Top 15 Authentic Food in Singapore (and 20+ Restaurants To Try Them)

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When “Makan” or “have you eaten” is the main greeting in Singapore, that immediately tells you something about the importance of food in the country.

Singapore food has been influenced by Chinese, Indonesian, southern Indian, and Malay cultures.

On our quest for authentic food in Singapore, we were surprised by the depth and diversity of the local flavors.

The traditional food in Singapore is unique and varied, and there is so much to choose from.

While not exhaustive, we highlight 15 of the best foods in Singapore to savor. 

From chili crab, the national dish, to iced desserts, the multi-ethnic flavors will surprise you.

Ready to explore some of the best foods in Singapore? Let’s go!

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1. Chili Crab – The National Dish of Singapore

Chili Crab Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Chili Crab – one of the famous local foods in Singapore

No trip to Singapore would be complete without trying chili crab, the most famous Singapore food.

This iconic seafood dish, also known as Singapore’s national dish, has been rated one of the world’s best foods.

The two most famous ways to cook Singapore crab are with a spicy tomato chile sauce and crab with black pepper sauce.

This dish is said to have been invented in 1956 by a couple who ran a pushcart. The husband asked his wife to experiment with other methods of cooking crab other than steaming. 

After adding chili to stir-fried crab in tomato sauce, their crabs became wildly popular. 

Later, a local chef added a slight twist to the dish using sambal sauce (local chili and shrimp paste), tomato paste, and eggs to cook the gravy. 

This is now the most commonly served version in Singapore.  

Our chili crab experience took place at Mellben Seafood, one of the Singapore must-eat restaurants. 

We ordered chili crab and the claypot crab vermicelli soup, also known as claypot crab bee hoon. 

Mantous for dipping into famous local food in Singapore like Chili Crab for Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest. The perfect accompaniment for your Singapore food guide and the famous local foods Singapore
Mantous for dipping in the famous Singapore Chili Crab

The crabs, slathered in a delicious, not spicy chili paste, were gigantic with the juiciest and most succulent chunks of meat we have ever eaten. 

The milky and crab-filled flavorful broth in the claypot crab bee hoon soup made us melt from the first spoonful. 

Combined with the delicate rice vermicelli, we couldn’t help but keep slurping away at this delightful noodle soup dish.

Where To Eat Chili Crab in Singapore  

Tze Char restaurant Singapore Food Authentic Food Quest
Mellben Seafood now Kelly Jie Seafood for the best Singapore crab

Meeting with our Singaporean friend, we went to Kelly Jie Seafood (formerly TPY Mellben Seafood). It is known as a local Tze Char (aka Che Char or Zi Char) restaurant in Toa Payoh residential neighborhood. 

These uniquely Singaporean restaurants serve homestyle dishes in a setting that is somewhere between an upscale restaurant and a hawker stall (street food).

Jumbo Seafood is another restaurant recommended by locals for its award-winning chili crab.

Kelly Jie Seafood

Address: Blk 211 Toa Payoh Lorong 8 #01-11/15, Singapore 310211

Hours: Daily, 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Prices:  Prices range from $10 SGD (approx. $7.30 USD) to more than $100 SGD (approx. 72.80 USD)

Pro Tip: Busy on Fridays and weekends. Better to book ahead to avoid a wait

Jumbo Seafood

Address: East Coast Seafood Center, Blk 1206 East Coast Parkway #01-07/08, Singapore

Hours: Mo to Fri, 4:30 pm – 11:00 pm, Sat and Sun, 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

Prices: Chili Crab costs SGD 19.80 (approx. $14.40 USD)

Pro tip: Stroll along the nearby beach before or after your meal

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: While in Singapore, locals guided us to the best foods in Singapore. We recommend 10 tastings of Singapore food tour with a local to try traditional Singaporean food, For an in-depth review of the best food tours in Singapore, see 7 Of The Best Food Tours in Singapore You Want To Try 

2. Hainanese Chicken – Chicken Rice from Hainan Province

Hainanese Chicken Hawker Center Singapore Food by Authentic Food Quest
Unbelievably flavorful Hainanese chicken rice

This is one of my favorite local Singapore foods. What I love about Hainanese chicken rice is that it is as succulent as it is simple. It practically melts in your mouth.

Hainanese chicken is a rice dish with juicy, steamed, white chicken cut into thin pieces and served over fragrant rice with light soy sauce. 

