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The ultimate guide to heritage hawker food in Singapore and where to find them

Singapore is a food paradise. Many fawn over our rich culinary heritage, which has been defined by the humble hawker centres scattered all across the island.

Step into any hawker centre and you’ll come across a dizzying array of dishes and food traditions — anything from regional Chinese cuisine, traditional dishes from the Malay Archipelago and South Asia, and uniquely Singaporean plates that you won’t be able to get your hands anywhere else.

Here’s our guide to some of the dishes you simply can’t miss when you’re in Singapore.


Here are the best nasi lemak stalls in Singapore

Nasi lemak is arguably one of country’s most iconic dishes. Typically consisting of coconut rice, fried chicken, eggs, peanuts, and a generous side of sambal, it’s the perfect dish for any time of the day.

best congee in singapore

Where to find the best congee in Singapore

Cantonese porridge is thick, rich, and full of flavour. Read on for our guide to the comfort food, which can be found in classic and gourmet variations.

Where to find heritage kueh in Singapore

Kueh are well-loved traditional snacks that are the amalgamation of the many food cultures present in Singapore. Check out these old-school bakeries that still produce these labour-intensive treats.

Discover these traditional and modern biryani dishes

Biryani is a fragrant dish made with long grain rice, tons of spices, and pressure-cooked meats. Nasi biryani is the local take on the dish but read on its many variants.

best prawn noodles in Singapore

Where to go for a steaming bowl of prawn noodles

Unsurprisingly, prawn noodles consists of egg noodles, fresh prawns, and a flavourful broth that’s made with an artful combination of prawn heads, pork ribs, spices, and sauces.

Where to go for traditional Teochew porridge

Teochew porride (also know as muey) consists of grain cooked in broth. It’s usually accompanied by braised and minced meat, and steamed fish.

pandan chiffon cake

Revisit your youth with these old-school cake shops

Anyone who grew up in Singapore will remember visiting these bakeries for a satisfying snack, be it pandan chiffon cake, egg tarts, or mini muffins.

wanton noodles singapore

Slurp up Singapore’s best wanton noodles at these spots

Wanton noodles are not be missed. The dish consists of dry egg noodles drizzled with dark sauces and chilli and served with handmade shrimp dumplings and slices of fatty barbecue pork.

curry puffs singapore

Where to get the best curry puffs in Singapore

Curry puffs are quintessential Singapore snacks. These golden pastries are stuffed with fillings such as potato, fish, and egg.

Tai Cheong egg tarts

These old-school bakeries have the best egg tarts

With a creamy centre and crunchy biscuit base, egg tarts bring together the best of Chinese and European baking traditions. Read on to find the best Hong Kong-style and Portuguese egg tarts.

loy kee chicken rice

Where to find the best chicken rice

Available in variations of steamed, roast, and soy sauce chicken, this dish might be one of the Singapore’s most beloved culinary treasures.

Marriott Bonvoy

Where to get your chilli crab fix

Whether you like your chilli crab sweet, spicy, or even with a more tomato-based sauce, this list is sure to hit the spot.

Violet Oon Singapore kaya toast

Where to get artisanal kaya

Kaya today can be found in traditional Nyonya and Hainanese variants, with the former boasting a rich pandan flavour and deeper green hue, and the latter being sweeter and brown in colour.

Springleaf Prata Place

Where to get the best roti prata

The beloved dish has its roots in South India, with ‘roti’ meaning bread and ‘prata’ or ‘paratha’ meaning flat in Hindi. The recipe is simple but in no way does that undermine how satisfying it is: dough is flavoured with ghee, before being stretched and fried to golden brown perfection.

Hokkien Mee

Where to find the best Hokkien Mee

Think a stir-fried plate of umami goodness, comprised of yellow and thick vermicelli noodles married with a lip-smacking broth of pork bones and prawn heads, which is then elevated with prawns, squid, pork belly strips, egg and crispy fried pork lard.

singapore bak chor mee

Our hit-list of the best Bak Chor Mee in town

Available in soup and dry variants, these Bak Chor Mee options are perfect for a delicious, quick meal fix any day.

These bowls of Bak Kut Teh are sure to hit the spot

The best part of any rainy day is slurping a hot bowl of soup — and one of our favourite has to the herbal and peppery broths of Bak Kut Teh.

Where to find the best laksa in Singapore

Here are some of our favourite laksa variants and where you can get them in Singapore.

Feast on authentic Teochew cuisine

Take a deep dive into this unique Chinese community and its delightful dishes.

Hainanese Curry Rice

The best Hainanese Curry Rice spots in town

There’s really nothing a sloppy plate of Hainanese Curry Rice can’t fix — the messier the better.

thunder tea rice

Revisit the traditional thunder tea rice at these joints

Before the grain bowl, there was thunder tea rice, an ancient Hakka dish more fondly known as Lei Cha.

claypot rice singapore

Here are our favourite claypot rice spots in town

A truly authentic bowl of claypot rice requires the attention to a multitude of fine details. Here’s where to find the best ones around town.

Our hit list of heritage Hainanese diners in Singapore

Hainanese cuisine isn’t just chicken rice. From dishes like Hainanese pork cutlets to Canned Pig Trotters Bee Hoon, we’re getting our fix from these heritage joints.

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