A Food Lover’s Guide to Singapore: Must-Try Dishes

Welcome to Singapore, a city-state celebrated for its rich cultural mix and amazing food. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Singapore’s food scene will surprise and delight you. From bustling hawker centers to high-end restaurants, there’s something for everyone. This guide will help you discover the must-try dishes that make Singapore a food lover’s paradise.

Key Takeaways

  • Singapore boasts a diverse culinary scene influenced by Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western cuisines.
  • Hawker centers are a must-visit for affordable and delicious food options.
  • Iconic dishes like Hainanese Chicken Rice and Chilli Crab are a must-try.
  • Vegetarian options are plentiful, ensuring everyone can enjoy the food scene.
  • Don’t miss out on the unique fusion dishes that blend different culinary traditions.

Exploring Singapore’s Hawker Centers

Traveling to Singapore is a food lover’s dream, and there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the heart of Singapore’s food culture than by visiting its famous hawker centers. These bustling food courts are the soul of Singapore’s culinary scene, offering a wide variety of delicious and affordable dishes. Here, locals and tourists gather to sample traditional flavors while exploring different hawker centers.

Tiong Bahru Market

Tiong Bahru Market is one of the oldest and most beloved hawker centers in Singapore. Known for its clean environment and diverse food options, it’s a must-visit for anyone looking to experience authentic local delights. From savory chwee kueh to fragrant Hainanese chicken rice, there’s something for everyone.

Maxwell Food Centre

Maxwell Food Centre is another iconic spot, famous for its Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. The center is always buzzing with activity, and the variety of stalls ensures that you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds. Don’t miss out on the refreshing sugarcane juice to cool down after your meal.

Old Airport Road Food Centre

Old Airport Road Food Centre is a treasure trove of culinary gems. With its wide array of stalls, you can indulge in everything from char kway teow to satay. The center is particularly popular among locals, making it a great place to experience Singapore’s food culture firsthand.

Immerse yourself in the heart of Singapore’s food culture! Be delighted with traditional flavors while exploring different hawker centers.

Iconic Singaporean Dishes

Singaporean street food

Singapore is a paradise for food lovers, offering a variety of famous local food & cuisine that you must try. Here are some iconic dishes that you shouldn’t miss when visiting this vibrant city-state.

Street Food Delights

Singapore’s food scene is a culinary delight waiting to happen. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant boutiques, indulging in exotic cuisine or using a well-planned Singapore tour package, you’ll be treated to delicious treats that reflect the city-state’s rich cultural diversity eat so, form an appetite and get ready to walk through Singapore’s charming streets with a food craving!

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Singapore Food




Peranakan Cuisine

Peranakan cuisine is a unique blend of Chinese, Malay, and even Western influences, reflecting the diverse heritage of the Peranakan people. This culinary tradition is rich in flavors and history, with recipes often passed down through generations. Exploring Peranakan food is a journey through time and culture.

Indian Influences in Singaporean Food

Indian food in Singapore

Singapore’s food scene is a vibrant mix of cultures, and Indian cuisine plays a significant role in this culinary tapestry. The Indian community in Singapore has brought with it a rich array of flavors and dishes that have become beloved by locals and visitors alike. Here are some must-try Indian-influenced dishes in Singapore.

Roti Prata

Roti Prata is a popular Indian flatbread that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is typically served with a side of curry for dipping. You can find Roti Prata at many hawker centers and food stalls across Singapore. It’s a favorite breakfast option for many Singaporeans.

Fish Head Curry

Fish Head Curry is a unique dish that combines Indian spices with Chinese cooking techniques. The result is a flavorful and aromatic curry that features a whole fish head. This dish is often enjoyed with rice and is a must-try for seafood lovers.


Murtabak is a stuffed pancake that is filled with a mixture of minced meat, eggs, and onions. It is then pan-fried to perfection. This dish is often served with a side of curry and is a popular choice for both lunch and dinner.

