Singapore Food Guide – What To Eat In Singapore

Singapore food is a cuisine influenced by a medley of other countries such as Malaysia, India, and China. For Amber and I, this makes Singapore one of the best cities food cities in the World. Having made several trips to Singapore we are excited to share some of must eat dishes in Singapore.

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The Best Food To Eat In Singapore

Singapore; the best food city in the world

Singapore has been one of our favorite food cities ever since our first visit in 2009. Singaporean food is second to none. And that’s coming from two people who would move to Hong Kong or Italy in a heartbeat. The influences from Indian, Malay, and Chinese (Hokkien) cooking make Singapore a world-class culinary destination.

It’s not only the Singaporean food that makes Singapore an incredible city to visit. It’s also the variety and range of the food in Singapore. From Michelin Star restaurants to hawker centers, Singapore has it all.

As of 2023, there are 56 Michelin Starred restaurants in Singapore including three, with 3 Michelin Stars. These restaurants serve some of the finest high-end dining dishes in the world.

To date, there are over 100 hawker centers in Singapore. These one-off food stalls are a mainstay in the lives of many Singaporeans. They provide excellent food at affordable prices for everyone from office workers to retirees.

In terms of the dishes in Singapore we enjoy, the list could go on and on. In this post, we’ve tried to narrow down the easiest-to-find dishes in Singapore. These also happen to be dishes we make sure to eat every time we visit Singapore.

Hokkien Mee

Hokkien mee in Singapore

Also known as fried noodles with prawns, this signature Singapore food consists of a rich pork broth and prawn heads. If you’ve never tried prawn heads before, don’t be put off, it’s where all the flavor lies. 

Depending on which restaurants in Singapore you order this from, it may be served with pork belly, egg, prawn, or squid; however, the base should be the same, fried noodles soaked in a rich broth. This simple dish is a classic Hawker food in Singapore. 

Head over to Kim’s Famous Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee for some of the best hokkien mee in Singapore.


Laska at a hawker center in Singapore

Laska can come served in various ways but almost always offers a balanced spice and creamy coconut. 

Different types of Laska in Singapore include tamarind tang and the Sarawak Laska. However, the most well-known one is probably the Katong Laska.

This Laska is bright red in color and is spicy, creamy, and topped with prawns, cockles, or fishcakes. It is usually served with thick vermicelli noodles, which are cut small, making it an easy-to-eat dish for the go. 

This highly sought-after food in Singapore is bought from hawker centers. 

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice

This fragrant rice dish is a staple Hawker food in Singapore that is incredibly moreish and packed full of flavor, yet made using the simplest ingredients. 

You can find it at most restaurants in the country, as well as the Singapore food courts, and you may even be offered it on your flight on the way there. To get the best chicken rice in Singapore, check out the Maxwell Food Center. Here you eat Singapore’s national dish at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. Tian Tian is where Anthony Bourdain tried it for the first time. It’s also our favorite chicken rice in Singapore.

The reason it is so flavorsome is that the rice is cooked in a rich chick broth before being topped with pulled chicken. It might not sound like much, but this is probably one of the best Singapore foods you can try. 

Chai Tow Kway

Eating Chai tow kway in Singapore

Chai Tow Kway is a kind of dim sum popular across Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore. 

Another name for this dish is fried carrot cake, but this is not related to the carrot sponge cake you might be familiar with. Instead, the term refers to the radish ingredient as well as the radish is also made using rice flour and shredded white cabbage, which is stir-fried with eggs and other seasonings. It’s then cut into slabs and then steamed and pan-fried. It is usually eaten on its own. 

Dim Sum

Eating dim sum in Singapore

Dim sum is not only famous in Singapore but also in most other parts of China, Hong Kong, and Taipei.  

The name dim sum covers a large variety of snacks that are often served in small portions from street food vendors or as appetizers and often enjoyed with tea. 

In Singapore, it is popular to have dim Sum in the forms of shrimp toast, shu mai, spring rolls, char siu bao, and custard tarts, meaning they can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory dish. 

Our favorite restaurant for dim sum in Singapore is Red Star Restaurant. It’s a massive restaurant set inside a residential building. A word to the wise, this place fills up quickly, so get there early.

Bak Kut Teh

A portion of Bak Kut Teh at dim sum in Singapore

Bak Kut Teh is one of the dishes in Singapore that you simply have to try. This is an iconic soup dish that you must not miss out on. 

In English, Bak Kut Teh translates to pork bone soup, and it makes the perfect meal. What can be better than a rack of pork served over a rich, glistening consomme flavored with herbs, garlic, and pepper? 

Char Kway Teow

A dish of Char Kway Teow on banana leaf in Singapore.

One of the most popular dishes travelers seek when visiting Singapore is Char Kway Teow. Made using flat rice noodles, Chinese sausage, cockles, eggs, and beansprouts, this hearty dish has everything you expect from good food in Singapore. 

The traditional way to serve Char Kway Teow is with a large serving of lard on top, which melts into the dish and gives it its sheen and distinct flavor. Char Kway Teow is one of our favorite dishes to eat in Penang, Malaysia.

