Food, glorious food… Singapore is a city that loves to eat. Dishes from a variety of cultures and cuisines can be found all over the island – from Chinese, Indian, and Malay… to French, Filipino, and Turkish. Get tips on eating out, food delivery, late night haunts, supermarkets, and delis and specialty shops.

Is this your first time in Singapore? Try some of the local favorites that Singapore is famous for.

Missing the familiar taste of food from home, or getting tired of local food? Check out our International Food page for a list of restaurants serving national cuisines from all over.

Eating out

Don’t know where to start? Take advice from Singaporeans who are passionate about finding the best of everything, from hawker stalls to fine dining.

  • The popular Makansutra guide provides reviews and a foodie forum. Their motto is: “die, die, must try!” If you’ve got a friend who’s a foodie, the published version of the Makansutra guide makes a good gift.
  • Chubby Hubby blogs about “dining, whining, and marriage”, and posts both recipes and restaurant reviews.
  • Gastronomic Ruminations has informative blog posts with thorough descriptions, lots of pictures, and complete contact information for the restaurants she visits. Her philosophy is, “Life is short. Eat hard.”
  • Mouthwatering pictures of yummy hawker dishes fill the pages of ieat-ishoot-ipost, followed by reviews and a rating on a scale from 1 to 5. “Never waste your calories on yucky food.” – good advice indeed.
  • Singapore Halal Directorypublishes an online list of halal establishments in Singapore.

Local favorites

Curious about Singapore cuisine? Try some of these local dishes.

  • Cereal Prawns. You’re probably thinking, what the heck? Yes, these are prawns crusted with oatmeal or bran flakes – it sounds funny but tastes great. Try the classic version complete with shells (yes, they’re edible) at No Signboard or have the prawns pre-shelled for you at Fatty’s at Burlington Square, 175 Bencoolen Street.
  • Chicken Rice, or Hainanese Chicken Rice as it’s sometimes known. Roasted or steamed chicken, accompanied by a flavorful serving of rice cooked in chicken broth. Chicken rice is traditionally served with three sauces – chilli sauce, pounded ginger, and a thick dark soy sauce. It’s served with a bowl of soup, and sometimes includes a pile of sliced cucumber. Wee Nam Kee at 275 Thomson Road (across the street from Novena Church) is a popular place for chicken rice. Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre in Chinatown is another good choice.
  • Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab – no first-time visit to Singapore is complete without trying these huge Sri Lankan crabs. Don’t miss the yummy Chinese buns, called mantou, that traditionally accompany chilli crab. We like the crab at Jumbo and No Signboard.
  • Durian. It’s impossible to be ambivalent about this fruit, you either love it or you hate it. As one tourist described it – “tastes like heaven, smells like hell.” The durian smell is so strong, it’s banned in hotels and on public transport. And don’t even think about taking one on a plane! Most Singaporeans are crazy about durian, though, and will happily take you to try some if you mention you’ve never tasted it. For the less adventurous, you can also try durian in less potent forms – in durian cakes, tarts, puffs, candy, and ice cream. The Geylang area is known for durian stalls (and, well, for other things too…)

Food delivery

Feel like staying in for the evening? Having a party?

  • Cuisine Xpress handles deliveries from a number of upmarket restaurants, including Paulaner Brauhaus, California Pizza Kitchen, and ThaiExpress. Minimum order is $25, delivery charges vary by zone, and orders from separate restaurants are considered as separate orders.
  • Dabao.sg will pick up orders from a selection of local restaurants and well-loved hawker stalls, for a flat $3-5 charge.
  • Familiar fast-food places deliver too. McDonald’s delivers 24 hours a day (6777 3777), with breakfast deliveries available from 4 AM to 10:45 AM. Pizza Hut (62 35 35 35) often has promotional offers – check their web site for the latest deals. KFC‘s phone number is 6222 6111.
  • Did you know that Starbucks delivers? Strangely enough, they don’t seem to mention it on their website – but Starbucks stores distribute handy delivery menus listing all the usual drinks plus a few sets that include pastry or sandwiches. They’ll deliver with a minimum spend of $20; delivery services may not be available during peak hours. To place an order, call your nearest Starbucks store and ask if they’ll deliver to your location.

