The best way to experience a new country is through its food. I always try to scope out some authentic flavors anywhere and everywhere I go, but never has it ever been as easy as it was in Singapore.
This small city-state in Southeast Asia is famous for its multicultural cuisine, and rightfully so – it is one of the absolute best food cities in the world, an incredible treasure trove for foodies.
Most of Singapore’s tasty delights can be found at hawker centers, which are basically collections of street food stalls set under one roof. Maxwell Food Centre has by far the best selection while Lau Pa Sat in Telok Ayer is the classiest of the city’s countless food halls.
Entering a city with near-limitless options can be a blessing, but at times it can also be intimidating. It’s definitely good to do some research before visiting Singapore, making sure you get the best and avoid the rest.
Here to help are my favorite 15 Things to Eat in Singapore
15. Fried Sweet Potato Dumplings
This small food stall at Maxwell Food Centre is amazing. As the name suggests, they serve fried sweet potato dumplings and only that. The dumplings are delightfully crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. They have a variety of flavors from savory to sweet. My favorite is the sweet dumpling with coconut and pandan!
14. Fried Fish Dumplings
Once you enter the world of fried dumplings, you can’t avoid tasty fish dumplings for long. These crispy shells filled with flaky white fish are simple and delicious, best when dipped in some mayo.
Fried shrimp dumplings are also amazing!
13. Zhen Zhen Porridge
This stall at Maxwell Food Centre serves traditional rice porridge in many forms. Perhaps the weirdest and definitely the best is the one with dried fish. Somehow it tastes amazing even if it does sound odd.
This local dish is fantastically full of flavor. A spicy coconut curry broth envelops rice noodles, bean sprouts and chicken or prawns, making for a very satisfying meal. And there’s no shame in slurping all that broth!
11. Wanton Mee
The Singaporean version of wonton noodles incorporates crispy pork in a tasty sauce, some steamed veggies and the incredibly tasty wontons in a separate broth. You can literally find this dish anywhere in Singapore, and it’s always good!
10. Kouign Amann at Tiong Bahru Bakery
Let’s get to the sweet stuff. Kouign amann has been my favorite pastry for years and years. I’ve even made it myself once, though of course my personal attempts were nowhere near as delicious as the delightful ones at the trendy Tiong Bahru Bakery in Singapore.
Basically it’s a mixture between a croissant and a sugar bun, and it has nothing to do with Singapore. They just happen to make the best version of the traditional Breton pastry at a trendy café-bakery in Tiong Bahru.
9. Fresh Fruit
Singapore is a tropical paradise near the Equator. This means one thing: amazing exotic fruits. Make sure to try some fresh papaya, soursop, jackfruit, melon and coconut!
8. Sugar Cane Juice
This deceptively simple juice is full of flavor. A wonderfully cooling and refreshing drink for those hot tropical days in Singapore!
7. Durian Ice Cream
Durian, the divisive king of fruits, is not really my favorite fruit, but in ice cream form it transforms into something amazing. A true out-of-this-world experience, and possibly the best ice cream in the world. You can get this delicious treat at any of the stalls along Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping street.
6. Egg Tarts
I don’t know why, but I was surprised by how much these tarts tasted like eggs, even though it’s right there in the name. This not-so-sweet dessert is oddly addicting.
5. Nasi Lemak
Indonesia and Malaysia are located just a stone’s throw away from Singapore, so it’s no surprise their national cuisines have also had a strong effect on the Singaporean food scene. Nasi lemak is a tasty concoction of coconut rice with crispy chicken and/or fish, assorted veggies, roasted peanuts and spicy sambal sauce.
This distant cousin of the spring roll is bursting with fresh flavors. Turnip, jicama, crisp bean sprouts and crunchy peanuts, shredded omelette and fried tofu with a tasty soy sauce make for a rich and tasty treat.
3. Carrot Cake – Singapore Style
This is not your ordinary carrot cake. In fact, this savory Singaporean version is a sort of daikon radish omelette, very spicy and satisfying. One of my absolute favorites in Singaporean cuisine.
2. Chicken Rice
Chicken rice is the national dish of Singapore. Incredibly delicious and deceptively simple. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stall at Maxwell Food Centre is said to have the absolute best version of the dish, with incredibly fragrant rice, melt-in-your-mouth soft chicken and a very tasty chili sauce.
Chicken rice is also available with crispy roasted chicken, Cantonese style
1. Traditional Singaporean Breakfast: Kaya Toast & Soft Boiled Eggs with Soy Sauce
This national treasure is served with coffee or tea mixed with sweet condensed milk. While it may sound odd at first, the combination of crispy toast slathered with coconut jam and copious amounts of butter goes really well together with the soft-boiled eggs drenched in soy sauce. The best place for an authentic breakfast in Singapore is Tong Ah Eating House in Chinatown.