Your mother was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you deserve the best that Singapore has to offer. A hearty local breakfast really does wonders for your day and a trip down to one of these local breakfast spots will do the trick.
Amidst the hype of all the fancy new brunch places popping up around the island, we thought to bring you a list of local places that open before 11am instead. From humble kaya toasts to intricate xiao long baos, we trawl Singapore to find you some of the country’s best local breakfast spots. You can also easily save and view this list of places on TripAdvisor here.
Tucked away in the arcs of Tai Thong Crescent sits an old coffee shop, unassuming yet constantly humming with activity. River South (Hoe Nam) Prawn Noodles 河南肉骨大虾面 has been generating serious buzz amongst food lovers for its simple, unfussy bowls of fresh prawn noodles.
The soup from the Big Prawns and Pork Rib Noodles (S$5.50) was robust and packed such intense and rich flavour that it was impossible to stop after the first sip. The delicious soup is a result of boiling a huge amount of fresh prawns and pork bones, which are left to simmer for over 24 hours.
The soup was accompanied by well-prepared noodles coated in thick, flavourful zhup.
You can choose from a variety of ingredients to go with your fresh prawns such as pork ribs, pig tail and baby abalone.
31 Tai Thong Crescent, Singapore 347859
+65 6281 9293
Sun to Thu: 7am – 3pm & 5pm – 10pm
Fri & Sat: 7am – 3pm & 5pm – 1.30am
2. Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House 黄亚细肉骨茶餐室
Singaporeans are blessed with several top quality bak kut teh stalls that introduced the meltingly tender slabs of pork ribs swimming in complex broths of herbs and spices. And Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Eating House 黄亚细肉骨茶餐室 is one of them.
The herbal Pork Ribs Soup (S$7.50) is strong in taste yet not too complex and overpowering, so it is very easy to make out the aroma of pepper and garlic. The combination of the two, together with pork ribs and a blend of herbs, results in the hallmark robust flavour that Ng Ah Sio is best known for.
Universally adored by the masses for its traditional Teochew coffee shop atmosphere and choice pork ribs, expect the venue to be perennially packed, even for breakfast.
3. Afandi Hawa & Family Mee Rebus
Indulge yourself with a little piece of the Malay culture in Haig Road Food Centre with a humble bowl of mee rebus from Afandi Hawa & Family Mee Rebus.
A thick, rich broth coats the yellow noodles with delectable flavours. I’ve never been one to appreciate mee rebus (not really a yellow noodle fan), but the noodles here are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Done to al dente perfection, the noodles boast a springy consistency and are truly delicious.
14 Haig Road, Haig Road Cooked Food Centre, #01-21, Singapore 430014
Thu to Tue: 10:30am – 8pm
Closed on Wed
Nothing tastes more heartwarming than a simple plate of rice doused in thick curry and nobody does it better than Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice.
Located in the heart of Tiong Bahru, Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice is located within a quaint-looking coffee shop, with charming old-school decor. They even use the traditional turquoise metal gates! One look at this is sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia for the good ol’ days.
Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice has been in Tiong Bahru since 1946. The man currently behind the stall is none other than Mr Loo Kia Chee, an industrious man who has been going at it for the past four decades.
Now, their Hainanese Curry (S$2) may look a little unassuming but boy, this is the bomb!
The strong coconut milk aroma will hit you the moment you dig in. What caught my attention, however, was the unusual spicy flavour. The mild spicy taste came from the heavy dose of ginger, which didn’t sting my tongue.
It’s a simple steaming plate of white rice, bedecked in curry, but it’s all you need.
71 Seng Poh Road, #01-49, Singapore 160071
Fri to Wed: 8am – 2:45pm
Closed on Thu
5. No. 1 Adam’s Nasi Lemak
A popular local breakfast dish loved by many, No. 1 Adam’s Nasi Lemak boasts a wide selection of set meal options that will leave you spoilt for choice.
We settled on the Sutra Special (S$4.50) which consisted of a piece of otah, a chicken wing, fried ikan bilis and peanuts, an egg and rice. The ingredients in the dish were delicious and the chilli was absolutely fragrant, however, the highlight was definitely the rice.
Featuring a variety of long grain rice called the basmati, which literally translates to “fragrant”, the rice has a typical pandan-like flavour. Coupled with the infusion of coconut milk, the rice is good enough to eat on its own.
Adam Road Food Centre #01-01, 2 Adam Road, Singapore 289876
Wed to Mon: 8am – 2pm
Closed on Tue
6. Toa Payoh Hwa Heng Beef Noodles 大芭窑华兴牛肉粉
Toa Payoh Hwa Heng Beef Noodle 大芭窑华兴牛肉粉 is a legendary spot known to only a handful of locals.
The Beef Noodle Dry (S$4) came with a bowl of soup and a bowl of noodles coated in a very thick and flavourful gravy that was very stout in flavour.
