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10 best restaurants and cafés in Geylang for Hokkien mee, Ban Mian, and more

If you’re looking for some OG street food, you’ll never go wrong with Geylang. These are the best restaurants and cafés in Geylang to bookmark for your next trip there.

The area gets a bad rap for the unadventurous. After all, as Singapore’s most prominent red-light district, it’s easy to make a wrong turn into a sleazy alleyway. Yet, those familiar with the area will be able to meander their way through the best dining gems in the neighbourhood.

Apart from classic Cantonese zi char plates, the locale also sees a couple of interesting dishes like the unconventional Turtle Soup, and the divisive Frog Porridge. Did we also mention some really hip cafes around the area too? Read on for all the best cafés and restaurants in Geylang that have made our list.

10 best cafés and restaurants in Geylang to visit:

(Hero and featured image credit: @esth3r_esth3r via Instagram)

1 /10

Sik Bao Sin

Sik Bao Sin, or Eat First in English, specialises in familiar Cantonese classics. The menu only serves a lean 13 items, each crated with culinary expertise. Here, get a serving of the collagen-heavy Steamed Fish Head, served with a generous serving of fermented bean paste, lard and shallots, or other favourites like the Tofu Prawns, plated on a bed of silky beaten eggs that goes incredibly well with rice. Make sure to come at about 5.30pm if you’re coming to dine for dinner — the cosy bistro opens its evening service at 5.45pm, but you’ll find many queuing outside within minutes.

(Image credit: @today_i_had via Instagram)

Address
592 Geylang Rd, Lor 34 Geylang, 389531

2 /10

J.B. Ah Meng Restaurant

J.B. Ah Meng Restaurant is one of the most iconic shops among the Geylang stretch of restaurants. The owner, who, unlike the name, hails from Ipoh, Malaysia, serves up Malaysian-styled Chinese dishes that have won over the hearts of chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain. On just about every table, you’ll find plates of its signature San Lou Bee Hoon, a wok-fried rice vermicelli dish, and the highly addictive fiery White Pepper Crab.

(Image credit: @thatgluttonn via Instagram)

Address
534 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389490

3 /10

Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge

Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge is a staple for those looking for a mean bowl on congee. Diners have a choice of two different flavours here — the spicy dried chilli and spring onion mix or the regular dark sweet soya sauce with ginger and spring onion alternative. No matter which one you get, each piece of meat is perfectly glazed with the addictive sauce, which complements the smooth Cantonese congee that’s served on the side. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, the hearty beef hor fun noodles from across the street is up for orders as well.

(Image credit: @crappysotong via Instagram)

Address
235 Geylang Rd, Lor 9 Geylang, 389294

4 /10

126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi

126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi could just be the best place in Singapore to get an authentic dim sum experience. The humble locale, its affordable plates, and loud chatters from the staff and diners will make you feel you’ve stepped into a hidden Cha Chaan Teng in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Other than your regular small plates like siew mai and hargow, 126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi also serves bowls of porridge, soup and rice for those feeling peckish more than usual.

(Image credit: @esth3r_esth3r via Instagram)

Address
126 Sims Ave, Singapore 387449

5 /10

L32 Handmade Noodles

There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of Ban Mian on a cold rainy day. The piping hot bowls at L32 Handmade Noodles are filled with an MSG-free broth that’s been simmered for up to eight hours, creating a delightfully clean-tasting base for the starchy noodles. It is then topped with crispy ikan bilis, minced pork and pork slices for a classic Ban Mian touch.

(Image credit: @28nankinstreet via Instagram)

Address
558 Geylang Road (Lor 32), 389509

6 /10

Tan Ser Seng Herbs Restaurant

Here at Tan Ser Seng Herbs Restaurant, you’ll find large claypots that are generously packed with soup and meat — turtle, if we have to be exact. The rich, sweet soup dish is made fresh daily with a recipe that dates back to 1946 and is packed with tons of collagen. The delicacy is prized for nutritional properties: think lower blood pressure and blood detoxification, for instance.

(Image credit: @lirongs via Instagram)

Address
29 Lor Bachok, Singapore 38779

7 /10

Swee Guan Hokkien Mee

Swee Guan Hokkien Mee is one of our top five spots for Hokkien Mee in Singapore. There, we’ve said it. The sloppy plates of noodles are fried over charcoal for a beautiful, smokey flavour that’s been infused with a rich prawn broth and then topped with thick squid rings and deep-fried pork lard.

(Image credit: @foodmakescalhappy via Instagram)

Address
5 Lor 29 Geylang, Singapore 388060

8 /10

Sean Kee Duck Rice

Sean Kee Duck Rice is one of Geylang area’s biggest secrets. Guests dining alone can always opt for a regular plate of duck rice, but we recommend coming with a bigger group so that you’ll be able to get the platter, a generous portion of braised duck, tofu, egg and other vegetables that’s bathed in a thick, lip-smacking gravy.
(Image credit: @mightyfoodie via Instagram)

Address
659-661Lor, Lor 35 Geylang, 389589

9 /10

Geylang Drip City

25-seater coffee bar Geylang Drip City has been making waves since it first opened last year. The locale is dressed in a a sleek black interior that croons out on-point hip-hop playlists for the ultimate vibe check, and the team here is dedicated to crafting (highly addictive) brews from single origin African coffees for guests who walk through the door.

