Alright, alright, alright! I’m a little shocked I haven’t written this guide sooner and only realised I hadn’t when a friend asked me for food tips for Singapore and was all, ‘check the blog, man!’ and they were all, ‘yeah, I did, man!’ That right there is a classic example of demand and supply. So, here we are. Now, look, I didn’t just want to pull together all the ‘hip’ spots the kids are frequenting or all the pretentious places, I wanted to give you my actual recommendations – the places I really eat at when I’m in Singapore! As someone who has lived there, I think I’ve got a slight advantage. Without further ado, here are my tips on 10 of the best places to eat in Singapore (and what to eat while ya there!)
But first, watch this…
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1. East Coast Lagoon Food Village
If you want to eat where the locals eat and have a real Singapore food experience, you have to visit Hawker Centres. My favourite is the East Coast Lagoon Food Village. You’ll find it along the East Coast Parkway and can get there easily via Grab or Taxi (any cab driver worth their salt will know it). Once there, head down toward the water and grab a seat. You can order a few ice-cold tallies of Tiger and then get stuck into a huge range of great Singaporean food! This is the place to get adventurous and try all of Singapore’s famous foods. Get stuck into chicken rice, rojak, popiah, BBQ chicken wings, seafood, hotpot and so much more. It’s an authentic experience and incredible food at a fraction of the price of fancy restaurants.
2. Komala Villas
My mum and I eat here at least once each time I visit my family in Singapore and it’s always one of the two must-try food recommendations I give people (the other being the food village above). You’ll find Komala Villas located in Little India, serving up incredible Indian vegetarian food. If you aren’t a vegetarian, don’t let the word vegetarian throw you off – the food is fantastic whether you’re a carnivore or not. I highly recommend the masala dosai, a large crispy pancake stuffed with curried potatoes, accompanied by dipping sauces. For a big hunger, go the ‘special meal,’ it comes with extra veggies. After your meal, set out to explore Little India (just avoid the hottest parts of the day if possible).
3. Sushi Tei
My favourite sushi spot in Singapore has to be Sushi Tei, another family favourite spot, especially for lunch. Sushi Tei has quite a few locations dotted around Singapore so you should have no trouble finding one near you. I love the menu here, the food is always really fresh and high quality. I always have edamame, miso soup and this amazing salad they do (the sesame dressing is so good!) The gyoza, sushi and sashimi also come highly recommended.
4. El Mero Mero
If you know me, you know I love Mexican food. The best Mexican on the island goes down at El Mero Mero – seriously, the best tacos I have ever had in my life. They also do a very impressive ceviche and, well, the whole menu is fantastic. Even their desserts are not to be missed. I also go nuts for a good margarita and El Mero Mero absolutely nail it! It’s a more pricey option but if you really like Mexican food, it’s not to be missed. Best of all, it’s located in the iconic grounds of Chijmes, the historic site of a Catholic convent and orphanage converted into restaurants. Go for lunch, feast, then explore Chijmes afterwards.
5. Blu Kouzina
Do you love fried cheese? Then put Blu Kouzina on your Singapore must-try food list, pronto! You’ll find the restaurant at Dempsey Hill serving up fresh and delicious Mediterranean food. The best way to tackle is to order at least two serves of the skillet cheese and then a whole bunch of other plates to share and just get stuck into the whole lot. The seafood here is must-try, though vegetarians will find plenty of tasty options on the menu too. It’s another pricey spot but, again, well worth it for a great meal.
6. Din Tai Fung
Get your dumpling fix at Din Tai Fung. With locations dotted around the island, there’s no shortage of dumplings – woohoo! I will say this, the line can be a bit crazy but Singaporeans are famous for their love of queuing, so it kind of seems appropriate that you should join a queue at some stage. If you hate lining up for a table, get there before the lunch or dinner rush. If you do find yourself queueing, it goes pretty quick. Of course, the dumplings are the hero at Din Tai Fung so order as many as your body can handle. The steamed vegetarian dumplings are my favourite and they also do a really good fried rice!
If you’re into sushi and want to try something really unique, visit Maki-San. This place offers you the ability to custom make your own giant sushi roll (one big, long roll cut into smaller rounds for convenient noms). It’s fast-food style, so don’t expect any frills. You grab a menu, pick what you want in your sushi roll then submit your order and it’s custom made for you. I love it! It means your sushi has everything you love and none of the bits you wish it didn’t – I’m tired of picking cucumber out of my sushi, aren’t you?!
8. Prata Wala
Prata is my kryptonite. When it’s done right, it’s all things buttery and flaky, the perfect, savoury flatbread served with a rich curry within which to bathe your bread. I cannot and will not go past good prata. There are many great places to get good prata in Singapore, but my go-to is Prata Wala. It’s a chain often found in shopping malls, which should mean it’s awful, right? But I always find their prata to be deliciously flaky and golden, cooked to order and served with the perfect veggie curry sauce. If you haven’t tried one, this is also the spot to try iced coffee or iced tea, the real, traditional stuff.
Sorry, did I mention I love Mexican food? Another pricey, but fantastic spot and all-round favourite has to be Margarita’s at Dempsey Hill. The margarita’s here are, without question, my all-time favourite. Be warned, they’re dangerously good. You’ll need to a book a table or get there early and hope for the best. The Mexican street-style corn on the cob, jalapeno poppers and tacos are all must-try’s. Go hungry, leave full and, if you play your cards right, a lil’ tipsy.
10. Chinatown Complex Food Centre
I mentioned earlier that the best food in Singapore is found at Hawker Centre’s, which means you’re going to need to visit a few. Another great spot, conveniently located in Chinatown, is the Chinatown Complex Food Centre. Again, if you don’t like crowds, get there before the lunch or dinner rush. You’re going to need cash and your game face. If you don’t know what to try, follow the lines and order whatever takes your fancy. The service will most likely be terrible but the food will be amazing. Great food on offer includes chilli crab, BBQ stingray, carrot cake (there’s no carrot in carrot cake!), char kway teow, Hokkien mee, chicken rice, bak kut teh, dim sum, lor mee and kway chap. There’s a great list of recommended food stalls here.
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