Late night haunts

Looking for somewhere to eat after a late night at work or a long night of clubbing? These restaurants and eateries are open 24 hours – or at least until early morning.

  • Al Ameen Eating House, Cheong Chin Nam Road near Upper Bukit Timah Road. Serves halal food, mostly Thai and Indian dishes. Roti prata and most items are available round the clock, although naan may be off the menu when it gets late.
  • Coffee Club (Orchard, 24 hours). 323 Orchard Road.
  • Fong Seng Nasi Lemak (West, 6 am – 4 am). 22 Clementi Road (near Kent Ridge Bus Terminal / Pasir Panjang road). Both Fong Seng and the Cheese Prata Shop, below, are popular with students from nearby NUS.
  • McDonald’s (multiple outlets, 24 hours). They deliver 24 hours a day, too.
  • Spize (River Valley, 6 pm – 6 am). 409 River Valley Road. Near popular nightspots and often packed with clubbers.
  • The Roti Prata House on Upper Thomson (Central North, 24 hours). 246M Upper Thomson Road. Crispy prata, yum.
  • The Cheese Prata Shop (West, 24 hours). 18 Clementi Road (near Kent Ridge Bus Terminal / Pasir Panjang road).

Supermarkets

Singapore’s supermarkets are amply stocked, but if you don’t have a car it will be tough getting all that loot back home. Standing in a taxi queue for 20 minutes with loads of groceries isn’t my idea of fun, so we order ours online and have them delivered.

  • Cold Storage bill themselves “the fresh food people” and true to their word, they deliver perishables and frozen items, in addition to regular non-perishable groceries.
  • NTUC Fairprice uses SingPost to make deliveries. This cuts down on costs but means they can’t deliver perishables.
  • Carrefour doesn’t seem to offer online shopping (or at least I can’t find a link), but they do deliver for free if you spend $150 or more when you shop at the store.
  • MyOnlineGroceries by Shivsagar Trading specializes in delivering Indian grocery items such as atta, ghee, spices, and more.

 

Delis and Specialty Stores

Looking for gourmet ingredients or international items?

  • Culina stocks an assortment of wines, cheeses, and cocktail party staples – including bite-size pre-made pastry shells for hors d’oeuvres. They also sell sun-dried tomato foccacia bread and yummy onion bagels. Culina has branches at Park House (21 Orchard Boulevard, #01-23), Bukit Timah (617 Bukit Timah Road), and Dempsey Hill (Block 8 Dempsey Road #01-13).
  • FairPrice, while not normally known as a specialty destination, has an aisle devoted to Australian grocery products at its two-storey supermarket in Toa Payoh. Among other things, the selection features gluten-free snack bars.
  • Ikea has a little deli with popular Swedish food products.
  • Jason’s Marketplace is a premium supermarket run by Swiss Butchery at 30/32 Greenwood Avenue offers roasting and marinating services along with a wide selection of meats and cheeses.
  • The Cellar Door, at 611 and 619 Bukit Timah road, has both a restaurant and a deli. Try their dips, yum.
  • Tierney’s is at Serene Centre, 10 Jalan Serene near Bukit Timah road.
  • Still looking for more places? Check out this list of Singapore delis and good food sources

 

What’s next?

Now that you’ve had a taste of Singapore’s varied cuisines, check out the Practicalities section for tips on making new friends to dine with, and other helpful hints on living in Singapore.

Craving food from home or another country? Check out the International Food page.

Didn’t find what you were looking for?

We’re constantly adding content to this website, so check back often for updates. If you’ve got a tip you’d like to share, email us at feedback@livinginsingapore.org and we’ll add it to the list!