Last Updated on August 9, 2022 by Nellie Huang

As a proud Singaporean, here is my curated list of the best Singaporean food and where to try these Singaporean dishes!

Born and raised in Singapore, I am proud to be Singaporean. Despite living abroad for the past 17 years, I will always consider Singapore home. 

Singapore food is a vibrant melting pot of flavors from different ethnic groups: a reflection of how multi-cultural we are. And no matter where in the city, there are always plenty of choices when it comes to Singapore food: from traditional hawker food to gourmet heritage restaurants serving authentic Singapore dishes.

To share some of my heritage with you, I’m bringing you on a culinary journey into the world of Singapore cuisine. For those wondering what to eat in Singapore, here are some of the best Singaporean food and the best places to eat in Singapore!

Singapore Food: 30 of the Best Singapore Dishes

Best Singaporean Food

Thanks to its geographical location, Singapore is at the cultural crossroads of Asia. Singapore’s population is made up of mainly ethnic Chinese, Malay, and Indian. (I’m ethnically Chinese if you’re wondering.)

In the 1800s, our ancestors came from neighboring China, Malaysia and India, and brought along their culinary cultures. As a result, Singapore food is a beautiful blend of influences from Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines. Some interesting cultural fusion have also emerged, such as Peranakan/Nyonya food (marriage of Chinese and Malay food).

We share many similarities with Malaysia, and so our food are rightfully similar. Malaysia and Singapore have always fought over which dishes are uniquely ours and theirs, but I think we should stop arguing and just keep eating!

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best food in singapore - nasi lemak

Singapore Food Culture

In Singapore, eating is our national pastime and obsession. Singaporeans literally eat around the clock: we eat 5-6 meals a day! You will often find Singapore’s hawker centres full of people even after midnight. 

Food is a popular talking point in Singapore. We are always arguing about which chicken rice stall is the best or which restaurant serves the best chilli crabs. Also, Singaporeans will travel from one end of the island to the other, or wait in line for an hour just to get the perfect plate of noodles.

As a multi-cultural nation, Singaporeans from different ethnic groups often eat together. Muslims do not eat pork and Hindus do not eat beef, but we are respectful of each other’s culture. In every hawker centre, you will always find Singapore dishes of various ethnicities under one roof.

best hawker food in singapore

Where to Eat in Singapore

The best places to eat in Singapore are in hawker centres: open-concept food courts but an institution of their own. They serve what you would call Singapore street food, with each hawker stall specializing in one dish.  

Hawker centres are where you will get the cheapest and best food in Singapore. They are where you go to experience the real Singapore and taste authentic Singapore dishes. Prices are really affordable: A plate of noodles costs around S$3 (or US$2), while a full seafood meal sets you back less than S$30 (US$21) per person. 

You can find these hawker centres in every neighborhood and residential area. They are clean and organized, and vendors have to adhere to certain hygiene levels by law. If you’re traveling Singapore with kids, don’t worry about food hygiene here.  There’s a lot of debate of which are the best hawker centres in Singapore; these are my personal favorites.

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hawker centre in singapore - best places to eat in singapore

Best Food in Singapore

There are SO many Singapore dishes that it’s difficult for me to narrow them down. But I have chosen the 30 best food in Singapore to share with you. I have also included the best places to try each of these Singapore dishes. Time to eat!

Singapore Breakfast Dishes

1. Kaya Toast and Soft-Boiled Eggs

The most traditional Singaporean breakfast dish is kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs, served with coffee or tea. You will find it in almost every hawker centre and food court (usually at the drinks stall). This is a must eat in Singapore, especially if you are a morning person.

Basically, it is lightly toasted white bread lathered with kaya, a a sweet creamy spread made from coconut milk. The toast is accompanied with soft-boiled eggs. Most hawkers use big XL eggs and they serve the eggs with soya sauce and pepper. 

Where to find the best kaya toast and eggs

kaya toast and soft boiled eggs - best food in singapore for breakfast

2. Chwee Kueh 

Chwee Kueh is my personal favorite Singapore food for breakfast. This traditional Singapore dish is made up of steamed white-flour rice cakes topped with fried pickles. We usually have 6-8 of them in one serving. 

They are served on a brown food paper, with a wallop of red sambal chilli. For many, chwee kueh seems too oily for a breakfast dish. My Spanish husband cannot understand my love for chwee kueh. Too bad for him!

 Where  to find the best chwee kueh

  • Jian Bo Shui Kueh in Tiong Bahru is the OG of chwee kueh stalls. 
  • Bedok Chwee Kueh is one of the most famous chwee kueh stalls in Singapore with several branches around the island.
  • Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh has been making chwee kueh by hand for more than 50 years.

chwee kueh

3. Roti Prata

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, roti prata is one of the best food in Singapore to have for both breakfast and supper. I have fond memories of going for roti prata after a night of partying with friends.