(Image credit: @hilltanner01 via Instagram)

Address
184 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389253

10 /10

Banh Mi Thit

Our latest food obsession: Banh Mi. Our favourite place to get it at: Banh Mi Thit. The Vietnamese classic is made to perfection here with a gorgeous, crispy baguette that’s still light and fluffy in the middle, stuffed with a generous amount of crunchy vegetables, meat and a lavish smear of pate to tie it all together. The pork Banh Mi is a popular option, and you only have to add an extra dollar to the dish for a cup (hot or iced) of super strong Vietnamese coffee.

(Image credit: @hungrlyn via Instagram)

Address
543 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389498
Sik Bao Sin
1
Sik Bao Sin

Sik Bao Sin, or Eat First in English, specialises in familiar Cantonese classics. The menu only serves a lean 13 items, each crated with culinary expertise. Here, get a serving of the collagen-heavy Steamed Fish Head, served with a generous serving of fermented bean paste, lard and shallots, or other favourites like the Tofu Prawns, plated on a bed of silky beaten eggs that goes incredibly well with rice. Make sure to come at about 5.30pm if you’re coming to dine for dinner — the cosy bistro opens its evening service at 5.45pm, but you’ll find many queuing outside within minutes.

(Image credit: @today_i_had via Instagram)

J.B. Ah Meng Restaurant
2
J.B. Ah Meng Restaurant

J.B. Ah Meng Restaurant is one of the most iconic shops among the Geylang stretch of restaurants. The owner, who, unlike the name, hails from Ipoh, Malaysia, serves up Malaysian-styled Chinese dishes that have won over the hearts of chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain. On just about every table, you’ll find plates of its signature San Lou Bee Hoon, a wok-fried rice vermicelli dish, and the highly addictive fiery White Pepper Crab.

(Image credit: @thatgluttonn via Instagram)

Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge
3
Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge

Geylang Lor 9 Fresh Frog Porridge is a staple for those looking for a mean bowl on congee. Diners have a choice of two different flavours here — the spicy dried chilli and spring onion mix or the regular dark sweet soya sauce with ginger and spring onion alternative. No matter which one you get, each piece of meat is perfectly glazed with the addictive sauce, which complements the smooth Cantonese congee that’s served on the side. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, the hearty beef hor fun noodles from across the street is up for orders as well.

(Image credit: @crappysotong via Instagram)

126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi
4
126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi

126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi could just be the best place in Singapore to get an authentic dim sum experience. The humble locale, its affordable plates, and loud chatters from the staff and diners will make you feel you’ve stepped into a hidden Cha Chaan Teng in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Other than your regular small plates like siew mai and hargow, 126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi also serves bowls of porridge, soup and rice for those feeling peckish more than usual.
(Image credit: @esth3r_esth3r via Instagram)

L32 Handmade Noodles
5
L32 Handmade Noodles

There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of Ban Mian on a cold rainy day. The piping hot bowls at L32 Handmade Noodles are filled with an MSG-free broth that simmers for up to eight hours, creating a delightfully clean-tasting base for the starchy noodles. It is then topped with crispy ikan bilis, mincce pork and pork slices for a classic Ban Mian touch.

(Image credit: @28nankinstreet via Instagram)

Tan Ser Seng Herbs Restaurant
6
Tan Ser Seng Herbs Restaurant

Here at Tan Ser Seng Herbs Restaurant, you’ll find large claypots that are generously packed with soup and meat — turtle, if we have to be exact. The rich, sweet soup dish is made fresh daily with a recipe that dates back to 1946 and is packed with tons of collagen. The delicacy is prized for nutritional properties: think lower blood pressure and blood detoxification, for instance.

(Image credit: @lirongs via Instagram)

Swee Guan Hokkien Mee
7
Swee Guan Hokkien Mee

Swee Guan Hokkien Mee is one of our top five spots for Hokkien Mee in Singapore. There, we’ve said it. The sloppy plates of noodles are fried over charcoal for a beautiful, smokey flavour that’s been infused with a rich prawn broth and then topped with thick squid rings and deep-fried pork lard.
(Image credit: @foodmakescalhappy via Instagram)

Sean Kee Duck Rice
8
Sean Kee Duck Rice

Sean Kee Duck Rice is one of Geylang area’s biggest secrets. Guests dining alone can always opt for a regular plate of duck rice, but we recommend coming with a bigger group so that you’ll be able to get the platter, a generous portion of braised duck, tofu, egg and other vegetables that’s bathed in a thick, lip-smacking gravy.

(Image credit: @mightyfoodie via Instagram)

Geylang Drip City
9
Geylang Drip City
Banh Mi Thit
10
Banh Mi Thit

Our latest food obsession: Banh Mi. Our favourite place to get it at: Banh Mi Thit. The Vietnamese classic is made to perfection here with a gorgeous, crispy baguette that’s still light and fluffy in the middle, stuffed with a generous amount of crunchy vegetables, meat and a lavish smear of pate to tie it all together. The pork Banh Mi is a popular option, and you only have to add an extra dollar to the dish for a cup (hot or iced) of super strong Vietnamese coffee.

Jocelyn Tan
Senior Writer
Jocelyn Tan is a travel and design writer who's probably indulging in serial killer podcasts or reading one too many books on East Asian history. When she actually gets to travel, you can find her attempting to stuff her entire wardrobe into her luggage. Yes, she's a chronic over-packer.
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