SINGAPORE | My Singapore food guide is something that a lot of readers have been asking for since my visit late last year. Singapore is a city which I’m very familiar with. It was the first place that I visited outside of Australia back in 2001, and I’ve been countless times since.
Having eaten my way through the Singapore over two decades, I have a lot of places that are worthy of being included in a Singapore food guide. There’s old favourites, new discoveries, and more. Some are places that are generally considered as having some of the best food in Singapore, and others are more hidden gems.
In this Singapore food guide, I’ve included a mix of venues that I love to eat at. From hawker stalls to Michelin starred restaurants, and everything in between, my guide will help you enjoy some of the best food that Singapore has to offer. It’s a diverse list, covering the many cultures that make Singapore what it is today.
In this list, updated as at February 2023, I provide a variety of places offering what I consider some of the best places to eat in Singapore. It’s a culmination of my research, first hand experience, and discussions with knowledgeable locals. I’ve leaned towards more recent visits to ensure that my Singapore food guide is fresh and relevant.
I’ve placed the tips in alphabetical order, and they’re all delicious. Are any of your favourites listed below? Are there any places that you think should be on my Singapore food guide?
Banana Leaf Apollo
This Little India institution has been around since 1974. They offer a wide range of North and South Indian dishes, but are most famous for their fish head curry. On serve gets you a fresh fish head submerged in a robust curry stew filled with fragrant spices. It’s served with assorted vegetables including okra, tomatoes and eggplants.
Be sure to eat the fish’s eyeball. It has a wonderfully tender texture that’s not at all like you probably expect.
Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice
Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice is housed in a small shop-house in Jalan Basar that serves up an assortment of delicious Hainanese dishes like curry rice, fried chicken chop, ngo hiong and yong tau foo.
You simply walk up and make your order, and the elements are piled onto a plate for you then slathered with the famous curry.
Blanco Court Prawn Mee
Blanco Court Prawn Mee is located right in the heart of trendy Haji Lane. Don’t lets the hoards of people taking selfies for social media on the street dissuade you from visiting this gem.
The signature prawn noodle soup, with a rich, dark, thick prawn broth, is wonderful. It’s filled with plump, juicy prawns, and your choice of yellow noodles, kway teow, vermicelli, thick bee hoon or a mix.
Boon Tong Kee
Famed chicken rice outlet Boon Tong Kee opened in 1979 in Balestier, and has since expanded to a few locations across Sinagpore but the Balestier branch is the original. The chicken and rice are what sets this place apart. Big portions, wonderfully fragrant chicken, and lighter, perfectly balanced rice.
Be aware that sometimes you have to ask to make sure you get the full array of condiments along with the broth for dipping.
Michelin Starred Burnt Ends describes itself as a “modern Australian barbecue” restaurant and has received a lot of accolades since opening in 2013 for its innovative food.
Head chef and co-owner Dave Pynt takes inspiration from not just Australian barbecue, but American, Spanish and British barbecue. Smoking, slow roasting, hot roasting, baking, grilling and cooking directly on coals are all methods that are employed to get the best out of the fresh, high quality, seasonal product that’s used.
Burnt Ends Bakery
The online bakery opened as a bricks and mortar operation in 2021, when Burnt Ends moved to its new Dempsey digs.
It’s the only bakery in Singapore with a dedicated wood-fired bread oven, which fires some of the city’s best artisanal bread. Whole loaves of sourdough and ciabatta are available, along with sandwiches, rolls, focaccia, and more.
There’s also tarts, pastries, cookies, and their famed doughnuts, considered by many to be the best in town. Fillings and toppings draw upon Western and Asian influences. Think brown butter chocolate chip cookies, smoked Japanese yuzu doughnuts, and Gruyère cheese & scallion scones.
The Coconut Club
The Coconut Club offers an assortment of Singaporean dishes that use coconut as a key ingredient. Things like kueh, nasi lemak, and rendang. Their blend of coconut milk, which took years to perfect, uses fresh coconut milk that’s harvested and cold-pressed daily on-site.
