Singapore is not a cheap city by anyone’s standards. But for a city obsessed with designer brands and celebrity chefs, it is surprisingly easy to find cheap places to eat. For the most authentic culinary experience, all visitors should be sure to enjoy a meal in a local hawker centre at least once. Singapore’s version of street food have several food stalls housed under one roof and are the best places to try out the local cuisine, with dishes available for as little as $3.00. Lau Pa Sat in the Central Business District, Makansutra Gluttons Bay at the Esplanade, and Maxwell Road Food Centre in Chinatown are all popular with the locals and easily accessible to tourists. For a more sanitised (and air-conditioned) version, try out the food courts in any of the main shopping malls around town.
Little India is a hotbed of cheap restaurants to suit the most budget-conscious of travellers. Komala Vilas on Buffalo Road is hugely popular with the local Indian community for their inexpensive vegetarian fare, and Jaggi’s on Race Course Road dishes up authentic Northern Indian cuisine. The hawker center within the Tekka Market is another cheap option.
A dim sum lunch can be a surprisingly affordable lunch option, even at the city’s most expensive Chinese restaurants. With dishes starting at around $3.00 and free-flow tea at around $1.00, a dim sum lunch will usually cost less than $20.00 per person.