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Downtown Singapore

Eat and meet

Cafes and coffee houses

  • Good Morning Nanyang Cafe
    4.5 stars

    Traditional and cheap

    20 Upper Pickering Street, Hong Lim Community Centre

    Try this hidden Chinatown gem for a local-style cuppa brewed the traditional way and strained through a (clean) sock. The menu may be small, but everything from the raisin scones to the creamy kaya spread (coconut egg jam) is house-made. Good Morning Nanyang is best known for their crispy ciabatta ... read more

  • Chye Seng Huat Hardware
    4 stars

    Go for the cold brew

    150 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore
    T: 6396 0609

    You wouldn’t know it by walking past or from reading the sign outside, but Chye Seng Huat Hardware brews some of the best coffee in Singapore. This retro-chic cafe roasts their own beans and has a coffee bar where you can sample their different blends and brewing methods as well as some ... read more

  • Killiney Kopitiam
    4 stars

    Warming bellies since 1919

    67 Killiney Rd
    T: 6734 9648

    This local cafe has been warming bellies with their famous kopi and curry since 1919. The menu reads almost exactly the same as it did back then with hot drinks, charcoal-grilled toast slathered with kaya (coconut jam), zesty laksa soup and chicken curry served with French bread to mop up the rich ... read more

  • Tea Chapter
    4 stars

    Antiques, tradition and tea

    9A Neil Rd
    T: 6226 1175

    Experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony at this antique-filled cafe on the outskirts of Chinatown. Pots of tea range from S$10 for classic Oolong to S$15 for fragrant Eight Treasures with dried fruits and flowers. Staff are happy to explain the benefits of each blend and the traditional way ... read more

  • Oriole Cafe & Bar
    4 stars

    For a perfect cuppa

    96 Somerset Road, Pan Pacific Hotel
    T: 6238 8348

    Oriole was one of Singapore's best kept secrets until 313 @ Somerset Mall opened and linked it to Orchard Road. Though it's now much busier, Oriole's award-winning baristas still make the perfect cuppa every time complete with latte art and the cheesecake is to die for. Cocktails and beer are ... read more

  • Food For Thought
    4 stars

    Conscience-safe eating

    8 Queen St
    T: 6338 9887

    Satisfy your caffeine cravings and your conscience at this cosy downtown cafe that donates 10% of its profits to charity. Espresso-based bevvies start from S$3 and tea drinkers are catered to with herbal blends. If you're hungry there's a full menu of mains and original dishes like Asian-style ... read more

  • Han's Cafe & Bakery
    4 stars

    Calories across cultures

    #01-01 National Library, 100 Victoria St

    We love that this home-grown chain serves both Singaporean and European cafe favourites. Whether you're in the mood for a kopi and curry puff or espresso and cake, you can get it here. The baked goods are great value but the taste can be hit or miss — try the Western carrot cake with cream cheese ... read more

  • Cafe le Caire
    3.5 stars

    Authentic Middle Eastern fare

    39 Arab Street, Singapore
    T: 62920979

    Singapore’s Arab Street is a charming hotchpotch of textile stores and cafes selling Turkish and Iranian food right next to watering holes and hip hostels. While many of these have come and gone over the years, the Cafe le Caire has been serving delicious well-priced Middle Eastern fare for more ... read more

  • Ah Teng's Bakery
    3.5 stars

    Colonial style on the cheap

    Beach Rd, Raffles Hotel
    T: 6412 1816

    It is possible to treat yourself to a spot of tea at Raffles Hotel without going into debt. A much more affordable alternative to The Tiffin Room, Ah Teng's Bakery offers a similar colonial setting with antique tables and delicate china cups of steaming Earl Grey. The service isn't as refined — ... read more


  • Palm Beach Seafood
    4.5 stars

    Singapore's original chilli crab and more

    1 Fullerton Rd
    T: 6227 2332

    As the creators of the original Singapore chilli crab, Palm Beach could charge whatever they want and still have a loyal following However prices are comparable to other upscale seafood spots and the new waterfront restaurant is stunning. While the signature chilli crab with mantou (fried buns) to ... read more

