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Jalan Besar, Singapore Overview

Jalan Besar is a one-way road in Singapore, connecting Kallang to Rochur. Meaning 'wide road' in Malay, Jalan Besar has been increasingly developing as one of Singapore's newest and most popular hipster joints. Earlier known for its rubber factories and industrial plants, Jalan Besar is now popular for delicious cupcakes, seafood, artisanal coffee and even traditional Singaporean food. Alongside these cafes, the Jalan Besar Stadium also draws many visitors to this area.

This treasure trove is located in the heart of the city, tucked between Little India, Bugis and Farrer Park, and is thus often crowded with visitors who drop by after a tiring day of exploring the attractions in the vicinity. From full hearty portions of main courses to classic French pastries, you can literally spend a whole day here just exploring the different cuisines and foods. As a bonus, Jalan Besar is also well known for its amazing Third Wave Coffee that is served at numerous cafes. There are also several massage parlours, karaoke bars and crafts workshops, making it a popular destination. 

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Best Cafes & Restaurants at Jalan Besar

AEIOU Café
What sets the AEIOU Café apart from the others and makes it worth a visit is the fact that it has a certain kind of authenticity to it, which no other café in the area has been able to mimic so far. The owners take extra effort to repurpose the furniture and the ambience inside from time to time, to offer the best dining experience to their guests. The menu for the café is also quite sophisticated, and offers foods like beef cheek and pan-seared sea bass. Also, do not forget to taste their famous avocado coffee, which is served in an Absolut vodka bottle. 
Timings: 10:00 AM to 10:00 AM from Tuesday to Sunday
Closed on Saturday
The Bao Makers
The Bao Makers has earned a name for itself in the food industry since it modernized the classic Singapore bun snack in such a way that the people loved the new version. The café uses either steamed or fried mantou buns, and then fill them with a variety of unique fillings, such as salted egg shrimp, classic pork belly, Korean-inspired bulgogi, and of course, the very popular and classic Singaporean flavour, chilli crab. Other than bao, you will also find a lot of Asian and Western cuisine here, such as fish and chips, rice bowls with stir-fried beef, eggs, etc. 
Timings: 12:00 PM to 03:00 PM and 06:00 PM to 10:00 PM from Monday to Saturday
Closed on Sunday
Lighthouse Bistro + Bar
This café at Jalan Besar has now been serving delicious maritime meals for quite some time now, and their fresh concept and theme is loved by all. Seafood lovers should not give this café a miss! The Fisherman’s Board offers a wide selection of food items, including blue mussels, tiger prawns, Batavia squid, and Atlantic dory. Their signature dish, The Fishermen’s Angel Hair, is a fusion dish which is quite spicy and continues to be one of their most popular dishes. 
Timings: 12:00 PM to 10:30 PM on all days of the week
Lighthouse Bistro at Jalan Besar Singapore
The stunning Lighthouse Bistro (Source)
The Refinery
The Refinery is no usual café. Instead, it is a mixture of a mixology bar, a design workshop and a restaurant, all artfully combined into one. The restaurant is crowded at all times of the day and is known for its comfort food inspired by the West, as well as its Japanese cuisine. You will also find a variety of flavoured lattes and mochas on the menu, along with a variety of dessert items.
Timings: 12:00 PM to 03:00 PM and 06:00 PM to 11:00 PM from Monday to Thursday,
12:00 PM to 03:00 PM and 06:00 PM to 1:00 AM on Friday,
11:00 AM to 04:00 PM and 06:00 PM to 01:00 AM on Saturday;
11:00 AM to 04:00 PM on Sunday

