Take your tastebuds on an adventure and fall in love with new flavours, with our guide to feasting in Singapore.
Singapore is an ideal destination for foodies looking to tantalise their tastebuds, boasting world-famous hawker fare, Michelin-starred restaurants and Mod-Sin Cuisine — which fuses traditional tastes and ingredients with bold culinary experimentation.
More than just a way to sate your appetite, food can be both epiphany and inspiration for the senses. So, loosen your belt buckles and get ready for new culinary adventures, as you discover the many delicious reasons behind Singapore’s reputation as a food paradise.
Spend your first day in the heart of Singapore's Civic District. Colonial buildings and modern skyscrapers sit side by side in this charming locale, as do flavours old and new.
For lunch, make a beeline for Lau Pa Sat. Formerly a fish market located along the waterfront, this distinctive building's architecture hearkens back to the Victorian era, and was gazetted as a national monument in 1973. The space now celebrates traditional fare and new flavours, with old-school hawker stalls and modern food brands alike.
Dig into local favourites like chai tow kway (a savoury dish made with white radish, eggs and chilli paste) from Seng Kee Local Delights or satay (grilled meat skewers) from the stalls on Satay Street.
Before you leave, pay a visit to Food Folks - Lau Pa Sat's latest food hall was first opened in 2020, and boasts a range of local vendors and food brands. We recommend sampling the delectable confections from Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh.
Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Singapore's rich heritage at the National Museum of Singapore, or take a walk through Fort Canning's Spice Garden to learn more about the plants and herbs that flavour local cuisine.
Tradition with a contemporary twist is on the menu for your dinner at Pó. Located within the beautifully restored compound of the Warehouse Hotel, this restaurant serves up classic local and Asian dishes reimagined. Be sure to try the restaurant's modern take on popiah (fresh spring roll with vegetables and assorted filling), which comes with decadent ingredients like abalone and crabmeat.
Round off your first day in Singapore with a visit at Mama Diam. This hidden speakeasy bar pays homage to the traditional provision shops that dot our local housing estates, with décor that'll give you a peek into our nation's yesteryears.
The drinks here are equally inspired by nostalgia, with many concoctions paying homage to iconic local favourites and beloved old school beverages like kopi (black coffee) and bandung (condensed milk with rose cordial). Be sure to sample their Shooters, which come in locally inspired and nostalgic flavours like Milo and Sourplum.
As a modern metropolis and former trade port during its colonial days, Singapore has long been a melting pot of flavours from across the globe. Devote your second day to experiencing the world on a plate, in the cultural hotbed of Chinatown.
For lunch, pay a visit to the Michelin-starred Cloudstreet. Helmed by head chef Mark Tai - the first local winner of the MICHELIN GUIDE Singapore's Young Chef Award in 2021 - this restaurant's menu evolves on a regular basis, with flavours that pay homage to both the East and the West.
From Sri Lankan curry made with Western Australian crayfish to grilled oysters seasoned with betel leave and lime, the dishes here are bound to tantalise your tastebuds.
"Of course, I'd first recommend foodies to try the brands in our group, which include Cloud Street, Kotuwa for Sri Lankan cuisine and wine bar Fool,' chef Mark Tai says with a laugh. "But I'd also recommend Da Dong Prawn Noodles and Meta. I've had the former since I was a kid, and the broth is very flavourful, while the latter is one of the top restaurants in Singapore."
Spend the rest of the afternoon shopping and sightseeing along the busy streets of Chinatown. You'll find heritage aplenty, from beautiful architecture at Sri Mariamman Temple to toothsome treats at Tong Heng Traditional Cantonese Pastries. The latter's traditional bakes - like egg tarts and red bean pastries - now also offer modern varieties that include vegan and dairy-free options. To deepen your knowledge of traditional food culture, sign up for a tea appreciation session at Tea Chapter.
For dinner, drop by Avenue 87. Helmed by local chefs Glen Tay and Alex Phan, the restaurant taps on its founding duo's travels abroad and collaborative spirit to present a range of inspired dishes. Expect to be tantalised by creations like beef short rib with char siew (flavoured and barbequed pork) and scallions to softshell crab served with paneer and black pepper.
If you're in the mood for a tipple that's tailored (pun intended) to your tastes, be sure to drop by Taylor Adam. Nestled away behind the façade of a tailor shop, this charming speakeasy boasts both signature creations and cocktails that you can customise to your tastes. Sip on a Sentosa Spritz - made with Roku Gin, coconut and sparkling wine - or order a bespoke beverage to suit your palate.
Alternatively, spend the evening discovering the multisensory delights of Little India. "I love showing my friends around this district," says Vijay Mudaliar, famed local bartender and owner of the award-winning bar NATIVE. "It's filled with culture and history. Try the food at Komala Villas for dinner - it's a South Asian restaurant that's been around since 1947."
Round off your night with a tipple at The Elephant Room. This modern bar pays homage to the myriad charms of the heritage district it calls home, with cocktails taking their names from famous streets and historical sites. Sample a Buffalo Road cocktail—made with Pink Guava Distillate and Lime— or try the Race Course Plantation, a mix of Indian Rum, Himalayan Salt and Sugarcane.
Discover authentic eats and traditional flavours in the Joo Chiat/Katong, with breakfast at Chin Mee Chin. An institution among east siders, this beloved eatery has been around since 1925, serving up baked goods and breakfast staples to hungry local foodies.
The bakery's menu comprises a mix of old-school dishes and tantalising treats for foodies with a sweet tooth. Dig into a traditional breakfast of kaya (a traditional jam made from coconut and eggs) toast with soft boiled eggs and kopi, but be sure to save space for pastries like their cream horn and chocolate tart.
For lunch, savour a local classic at Katong Mei Wei Boneless Chicken Rice, located in the basement of Katong Shopping Centre. Chicken rice is arguably one of the most beloved hawker dishes in Singapore, and this stall's rendition is famous for its tender chicken and flavourful rice.
Spend the rest of the day discovering Peranakan* culture at Rumah Bebe, admiring the pastel-hued houses along Koon Seng Road and shopping for savoury nonya dumplings at Kim Choo Kueh Chang. Besides traditional versions of this savoury treat, the latter also sells a wide variety of other flavours, from salty egg and chilli prawn to XO dumplings.
For dinner, take a deep dive into the intricacies of local, with dinner at Rempapa. Run by famed local chef Damian D'Silva, the restaurant serves up a smorgasbord of traditional Singaporean dishes, from plates of aromatic nasi lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves, serves with a variety of side dishes) to bowls of spicy chicken curry.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means "local born", which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.