The rice is cooked in chicken broth with ginger and pandan leaves, giving it its unique fragrance.

The chicken rice dish is topped with cilantro and sesame oil and served with a garlic-chili sauce.

This Singapore traditional food comes from Chinese immigrants from the province of Hainan in Southern China. 

They kept the traditional methods of cooking the chicken and the rice, giving this dish its unique flavor.

Where To Eat Hainanese Chicken Rice in Singapore

Tian Tian for Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Waiting in line at Tian Tian at Maxwell center

Our visit to Singapore would not have been complete if we did not eat at Tian Tian, ranked one of the best hawker stalls in Singapore. 

Tian Tian has been popularized by celebrity chefs like Anthony Bourdain and voted by locals as the best chicken rice in Singapore. And it did not disappoint.

The tender chicken and flavorful rice exceeded all other chicken and rice dishes we had previously tried.

While Tian Tian was our favorite, we also discovered tasty Hainanese curry rice at Eng Kee food stall at Eunos hawker center where we were staying.

Tian Tian

Address: Maxwell Road Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore

Hours: Open Tue – Sun, 10:00 am – 7:30 pm, Closed Monday

Prices: Small portion of chicken rice cost SGD 5 (approx $3.60 USD)

Pro Tip: Be patient with the long lines, Tian Tian chicken rice is worth it

EngKee Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
The queue for chicken rice at Eng Kee food stall at Eunos hawker center

Eng Kee – Eunos Food Hawker Centre

Address: Eunos Food Center, 4A Eunos Cres, #01-34, Singapore

Hours: Open Fri – Wed, 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, Closed Thursday

Prices: Prices start at SGD 3.50, approx $2.55 USD

Pro Tip: Generous servings of Hainanese curry rice 

RELATED: The 10 Best Hawker Centers in Singapore And What to Eat 

3. Nasi Lemak – Famous Malay Local Dish

Nasi Lemak Anchovies Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
A hearty plate of Nasi Lemak, a popular local Singapore dish

Nasi Lemak is a Malay dish and very popular Singaporean food. There are several ways of preparing Nasi Lemak. 

At the core, it is a rich rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. 

This Singapore food is typically served with deep-fried fish or fried chicken wings. 

It is accompanied by grilled fish paste, fried anchovies and peanuts, eggs, cucumber slices, and sambal spicy chili sauce.

Flavorful and rich, it is a hearty dish best eaten when you have a big appetite. 

Where To Eat Nasi Lemak in Singapore

Ponggol Nasi Lemak Singapore Food by Authentic Food Quest
Popular place to try tasty Nasi Lemak Photo credit: Ponggol Nasi Lemak on Facebook

Family-run Ponggol Nasi Lemak is one of Singapore’s most popular nasi lemak stalls. 

With fast service, shiny posters, and chrome counters, it has the vibe of a fast-food restaurant and serves up consistently delicious food.

Whiffs of the fragrant coconut and jasmine rice will lure you in from the streets.

Ponggol Nasi Lemak

Address: 238 Tanjong Katong Rd, Singapore

Hours: Open Fri – Wed, 4:30 pm – 11:30 pm, closed Thursday

Prices: Prices start at SGD $0.90 (approx. 0.65 USD)

Pro tip: Head to the food counter and look around before getting in line.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you want to learn to make any of these traditional Singapore dishes, consider taking a cooking class. Read our review The Best Cooking Classes In Singapore: 6 Top Cookery Classes 

4. Otak-Otak – A Nyonya Cuisine Specialty

Otak Otak Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest.
Otak Otak or steamed fish cakes

Otak Otak is a popular and classic Nyonya specialty found in Malaysia and Singapore

Nyonya refers to the cuisine of the descendants of the early Chinese immigrants who settled in Malaysia and Singapore. 

It is the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay.

The word Otak Otak means “brains” in Malaysian due to its texture and shape. Not to worry, however, this food has nothing to do with brains.

This popular Singapore food is grilled or steamed fish cakes made with a fillet of fish mixed with tapioca starch and wrapped in a banana leaf. 

This fish cake can be eaten as a snack or as a main meal with a side of steamed rice or rice noodles.

We enjoyed this dish as an appetizer and found it light and refined in taste. 

This traditional Singapore with Chinese and Malay flavors deliciously showcases the multi-ethnicity in Singapore food.