Champion Bolo Bun
One of the best places to enjoy a bolo/pineapple bun in Singapore is at Champion Bolo Bun. It was opened as a pop-up in 2019 by Malaysian baker Hoh Loyi, transitioning to a bricks and mortar flagship in 2021. Hoh went to culinary school in Taiwan before moving to Hong along to learn how to make pineapple buns in the city’s cha chaan tengs.
Each bun is made to order and intended to be eaten within 20 minutes. The menu is small. Bolo buns with butter or potato curry, and a weekend spam and cheese option. There’s also Hong Kong style egg tarts, Hong Kong style coffee and milk tea, and a few brewed teas, and espresso based coffee
Chin Mee Chin
Katong Hainanese coffeeshop Chin Mee Chin was founded by Tan Hui Dong in 1925, and has long been a favourite for those looking for nostalgic Singaporean baked treats. After closing in 2018, it reopened two years later, refurbished and with a larger menu.
All the classics remain, including Chin Mee Chin’s signature kaya toast combo. First, you get a fresh soft bun that’s been toaster over charcoal, layered with house made kaya and a slab of butter. Next, two soft boiled eggs with runny whites, which you mix with dark soy sauce, salt and pepper. Finally, a drink. By default it’s kopi (coffee) or teh (tea), and you can upgrade, as I did, to a Milo Dinosaur.
Make sure grab a few treats for the road when you leave. The laksa bun and kaya custard puff are particularly delicious.
Chinatown Centre Food Complex
Chinatown Centre Food Complex is my favourite hawker centre in Singapore. The place is so large that it’s separated into different coloured zones to make it easier to navigate. There’s a lot to like here. My advise is to follow your nose and the places that locals are lining up at. Here’s a few picks of mine to check out.
- Popiah @ Ann Chin Popiah
- Chee Cheong Fun and Fried Bee Hoon @ Ji Ji Mei Shi
- Kaya Toast and Kopi @ The 1950’s Coffee
- Char Kway Teow @ Hill Street Fried Kway Teow
- Hainanese Chicken Rice @ Lion City Chicken Rice
- Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles @ Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (aka the famous Hawker Chan)
- Claypot Rice @ Lian He Ben Ji Claypot
- Xiao Long Bao and Szechuan Spicy Wontons @ Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao
- Braised Duck and Kway Chap @ Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap
- Yong Tau Fu @ Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu
- Cendol @ Old Amoy Cendol
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
Chye Seng Huat Hardware is housed in an Art Deco shop house which was once home to a hardware store, hence the name. The space is also home to the owner’s specialty coffee roaster brand Papa Palheta and a small craft beer bar.
Coffee is fantastic, with a rotating selection of seasonal single origins and blends. Food wise, it’s all about high quality, Western-style dishes, with a few Asian flourishes.
Opening in 2021, Claudine is the newest restaurant from chef Julien Royer, owner of one of Singapore’s most acclaimed restaurants, the Michelin Starred Odette. It’s an upscale French bistro, inspired by honest home-cooking and convivial meals. Still fancy, but definitely more casual than its older sibling.
Geylang Lor 9
Geylang Lor 9’s reputation is well deserved, and you can find some of the best frog leg porridge in town. Order the signature dish for a hot pot of smooth, luscious, gooey hot Cantonese rice porridge served with either a spicy or mild sauce. Spicy versions tend to use dark sweet soy sauce, with wine, dried chilli and spring onions while the mild versions are cooked win dark sweet soy sauce with ginger, spring onion and a dash of wine.
The frog legs come with the sauce and have a mild flavour. If you can’t bring yourself to eat the frog legs, frog leg porridge is worth trying for the porridge and sauce.
Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre
This hawker centre opened in 1964, and is a hub for the local Malay community. Across two stories, you’ll find a hawker centre focused on traditional Malay dishes, a wet market, clothing & rug vendors. Here’s a few stalls to visit.