  • No Signboard Seafood
    4 stars

    Popular for chili crab

    414 Geylang Rd
    T: 6842 3415

    Once a nameless shack, this seafood restaurant has grown into one of the most popular spots in Singapore for chilli crab. Though Sri Lankan crab in spicy gravy continues to be the bestseller, the crayfish with crispy cereal, garlicky bamboo clams, steamed fish with chilli, and prawn rolls are also ... read more

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    328 Famous Katong Laksa
    4 stars

    Don't wear white

    51 & 216 East Coast Rd
    T: 9732 8163

    You can get a bowl of laksa, a spicy seafood noodle soup, at any hawker centre, but Singapore's east coast lays claim to katong laksa. In this variant the broth tastes more of curry than coconut milk and noodles are diced so they're easy to scoop up in the spoon with cockles, fishcake and bean ... read more

  • 1960s Singapore Food Trail
    4 stars

    Sample Singaporean classics

    30 Raffles Avenue, Singapore Flyer

    Sample Singaporean classics in a nostalgic setting at this new food centre at the base of the Singapore Flyer. Enamel plates, faded signs and old furniture are meant to conjure up a 1960s kampung atmosphere and many of the hawkers have been cooking for even longer. Long line-ups form to order ... read more

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    Chinatown Food Street
    3.5 stars

    Revamped deliciousness

    335 Smith St, Singapore (Nearest MRT: Chinatown)

    After a S$5 million revamp, much-loved Chinatown Food Street finally re-opened at the end of February 2014. Occupying a 100-metre stretch of Smith Street, the new Food Street features 24 excellent hawker stalls — more than double than in the past — with many of them new ones selected from among ... read more

  • Chatterbox
    3.5 stars

    Debatable value

    333 Orchard Rd, 5th floor Mandarin Orchard Hotel
    T: 6831 6288

    Despite the price tag of nearly $25, people still rave about the chicken rice at Chatterbox. The boiled chicken melts in your mouth and is served with fragrant rice, herbal broth and three kinds of sauces. Chatterbox serves posh versions of other hawker fare including nasi lemak (coconut rice with ... read more

  • Ya Kun Kaya Toast
    3.5 stars

    A long-time favourite

    Bugis Junction, 230 Victoria Street #B1-11.
    T: 6238 8904

    Since 1944 Ya Kun has been a favourite for the classic Singapore breakfast of kopi and kaya toast — sweet coconut-egg jam and thick slabs of margarine sandwiched between toasted bread. The drinks aren't for calorie-counters either and, by default, coffee and tea are served with sweetened ... read more

Other Asian

  • Ayam Penyet Ria Restaurant
    4.5 stars

    Best smashed chicken in town

    #01-45 / 04-25 Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road, Singapore
    T: 6235 6390

    Ayam penyet (literally "smashed chicken") is an Indonesian dish that's also popular in Singapore. Ayam penyet (literally "smashed chicken") is an Indonesian dish that's also popular in Singapore. Quite possibly the best place to try it is no-frills Ayam Penyet Ria, which keeps the prices low ... read more

  • Indochine
    4.5 stars

    Elegant Southeast Asian cuisine

    1 Empress Place, Asian Civilizations Museum
    T: 6339 1720

    Adjacent to the Asian Civilizations Museum, it seems fitting that this elegant waterfront restaurant specialises in the cuisine of Southeast Asia. The results are more homage than duplication — don't expect the S$40 Cambodian-style chilli prawns or S$25 papaya salad to taste anything like ... read more

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    Hajah Maimunah Restaurant
    4.5 stars

    Meal of a lifetime for a song

    11 & 15 Jalan Pisang
    T: 6291 3132

    Don't expect ambience or air-con at this nasi padang joint, just the meal of a lifetime for a few dollars. The food may be pre-cooked but it's mouth-wateringly delicious and most days there are more than 40 lovingly home-style curries, seafood, and veggies to choose from. Just point at whatever ... read more

