From high-end luxury goods to unique fashion pieces from independent boutiques, Singapore is a definite shopper’s paradise when it comes to retail diversity for men and women alike. For bargain hunters, plan your trip to Singapore between May to July when the annual Great Singapore Sale takes over the country with deals galore. Now let us take you through Singapore’s hottest shopping districts and malls – Orchard, VivoCity and City Hall – together with food recommendations to fuel you up along the way!
What used to be a cluster of fruit orchards and nutmeg plantations is now one of the most prominent shopping districts in Asia – Orchard Road. The 2.2km stretch is lined with huge shopping malls that sell just about anything from lifestyle items to branded goods to feed your shopping desires. Most malls are linked underground – from Shaw Centre/House to TANGS Orchard, Wheelock Place, ION Orchard, Wisma Atria, right up till Ngee Ann City, where the flagships of Takashimaya Departmental store and Kinokuniya Bookstore are located. Further down, you’ll enter the Somerset area where 313@Somerset, Orchard Central and Orchard Gateway are also connected for your convenience – and sometimes, confusion.
Food in Orchard RoadRetail therapy aside, your dining options in this bustling district are practically inexhaustible, with anything from small dessert stalls selling frozen yoghurt to swanky sky-high fine-dining restaurants. For a coffee fix, we recommend The Coffee Academics in Scotts Square if you've got time to burn or make a pit stop at Oriole Coffee & Bar just outside 313@Somerset and grab a bottle of their famous Taisho cold brew via the takeaway counter. Love a good Japanese meal? Orchard Central’s Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya is our go-to for a value-for-money bowl of Chirashi-don while ramen lovers should head straight for Cuppage Terrace’s Ramen Santouka just across the road. Our favourite gyoza restaurant Gyoza-Ya has three outlets in the basements of ION Orchard, Paragon and Robinsons The Heeren respectively. See our full list of restaurants in Orchard here See our full list of restaurants in Somerset here (Images: ION Orchard Facebook Page, The Coffee Academics Facebook Page, OpenRice user Hungrybytes, OpenRiceSG Editor)
If one big shopping mall is all you’re looking for, look no further than VivoCity, the largest shopping mall in Singapore that spans 1,040,000 square feet of retail space in the South of Singapore. It not only houses flagships of clothing brands like Superdry and American Eagle Outfitters, but popular lifestyle stores such as Daiso, Muji and Tangs as well. More family-friendly features include an outdoor play court on level 2 and a sky park with play pools on level 3 – if you can even get the kids out of Toys’R’Us, that is. For the young at heart, channel your way to Simply Toys, where you’ll find superhero figurines of every size on display. Rest those aching feet at a foot reflexology spa, get a pedicure or catch a movie in GVmax, Golden Village’s stadium-like auditorium, which sports one of the largest screens in Asia.
Food in VivoCityWhen that tummy rumbles, take your pick from the wide range of cuisines available. While the name Jamie’s Italian might have a significant pull on you, consider Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant if you’re a Paella lover, or the recently renovated Brotzeit® German Bier Bar & Restaurant for some hefty pork knuckles and beer. One of the mall’s newer tenants, Dancing Crab, is perfect for seafood lovers who wouldn’t mind getting their hands dirty for Dungeness Crabs and Boston lobsters. See our full list of restaurants in VivoCity here (Images: VivoCity Singapore Facebook Page, Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant Facebook Page, Dancing Crab Facebook Page, Brotzeit Singapore Facebook Page)
If you're exploring Singapore by the train, exit at City Hall MRT Station to earn yourself a plethora of shopping and dining options at the heart of our Central Business District. Sitting above the station is Raffles City Shopping Centre – home to over 200 specialty shops on top of Robinsons Department Store and gourmet supermarket Raffles City Market Place. Also linked to the station is Capitol Piazza, a luxury shopping mall which also houses the historical Capitol Theatre. Stroll through Citylink Mall for a mix of retail and F&B outlets and it won’t be long before you find yourself in Marina Square Shopping Mall, Suntec City Shopping Centre and Millenia Walk.
Food in City HallYou won’t find a lack of dining options in City Hall, rather, a lack of space. In this crowded district, queues are bound to form outside popular restaurants like Dazzling Café at Capitol Piazza and Andong Zzimdak in Raffles City. Try more underrated joints like COMNAM for its Southern Vietnamese broken rice; Alt Pizza for affordable pizzas and killer Idaho spud cheddar fries; PasarBella and Gyuu+ Yakiniku Grill – one of eight dining concepts in Marina Square’s new Japanese emporium, complete with a live seafood market and a beef-dry-aging facility. Cross the street and step into the iconic CHIJMES – a former convent and school – for the much-raved about fine-dining restaurant White Grass, dine alfresco at the fairy-light-heavy Privé or head downstairs for bars and booze. Read more: 10 Food Places We Love in Suntec City See our full list of restaurants in Cityhall here (Images: Raffles City Singapore Facebook Page)
Written by Peh Yi Wen Top Image: Orchard Road Facebook Page