Singapore is an island city-state located off the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsular. Singapore has one of the busiest seaports in Southeast Asia and is considered one of the largest ports in the world due to its unique position on the map. Singapore’s proximity to the Strait of Malacca, which connects to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, is mostly the reason why Singapore has seen such incredible growth and prosperity over the years.
The destination of Singapore has become much loved by tourists from all over the globe, who seek to explore a place that fuses Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian, and Western cultures. With this cultural fusion, of course, comes – food! Amazing food.
In this article, we will look at some of the best restaurants in Singapore. From the budget hawker-style street dinners to the city’s high-end luxury seats at the finest tables, Singapore is a foodie’s paradise!
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First, let’s take a look back at the fascinating history of Singaporean cuisine. Singapore’s food truly has a mixed heritage. Singapore’s array of flavors and styles is largely due to the number of immigrants who came to the country, including Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Indonesian, and the Middle East. The history and flavor of the cuisine are known as modern Singaporean cooking today.
One of the most famous dishes in Singapore is the popular street food dish of Hainanese Chicken Rice, a meal made from poached chicken and seasoned rice. This simple but much-loved meal is considered to be one of the state’s national dishes. The other key ingredient in many hawker meals is the Hokkien Mee – or yellow wheat noodle – that was also brought over from Southern China.
Another significant influence in Singaporean cuisine is in the flavors of Malaysian food. It is seen predominately in the world-famous Laksa. In Singapore, you will commonly find laksa that has a strong coconut milk base served with fish or chicken and, of course, rice noodles.
You simply cannot be in Singapore without coming across an array of Indian dishes. The spices and staples of Indian cuisine are found throughout Singaporean, especially in popular menu items such as Fish Head Curry. Another aspect of Indian Muslim influence is in the drink Teh Tarik! This hot tea and milk drink that was brought over to Singapore back in colonial times is now found all over the city, just as it is in Malaysia, Indonesia and India!
The Chili Crab must be at the top of the food list when it comes to must-try dishes in Singapore. Chili Crab is a source of national pride that dates as far back as the 1950s, when Cher Yam Tian and Lim Choon Ngee first-served simple, charcoal fire cooked crab at their food stall. If you’re visiting Singapore, then trying the Chili Crab and Chicken Rice is a great place to start your food journey.
A wide variety of food at affordable prices is what you’ll find at any hawker-style or street food center in Singapore. A hawker center is essentially a food court that sells a wide variety of basic dishes and drinks at low prices. Everyone enjoys the flavors of traditional food – from business people to backpackers. Local food is where you find the heart of any country. Check out some of these popular food centers in Singapore:
Located right next to the CBD, this bustling hawker center has over 100 food stalls to choose from. Built into pre-war shophouses and traditional food stalls, there are a wide variety of famous local meals – such as chicken rice – on offer. This is home to the well-known Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. Thanks to the late Anthony Bourdain, who visited the food stall, there is now a long line of people wanting to sample it every day!
Find it at Kadayanallur Street
Open Daily from 8:00 am – 2:00 am.
Perfectly placed in the bustling Little India area of the city, the Tekka Center has a selection of Indian food stalls at the bottom floor, offering what is known to be some of the best traditional Indian food around!
Find it at 60 Bukit Timah Road
Open Daily from 6.30 am – 9:00 pm.
This center is spread over two floors of food stalls serving traditional local delights. The food center has been running since 1975 and is much loved by locals for dishes such as braised duck, clay pot rice, Hokkien mee noodles, and prawn laksa.
Find it at 505 Beach Road
Open Daily from 7:00 am – 1:00 am.
Within easy reach of the Tanah Merah MRT Station is the hawker center of Bedok Marketplace. The food stalls are now run by young up and coming chefs, who have turned what was known previously as the Simpang Bedok Marketplace into a trending food scene!
Find it at 348 Bedok Rd
Open Daily at 11.30 am-midnight.