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    Dessert Hut
    4 stars

    Singapore is not only savoury

    101 Upper Cross Street, #02-48 People's Park Centre, Chinatown
    T: 6533 1137

    Need something sweet after chilli crab or laksa? Dessert Hut offers distinctly Chinese desserts that are great both for satisfying the sweet tooth and adventurous eater in you. The original no frills shop is located in the People's Park Complex, a not-so-glamorous shopping centre in Chinatown, but ... read more

  • Blue Ginger
    4 stars

    Sample Peranakan cuisine

    97 Tanjong Pagar Rd
    T: 6222 3928

    Singapore is one of the few places to sample Peranakan cuisine — a fusion of Malay and Chinese ingredients and techniques — and Blue Ginger is an elegant but affordable place to do so. Extensive descriptions on the menu make ordering traditional dishes like udang ketak (crayfish in pineapple ... read more

  • Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
    4 stars

    Perpetually busy

    11 New Bridge Rd
    T: 6533 6128

    Opposite Clarke Quay MRT, Song Fa is a perpetually busy spot specialising in bak kut teh — literally pork bone tea. Fatty pork ribs, a secret blend of herbs, and many hours of boiling result in a soup so flavourful you'll want to eat a large bowl despite the heat. The soup is eaten with ... read more

  • Inle Myanmar Restaurant
    4 stars

    Authentic Burmese food.

    #B1-07A Peninsula Plaza, 111 North Bridge Road
    T: 6333 5438

    Singapore's own "Little Myanmar", the basement of Peninsula Plaza is full of small restaurants like Inle serving authentic Burmese food. The oily curries taste like a failed fusion of Thai and Indian food, but signature dishes like mohinga (noodles and chickpea fritters in fishy broth) and ... read more

  • Viet Inn
    4 stars

    Pho plus

    49 Circular Rd
    T: 6536 1847

    Go with the pho at this authentic Vietnemese joint near Boat Quay. If the beef broth with fresh herbs, springy noodles and generous slices of meat isn't flavourful enough for you, add even more zing with sliced chilies and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you find Singapore is too hot for soup, ... read more

  • The Orange Lantern
    4 stars

    Midrange Vietnamese standards and twists

    73 Killiney Rd
    T: 6732 8032

    Just five minutes away from Orchard Road, the Orange Lantern serves modern Vietnamese in a cosy shophouse setting. While you can't go wrong with standards like summer rolls and pho noodle soup, the highlights are less traditional dishes like barbecue beef wrapped in betel leaves and vegetable ... read more

  • Yummy Viet
    4 stars

    Affordable and authentic

    28 Smith St
    T: 6222 5191

    Singapore's most authentic Vietnamese restaurant is also one of the most affordable. Located in the heart of Chinatown, Yummy Viet offers healthy rice paper rolls, bánh mì (baguette sandwiches), noodle salad with barbecue pork and herbs and steaming bowls of pho bo (beef noodle soup) all cooked ... read more

  • Koh Nangkam
    4 stars

    The real south Thai and Malaysian deal

    743 North Bridge Rd
    T: 6392 2172

    Don't expect any Singha at this Halal restaurant opposite the Sultan Mosque, just home-style southern Thai cooking. Favourites like tom yam goong, fried noodles and green curry come in individual or sharing-sized portions and taste authentic, but it's the unique massaman briyani that keeps us ... read more

  • Nong Khai Beer House
    4 stars

    The real Isaan deal

    5001 Beach Road, #01-73/74 Golden Mile Complex
    T: 9188 7221

    Join Singapore's Thai community for spicy salads and big bottles of Chang with ice cubes. The menu is limited but the Thai cooks turn out the most authentic Isaan food this side of the Lao border with every part of animal from the skin to the feet getting grilled then gobbled up with sticky rice ... read more

  • Diandin Leluk
    4 stars

    The real Thai deal

    5001 Beach Road, #01-67 Golden Mile Complex
    T: 6293 5101

    From the Thai-speaking staff to the portraits of King Bhumibol on the wall, this is as authentic as it gets without hopping on a plane to Bangkok. The menu is extensive and covers everything from stand-bys like tom yam goong and green curry to northern Thai specialties like larb and chicken feet. ... read more

