A Friendly Guide to Restaurants in Singapore
This tiny island nation is a melting pot of cultures, which is reflected in its rich culinary offerings. From local delights like hawker centres to high-end fine dining establishments, you will be spoiled for choice in the Lion City. We’ve carefully curated a list of must-try restaurants in Singapore, covering a range of cuisines and budgets, so read on and let’s embark on a gastronomic adventure!
1. Hawker Centres
Hawker centres are the heart and soul of Singapore’s food scene, offering a range of mouth-watering dishes at affordable prices. These bustling food courts are where you’ll find the best of Singapore’s local delights, like Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, and roti prata. Some famous hawker centres to check out include:
1.1 Lau Pa Sat
Located in the Central Business District, Lau Pa Sat is a beautiful historic building that houses a plethora of food stalls. It’s open 24 hours, and is especially famous for its satay stalls which fire up in the evening.
1.2 Maxwell Food Centre
Maxwell Food Centre is a popular lunch spot among locals, offering a wide variety of delicious dishes. Don’t miss the famous Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stall, which has earned accolades from celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain.
2. Heritage Eateries
For a taste of Singapore’s rich culinary history, you’ll want to try some of the city’s heritage eateries. These restaurants have been around for decades and are known for their authentic flavours and recipes passed down through generations.
2.1 Violet Oon Singapore
Violet Oon Singapore is an iconic Peranakan restaurant owned by renowned chef and culinary ambassador Violet Oon. With multiple locations across the city, her restaurants offer a refined take on classic Peranakan dishes like beef rendang and buah keluak.
2.2 Hua Yu Wee
Hua Yu Wee is a well-loved seafood restaurant set in a charming colonial bungalow. It’s known for its delectable chili crab and other seafood delights, served in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.
3. Michelin-Starred Restaurants
Singapore is also home to a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, offering world-class cuisine and impeccable service. Here are a couple of standout establishments:
Odette is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant located in the National Gallery Singapore. Helmed by Chef Julien Royer, the restaurant offers a contemporary take on French cuisine, using the finest seasonal ingredients.
3.2 Burnt Ends
Burnt Ends is a one-Michelin-starred modern Australian barbecue restaurant, featuring an open kitchen with custom-made grills. The menu is designed for sharing and showcases the best of Australia’s produce.
4. Unique Dining Experiences
For a truly memorable meal, try one of these unique dining experiences that showcase Singapore’s creativity and innovation:
4.1 NOX – Dine in the Dark
NOX – Dine in the Dark is a multi-sensory dining experience where guests eat in complete darkness. The aim is to heighten your other senses and encourage a deeper appreciation for the flavors and textures of the food. Trained visually-impaired servers guide you through the meal, making it an unforgettable and enlightening experience.
Labyrinth is a one-Michelin-starred restaurant that offers a modern and innovative take on Singaporean cuisine. Chef-owner LG Han creates dishes that tell the story of Singapore’s culinary heritage, using locally-sourced ingredients and reinterpreting traditional recipes with a contemporary twist.
5. Vegetarian and Vegan Options
Singapore’s diverse food scene also caters to vegetarian and vegan diners, with a variety of delicious plant-based options available:
5.1 Whole Earth
Whole Earth is an award-winning Peranakan-Thai vegetarian restaurant that has been serving delicious plant-based dishes since 2003. Their signature dishes include Nonya Curry, Penang Rendang, and Olive Brown Rice.
5.2 Afterglow by Anglow
Afterglow by Anglow is a cozy eatery that offers a farm-to-table dining experience, focusing on raw, plant-based dishes. Their menu includes creative offerings like raw zucchini linguine, quinoa beetroot burgers, and avocado kimchi rolls.
6. Late-Night Dining
For those looking to grab a bite after a night out, Singapore has plenty of late-night dining options to satisfy your cravings:
6.1 Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
Swee Choon is a popular late-night dim sum spot that has been serving up delicious Cantonese and Shanghainese dim sum since 1962. Open till the wee hours of the morning, it’s a great place to enjoy classics like siew mai, har gow, and liu sha bao.
Spize is a 24-hour eatery that offers a mix of Asian, Western, and Mediterranean cuisine. With an extensive menu, you’ll find everything from prata to pasta, making it a perfect spot to satiate your late-night cravings.
With this comprehensive guide to Singapore’s vibrant restaurant scene, you’re now ready to embark on a culinary journey through the Lion City. From hawker centres to Michelin-starred establishments, there’s truly something for everyone in this food paradise.