The 7 Best Singaporean Dishes You Really Must Try (With Pics)

You have never had Chili Crab before??Oh my god!
Four pairs of widely opened, surprised eyes stare at me this early hot evening somewhere about 3 years ago. After stumbling through the expat and foreign student contaminated scene around the typical clubs and bars, I finally made contact with my (till today) best local friends and the cultural exchange could finally begin.
And obviously I had to catch up quickly with the typical local food habits.

1. Singapore Breakfast:Kaya Toast,Kopi And Watery Egg

Start your day with the typical Singaporean way of getting energy for the humid day, lying ahead. (Complete Guide To Singapore’s Breakfast Culture)
A set of two half toast with Kaya (a traditional Coconut jam) and Butter, served with sweet Coffee (Kopi) and my all time favorite, watery eggs. Which are literally eggs cooked for seconds, cracked opened, put into a bowl, and mixed with Soy sauce and pepper…either you hate it or you love it!

2. Chili Or Black Pepper Crab

Chili Crab in Singapore
Photo by kyspeaks

You have heard about it by now, even if you only just arrived at the airport, but the famous and locally invented “Chili Crab” dish is everywhere. It’s like a local VIP in form of food.

It is in the end the one local dish that earns the most of fame and without question is itself part of that not really existing Singaporean culture, the Chili Crab.

A whole crab is usually served in a fantastic creamy, chili sauce , with juicy meat and little buns, so called “mantou”, to dip into the sauce. Epic. Win.

3. Popiah NOT Papaya

Popiah in Singapore
Photo by waikin

I wildly confused my friends when we sat at a local hawker center and told them i would get 3 or 4 “Papaya”…
When they asked me if one wouldn’t be enough, I laughed and asked them how we should divide that up for the group of us.

Then I came back with 4 pieces of “Popiah” and they were the once that laughed about me. Those little rolls are stuffed with veggies, peanuts and crab meat, and are perfect as the healthy snack in between.

4. Chicken Rice

Chicken Rice in Singapore
Photo by spinksy

Another very famous (and cheap) local dish is the “Chicken Rice”. Usually a plate or bowl with rice, topped with cucumber and chicken pieces.
However, the famous thing in this case is actually the rice that gets cooked in chicken stock and is very flavorful. (10 Unique Things To Do In Singapore In 24 Hours)
You can get a whole meal from 2$ onwards!

5. Murtabak

Murtabak in Singapore
Photo by waikin

It’s so sinful! At my former place I had a very famous Murtabak stall just downstairs, and the value of meat and food you get against the relatively cheap price is just too tempting to get ignored.
The so called “Indian Pizza” is a mix of minced Chicken or other meat with onions, chilli sauce and vegetables packed into a fold over of dough. very tempting, very unhealthy!

6. Laksa

Laksa in Singapore
Photo by ianfuller

If you cry the first time you have Laksa don’t worry, it’s supposed to be spicy, very spicy (for Ang Mohs) and once you reach the bottom, it’s not over yet.

Laksa is a very spicy, but tasteful soup, sweet-sour with ingredients of seafood and local veggies.
Take it slow, so you can enjoy it before your taste buds get burned!

7. BBQ Stingray

BBQ Stingray in Singapore
Photo by deliciousblur

Together with Laksa, BBQ Stingray is probably on the same level of “spiciness”. Mostly served in seafood hawker centers, with my favorite being the one at East Coast Park (The Top 5 Singapore Hawker Centers), the flat stingray, gives a lovely flavor for the fish lover.

Very spicy with a special chili sauce and topped with lime or lemon its a great dish for a cozy dinner along the ocean.

Whats Your favorite Local Dish?

I’m sure there are many more great dishes in Singapore that didn’t make it on my list, whats better then Chili Crab, whats more spicy then Laksa soup?

Please let us know and write down your thoughts on Singapore’s local food culture in the comments below!




When you order BBQ Stingray, you have to order Sambal KangKong!!!!


Bak Kut Teh for sure, and Ayam buah keluak.. two things I have to have when I visit home every year.


Yeah, I was considering Bak Kut Teh, but since I don’t like it… it didnt make the list :)


I think Laksa is not as spicy as BBQ stingray.
You probably have added chill to it :D

You may want to try claypot laksa ;)

Enjoy Singapore – EAT!


there r many more to be added on de list actually. char kway teow, kway chap, pig organ soup, wanton mee n de list goes on.. :D


Hokkien mee and mee hoon kway are personal favourites. And roti cenai/roti prata. And satay. Man, I’m hungry.


Totally underappreciated is the Ice Kachang (maybe with Durian for the extra kick). It has saved us on many hot days traipsing around town.

shino tsuchi

the following never fails for me:
– Punggol Nasi Lemak in Tanjong Katong road
– Mutton Murtabak and their Teh Tarik from Har Yassin in Geylang near Joo Chiat road
– Thasevi Jalan Kayu
– Marine Parade hawker: chendol ice, popiah and boneless Hainanese chicken rice
– Ayam Panggang from the Indonesian grill at Plaza Singapura food court
– Ayam Penyet from Lau Pa Sat
– Ananda Bhavan, Selegie road

Frankie Koh

Teochew Braised Duck Rice : )
There are two versions; 1) With traditional black soy sauce gravy that is fragrant and slightly salty. 2) The modern version that as far as I remember stated in the late 70’s – Thick starchy black sauce that is both fragrant and sweetened.
The well known stall that sells this dish is at a row of old shop houses at Bouna Vista Rd near Pasir Panjang. Used to have to wait for more than half an hour during lunch time. They relocated a few doors away and a new set up selling the same dish now occupies the old shop.
The queue isn’t as crazy as in the old days perhaps because the recipe have now been copied and the dish available more widely.


Love the kaya toasts, Hainan chicken rice, char kway teow, bak kwa, bbq pork noodles (& the other noodle soups) and chicken satay!

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