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Singapore Culinary Exploration - 14 Unique Restaurants, Cocktail Bars & Local Foodie Hotspots

As you could have seen in my previous blog, Singapore is very diverse, a vibrant melting pot of cultures, which created a culinary offering of unique restaurants & foodie hotspots like no other, of which I will share 14 in this blog.

From stylish local, as well as international restaurants, chic cocktail bars with innovative mixology, to hawker stalls serving high-quality street food

Hawker stalls & vendor at Tiong Bahru Market - Singapore
Hawker stalls & vendor at Tiong Bahru Market

Singapore has something for every palate and is home to a big range of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Join me on a culinary exploration of some of Singapore's most delicious hotspots that make this city’s gastronomy truly unique.

Top 14 Singapore Restaurants, Cocktail Bars & Foodie Hotspots

I pinned my favourite (local) food spots and cocktail bars in this custom Google map, so you can easily find the exact locations on your own trip: Ultimate Singapore itinerary by AuthenticChica.

Colorful Chinatown in Singapore

And, as always, I’m happy to share more info and the pictures I took during my visits of all 14 below, to show you what makes these spots so special:

1. Tiong Bahru Market: Hawker Delights & Fresh Produce

Amidst the unique architecture of this hip neighborhood, you'll find a food market with an array of hawker stalls on the second floor, offering local delights, ranging from Hainanese chicken rice to savory laksa. 

Local dishes at Tiong Bahru Market in Singapore

For hygiene reasons the Singapore government assembled all food stalls in this area and gave each of them a fixed location at this market with kitchen and running water. Creating the perfect clean setting to sample local dishes like Hokkien mee and much more! 

And if you want to take home some fresh produce or souvenirs, the ground floor of Tiong Bahru Market offers a diverse selection of gifts, fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, meats and seafood from local farmers and fishermen.

2. Mama Diam: Authentic Peranakan Cuisine

In the heart of Singapore's culinary scene, this hidden gem offers authentic Peranakan cuisine. A fusion of Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian flavors passed down through generations. 

Local dishes at Mama Diam in Singapore

Behind a 90’s convenience storefront you will find this speakeasy bar, with an atmospheric restaurant hiding behind a curtain.

Here you can indulge on local favorites such as Hainanese Pork Chop, Soft Shell Crab Bao, and uniquely flavored cocktails, giving a modern twist to local heritage dishes.

3. & 4. The Coconut Club & Birds of Paradise: Shared Dining & Tropical Indulgence

For a taste of the tropics look no further than The Coconut Club and its neighboring Birds of Paradise in Kampong Gelam. The Coconut Club is renowned for its signature nasi lemak, a fragrant rice dish served with coconut-infused sambal, crispy fried chicken, and traditional condiments.

Included on the Michelin Bib Gourmand List of 2023 for good reason, providing a lovely lunch or dinner setting.

But the Coconut Club also offers food delivery so you can share their signature dishes on a custom location with family or friends. 

Afterwards make sure to visit nearby Birds of Paradise for artisanal ice cream crafted with natural ingredients. Offering refreshing and unique choices like lychee raspberry and aromatic pandan, all authentic flavors of Southeast Asia.

Delicious ice cream at Birds of Paradise - Singapore

5. Open Farm Community: Farm-to-Table Dining

Quality food is served in the tranquil lush setting of this vegetable garden, just outside the city, near the Botanic Gardens.

This unique food concept combines the city’s first sustainable farm with innovative culinary techniques to create a delicious farm-to-table experience, while supporting a network of local growers.

Open Farm Community is included in the 2023 Michelin Guide and offers home delivery as well.

In this atmospheric setting you can enjoy dishes prepared with freshly harvested ingredients, showcasing the diversity of Singapore's local produce.

Every dish at Open Farm Community reflects sustainability and seasonality.

6. Lau Pa Sat: A Historic Culinary Extravaganza

No trip to Singapore would be complete without a visit to this historic market place, also said to be Singapore’s most iconic Hawker Center.

Lau Pa Sat hawker center - Singapore

In the heart of the Central Business District, Lau Pa Sat is renowned for its diverse array of food stalls, located in a beautiful historic building.

Open all day every day with one of the highest number of Michelin guide/Bib Gourmand-listed hawker stalls under 1 roof.