Where To Eat Nyonya Food in Singapore

Nyonya Guan Hoe Soon Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
The interior of Guan Hoe Soon Nyonya Restaurant

Guan Hoe Soon is a Nyonya restaurant located in the Joo Chiat foodie neighborhood of Singapore. Open in 1953, it is one of the oldest Nyonya restaurants in Singapore.

Dedicated to Nyonya cuisine, you will find several Nyonya specialties to enjoy including the delicious otak-otak.

Guan Hoe Soon

Address: 200 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore

Hours: Open Mon – Fri, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Weekends 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Prices: Nyonya dishes start at SGD $14.80 (approx. $10.80 USD)

Pro Tip: If you go on the weekend, be sure to check out their Sunday specials

READ MORE: Nyonya Food in Penang: Top 10 Foods And Restaurants to Eat Them

5. Bak Kut Teh – Pork Rib Soup

Bak Kut Teh Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
A steaming bowl of Bak Kut Teh soup

This humble dish of Chinese origin is one of the most popular Singapore foods. 

It is also a popular street food in Malaysia, and we first had it in Kuala Lumpur, the capital.

Bak Kut Tey is a pork rib soup made up of juicy pork ribs simmered for hours in a rich herbal broth. 

While it sounds simple, the soup is highly complex. It demands the right amount of peppers, garlic, and other ingredients to achieve the best flavors. 

The name Bak Kut Tey literally means meat bone tea and it is in reference to the Chinese tea that is consumed with this dish.

We enjoyed this delicious soup and found the broth nice and peppery. The pork, having boiled for hours, was tender and fell off the bones. 

This soup was not spicy, but with had just the right amount of flavors for a nice bite. 

Where to Eat Bak Kut Teh in Singapore

Founder Bak Kut Teh Singapore Food by Authentic Food Quest
One of Founder Bak Kut Teh branches – Photo credit: Founder Bak Kut Teh on Facebook

Founder Bak Kut Teh has been serving this soup dish for over 40 years. This restaurant is an institution that is globally famous for its meaty pork ribs simmered in a delicious broth using a secret family recipe.

Founder Bak Kut Teh

Address: Located in New Orchid Hotel, 347 Balestier Road, Singapore 

Hours: Open daily 11:30 am to 12:00 am. Closed on Tuesday

Prices: Expect to pay between SGD  $4 to SGD  $12.80 (approx $2.90 USD to $9.30 USD)

Pro tip: If you like strong peppery flavor, you will love the pork rib soup

READ MORE: Singapore Food Culture: 10 Surprising Facts You Need to Know About Singapore

6. Kaya Toast with Kopi – Best Singaporean Breakfast

Kaya Toast Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Unbelievably delicious Kaya Toast and Kopi

Toast and coffee might not seem that exciting as a breakfast dish. But in Singapore, it is a national treasure. 

We first tasted Kaya toast and Kopi, or coffee, when we landed at Singapore’s Changi airport. And, we were immediately blown away by the taste and outstanding flavors.

Kaya toast is a toasted bread with butter and kaya, a jam made from eggs, sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leaves. 

Not too sweet, kaya is one of the most delicious jams we’ve had.

This traditional Singaporean breakfast dish is enhanced even further when paired with soft-boiled eggs and a steaming cup of coffee or tea. 

Kopi, the signature coffee drink, comes with sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. 

This traditional Singaporean breakfast dish is the perfect start to a new day or a delicious snack anytime.

We had it several times, and each time our appreciation for the flavors increased. 

Where to Eat Kaya Toast in Singapore

Kaya toast Ya Kun Singapore food by Authentic Food Quest
Kaya Toast from Yakun in Singapore

We stumbled onto Toast Box while escaping the rain on a chilly afternoon and enjoyed Kaya Toast and hot Kopi in a cozy environment. 

Ya Kun Kaya Toast is a popular Singaporean chain with locations throughout the city. This popular chain simply referred to as “Ya Kun” started in the 1940s and is today a favorite spot for traditional Singaporean breakfast. 

