Singapore is a melting pot of vibrant cultures all living in harmony together. Singapore has had many cultural influences over the years and that shows through in its cuisine throughout this city state. Singapore is also one of the most expensive cities in the world, and many people may feel that it is out of their reach and they couldn’t possibly afford to travel there. I would be lying if I said Singapore wasn’t expensive, and in comparison to other countries around south east Asia it isn’t cheap! That being said Singapore can be done on a budget.
I have travelled to Singapore on holiday and also being cabin crew have had many layovers there, and I’ve always managed to eat really cheaply. I would recommend when planning a trip to Singapore if you are on a budget then do your research before you go. If you eat cheap and visit the many free attractions in Singapore it’s a really easy place to stay on budget.
There are so many places to grab cheap eats in the city, stick to the hawker food centres, food courts in the malls, Chinatown and Little India which are great places to visit for delicious local food. If you want to taste lots of authentic Singapore cuisine these are easily found throughout the city such as Chilli Crab, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Beef Rendang, Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Kaya Toast, Satay and if your vegetarian there is a huge choice of vegetarian Indian food available. You really will be spoilt for choice for food in Singapore. In this blog I will cover some of the best places to eat in Singapore and even better all of its super affordable and delicious.
Bugis Market is a great place to visit for shopping, but if you want to find some amazing street food head to Bugis Food Street. There is a huge choice of stalls serving up fresh fruit juices, sweet treats, novelty bites and quick and easy snacks that are all so cheap!
Chinatown is the place to come for a huge choice of budget eateries. This area of the city is full of restaurants and cafes which are all pretty reasonably priced. Many people flock to Chinatown for the street food and hawker centres, some of the best ones to visit are;
- Amoy Street Food Centre: This two storey complex is bursting with stalls and has several stalls that have been featured in the Michelin Singapore Guide.
- Chinatown Complex Food Centre: This is the largest hawker centre in Singapore and is a hit with locals and has lots of lunchtime regulars.
- Chinatown Food Street: This beautiful undercover street is set in between old traditional shophouses, and has a real buzz about the place at night, also its a great place to stop for a drink or two.
- Maxwell Hawker Centre: One of the most famous hawker centres in Singapore, and always popular with both locals and tourists. It has a huge array of stalls selling a variety of food.
Geylang Serai Market
Geylang Serai Market is a historical market and has been around since the 19th century when it was a trade emporium, it is also one of Singapore’s oldest Malay settlements. The market sells a whole range of produce, and there is so much to see and explore in this bustling market. It’s popular with the Malay community and other Singaporean locals. I didn’t see many other tourists there so it has a really authentic feel to the place, and is a great place to watch locals go about their lives. While there try the Piseng Goreng (banana fritters) they are a real sweet treat!
When visiting this market it’s also only a stones throw away from Koon Seng Road Terraces which are famous for their 1930s pastel coloured Peranakan terraced houses, you have probably seen them on instagram before. After exploring the market I would recommend wandering around the neibourhood and visit the beautiful architecture of Koon Seng Road.
Gluttons Bay is one of my favourite areas to eat at in Singapore, it has a a row of stalls serving up street food, there’s enough choice without it being overwhelming. It’s al fresco dining and sometimes you do have to spend a few minutes trying to find a table. The reason I love this market is it’s location! It’s set next to Esplanade so after dinner it’s the perfect spot to wander around the bay with views of the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands. You can also watch the Marina Bay Spectra Light Show after dinner which is at 8pm and 9pm every night.
Kaya Toast is my favourite go to breakfast in Singapore it’s quick, easy, filling and cheap! Kaya toast is simple but delicious it’s slices of toasted bread with cold butter and Kaya jam which is made from coconut and egg. It’s sweet and perfect for breakfast it’s normally served with a side of two soft boiled eggs, and a tea or local kopi (Singapore coffee). The set Kaya Toast menus are normally only a few dollars, so it’s perfect if your on a budget. There are lots of places to grab kaya toast all over the city, and many branded kaya toast cafes, however my two favourite ones that I go to are;
- Toastbox: Is a contemporary cafe chain and they are dotted all over the city, you are bound to stumble across one while on your trip, they offer great kaya toast set menus.
- Ya Kun Kaya Toast: Is a household name in Singapore from humble beginnings back in the 1940s, it started up as a small coffee stall and is now a huge chain with cafes all over the city, and are now popping up in other places around the world.
Little India is one of the best places to visit in Singapore not only are there lots of free sights and attractions, but the food is incredible and great for vegetarians. Little India is a bright and colourful neighbourhood full to the brim with character. There’s lots of stalls, cafes and restaurants to eat at, and all at pretty affordable prices. Some must try places are;
- The Banana Leaf Apolo: The Banana Leaf Apolo has been around since 1974, and is extremely popular with Singaporeans. All food is served up on a banana leaf, the food isn’t the cheapest in Little India but is still reasonably priced and always consistently delicious, and has a more restaurant style setting.
- Sakunthala’s Restaurant: There are several Sakunthalas that have sprung up around Little India, my favourite one is the one located on Syed Alwi Road, it’s a small non fussy restaurant. The portions are generous so go easy on ordering, there is a huge choice of food on the menu too. I would recommend one of their thalis as they are amazing! One of the best thalis I’ve ever had!
- Tekka Centre: Tekka Centre is a hawker centre located just by Little India’s MRT station, there is a huge array of stalls and is great for cheap eats and finding authentic local cuisines.
Satay By The Bay
Satay By The Bay is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner especially when visiting Gardens By The Bay. It’s located in a quiet corner of the gardens over looking the waterfront and other than satay there is a good variety of stalls and street food to choose. There is lots of outside and undercover seating available, so it’s easy to get a table. Keep an eye out for the local resident otters that live close by in the Marina too, they can be spotted frequently swimming and playing in the water.
Singapore is bursting with malls that are all over the city, and most of the malls have food courts with lots of vendors and stalls, some have a selection of restaurants and cafes too. If your on a budget then head to one of the malls and search out the food court, avoid the high end malls as these tend to have more expensive and up market restaurants in them. The food courts vary but personally I’ve always found lots of tasty food in the malls, best of all it’s mostly quick and easy food, so you can eat then get back out exploring this incredible city some more.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx