: 66887688 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12nn-3pm, Sat-Sun 11am-3.30pm, Daily 6pm-11pm
THERE IS A LOT MORE TO DRINK (AND EAT) IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT. READ HERE FOR PART TWO.