Bugis has always been one of my favourite haunts. Centrally located, Bugis has plenty of malls (Bugis Junction, Bugis+, Bugis Cube, just to name a few) that’ll keep you occupied from day till night. Not to mention, walk a little further down in either direction and you’ll find Kampong Glam, North Bridge Road and Bras Basah, all of which are treasure troves for the ultimate foodie.
Whether or not you’re looking for a breakfast spot, brunch cafe, date night for dinner, or late night supper spot, Bugis has got something for you. Here are our top 15 food spots in Bugis that you need to add to your list.
Whenever I’m at Hong Lim Food Centre, I’ll always get myself a piping bowl of curry chicken noodles from Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee. However, despite having two storefronts, this Michelin-recommended stall often sports a long queue (especially during lunch and dinner).
Well, its second outlet along Queen Street might just be my biggest secret of 2022 just yet, as this lesser-known outlet has much shorter queues. You’ll find it nestled under Block 269B, near Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.
The stall is helmed by the same second-generation family as the one who runs the first stall in Chinatown, so you can be assured of its quality. A bowl of Curry Chicken Noodles comes in 3 sizes: S$5.50, S$6.50 and S$7.50, and as with most curry mee dishes, you can request for any noodle types you’d like.
Be sure to pair your Curry Chicken Noodles with a saucer of Ah Heng’s homemade chilli sauce, which is super fragrant and shiok.
Ever heard of a cat-themed BBQ restaurant? Cue Meow Barbecue, one of China’s top 10 BBQ restaurants which is known for attracting long snaking lines in China. This award-winning BBQ restaurant is located at Bugis+, and this marks the restaurant’s very first outpost outside of China— how exciting!
Signature BBQ items such as Beef Chuck Cubes with Onion (from S$10.80), Savoury Beef Flank Steak (sliced) (S$21.80) and Boneless Chicken Thigh with Szechuan Peppers (sliced) (S$14.80) are must-try dishes whenever you’re at Meow Barbecue.
Cat lovers will adore the cat-themed items all over the restaurant, ranging from the crockery used, various decorative ornaments in and around the space, right down to the food served. Super cute!
Keen’s Bagelry has been popping up on my TikTok feed for ages ever since they opened in Jun 2022. It specialises in giant bagels stuffed with delectably savoury ingredients, and is located along North Bridge Road. You can find it hidden within Curbside Crafters, an arts and craft marketplace.
This no pork no lard bagelry offers a range of savoury stuffed bagelwiches (basically a bagel-sandwich). A must-try is its Truffle Chicken Bagel (S$14.90), which is filled with oven-baked house marinated chicken leg, torched sliced cheddar and house-made truffle mayo.
There are also other bagelwich options, such as the Johnsu (S$14.30) and Hashstack Bagel (S$11.80), both of which are reminiscent of breakfast bagels with smoked chicken sausages and hashbrowns respectively.
Just a note that Keen’s Bagelry doesn’t have an abundance of seating areas for dine-in, but there is a cosy spot at the back of Curbside Crafters for you to enjoy your bagels at!
Possibly one of the best prawn mee places in Singapore is Blanco Court Prawn Mee, a historic prawn mee place that has been serving traditional prawn noodles since 1928. Yes, 1928— you read that right!
Blanco Court Prawn Mee is located conveniently at the mouth of Haji Lane, facing Beach Road.
Classic prawn mee fans will love Blanco Court Prawn Mee’s Jumbo Prawn Noodle (S$12), which comes with large prawns swimming in a thick and rich broth. If you can’t decide what you want, go for the 3-in-1 Noodle (S$12) option, which includes prawns, pork ribs and pork tail.
As with most traditional prawn mee stalls, there’s also a ngoh hiang stall inside the coffee shop, perfect for pairing with your hearty prawn mee.
243 Beach Road, Singapore 189754
+65 6396 8464
Wed to Mon: 7.30am – 4pm
Closed on Tue
Words can’t describe how happy I am to include Artichoke on this list. This Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant is one of my personal favourite restaurants, and I always make it a point to celebrate either a birthday, anniversary or special occasion here every year.
Helmed by Chef Bjorn Shen (who isn’t a stickler for tradition), Artichoke offers up fun and inventive Middle-Eastern flavours, with reinvented classics and funky dishes that’ll win your heart 10 times over.
While most places use appetisers and small plates as a filler for the main course, Artichoke absolutely excels in it. A definite must-try is its Jewelled Hummus (S$11), a glorious dish made with miso, skhug (hot sauce), pistachio and pomegranate. Pair it with freshly made Turkish Bread (S$4.50) and you’re off to a perfectly good start.