  • Yozukana Japanese Restaurant
    4 stars

    Go for the cheap(er) lunch sets

    1 Liang Seah Place #01-03/04
    T: 6336 3103

    It's no secret that high-quality Japanese food is expensive, but Yozukana keeps its bento-style lunch sets under S$20. The sets include miso soup, your choice of main like spicy chicken or seafood, rice, and fruit. It's easy to spend a lot more on dinner, especially if you get into the premium ... read more

  • 2D1N Soju Bang
    4 stars

    A nightly meat festival

    44/46 Tanjong Pagar Rd
    T: 6227 6033

    Known as Singapore's "Korea Town", Tanjong Pagar is home to a handful of Korean restaurants and 2D1N Soju Bang is one of the best. The reason for the perpetually long queue is their nightly barbecue buffet, a meat-centric affair with marinated pork, beef, chicken and prawns cooked right at your ... read more

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    Grandma's Restaurant
    4 stars

    Hidden home-style Malay

    #01-13 Orchard Parade Hotel, 1 Tanglin Rd
    T: 6732 3082

    For home-style Malay cuisine in a comfy restaurant setting try this hidden gem near Orchard Road. The chef is from Malaysia and does a mighty fine nasi lemak -- coconut rice with sides of chicken curry, pickled veggies and hard-boiled egg — though it'll cost a few times more than the hawker ... read more

  • Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant,
    4 stars

    Since 1908 - need we say more?

    697 North Bridge Rd
    T: 6298 7011

    This legendary Kampong Glam restaurant has been serving tasty Malay food since 1908 — well before Singapore was an independent country! Though they make a mean briyani, Zam Zam's signature dish is murtabak, an artery-clogging concoction of fried dough stuffed with mutton, diced onion and egg ... read more

  • Tepak Sireh Restaurant
    4 stars

    Malay elegance, amazing value

    73 Sultan Gate
    T: 6396 4373

    On the grounds of the Istana Kampong Glam, this yellow mansion has been converted into the most elegant Malay restaurant in Singapore. Meals are served buffet-style and are amazing value for the setting at $17 for lunch and $20 for dinner. The spread isn't quite fit for a sultan — expect about ... read more

  • Chili Padi Nonya Cafe
    4 stars

    A delicious Nonya bargain

    470 North Bridge Rd #01-02
    T: 6339 7745

    Blending Malaysian and Chinese cooking with a healthy dose of their namesake chilli, this cafe specialises in Nonya cuisine. All meals are buffet-style and selection varies by the time of day, but the laksa (spicy coconut noodle soup) and kueh (bite-sized sweets) are always available and always a ... read more

  • Soup Restaurant
    4 stars

    Heritage Chinese cuisine

    3 Temasek Boulevard, #B1-059 Suntec City Mall
    T: 6333 9886

    It's all about the broth at this restaurant specialising in heritage Chinese cuisine. Simple ingredients like pork, ginseng and mushrooms are cooked low and slow to develop flavours so complex you'll be licking the bottom of your bowl. Soup's signature dish, the Samsui ginger chicken, isn't eaten ... read more

  • Mapo Doufu Eating House
    4 stars

    Lunch set bargains

    345 Beach Rd
    T: 6396 3132

    The name of this North Chinese restaurant is also its best dish — a sizzling plate of tofu and minced meat in chilli sauce. Sichuan cuisine is known for its bold flavours and other dishes like hot and sour soup, fried green beans with chili, and hotpot (a do-it-yourself meal of meat and veggies ... read more

  • Tom Yum Kung Fu
    3.5 stars

    Thai classics on a budget in the Quays

    16 Circular Rd
    T: 6536 1646

    This hole-in-the-wall restaurant amid the bars on Circular Road does many of the standard Thai classics. Expect fried rice, spicy soups and phad Thai plus some not-so-Thai dishes like steamboat — a do-it-yourself meal of meat and veggies cooked in soup broth. The tom yum goong contains a generous ... read more

