Our shortlist of favorite countries is largely shaped by food. Japan is there. So are Thailand and Spain. And of course, Singapore is near the top of that list.
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Singapore may be small but it’s not short of great food. Inch for inch, it is one of the best countries in the world for food. It is defined by a wide spectrum of food choices that range from cheap but legendary hawker stall meals to trendy dining concepts that push the envelope. You can have a simple but shiok hawker meal for lunch and then a great Michelin star meal for dinner.
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Singapore has a reputation for being an expensive Asian city but has a wealth of surprisingly affordable food. You definitely don’t have to be one of the crazy rich Asians to eat well in Singapore!
If you’re visiting this small island nation and looking to find the best restaurants in Singapore for dishes like laksa, chicken rice, chili crab, and tulang soup – then you’ve come to the right place.
To help you plan your trip to Singapore, I’ve compiled links to hotels, tours, and other services related to traveling here.
If you are planning to visit Singapore, then be sure to check out our detailed Singapore travel guide. It will tell you everything you need to know – like where to stay, what attractions to visit, where to find the best Instagram spots, etc. – to help you plan your trip like a pro .
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When eating out in Singapore, people often go to hawker centers and food courts because they are affordable and provide a wider range of choices. This Singapore restaurant guide includes a mix of hawker stalls, food stands, chains, and proper sit-down restaurants.
What better way to start this list of Singapore’s best restaurants than with a place that specializes in nasi lemak? It is a favorite food in Singapore and in my opinion, one of the most satisfying Asian breakfast dishes.
Nasi lemak is a dish of Malaysian origin that is also popular in Singapore. It consists of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves and served with sambal and a number of sides such as ikan bilis (anchovies), peanuts, cucumber, and omelette or fried egg. It is usually eaten for breakfast although it can be enjoyed throughout the day.
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Google “best lemak nasi in singapore” and this restaurant will appear at the top of many lists. They’ve been open since the 1970s and have been serving up some of the city’s best versions of this dish for three generations.
Pictured below is their best selling Spicy Thigh Cutlet Set. It features the restaurant’s Legendary Changi Chilli and chicken nuggets inspired by the McDonald’s McSpicy.
I once asked a Malaysian chef what the secret to this dish was and he told me it’s all about the sambal. This beloved dish can only be as good as its sambal and Changi’s Legendary Changi Chilli is known to be one of the best and most unique.
Made from a secret recipe dating back to the restaurant’s founders, this legendary sambal is what separates Changi from the rest.
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Bali is another popular nasi lemak restaurant in Singapore. I learned about this restaurant from KF Seetoh and Makansutra. Like Changi, it is described as a great restaurant in Singapore to have this popular dish.
Bali is known for their fried chicken kecap manis which is tossed in a sweet and savory dark sauce.
I read that the owner of this restaurant is the younger sister of the owner of the famous Ponggol chain. It looks like making this dish run in the family so we will definitely try Ponggol on our next visit to Singapore.
As its name suggests, Ya Kun specializes in cai toast, a popular breakfast dish or snack prepared by spreading cai – a jam made with coconut, eggs and sugar – between slices of bread charcoal grilled or toasted.
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It is served with either coffee or tea and is usually accompanied by two soft-boiled eggs with a little dark soy sauce and white pepper.
Ya Kun is a great coffee shop in Singapore to get this popular breakfast dish. They have many outlets throughout the city but we went to their branch at Ang Mo Kio MRT station on the way to Singapore Zoo.
If you are planning to go to the zoo, then this is a great place to have breakfast and try this classic Singaporean breakfast dish.
This mouthful of a stall called Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata specializes in another popular Singaporean breakfast dish or street food snack called roti prata.
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Known as parotta in South India and roti canai in Malaysia, it refers to an Asian flour-fried pancake cooked over a grill and served with a curry dipping sauce.
Pictured below is a plate of crispy and chewy butter roti. It was cut with butter and sugar so it had a good balance of sweet and savory when dipped in the curry sauce.
To be honest, Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata wasn’t really our first choice. We wanted to go to Prata Saga Sambal Berlada, a stall that came up often when looking for the best places in Singapore to try roti prata.
Prata Saga Sambal Berlada was closed for Ramadan but we were lucky to find Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata a few steps away.
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We ate at Tekka Food Center a few times and Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata always had a long queue of people waiting to buy their roti. That’s always a good sign when trying to figure out where to eat in Singapore.
Jian Bo Shui Kueh specializes in one of the most interesting street food dishes we’ve had so far in Singapore – chwee kueh. It refers to a type of steamed rice cake topped with finely preserved radish and served with a side of chilli sauce.
Jian Bo Shui Kueh is located inside the historic Tiong Bahru Market. Google “Singapore best restaurants for chwee kueh” and many Singaporean food bloggers will point you to Jian Bo. This little stall has been selling this delicious dish for over fifty years!
When we were there early in the morning, there was an endless stream of people getting packets of rice cakes for takeaway. Like kaya toast, it is a popular breakfast dish in Singapore.
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1A Crispy Puffs are known for this delicious street food snack called curry puff. Enjoyed throughout Southeast Asia, they are basically small, semi-circular pies stuffed with a variety of ingredients such as chicken and potato curry, beef rendang, and chilli crab in a fried pastry shell deep fried or baked.
I googled “best restaurants in Singapore for curry puffs” and popular food blog sethlui.com led me to 1A Crispy Puffs. They have many stores in Singapore but we went to their stall at Takashimaya Shopping Center on Orchard Road.
Often cited as having some of the best curry puffs in Singapore, we tried a few others but found theirs to be the tastiest. The difference, for us, was in the pastry shell.
If you like roti prata, then you will probably enjoy murtabak too. It is basically a stuffed version of roti prata that can be filled with savory or sweet ingredients.
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Murtabak is common in the Arabian Peninsula and Southeast Asia and can vary significantly depending on where it comes from. In Singapore, it is usually filled with spicy beef, chicken, or mutton and served with curry sauce, pickled sweet onion, or cucumber in ketchup. A version filled with mozzarella is also popular.
Pictured below is a plate of mutton murtabac from the legendary Zam Zam restaurant, a heritage restaurant that has been serving this street food favorite since 1908. That’s well over a hundred years!
Zam Zam is an institution and known for being one of the best restaurants in Singapore to try murtabak. If you look through the window below, you will see a murtabak maestro transforming balls of dough into delicious parcels of murtabak.
Laksa is one of Singapore’s most loved dishes and the popular heritage Sungei Road Laksa stall is known for being one of the best restaurants in Singapore to try it.
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If you’ve never had it, laksa is a spicy noodle soup of Peranakan origin consisting of rice noodles or vermicelli made with chicken, prawns or fish. Its soup can be based on either rich and savory coconut milk, fresh and sour asam (tamarind, gelugur or kokum), or a combination of the two.
In Singapore, the most popular version is the coconut-based laksa curry, which is my preferred version. That’s the kind of laksa you’ll find at Sungei Road.
I read that Sungei Road is among the last places left to use a charcoal burner for making their laksa. The curry is creamy and fairly light to begin with, until you mix it
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