Budget food in Singapore

So my first night in Singapore, I was tired and so hungry that I couldn’t function.

When I’m hungry, I get irritable and I can’t think straight so I went out in search of food.

I had purposely selected a hostel in the heart of Chinatown because I had a feeling there would be an abundance of decently priced and delicious street food.

Now, on a budget, my plan had been to eat as much street food as possible.

Staying in central Chinatown the first place that I walked passed was “Food Street”.


Food street has a line of street food style carts down the middle but flanked either side by restaurants.

Now, the restaurants are quite sneaky, because it’s hard to differentiate their seating from the seating of the food carts, they have similar looking menus, but with no prices.


One of the street food style carts.

They will lead you to the assumption that it is all one in the same, leaning on or putting their menus on the food cart tables.

Unaware of this at first and eager to subdue my rumbling stomach, I sat down and ordered.

After a while of waiting and people watching, I had sussed out the situation, but by then, of course it was too late. I had already ordered and my food was being brought out.


One of the reps for the restaurant, she is leaning and placing menus on a table that is not the restaurant’s.

I had just wanted something simple, quick and easy as I was tired and wanted to get some sleep.

What I had wanted to order was noodles with tofu, what they had done was given me a whole dish of noodles from their menu, and a whole dish of tofu from their menu as well as the beer I ordered and it came to about SS30 (Singapore dollars) which I wasn’t very chuffed about.


I essentially had two meals when I only wanted one, however, since I had paid for it, I made the concerted effort to eat every single last piece.

Once you get to know the area, you easily discover plenty of food halls for much less than the prices you will be charged in tourist orientated restaurants.

For example, the following day I went to a food hall and got seafood mee goreng (fried noodles) a dragonfruit shake and a salted egg yolk and green bean paste bun…

all for SS6.


In Chinatown there are several food halls but many locals favourite and the closest to where I was staying was Maxwell food hall.

You can get many dishes at the foodhall for SS3 – 4.

I would suggest either researching yourself or asking at your hostel where the local food halls are to save your money!

Singapore has a reputation for being pricey but a few hacks will save your a fair amount of money on a budget trip!


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