As for the proteins, you can choose between kebab skewers such as Chicken (S$26) and Lamb (S$28), or go for the charcoal-grilled Octopus (S$30). Not sure what to order? Go for Artichole’s Big AF (Artichoke Feed) (S$69 per person), where the team will curate enough food to feed your entire dining party.
6. Hjh Maimunah
Established in the ‘90s, Hjh Maimunah is most well known for its traditional kampong-style nasi padang. It also won itself the Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2016!
Though it has expanded in recent years to include coffee shop stalls (such as the newly-opened Kedai Kopi coffeeshop in Yishun), you can still find its OG restaurant located along Jalan Pisang, near Arab Street.
You can expect authentic nasi padang cuisine that are perfect for sharing, such as Ayam Bakar Sunda (S$5), Beef Rendang (S$4.50), and Ikan Asam Pedas (S$5).
Ordering to share? Try its Original Ambeng Platter (S$33), which is perfect for 2-3 pax. It includes all-time favourites such as Beef Rendang, Sambal Goreng Jawa and Terung Belado.
7. Xin Yuan Ji
Mention “that fish soup place in Bugis” to anyone familiar with the area, and Xin Yuan Ji will pop up. Despite its large dining area and fast turnover, this popular fish soup restaurant is usually packed to the brim during lunch, with snaking queues along its storefront.
Having been here since 1993, Xin Yuan Ji has established itself as the go-to place for fish soup. Its experienced staff run the place like a well-oiled machine, so you can expect fast yet efficient service while you’re here.
Xin Yuan Ji has over 15 fish soup options, ranging from Fried Fish Head Soup (S$8.80) to Mixed Fish Bee Hoon (S$9.80). Its prices have certainly risen since the last time I dined here, but I figure it’s due to rent and rising food costs.
Go for the classic Fried Fish Meat Bee Hoon (S$6.80), or if you want something more comforting, try their Sliced Fish Porridge (S$6.80). Xin Yuan Ji also offers a variety of zi char dishes such as Hometown Beancurd (S$16.80) and Sambal Squid (S$15.80), perfect for sharing amongst friends or colleagues.
8. Chong Qing Grilled Fish
Whenever I’m at Liang Seah Street, I always find myself drawn to the spicy and numbing scent of Chong Qing mala fish, aka 烤鱼 (kao yu) at Chong Qing Grilled Fish.
This popular restaurant is most well known for its Sichuan charcoal-grilled fish, and it even claims to be the first in Singapore to introduce this when it was first launched in 2010.
Not to mention, Chong Qing Grilled Fish’s Liang Seah Street outlet is open till 1am & 2am, making it perfect for supper.
Ordering at Chong Qing Grilled Fish is broken down into 4 easy steps.
First, pick your choice of fish (such as Patin Fish (S$42.80)), then choose your broth. Choices range from the spice-inducing Spicy Fragrant or Spicy Numbing, or the not-so-spicy Mushroom Herbs and Fermented Black Bean. After that, you get to pick the spice level of your broth.
Last but not least, similar to mala xiang guo, you can pick side ingredients to go with your fish, such as Lotus Root (S$4.80), King Oyster Mushroom (S$4.80) and Fish Ball with Roe (S$5.80).
Located right in the heart of Bugis is Albert Market Food Centre. You’ll find this bustling multi-storey hawker centre right behind Bugis Street, and it makes for a perfect makan place, no matter if you’re looking for wallet-friendly options or just looking for a place to have kopi after shopping.
The most popular stall here in Albert Market Food Centre is Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu. Open from 7.30am to 9pm daily, this stall has made a name for itself thanks to its homemade-style yong tau foo. Each bowl of Yong Tau Foo (S$5.90) comes with a fixed set of ingredients, such as fried beancurd, stuffed bitter gourd and prawn, pork and fish paste rolls.
Another legendary stall is Hock Lee Fishball Noodles (#01-102). It’s open from 6.30am to 12pm from Tue to Sun, and its Fishball Noodle (S$4/S$5), which comes with handmade fishballs, is so good that it garners long queues from the start of the day.
270 Queen Street, Albert Market Food Centre, Singapore 180270
I remember the moment Supreme Pork Chop Rice went viral in 2019. People went mad for its value-for-money Taiwanese pork chop rice sets, and snaking queues would emerge from the stuffy basement coffee shop and make its way down the side of the building, even before the clock hit 12pm!
Supreme Pork Chop Rice specialises in old-school Taiwanese pork chops, and a popular option is its Pork Chop Rice (S$5), which comes with fried rice, a piece of pork chop and seasonal vegetables.
The Taiwanese pork chop was really addictive. I loved how thin the layer of flour was, as it created a delectable and crunchy exterior and paired well with the generous seasoning. It’s fried upon order too, so you won’t get soggy or overly stale pork chops here.
They also sell other old-school Western fare such as Chicken Cutlet w/ Bun (S$5), Fish w/ Chips (S$4.50) and 3 Cup Chicken Noodle (S$5).