Roti means ‘bread’, and prata means ‘flat’ in Hindi. Roti prata is a South Indian flat bread made by frying stretched dough flavored with ghee(Indian clarified butter). It is usually served with fish or mutton curry.

While the classic versions are served with curry, there are now many modern variations such as cheese, chocolate and ice cream (awesome for those traveling Singapore with kids!).

Where to find the best roti prata

roti prata

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4. Fried Carrot Cake 

Singapore’s version of the carrot cake is nothing like its British or American counterparts. The Singapore carrot cake, also known as Chai Tou Kway, is a salty fried dish made from steamed radish cakes. It is fried to crispy perfection, and sprinkled with spring onions.

There are two versions: black or white carrot cake. The black carrot cake is sweeter and made with black sweet sauce, while the white version is crispy and oily. This authentic Singapore dish has become so popular that it is eaten not just for breakfast, but throughout the day.

Where to find the best carrot cake

      fried carrot cake - singapore famous food

Singapore Noodle Dishes

8. Hokkien Mee 

Originally from China’s Fujian province, Hokkien Mee has slowly evolved over the years to become a uniquely Singaporean platter. 

Hokkien Mee is now one of the best hawker foods in Singapore and can be found in almost every food centre. It is basically a mixture of rice noodles and yellow egg noodles, fried in a wok with egg, seafood and slices of pork belly.

If you are going to travel Malaysia, you will notice that Hokkien Mee in Malaysia is very different from ours. The Malaysian Hokkien Mee is cooked in a sweet black sauce and the noodles are really fat and thick.

Where to find the best hokkien mee

hokkien mee

9. Wanton Mee

Originally from Canton (Guangzhou) in China, Wanton noodles is a Cantonese noodle dish popular in many parts of Asia. Wanton noodles are essentially springy egg noodles drenched in a black savory sauce and topped with char siew (roast pork), leafy vegetables and wanton (Chinese dumpling).

There are different versions of Wanton noodles: from Malaysian Pontian style to Hong Kong version and Thai style. Singapore has given it its own spin by adding green chilli (and sometimes the bright red balachan chilli sauce) to create this authentic Singapore dish.

Where to find the best wanton noodles

  • Dunman Road Char Siew Wanton Mee is my personal favorite wanton noodle stall in Singapore. The dark sauce is exceptional!
  • Fei Fei Wanton Mee is the OG of wanton mee stall and has island-wide fame. This one is said to be the original (lots of counterfeits out there).
  • Master Tang Wanton Mee  has springy noodles and outstanding wanton. Mr Tang was a former head chef at Crystal Jade kitchens. 

wanton mee

10. Prawn Noodles

The humble prawn noodle, also known as “hae mee” in Hokkien, is a noodle dish that is both savory and flavorful. Giant shrimps are served with slurpy rice noodles in a rich and flavorful broth.

It is all about the broth: the soup needs to be cooked for hours with a combination of pork bones, prawn heads and a whole myriad of condiments. A good broth should be brimming with seafood-goodness and a tinge of sweetness.

Where to find the best prawn noodle

singapore prawn noodles

11. Yong Tau Foo

A traditional Hakka Chinese dish, yong tau food is a comfort food for many. My mum is Hakka (an ethnic group from China) and this dish ties in with her cultural identity.

Yong tau food is actually more of a tofu dish than a noodle dish. The main ingredient is tofu stuffed with ground meat mixture or fish paste. Variation of this food include vegetables and mushrooms stuffed with ground meat or surimi. In Singapore though, Yong tau foo can be ordered with rice noodles, soup or with a red sweet gravy. 

Where to find the best yong tau food

yong tau foo - traditional singapore food

12. Beef Hor Fun

This is my husband Alberto’s favorite Singapore dish and we always make sure to have this when we’re in Singapore! Beef hor fun is not quite as commonly found in Singapore as the other dishes on this list. You’ll find it in many hawker centers but only few hawker stalls give it justice. 

Braised with tender beef slices, this savory dish of flat rice noodles is drenched in a thick, flavorful black gravy. The gravy is made of black beans, oyster sauce, chilli and Chinese herbs. You can easily tell that the gravy is made from hours of cooking, using only the best parts of the cow. 

Where  to find the best beef hor fun

beef hor fun

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Singapore Rice Dishes

13. Chicken Rice

A ubiquitous sight in hawker centres across the country, chicken rice is one of Singapore’s national dishes. Chicken rice is a simple dish of tender braised chicken, served on a bed of fragrant rice cooked in stock. We eat it with a ginger paste and a special chilli.

The traditional dish originated from Hainan Island, off the southern coast of China. Today, it is still cooked in the Hainanese way, by blanching the chicken in boiling water till it is fully cooked. In a local twist, the chicken can also be roasted or braised in soya sauce for a different flavor. A must eat in Singapore!

