The Best Must Try Dishes from Singapore

Singapore is one of the smallest nations in the world, but its impressive array of cuisines makes up for its little size. 

Singaporeans are obsessed with food. It is seen as a uniting cultural thread and a key aspect of their national identity. Eating is a national habit and a prominent subject of debate among Singaporeans, as seen by the abundance of hawker centers and Singapore food blogs.

Singapore cuisine is known for its enticing tastes and incorporates Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, and western influences, and is rich in foods like beef, rice, noodles, fragrant herbs, and fresh seafood.

You can always find something delicious in Singapore. We hope that this comprehensive guide to the cuisine of the Lion City will help you make the most of your next visit.

Here are some foods that you should try!

Chili Crab

picture of chili crab

When traveling to Singapore, you just must roll up your sleeves and get into a platter of the country’s famous chili crab. Chili Crab is a food that is often used to represent Singapore.

Singaporean chili crab is a meal that consists of stir-fried crabs that are covered with sweet, spicy, and savory tomato sauces. Served with deep-fried buns called mantou, this street food is a Singapore staple and is a must-try for seafood enthusiasts. There are two styles of cooking crabs in Singapore with sweet, spicy tomato-ish chili sauce or with black pepper sauce. There have also been a lot of well-known new styles, like crab bee Hoon and salted egg crabs.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

One of Singapore’s signature foods is the Hainanese chicken rice. It was first brought to the country by immigrants from the southern Chinese province of Hainan. This savory cuisine is served “everywhere, every day” in Singapore, and it can be found everywhere from hawker stalls to restaurants. 

This comforting one-pot meal consists of delicate poached chicken and aromatic rice simmered in chicken broth. The dish is typically accompanied by three condiments: chili sauce, ginger sauce, and sweet dark black soy sauce.


picture of curry laksa

Laksa is a popular Southeast Asian noodle broth, particularly in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. It is often made with thick rice noodles, toppings of chicken, prawns, or fish, and a rich and spicy coconut soup or broth that is seasoned with sour asam (tamarind, or gelugur).

Laksa is a dish that can be found at practically every food court and is incredibly popular in Singapore and other Asian countries. There are three main kinds of it: curry, asam, and a mix of the two.

There are different kinds of laksa depending on the ingredients, but katong laksa is the most common kind in Singapore. It’s a type of curry laksa that is known for the ground dried shrimp in the sauce.

Kaya Toast

In Singapore and Malaysia, kaya toast is a popular morning food. It consists of two pieces of toast or bread that has been roasted over charcoal and then coated with butter and kaya, which is a kind of jam that is produced by combining sugar, eggs, and grated coconut.

Although kaya toast is most usually consumed in the morning, it is also frequently enjoyed as a snack in the afternoon. It’s served at many coffee places in Singapore, and it’s best to eat it right away while the bread is still warm and the butter is still cold.

Bak Kut Teh

picture of Bak Kut Teh in a plate

Bak Kut Teh is a renowned meat dish prepared with pig ribs cooked in a broth filled with herbs and spices such as garlic, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, and coriander. It is said to have been introduced to Singapore from Fujian, China. 

Although the term bak kut teh literally translates to “meat bone tea,” no tea is needed to prepare this meal. 

In Singapore, there are three classic varieties of bak kut teh: Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese. The Hokkien version is thick and heavily fragrant, whilst the Cantonese version is aromatic due to the quantity of medicinal herbs. Teochew soups are usually seasoned with simply garlic, soy sauce, and pepper.

Bak Kut Teh is often served with steamed rice.

Fish Head Curry

Fish head curry, as the name implies, is a meal cooked with a complete fish head, often red snapper, simmered in a Kerala-style curry with other vegetables including eggplant and okra and more than a dozen spices. It is a common dish in Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean cuisines and has mixed South Indian and Chinese roots.

The best way to eat this dish is with rice or rotis.

