Can we send food to Singapore?
Eating Out in Singapore: Our Favorite Restaurants and Food Courts
Singapore is a foodies paradise! The variety of restaurants and food courts in Singapore is amazing and one of the reasons why we take this city so deeply into our hearts. In this article, we'll explain what the food courts are all about and tell you our favorite restaurants!
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What is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Singapore? The great food, of course!
The city is a real food paradise. In this article we will show you the best food courts, our favorite food stalls and restaurants.
We love to try our hand at local cuisine while traveling. Maybe that's one of the reasons why we like Singapore so much. The city is simply an absolute land of milk and honey and you can fill your stomach wonderfully between visiting the sights in Singapore.
The cuisines from all over Asia are united in Singapore and even if Singapore is not a cheap travel destination, eating out is definitely not expensive.
In the so-called hawker centers you can eat your fill for a few dollars and try specialties from India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and of course from Malaysia and Singapore.
Read all of our articles on Singapore
Food Courts and Hawker Center
If you come to Singapore, you absolutely have to eat out in one hawker center (or better in several). The term hawker center is mainly used in Singapore, in other countries one speaks more of food courts.
In a hawker center you will find many small food stalls where you can taste your way through the cuisines of Asia.
Some food stalls only offer a single dish, while others offer you several options.
This is how food works at the Hawker Center
Since people in Singapore actually eat at any time of the day or night, the hawker centers and food courts are open around the clock.
If you are alone, you can always find a place at one of the many tables. If you are in a larger group, it is best to find a place first and then get something to eat.
Our tip: Keep an eye out for the food stalls that have lots of people lining up. Most of the time these are actually the best booths and we have rarely been wrong when we have queued at one of the lines.
Most hawker centers clear the trays. If you should put them away yourself, there is always a sign indicating this.
Is it safe to eat in the food courts?
If you are worried about whether your stomach can handle the food at the food markets, we can calm you down.
The hygiene standards in Singapore are extremely high. There are regular controls and a hygiene seal hangs on each stand: Grade A is the top grade, Grade B is also good. These signs will help you orientate yourself if you are careful.
Since there is always a lot going on in the Hawker Centers, the food is always fresh. The providers cannot afford to offer food that is not fresh. Most of the guests are locals and word of that would get around very quickly.
So don't worry! If you have problems with spicy food, it is best to always mention this when placing your order.
Our tip: Many locals always have a pack of wet wipes with them. You can use it to wipe your table or cutlery before you eat and clean your fingers afterwards. There are no napkins at the food markets. We also always cover ourselves with wet wipes.
How expensive is it to eat in a hawker center in Singapore?
The food in the hawker centers is very cheap. You can get a meal there for as little as 2 to 3 dollars (1.50 to 2 euros). More expensive things sometimes cost 6 to 8 dollars (4 to 6 euros), but you rarely have to pay more.
Our favorite food courts and food markets in Singapore
We tried quite a few food stalls and hawker centers on our travels around Singapore. In this section we will show you which stands we liked the most and which food courts we can recommend.
Liao Fan: Michelin-starred cuisine for only $ 2.50
Let's start with what is arguably our craziest dining experience in Singapore. We went to a star chef and paid less than 2 euros for it!
In fact, some time ago the Michelin Guide awarded the Liao Fan small food stand in Chinatown with a Michelin star. Liao Fan is not the only stand mentioned in the Michelin Guide, but it is the only one that actually received a star.
The food couldn't sound more ordinary: Chicken with rice and soy sauce. Exactly the kind of food that is available in every third shop in Singapore.
Nevertheless, of course we wanted to try it and so we stood in the long queue at 10:00 in the morning and waited about 45 minutes.
Well, what can we say: It's really incredibly delicious. We don't know if it really is the best chicken and rice in Singapore. But hey, Michelin-winning cuisine will otherwise cost you a fortune in Singapore.
In the meantime, the small food stand has expanded and a whole restaurant has opened right next door. There you can get the award-winning food without a long wait.
The taste is the same, but the atmosphere is more reminiscent of a fast food restaurant.