- Kueh @ Kueh Talam Asli
- Otak Otak @ Otak-Otak Kampung
- Satay @ Alhambra Heritage & Original Satay Club
- Rojak and Mee Siam @ Rojak & Mee Siam by A.H. Food Corner
- Nasi Ayam @ Nasi Ayam Sambal
- Cendol @ Cendol Geylang Serai
- Soup Kambing (Mutton Soup) @ Iqbal Soup Kambing
- Dhum Briyani @ Azizah Briyani
Haji M. Abdul Rajak Stall
This stall has a reputation for serving up some of the best Soup Kambing (Mutton Soup) in Singapore. The owner immigrated from India to Singapore, selling mutton soup from a pushcart in 1955. The current site has been running since 1975. The rich and hearty soup uses all of the animal, and is brilliant.
J.B. Ah Meng Restaurant
J.B. Ah Meng Restaurant is a popular, hectic restaurant in Geylang offering an assortment of delicious dishes, with a focus on wok-hei. Signature dishes include JB San Lou Meehoon, White Pepper Crab, Salted Egg Prawn Roll, Fried Fish Head, and 3 Delicacy Beancurd.
Kwong Satay is a Geylang institution that have been doing their thing very well since 1982. That’s their signature Chinese-style satay. There are 3 options on offer – pork, chicken, mutton as well as ketupat (a type of packed rice dumpling) and otah (fish cake). It’s cooked fresh over charcoal, with the ketupat and otah wrapped in pandan leaves.
Loy Kee has been around since 1953 and use the term “best chicken rice” in their marketing. A lot of people consider it to serve some of the best chicken rice in Singapore, and it’s easy to see why.
The chicken has a great flavour and texture, and the condiments are a cut above most places, with the flavours really coming through and the chilli in particular having a real kick to it. The rice is almost “broken” with a good oil content and aroma.
Maxwell Food Centre
This is probably the most visited hawker centre in Singapore by tourists, helped by its central location in Chinatown, and the fact that chicken rice vendor Tian Tian is any many guide books, visited by people like Anthony Bourdain and other well known foodies.
Tian Tian is definitely worth a visit (the chicken rice is very good, but it’s not the best in town), as are many of the other stalls. Here’s where to eat at which stall.
- Hainanese Chicken Rice @ Tian Tian Chicken Rice
- Grouper Fish Head Noodles @ Jin Hua
- Red Bean and Five Spice Powder Dough Fritters @ Hum Jin Pang
- Roast Duck, Roast Pork, and Char Siew @ Fu Shun Shao La Mian Jia
- Tapioca Cake and Ondeh Ondeh @ Xing Xing
- Bak Chor Mee @ Ah Gong Minced Pork Noodle
Owner Melody Yen, who is ethnically Chinese, grew up in Lashio in northern Shan State, Myanmar. As well as having a large Chinese population, the town also has a sizeable Indian community dating back to Myanmar’s British colonial era.
Melody grew up with Indian neighbours, and her curry chicken is based on their recipe. It’s a Burmese-Indian dish that she loved eating back home. It’s a bowl of rich, creamy curry with mild, aromatic freshly ground spice notes and coconut milk flavours. It’s filled with noodles, tender, slow poached chicken drumstick, deep-fried tofu puffs, potato, and bean sprouts. The bowl is garnished with Thai coriander, and served with a classic Burmese dipping sauce made from green chilli, garlic, onion, and lime.
Mr & Mrs Mohgan Super Crispy Roti Prata
Popular with locals, Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Prata is famed for serving up some of the city’s best prata. It was opened by Somasundram Mohgan and his wife Saroja in 2007, Somasundram having honed his craft making prata since the age of 12 at his mother’s prata stall. Sadly, he passed away in 2022. Today, the stall is run by Saroja and two family friends who Somasundram trained.
Lines for early here, and the prata tends to sell out before midday. Choose your prata (I like the coin prata) and enjoy the crisp, flaky delight with your choice of rich, fragrant, slightly sweet fish or mutton curry.
While waiting, grab a tea from the drinks uncle walking over to each table, and a bowl of wan tan mee from Fatty’s Wan Tan Mee next door.