  • Tampopo
    3.5 stars

    Go for the ramen

    177 River Valley Road, Liang Court Shopping Centre
    T: 6338 3186

    Though the huge menu covers everything from Japanese curry to sushi, Tampopo has made a name for itself with its ramen. This noodle soup is nothing like the stuff you forced down in college or uni and has rich broth, springy noodles and generous portions of meat or seafood. Their signature soup is ... read more

  • Sakae Sushi
    3.5 stars

    Mmmm, Japanese high tea

    230 Victoria Street, 02-54 Bugis Junction
    T: 6334 9015

    Forget scones — during "high tea" from 15:00—18:00 all Sakae Sushi outlets in Singapore offer an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. For about S$20 per person you get a good variety of rolls, udon and Japanese-style dessert. Of course, the best sushi and sashimi, like dragon rolls and fresh hamachi, ... read more

  • The Old Malaya Cafe
    3.5 stars

    Samples from around Malaysia

    #B3-10 313@Somerset Mall, 313 Orchard Rd
    T: 6634 1123

    Sometimes it's hard to draw the line between Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine, but The Old Malaya Cafe makes it clear by specialising in the signature dishes of different Malaysian towns. Sample Penang's famous assam laksa (sour seafood soup), handmade Pontian noodles, and even Melaka style ... read more

  • Golden Chopsticks BBQ Steamboat
    3.5 stars

    Great late night choice

    76 Smith St
    T: 6835 7626

    Where better to get acquainted with steamboat, a do-it-yourself meal cooked right at your table, than in the heart of Chinatown? The first step is to choose your soup — spicy, chicken, fish, or Thai-style tom yam — and a vat is placed at the centre of your table. For a fixed price of S$19.80 ... read more

  • Din Tai Fung
    3.5 stars

    Of great dumpling fame

    290 Orchard Rd, #B1-03 The Paragon Mall
    T: 6836 8336

    This Taiwanese restaurant is famous for their dumplings — particularly the xiao long bao filled with pork and herbal soup broth. Better still, you can watch them being hand-made through the glass walls of the kitchen. It takes a few baskets to make a meal (from around S$5), but the heartier ... read more

  • Sawasdee Thai Food
    3 stars

    Real Thai toned down for tourists

    32/34 Pagoda St
    T: 6327 1733

    In the chaos of the Chinatown street market the sound of the waitresses saying "Sawasdee kha!" rings out like an angel. The servers and cooks are the real Thai deal, but the spiciness of the papaya salad, curries, soups and seafood are toned down for the tourists who make up the bulk of the ... read more

  • Yum Cha
    3 stars

    Dim sum the old-fashioned way

    20 Trengganu St
    T: 6372 1717

    This Chinatown favourite is known for its dim sum, which they still serve the old-fashioned way from pushcarts that the servers wheel around the restaurant. Though it's the prawn fritters, pork siew mai, pumpkin cake, and egg tarts that draw a crowd to Yum Cha for the afternoon high-tea buffet, ... read more

Hawker Centres

  • Lau Pa Sat hawker centre
    4 stars

    Iconic and delicious

    18 Raffles Quay, Singapore
    T: 6220 2138

    Iconic Lau Pa Sat hawker centre, nestled into the heart of Singapore’s financial district and a great spot to sample local cuisine as well as international dishes, reopened in mid-2014 after a nine-month renovation that left it bigger, brighter and better than ever. The makeover gave the food ... read more

  • Golden Mile Food Centre
    4 stars

    Follow in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain

    505 Beach Rd

    Many foodies make a pilgrimage to this Beach Road hawker centre to slurp up sup tulang — mutton bones cooked in spicy tomato sauce. Anthony Bourdain gave it a go when he visited Singapore, but the other offerings are equally good. Try the char kway teow (fried noodles), fish head curry, roti ... read more

  • East Coast Lagoon Food Village
    4 stars

    Great for seafood

    1220 East Coast Parkway

    The best way to enjoy Singapore's East Coast beach isn't a dip in the ocean but an al fresco dinner at the hawker centre. The 50-some stalls serve staples like chicken satay, fish curry, duck rice and fried noodles, but most people make the trip out especially for the barbecued seafood. Choose ... read more