67 Beach Road, Bulkhaul House, Basement, Singapore 189688
+65 8788 7780
Mon to Sat: 8am – 8.15pm
Closed on Sun
11. Ah Loy Thai
With over a thousand Google Reviews and a rating of 4.2 stars, Ah Loy Thai easily wins the spot for the best and most affordable Thai food in Bugis. This humble restaurant is located along Tan Quee Lan Street, and it’s a family-run establishment that uses Thai recipes that have been passed down by 3 generations of Thai chefs.
The food here is no-fuss and simple, yet full of flavours. Your best bet here would be to order and share with your family and friends, so that you can have a bite of everything. A must-try is their Thai Pandan Chicken (S$12.90 for 4 pieces), Pineapple Fried Rice (S$9.50) and Tom Yum Seafood (Thick/Clear Soup) (S$11.30).
Alternatively, if you’re dining by yourself, you can go for its signature Thai Fried Keotow (Phad Thai) (S$9.50) or Phad “Si Ew” (Fried Hor Fun) (S$9.90).
12. Ah Chew Desserts
Ah Chew Desserts has been dishing out traditional desserts since 2003, and it hasn’t moved from its original location along Liang Seah Street. You’ll definitely know it from its long queues, but don’t be intimidated by it! The queues might be long, but it moves fast.
With over 50 types of hot and cold desserts, you’ll be hard pressed to find a dessert that you won’t enjoy here. Personally, I adore Ah Chew Desserts. Its simple yet comforting old-school desserts absolutely hit the spot, especially after dinner.
Our recommendation would be its signature Durian Pomelo Mango Sago (S$6.60), which comes with chunks of sweet mango and actual frozen durian flesh. Not a fan of durian? Go for the classic Mango Sago (S$4.60), or try its hot desserts, which include Yam Paste with Ginko Nut (S$3.50) and Black Sesame Paste (S$3.80).
13. Chin Chin Eating House
Chin Chin Eating House was established in 1934, and most of its patrons have been dining at this old-school zi char restaurant since they were young.
Located along Purvis Street, Chin Chin Eating House is most well known for its Hainanese chicken rice, as well as other Hainanese-style food, such as its Hainanese pork chops and Hainanese mix vegetable (or chap chye).
The food here at Chin Chin Eating House is old-school and hearty. Go for its Roast/Steam Chicken (S$15/S$30), and pair it with other well-loved favourites such as its Yee Mee (S$5.50/S$11), Sweet Sour Pork (S$12/S$18) and Fu Yong Omelette (S$6/S$9).
Be sure to have a taste of its Hainanese Pork Chop (S$6/S$10/S$15), which comes delectably crispy and with the classic tomato-based sauce.
19 Purvis Street, Singapore 188598
+65 6337 4640
Mon to Fri: 11am – 3pm & 5pm – 9pm
Sat & Sun: 11am – 3.30pm & 4.30pm – 9pm
Symmetry was one of the first few cafes to hit the brunch scene in 2012, and I can still remember dining there as a teenager, eager to experience the true Aussie brunch culture.
This all-day dining restaurant and bar is most well known for its Aussie-inspired menu, with hearty mains and fresh produce that cater to brunch, tea break and dinner. I loved its rustic interior, with hints of industrial rawness and sleek finishes to create a warm atmosphere that simply makes you want to sit there for hours just to enjoy a cuppa.
Symmetry has different menus— there’s one for weekday dining, weekend brunch and a sundown menu for dinner, and there are also seasonal menus, such as a festive one with mulled wine for Christmas.
A fan favourite is the classic Symmetry Waffles (S$22), which come with fresh berries, ovomaltine spread, mixed berries compote, salted nut and seeds brittle and ice cream. Depending on the season and menu, you might also be able to catch its Lamb Ragu Pasta (S$31), Green Goddess Salad (S$27) or even Sarawak Black Pepper Angus Beef Burger (S$27)!
15. Seng Huat Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle
Possibly the most underrated bak chor mee stall in Singapore is Seng Huat Mushroom Minced Meat Noodle. You literally have to cross only one traffic light from Bugis Junction to find this stall, and here’s the best part— it’s open 24 hours daily, making this the perfect place to satisfy your bak chor mee fix no matter the time or day.
Its queue tends to get quite long during lunch hour, but the uncle behind the stove works efficiently!
I’ve dined here plenty of times, and I always get its Mushroom Minced Meat Noodles (S$4.50). Packed with plenty of vinegar and sauce, its Mushroom Minced Meat Noodles comes with a generous amount of braised mushrooms, lard, pork liver and minced meat, making this a saucy yet meaty bowl of noodles that’s worth every cent.
492 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188737
Daily: 24 hours
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