Founded by Chef Govinda Rajan as a hakwer stall in 2017, Mr Biryani moved into its current location in 2021. Chef Govinda’s biryani is the result of years spent researching, cooking, and perfecting Hyderabadi style biryani.
The result is aromatic briyani with wonderful flavours, and the fluffiest rice. Try the signature Hyderabad chicken dhum biryani, made with chicken marinated in ginger garlic, spices, fresh mint & coriander, fried onion, yogurt & cooked with fine basmati rice.
Native is a casual restaurant, committed to local and regional products. The best ingredients and produce from across South East Asia are used to create contemporary dishes inspired by nostalgia. Dishes are primarily vegetarian and pescatarian, and designed to share.
Book a table at the restaurant downstairs, or head to the bar upstairs for a similarly inspired cocktail menu and snacks. Up one storey further you’ll find a drinks lab where you can try experimental cocktails in development.
Om Murugan Vilas Idly
Om Murugan Vilas Idly is a popular vegetarian chain that offers dishes from India’s diverse regions. It’s open from breakfast through to dinner, with a menu that’s spread over 10 categories. Dishes are designed to share, and it’s worth visiting as a group to try a lot of different things.
Chef Damian D’Silva’s all-day restaurant, is his ode to the ongoing story of cuisine in Singapore. The food here is traditional at heart, with contemporary flair. It draws on a lifetime of custodianship and elevation of Singapore’s culinary heritage, and is delicious.
Dishes touch on Singapore’s Chinese, Peranakan, Eurasian, Indian, and Malay influences, and are familiar yet new. The Baca Assam Beef Cheek, and Kedondong Salad are must tries.
Seng Heng Braised Duck Noodles
This stall at Redhill Food Centre is so popular that they often sell out by 9am. Their specialty is braised duck noodles – your choice of a dry or soup version, served with kway teow, yellow noodles, or both. It’s a simple dish, made perfectly.
SILK Tea Bar
I’ve strayed from including bars and coffee spots on this list, but SILK is a spot that I wanted to include. It’s a tea bar, hidden up an unassuming set of stairs in Chinatown. Reach the top and you’re greeted by a serene space, where you can enjoy rare teas a la carte, or as part of a flight or tasting session.
Each tea is brewed and brought to temperature using traditional methods, and the whole experience is very soothing. Each day, two rotating kueh are offered, and I highly recommend you try them.
Sin Ming Roti Prata Faisal & Aziz Curry Muslim Food
As the name suggest, Sin Ming is known for their roti prata – in particular the coin prata, which is only available after midday. Each batch is made to order, and there’s a bit of a wait, but it’s worth it. Thick and crispy, served with curry sauce for dipping.
Other savoury and sweet prata are also available, along with dishes like sambal chicken, fish head curry, and mutton rendang.
Sungei Road Laksa
Sungei Road Laksa is a tiny stall known for its Katong-style laksa. Each bowl of the signature dish gets you a bowl of light, fragrant, slightly spicy coconut orange gravy, that’s cooked traditionally over charcoal. It’s wonderfully balanced with a generous amount of thick noodles, cockles, sprouts, and green laksa leaves.
Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
The original location of this institution, in Jalan Besar, is known for its wide assortment of dim sum. It might not be the best dim sum in Singapore, but it’s consistent and reliable. Being open until 4am every night makes Swee Choon Tim Sum a great option for an early morning post bar/nightclub feed.
Tan Ji Seafood Soup
This 40-year old stall is known for its intense soup broth, which features scallops, ham, pork ribs, and aged hen that’s slow-cooked for six hours. There’s six different options on the menu, with a few add-on options. Go for the signature Dory Seafood Soup. You get a bowl of that famous broth, filled with noodles, slices of dory, plump prawns and chunks of minced meat.
Tanjong Rhu Pau & Confectionery
Tanjong Rhu Pau serve a few different kinds of sweet delights but the thing they are most famous for is their bau. These things are steamed to perfection – the buns are soft, springy and light and there are a range of different fillings on offer. Each bao is made by hand, the same way it’s been done here over the past 40 years.
