Singapore is the new go-to travel destination. It has a cornucopia of places to see and a richly diverse cultural blend of Malaysian, Chinese, Indonesian, Indian and Western influences.
The architecture is a unique blend of old and new, and the city life and opportunities for outdoor adventure are aplenty.
But the number one reason to visit Singapore is the food. Singapore food takes the mix of cultures and ethnicities and creates its own flavor extravaganza unlike any place in the world.
Ask any local, and they’ll happily give you their own list of food must-haves. So it’s easy when traveling to Singapore to be your own Anthony Bourdain and eat like the locals do.
Here is a list of the top 9 best food in Singapore and where to find these local favorites.
1. Chicken Rice
Simplicity is key in Singapore, and this dish, also known as Hainanese Chicken Rice, exemplifies this.
This boiled chicken with rice and sauce dish is Singapore in a bowl. Every person and restaurant has their own version that varies slightly in flavor, thickness, style, and spice. And most coffee shops also have a Chicken Rice stall.
The way it is cooked is by first boiling a chicken in stock. Then the chicken is dipped in ice, which creates a jelly-like skin.
Stalls serve the dish deboned on rice that’s cooked with stock, ginger, garlic and pandan leaves. It’s served with garlic-chili sauce and topped with soy sauce and chopped ginger.
The best place to find Chicken Rice is at Tian Tian Chicken Rice: 1 Kadayanallur St, #01-10, Maxwell Road Hawker Centre, Singapore 069184. And although this is a hot tourist spot, locals rate this stall the best in the city.
Laksa is a blend of Chinese and Malay (known as Peranakan) cuisine. Throughout Singapore, you can find a variety of Laksa depending on the type of fish, broth, and noodles, but the two main types are Curry Laksa and Asam Laksa.
Curry Laksa is more popular. Asam Laksa is more commonly found in Malaysian regions. Singapore Curry Laksa is made with rice vermicelli, coconut milk, beancurd puffs, fish slices, shrimp, and cockles.
Katong Laksa is becoming big in Singapore, and has short vermicelli pieces and is eaten with a spoon.
The best place to eat Laksa is at Sungei Road Laksa: Blk 27 Jalan Berseh, #01-100 Singapore 200027, but be prepared to wait in line.
3. Bak Chor Mee
The Chinese influence can be easily seen in this minced pork and egg noodle dish, but there are Singapore versions.
This noodle dish is served dry and lightly coated with a chili oil and soy sauce, lots of pork, fish cake slices, vinegar and broth soup.
You can opt for different noodles, such a mee pok, which is a flat noodle, or mee kia, with is a thin noodle. There are other options as well.
The most famous stall for Bak Chor Mee is Tai Hwa Pork Noodle: Blk 466 Crawford Lane #01-12, Singapore 190465. Lines will be long, and the wait can be up to 2 hours, but it’s well worth it.
4. Wanton Mee
The Cantonese and Hong Kong influence is clear with this dish. It’s made with yellow egg noodles, wanton dumplings, boiled vegetables and slices of char siu.
Dumplings are usually filled with pork, and sometimes shrimp. The dish is served dry and covered with a sweet sauce. If you prefer spice, then chili is mixed in with the noodles. The non-spicy variety comes with a tomato sauce instead.
Get the best Wanton Mee at Ghuanzhou Wanton Mee at the Tanglin Halt Food Centre. 48A Tanglin Halt Road, Stall 01-04.
5. Fried Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kway)
First of all, this is not what you think. It’s not a sweet cake made with carrots and cream cheese frosting.
The “carrot” is actually a white daikon radish flour cake, which resembles a white carrot, hence the name. It’s made with rice flour, daikon shreds, fried pork lard, and eggs. It’s actually not a complicated dish to make.
This dish, which is popular in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, comes in a few varieties. The black carrot cake has a sweet molasses sauce, and the crispy carrot cake is fried on a beaten egg, which creates a crust.
The most popular version in Singapore is a cubed carrot cake.
It’s found at many stalls throughout Singapore.
6. Oyster Omelet
Oyster Omelets are often found at the same stalls as Carrot Cake, probably because the cooking process for each is similar. The main ingredient for both is eggs.
Oyster Omelet is made by mixing potato starch into a frying egg as a thickener. Oyster omelet made with a special vinegar chili is only found in Singapore. It’s then joined with bean sprouts and fresh raw oysters.
It’s a rich dish, and typically only eaten on special occasions. Definitely not something you could eat every day.
Don’t try your luck with Oyster Omelets. Not all hawkers are created equal for the best Oyster Omelet Singapore food, go to Ah Chuan Fried Oyster Omelette at oa Payoh Lor 7 Food Centre Stall #01-25.
7. Hokkien Mee
On anyone’s list of the best food in Singapore is Hokkien Mee, which is one of the most popular fried noodle hawker dishes. It comes from where the Hokkien people originated, in China’s Fujian province, and is now a regular part of Singapore cuisine.
Hokkien Mee is made with two kinds of noodles, yellow egg noodles and white rice noodles, which are fried in a wok with egg, squid, shrimp, and bean sprouts.
Different hawkers prepare it slightly differently. It’s usually served with chili sauce, plus a calamansi to squeeze on top which adds a citrus flavor.
It’s not hard to find great Hokkien Mee, but the best can be found at Nam Sing Fried Hokkien Mee at Old Airport Food Centre, 51 Old Airport Rd.
8. Char Kway Teow
You must eat Char Kway Teow way if you want to say that you’ve eaten the best food in Singapore. It’s the quintessential stir-fry noodle dish in Singapore and a local food favorite.
It’s made with flat wide rice noodles, fried egg, dark soy sauce, shrimp paste, chili, and often Chinese sausage and blood cockles.
If you like dishes that are less spicy and more on the sweet side, this is for you.
So where can you find this Singapore food? Pretty much all over Singapore. Arguably the best can be eaten at Hill Street Char Kway Teow at #01-41,16 Bedok South Rd.
Wait, what? Yes, sometimes the absolute best burgers are made outside the US. And if you want to try one of the best in the world, then go to Hans Im Glueck German Burger Bar.
From 100% beef burgers to vegan burgers, they’re all served on a sourdough bun with veggies and Hans Im Glueck secret sauce. You really do need to travel to Singapore to get the best burger in the entire world.
There are currently two locations, with a third opening up this year.
Best Food in Singapore
The best food in Singapore is easy to find. Any local will gladly point you in the right direction. Singapore is filled with hawkers and stalls that will all satisfy your taste buds.
But I assure you that if you try the above mentioned nine dishes, you’ll leave Singapore feeling like you’ve eaten like a local.
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