By: Rachael Wheeler
In the same way that parents prefer to take their children along to restaurants – even if it restricts the eating options and causes a spot of hassle – many dog owners can’t bear to be parted from their pooches when it comes to heading out for food and drink in Singapore. I’m certainly one of ‘em, and with my poodle being left at home on weekdays, I make sure to bring her along to all evening plans. How do I manage that without doing my friends’ heads in? I make sure to choose awesome restaurants, bars and cafes across Singapore that a)my friends will love and b)are dog-friendly. By choosing dining spots that are also close to lovely walks (see heaps of places here), Peggy Poodle is generally pooped when we arrive, so she curls up under the table with a smile that’s entirely in my imagination. Want to get away with being that awkward dog lady at social occasions like me? Read on…
The best pooch-permitting dinner spots across the island
1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Bishan Park 2, call 9113 4666
One of Singapore’s popular dog runs (where you can let canines safely off the lead) is in Bishan Park 2 – a surprisingly pretty park between Bishan and Ang Mo Kio. There’s a heap of jungle bars and restaurants in the middle, with Canopy being one of our favourite Sunday breakfast spots on the island. It’s tied to three other eating spots, which are tucked into the trees with their tables meeting in a glorious central courtyard.
Green Door Cafe
13A Dempsey Road, call 6476 2922
A very cool, secret garden-style outdoor bar in the lush surrounds of Dempsey. Colourful and quirky, Green Door hosts various events, from live music and fancy dress to Sunday brunches and BBQs. They’re positively puppy-friendly, so head over after a walk in the Botanic Gardens.
SWCO Building, 96 Waterloo Street, call 6571 0197
Tucked away in arty Bugis behind a beautiful sprig of greenery is Torte, an approachable outdoor restaurant that’s happy to accommodate Fido. The head chef is a landscape designer and well into his organic grub, so expect something innovative.
#01-19/20 Robertson Walk, 11 Unity Street
For the most reasonable bottle of wine across Singers and a cracking pizza, head to Wine Connection along Robertson Walk. With plenty of outdoor seating, doggies are welcome (although sit out the back where the tables are lower, so you can keep an eye on le chien).
50 Siloso Beach Walk, #01-05/06, call 6274 9668
This brilliant beach-side bar and restaurant on Sentosa is a great all-rounder – you can walk (or drag the pooch) into the sea for a paddle, there are sun loungers for a snooze, big tables in the shade for family days out and a huge menu of hearty, seaside grub.
Tanjong Beach Club
120 Tanjong Beach Walk, call 9750 5323
Whether you’re after a bright breakfast or evening drinks, Tanjong Beach Club on Sentosa is definitely worth a visit. Dogs can exhaust themselves playing in the sand and sea, before retreating into the shade for a snooze while the owners enjoy a few cocktails and a swim.
Jones The Grocer
12 Dempsey Rd, call 6476 1512
Dempsey is a great spot for taking our furry children, particularly after a walk in the Botanic Gardens. Head to Jones for hearty sandwiches, insane milkshakes and staff who love pups. In the evening (or not), we’re partial to a slosh of Jones’s prosecco.
39 Jalan Mas Puteh, call 9646 5372
This well-priced European-style bistro on the West Coast has a warm, bakery vibe and boasts some unbelievable cakes. W39 is close to West Coast Park for walkies, and bringing your pet along is positively encouraged.
30 Merchant Road #01-03 Riverside Point, call 6236 1275
Meeting friends in Clarke Quay and want to take the dog along? Mexican dinner spot Café Iguana has a casual, fun setting and serves up a mean margarita.
Kith Café Sentosa Cove
31 Ocean Way, #01-08 Quayside Isle, call 6734 9007
Not only does Kith whip up a beautiful coffee (and the cake ain’t half bad… or the Japanese ice cream, for that matter), but it lives in a lovely spot in Sentosa Cove. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon stroll with the pup. There’s also a Rob Quay branch on 7 Rodyk Street.
Update: Kith Cafe is no longer at Quayside isle.
Alkaff Mansion (UPDATE: Alkaff Mansion no longer allows dogs)
10 Telok Blangah Green, call 6510 3068
Alkaff Mansion has a huge, traditional white Singaporean setting and is super close to the treetop walkways along the south west. Take a stroll down the southern ridge before relax on Alkaff’s terrace with a beverage.
Singapore Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre, 1 Cluny Road, call 6467 7326
Situated nextdoor to the visitors’ entrance, outdoor cafe Casa Verde is the ideal finishing point for a walk through the Botanic Gardens. With the hairy baby fast asleep under the table, enjoy a coffee and a catch up while surrounded by nature.
The Garden Slug
#01-59/61 Bright Centre, 55 Lorong L Telok Kurau, call 8688 8575
The Garden Slug out East is a friendly, unpretentious diner – all about humble food in a comfortable setting. The independent café is set next to a bunch of pet stores, so you can get a little two-birds-one-stone situation on the go.
52 Circular Rd (Boat Quay) and 60 Robertson Quay, #01-15 The Quayside
Want to take the dog out for a nice walk along the river, but want to catch the football/rugby/tennis? Look no further than Boomerang on the river.
The Merry Men
#01-02, 86 Robertson Quay, call 6732 5057
Whether you’re after a chilled Sunday brunch or a cracking mojito, The Merry Men is a beautifully designed café by day, bar by night on the river near Robertson Quay. Try the Bloomer!
30 Merchant Road, 01-05/06 Riverside Point
This puppy-friendly microbrewery along Clarke Quay is a great spot in the city for seriously good brews (in the beer sense, not the tea sense) and American dining. A good one for guys who’ve been lumped with doggie-duty.
8 Rodyk Street, call 6636 7629
This trendy day-time cafe is big on high-quality coffee and has a great atmosphere, as well as a lovely, comfy riverside location.
Robertson Bridge, 382 Havelock Road, call 6732 9922
This smart spot along the river is happy to invite dogs into their outdoor dining area, offering your canine a posh afternoon out in the city.
100 Turf Club Road, #01-06 K9 Kampu, 6314 9363
Finally, if you want to go all-out for your wee pal, K9 Kulture is some sort of doggie paradise. There’s a swimming pool for pups, heaps of space, training sessions, grooming, day care and more. There’s also a lovely diner for humans and animals alike, perfect for enjoying a tea while your mutt passes out after all the excitement.
**In response to some of the lovely comments below, many of the above restaurants will ask you to sit in their nice outdoor dining areas. I prefer this (just in case Peggy has a case of ‘excited wee’) and feel it’s a fair request, but it’s worth calling ahead if you do need to sit inside.**
Note, folks, there is such a thing as being fined for being in the wrong type of eating spot with your pooch. It appears to be pretty rare, but check out the legislation here just in case.