Share in our city’s food obsession, and discover a realm of new flavours, culinary passion and out-of-this-world dining experiences. Our guide to Singapore’s vibrant food scene will have you raring to go (or eat). If you’re a foodie who’s visiting Singapore for the first time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Our sunny island’s trove of world-class eateries, Michelin-starred restaurants and dishes from all across the globe can make it difficult to know where to begin.
1. Explore our diverse array of local cuisines
Like Singapore herself, our local cuisine is a tantalising mix of flavours from various racial backgrounds, including food with Chinese, Malay, Eurasian, Peranakan* and Indian origins.
Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Gelam are great places to start if you’d like to try our local Chinese, Indian and Malay cuisine respectively, while the neighbourhood of Joo Chiat/Katong is filled with restaurants serving Peranakan classics.
If you’re in Singapore for several days or a week, we recommend devoting each day of your visit to sampling the iconic dishes from one of our local cultures. And whether you’re a spice lover who’d like to sample the rich flavours of chilli crab, or hankering for a taste of roti prata (South Indian flatbread) you’re bound to find a dish worth tantalising your taste buds.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
2. Reserve a table in advance when dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant
If world-class dining is what you crave, book a table at one of our myriad Michelin-starred restaurants. 2019 saw the Lion City upping the ante as a global food capitol, with 44 making the Singapore Michelin Star list, and a host of restaurants and eateries being awarded the Bib Gourmand.
Whether you’re looking to delight your senses with the modern French cuisine at Odette or discover the subtleties of Japanese culinary techniques at Waku Ghin, you’re bound to experience a once-in-a-lifetime meal. If Singaporean flavours with a twist are what you crave, drop by Labyrinth—where chef Han Li Guang serves up local flavours with a modern twist—or Candlenut, the first Peranakan restaurant in the world to receive a Michelin Star.
We suggest securing a seat before you touch down on our shores—reservations at these restaurants have been known to take months to secure.
3. Sample our local chefs’ creations with a twist
Singapore’s status as a global metropolis makes it a meeting point for myriad cultures, which is evident in the culinary creations of our local chefs.
For hawker fare with global influences, drop by A Noodle Story—A Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded eatery that serves up a noodle dish that draws inspiration from Japanese ramen (Japanese noodle soup) and local wanton mee (egg noodles served with slices of barbecued pork and bite-sized dumplings).
Dine in these homegrown restaurants, and discover the craft and creativity behind Singaporean fusion cuisine.
4. Go beyond restaurants to uncover our food obsession
Food-themed tours, experiential dining experiences and annual food festivals are just some of the immersive activities that await you. Awaken your taste buds in pitch darkness at Nox-Dine In The Dark, have a meal surrounded by the sea’s splendours at Ocean Restaurant or catch your own dinner at Smith Marine.
Budding chefs can hone their craft with cookery magic, while adventurous foodies can embark on special tours trying out ethnic dishes like Wok N’ Stroll or Singapore After Dark.
5. Get to know our passionate chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs
More than just a city of restaurants, Singapore is home to passionate chefs, restaurateurs and bartenders who live and breathe the culinary arts.
Whether you’re delighting in European omakase at Nouri or sampling a cocktail brewed with locally-made Brass Lion gin at NATIVE, don’t feel shy about striking up a conversation with the chefs or bartenders—your ensuing chat is bound to ignite your love for food.
6. Discover a world of flavours at our hawker centres
As a nation, Singaporeans are understandably proud of our hawkers. Our local street food has been lauded by a constellation of celebrity chefs, restaurateurs and personalities, ranging from Gordon Ramsay to Antony Bourdain.
A visit to Singapore just wouldn’t be complete without a foray or two into our local hawker centres. We heartily recommend paying a visit to Chinatown Complex Food Centre, home to 260 food stalls including Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle, a hawker selling the world’s most affordable Michelin-starred dish.
Lau Pa Sat and Amoy Street Food Centre are two other hawker centres for foodies to consider, selling everything from satay (grilled meat skewers) and char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles in dark soya sauce) to fishball noodles and curry puffs. For more Michelin-worthy fare, drop by beloved establishments like Tai Hwa Pork Noodle or Hong Kee Beef Noodle.
7. Learn the local lingo and order like a pro
Singlish—our colourful local vernacular—is an essential part of our local food culture. To truly dig deep into our nation’s food obsession, you can learn the local lingo and immerse yourself in our colourful food culture. Check out our guides to ordering coffee like a local and dining like a true-blue Singaporean.