Supermarkets in Singapore


You’ve landed on fresh soil in shiny Singapore, but without the necessities and snacks to tide you through your stay. Where to, then? Singapore is home to scores of supermarkets and traditional convenience stores, of which you’ll find no shortage in most neighbourhoods. 
Mama shop

Convenience stores and mama shops

Convenience stores in Singapore offer virtually everything you’d need, even if that may mean paying a mark-up. Chain outlets like 7-Eleven and Cheers are typically found in petrol stations, residential areas or near MRT stations, and have everything from ready-to-eat meals, cup noodles and toothbrushes to liquor and cash withdrawal machines. If you’re picking up some booze, keep in mind these alcohol and drinking rules to avoid a fine.

It’s not just chain stores that stock the necessities, though; mama shops are traditional convenience stores typically tucked under high-rise flats – better known as HDB flats – and offer more of the same, except at significantly lower prices.

Mustafa Centre

The 24-hour megastore

If you’d rather make an afternoon or midnight jaunt of it, Mustafa Centre in Little India is something of a beautiful beast, and you’d best explore all six levels of Singapore’s Hotel California (so we say). Weave through all manner of snacks, electronics, kids’ playsets and schoolbags, medicines, plants, car accessories, jewellery, clothes and sportswear – it’s an overwhelming list, with many items going for as much as a third of prices elsewhere. Be prepared for a mandatory bag check before entering the store. 

Supermarket fruits vegetables

Supermarket (flowers)

There's something therapeutic about strolling the aisles of a supermarket. Cold Storage is a firm favourite among expats and locals, particularly those willing to pay a premium for high quality produce from the US, Europe, Australia and Asia. (Psst: Waitrose fans would love it here!). Its 51 outlets include concept stores like Cold Storage Specialty at Marina Bay Sands that come complete with a salad bar, deli and butcher counters, edible souvenirs and and house-baked breads. The same company also operates two yet more upmarket grocers in Singapore: Market Place by Jasons, and Jasons The Gourmet Grocer.

Then there’s NTUC Fairprice, which offers equally fresh produce and cured meats. For the budget-conscious, you’ll find no-frills house brands at Giant or Sheng Siong, of which several branches are open 24/7. Two other favourites are Meidi-Ya and Isetan Supermaket, favoured for their exclusive Japan imports – from sake and snacks to seasonal fruits like Kyoho grapes and square watermelons. 

Mustafa Centre

Go online 

It’s okay to be lazy, particularly when you’re on vacation. If you’d rather not lug your groceries home, many supermarkets offer free or same-day delivery – though often with minimum spend. Or trim the wait by hopping to online stores such as Redmart, Fresh by honestbee, Go Fresh and EAMart


guardian pharmacy

Pharmacies and TCM clinics

Pharmacies like Guardian and Watsons aren’t just for over-the-counter and prescribed medicines; many now carry a selection of cult skincare products and cosmetics on top of sunscreens, insect repellents and first aid supplies. You’ll need a valid form of identification when getting a prescription filled at the pharmacist counter – Marina Bay Sands’ Guardian outlet operates from 10am to 10pm daily.

Alternatively, there’re plenty of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinics run by certified, trained practitioners. While the benefits of TCM aren’t medically backed, treatments for minor injuries and ailments could promote well-being, which explains the popularity of the practice. A safe bet’s Eu Yan Sang, which also has a retail offshoot – including an outlet in Marina Bay Sands for dietary supplements and packaged tonic soups.