This is the largest hawker center in all of Singapore, with over 260 food stalls offering all the local favorites. The prices are low, yet the quality of cooking is still impressive! Visitors can enjoy a plate of food for between S$2.50 to S$3.00, including dishes such as chicken rice, seafood laksa, char kway teow, dim sum, and satay, just to name a few.
Find it at Chinatown MRT Station, just a one-minute walk from Exit B
Open Daily from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm.
While it may seem that the local delights are heavily meat and seafood-based, this is still one of the best cities in Asia for vegetarian food! Indian restaurants even specialize in vegetarian cuisine, and some restaurants are veg-only, making it even easier for vegetarians to dine out. Vegans might need to request their order without eggs or dairy at times; however, this is usually no problem.
Budget: $ Prices average $5 per meal
Type of Cuisine: Kaya Toast and Coffee served the authentic way at over 40 outlets across the city. Ya Kun Kaya Toast is the place to go if you want to try this local dish. The charcoal cooked toast is served with a soft-boiled egg, pandan coconut jam (kaya), and butter. Complete the taste sensation with sweet coffee (kopi). The local way to enjoy the eggs is with dark soy sauce and white pepper. There is a selection of different sweet jams to choose from, such as peanut butter, butter and sugar, and even cheese toast!
Kaya Toast is commonly served at what is known as Kopitams – Hainanese Chinese adapted the food in Singapore and Malaysia to create what is known as Kopitiam culture today. “Kopi” is Malay for coffee, and “Tiam” is Hokkien for shop. The concept is now served all over the city as a traditional way to enjoy a hearty breakfast or brunch.
Area: China Town – Ya Kun Kaya Toast outlets can be found all over the city.
China Town at 18 China Street, Far East Square
Open Daily Monday – Friday from 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday from 7:30 am – 4:30 pm Sunday from 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Budget: $ Prices average $20 per meal
Type of Cuisine: Served up on a traditional banana leaf, the traditional North and South Indian food at Samy’s Curry is much loved by locals and tourists. Fish Head Curry is very popular, as is the Masala Chicken or the Butter Chicken served with rice and fresh naan. The menu also features traditional tandoori oven dishes, such as tandoori prawns and fish tikka.
The staff will continue to serve vegetables and rice once you have agreed to it, so you can continue to eat until you can’t eat anymore! It is a fun dining experience to have when you are in the city.
Area: Demspey’s Hills at 25 Dempsey Road
Open Daily from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, and 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm (closed Tuesdays)
Ready to book? Here are our favorite areas to stay in Singapore!
Budget: $ Prices average $20 per meal
Type of Cuisine: Cafe favorites and coffee served the Australian way! That’s right; you can always take a break from the incredible traditional food and sit back and relax in one of the hippest cafes in town. Forty Hands Cafe caters mostly to tourists and ex-pats who enjoy good quality food and coffee in a pleasant atmosphere.
Popular menu items include Homemade Granola, Banh Mi Bowl, Eggs Benedict, Banana Bacon French Toast, 40 Hands Cheeseburger, and the Coachella Crab Fries with spicy crab claw and aioli!
Area: Tiong Bahru at 78 Yong Siak Street & East Coast at 226 East Coast Road
Open Daily Monday – Friday from 7:00 am – 5:30 pm Saturday – Sunday from 7:30 am – 6:30 pm.
Budget: $ Prices average $15-$20 per person
Type of Cuisine: Korean BBQ. Guests can enjoy the buffet options or BBQ with free-flow veggies, seafood, or soups, as well as Korean menu dishes such as Kim’s Signature Korean Chicken Wings that come with a secret sauce! The restaurant is popular with students, tourists, and locals, especially as it offers a great deal for both lunch and dinner.
The I’m Kim Korean BBQ has additional restaurants in Singapore that you might also wish to try out, including:
I’m Kim Korean BBQ & Shabu-Shabu
I’m Kim Junior
Captain Kim Korean BBQ & Hot Pot
Goro Goro Steamboat & Korean Buffet
With an excellent reputation with Korean foodies, this is a must-try restaurant when in Singapore.