Our tip: Unfortunately we could not find out the exact opening times for the snack and the information online contradicts each other (if you find out, please let us know). Our snack opened at 11 a.m. and we were there over half an hour beforehand. The queue was still appropriate there. Later, the waiting time should sometimes be up to three hours. That would have been too long for us.
You can find the food stall in Chinatown. There is an unadorned building next to the Chinatown Visitor Center. There you will find a food court on the second floor and just have to keep an eye out for the crowds. If you don't want to wait, you can find the restaurant right next to the building, across the street!
By the way, you can witness our experience while standing in line in our Singapore video.
snack: Thu-Tue: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wed: Closed
restaurant: Thu-Tue: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wed: Closed
Hawker: 335 Smith Street # 02-126 Chinatown Food Complex
restaurant: 78 Smith Street
MRT Chinatown (DT, NE)
Lau Pa Sat
Lau Pa Sat is the most famous and visually definitely the most beautiful food court in Singapore.
The pretty market hall from the 19th century stands in the middle of the high-rise buildings of the financial district and at first glance looks a bit out of place. Of course it is not, because at lunchtime and after work, people pour out of the offices and get their stomachs full here.
There is at least one stand from almost every Asian kitchen. We even discovered a kebab grill. For only 5.50 dollars (approx. 3.50 euros) per glass there is even freshly tapped Tiger Beer.
If you come to Lau Pa Sat in the evening, you should definitely try a few skewers on one of the satay grills. In the outdoor area, countless grills are set up every evening, where you can get the delicious skewers.
Always (not all stands are open at night and on Sunday)
MRI Rafflex Place (EW, NS)
Maxwell Food Center
The Maxwell Food Center in Chinatown is also one of the most famous hawker centers in Singapore. Here you can mainly get dishes from the Chinese cuisine.
There is also a small craft beer stand that sells more than 10 different beers on tap.
Daily 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (many stands close at around 8:00 p.m.)
1 Kadayanallur Street
MRT Chinatown (DT), Tanjong Pagar (EW)
Tiong Bahru Market
If you asked us about our favorite Singapore food court, we would very likely give you the Tiong Bahru Market.
Unlike the Lau Pa Sat or the Maxwell Food Center, hardly any tourists get lost here. Maybe that's because the Tiong Bahru neighborhood is a bit off the tourist routes.
If you want to learn more about Tiong Bahru, be sure to check out this article:
Our insider tips for Singapore
Since we had some time, we queued at the two stands with the longest queue. Both are among the best known and best food stalls on the market:
Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow: Kway Teow is a typical dish in Singapore cuisine. It consists of fried rice noodles mixed with soy sauce, lots of spices, mussels, sausage and meat. Very, very tasty! You have the choice between a large and a small portion. We took the big one, of course.
Jian Bo - Tion Bahru Shui Kueh: At this booth there is Shui Kueh. These are steamed rice cakes that are eaten with a hearty dip. To be honest, that wasn't our taste, but it wasn't really bad either. Maybe you like it better than we do.
Daily 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
MRI Tiong Bahru (EW)
If you like it a bit hip, then the relatively new food court Timbre + (73A Ayer Rajah Crescent) is the place for you.
There is not only delicious food here, but also a large selection of craft beer and live music. Highly recommended!
Mon-Thu: 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Fri-Sat: 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Sun: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Live music: every day
73A Ayer Rajah Crescent
MRT One-North (CC)
Makansutra Gluttons Bay
There is a small food court right next to the Esplanade. The special thing about this small food market is that it is completely outside and offers a great view of the Marina Bay Sands and the skyline of Singapore.
The prices are a little higher than in many other food courts in the city. Here you pay for the location with. Compared to most restaurants, it is still very cheap.
Mon-Thu: 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Fri-Sat: 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Sun: 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
8 Raffles Avenue # 01-15
MRT City Hall (EW, NS)
SideWalk Food Court
Not far from Marina Bay, behind the National Gallery and almost directly at the Old Hill Street Police Station, you will find the SideWalk Food Court.
You can sit inside and outside in front of the door. The food court is quite manageable, but in the back left there is Burmese food that was really delicious and tasted absolutely authentic.