Tek Kia Kha means “foot of the small bamboos” in the local Hokkien dialect (this area used to be known for its bamboo industry) and Tekka is what the local Tamils call Little India.
Visit the Tekka Centre to try some amazing Indian, Pakistani and halal food. There’s also Chinese Singaporean food here, along with a wet market for fresh produce, and a clothing market. A few things to try, and where to try them, are.
- Thosai/Dosa @ G.V. Deva Thosai Kadai
- Briyani @ Allauddin’s
- Prata @ Prata Saga Sambal Berlada
Thevar is a contemporary Indian restaurant that’s causing quite the buzz for the way its presenting Indian food in a way not commonly seen in Singapore. Chef Mano Thevar, combines his heritage with his experience cooking and travelling around the world. The result is Indian food that’s familiar yet new, and exciting.
Tiong Bahru Food Centre
There are so many great hawker centres across Singapore, and Tiong Bahru Food Centre is one of my favourites. It might be smaller than some of the others in town, but there’s a high strike rate when it comes to quality offerings. Here’s my favourite dishes to try, and which stalls to visit for them.
- Lor Mee with Crispy Shark Nuggets @ Lor Mee 178
- Chwee Kueh and Chee Cheong Fun @ Jian Bo Shui Kueh
- Pork Ribs and Prawn Noodle Soup @ Min Nan 闽南 Pork Ribs and Prawn Noodle
- Pig’s Organ Soup @ Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup
- Curry Rice @ Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice
- 3 Meat Rice @ Lee Hong Kee Cantonese Roasted
- Prawn Mee @ Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee 鸿興炒蘇東蝦麵
- Char Kway Teow @ Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow
As a bonus, keep an eye out for the mural by Aussie artist Mike Makatron, in the open-air centre courtyard of the market. Painted in 2015, it blends in well with the colourful, tropical vibe of the space.
The food that is served at Michelin starred Tippling Club by part owner/head chef Ryan Clift is best described as modern gastronomy. Fine dining technique and precision with creative elements and a style that happily bounds between European, Asian and a whole lot more.
Produce is fresh and of the highest quality and the flavours work well together, there are no rules. Book a full degustation meal, or grab a stool at the bar next door for a delicious cocktail and some snacks.
Tong Heng Traditional Cantonese Pastries
Founded in 1935, Tong Heng is famous for its hand-made diamond-shaped egg tarts. The tarts are available in original and coconut flavours, and see a wobbly, perfectly textured custard enveloped in flaky pastry. Order both, along with some of the other pastries on offer.
Other pastries include Cantonese favourites like Candied Melon Wife Pastry, Century Egg Pastry, Green Bean Pastry, and Red Bean Pastry. There’s also a few savoury options like Char Siew (BBQ Pork) Crisp, and Chicken Curry Crisp.
Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee
Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee often pops up in the discussion around where to find Singapore’s best Char Kway Teow, and deservingly so. There’s always a queue for a plate of the good stuff. Purposely mild wok hei, with a generous serve of noodles, cockles, and egg.
Wee Nam Kee
Wee Nam Kee is one of the more successful chicken rice places in Sinagpore, and has a few branches across the city. The full range of condiments is offered, you can use as much or as little as you like and you get a bowl of the chicken broth to either drink or to dip your chicken in. It really nails the “eat it the way you like” philosophy of chicken rice.
Woks of Taste Char Kway Teow
Founded by engineering student Samuel Chiang, who gave up his studies to open his own char kway teow spot in 2022, Woks of Taste, inside the Upper Boon Keng Market & Food Centre, is a contender for Singapore’s best Char Kway Teow.
Sam’s secret is simple in theory. Researching and practicing until he’s perfected every element on the plate, and the balance between these elements. Generous amounts of your choice of cockles, fried egg, fish cakes, beansprouts, crispy lard, Chinese sausage, and noodles. There’s a light ‘white’ version, and a heavier ‘black’ version. Both are great.
Have you been to Singapore before? What are your favourite things to eat there, and your favourite place to eat them? For a list of specific dishes and delicacies to try when you’re in Singapore, check out my article “Singapore Food Guide: What To Eat“.