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21 May 2019 - 4 min read

Out for the Best and Cheap Singapore Food? Here lah!

Singapore is a veritable haven when it comes to cheap and, more importantly, delicious food. Thanks to the country’s diverse cultures and its affinity for hawker centers, the island nation has cemented itself as a foodie paradise. Every day, thousands of hungry tourists flock to its streets to taste its culinary offerings. But due to its almost limitless Singapore food options, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. To help you suss out the good from the not-so-great, we’ve compiled a list of Singapore’s best cheap restaurants. So whether you’re in the city for the weekend, or have a more ambitious trip planned, don’t miss out on these easy-on-the-budget eats. Here's an express list of the best of where to eat in Singapore - the Lion City awaits you!

Zam Zam
Sungei Road Laksa
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice
Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
Ah-Tai Chicken Rice

1. Zam Zam

Zam Zam is a Singaporean food hub. It was opened in 1908 and has been serving up amazing Indian food ever since. Its specialty, and the reason people have been flocking here for more than a century, is its Murtabak; a soft pillowy sheets of dough stuffed with egg, meat, onions, and fried in oil. What’s not to love? Each order also comes with a curry sauce for which to dip the Murtabak in. But that’s not all Zam Zam’s got to offer, the restaurant’s Fish Head Curry is also something to write home about.

Neighborhood: Bugis
Price range: Most dishes are under SGD 10
Must-order: Mutton Murtabak (SGD 8), Teh Tarik, Singapore’s famous milk tea (SGD 1.50)

2. Sungei Road Laksa

Sungei Road Laksa first began feeding locals in 1956, when it first started as a push cart on the road it got its name from. Singapore have quite a large hot spots of hawker stalls providing delicious authentic Singapore food out there.For just SGD 3 (formerly SGD 2), you can get a big bowl of Seafood Laksa that could rival those you’d pay thrice the price for. The secret to its big flavors is in the cooking method. Sungei Road is one of the last establishments to make their laksa using charcoal fire - a method credited for the unparalleled taste of the owners’ bestseller. Each bowl is topped off with freshly caught cockles and homemade fish cakes. Make sure you get here early because the queues are long.

Neighborhood: Jalan Besar
Price range: About SGD 3 per dish
Must-order: They only serve one dish, and for good reason

3. Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice

If its bevy of delicious authentic Singapore food weren’t enough, the Lion City is also home to the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. Tucked inside the Chinatown Food Complex, Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice has been serving up amazing plates of soy sauce Chicken Rice for more than 30 years. Queues for the dish can last up to three hours. Suffice to say, diners have to plan well when visiting. Chef Chan only prepares a limited number of chickens per day. So once they’re out, diners are left to try their luck the next day. Thankfully, they’ve recently branched out and their signature dish can now be had at a separate restaurant, Hawker Chan, located just outside the complex.

Neighborhood: Chinatown
Price range: If you go to the original stall, it’s SGD 2; at Hawker Chan, it’s SGD 3.80
Must-order: Soya Sauce Chicken Rice or Roasted Pork Rice (SGD 2.50)

4. Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant

No other place does dim sum as well and at such an affordable price point than Singapore’s Swee Choon Restaurant. Established in 1962, the restaurant became a fast favorite with locals for its unpretentious ambiance and use of high quality ingredients. Though you can come for lunch or dinner, Swee Choon has also become a big feature in Singaporean nightlife. The place is a popular spot to end a fun night among locals due to the restaurant’s late operating hours (it’s open from 6PM to 6AM, Wednesday to Monday).

Neighborhood: Jalan Besar
Price range: About SGD 4 per dish
Must-order: Mee-suah Kueh (SGD 2.40), a deep fried vermicelli cake, or Steamed Salted Egg Custard Bun (SGD 4.50 for 3)

5. Ah-Tai Chicken Rice

When you’re in Singapore, Hainanese Chicken Rice is an absolute must. For many, Singapore’s best one comes from Tian Tian. It was hailed by the late Anthony Bourdain as his go-to and even won in a competition against Gordon Ramsay. But just a few stalls down is a worthy contender and one that many locals think might even be better: Ah Tai Hainanese Chicken Rice. The stall was opened by a former Tian Tian chef. Ah Tai however has distinguished itself from its former employer, serving up chicken rice with a distinct flavor that could very well overtake the original. Even better, due to its more popular neighbor, Ah Tai doesn’t suffer from long queues, and getting a plate of their signature dish is much easier.

Neighborhood: Maxwell Hawker Centre
Price range: SGD 3.50 per dish
Must-order: The chicken rice, of course

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