  • New Century Food Paradise (Lavender Food Square)
    4 stars

    Cheap meals and beer

    380 Jalan Besar

    Still often known as Lavender Food Square, New Century Food Paradise is a typical Singaporean hawker centre that serves a wide array of food at bargain prices. ... read more

  • Gluttons Bay
    4 stars

    Handpicked by the Makansutra team

    8 Raffles Avenue, #01-15
    T: 6438 4038

    Enjoy $5 dishes and a million-dollar view of Marina Bay at this outdoor hawker centre beside the Esplanade Theatre. Each stall has been handpicked by the Makansutra team — Singapore's top hawker critics — as being an exemplary example of a classic hawker dish. Choose from fried carrot cake, ... read more

  • Maxwell Road Food Centre
    3.5 stars

    Chinese cuisine reigns supreme

    Corner of Maxwell & Neil Rds

    Chinese cuisine reigns supreme at this hectic hawker centre between the business district and Chinatown. Many people say that Singapore's best chicken rice — practically the national dish — comes from Tian Tian Chicken Rice stall and it'll only set you back $3. Other popular dishes include ... read more

  • Kopitiam Foodcourt
    3.5 stars

    A broad affordable range of options

    51 Bras Basah Rd

    Catering to the guests at the budget hotels on Bencoolen, this downtown food court offers everything from Hong Kong-style dim sum to a taco bar. While we were not impressed by the Mexican food (a taco with fries?!), the Thai, Vietnamese Japanese, Chinese and local choices are much better and most ... read more

  • Newton Food Centre
    3 stars

    Ignore the touts

    500 Clemenceau Avenue

    Just one MRT stop from Orchard Road, Newton is as famous for overcharging tourists as it is for seafood. Ignore the touts who try to direct you to a table near their stall — you're free to sit anywhere — and browse the catch of the day displayed on ice in front of each stall. While chilli crab ... read more


  • Ci Yan Organic Vegetarian Restaurant
    4 stars

    Cooked with love

    8 Smith St
    T: 6225 9026

    If you’ve ever wondered what a monk has for lunch, check out this Buddhist vegetarian restaurant beside the Tooth Relic Temple. Inside, Ci Yan is practically a shrine to the Dali Lama and the healthy food — braised tofu, steamed veggies, herbal soups, brown rice — is cooked with love. ... read more

  • Fortune Centre
    4 stars

    Who says fast food can't be healthy?

    190 Middle Rd

    Who says fast food can't be healthy? Fortune Centre is more of a collection of quaint cafés than a food court, but everything is 100% vegetarian and affordable on the tightest of budgets. Most of the offerings are Chinese-Singaporean and the complexity of what they can do with bean curd will ... read more

  • Annalaksmhi
    4 stars

    Great food, pay what you can

    #01-04 Central Square, 20 Havelock Rd
    T: 6339 9993

    Don't be confused by the absence of prices, elegant Annalakshmi Vegetarian Restaurant operates on an "eat what you want, pay as you feel" philosophy. Start the meal with some fried samosas then move on to north Indian mains like vegetable jalfrezi (mixed vegetable curry) or paneer butter masala ... read more

  • Xing Hua Vegetarian Restaurant
    4 stars

    Hand-made noodle heaven

    190 Middle Rd
    T: 9732 2733

    Xing Hua does such amazing things with mushrooms and tofu you won't miss the meat in their South Chinese dishes. The handmade xinghua noodles are the signature dish and, even without the generous portion of stir-fried veggies and mock seafood, make a filling meal for just S$3.50. Attempts at ... read more

  • Suriya Restaurant
    3.5 stars

    A tasty bargain

    140 Serangoon Rd
    T: 6296 3070

    You can trust this vegetarian restaurant opposite the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple for tasty Indian food at prices even religious pilgrims can afford. Curries and rice dishes are precooked so just take a look (or a sniff) at what's available. For a freshly prepared snack order some roti prata ... read more

  • Nalan Restaurant
    3.5 stars

    Great value sets

    109 North Bridge Rd, B1-01 Funan Digital Mall
    T: 6336 6404

    For vegetarian food outside of Little India this small restaurant by Funan IT mall is a solid choice. Excluding meat from their menu hasn't limited the selection and there's North and South Indian style soups, flatbreads, curries, tandoori vegetables,and paneer (cheese) prepared every way ... read more