Toast Box

Address: More than 70 locations across Singapore\ 8 Raffles Ave., #01 – 01 / 03 Esplanade Mall, Singapore

Hours: Open Sun to Thur, 8:30 am – 6:00 pm, Fri and Sat, 8:30 am – 8:00 pm 

Prices: Kaya toast breakfast SGD 5.90 (approx $4.30 USD)

Pro Tip: Get the traditional breakfast set

Ya Kun Kaya Toast 

Address: Several locations throughout Singapore/ 1, One Raffles Pl, B1-13 Shopping Mall, Singapore

Hours: Open Mon to Sat, 7:30 am – 7:00 pm; Sun 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Prices: Kaya toast breakfast costs SGD 5.60 (approx $4.10 USD)

Pro Tip: Can get crowded during lunch hour

7. Murtabak – Stuffed Folded Omelette Pancake

Murtabak Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Murtabak at ZamZam restaurant in Singapore

Murtabak, one of the famous Singapore dishes with Indian influence, was new to us and highly recommended as a must-try.

Murtabak is a huge, stuffed pancake filled with chicken, beef, or mutton, which are the most popular fillings. 

There are also versions with venison and sardines.

There is everything to like about Murtabak. Layers of crispy, buttery, naan pastry give it a golden, flaky appearance. 

We had their signature chicken Murtabak and given its size, we opted to share just one.

Bursting inside were chunks of succulent chicken with folds of egg, sweet onions, and spices that gave it an orange glow.

Murtabak is served with a bowl of thick curry chicken that pairs perfectly. 

While Murtabak is flavourful on its own, it reaches a higher level of deliciousness when coated liberally with the curry sauce.

Where to Eat Murtabak In Singapore

Zam zam Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Zam Zam, one of the best local restaurants in Singapore

The single place that kept coming up to have Murtabak was Zam Zam, an Indian Muslim restaurant with an international reputation. 

It is also one of the oldest Singapore restaurants, founded in 1908.

At Zam Zam, be sure to stop by the entrance and watch the theatrics of cooks flipping dough and sizzling flatbread. It is truly fascinating to see the preparation of Murtabak.

Singapore Zam Zam

Address: 697-699 North Bridge Road, Singapore

Hours: Open daily, 7:00 am to 11:00 pm

Prices: Murtabak starts at SGD 6 (approx. $4.40 USD) 

Pro Tip: Portions are generous, plan to share

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST RECIPE: Savor the flavors of one of the best Singapore traditional foods from the comfort of home. See our simple Murtabak Recipe – How To Make Delightful Singapore Chicken Folded Flatbread

8. Biryani  – Aromatic Fried Rice Dish

Biryani Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Flavorful Chicken Biryani

Biryani is a fried rice dish of Indian Muslim influence and a popular Singaporean food. It’s made with a distinctive long grain rice, usually Basmati rice, which cooks to a light and fluffy texture. 

Meats can be added and the most popular is chicken, mutton or fish. The spices used are heavy in flavor with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and bay leaves. In one dish, the rice is served with the accompanying chicken or mutton curry.

Where to Eat Biryani in Singapore

Allauddins Briyani Singapore Food by Authentic Food Quest
Allaudin’s Biryani restaurant in Singapore – Photo credit: Allauddin’s Briyani on Facebook

You’ll find Biryani served at several Singapore hawker stalls and food courts. We enjoyed this simple and delicious dish at Eunos hawker center, where we stayed. 

Other celebrated places for this popular Singapore food are:

Allauddin’s Biryani, Tekka Food Center

Address: 665 Buffalo Rd, #01-229, Tekka Food Centre, Singapore

Hours: Open daily, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Prices: Biryani starts at SGD 5.90 – 7.80 (approx. $4.30 – $5.70 USD)

Pro Tip: Compare the difference between chicken and fried chicken biryani

Singapore Zam Zam

Address: 679-699 North Bridge Road, Singapore

Hours: Open daily, 7:00 am to 11:00 pm

Prices: Biryani starts at between SGD 7.50 -17 (approx. $5.45 –  $12.35 USD)

Pro Tip: Adventurous eaters can try deer biryani

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Planning a trip to Singapore? We put together Authentic Food Trails Singapore the self-guided food trail to help you navigate the local food scene. For only $3.99, get local insights for what and where to eat with all the Singapore foods and addresses mentioned in this article.

9. Roti Prata – South Indian Flatbread

Roti Prata Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Roti prata with different dipping curries

Roti Prata is a signature Singapore food. It is also extremely popular in Malaysia, where it goes by the name Roti Canai. 

Its history can be traced back to the Indian subcontinent and Pakistan. 