Indian cuisine in Singapore offers a delightful blend of traditional and modern flavors, making it a must-explore for any food lover.

Chinese Heritage Dishes

Singapore’s food scene is a melting pot of cultures, and Chinese heritage dishes play a significant role in this culinary tapestry. These dishes are not only delicious but also tell the story of the Chinese community’s influence on Singaporean cuisine.

Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh, which translates to "meat bone tea," is a comforting soup made with pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices. This dish is often enjoyed with a side of rice and a plate of youtiao (fried dough sticks) for dipping. The broth is rich and flavorful, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Dim Sum

Dim Sum is a delightful assortment of bite-sized dishes typically served in bamboo steamers. From steamed dumplings to buns filled with savory or sweet fillings, Dim Sum offers a variety of flavors and textures. It’s a popular choice for breakfast or brunch and is best enjoyed with a pot of Chinese tea.

Hainanese Pork Chop

Hainanese Pork Chop is a unique dish that showcases the fusion of Chinese and Western culinary influences. The pork chop is marinated, breaded, and fried to perfection, then served with a tangy tomato-based sauce. This dish is often accompanied by a side of fries or rice, making it a hearty and satisfying meal.

Chinese heritage dishes in Singapore are a testament to the rich cultural history and the blending of different culinary traditions. Each dish offers a unique taste experience that reflects the diverse influences that have shaped Singaporean cuisine.

Malay Flavors

Malay cuisine in Singapore is a delightful fusion of flavors and traditions. It offers a culinary journey through Malaysia’s islands, emphasizing Penang and Langkawi. Explore diverse flavors, street food, seafood delights, and cultural influences across various regions.

Desserts and Sweet Treats

Singapore desserts


Chendol is a delightful dessert that combines shaved ice, coconut milk, and green rice flour jelly. It’s often topped with palm sugar syrup, making it a sweet and refreshing treat, perfect for Singapore’s warm climate.

Ice Kachang

Ice Kachang is a popular dessert made with shaved ice, sweet syrup, and a variety of toppings like beans and jellies. It’s a refreshing dessert that can be found at many hawker centers. The ice kacang at Berseh Food Centre is particularly famous for its generous portions and delicious flavors.

Kaya Toast

Kaya Toast is a traditional breakfast item that has also become a beloved dessert. It consists of toasted bread spread with kaya, a sweet coconut and egg jam, and often served with a side of soft-boiled eggs and coffee. This simple yet satisfying treat is a must-try for anyone visiting Singapore.

Vegetarian Options in Singapore

vegetarian dishes Singapore

Singapore is a paradise for food lovers, and vegetarians are no exception. The city offers a wide range of delicious vegetarian dishes that will satisfy even the most discerning palates. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, you’ll find plenty of options to enjoy.

Thunder Tea Rice

Thunder Tea Rice is a unique and healthy dish that combines rice with a variety of vegetables, tofu, and nuts. The dish is served with a special tea-based broth that is poured over the rice, giving it a distinctive flavor. It’s a must-try for anyone looking for a nutritious and flavorful meal.

Vegetarian Bee Hoon

Vegetarian Bee Hoon is a popular dish made with rice vermicelli noodles, vegetables, and tofu. It’s a simple yet satisfying meal that is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. The dish is often served with a side of chili sauce for an extra kick.


Popiah is a fresh spring roll that is filled with a variety of vegetables, tofu, and sometimes even fruits. It’s a light and refreshing dish that is perfect for a snack or appetizer. The rolls are usually served with a sweet and savory sauce that complements the flavors perfectly.

Vegetarians and omnivores who love their veggies, check out my recommendations for the top vegetarian restaurants in Singapore on this link!

Singapore’s culinary landscape is a haven for connoisseurs, providing a diverse array of choices that span from modest hawker stalls to esteemed Michelin-starred establishments. With must-try local dishes, vibrant hawker centers, hidden culinary gems, and food tours, you’re sure to have an unforgettable gastronomic journey.