South Asian

  • Tekka Centre
    4 stars

    Follow your nose

    665 Buffalo Rd

    Follow your nose to this multi-purpose market building in Little India. While the upper floors sell everything from saris to CDs, the ground level is largely a hawker centre with stalls turning out curries, briyani rice, roti murtabak (flatbread stuffed with minced meat and onion), dosai (lentil ... read more

  • Komala Vilas
    4 stars

    This is the original

    76-78 Serangoon Rd
    T: 6293 6980

    Get acquainted with idli, vadai, dosai, poori, bhattura and other South Indian snacks at this long-running restaurant in the heart of Little India. Komalas Vilas is perpetually busy and turns out the food so quickly and cheaply it feels like a vegetarian version of McDonalds. For something more ... read more

  • Khansama Tandoori
    4 stars

    North Indian for all kinds of diners

    166 Serangoon Rd
    T: 6299 0300

    If you can forgive their touts who annoy pedestrians on Serangoon Road, Khansama really is a great spot for North Indian food. Chicken, fish, and mutton kebabs emerge from the clay oven perfectly juicy and, paired with some fluffy naan and chutney, are a mouthful of bliss. Vegetarians don't have ... read more

  • Premaas Cuisine
    4 stars

    Kerala classics

    6 Dalhousie Lane
    T: 9237 5739

    If you're starting to think all South Indian food is vegetarian, try this hidden gem specialising in the seafood of Kerala state. With the liberal use of fresh coconut, dishes like prawn curry, masala crab and banana leaf fish are almost as sweet as they are spicy. For land-lovers there's the ... read more

  • The Banana Leaf Apolo
    4 stars

    Go on, dig in

    54 Race Course Rd
    T: 6293 8682

    Forego any formalities and even the cutlery for one of the most satisfying Indian meals in Singapore — banana leaf curry. A swatch of banana leaf serves as your plate and rice, dahl and veggies are heaped on top and constantly refilled. Meat dishes are ordered separately and come in portions big ... read more

  • Kashmir
    4 stars

    A million ways with mutton

    52 Race Course Rd
    T: 6293 6003

    The real Kashmir may be off-limits to most travellers, but you can experience the region's distinctive cuisine at this midrange restaurant in Little India. There's a selection of vegetarian, chicken and fish dishes, but mutton is the star and gets a dozen unique preparations like being slowly ... read more

  • Allaudin's Briyani
    3.5 stars

    For the perfect briyani

    #01-232 Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Rd

    So this isn't exactly a restaurant — just a stall in Tekka Centre serving one dish — but it warrants a listing all its own. The recipe for Allaudin's famous briyani has been in the family over 40 years and the saffron, turmeric and cumin that give the rice its flavour and colour are perfectly ... read more

Middle Eastern

  • Anatolia Turkish Restaurant
    4.5 stars

    Excellent Middle Eastern fare

    #02-58/59 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Rd
    T: 6836 3352

    This Turkish spot in an old mall off Orchard Road serves some of the most authentic and affordable Middle Eastern fare in the city. With lamb and chicken roasting on a spit, the juicy kebabs are an obvious choice and served on thick pita bread. For a more leisurely meal, take a seat in the small ... read more

  • Famous Islamic Restaurant
    4 stars

    Try the mutton briyani

    745 North Bridge Rd
    T: 6298 7563

    This restaurant near Sultan Mosque claims to be the first to serve briyani in Singapore and, considering it's more than 90 years old, it just might be true. Regulars swear by the mutton briyani which is so tender it melts in your mouth, but chicken, fish and vegetarian versions are also available. ... read more

  • Shah Alam
    4 stars

    A near-Boat Quay bargain

    20 Circular Rd
    T: 6536 1672

    This 24-hour greasy spoon near Boat Quay is popular with the post-bar crowd and its full tables attest that nothing soaks up alcohol like roti prata and curry. If you need more to sate your appetite try the mee goreng (fried noodles) or chicken briyani leftover from lunch — it's amazing when it's ... read more