You’ll find this aromatic, Singapore food being served at most street food markets in Singapore. 

Wanton Mee

Sichuan version of wanton mee in Singapore.

In Singapore, noodles are everywhere. And our favorite is easily wanton mee. Wanton Mee, is prepared with egg noodles and a rich soy sauce. The dish is influenced by Malaysian cuisine and is a popular street food in Singapore. 

This dish can be served in two ways, either as a dry noodle dish or more like a soup with a rich, rich broth. It depends on where you go to eat in Singapore as to how it will be served. 

You can pick up Wanton Mee from most Singapore hawker centers. One place we recommend for delicious wanton mee in Singapore is Chef Kang’s Noodle House.

Kaya Toast

Typical breakfast in Singapore of Kaya Toast with soft boiled eggs.

Kaya toast is a traditional dish that is traditionally eaten for breakfast in Singapore. It consists of two slices of toast that are buttered and smothered in coconut jam. The toast is typically served with soft-boiled eggs and coffee.

It’s believed that Kaya toast was created by Hainanese immigrants attempting to imitate food they had served aboard British ships. Some places prepare this dish with sour sauce and white pepper. 

Bak Chor Mee

Bak Chor Mee is a much-loved, traditional dish in Singapore that you can find at most Singapore restaurants and hawkers centers across the country. 

It’s a delicious dish consisting of noodles and meat, which are served in a rich, flavorsome, clear broth, often chicken or pork broth. It is then usually topped with an abundance of other ingredients, such as strewed mushrooms, crispy fried shallots, and fish or meatballs. 

Orh Luak – Oyster Omelet

Depending on where in Singapore you’re visiting, you may come across many variations of Orh Luak. It primarily consists of potato starch, batter, and small oysters with a pinch of chili. The mixture is then fried together, resulting in something in between scrambled eggs and an omelet. 

In some places, they will use shrimp instead of oysters, and others leave out the potato starch, and in Taiwan, they cover theirs in a sweet sauce. Although this might not be one of the most popular dishes in Singapore, it still earns a place on the list of one the must-tries. 

Roast Pork & Duck

Roast duck preparation at Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant in the Sheraton  Towers Singapore.

Roasting pork and duck is the most popular way to eat meat in Singapore. This is because they both carry a lot more flavor than chicken and are cheaper to source than beef. It also has a high-fat content, which chars perfectly and flavors the rest of the dish. 

You will often find these meats at restaurants in Singapore, as well as food courts and street food markets. Sometimes known as Sio Bak, this is usually done in the style of char siew and has a sweet caramelized skin with a juicy and tender center. 

Head over to Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant in the Sheraton Tower Singapore Hotel. Not only does the Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant have some of the best roast duck and roast pork in Singapore, but they have an extensive dim sum menu.

Sambal Stingray

Sambal Stingray is one of the best Singaporean foods, as well as being famous in Malaysian cuisine as well. 

This seafood dish is quite a straightforward dish prepared by barbecuing stingray and smothering it with sambal paste, which is made from walnuts and shallots as well as sugar, garlic, and Chinese parsley. 

What was once an unappealing, cheap dish is becoming increasingly popular across Asia. 

Chinese Egg Tart – Custard Tarts

Chinese egg tart at a dim sum lunch in Singapore.

You might not realize that Singapore is well known for egg custard tarts, but if you’re a fan of sweet pastries, you’ll be pleased to hear that these are available in every corner of Singapore. 

Although custard originated from England and Portugal, during the colonization, the recipe traveled to Asia, and then, when the Chinese immigrated to Singapore, so did the tarts. Now, they can be found worldwide. 

Custard tarts are made using a short pastry and an egg yolk, which is why they are so rich and yellow in color. Combined with sugar, these make the perfect pastry to enjoy with coffee. 

Peranakan Food

Peranakan, or Nyonya cuisine, comes from early Chinese descendants who settled in Penang, Indonesia, and Singapore. So, their cuisine is a blend of Malaysian, Indonesian, and Chinese, making it flavorsome, aromatic, and spicy. It also uses a lot of herbs, such as pandan leaves, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, and mustard rhizome. 

Peranakan food can be found all over Singapore and the rest of Asia, and they all have variations. For instance, Penang food is heavily influenced by Thai cuisine, and in Singapore, more of an Indonesian influence is seen, for example, the Laska, which I discussed earlier. 

Singapore Chili Crab

Singapore Chili Black Pepper Crab

You might not think that chili black pepper crab is a dish that would be native to a particular country, but in Singapore, it’s a big hit. 

Despite the name, it’s not as much of a spicy dish as you might think; in fact, the spices used are actually incredibly subtle yet full of deep flavor. The crab is soaked in a chili and tomato gravy-like sauce. 

You can get your hands on this tasty dish at a few places around Singapore, especially near the waterfront. 

Nasi Lemak

When you’re checking out places to eat in Singapore, try to find somewhere that has Nasi Lemak on the menu. 

The first thing that makes the dish appealing is the way that it’s served. The food combinations are served on pandan leaves and consist of rich, spicy coconut rice, often with accompaniments such as boiled eggs, beans, shredded meat, and cucumber. 

