Last Updated: June 15, 2017
A gratifying breakfast brings about a good day — a wallet-friendly first meal of the day that costs under $2.50 makes it an even better day. Don’t you agree?
I’ve scouted both long-time veteran hawkers, and passionate new kids on the block in Singapore that are all out to fatten us up, without having to spend too much.
If you’re in search for affordable, uncompromising quality local breakfast, this list is for you!
Aptly capturing the influence of the 1950s Singapore era, vintage items laced the space like a time capsule. The shophouse is situated near Bugis, and you would think these nostalgic foods will be sold at a high price.
A toast costs from $1.40 onwards, $2 for a set of two eggs, and drinks from $1.30 onwards. You’d be able to find other pastries and local delights, from steam cakes, pineapple tarts to assorted sliced cakes at slightly under $2 each.
Dong Po Colonial Cafe: 56 Kandahar St, Singapore 198904 | Tel: 6298 1318 | Sunday – Thursday: 8am – 8pm, Friday – Saturday: 8am – 10pm
Classic peanut ($1.80)
A portmanteau of pancake and tree, the owner Victor wishes his pancakes (面煎糕) aka Min Jiang Kueh business would flourish and grow like a tree. Also, a word play on “pantry”, where professionals nearby can take a break from the humdrum of routine work.
Serving up freshly made classics like peanut, chicken floss, to ham, cheese and egg. You can even mix up your own toppings for unique flavours. The kueh is exceptionally crispy and light, the crushed peanuts were delightfully chunky.
Pair it with their freshly brewed coffee, starting at $2 per cup, for a complete breakfast.
The Pantree: 114 Lavender street, #01-19, CT Hub 2, Singapore 338729 | Opening time: 830am – 430pm
Soon kueh ($1), Gu cai kueh ($1.20), Glutinous rice kueh ($1)
Nick Soon and Karen are owners of One Kueh At A Time, who are incredibly warm and friendly. Unwilling to let his mother’s traditional recipes fade away with time, he has decided to learn the ropes and opened a store to sell these little pouches of joy.
A limited quantity of approximately 200 pieces of soon kuehs (笋粿) and garlic chives kuehs (韭菜粿) are freshly handmade every day. Its skin is skilfully thin, whilst tightly wrapped to hold a generous amount of fillings. The radish in the soon kueh remains juicy and crunchy, while the chives are fragrant.
They are famous for running out of kueh typically within 3 hours of the stall’s opening, so make sure to give them a call to pre-order. On weekends the couple expands their menu to offer glutinous rice kueh (饭馃).
One Kueh At A Time: 166 Jalan Besar, #02-61 Berseh Food Centre, Singapore 208877 | Tel:9795 6119 | Tuesday – Sunday: 8am – 2pm, closed on Mondays | Facebook
Prawn noodle ($2.50/$3)
The stall also sells char kway teow and pork rib noodles, but the prawn noodles were selling like hotcakes in the morning. The elderly stall owners serve many loyal old timers, whose preferences they can remember even before placing their orders.
For $2.50, you can choose the types of noodles you like for your hae mee. My bowl was well filled with ingredients and al dente mee kia, with a pipping hot sweet prawn-based broth. The dry version seemed to be a favourite amongst frequenters.
Soon Huat: 861 North Bridge Road, North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre#01-105, Singapore 198783 | Monday – Sunday: 6am – 5pm
Fish & peanut porridge ($1), Economic fried bee hoon ($1).
Slathering my bee hoon in porridge is one of the foods I grew up eating on weekend mornings, it’s not only super cheap at Chang Ji Gourmet, but also very heartwarming.
Some call this pairing the pseudo “shark’s fin soup”, with the bee hoon acting as the delicacy in a spoonful of thick porridge. Have a go at it!
Chang Ji Gourmet: 335 Smith Street, #02-110 Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, Singapore 050335 | Monday, Wednesday – Sunday: 06:00am – 02:00pm, Closed on Tuesdays
Bedok Chwee Kueh needs no introduction amongst locals. Its soft bouncy kueh, and crunchy chye poh topping with tangy chilli will fill your tummy in pure satisfaction.
With a total of five branches around Singapore, you don’t have to head all the way down to the far East to satisfy your craving. The best part, they’re priced at $1 for two pieces for when you feel like binge eating after your heavy meals, $1.50 for three pieces, or $2 for four.
Bedok (Chinatown Branch) Chwee Kueh: Blk 335 Smith Street, #02-43 Chinatown Complex Market, Singapore 050335 | Opening hours: 7am – 9pm
Plain chee cheong fun ($2.20).
I love my chee cheong fun to be made the Cantonese way. As compared to the black sweet sauce, it feels healthier and less sinful, especially when you want something lighter in the morning.
Pin Wei serves up one of the most authentic Hong Kong styled chee cheong fun, everything is freshly handmade from the rice noodle mixture, to steaming it upon each order. Each one is rolled into three layers and it is incredibly soft up till the very last bite.
Pin Wei Hong Kong Style Chee Cheong Fun: 41A Cambridge Road, #01-25 Pek Kio Market & Food Centre, Singapore 211041 | Monday – Friday: 630am – 130pm, Saturday – Sunday: 630am – 230pm, Closed on Wednesday
Black carrot cake ($1.50).
Even when egg prices are expensive and their kuehs are entirely handmade and steamed in the stall, Heng Leong Carrot Cake remains competitively priced at just $1.50 for their smallest portion.
The kueh is thickly sliced into cubes, which may be slightly harder in texture. The portion is great for one at such an astoundingly low price. Where can you find such cheap hawker food these days in Singapore?
Heng Leong Carrot Cake: 41A Cambridge Road, #01-13 Pek Kio Market & Food Centre, Singapore 211041 | Opening time: 730am – 345pm, Closed on Mondays
Salted egg yolk bun ($0.60), kong bak bun ($0.60), char siew bun ($0.60)
The salted egg yolk bun has a filling that reminded me of mooncake, which hides an entire yolk that is covered with lotus paste. It is the best flavour among the other two that I tried.
The char siew bun was filled with mince meat-like texture, which was a tad dry. If your appetite is smaller in the morning, three tiny bite-sized buns should fill you up, otherwise get their big chicken or pork buns instead.
Teochew Handmade Pau: Block 127 Toa Payoh Lor 1, #02-02 Toa Payoh West Market and Food Court, Singapore 310127 | Tel:6254 2053 / 66595786 | Tuesday -Saturday: 6:00am to 2:00pm, Sunday: 6:00am – 12:00pm, Closed on Mondays and alternate Tuesdays | Website
Nasi Lemak Set A ($2).
If steam buns aren’t satisfying enough, situated in the same food court is Hup Lee Fried Mee Hoon, which sells Nasi Lemak sets for $2.
My set comes with a piece of fried chicken wing, fried egg with perfectly cooked runny egg yolk, a serving of peanuts, and the most important salty-sweet chilli.
Hup Lee Fried Mee Hoon: Block 127 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh,#02-35 Toa Payoh West Market and Food Court, Singapore 310127 | Opening time: 6am – 2pm, closed on Mondays
While putting together this list, I found that the older estates in Singapore are more likely to have hidden good and cheap foods, so as to remain affordable for the elderlies living in those areas. It also meant that if we are willingly to explore, we will be in for a treat with the years of culinary experiences these hawkers possess.
There are definitely a lot more to feature, we hope to expand this list with your suggestions of cheap breakfast under $2.50 in Singapore. Chip in by sharing your favourite pocket-friendly stalls.