A Foodie’s Guide to Singapore: 10 Must-Try Restaurants and Local Cuisine

1. Maxwell Food Centre

Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184

Website: maxwellfoodcentre.com

Maxwell Food Centre is a culinary haven nestled in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown. This bustling hawker center is renowned for its sheer variety of local cuisine, making it an absolute must-visit for any food enthusiast. From the iconic Hainanese chicken rice at Tian Tian Chicken Rice to the aromatic soy sauce chicken at Liao Fan Hawker Chan, Maxwell Food Centre offers an unforgettable experience of mouthwatering flavors.

The authentic flavors and affordable prices make Maxwell Food Centre a gem among foodies. Whether you crave spicy laksa, succulent char kway teow, or savory popiah rolls, this food paradise has it all. Plus, the vibrant atmosphere and shared seating arrangements give you a chance to soak in the local culture and mingle with fellow food lovers.

2. Burnt Ends

Address: 20 Teck Lim Rd, 088391 Singapore

Website: burntends.com.sg

If you’re looking for a gastronomic adventure in Singapore, Burnt Ends is a dining experience like no other. This Michelin-starred restaurant boasts an innovative menu and a contemporary open-kitchen concept that will leave you mesmerized. The carefully curated dishes, centered around wood-fired cooking techniques, are a treat for both the eyes and the palate.

Burnt Ends offers a variety of seasonal dishes, each more tantalizing than the last. From the melt-in-your-mouth smoked quail eggs to the flavorful slow-cooked Mangalica pork neck, every bite is a revelation of flavors. Don’t miss their signature dish, the Burnt Ends Sanger, which features pulled pork shoulder slathered in homemade BBQ sauce and served on a brioche bun. The balance of smoky, tangy, and savory flavors in this sandwich is simply exquisite.

3. Jumbo Seafood

Address: 20 Upper Circular Rd, #B1-48 The Riverwalk, 058416 Singapore

Website: jumboseafood.com.sg

Singapore is famous for its delectable seafood, and Jumbo Seafood is the epitome of this culinary experience. Situated by the Singapore River, this iconic seafood restaurant serves up a sumptuous spread of local specialties, with a focus on chili and black pepper crab. The succulent, meaty crabs drenched in a rich, spicy sauce are a true delight for the taste buds.

However, Jumbo Seafood offers more than just crab. Their menu includes an extensive selection of fresh seafood dishes, such as butter prawns, crispy baby squid, and steamed fish. Each dish is prepared with precision and showcases the exquisite flavors of the ocean. Combined with the restaurant’s cozy ambiance and picturesque riverside views, Jumbo Seafood guarantees an unforgettable dining experience.

4. Candlenut

Address: 17A Dempsey Rd, COMO Dempsey, 249676 Singapore

Website: comodempsey.sg/candlenut

Candlenut offers a unique twist on traditional Peranakan cuisine, a fusion of Chinese and Malay flavors that is an integral part of Singapore’s culinary heritage. As the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, Candlenut takes traditional family recipes and elevates them to new heights. Be prepared to embark on a culinary journey that harmoniously combines the boldness of spices with the richness of coconut milk.

Among its standout dishes is the Buah Keluak Fried Rice, where the earthy flavors of the black nuts create a compelling depth of taste. The Ayam Kleo, a chicken dish lovingly stewed in a rich blend of spices, is another must-try. The attention to detail, use of quality ingredients, and devotion to preserving tradition make Candlenut a true gem for those seeking an authentic Peranakan dining experience.

5. Hawker Chan

Address: 78 Smith St, #02-126, Singapore 058972

Website: hawkerchan.com.sg

When it comes to affordable Michelin-starred cuisine in Singapore, Hawker Chan takes the crown. Chef Chan Hong Meng gained international acclaim for his soy sauce chicken rice, a humble yet unforgettable dish that attracted hours-long queues. At Hawker Chan, you can savor this legendary dish and other delectable offerings at remarkably reasonable prices.

Every plate of soy sauce chicken rice showcases perfection in simplicity. The tender, succulent chicken complements the fragrant, flavorful rice, while the accompanying soy-based sauce adds a touch of savory goodness. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a side of char siew (barbecue pork) or crispy roast pork. Hawker Chan’s dishes are bound to satisfy any cravings for authentic Singaporean flavors without breaking the bank.

6. Mustafa Centre

Address: 145 Syed Alwi Rd, Singapore 207704

Website: mustafa.com.sg

Mustafa Centre is not your average restaurant but rather a bustling 24-hour shopping complex. What sets it apart is its extensive range of Indian and Middle Eastern food offerings, making it a hidden treasure for foodies seeking unique and exotic ingredients. From aromatic spices to rare sweets, Mustafa Centre houses a culinary wonderland.

