Dining out is an expensive affair, and nowadays, it is very difficult to find a decent restaurant/cafe which has main courses for under $20. However, if you know where to go, there are still some hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered.
Here is a list of Singapore’s Top 20 Inexpensive Restaurants where you can go for a good meal, even on a budget.
Note: I’m a little wary of using the words “inexpensive and budget” because everyone has different interpretations. For me, a good inexpensive restaurant is one that serves quality food at acceptable prices. It doesn’t necessarily need to be dirt-cheap, it can also represent places that offer value-for-money options, such as Club Street Social and Oriole Cafe in this list.
Big Mama Korean Restaurant
I think I’ve found my new favourite Korean Restaurant in Singapore. Big Mama is a hole-in-the-wall eatery that has been gaining a strong following for its home-style cooking. While some of the signature dishes cost slightly more, it has a ‘Big Mama’s Simple Menu’ with sets like Kimchi Fried Rice ($12), Pork Bulgogi with rice ($13) and Soyabean Soup with rice ($13).
2 Kim Tian Road
Tel: +65 6270 7704
Daily: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11pm
Canopy Garden & Dining Bar is a new-found brunch haunt that offers a good menu of comfort food with friendly price tags, and is coveted for its location – nestled amongst the lush greenery of Bishan Park, and away from the bustling city.
If you are staying in the area – well, even if you are not, there is absolutely no reason to not pay Canopy a visit.
Bishan Park 2 1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
Tel: +65 6556 1533
Mon to Fri: 9am till late
Sat & Sun: 8am till late
Located at Gemmil Lane (a quiet corner off Club Street), Club Street Social is a chic restaurant/bar which does simple and well-made food — such as all day breakfast, salad, soup, crostini, tramezzini, panini — at very reasonable prices.
5 Gemmill Lane, off Club Street
Tel: +65 6225 5043
Mon to Fri: 11am – 10.30pm
Sat: 9am – 10.30pm
Sun: 9am – 9pm
This is a popular lunch spot for folks who are working in the area. They have a value-for-money $9.90++ set lunch which consists of soup, main course and drink. For dinner, the set menu starts from $15++.
100 Beach Road
#01-43 Shaw Tower
Tel: +65 6291 8308
Sun to Thu: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 9pm
Fri & Sat: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 9.30pm
For a restaurant in town, the food at Delicious Restaurant is inexpensive; most of the main courses are available from $15-20. With its excellent location at the basement of Scotts Square, this is an ideal place for friends to meet up for gatherings.
6 Scotts Road
#B1-16/19 Scotts Square
Tel: +65 6636 0903
Daily: 10am – 10pm
Everything with Fries
There is a reason why Everything With Fries is so popular with students – it serves affordable western food. The specialities, such as the Har Jeong Kai burger, Wild NZ King Salmon, Nutella Tart – while not fantastic, are decent for the price.
40 Lorong Mambong
Tel: +65 6463 3741
Sun to Thu: 12 noon – 11pm
Fri & Sat: 12 noon – 1am
458 Joo Chiat Road
Tel: +65 345 5034
Daily: 12 noon – 10pm
This little cafe along Upper Thomson Road is worth a trip. It is a cosy chill out spot which has comfort food such as sandwiches, salads, pastas and breakfast food. Most of the items on the menu are around $10-15. Make sure you try their truffle fries when you are there.
223 Upper Thomson Road
Tel: +65 6456 2567
Tue to Fri: 11am – 10.30pm
Sat & Sun: 10.30am – 10.30pm
When it comes to Thai food, I like to go Jai Thai for a simple and reliable meal. Most of the items on the menu are priced between $5-8 for small portion.
27 Purvis Street
#01-01 An Chuan Building
Tel: +65 6336 6908
Daily: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
7 Clover Way
Tel: +65 6258 0228
Mon to Sat: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 9pm
Sun: 6pm – 9pm
My to-go place when I am meeting my friends in town. The prices of the main courses - smoked duck breast ($12), hotdog ($12), vongole with fresh clams ($17), marinara ($18), and mushroom aglio olio ($14) – are acceptable. For a meal under $20, Kith Cafe at Park Mall should be on the top of your list.
9 Penang Road
#01-01E Park Mall
Tel: +65 6338 8611
Daily: 8am – 10pm
When I am craving for Japanese food, I go to this humble Japanese eatery. Most people probably pass by without noticing it as it is located within a food court. But trust me, Koh Grill & Sushi Bar has good quality and inexpensive Japanese food. If you are having dinner in Orchard Road, I’d highly recommend Koh Grill & Sushi Bar.
