Experience a Journey of Flavours with Singaporean Cuisine

Traditional Malay and Indian cuisine in Singapore

The roots of Singaporean food culture run deep, intertwining the influences of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Peranakan heritage. It's a story that begins with the bustling trade routes that brought people from around the world to this maritime hub.

Each dish represents a chapter of this journey, encapsulating the essence of the island's diverse origins. The Chinese immigrants brought aromatic stir-fries and savoury dim sums, while the Malays introduced tantalising spices and coconut-rich gravies. The Indians added a depth of flavour with their curries and flatbreads, while the Peranakan community — born from the union of Malay and Chinese cultures — wove together ingredients from both traditions to produce distinctly tangy and spicy dishes.

Over time, the culinary traditions from these diverse communities blended into a fusion of local flavours that reflects the country’s cultural heritage.

What to Eat in Singapore: Must-Try Local Dishes


The heart of Singapore’s culinary landscape lies in the famous hawker centres that serve up an array of local delights, with its unique ambience offering an experiential journey of tastes, sights, and sounds.

Begin your journey with a cup of Kopi or Teh — traditional coffee or tea — for a sip of the aromatic brews enjoyed by locals daily. With a plethora of mouthwatering options available, deciding on a dish will be a delightful challenge. Kickstart your adventure with these quintessential dishes.

Hainanese Chicken Rice, a Singapore local food

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Originating from the Hainan province, Hainanese Chicken Rice is an iconic creation revered as Singapore’s national dish. This ensemble of tender poached chicken atop fragrant rice, simmered in chicken broth and aromatics, is elevated by three flavourful dipping sauces: ginger paste, chilli sauce, and dark soy sauce. Its uncomplicated elegance accentuates the delicate flavours of the juicy chicken and scrumptious rice, making it a one of the best local food to eat in Singapore.

Roti Prata, an Indian cuisine and Singapore local dish

Roti Prata

A proud showcase of Singapore’s Indian heritage, Roti Prata is popular breakfast option at Marina Bay Sands. The flatbread made from stretched dough owes its chewy, moreish texture to the ghee it’s fried with and is traditionally served with rich, aromatic curry. The best way to eat it is with your hands, ripping it apart to bite-sized pieces before dipping the crispy folds of the Prata into curry – or sugar, if you have a sweet tooth. For something savoury, try an egg or cheese prata.

If you enjoy Indian cuisine, check out Punjab Grill, a fine dining Indian restaurant in Singapore that offers vegetarian dishes as well.

Kaya toast woth butter and eggs, a Singapore local breakfast dish

Kaya Toast

A local breakfast staple in Singapore is Kaya Toast. Filled with the creamy richness of Kaya jam – a mix of coconut milk, eggs and pandan, this popular breakfast item was created by Hainanese immigrants in the 19th century. This fragrant treat is often paired with a slice of butter on toasted bread, soft-boiled eggs on the side, and a brew of Kopi or Teh.

Char Kway Teow, a local food to eat in Singapore

Char Kway Teow

The history of Char Kway Teow lies in its name. The Hokkien term "char" – meaning "stir-fried" – combines with "kway teow", otherwise known as flat rice noodles. Originating as a modest noodle dish for labourers, Char Kway Teow later evolved into a local delight upon reaching Singapore's shores.

A must-try dish in Singapore, this wok-fried sensation harmoniously blends flat rice noodles, prawns, Chinese sausage, eggs, and bean sprouts; the mix is bathed in soy sauce and chilli paste for a captivating fusion of savoury and subtly sweet flavours.

Nasi Lemak, one of the best food to eat in Singapore

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is a beloved dish from Malay cuisine and the favourite of many locals. Translated into English as “fatty rice” or “rich rice”, the dish embodies the distinctive aromas and intense flavours found in many Southeast Asian cultures.

Fragrant basmati rice is delicately infused with a mixture of ginger, creamy coconut milk, aromatic pandan leaves, and a touch of salt.

Served traditionally on a banana leaf, it is adorned with crispy fried fish or succulent chicken, crunchy ikan bilis (anchovies), roasted peanuts, fresh cucumber slices, a perfectly cooked sunny-side-up or hard-boiled egg, all crowned with sambal – a fiery yet flavourful chilli paste enriched with shallots, dried chilies, garlic, and belacan (shrimp paste). The result is a plate that satisfies every taste bud.

Hokkien Prawn Mee, a must-try dish in Singapore

Hokkien Prawn Mee

Hokkien Prawn Mee, known simply as “Hokkien Mee” (thick yellow noodles), is a simple dish that delivers a punch of flavours. Springy egg noodles immersed in a hearty prawn broth are complemented by fresh prawns, tender pork slices, and  squid for added chewiness. The broth's seafood essence provides the dish with an unmistakable umami character.

Though there are differing accounts of its origins, the dish widely found in Singapore today evolved from the creations of Hokkien immigrants. The recipe has been lovingly tweaked to suit local palates, solidifying its reputation as a Singaporean favourite.

Laksa, a must-try local dish in Singapore


Laksa is a tantalising dish that showcases Singapore’s unique cultural heritage. The soup base is a creamy concoction of coconut milk infused with the aromatic trio of dried shrimp, lemongrass and galangal. This scrumptious broth is accompanied by silky rice noodles, plump prawns, and springy fish cakes, creating a symphony of textures and tastes.

With its roots in the Peranakan community — a mix of Chinese and Malay influences — Laksa is a testament to Singapore's diverse communities. This local dish in Singapore stands today not just as a dish, but an emblem of the nation's intricate web of cultures.

Chilli Crab, a popular must-try local dish in Singapore

Chilli Crab

A cornerstone dish in Singaporean cuisine, Chilli Crab proudly holds the title of the most cherished seafood dish in Singapore. The dish is thought to be invented in the 1950s when Mdm Cher Yam Tian decided to add ketchup and chilli sauce to steamed crabs, resulting in a tangy and tasty dish. Together with her husband, she opened a pushcart stall selling Chilli Crabs, where the dish gained prominence and became a resounding success; now a must-eat dish for every tourists visiting Singapore.

With a meticulous 14-step cooking process, this divine dish bathes freshly prepared crabs in a delectable gravy that is sweet, spicy, and savoury all at once. The result is a finger-licking explosion of flavours that will leave you wanting more. 

Where to Eat in Singapore: Restaurants to Dine Like a Local


Indulge in the true essence of Singaporean flavours and discover the best local food at the best restaurants in Singapore.

RISE Restaurant

At RISE, you’re in for a treat to Southeast Asian cuisine and local desserts.

RISE Restaurant, the best places to eat Singapore local food

One must-try Singaporean dish is the Nasi Lemak, where rice boiled in coconut milk is paired with the savoury staples of fried chicken, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, and the fiery sambal. Build your own plate of Chicken Rice with Poached Anxin Corn-fed Chicken and Char Siew Pork Belly for a delicious combination of tender and crunchy textures.

Savour all this and more with RISE's plentiful buffet, and you've got a front-row seat to the best of Southeast Asia’s culinary scene.

RISE Restaurant is located at Lobby, Hotel Tower 1.

Rasapura Masters

You’re invited to sample Singapore’s multifaceted food scene at Rasapura Masters. Here, you will encounter a broad spectrum of dishes, from authentic Singaporean to the deep traditions of Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisines. Offering a multitude of the best local food in Singapore, Rasapura Masters is a shortcut through Singapore's diverse culinary streets under one roof.

Hokkien Prawn Noodles at Rasapura, the best places to eat Singapore local food

Experience the essence of wok hei (smoky aroma) in a plate of Hokkien Mee, complete with fresh seafood ingredients and a mix of egg noodles and rice noodles. Order a Singaporean staple at the Chicken Rice stall, where you’ll have your choice of succulent roasted chicken or tender steamed chicken served with fragrant rice. Of course, you’ll have to complete your meal with chilli sauce on the side.

Rasapura Masters is located at B2-50, The Shoppes.


Known for its nostalgic charm, Toast Box is the go-to spot for authentic Singaporean breakfast and lunch options.

