The Best Meals for $5 or less in Singapore

Michelin-starred Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle stall in China Town Complex, Singapore.
Michelin-starred Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle stall in China Town Complex, Singapore. | © Asia File / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Hannah Clark
6 April 2021

Singapore might be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but you can still indulge in a spectacular meal for less than 5 Singapore dollars (£2.70) a serving. This is, after all, home to the first Michelin-starred hawker stall in the world.

Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa

Food Stall, Asian
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Laska street food
© Quang NGUYEN DUC / Alamy

Untrue to the name, Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa was not famous from the get-go, owner Daniel Soo recalls trying times where he had to dispose of unsold laksa. But hard work paid off – Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa is one of the finest hawkers in Singapore today. The Asian Delight Laksa features generous amounts of seafood; think crayfish, cockles and prawns served in a lip-smacking broth that has been simmered in coconut milk, spices and dried shrimps.

85 Bedok North Fried Oyster

Food Stall, Asian
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Southeasat Asian Fried Baby Oyster Omelette Oh Chien with Chili Sauce Closeup
© Jit Lim / Alamy

The stall known as 85 Bedok North Fried Oyster became a household name among Singaporeans for its orh luak. Their signature Teochew omelette is fried until golden brown – achieving a perfect crispness on the outside and a lovely starchy texture on the inside. Served with briny and plump oysters, it is indeed a steal at only $5 SGD for a small portion. The hawker stall is located inside Fengshan Centre and opens till 3am daily.

Allauddin's Briyani

Food Stall, Indian
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Delicious briyani
© panawan / Stockimo / Alamy

Commence your Little India exploration with an authentic Indian meal at Allauddin’s Briyani. Situated within the bustling Tekka Centre, the hawker stall is proof that award-winning meals in Singapore can be affordable. Watch in awe as the cooks scoop aromatic curry from gigantic metal pots onto your orangey-coloured basmati rice. While you can choose from chicken, fish and mutton, it is the chicken biryani that has captivated the hearts of locals. The soft meat falls off the bone effortlessly and is ridiculously delicious.

Chuan Kee Boneless Braised Duck

Food Stall, Chinese
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Braised Duck Rice Served In Plate On Wooden Table
© EyeEm / Alamy

Chuan Kee Boneless Braised Duck made the Singapore Michelin Bib Gourmand Selection in 2018, but is no newbie to the hawker scene. Don’t be disheartened by the long line formed at this popular specialty duck stall, because the queue actually moves pretty quickly. You can enjoy a whole flock of duck dishes here: duck rice, duck noodles and duck porridge. The duck rice has stolen the limelight with its tender braised meat coated in viscous dark sweet sauce. It is accompanied by a bowl of robust herbal soup.

Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa

Food Stall, Asian
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A bowl of laksa, typical soup from southeast asian which consists in wheat noodles, chicken, prawns and fish, served in spicy curry coconut milk
© sergio capuzzimati / Alamy

The highly sought-after sizzling hot laksa and silky noodles here reached the attention of Michelin Guide inspectors (and deservedly so) in 2019. Thanks to the added accolades, queues during lunchtime now take at least half an hour (despite the obscure location at Alexandra Village Food Centre). Their fiery hot gravy is a rich concoction of blue ginger, chili padi, coconut milk, lemongrass, shrimp paste, turmeric and other herbs. The end result – every mouthful packs a spicy punch.

Hawker Chan

Food Stall, Chinese
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Hawker Chan one star Michelin restaurant, Smith Street, Chinatown, Singapore
© kevin hellon / Alamy

Nobody saw it coming, but Liao Fan Hawker Chan was thrust into the global spotlight in 2016 when it was named the first Michelin-starred hawker stall in the world. A local obsession with the succulent soya sauce chicken rice has piqued the curiosity of gourmands from all corners of the world. Unsurprisingly, expansion plans swiftly ensued and the homegrown brand currently has four outlets across Singapore (and several spin-offs in other metropolises such as Bangkok, London and Melbourne).

Na Na Curry

Food Stall, Asian
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Assam fish curry - Assam Pedas Fish , lassic Peranakan or Nyonya dish
© Alexander Mychko / Alamy

Sitting in Bukit Merah View Market & Food Centre, Na Na Curry is where you can get your hands on a piping hot bowl of Peranakan-style curry. Do not underestimate the famous hawker’s chicken drumstick curry ($3.50 SGD) – it is potent. However, patrons who can overcome the spiciness are in for a treat. The fork-tender drumstick and its complementing thick hot curry sauce make a divine combo.

Outram Park Fried Kway Teow

Food Stall, Asian
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Close-up Of Char Kway Teow In Plate On Table
© EyeEm / Alamy

Despite the absence of air conditioning in Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, a relentless queue forms outside Outram Park Fried Kway Teow every day. Regulars have no qualms waiting at least an hour to get their char kway teow fix. Flat rice noodles are skilfully stir-fried over high heat in a tangy dark sauce with bean sprouts and beaten egg to achieve a smoky aroma. Outram Park Fried Kway Teow is certainly the best of its kind in Singapore and prices start from only $4 SGD per plate.

Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice

Food Stall, Chinese
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Hainanese Chicken Rice
© Horizon Images/Motion / Alamy

When the founder of Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice at Margaret Drive Food Centre passed away, Singaporeans thought they’d lost their all-time favourite chicken rice forever. But it wasn’t farewell. His sons have continued the legacy and reopened Sin Kee Famous Cantonese Chicken Rice in Holland Drive. The chicken is poached to perfection; the skin is glossy and its flesh has retained a remarkable amount of juiciness. Served with fluffy white rice and thinly sliced cucumber, the brothers’ chicken rice is as superb as their father’s.

Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee

Food Stall, Asian, Chinese
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Hokkien Prawn Mee Soup Noodles with Pork and Vegetables Closeup
© Jit Lim / Alamy

Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee is located in an unassuming spot in ABC Food Centre, but you can easily identify it from afar with its long waiting line. Donning a pair of goggles, 70-something Toh Seng Wang deftly whips up the tastiest Hokkien prawn mee in his sturdy wok – moist yellow noodles and bee hoon are doused in fragrant shrimp stock made from scratch. The dish is then completed with homemade sambal chili and the freshest prawns. The white-haired hawker legend has been preparing this heavenly dish at ABC since 1993.

These recommendations were updated on April 6, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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