  • The French Stall
    4 stars

    Budget French

    544 Serangoon Rd
    T: 6299 3544

    The location leaves much to be desired, but to get a multi-course French dinner for $25 a person we won't complain. The menu is small and changes with what the chef finds fresh at the market, but you can expect French onion soup, escargots swimming in butter, grilled beef, duck breast and ... read more

  • Botak Jones Burger Stalls
    3.5 stars

    Taste like they were grilled in your own backyard

    Orchard Youth Park, 121 Somerset Rd
    T: 6735 0225

    There's better ways to spend your money than over-priced burgers at Clarke Quay, so satisfy your cravings for Western food at Botak Jones. The setting is pure hawker centre but the American grub like Cajun chicken, gumbo, and chile con carne is the real deal and the burgers taste like they were ... read more

Bars and nightlife

  • Crazy Elephant
    4.5 stars

    Clarke Quay's only live music

    #01-03 Blk 3E River Valley Road, Clarke Quay
    T: 6337 7859

    Even if it weren't the only live music bar at Clarke Quay the Crazy Elephant would still be the best. The resident blues band takes the stage at 22:00 and on weekends the soulful songs draw such a crowd the bar overflows and people line the Singapore River to listen. Once the music starts even a ... read more

  • Timbre
    4 stars

    Small concert specialists

    45 Armenian Street (Timbre @ Substation)
    T: 6338 8030

    What started as a student hang-out showcasing local bands has grown into Singapore's premiere venue for small concerts with three locations in the city centre. Timbre @ The Arts House has a stunning riverside location and attracts the biggest names (Bob Dylan performed earlier this year), but we ... read more

  • TAB
    4 stars

    Refreshingly unpretentious

    422 Orchard Rd
    T: 6493 6952

    Hosting small concerts, singer-songwriter sessions and the occasional comedy night, newish TAB has filled the void of an alternative entertainment venue on Orchard Road. Since the focus is mainly on supporting local musicians, TAB is all-ages until 22:00 and there's rarely a cover charge. If you ... read more

  • Prince of Wales
    4 stars

    Reliable live music joint

    51 Boat Quay
    T: 6536 9697

    At their second location beside the river the Prince of Wales feels less like a backpacker bar and more like an Aussie pub. Like the Little India location it's a reliable spot for live music with a changing line-up of local bands and international indie bands plus a Sunday afternoon jam session. ... read more

  • Blu Jaz Cafe
    4 stars

    Eclectic with varied performances

    11 Bali Lane
    T: 6292 3800

    Eclectic is the word to describe this Kampong Glam café and lounge. The performance space seems equally suited for jazz ensembles or rap battles — they've hosted both — and once a month is the "Stand Up for Singapore" open mike comedy night. Food and drink prices are very reasonable (S$11 for ... read more

  • Actors the Jam Bar
    4 stars

    Great or terrible

    13A-15A South Bridge Rd
    T: 6535 3270

    If you've always wanted to perform for a crowd but were held back by your lack of talent, this is the bar for you. If you've always wanted to perform for a crowd but were held back by your lack of talent, this is the bar for you. In their own words, "While the rest of the bars in Singapore ... read more

  • No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

    Tawandang Microbrewery
    4 stars

    The Bangkok brand expands

    Blk 26 Dempsey Rd, #01-01
    T: 6476 6742

    Yes, this is the same Tawandang Brewery made famous in Bangkok for pairing German-style suds with spicy Thai food. Their three signature beers — all-pleasing lager, fruity Weizen, and malty Dunkel — are brewed on site and you can see the big copper vats behind the bar. In the kitchen Tawandang ... read more

  • Brewerkz Riverside Point
    4 stars

    Handcrafted brews

    30 Merchant Road, #01-05/06 Riverside Point
    T: 6438 7438

    Singapore's best known microbrewery handcrafts its beer at this huge restaurant at Clarke Quay — the al fresco area alone can seat 300. Some beers, like the golden ale and European-style pilsner, are always on the menu while more experimental brews, like one flavoured with dragonfruit, may not ... read more

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