The meaning of Roti Prata is simple. Roti means roti or bread, and Prata means flat. The Indian version is known as Paratha.

This authentic Singapore food is a simple and tasty dish. The pancake-like flatbread is served with a meat-based or vegetable-based curry. 

You tear up slices of the roti and dip it into the delicious curry for a light meal or a filling snack. 

Tasty and flavorful, this was one of our local favorite Singapore foods.

Where to Eat Roti Prata in Singapore

Komala Vilas Singaporean Food by Authentic Food Quest
A place to go for vegetarians – Photo credit: Komala Vilas on Facebook

Komala Vilas is a popular restaurant in Little India serving delicious and inexpensive south Indian and north Indian vegetarian foods.

Prata Saga Sambal Berlada is a hidden gem in Tekka Center which is known for delicious Indian food.  The prata at Prata Saga Sambal Berladawith is fluffy and really good.

Komala Vilas Restaurant 

Address: 76-78 Serangoon Road, Singapore

Hours: Open daily, 7:00 am to 10:30 pm

Prices: From SGD $2.90 – $11.00, approx $2.10 USD to $8.00 USD

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the small exhibit outside about the restaurant’s history and heritage

Prata Saga Sambal Berlada

Address: 665 Buffalo Rd, #01-258, Singapore 210665

Hours: Open daily, 7:00 am to 1:00 pm

Prices:  From SGD $2.50 – $4 (approx. $1.90 – $3.0 USD)

Pro Tip: Get sambal for your curry and prata

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you want to dive into the local Singapore food culture in three ethnic neighborhoods, we recommend taking a dedicated food tour. This Singapore street food tour takes you to Little India, Chinatown, and Geylang for the best Singaporean dishes.

10. Fried Hokkien Mee – Famous Singapore Stir Fried Noodles

Hokkien Mee Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Fried Hokkien Mee, the Singaporean way

Hokkien Mee, a dish found in Malaysia and Singapore, originated from Hokkien in the southern province of China.

Hokkien Mee is prepared differently depending on where you have it. 

In Singapore, it is a stir-fried dish made of a combination of egg and rice noodles. It comes with prawns, squid, oysters, spring onions, and fresh lime. 

The Singapore food is served with a thick and fragrant sauce made from fresh shrimp and dried prawns. 

On the side is a sambal sauce with red chilis and a light soy sauce for additional flavoring.

Where to Eat Hokkien Mee in Singapore

Kims Hokkien Mee Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
At the counter of Kim’s Famous Fried Hokkien Mee

Kim’s Hokkien Mee is a famous local joint at the corner of a busy street. 

You will not miss the flashy neon sign with the name “Mr. Kim.” 

Our Singaporean Airbnb host gave us this recommendation, describing Mr. Kim as one of the best places for Hokkien Mee.

The open-air seating is inviting, and you’ll find several variations of Kim’s Hokkien Mee on the menu. 

Hokkien Mee is rich and creamy, and this traditional Singapore food will satisfy your hunger. Enjoy it with fresh coconut juice.

Kim’s Hokkien Mee

Address: 62B Jalan Eunos, Singapore

Hours: Open daily, 11:00 am to 12:00 am

Prices: Range between SGD $5.00 – 36 (approx $3.80 – $27.28 USD)

Pro Tip: Convenient location near the bus stop.

11. Char Kway Teow – Famous Local Singapore Food

Char Kway Teow Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Plate full of the addictive and delicious Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow is one of the most popular dishes in Singapore and Malaysia. 

This dish is a traditional food in Singapore and an important part of the food culture.

It is a stir-fried dish made of flat rice noodles with prawns, eggs, slices of Chinese sausages, bean sprouts, Chinese chives, and shrimp paste. 

It is stir-fried with a light and dark soy sauce over very high heat.

It is hard to resist a delicious plate of Char Kway Teow. It was one of our favorite foods in Malaysia, and we often referred to it as the “Pad Thai of Malaysia.” 

If you love fried noodles, you will love this dish. It can be quite fatty, but the flavors are truly exceptional.

Where to Eat Char Kway Teow in Singapore

East Coast Lagoo Singapore Food Authentic Food Quest
Choon Hiang is located in East Coast Lagoon Food Village – Photo credit: PrettyKateMachine on Flickr cc by 2.0

Choon Hiang is a famous Char Kway Teow food stall in the East Coast Lagoon Food Village, a relaxing hawker center by the beach. 

