Where To Eat in Singapore On A Budget

by - February 28, 2019

Since our stay in Singapore was only a few days, there were so many more food places we would have loved to visit, but we managed to go to a few of the most popular and I rounded up my faves. I'd love to go back and visit all the other famous hawker centres, but I could happily just eat Hainanese chicken every meal. (But honestly, it's just so hot there that most of the time I didn't even want to touch hot food) Here is my my guide on where to eat in Singapore on a budget. Please excuse the photography because these really aren't instagrammable foods.

Ah Tai Chicken Rice

This was my favourite Hainanese chicken rice that we had. For those who don't know, Hainanese chicken is just chicken and seasoned rice, and is one of Singapore's national dishes. Sounds very basic, but the chicken is perfectly poached to optimum tenderness, and is served with a choice of garnishes. Located in Maxwell Food Centre of Chinatown, this stall is right next to the famous Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken stall and seems to be underrated compared to the latter. Don't be mistaken by the lack of queue here; if you gave me Ah Tai and Tian Tian chicken to eat blindfolded, I most likely wouldn't even be able to tell the difference. Even comes with a lil bowl of soup.
1 Kadayanallur Street, #1-7 Maxwell Food Centre, Chinatown, Singapore 069184

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice

The first time we visited Maxwell Centre, Tian Tian had such a long queue it was snaking out of the building so we went to Ah Tai, but then the second time we came back, there was NO QUEUE. We went late afternoon and probably got lucky because the usual queue time is meant to be around 20 minutes. Of course this is good stuff. Really fragrant rice and tender chicken. It's so hyped up and well loved, and is voted the best chicken rice hawker stall in Singapore.
1 Kadayanallur Street, #1-10/11 Maxwell Food Centre, Chinatown, Singapore 069184

Liao Fan Hawker Chan

Personally found this a bit of a miss because we went there a bit before opening time, was near the front of the queue and didn't get our meal until about 45 minutes after it opened because they had issues with their till system and then they forgot about our order. So no, I do not think this is worth 1 hour of queuing time when you're hangry. However, it is the world's cheapest Michelin star restaurant so if you're really keen on trying the soy sauce chicken, why not. It's like £2. (Again, this is not instagrammable stuff) I definitely have had better soy sauce chicken in Hong Kong though.
78 Smith Street, Chinatown, Singapore 058972

Jumbo Seafood

I talked about this in my 4 Day Singapore Itinerary, and ok, it's not actually a budget friendly restaurant, but since it's regarded as a 'must eat' in Singapore, I decided to add it to the list. And after some extensive research, the conclusion I found was that if you find a cheap chilli crab, chances are it's not very good, so if you want to delve into one of Singapore's most famous dishes, it seems like you just have to go down the more popular, but less affordable route. People usually recommend chilli crab or black pepper crab, and since I hate pepper, that helped us decide. The 1kg crab comes swimming (not literally) in a spicy, tomatoey, eggy, garlicky sauce. Yes, this was good and worth the money, but I also have a spice tolerance of about 2% so my mouth was literally dying. Don't forget to order a bunch of the mini buns for dipping in the sauce.
20 Upper Circular Road, #B1-48, The Riverwalk, Singapore 058416

Ya Kun

Again, mentioned this in my Singapore Itinerary post, but Ya Kun Kaya Toast makes for a really satisfying breakfast. We went a couple of times and had the original toast with soft boiled eggs. Kaya jam tastes sickly sweet on its own, but dipped in eggs seems to cancel out the sweetness, and it turns into the most moreish breakfast.
109, 01-09 Middle Road, Fortune Centre, Singapore 188979

Tiong Bahru

We ate a lot of chicken rice on our trip and this was also decent. I'm convinced Hainanese chicken tastes good anywhere in Singapore. And then we had this again on our last night and ordered takeaway to our hotel. And then I decided to be boujee and have it in the bath whilst sippin' on my glass of lime juice. And there's also 3 portions of chicken because Grab Food requires a minimum spend.
56 Smith Street, Chinatown, Singapore 058961

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