435 Orchard Road #04-21
Wisma Atria Singapore
Tel: +65 9180 3805
Daily: 11.30am – 10.30pm
La Petite Cuisine
If you are in the Upper Thomson area, you should also check out La Petite Cuisine, a no-frills eatery that has decent French food at pocket-friendly prices. Think duck confit, steak frites for under $20. For folks who are staying in Bukit Timah, they have another branch at Serene Centre.
227 Upper Thomson Road
Tel: +65 6459 0553
Tue to Sun: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 9.30pm
10 Jalan Serene
#01-05 Serene Centre
Tel: +65 6468 8850
Tue to Sun: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 9.30pm
This Italian eatery at Holland Village has an ongoing 1-for-1 promotion for pizza/pasta/main course during weekday lunch. Each dish works out to be $10++, which in my opinion, is a superb deal.
26 Lorong Mambong
Tel: +65 6468 1982
Daily: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm
Oriole Cafe is another place in Orchard Road that I usually go to. Some of the main courses, such as the Beef Tagliatelle ($17), Fish & Chips ($18), Philly Steak & Cheese Sandwich ($16) are quite good.
96 Somerset road
#01-01 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites
(Opposite Brotzeit 313 @ Somerset)
Tel: +65 6238 8348
Paradise Inn Restaurant
Paradise Inn is a decent Chinese restaurant to go for a simple and affordable family dinner. In particular, you must try their signature Braised Vermicelli with Pork Trotters.
23 Serangoon Central
#03-15 NEX Mall
Tel: +65 6634 4228
(11 Branches in Singapore)
The food at Saizeriya Ristorante – a Japanese chain which offers cheap Italian cuisine – is okay, but for the price, there’s really nothing to complain about. You can get escargot for under $6, while pastas, pizzas and main courses are all below $10. Definitely one of the cheapest restaurants in Singapore.
177 River Valley Road
#02-22 Liang Court
Tel: +65 6337 9001
Daily: 10am – 10pm
Saveur Restaurant at Purvis Street has done a good job by serving inexpensive French food. The long line of hungry patrons during meal times is a testament to its popularity.
It is probably impossible to find another place that gives you Pan Seared Foie Gras for $8, and Duck Confit for $9.90. So, if you are on a budget, check out Saveur.
5 Purvis Street #01-04
Tel: +65 6100 1788
Daily: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 9.30pm
Selfish Gene Cafe
While cafes are sprouting out everywhere these days – most with predictable and mediocre food – Selfish Gene Cafe stands out for their consistency in delivering good comfort food. You can find all day breakfast ($10.80-15.80), sandwiches ($9.80-12.80), salad ($6-12.80), soup ($5.80) and desserts ($5.80) on the menu.
40 Craig Road
Tel: +65 6423 1324
Daily (except Tue): 10am – 6pm
With a name as quirky as Table Manners, it is hard not to do a double-take when we passed this little gastrobar hidden in a corner of Changi City Point. The sleek layout had been thoughtfully planned, with wooden furniture and quirky quotes adorning the walls, adding a casual vibe to the chic atmosphere.
With its hearty grub fare at student-friendly prices, and its after work chill-out vibe, we are sure it won’t be long before this little gastrobar starts drawing in the after-work crowd from the Changi area.
#01-68/69 Changi City Point
5 Changi Business Park Central 1
Tel: +65 6604 7669
Daily: 11am to 12am
The Fabulous Baker Boy
Located directly opposite Liang Court at The Foothills, The Fabulous Baker Boy is a really nice cafe to go for a gathering with friends, or a date with your partner.
Try their signature main courses such as the Ju’s Prawn Fettuccine ($18), Chicken Leek and Potato Pie ($14), and Pastrami Sandwiches ($10.50).
The Foothills #01-15
70 River Valley Road, Singapore 179037
Tel: +65 6694 8336
Daily: 12 noon – 11pm
Wine Connection Tapas Bar & Bistro
This modern bistro by the Wine Connection is located at Robertson Quay and they have a pretty affordable menu like pasta ($12-15), pizza ($12-15) and main courses ($15-25). This is the place to go for a casual meal without breaking the bank.
#01-19/20 Robertson Walk
11 Unity Street
Tel: +65 6238 6878