TL;DR – Old school is the new cool.
Singapore is a tiny but thriving city that is evolving ever so quickly. It has transformed from a British colonial trading post to the world’s third-richest country. These charming stores filled with rich history have survived the test of time but are unfortunately gradually starting to vanish due to the country’s rapid development. Here are 7 classic old school stores that you definitely should pay a visit to before it’s too late!
1. Lam Yeo Coffee Powder
Lam Yeo Coffee Powder, a family-run shop located on Balestier Road is definitely one of the “hipster” pioneers introducing the coffee culture in Singapore as early as 1959. One of the blends of traditional kopi purveyed at this store is a Nanyang-style combination that is uniquely Singaporean – coffee beans roasted with sugar and margarine. The store remains almost unchanged except for a few tweaks here and there – with huge coffee bean sacks and vintage coffee grinders embedded in the background. In an effort to progress with the times, Lam Yeo also sources for coffee beans from countries like South Africa, Colombia, Ethiopia and Brazil. If you reckon that you’re a coffee connoisseur, you should definitely check out this place!
Address: 328 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329760
2. Biscuit King
Take a trip down memory lane at Biscuit King where you will see familiar childhood biscuits, savoury snacks and sweet treats stacked up in shelves all around you. If you have a sweet tooth or a soft-spot for snacks or memorabilia, then you’ll definitely be walking right into paradise. From butterfly biscuits, iced gems biscuits, haw flakes, Pola snack biscuits, Tasty biscuit sticks, Ding Dang chocolate-coated biscuit balls, Apollo chocolate wafers and hundreds more, who’d be able to resist?? You can even take home a massive 4kg biscuit tin filled with all the goodies of your choice and if your order reaches a minimum of $82, you’re entitled to a free delivery island-wide! Biscuit King not only sells childhood snacks but also timeless childhood toys, games and collectibles like the inflatable paper ball, old maid and SNAP cards and tiny priceless trinkets that you won’t be able to find at the modern toy store.
Address: 130 Casuarina Road, Singapore 579518
Tuesday-Sunday: 11am – 10pm
3. Redpoint Record Warehouse
Address: Kapo Factory Building Block B #06-11,
80 Playfair Road, Singapore 367998
Thursday, Friday, Sunday: 11AM – 7PM
Saturday: 11AM to 8PM
Closed: Monday to Wednesday
4. The Back Alley Barber
This is THE back alley barber of all barbers, the ultimate hipster street barber that no other modern barbers can come close to rivaling. Hidden in a back-alley along Boon Tat Street, furnished with a single, rusted-down barber chair, a few simple hair-cutting tools, suspended mirrors and a sturdy canvas sheet that shelters people from the elements – this passionate barber, Mr Lee Yoon Tong has been perfecting his trade for over the last five decades. He is one of the very few remaining dedicated, pioneer street barbers who provides a standard no-frills trim and shave service.
Address: Back Alley of No. 1 Boon Tat Street
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 10am-4pm
Closed: Wednesday and Sunday
5. Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
A typical Singaporean breakfast would definitely consist of the trinity of thick kopi-o, perfectly cooked soft-boiled eggs and melty kaya toast. There’s no better place to get this authentic breakfast set than from the original local institution itself, Chin Mee Chin Confectionery that has been faithfully serving it for over seven decades. You can also get other nostalgic sweet treats like cream horns, Swiss rolls, raisin buns, sugee cake, egg tarts and custard puffs.
Address: 204 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428903
6. Tong Mern Sern Antiques Arts & Craft
If you have a weakness for collecting antiques, porcelain plates, china tea sets, paintings and many other priceless knickknacks, then you should definitely stop by Tong Mern Sern Antiques Arts & Crafts store that was built in a pre-war shophouse located on Craig Road. Keep a look out for a huge yellow vinyl banner emblazoned with a conspicuous red font hanging outside the entrance of this epic one-of-a-kind treasure trove. This place is filled with all kinds of Instagram-worthy objects that would be perfect for that ultimate #throwbackthursday shot.
Address: 51 Craig Road, Singapore 089689
Monday to Saturday: 9.30am to 5.30pm
Sunday: 1.30pm to 5.30pm
7. Mareara Trading Co
If you wanna relive your innocent childhood days, free from the clutches of the iPads and Playstations, then this store located in the heartlands of Bukit Merah Central would definitely excite the Singaporean kid in you again – remember playing kuti-kuti, Old Maid, chapteh, five stones and many more? This old-school game shop sells hand-carved wooden carnival game sets and other vintage games that were all the rave back in the good ole’ days and has been going strong for over four decades thanks to the passion and dedication of the store’s owner Mr Seow. Why not gather some of your friends and throw a nostalgic childhood-themed party!
Address: 163 Bukit Merah Central, #03-3571, Singapore 150163
Monday-Saturday: 1PM – 8PM