Wondering where to eat in Singapore? From street food and heritage dining spots to swanky celebrity restaurants, options abound. We’ve got you covered with this handy little guide for you to navigate your way around this true foodie’s paradise.
There is an endless supply of local creations to try. The fantastic thing about local food in Singapore is that it’s cheap and highly accessible.
First on your list should be Maxwell Food Centre. Conveniently located on the fringe of the bustling Central Business District (CBD), this hawker centre is home to over 100 food stalls that put out some excellent crowd favourites.
One of the biggest highlights is Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. This famous outlet (which won over celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain when he visited Singapore some years ago) specialises in one of the nation’s most iconic dishes—tender chicken served with a side of fragrant white rice alongside fiery-tangy chilli sauce, dark soy sauce, and a bowl of belly-warming soup.
Note that there is almost always a long, snaking queue at the stall so be prepared to wait in line.
Another spot to check out is Lau Pa Sat. This historic food market was established in the 19th century and is an architectural feast for the eyes. Here you’ll find a smorgasbord of creations, from fishball noodles to chapati (Indian flatbread served with curry).
Love the idea of chowing down on satay (grilled skewered meat) while chugging an ice cold beer with your buddies? You’ll be spoilt for choice at Satay by the Bay. Located at the award-winning Gardens by the Bay, this food centre features numerous pushcarts serving up the delicious Malay creation. Don’t forget that side of peanut sauce!
Celebrity chef restaurants
Want in on some star-studded culinary action? Get a taste of your favourite celebrity chefs’ creations at dining establishments like Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen, Tetsuya Wakuda's Waku Ghin, and Cut by Wolfgang Puck—all of which can be found under one roof over at the world-famous integrated resort, Marina Bay Sands®.
Treat your taste buds to perfectly executed British European plates like the signature BSK short rib beef burger and the fish & chips at Bread Street Kitchen. Looking for something with a little more local flavour? Try items like the tamarind spiced chicken wings and the spicy tuna tartar with chilli, garlic, sesame oil and wonton crisps.
Lovers of Japanese food can’t possibly pass up on a meal at Waku Ghin. The 10-course degustation menu features some stunning culinary creations, including the much talked about marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin. If you can't resist sake, you'll be pleased to know that chef Tetsuya is actually the first person to be recognised as a ‘Sake Ambassador’ outside of Japan.
Can’t ever turn down a good steak? Make a beeline for Cut by Wolfgang Puck for juicy beef cooked to perfection. Go ahead and order a cocktail or two to accompany your main—the handcrafted mixes here are truly exceptional.
Heritage dining spots
Want a taste of traditional Singapore? Longstanding heritage restaurants are the answer.
Head over to the ever-charming neighbourhood of Joo Chiat in eastern Singapore for bak chang—rice dumpling with various fillings, such as meat—from Kim Choo Kueh Chang. While you’re here, you might want to also pick up some Peranakan* treats like pineapple tarts and kueh (bite-sized desserts).
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
If you can handle the heat, there’s Samy’s Curry over at popular dining enclave Dempsey. This Indian dining establishment has been around since the 1950s and has been serving up plates and plates of their iconic dishes like fish head curry and chicken masala. Everything's laid out on fresh banana leaves—just the way it should be at an authentic Indian restaurant!
For a dizzying array of mouth-watering options, Hajah Maimunah at Kampong Glam is a must-visit. Traditional Malay dishes take centre stage at this glorious eatery, and you can expect to find creations like beef rendang (braised beef cooked in coconut milk and spices) and tahu telor (tofu omelette served with peanuts and a spicy sauce).
With all these amazing options, you can easily map out your food journey here in Singapore. Want even more choices? Check out this delicious 1-day food guide to Singapore.