Third Wave Coffee

The Bravery Café
For those who love places that are minimalistically done up, the Bravery Café is the best place to pay a visit to. The café is lit up with some lovely fairy lights, plastic crates, and plywood boards. It also has a hot kitchen which serves main courses like burgers, crab cakes, and plates of spaghetti; but coffee continues to be the main attraction of the café. 
Timings: 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM from Wednesday to Monday
Closed on Tuesdays
Open till 10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday
Must Try: Their Allpress Coffee is the most famous, but their lavender latte, infused with the fragrance of the flower, is also a must-try.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
This cafe at Jalan Besar has become extremely popular among all caffeine lovers, thanks to the artisanal brews that it offers. The café takes the extra effort of rotating its coffee on a seasonal basis, which not only highlights some of the best coffee cultivating farms of the area, but also ensures that you get a perfect coffee each time you visit the place.
Timings: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM from Tuesday to Sunday 
Closed on Monday
Must Try: Make sure to try the hand-brewed coffee while at the café, which is made with single-origin beans and is brewed by the cup. Additionally, the café also serves some amazing peach and passionfruit icecream cheesecake and beef burgers. 
Apartment Coffee
Adorned with cute Scandinavian furniture, the Apartment Coffee boasts of having one of the best ambiences that you will find in the area. The minimalistic yet beautiful interiors of the café are sure to remind you of the good old days when you would sit and enjoy coffee with your friends, and this is what makes the place worth a visit.
Timings: 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM on all days of the week
Must Try: Single-origin coffee blends from countries like Ethiopia and Colombia, as well as a range of baked goods. 

Best Bakeries at Jalan Besar

Antoinette
This French-inspired patisserie and tea lounge does some real serious desserts, and is definitely a must-visit place while in Singapore. Other than classic desserts and French pastries, the bakery also has a savory menu, which includes European dishes, French chicken, savoury pancakes, etc.
Timings: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM on all days of the week,
Opens at 10:00 AM on weekend
Must Try: Their namesake dessert ‘Antoinette’ is a unique combination of some Earl Grey infused milk chocolate mousse, and is accompanied by chocolate biscuit, tea cream, tea crumble and a raspberry coulis. The ‘Chloe’, which is a much lighter dessert, with yuzu cream and white chocolate mousse, served with a sponge and an almond sable, is also equally good!
The Butter Studio
The crumbly yet moist cupcakes that are made using the owner Shannon Lua’s grandma's recipe at The Butter Studio are in themselves worth planning a visit to the Jalan Besar. Additionally, all of the cakes and pastries at the bakery are made from scratch using only the finest of farm-fresh ingredients and local produce, which only adds to the experience of having a meal at this bakery. Other than cupcakes, the bakery also produces tarts in a myriad of flavours, tea time cakes as well as meringues. And the best part: the flavours change daily, and can be anything from red velvet to Nutella, or their best selling flavour: salted palm sugar. 
Timings: 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM from Wednesday to Monday
Closed on Tuesday
Open till 10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday
Two Bakers
Operated and managed by two Le Cordon Bleu Paris trained pastry chefs, this artisanal bakery is renowned for its French and fusion pastries. It would not be an exaggeration to term their food as edible art, and everything from the éclairs to the tarts and the 3D fondant cakes here are absolutely gorgeous. The bakery also serves some delicious Japanese styled hotcakes, served with loads of desiccated coconut and gula melaka.
Timings: 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Monday
09:00 AM to 06:00 PM from Friday to Sunday

Jalan Besar Stadium

Jalan Besar is also popular due to its 8,000-capacity football stadium known as the Jalan Besar Stadium, home of the Young Lions and Lions XII. It also serves as an alternate home ground for the national football team of Singapore. Opened on Boxing Day in 1929, it is often considered the birthplace of football in Singapore.

During the Japanese Occupation, it was one of the Sook Ching mass screening sites and was also used as a language centre to teach Japanese. Several important events were held in this Stadium like a rally to mourn the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Singapore Armed Forces Day in 1969, the National Day Parade in 1984 and the first Singapore Youth Festival in 1955. The Stadium was closed in 1999 and was reopened in 2003 after an extensive renovation. It was the designated venue for both the boys' and girls' football tournament during the 2010 Youth Summer Olympics. Many S-League games are also played in the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Jalan Besar Stadium
Jalan Besar Stadium (Source)

Petain Road

This is one of the most beautiful roads of Jalan Besar. It has eighteen gorgeous terrace houses, all of which have been magnificently preserved in their original glory. Neo-classical Greco-Roman elements can be seen in the design of these lovely houses. They are also adorned with Chinese baroque, a very unique style of motifs done in a dynamic, Chinese style. Petain Road is a must-visit for all visitors to Jalan Besar.

Petain Road, Singapore
Colourful Shophouses along Petain Road (Source)

How to Reach Jalan Besar

Jalan Besar is easily accessible by train as it has its own MRT station, the Jalan Besar MRT Station, located on the road. The Downtown Line stops at this station. Bus Nos. 147, 170, 197 and 21 also stop near Jalan Besar MRT Station.

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