I was also very pleasantly surprised to spot specks of minced beef swimming amongst the braised gravy. Just be sure to mix the noodles and broth well!
My guess is the beef slices were probably blanched raw to achieve the perfectly soft, tender consistency. Fragments of kiam chye (salted pickled mustard) were scattered over the dish for a slight sourness, which prevented it from getting too jelak.
29 Bendemeer Road, Bendemeer Market & Food Centre, #01-86, Singapore 330029
Wed to Sat: 10am – 2:30pm
Closed from Sun to Tue
7. Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle 大华猪肉粿条面
Easily making it into my list for being both the most and least favourite places to dine at, 1-Michelin Starred Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles 大华猪肉粿条面 is literally the quote “happiness is worth the wait” in a physical form.
I wouldn’t go so far as to label it the best bak chor mee (minced pork noodles) in Singapore, but I can understand the reason for its huge number of loyal followers. A perfect synchronisation of vinegar, pork, noodles and chill, topped with delectable wontons—the Pork Noodle, Dry (S$5) is indeed a textbook ‘A’ grade dish.
The noodles grew on me the more I ate them, featuring a springy consistency that I really enjoy. My only qualm is that the serving was a little too small, and I was famished from all the queuing.
8. Song Zhou Luo Bo Gao 松州萝卜糕
Carrot cake is a dish almost all locals can identify and are familiar with. Since its humble advent on our shores, the chai tow kuay (literally translates to white radish cakes) have taken on several analogous forms; some are fried with sweet black sauce, some fried plain.
Not as decorated as many of its modern-styled counterparts, the folks at Song Zhou Luo Bo Gao 松州萝卜糕 stuck to their roots and have been producing traditional servings of White Carrot Cake (S$2.50) stir-fried with eggs, preserved radish and other seasonings, forsaking impractical decorative garnishes.
Comprising a generous amount of chye poh (salted white radish) and garlic, the carrot cake is expertly fried to a fragrant heap of disarray.
208B New Upper Changi Rd, Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre, #01-37, Singapore 462208
+65 9684 3555
Mon to Sat: 6:30am – 8pm
Closed on Sun
9. Li Fang Porridge 丽芳粥品
Trouncing scores of its congee counterparts to rank top in my “Porridge Hall of Fame” is Li Fang Zhou Pin 丽芳粥品. This humble little porridge stall was initially at ABC Brickworks Food Centre in Bukit Merah, then moved to Queen Street.
The key element that really impressed me was the consistency of the porridge, heavy yet very smooth throughout. Served with a piece of you tiao (fried dough stick), you get to choose from a wide array of dishes to go along with the porridge, such as shredded chicken, slices of fish and even salmon!
10. Springleaf Prata Place
What’s better than enjoying a hearty serving of delicious roti prata and Indian cuisine? Enjoying a hearty serving of delicious roti prata and Indian cuisine in an air-conditioned restaurant!
Call me a “mountain tortoise” (slang for country bumpkin), but Springleaf Prata Place is the first air-conditioned prata house I’ve been to.
The Cheese Prata (S$2.50) was exceptionally good, and went along very well with the wide range of curries they had available. The crust was thin yet substantial, and the amount of cheese was very generous.
Fried to a crisp on the outside, yet warm and soft on the inside, this is definitely one of the better pratas I have eaten.
11. Guan Kee Kway Chap 源记粿汁
Kway chap lovers, rejoice! Gone are the days of worrying whether the delicious ingredients of pig stomach and intestines have been cleaned or washed thoroughly because they smell ‘funky’.
The Kway Chap (S$3.50) served at Guan Kee Kway Chup 源记粿汁 are sliced open and thoroughly washed, each piece looking clean and fresh without compromising on flavour. The accompanying zhup is slightly herbal, and the ingredients go very well with the slightly sour chilli sauce.
Guan Kee opens the latest in this list, at 11am instead, but it’s so good we had to include it in as a late breakfast option.
210 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, #01-24, Singapore 310210
+65 9730 4033
Tue & Wed, Sat & Sun: 11am – 8pm
Closed on Mon, Thu & Fri
12. Ah Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee
They say old is gold, and I couldn’t agree more. Opened for over 50 years, Ah Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee is one of the last few hawker stalls that still use charcoal to toast their bread.
Trust me when I say charcoal-toasted bread hits differently, especially when it’s topped with their homemade kaya. Their Bread Toast (S$1.80) is lightly crisp with a nice aromatic eggy fragrance from the kaya, which goes perfectly with a cup of their traditional Hainanese coffee.
If that’s not enough for you, be sure to try their French Toast (S$3.50) as well! It’s charcoal-grilled to a perfect golden hue, and of course, topped with their signature homemade kaya.