Exploring the sprawling aisles of this mega-store, you’ll find an impressive array of high-quality ingredients that can elevate your culinary skills. Whether you’re looking for unique spices to experiment with, traditional Indian sweets to satisfy your sweet tooth, or Middle Eastern delicacies that transport you to another world, you’ll discover it all at Mustafa Centre. It’s a true paradise for home cooks and culinary adventurers looking to bring a taste of India and the Middle East to their kitchens.

7. Violet Oon Singapore

Address: 881 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 279893

Website: violetoon.com

Violet Oon Singapore is a culinary gem that celebrates the rich flavors and culinary heritage of Singapore. Renowned chef Violet Oon has dedicated herself to preserving and promoting traditional Singaporean cuisine, and her eponymous restaurant offers a glimpse into this remarkable heritage. Indulge in a journey through time as you savor dishes that have been lovingly passed down for generations.

The menu at Violet Oon Singapore showcases a fantastic selection of traditional dishes, such as beef rendang, dry laksa, and gula melaka cake. Each dish is meticulously prepared with authentic ingredients, resulting in a symphony of flavors that is uniquely Singaporean. The elegant colonial-inspired setting provides a warm and inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect place to immerse yourself in Singaporean culinary traditions.

8. Sin Huat Eating House

Address: 659/661 Lor 35 Geylang, Singapore 389589

Website: Not available

If you’re seeking a one-of-a-kind dining experience, Sin Huat Eating House is the place to be. Located in the vibrant Geylang district, this unassuming eatery serves up some of the most mouthwatering seafood dishes in town. The owner and chef, Danny Lee, takes immense pride in his culinary creations, ensuring each dish bursts with explosive flavors.

While there’s no official menu at Sin Huat Eating House, the must-try dish is the famous crab bee hoon. A massive crab, stir-fried with aromatic sauces and served over a bed of silky-smooth bee hoon noodles, is a true gastronomic masterpiece. Additionally, the chili crab and black pepper crab are equally exceptional choices. Sin Huat Eating House’s robust and bold flavors, along with its laid-back local ambiance, make it a genuine treasure for adventurous food enthusiasts.

9. Irvins Salted Egg

Multiple outlets across Singapore

Website: irvinsaltedegg.com

Salted egg, a rich and savory delicacy, has become a sensation in Singaporean cuisine. Irvins Salted Egg takes this beloved ingredient and transforms it into a wide range of delectable snacks that are hard to resist. From salted egg fish skin to salted egg potato chips, these crispy treats offer a harmonious balance of flavors that will leave you craving for more.

What sets Irvins Salted Egg apart is their commitment to using real salted egg yolks, ensuring each bite bursts with intense flavor. Their snack creations combine traditional flavors with a modern twist that resonates with both locals and tourists. Whether you’re searching for a unique souvenir or simply want to indulge in the addictive joy of salted egg snacks, Irvins Salted Egg is a must-visit.

10. 328 Katong Laksa

Address: 216 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428914

Website: Not available

Laksa, a popular Peranakan dish, holds a special place in Singapore’s culinary heritage. 328 Katong Laksa, named after its original address in Katong, has gained a reputation for serving one of the best bowls of laksa in the city. This unpretentious eatery offers a rich and aromatic soup packed with a combination of rice noodles, fresh prawns, cockles, and coconut milk.

The key to 328 Katong Laksa’s success lies in its secret family recipe, which has been passed down through generations. Every spoonful of their laksa brings together the flavors of spicy chili, fragrant herbs, and creamy coconut milk in perfect harmony. The friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere add to the authenticity of the experience, making 328 Katong Laksa a must-try for laksa lovers visiting Singapore.

Embarking on a culinary journey through Singapore is an adventure for the senses. From indulging in the vibrant street food scene at Maxwell Food Centre to savoring innovative Michelin-starred dishes at Burnt Ends, the city offers a wealth of options for food enthusiasts. Be sure to explore the culinary gems like Candlenut and Violet Oon Singapore that celebrate the unique flavors of local Peranakan cuisine.

For seafood lovers, Jumbo Seafood offers a memorable dining experience with their legendary chili and black pepper crabs. Also, don’t miss the chance to visit iconic hawker stalls like Hawker Chan, where affordable Michelin-starred meals await. Mustafa Centre and Irvins Salted Egg provide an avenue to explore unique ingredients and snacks that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

If you’re on the lookout for hidden treasures, head to Sin Huat Eating House for an exceptional seafood feast you won’t forget. Lastly, round off your culinary journey with a hearty bowl of laksa at 328 Katong Laksa, and you’ll understand why this dish holds a special place in the hearts of Singaporeans.

Venture into the diverse culinary landscape of Singapore, and prepare to be amazed by the flavors, colors, and aromas that await you.