7. Satay Street: Local Pop-Up Delights

Satay Street - Singapore

As night falls after 7 pm, Satay Street, located right next to Lau Pa Sat, comes alive with a wide array of grilled skewers sizzling over open flames. From succulent satay to flavorful barbecue seafood, quite affordable and delicious.

This hotspot attracts both locals and tourists, creating a unique vibe that is not to be missed if you want to experience Singapore's true street food culture.

8. Nanyang Old Coffee in Chinatown: A Taste of Tradition

Step back in time to experience the nostalgic flavors of traditional Singaporean coffee in Chinatown. This quaint coffee shop pays homage to the art of traditional coffee brewing, using time-honored techniques to create a rich and robust cup of kopi

Nanyang Old Coffee and Kaya Toast - Singapore

Pair your coffee with traditional kaya toast (toast with coconut jelly) or savory snacks for the perfect morning pick-me-up or afternoon indulgence. With its charming ambiance and upstairs museum, Nanyang Old Coffee is a traditional hotspot unique for Singapore.

9. Miss Durian: An Acquired Sweet Sensation

For lovers of the exotic, yet pungent fruit durian, this pastry shop and restaurant, specializing in durian-based desserts and delicacies, is a must! 

Ms.Durian menu - Singapore

From creamy ice to pastries, every dish includes the unique flavor and aroma of the "king of fruits", with different durian taste levels to choose from. Whether you love or hate it, it's another unique Singaporean experience that should not be missed!

10. Baba Chews: Local Flavors with a Twist

Situated in the vibrant Katong neighborhood, this restaurant is known for its innovative take on traditional Peranakan cuisine. Their signature dish, jumbo satay, features huge skewers of delicious meat prepared with local flavors

In addition Baba Chews offers an array of local dishes and cocktails made with fresh ingredients, that are tasty and highly recommended.

11. Fysh at EDITION: Elegant Dining at 5 Star Hotel

This restaurant, run by a multi award-winning Australian chef, offers a culinary experience inspired by responsibly sourced seafood, meats and vegetables. With its chic ambiance Fysh will transport you to a tranquil oasis amidst the lush greenery on the first floor of this sophisticated hotel, also open to non-guests.

Fysh at EDITION restaurant

We sampled the chef's 5-course signature menu with fresh seafood dishes, prepared with sustainable ingredients sourced from local fishermen. Complemented by a curated selection of fine wines and craft cocktails.

12. Brass Lion Distillery: Crafting Artisanal Gins

For a truly unique and immersive experience, a visit to Singapore's first standalone micro-distillery is a fun pastime. Here you can do guided tours and tastings of artisanal gins, created with 22 botanicals.

All locally sourced and handcrafted, inspired by Singapore's rich culinary heritage. 

Brass Lion Distillery - Singapore

You can also craft your own gin here under the guidance of expert distillers. Find all info on their website: Brass Lion Distillery. 

13. The Elephant Room: A Hidden Speakeasy Gem

Hidden in the historic Duxton Hill, this speakeasy cocktail bar offers a world of mystery and intrigue, where exotic spices and botanicals come together to create innovative cocktails with a local twist. 

From tangy tamarind to fiery chili, the cocktails at The Elephant Room tell a story of the region's diverse heritage, served in an intimate ambiance.

14. Smoke & Mirrors Bar: Cocktails & Skylines

For a refined experience combined with the best views, Singapore offers several cocktail bars and rooftop lounges.

Cocktail with a view at Smoke and Mirrors Bar - Singapore

On top of the National Gallery you will find Smoke & Mirrors, a sophisticated bar, serving unique story telling cocktails, with panoramic views of the city's skyline, making your visit even more memorable.

Singapore's culinary landscape is a vibrant combination of cultures, flavors, and traditions. Whether you want to sample street food delights at Tiong Bahru Market, sip artisanal gins at Brass Lion Distillery, or savor Peranakan cuisine at Mama Diam, each dining experience offers a glimpse into the city's culinary soul. Find even more info and places to visit on Visit Singapore.

I hope this list, and my Google map in my previous Singapore blog, including many other sights, can help make your Singapore visit even more fun and delicious by easily discovering these 14 unique restaurants, foodie hotspots and sophisticated bars that make Singapore a true culinary paradise.


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