Seafood Extravaganza

Singapore is a paradise for seafood lovers, offering a wide range of delicious dishes that will leave you craving for more. From spicy to savory, the seafood here is a must-try for anyone visiting the city-state.

Sambal Stingray

Sambal Stingray is a popular dish that features stingray grilled to perfection and topped with a spicy sambal sauce. The combination of the tender stingray meat and the fiery sambal makes this dish a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Oyster Omelette

Oyster Omelette, also known as "Orh Luak," is a savory dish made with fresh oysters and eggs. The omelette is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, providing a delightful contrast in textures. It’s often served with a tangy chili sauce that enhances the flavors.

BBQ Prawns

BBQ Prawns are a simple yet delectable dish that showcases the natural sweetness of fresh prawns. Grilled to perfection, these prawns are often marinated in a blend of spices and herbs, making them a flavorful treat.

When in Singapore, don’t miss out on these seafood delights. They are a testament to the city’s rich culinary heritage and are sure to make your visit unforgettable.

Fusion Cuisine

Chilli Crab Pasta

Imagine the iconic Chilli Crab dish, but with a twist. Instead of the usual crab, this version uses pasta. The spicy, tangy sauce coats the noodles perfectly, creating a delightful blend of flavors. It’s a must-try for anyone who loves both Italian and Singaporean food.

Laksa Pizza

Laksa Pizza is a unique fusion that combines the rich, coconut-based curry of Laksa with the cheesy goodness of pizza. The result is a mouthwatering dish that offers the best of both worlds. The pizza is topped with prawns, tofu, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, making it a true culinary adventure.

Rendang Tacos

Rendang Tacos bring together the tender, flavorful beef of Rendang with the convenience of tacos. The beef is slow-cooked in a blend of spices until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender. Served in a soft taco shell with a bit of fresh salsa, it’s a perfect example of how diverse culinary traditions can come together to create something amazing.

Fusion cuisine in Singapore is a testament to the city’s diverse culinary landscape. It shows how different flavors and cooking styles can come together to create something truly special.


Singapore is truly a food lover’s paradise. From the bustling hawker centers to the high-end restaurants, there’s something for everyone. The mix of cultures in Singapore means you can find a variety of dishes that are both unique and delicious. Whether you’re a fan of spicy food, sweet treats, or savory meals, Singapore has it all. Don’t forget to explore the different islands and enjoy the vibrant wildlife while you’re there. Remember, the best way to experience Singapore is through its food, so be adventurous and try everything you can. Happy eating!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are hawker centers in Singapore?

Hawker centers are open-air complexes in Singapore where you can find a variety of affordable local food from different vendors.

What is Hainanese Chicken Rice?

Hainanese Chicken Rice is a popular dish in Singapore made of poached chicken and seasoned rice, served with chili sauce and usually with cucumber garnishes.

Is Singapore a good place to try different types of food?

Yes, Singapore is known as a food paradise with a mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western cuisines.

What is Chilli Crab?

Chilli Crab is a famous Singaporean seafood dish where crabs are stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet, and savory tomato and chili-based sauce.

Can I find vegetarian food in Singapore?

Yes, there are many vegetarian options available in Singapore, such as Thunder Tea Rice, Vegetarian Bee Hoon, and Popiah.

What is Laksa?

Laksa is a spicy noodle soup with a coconut milk base, often containing shrimp, fish cakes, and bean sprouts.

What are some must-visit hawker centers in Singapore?

Some must-visit hawker centers in Singapore include Tiong Bahru Market, Maxwell Food Centre, and Old Airport Road Food Centre.

What is Peranakan cuisine?

Peranakan cuisine blends Chinese ingredients with Malay spices and cooking techniques, resulting in dishes like Ayam Buah Keluak and Nyonya Laksa.

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