Our tip: In this food court we drank the cheapest beer we discovered in Singapore.
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Clarke Quay (NE) or Bras Basah (CC)
Our restaurant tips for Singapore
Of course, we not only ate in food courts or hawker centers, but also tried out a few restaurants in Singapore. We present our favorite restaurants to you here.
Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is a real celebrity in Singapore and we were very skeptical that the restaurant could actually deliver what it promised.
It can! We ate some of the best dim sums of our lives here. Only our favorite dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong can keep up.
Din Tai Fung has its origins in Taiwan. The first restaurant opened in Taipei in 1972 and almost 20 years later the New York Times named it one of the top 10 restaurants in the world and the success story of the steamed dumplings began.
There are now 119 branches in 14 countries, including Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, the UAE and the Philippines.
There are 22 (good number, right!) Din Tai Fung restaurants in Singapore. The best thing to do is to simply enter Din Tai Fung in Google Maps and get a suggestion for a restaurant near you. A list of all Din Tai Fung restaurants can also be found here.
We went to the Paragon branch on Orchard Road. This was the first Din Tai Fung store to open in Singapore.
Our tip: At peak times, especially in the evening, queues often form in front of the restaurant and you may have to wait quite a while. If you come outside of main meal times, you will usually get a seat straight away. We got there at 2pm and didn't have to wait.
Rasu’s Mama Curry
Directly across from the Mustafa Center in Little India, you will find the very simple restaurant Rasu’s Mama Curry.
Let's put it this way: it's very typically Indian. The waiters are not particularly friendly, but the food is absolutely amazing!
Be sure to order the dhaal (it wasn't on the menu, but it was available) along with naan (bread) for dipping! You should also definitely try the roti prata with filling (flatbread). There are different fillings: cheese, mushrooms, banana (sounds strange, but tastes great!). We also had Paper Dosai, a rolled, very crispy and thin pancake. Also very tasty!
Take a look around the tables around you for the 3 dips (you can see them in our photo!).
After you have ordered, the cellar will put a note on the table for you. With this slip of paper, you simply go to the checkout and pay at the end.
If you're a cleanliness fanatic, we don't recommend using the toilet there. We have seen worse, but the toilet was definitely not a highlight. So don't say we didn't warn you!
The address is151 Syed Alwi Rd and the MRT station Farrer Park (NE) is not far away. We couldn't find out opening times. But we were there until about 12 o'clock at night, so you don't really have to worry that it is not open.
Rasa's Mama Curry in Little India
This restaurant is probably the best-known address for Black Pepper Crab and actually everything related to seafood in Singapore. There are several Jumbo Seafood in Singapore, we tried the Riverside branch which is right on Clarke Quay.
Eating at Jumbo Seafood is definitely an experience and we liked the Black Pepper Crab very much. But we also have no comparison to other restaurants where Black Pepper Crab is served. But it was fun to sit by the water, watch the other guests eat seafood and try to eat the crab with cutlery and tongs. They all come with bibs, which makes things even funnier.
However, the pleasure is not cheap. You should expect a 100 Euro bill for two, especially if you want to try the famous crab dishes. But there are also much cheaper dishes on the menu.
The restaurant was packed and we were glad we reserved a table outside by the water! So if you want to go here in the evening, it's best to reserve a table.
Sushi Tei in the Paragon
The great thing about Singapore is that you can get everything there - including good sushi, of course. Sushi Tei is a chain. It's best to just see which of the restaurants is closest to your hotel or location.
Since we stayed at the YOTEL Hotel on Orchard Road, the sushi part in the Paragon was the easiest for us. The sushi was good (after our trip to Japan, sushi outside of Japan is “only” good and not very good) and the price is absolutely right!
Danger: There is a wrapped, damp cloth on your seat. If you want to use this, be aware that it will be calculated in the end. It certainly won't cost much, but it just leaves an unpleasant aftertaste if you don't know that beforehand.
Do you also have a restaurant tip for Singapore?
Have you ever been to Singapore and eaten your way through the city like us? We look forward to your food and restaurant tips.
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