Where to find the best chicken rice

best food in singapore - must eat in singapore - hainan chicken rice

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14. Braised Duck Rice

This is another traditional Singapore dish that is more popular among locals than foreigners. As its name implies, it is a dish of thinly sliced duck meat over a bed of brown rice and drenched in a thick herbal braising sauce.

What makes this dish special is the uniquely Singaporean flavor of star anise, galangal and molasses-like soy sauce that the duck is cooked in. As a result, the braising sauce has a subtle herb flavor that I love. Combine this with some steamed peanuts, tofu and braised egg (plus a homemade ikan bilis chilli sauce), and you get the perfect duck rice. 

Where to find the best braised duck rice

  • Yu Kee House of Braised Duck is a household name in Singapore. I’m a fan of their homemade chilli sauce — unlike no other!
  • Sia Kee Duck Rice has also garnered a loyal following in Singapore, with its old-school style of herbal duck rice.
  • Tong Kee Traditional Braised Duck at Haig Road Food Centre has been serving braised duck for 50 years.

braised duck rice

15. Nasi Lemak

Nasi lemak is an ethnic Malay dish featuring fragrant rich cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. It is usually accompanied by ikan bilis (anchovies), otah (grilled fish paste), roasted peanuts, fried egg and cucumber slices.

Singaporeans have given it a local twist by adding more side dishes to the nasi lemak. You can get anything from crispy fried chicken drumsticks to luncheon meat and an assortment of vegetables with your nasi lemak.

It is not just the ingredients that make a good nasi lemak. Pandan leaves and coconut milk play a huge role in enhancing the fragrance and richness of the rice, complemented by the spicy sambal chilli sauce that you can’t miss out on. 

Where to find the best nasi lemak

  • Mizzy’s Corner is Singapore’s most famous nasi lemak stall. Many come all the way to Changi Village for the nasi lemak.
  • Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak is lauded by man to have Singapore best nasi lemak. I personally love their homemade chilli sauce and crunchy chicken.
  • Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak  always has a long line of customers waiting, which goes to show how popular they are.

best singapore traditional food - nasi lemak

16. Nasi Biryani

Hugely popular in Singapore, Nasi Briyani is a traditional Muslim-Indian rice dish mixed with meat, vegetables and a gravy or curry. The long grain basmati rice is cooked with garlic, yogurt, aromatic spices, onions and sometimes with ghee or butter.

The word ‘biryani’ is derived from a Persian word, birian, which means fried before cooking. In Singapore, the are local take of the dish comes with tender mutton or lamb. Head to Little India for the best nasi biryani in Singapore!

Where to find the best nasi biryani

 nasi biryani

Singapore Seafood Dishes

17. Chilli Crabs

Another one of Singapore’s national dishes, chilli crabs are spicy, tangy and finger licking good. Nothing else represents my country better than this spicy, flavorful and traditional Singapore dish. 

Seafood restaurants usually use fresh Sri Lankan crabs for this dish and cook them to a bright red color before dousing a rich, piquant chilli gravy over them. It is usually served with man tou (deep fried buns) to dip in this flavorful gravy.

This is a must-eat in Singapore, and one of Singapore’s famous foods. It’s not cheap of course, but it’s something we eat for celebrations or special occasions like Chinese New Year. If you are not a fan of spicy food, there are other options like pepper crab, crabs in salted egg cream, or crab vermicelli soup.

Where to find the best chill crabs

  • No Signboard Seafood Restaurant serves the best chilli crabs in my opinion. The original branch is at Geylang Road, though it has opened up several restaurants in Singapore.
  • Jumbo Seafood is another popular option especially for foreigners. Its seafront location at East Coast Park definitely adds to the atmosphere.
  • Long Beach UDMC is also located at East Coast Park and has a whole array of other Singapore traditional dishes besides crabs.

best foods to try singapore

18. Sambal Stingray

Commonly found in most hawker centers in Singapore, sambal stingray is a popular dish served in tze char stalls. Tze char is a type of food stall that offers a wide array of Chinese dishes from kongpao chicken to fish head curry. 

This dish is prepared by grilling a slab of stingray (you can use a good electric grill), then drizzling some raw onions and an abundance of sizzling sambal chilli over it. It is always served with chinchalok (a pink murky sauce with fermented shrimps, onions and lime juice given as a dip for your stingray.

Some of you might find the idea of eating stingray appalling. I understand it is a rare marine animal in other parts of the world, but here in Singapore it is bred in farms and commonly eaten as a local dish.

Where to find the best sambal stingray

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barbecued sting ray singapore

19. Sambal Lala

Typically found in hawker centres, the sambal lala (clams) is a spicy and tangy dish cooked with chilli, spices and a pungent shrimp paste. You will find this dish at seafood stalls that also sell chilli crabs and stingray.

The ingredient that can make or break this dish is of course, the sambal belacan chilli sauce. A popular condiment in Singaporean and Malaysian food, sambal belacan is made from toasted shrimp paste, chillies, sugar and kalamansi lime.

Where to find the best sambal lala