Nasi Lemak

photo of nasi lemak served on banana leaf

Nasi lemak, which originated in Malay cuisine, is a popular dish in Singapore. This filling lunch includes coconut rice, an omelet slice, anchovies, a slice of cucumber, and chili paste, all wrapped in brown paper or banana leaf. In both countries, most people eat it for breakfast. In Singapore, it is often sold at hawker shops and roadside stalls.

Sambal Stingray

Sambal stingray is the name of a Malaysian/Singaporean meal that consists of grilled stingray that is served with a hot sambal sauce. It is a well-known street snack in Singapore that is cooked and wrapped in banana leaves.

Stingray has a distinct, meaty texture compared to other fish. To cook the stingray, a sambal sauce made of different spices, Indian walnuts, and onions is put on it, and then it is wrapped in banana leaves and charcoal-grilled.

When paired with the tender, delicate, and uniquely flavored stingray flesh, the whole taste experience is really exceptional.

Chai Tow Kway

picture of food court in Singapore selling carrot cake

Another staple of Singaporean cuisine is chai tow kway, often known as carrot cake, and available at almost every hawker center in the city. It’s a snack food loved all across Southeast Asia, particularly in countries like Thailand and Vietnam. Carrot cake in Singapore doesn’t really include any carrots at all, but it earned its name because it’s prepared using daikon radish, which in a Chinese dialect may refer to both daikon radish and carrots. This is in contrast to the sweet carrot cake that is created in the Western manner (made with orange carrots).  

In Singapore, the most common technique to cook chai tow kway is to chop it into bite-sized pieces and stir fry it with eggs, garlic, and spring onions. It is available in white and black versions.

The sweet, dark soy sauce is what gives the black version its color. The white variant is saltier and baked more like an omelet since it isn’t created with this sauce.

Hokkien Mee

One of Singapore’s most beloved street food specialties is Hokkien Mee, a fried noodle dish. This cuisine, originating from Fujian province in China (where the Hokkien people are from), has now made its way to Malaysia and Singapore.

After World War II, Chinese seamen from Fujian brought their version of Hokkien mee to Singapore, where it quickly became a staple meal.

Yellow egg noodles, white rice noodles, egg, and sometimes squid, shrimp, and bean sprouts are stir-fried in a wok to make Hokkien Mee. Some street vendors use a gravy sauce, while others like to dry-fry the meat before stir-frying it. Hokkien Mee is often served with some sambal chili sauce and a calamansi for adding more citrusy sourness to the dish.


picture of cendol

Don’t miss out on cendol, one of Singapore’s most famous dessert dishes, if you have a sweet craving. Ice kacang or cendol is a mountain of grated ice layered in various sweet syrups and topped with jelly, red beans, maize, and atap seeds. It’s a popular dish in Singapore and across Southeast Asia.

Other ingredients, such as red azuki beans, chopped jackfruit, sweet corn, glutinous rice, and durian, may also be included, depending on the region from where it originates. Cendol is traditionally prepared in Singapore using sweetened red beans and a syrup of palm sugar.

This is such a cooling delight amid the excruciating heat.

Roti Prata

The Indian subcontinent has left its mark on the cuisine of many Southeast Asian nations, and roti prata is one such dish. Known as roti canai in Malaysia and parotta in South India, this is a popular across Southeast Asia, particularly in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. It’s a wheat flatbread that goes well with dal or any kind of curry. It may be prepared in a wide variety of savory and sweet preparations by adding ingredients like meat, eggs, or cheese.

Roti prata, which can be found at many hawker centers, is a staple of the Singaporean morning menu and is also a popular snack.

Wrapping Up

Singapore is a cuisine lover’s paradise. The country’s many diverse ethnic groups have contributed their own distinctive culinary styles. It should come as no surprise that Singapore is recognized as one of the most interesting cities in the world for its cuisine.

You’ll be able to savor, high-quality traditional Singaporean cuisine at the majority of the establishments you visit in Singapore.

I hope you find this food guide highly useful while visiting Singapore and seeking for some of the city’s most delectable cuisine.