A charming balance of old and new, Chinatown is one of Singapore’s hottest dining enclaves. From hip cafes to local stalls serving up legendary bites, the choices here are endless. Fret not though — this guide will introduce you to some of the best restaurants in Singapore’s Chinatown, and give you the lowdown on where (and what) to eat.

Iconic culinary creations
Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice at Chinatown Complex Food Centre Singapore Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice

One of Singapore’s oldest cultural enclaves, Chinatown is a melting pot of diverse ethnicities, and a great way to get familiar with Singapore’s vibrant food landscape.

For sheer diversity of choice, head over to Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre. Our island’s largest hawker centre is home to over 200 food vendors, selling sweet, savoury, and spicy Singaporean staples. Visit Lian He Ben Ji Claypot to chow down on Michelin Bib-Gourmand rated claypot rice, or dig into a midday snack from Ann Chin Popiah.

Diners enjoying food at Spring Court Singapore Chinese classics at Spring Court Restaurant

Alternatively, pay a visit to Spring Court. First founded in 1929, this Chinese restaurant has been serving up traditional dishes for eight decades.

Some of the signature dishes at this restaurant include their Claypot Chilli Crab and their Deep Fried Soon Hock (Marble Goby Fish), both beloved seafood staples. For a lighter meal, consider sharing plates of dim sum (bite-sized portions of food served in steamer baskets or on small plates).

Mei Heong Yuen Dessert, Chinatown - Customers eating Mei Heong Yuen Dessert

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Mei Heong Yuen Dessert. This eatery specialises in traditional Chinese desserts such as bird’s nest soup and yam paste, but you could also opt for other treats like durian mochi or one of their snow ice creations (which come in flavours like lychee and green tea).

Delights from around the world
Locals eating breakfast at Tong Ah Eating house Traditional Singaporean breakfast at Tong Ah Eating House

Those looking to enjoy breakfast like a local can drop by Tong Ah Eating House along Keong Saik Road. First set up in 1939, this traditional coffee shop has been serving up piping hot cups of kopi (local coffee) and delectably crispy kaya (a traditional jam made from coconut and eggs) toast for decades.

For delectable Spanish tapas, drop by Esquina, along Jiak Chuan Road. First-time visitors and large groups who’re looking to indulge in a variety of flavours should consider ordering from the restaurant’s tasting menu. You’ll be able to savour dishes like sea urchin and prawn paella (traditional Spanish rice dish) and short rib pastrami.

Alternatively, make a beeline for UTU. Located just a stone’s throw away from Esquina, this charming restaurant serves up dishes from across the African continent, from Liberian Peanut Chicken Stew to Swahili Fish Curry.

If you’re in the mood for toothsome treats, check out Flor Patisserie—located in the Duxton neighbourhood. This pitstop for dessert lovers specialises in delectable Japanese-style pastries, tarts, and pies.