Area: Five minutes walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station at The School of the Arts at 1 Zubir Said Drive
Open Daily for buffet lunch from 11.30 am – 3.30 pm
Open Daily for buffet dinner from 5.30 pm – 10.30 pm
Budget: $ Price averages $10 – $12 per meal
Type of Cuisine: Malaysian Singaporean food. Two words – Nasi Lemak! This is the place to go if you are seeking out some traditional wholesome Malay cooking in Singapore. The Coconut Club serves delicious menu items such as the much-loved Nasi Lemak.
This dish is made as a set, with coconut rice, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, fried egg & sambal as standard, and a choice of meat – usually chicken. There is also beef rendang, dry curry, sambal Lala cooked with white clams, Iga Bakar short beef ribs, and traditional dessert items such as iced cendol with coconut milk and palm sugar.
Area: China Town – Chinatown MRT is within walking distance at 28 Ann Siang Road
Open Daily Monday – Sunday lunch from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday – Saturday dinner from 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Budget: $$ Prices start from $50 per adult for the buffet menu
Type of Cuisine: The Tiffin Room offers guests a chance to experience high-end Indian cuisine at its finest. The restaurant serves a daily buffet breakfast, daily buffet lunch, daily high-tea, and a daily dinner menu. Serving both North Indian and European dishes, Tiffen Room serves a rotating menu featuring Indian curries, naans, chutney, salads, and endless varieties of traditional vegetarian meals, ensuring something for everyone.
The popular dishes include the Dahi kebab, roasted lamb, palak paneer, and the Peshawari naan.
Area: The Raffles Hotel, Civic District, 1 Beach Road Singapore.
Do you have an open schedule? Figure out the best things to do in Singapore before you visit!
Budget: $$ Prices start at $10-$15 per tapa and from $20 per main or lunch deal
Type of Cuisine: Asian tapas and wine bar is the theme of this cozy space, which welcomes you with a wonderful menu. Bar bites such as the Shrimp Fritter, Naked Fries, Satay Chicken Nacho, and Truffle Fries all start from $10. If you are looking for a main meal, perhaps the Roast Pork Belly, Tiger Prawns Linguine, or the Chilean Mussels would be the perfect dish served with the finest wines.
Monday – Saturday, there is a fabulous Set Lunch Deal from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm. A two-course set is $15, and a three-course set is $20. Both come with a choice of coffee or tea. The Wine Gourmet & Friends is a great place for fantastic food at an affordable price.
Area: Central City area at 48 Bukit Pasoh Road
Budget: $$ Prices start from $58
Type of Cuisine: Singaporean, seafood, and all things chili crab; if you’re searching for it, then this is the place to be! The Featured Crab Menu has nine amazing dishes to choose from, including the Freshly Steamed Crab, White Pepper Crab, Salted Egg Yolk Crab, Red Chili Crab, Black Pepper Crab, Crab Bee Hoon Soup, Butter Crab, Grilled Crab, and the Golden Fragrance Crab! Small plates of squid and prawns, crayfish, and stingray are also available, as are fried rice and fresh green vegetables.
Mamma Kong’s has been proudly serving great interpretations of classic crab dishes in their great family-friendly environment since 2013. It is a wonderful place to begin your night out as it is located in the CBD of Singapore.
Area: China Town at 34 Mosque Street between the Central Business District and Orchard Road
Open Daily Monday – Friday from 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm Saturday – Sunday from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Not sure where to say? We’ve put together a list of Singapore’s best luxury hotels!
Budget: $$$ Prices start from $75 – $500
Type of Cuisine: Japanese cuisine and sushi restaurant with some of the finest sushi on offer in Singapore.
