Lavender and Jalan Besar: Neighbourhood Guide

Singapore Jun 30, 2023

What to do in Jalan Besar and Lavender? Here are some top recommendations for local spots to eat, drink and do in the street that used to be a swampland.

Jalan Besar in the 1900s. Photo by National Archives Singapore.

What to do in Jalan Besar and Lavender? Here are some top recommendations for local spots to eat, drink and do in the street that used to be a swampland.

During the colonial era, Jalan Besar was known for its mix of shophouses, serving as a trading hub for various businesses. These shophouses still line the streets today, showcasing architectural styles from Singapore’s bygone era, including Art Deco and Victorian. Be part of the lucky few to get to stay at these conservation shophouses when you choose to live at Hmlet Hamilton.

Although not always the most popular food destination by foodies, it's certainly starting to make a name for itself with more cafes and bars planting roots in this area. Some will go as far to say that this neighbourhood would be the next Tiong Bahru.

If you’ve wondered what lies in store in the Lavender and Jalan Besar neighbourhood, then you’re in luck. Here’s a comprehensive list of things to eat, drink and do the next time you find yourself in the neighbourhood.

Top 5 things to do

  1. Take a stroll through the sleepy neighbourhood
  2. Spot some street arts peppered along the streets
  3. Try out bouldering at Boulder+ at the nearby Aperia Mall
  4. Taste local delights at one of the many food centres
  5. Artjam with your pals at Artify Studio

Must eat and drink


38 Hamilton Road, Singapore 209208

In the midst of all the chaos, unwind and relax in this minimalist and stripped down cafe. When you’re here, try out their award winning brew by Lucid’s founder, Andrea Tan. Other than that, they’re also known for their #instagrammable cake, 'Cloud Beta v0.1' — a perfect addition to your Instagram profile.


119 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207547

Calling all craft beer lovers! Nestled in what used to be the former Singapore Chinese Druggists Association, soak in all of its history as Druggists still remains the accent of the old building. From grapefruit infused IPA, to Double IPAs, stouts, pale ales and fruit sours, they have at least 23 craft beers on tap at any one time.

Red Eye Smokehouse

1 Cavan Road, Singapore 209842

Serving up succulent ribs, brisket and pulled meats that have been smoked for hours on-premise, Red Eye SmokeHouse is an unpretentious and underrated restaurant. Be sure to wear your finest stretchy pants when visiting to prepare for all the delicious smoked cuts you’ll get to try here.

Food Court

30 Foch Road, Singapore 209276

What better way to fully experience Singapore than to try out local cuisines. From tasty fried porridge (for the unacquainted, that’s congee) made by Dynasty Fried Porridge to the highly sought after Kok Kee Wanton Noodle, this is the place to go when you want fuss-free and affordable food.

Must see

Petain Road Shophouses

Along Petain Road

Nothing says Peranakan like the tiles on this row of shophouses. While you can't exactly go inside, it's worth the walk-by just to marvel at its old school architecture and design.

Haji Lane

Along Haji Lane

Formally known as the Muslim quarter, this place has since transformed to be a ‘hipster’s favourite spot’. As all the select stores close early, remember to plan your time wisely. We suggest spending your afternoon picking out cute trinkets and vinyls, and then unwinding at a cafe or a bar when the sun sets.

Kallang Riverside Park

Kallang Road and Crawford Street, Singapore 397732

An often overlooked park, this hidden gem not only serves you views but also allows you to escape from the hustle and bustle. While walking along the river, you’ll get a magnificent view of the National Stadium and Merdaka Bridge. As you venture further down, you’ll also get to see the site of Kallang Old Gasworks that was used from 1862 to 1998.

Sultan Mosque

3 Muscat Street, Singapore 198833

Built in 1824, this mosque lies in the heart of the Kampong Glam district. Behind the grandeur facade of the building lies a heartwarming story. The base of each dome is decorated with glass bottle ends and donated by lower-income Muslims, which encapsulates the whole belief that anyone can give back and contribute despite their wealth. Take note, as this is a place of worship, no shorts, t-shirts or revealing clothes are allowed when visiting.

The Projector

Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road, Singapore 199589

Once the ‘largest cinema in Southeast Asia’ back in the 1970s, The Projector has revived the glory of the now defunct Golden Theatre. Located on the fifth floor of Golden Mile Tower, you’ll get to catch exclusive indie and alternative films that are mostly not shown at any other cinema in Singapore. Before your movie, grab some grub and craft beer from their Intermission Bar.

With a neighbourhood as cool as this, who wouldn't want to live in Jalan Besar? Find a home at our pet-friendly building, Hmlet Hamilton. Featuring entire apartments to co-living spaces and a communal rooftop, this might very well be the hippest place to live in Jalan Besar.


Fizah Hatman

Marketing Manager at Hmlet. Keeping up with pop culture, the news and TikTok.