7 Maxwell Rd, Amoy Street Food Centre, #02-95, Singapore 069111
+65 9710 2907
Mon to Wed & Sat: 5.30am – 3pm
Closed on Thu, Fri & Sun
13. Bedok Chwee Kueh 勿洛水粿
When it comes to local breakfast delights, these steamed rice cakes need no introduction. Available in most hawker centres, the chwee kuehs come in five to seven pieces per serving. These are usually topped with diced preserved radish (chye poh) and chilli sauce.
The mark of a truly great chwee kueh is the perfect amalgamation of these elements.
Bedok Chwee Kueh 勿洛水粿, which has five branches now instead of just the one at Bedok, seems to have mastered the art of the chwee kueh.
You’ll never forget that first sumptuous bite of the combination of their steamed rice cakes. The perfect consistency with the sweet and slightly salty chye poh is complete with the spicy kick of the chilli sauce. Polishing every last bit of chye poh off the plate is mandatory, the “shiok ah!” after that is optional.
208B New Upper Changi Road, #01-19, Singapore 462208
Daily: 7am – 8pm
14. Dong Ji La Mian Xiao Long Bao 东记手拉面小笼包
Finding xiao long baos of good quality only in posh restaurants with steep prices are a thing of the past. These soup dumplings are a common sight in most hawker centres nowadays.
Not the most conventional of Singaporean breakfasts, Dong Ji Xiao Long Bao 东记手拉面小笼包 is, however, an all-in-one package.
The uneven circular cascade of ripples around the crown of each Xiao Long Bao (S$4) indicates that each dumpling is handmade.
The tender and smooth skin made of dough delicately enveloped mouthwatering portions of minced pork, amongst other ingredients, as well as a savoury serving of soup within that, which explodes with flavour in my mouth.
One of my favourite local breakfast dish is shui kueh. Jian Bo Shui Kueh offers a grab-and-go breakfast with their Shui Kueh at S$2.50 for five pieces.
It’s sinfully oily for a breakfast plate, but it’ll definitely satisfy your grumbling stomach. Of course, you can also opt to get Steamed Yam Cake (S$2.50) or Chee Cheong Fun (S$2.50).
16. Bai Li Xiang Economic Bee Hoon (百里香经济米粉)
Popularly known as “Ah Lian Bee Hoon” by NTU students, this place is perfect if you’re in need of a morning pick-me-up to kickstart your day. As a former NTU student myself, I totally understand why this stall is loved by many and here’s why.
Their bee hoon is so fragrant and flavourful, that it’s delicious enough to eat without any ingredients or chilli. But of course, what’s fried bee hoon without its ingredients, right? From stir-fried vegetables, to a plethora of fried food, you’ll be spoiled for choice with their huge spread of ingredients.
One must-try is their chicken wings—crispy on the outside but juicy and tender on the inside.
651 Jurong West Street 61, #01-01, Singapore 640651
+65 6791 3800
Daily: 6pm – 11am
17. Cheng Heng Kway Chap and Braised Duck Rice 進興粿汁.鹵鴨飯
Michelin Guide Cheng Heng Kway Chap is my go-to place whenever I get a sudden craving for a bowl of piping hot kway chap. Run by two friendly aunties, Cheng Heng Kway Chap serves a mean bowl of Kway Chap (S$3.50) and is rarely seen without their snaking long queues.
What I love about their kway chap is their “kway” which goes amazing with their aromatic herbal broth. Each sheet is velvet smooth, silky and light, a true testament to their amazing skills!
44 Holland Dr, Holland Drive Market & Food Centre #02-05, Singapore 270044
Fri to Wed: 7am – 2:30pm
Closed on Thu
18. Heap Seng Leong
Nothing says old school local breakfast like kopi gu you (coffee with butter), and Heap Seng Leong is the only stall in Singapore that makes this nostalgic beverage. Decorated with old school tables, chairs, tidbit boxes and rustic walls, you’ll feel like you’ve time travelled back to the 80s once you’re there.
Their kaya toast is light and fluffy, and compliments the more intense kopi gu you really well. I know coffee with butter may sound like a really sinful drink, but kopi gu you supposedly helps to kick the body into a fat-burning drive first thing in the morning (if you don’t eat anything else)!
10 North Bridge Road, #01-5109, Singapore 190010
+65 6292 2368
Daily: 5am – 6pm
19. Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun
Of course I had to include one of our local breakfast staples–- chee cheong fun. Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun is a chee cheong fun specialty stall that prides themselves on having 10 unique fillings for their rice rolls. Run by two sisters, this second generation stall serves up one-of-a-kind flavours from pig’s liver to otah, century egg and more.
nTheir delicate, silky soft rice rolls are made from scratch and everything else is freshly prepared to order, which means customers will get a piping hot plate of chee cheong fun every single time.
51 Old Airport Rd, Old Airport Road Food Centre, #01-155, Singapore 390051
Tue to Sun: 8am – 7pm
Closed on Mon
Are there any other favourite Singapore breakfast dishes or spots you like? We’d love for you to share your local breakfast spots!
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