Lunch Menu – Omakase Yume (appetizer, sashimi, cooked dishes, nigiri sushi, soup, and Japanese fruit) $250, Chef’s Omakase Special from $300 or the Setsugetsuka Sushi Course Sets (nigiri sushi, soup, dessert) $75 – $180
Dinner Menu – Omakase Wa Seasonal courses (appetizer, sashimi, cooked dishes, nigiri sushi, soup, and Japanese fruit) $300, Omakase Shin Premium courses (appetizer, sashimi, cooked dishes, nigiri sushi, soup, and Japanese fruit) $450 or the Chef’s Omakase Special from $500
Area: Two restaurants located at both The Carlton Hotel Singapore and The St. Regis Hotel Singapore
Budget: $$$ Prices start from $180 – $450
Type of Cuisine: Waku Ghin offers a ten-course degustation menu of Japanese- European cuisine for a maximum of 25 guests in an intimate setting.
A typical menu includes Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Oscietra Caviar and Japanese Ohmi Wagyu Roll from Shiga Prefecture with Wasabi and Citrus Soy. Followed by delicate desserts such as Japanese Musk Melon and Orange Blossom Honey Cream and Wild Strawberries. Each table is accompanied by a personal chef, and each meal is served with impeccable attention to detail.
Five-course lunch menu $180 per person, or the ten-course dinner menu $450 per person
Area: L2-01, Level 2 Dining, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue
Bookings are essential for one of two seatings per night at 5:30 pm or 8:00 pm.
The lunch menu is only offered every Friday, with one seating at 12:00
The Bar at Waku Ghin is open from 5:30 pm-midnight (no reservation is required for the bar)
Budget: $$$ Prices start from $78 – $188
Type of Cuisine: Singaporean Fusion showcasing the finest produce on offer; contemporary dining is a new experience at Labyrinth. The menu features Lunch, Pre-Theater, and Dinner Menus. Each menu is different, though guests can expect to see dishes such as Local Wild Caught Crab, Claypot Chicken Rice, Pulau Ubin Oyster, and delicious desserts such as Kaya Ice Cream.
Restaurant Labyrinth Chef states, ‘it is an exploration of age-old recipes, and an expression of local flavors and food memories. Chef LG Han unveils a contemporary dining experience that pays tribute to Singapore and his late grandmother, evoking a multitude of memories and emotions.’ – LG Han.
Lunch – Lunch Menu $78 or Lunch Tasting Menu $128 per person, Pre-Theater – Menu $78 per person or the Dinner – Chef’s Tasting Menu $188 per person
Area: Located in the Esplanade Mall at 8 Raffles Avenue
Budget: $$$ Prices start from $78 – $268
Type of Cuisine: Contemporary cuisine offering diners four unique menu options featuring dishes such as Smoked Eel, Sea Urchin, New Zealand Blue Cod, Wagyu Beef, Hokkaido Scallops. Each menu comes with Amuse Bouche and Petit Fours, with the option of wine pairing.
The Corner House aims to bring guests meats and seafood, botanicals – including fruits and herbs, tubers and vines, greens, and fungi – to bring you a special gastronomic moment from around the world. The restaurant is located in a beautiful home that was built in 1910 and renovated in 2008. There is a lovely outdoor dining area on the veranda that offers a lush green garden view.
Business Luncheon – Three courses $78; Four courses $98 per person. Lunch Menu – Five courses $158 per person. Corner House Degustation – Five courses $208 per person, or the Corner House Experience – Seven courses $268 per person
Area: Singapore Botanic Gardens 1 Cluny Road, E J H Corner House
Singapore will present you with some of the world’s best restaurants – from the hawker stalls to the finest in gourmet dining. With a competitive food scene, award-winning chefs, and a hot spot as a tourist destination, people travel to the heart of this city just to enjoy a meal! No matter where you choose to explore – from China Town and Orchard Road to the East Coast or Little Indian – an exciting culinary journey awaits you in vibrant Singapore.
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Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.