Ms. Mui Mui, recommended to us by several locals, is a second-generation hawker known for her exceptional cooking skills.

Choon Hiang

Address: #01-46 East Coast Lagoon Food Village, 1220 ECP, Singapore

Hours: Open daily, 12:00  pm – 10:30 pm

Prices: Prices start at SGD 3.00 (approx $2.20 USD)

Pro Tip: Servings are generous, expect to wait.

READ MORE: 9 of The Best Beloved Foods in Penang, Malaysia To Savor

12. Pork Satay – Singapore’s Favorite Late-Night Food

Pork Satay Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Pork Satay, one of the best street food in Singapore

Pork Satay is a grilled bamboo skewered pork served with spicy dipping sauce. 

The sauce is made of a combination of soy and spicy peanut sauce. 

This traditional Singaporean street food is served with cucumber and onion slices.

These grilled pork skewers make for an easy snack on the go. And, in Singapore, they are a favorite food to enjoy late a night.

Where to Eat Pork Satay in Singapore

Gardens By the Bay Food in Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
The spectacular Gardens by the Bay at night

One of the best places to have Pork Satay is at the open-air food court, Satay by the Bay

You’ll find several hawker stalls with different skewered grilled meat served with a variety of homemade sauces.

Besides barbecued pork skewers, you can also try beef, chicken, mutton, and prawns satay.

After trying different skewers, be sure also to enjoy the Gardens by the Bay nature park.

Satay by the Bay

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore

Hours: Open daily, 11:00 am to 10:00 pm 

Prices: About SGD 0.90 – 3 / per skewer, approx $0.65 – 2.20 USD

Pro tip: Tables are hard to get, so keep an eye out.

13. Braised Duck Meat With Rice

Braised Duck Best Foods In Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Delicious braised duck served with rice and sauce

Braised duck meat and rice is a Singapore traditional food with ardent fans like those of Hainanese chicken rice.

This food in Singapore comes in two different styles. There is a Hokkien version where the braised duck is served with savory yam or taro rice. And, it’s usually covered in a thick dark soy sauce for additional flavors.

The second popular braised duck meat and rice is the Teochew style, where the white rice is flavored with a light sauce, and the duck meat is thinly cut.

While the duck is the star of this Singapore food, you can add braised hard-boiled eggs, tofu puffs, and preserved salted vegetables to make it a fuller meal.

Where to Eat Braised Duck Meat

Ah Xiao Teochew Braise Duck Food In Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Authentic Teochew-style braised duck

Ah Xiao Teochew Braised Duck is one of the best places to indulge in this Singapore food. 

Located in the popular Golden Mile Food Centre, they serve tender duck accompanied by a delicious braising sauce made according to a family traditional recipe.

Ah Xiao Teochew Braised Duck

Address: 505 Beach Road, Golden Mile Food Centre #B1-43 Singapore 

Hours: Open Tues, Wed, and Fri, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Weekend 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. Closed Monday and Thursday.

Price: A plate of braised duck rice costs SGD $6 (approx. $4.40 USD)

Pro Tip: Expect to queue up for a while.

14. Chai Tow Kway or “Carrot” Cake – Fried Radish Cake

Chai Tow Kway Best Foods In Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
“Black” version of Chai Tow Kway with soy sauce

Chai Tow kway is popularly referred to the carrot cake, though this dish has nothing to do with carrots.

In China’s Hokkien dialect, chai tow means “radish” or “carrot,” while kway means “pastry” or “rice cake,” which is why it is called “carrot cake.”

Chai Tow Kway is a savory dish made with chopped radish, steamed rice flour, water, and shredded white daikon. 

Everything is stir-fried with eggs, garlic, spring onion, and sometimes shrimp is also added.

It’s considered a comfort food and is consumed at any time of the day. 

There are two variations of chai tow kway. The “white” version is made without sweet soy sauce and the radish is fried on top of a beaten egg to form a crust. 

The “black” version uses a sweet dark soy sauce or molasses, mixing the egg with the radish cake.

The name of the dish and the texture surprised us, and we recommend not missing this traditional food in Singapore.

Where To Eat Carrot Cake in Singapore

Eunos Center Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Eunos crescent center where you can find carrot cake

For black carrot cake, you’ll want to check out Geylang traditional carrot cake.

