Tantric Bar / May Wong’s Cafe / Backstage Bar – This 3-in-1 venue is a quite an institution in Singapore’s gay nightlife scene. Located on Neil Road – which is pretty much the LGBT epicentre of the country – the lively trio of bars is easy walking distance from Outram Park in Chinatown, not too far from the looming skyscrapers of the CBD.
This place started off as just the ‘Backstage Bar’, but its newer Tantric Bar seems to be the most popular choice nowadays, with hip dance music and potent cocktails keeping the diverse crowd happy until throwing out time (when most of the guys stumble across the street to carry on the party at Taboo Club).
- Opening Hours: Sunday–Friday from 8pm to 3am, Saturdays from 8pm to 4am
- Location: 78 Neil Road, Chinatown, Singapore 088842, Singapore
- Tel: +65 6423 9232
Ann Siang Hill is one of the best places to enjoy Chinatown’s buzzing nightlife, and if we had to pick one bar on this narrow street to visit it would have to be Gem Bar. This relaxed bar is on the corner of the road, it takes over all 3 floors of the shophouse.
There are happy hours every evening and snacks to soak up the cheap booze, with cocktails inspired by Asia fruit including the sour plum mojito and star fruit martini. On the ground floor, you can sit outside on the terrace or lounge on the red velour armchairs close to the bar. Head upstairs for live music on the second floor (from Wednesday to Saturday), or chill out in the pool hall on the third floor.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Thursday from 4pm to 1am, Friday from 4pm to 2am, Saturday from 5pm to 1am
- Location: 10 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069789, Singapore
- Tel: +65 9834 0755
Oxwell and Co
One of the most recognisable bars around Club Street with its almost billboard-like exterior fronting a grey-on-white colonial building, Oxwell and Co. serves up a fine range of cocktails and mains all in some rather flamboyant settings.
Sitting near the corner of Ann Siang Hill and Club Street, this self-proclaimed gastro bar has numerous area all offering something a little a different, including a rooftop dining area for a more formal setting, downstairs bar and some alfresco seating outside. House drinks are all poured from some pretty quirky plumbing-style taps, including their own Oxhorn Larger, as well as Pimms, sangria and Prosecco. There’s also a study range of pub grub as well as free bar bites when you spend enough.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Sunday from midday to midnight
- Location: 5 Ann Siang Rd, Singapore 069688, Singapore
- Tel: +65 6438 3984
SaVanh Bistro & Lounge
Step inside this converted shop house and you’ll instantly feel like you’ve escaped the city, with its bright warm colours, tropical garden greenery, jungle props and giant Buddhist statues dotted around the spacious bar. Downstairs you’ll find more of a relaxed vibe, with a mix of city workers and young locals lounging around with a pint or cocktail in hand, whilst the upstairs IndoChine Restaurant presents a slightly more formal dining experience.
In fitting with the decor, the menu encompasses most parts of Southeast Asia, full of Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian and Cambodian delights that we can’t pronounce. Fortunately, there is a translation provided and so we can recommend their green curry with duck, crispy soft shell crab, and of course, sticky rice with mango for dessert.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday from midday to midnight
- Location: 47 Club St, Singapore 069424, Singapore
- Tel: +65 6325 8529
1927 Rooftop Bar at Sofitel SO Singapore
On top of the Sofitel So Singapore, 1927 is high among the surrounding CBD skyscrapers that actually tower over the bar and adjacent pool, creating an intimate and almost cosy kind of feeling.
With a team of mixologists behind the bar, the emphasis here is on the cocktails rather than the beers. Special events include tastings for rum aficionados with rum cocktails of the day, bar bites, and up to 20% off drinks.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Friday from 5pm to 2am, Saturday–Sunday from 2pm to 2am
- Location: Sofitel SO Singapore, 35 Robinson Rd, Singapore 068876, Singapore
- Tel: +65 6701 6800
While other gay clubs come and go in Singapore, Taboo is one of a handful that has stood the test of time and still thrives today. This is partly thanks to its location on Singapore’s pinkest street – Neil Road – surrounded by half-a-dozen or so other gay-friendly (but much more chill) bars and bistros.
Things only really get going here after midnight, when the boys roll up tipsy after a night of bar hopping. Expect T-shirts to come off, a bit of groping here and there, guys that look like girls, girls that look like guys, and everything in between – all to the sound of a thumping big house soundtrack and camp 80s décor.
- Opening Hours: Wednesday–Thursday from 8pm to 2am, Friday–Saturday from 10pm to 3am, (closed Sunday–Tuesday)
- Location: 65-67 Neil Rd, 088897, Singapore
- Tel: +65 6225 6256
Part of the lively trio of bars on Neil Road, Tantric Bar offers hip dance music and potent cocktails keeping the diverse crowd happy until throwing out time.
The nightlife hotspot has also earned a reputation for being the only Singaporean spot serving double shots every day from about S$12. Try their signature cocktail, the Blue Spin, while you're there.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8pm to 3am
- Location: 78 Neil Road, Chinatown, Singapore
- Tel: +65 6423 9232
Smith Street Taps
Ditch the stereotype that drinking in Singapore is reserved only for the wealthy and well-dressed at the scruffy Smith Street Taps, part of the Good Beer Company group, in Chinatown Complex hawker centre.
You’re more likely to see uncles drinking with their buddies alongside broke backpackers, rather than the city crowd who like to frequent the nearby CBD bars down the road. Smith Street Taps specialises in a whole host of imported beers and ciders, which usually means there is a hefty price tag. However, beers here start from just S$6 (up to around $14), making this one of the cheapest bars in Singapore. You can also grab yourself some hawker food from one of the nearby stalls to have an even more frugal evening out.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday from 6pm to 10pm (closed on Sundays)
- Location: 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex #02-58, Singapore
- Tel: +65 9430 2750