Kaya toast with eggs and coffee at Toastbox, with the best local food in Singapore

An essential menu item is the Kaya Toast – freshly toasted bread with a Kaya spread (coconut jam) topped with soft butter slices. For a heartier dish, the Mee Rebus will satiate your appetite with yellow egg noodles in a delicious sweet potato-based gravy, garnished with green chilli, crunchy bean sprouts, a squeeze of lime, and a hard-boiled egg.

Whether you're starting your day or pondering over what to eat, relish Singapore's local flavours at Toast Box.

Toast Box is located at B1-01E, The Shoppes.

PS. Café

PS. Café takes local dishes to the next level with its elevated take on Singaporean cuisine. Treat yourself to delights like the Crab & Prawn Laksa, where poached plump crabs and prawns mingle with julienned fish cake, silver sprouts, and quail eggs, bathed in a light homemade laksa broth. You’ll find a hint of zest with a touch of laksa pesto and fresh chilli paste.

Rice and wings topped with egg at PS. Cafe, serving the best local food in Singapore

Those with a spicier palate will appreciate the Duck Confit Curry with Crispy Roti. Crisped-up duck leg is served alongside fried potato cutlets and crispy roti to be dipped into an aromatic curry sauce. This restaurant is a must for those seeking to experience local dishes prepared with a contemporary flair.

PS. Café is located at B2-119, Canal Level.

JUMBO Signatures

For a lavish dining experience, JUMBO Signatures, one of the best seafood restaurants in Singapore, offers award-winning Chilli Crab in a fine dining setting. This dish is a hallmark of Singaporean cuisine, and JUMBO Signatures ensures you experience it in all its glory.

Chilli Crab claw with fried bun, a Singaporean local delicacy

Fresh Sri Lankan crabs are cooked in a mouthwatering blend of sweet and savoury gravy – making it a must-try for anyone seeking to relish this iconic Singapore local dish.

Be prepared for a hands-on experience as you dig into the succulent flesh of the crab, but don’t worry about the mess; each table is thoughtfully equipped with a water bowl with lime for easy clean-ups.

JUMBO Signatures is located at B1-01B, The Shoppes.

Spago Dining Room

Fusion takes centre stage at Spago, where culinary innovation meets local Singaporean flavours. 

Fish doused with laksa sauce, a popular Singapore local food

Explore dishes like Japanese Sea Bream 'Laksa', a unique delight that pays homage to the beloved Singaporean dish. Think dry fried rice noodles topped with umami-filled laksa broth, and a fresh Japanese sea bream garnished with Vietnamese coriander, Thai basil and calamansi juice.

For dinner with a view, Spago offers a picturesque backdrop for indulging in inventive culinary delights.

Spago Dining Room is located at L57, Sands SkyPark, Hotel Tower 2.

Origin + Bloom

Origin + Bloom brings a playful approach to Singapore local dishes with handmade bakes like Bak Kwa Croissant – a flaky and buttery pastry encasing caramelised bak kwa (dried pork) chunks and covered in pork floss.

Sandwiches with local Singaporean flavours at Origin + Bloom, Marina Bay Sands

Another popular choice is the gourmet sandwich The Laksa, which comprises chicken marinated in rich laksa spices paired with hard-boiled egg and beancurd puffs in a freshly-baked soft bun. These creative concoctions are a bite-sized showcase of Singaporean flavours that can be enjoyed on the go.

Bask in authentically local flavours and take your pick from artisanal pastries at Origin + Bloom.

Origin + Bloom is located at Lobby, Hotel Tower 2 and 3. 

From bustling food hubs to elegant fine dining restuarants, there’s so much to explore in Singapore’s diverse food scene. Experience the authentic tastes of the city while enjoying stunning rooftop views, Instagrammable cafes, and family-friendly dining options. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or an eager traveller, these dining spots promise an unforgettable journey through the vibrant cuisines in Singapore.

As you indulge in local delicacies, don’t miss out on exciting attractions at Marina Bay. Check out a comprehensive list of things to do in Singapore this weekend. Alternatively, immerse in a world of wonder at the renowned ArtScience Museum, walk off the afternoon with a relaxing stroll through the enchanting Gardens by the Bay, and call it a day with retail therapy at the best shopping mall in Singapore, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.