Geylang Traditional carrot cake

Address: Stall #01-21, Upper Boon Keng Food Centre, 17 Upper Boon Keng Rd, Singapore 

Hours: Open every day except Sunday, 6:30 am – 12:00 pm

Prices: Traditional carrot cake SGD $3 (approx. $2.20 USD)

Pro Tip: Get the large size black carrot cake

While for white carrot cake, you’ll want to check out Geyland homemade carrot cake.

Geylang Homemade carrot cake

Address: 7 Eunos Cres, Singapore, Located in Eunos Crescent Market and Food Centre

Hours: Open every day except Monday, 6:00 am – 11:00 am

Prices: White carrot cake is SGD $3-4 (approx. $2.20 – 3.20 USD)

Pro Tip: Eggs are added generously for a big-size carrot cake

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15. Ice Kachang – Singapore Favorite Iced Dessert

Ice Kachang Singapore Food by Autnentic Food Quest
Ice Kachang is a popular refreshing treat in Singapore

Ice Kachang or Kacang is a beloved traditional dessert and a favorite in Singapore’s warm months.

This dessert is said to have origins in Malaysia and has evolved in Singapore since the 1950s and 1960s.

Eaten with a spoon, Ice Kachang is made with a heaping amount of shaved ice, palm sugar syrup, red beans, condensed or evaporated milk, sweet corn, palm seeds and grass jelly.

It’s a popular treat at hawker stalls, with vendors outdoing each other with elaborate toppings.

Don’t be surprised to find unusual ingredients like mango, durian, peanuts, basil seeds, and more.

With the variety of colorful toppings, ice kachang is quite fun to see and eat.

Where to Eat Ice Kachang in Singapore

Four Seasons Cendol Singaporean Food by Authentic Food Quest
Get your Ice kachang at Four Seasons Cendol 

This colorful dessert can be found in malls, food courts, and hawker stalls. Here is our recommended Ice Kachang location.

Four Seasons Cendol 

Address: 210 #01-07 Lor 8 Toa Payoh, Singapore 

Hours: Open daily 9:00 am –10:00 pm

Prices: Basic Ice Kachang  is about SGD $2.60 (approx. $1.90 USD)

Pro Tip: Toppings cost additional

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In Summary

Singapore is a paradise for food lovers. The country’s multi-ethnic cultures have resulted in a variety of unique flavors and dishes. It’s no wonder Singapore is one of the most exciting cities for food. 

In most places you’ll eat in Singapore, you’ll relish as we did, high-quality traditional Singapore food.

Seek out these dishes for a true taste of the diversity found in Singaporean food. 

Have you had any of these Singapore dishes before? Which Singapore food tempts you the most? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Singapore Food Pin by Authentic Food Quest

58 Comments on “Top 15 Authentic Food in Singapore (and 20+ Restaurants To Try Them)”

  1. Hi, Rosemary read your blog and was really impressed with the work you have done and how easily you have described Singapore’s best foods and cuisine. If I would ever get a chance to visit Singapore these were the spots I am definitely gonna visit. Again thanks for the amazing blog.

  2. Hi Claire and Rosemary! Found you through Pinterest. Love the site!

    Nasi lemak is good but Indonesian nasi uduk is great! I hope we can start traveling again and you can come visit my country and try it and all our other wonderful dishes. : )

    Btw you are right that Kaya Toast is unbelievably delicious! Keep up your great work on the site.

  3. Authentic food in Singapore you will adore is offered in the restaurant Paradise Dynasty at Woodlands Square. Amazing food and great service at this expensive but worth the money restaurant. The staff are helpful and nice, food is of course tasty! Therefore, it is worth visiting the restaurant for everyone who will be in Singapore.

  4. Wow, it has been 20 years away from SG for seeking happiness in west . Those all are my favorite food and still missing all of them. can’t wait to eat them again.

  5. Visiting Singapore for the first time then must try this combination of brininess from Tagiasce olives, bitterness from Castelfranco radicchio and umami from veal tongue makes for a flavor party on the palate.

  6. We ate in Little India during our short Singapore visit. It was really good and authentic. Singapore is such a beautiful city I imagine that they do everything top notch. Gardens By the Bay is beautiful so that bumps Satay at the Bay way up on our list. Might have to get an original Singapore Sling while we’re in the neighborhood.

  7. WOW! I didn’t know much about Singapore cuisine before reading your post. I am not fan of crab, but my favourite dish would be Nasi Lemak, and I think I picked the right one since it is one the popular dishes in Singapore. I also would like to try The Stuffed Folded Omelet Pancake 🙂

  8. This whole article had me salivating! I haven’t visited Singapore, but when I do I will indulge in all the food! I am a fan of Hainanese Chicken rice and Roti Prata, and I’d eat street food style all the time given the chance!

  9. Can’t believe I missed out on Chili Crab the last time I was in Singapore. Another trip to Singapore is due soon! Gonna bookmark this list and try and grab atleast 8 of 12 items. I’ve had Biryani and Pork Satay before. I’m eyeing the crab, the pork rib soup and otak otak.

  10. I have not been to Singapore yet and I love crab so I am all about the crab chili and mantous buns! I’m also making a note to go to Tian Tian for Hainanese chicken rice. Not going to lie, I stop dead when I read brains… glad it isn’t really brains and think I would have to eat it so I could translate to meaning for my friends ?

  11. I didn’t know that Chili crab is the national dish of Singapore, and would LOVE to try it someday! Char Kway Teow is one of my favorite dishes (I’m originally Teo chew, and Char Kway Teow is also a Teo chew dish…) Anyway, your post is making me hungry! VERY hungry! So I’m off to get some food now! 😀

    • So did you get Char Kway Teow? Lucky you for having access to this Teo chew dish regularly. We absolutely loved it!! Singapore chili crab is a delicious experience. Hope you get to savor it soon. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Lucky you for learning how to make Hainanese chicken. The next time we are in Singapore, we’ll definitively take a cooking class. All the good food in Singapore.Yum. Those are some of our favorites as well. Cheers, Carol.

  12. I love the Singapore greeting. We certainly ate well when we visited. We don’t like it hot. But our son was travelling with us and loved the Chili Crab. We had it at Jumbo Seafood. The pot seemed bottomless! We tried Nasi Lemak and Biryani in a few spots. Even the food court! Loved the night markets for food choices.

  13. I’m not very adventurous when it comes to trying exotic foods. My husband has traveled to Singapore quite a lot and he has described some interesting foods, for sure! The Stuffed Folded Omelet Pancake actually sounds really good to me, and it looks safe! (As in, it wouldn’t be too spicy, right?).

    • Food is one of life’s simple pleasures and it must be enjoyed. Unlike many other Southeast Asian countries we visited, the food in Singapore is not as spicy and the conditions are pretty clean. You’d be safe there as long as you order from an “A” rated vendor. Branch out and join your husband on one of his trips to Singapore and enjoy the food!! Cheers

  14. There are so many of these dishes we missed out on last time we were in Singapore! I definitely want to try the chili crab, the Otak-Otak and Char Kway Teow sounds delicious too. I am definitely saving this to reference for the next time we go to Singapore. Thanks so much for sharing where to find all these dishes too!

    • You are most welcome Jen!! And we agree, there is so much good food to explore in Singapore. We would also go back in a heartbeat to explore even more 🙂 This list nonetheless does give you a great place to start. Do let us know what you discover 🙂 Cheers.

  15. Ah, this is blasphemy I know, but we spent 48 hours in Singapore and since our hotel included an executive lounge with complimentary breakfast, dinner and snacks, we pretty much didn’t eat anywhere else :S!! I did however note that walking through the many ethnic districts of Singapore, the flavors which wafted through the streets were diverse and enticing. Will have to get back and be a little more adventurous with our food choices :D!

  16. I absolutely loved the food in Singapore, especially at the hawker stands. It’s been over ten years since I was there though. When I head back, I’m going straight for Hainanese Chicken per your recommendation.

  17. Wow! You guys checked out the food scene in Singapore very well. Not sure if I would have the Chilli Crab but the chicken and rice looks cool (I like things simple and sweet) 😀

  18. So many different yummy foods! We visited Singapore last year and I was surprised to see the drastic changes in prices from one place to another, some as little as 0.50$ like you have shown and others as expensive as $40 for a pizza! Next time we visit I will keep your list in mind 🙂

  19. yum. it all looks so amazing. I would love the chili crab, the “Brains”, the Roti, the Biryani, and the Char Kway Teow looks especially great. It all looks so good and I bet the spices mixed in are delightful. I can imagine how the restaurants smell.


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