It’s often enjoyed as a breakfast food in Singapore. However, if you think it might be a bit of a heavy way to start the day, perhaps save it until breakfast. 


The King of fruit, durian.

Durian is the epitome of a love-it-or-hate-it kind of food, but despite this, it is a trendy ingredient in many dishes in Singapore. This tropical fruit has a cream pulp and is most well known for its potent smell.

In Singapore food, Durian is most commonly used in dishes such as ice cream because of it’s custard-texture and sweet and sour flavor. Durian is classed as a delicacy in Singapore. 

Ais Kacang 

Ais Kacang 

One of the many foods of Singapore that have to be experienced is this tasty Malaysian dessert. Ais Kacang, or as it’s otherwise known as bean ice, is a popular Malaysian dessert most commonly found in parts of Asia such as Malaysia and Singapore. 

It is made using shaved ice and often topped with ingredients such as ice cream, peanuts, corn, and basil seeds. 

One of the reasons this refreshing dessert is so popular is its towering and colorful appearance, which makes quite a statement on the plate. 


Sate Ayam (Chicken satay) in Sinagpore

While staying in Singapore and visiting the street food and hawker centers, you will see that there are many places serving satay, and no, they aren’t the same as the little packs you can pick up at the grocery store. They are much, much better. 

Satay means grilled, skewered meat marinaded in spices before cooking over high heat. It is often accompanied by vegetables such as cucumber, onions, and rice cakes and is served with a rich, sweet peanut sauce for dipping. 


Murtabak can be compared to a pancake in many ways and is enjoyed in places such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. When we lived in Bali, Indonesia, murtabak was a regular treat of ours.

Murtabak is a mixture between a pancake and an omelet, stuffed with vegetables such as leeks, onions, and herbs, before being pan-fried. Some Indian restaurants in Singapore serve it with chicken, lamb, or goat meat. 

Fun fact: Murtabak means folded, which is where this crepe-like street food got its name. 

Scissors Cut Curry Rice

Eat at Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice

It’s always fun discovering a new dish. During our most recent trip to Singapore, Amber and I discovered Scissors Cut Curry Rice. It is hard to believe in numerous trips to Singapore since 2009 we’ve never eaten let alone heard of Scissors Cut Curry Rice.

The best place for Scissors Cut Curry Rice is the appropriately named Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice. The restaurant has been around since the 1930s. Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice has known in Singapore for its signature curry gravy. It’s this gravy that’s the key to the Scissors Cut Curry Rice.

Similar to nasi kandar you’d find in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, you order your curry rice along with other “toppings”. Toppings include everything from stewed vegetables to cabbage. Fried pork or chicken cutlets, hand-cut by scissors, can also be added.

Singapore Hawker Centers

Maxwell Road Hawker Center Singapore

The best way to experience the food in Singapore is by visiting one of the many “hawker centers” located throughout the city. Unlike in other SE Asian cities like Bangkok, Singapore doesn’t allow for food to be sold on the street. Hence, the hawker centers.

Whenever Amber and I visit Singapore, we eat nearly all our meals at hawker centers. Why? They are conveniently located across Singapore. They are relatively inexpensive. And best of all the food is outstanding.

Over the past few years, the stars of all the hawker stalls have been Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle Stall and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle. Both have achieved acclaim by winning a coveted Michelin Star. While a great achievement, most hawker stalls are “mom & pop” owned. Many of these stalls have been in operation for decades and produce outstanding food.

Best Singapore Hawker Centers

During our many trips to Singapore, Amber and I have explored nearly all of the hawker centers. Below are three of our all-time favorite hawker centers as well as a few others worth visiting. Many of these hawker centers operate 24/7. We highly recommend checking hours before visiting.

Adam Road Food Centre

Maxwell Food Centre

Newton Food Centre

Other Singapore Hawker Centers

Here are a few other hawker centers in Singapore worth checking out.

Tiong Bahru Market

Tekka Market Food Centre

Old Airport Road Food Centre

Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

Amoy Street Food Centre

Hong Lim Market & Food Centre

FAQs – Singapore Food Guide

What is Singapore’s famous food?

The food in Singapore is a blend of Chinese, Indian, and Malay cuisines. This is one of the many reasons why Singapore is considered the best food city in the World. In terms of the most famous food in Singapore, it’s going to depend on who you ask. That said, some of Singapore’s most famous foods include Hainanese chicken rice, Singaporean chili crab, laksa, and roti canai.

What cuisine does Singapore have?

For its relatively small size, Singapore is one of the most diverse countries in the World. And this diversity is reflected in the cuisines found in Singapore. Visitors to Singapore will find Indian, Malay, and Chinese (Hokkien) cooking. Why is this? The reason for this is Singapore’s location in Asia. Singapore borders Malaysia and is only a short distance from both India and China.

What is the most common dish in Singapore?

Hands down the most common dish in Singapore is Hokkien-style chicken rice. Not only is Singaporean chicken rice extremely popular, nearly everyone in Singapore has an opinion on the best way to eat chicken rice. So if you are eating chicken rice in a Singapore hawker center, don’t be surprised if somebody tells you how to eat chicken rice.

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