A perfect balance of old and new, Chinatown is one of Singapore’s hottest dining enclaves. The list of choices is endless, from hip cafes to local stalls serving up legendary bites. Fret not though, this guide to where and what to eat in Chinatown should come in handy! 

Iconic culinary creations

Singapore’s local fare is to die for, and the fact that many dishes are extremely affordable is a major bonus. For a plethora of mouth-watering options, visit venues like Chinatown Complex Market & Food CentreChinatown Food Street, and Maxwell Food Centre. These open-air eating spots are home to stalls that serve up must-try classics like chicken rice (Tian Tian at Maxwell Food Centre is highly recommended); fried oyster omelette (go to Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters in Chinatown Food Street); and laksa (spicy coconut milk-based noodle soup).

Up for dim sum (bite-sized portions of food)? A style of Cantonese cuisine that’s popular in Hong Kong, dim sum traditionally comes served in small steamer baskets. Tuck into items like egg tarts, pork ribs with garlic, shredded prawn congee, and dumplings at Yum Cha Chinatown. Pro tip: It’s a great breakfast idea so pop by in the morning instead.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Mei Heong Yuen Dessert. This joint specialises in Chinese desserts such as bird’s nest soup and yam paste, but you could also opt for other treats like durian mochi and one of their snow ice creations (which come in an array of flavours, from lychee to green tea).

Delights from around the world

Those in the mood for something fancy can book a table at Majestic Restaurant. Award-winning chef-owner Yong Bing Ngen puts out prettily—plated Cantonese dishes that come with a bit of an interesting twist, including Boston lobster with stewed noodles and crispy durian ice cream.

For delectable seafood creations, there’s Chinatown Seafood Restaurant, which serves up chilli crab, black pepper crab, and cereal prawns. Best enjoyed with a side of rice or, if you ordered the chilli crab, mantou (fried buns) to sop up the thick, sweet-spicy gravy.

If you’re in the area during the day, check out the cafes in Chinatown. Crepe connoisseurs can while the day away at The Daily Roundup, while dessert lovers can pop by patisserie Mad About Sucre for their European-inspired pastries. For Western fare, make a beeline for Potato Head Folk—a fab dinner spot for you to chow down on juicy burgers at Three Buns Kitchen before heading up to the rooftop bar for heady cocktails and a killer view of the city skyline.

For more things to see and do in this iconic ‘hood, read this guide.