Guide To Singapore’s Chinatown – 15 Tips On What To Eat And What To See

Guide to Chinatown

Chinatown is an ethnic neighbourhood in Singapore that was once home to the early Chinese migrants.

Today, the cultural enclave has evolved into an eclectic mix of old and new, where visitors can visit modern establishments housed in restored heritage shophouses. Interestingly, the district has a few long-standing attractions that still serve the local communities today.

From visiting national monument Sri Mariamman Temple, attending tea appreciation classes, eating local delicacies at Chinatown Complex Food Centre to savouring traditional bakery Tong Heng’s famous egg tarts, here is our Guide to Singapore’s Chinatown. There is so much to see, so much to eat and one would have to explore the vicinity to understand what we mean.

Banana Tree


#1 BANANA TREE


Hailing from South Korea, Banana Tree is a cute cafe that is most well known for their adorable desserts that are actually served in a flower pot. Order their Flower Paap (S$6.50), which contains delicious banana pudding served with oreo ‘soil’ and topped with chocolate pebbles.

26 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089133
Tel: +65 6221 5020
Tue to Sat: 11am – 9pm
Sun: 12pm – 7pm
Nearest Station: Outram Park

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and MuseumSource: Super Merlion


#2 BUDDHA TOOTH RELIC TEMPLE


Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is an intricately designed Tang-styled Chinese Buddhist temple where visitors can find sacred religious artefacts. Those in search of solace should head up to the tranquil rooftop garden perched atop, where it features a large prayer wheel and pagoda.

288 South Bridge Road
Singapore 058840
Tel: +65 6220 0220
Daily: 7am – 7pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Cafe Insadong Sweet Potato Bingsu


#3 CAFE INSADONG


Bingsu is all the rage right now and speciality cafes have been sprouting up all over Singapore like mushrooms. Cafe Insadong serves affordably priced Korean shaved ice dessert well under S$10—a real steal when compared to all its other competitors.

279 South Bridge Road
Singapore 058828
Tel: +65 8533 2003
Mon to Thu: 12pm – 9.30pm
Fri to Sat: 12pm – 11.30pm
Closed on Sunday
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Chinatown Food StreetSource: Chinatown Food Street


#4 CHINATOWN FOOD STREET


From Hainanese chicken rice to fresh frog porridge, there is a whole range of mouthwatering cuisines at Chinatown Food Street. The street is lined up with pushcarts that resemble Singapore’s olden days and aims to provide a glimpse of Singapore’s past.

7 Smith Street
Singapore 058921
Daily: 11am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Chinatown Complex Market


#5 CHINATOWN COMPLEX FOOD CENTRE


If you are after an authentic Singaporean experience, head to Singapore’s largest hawker centre at Chinatown Complex Food Centre. This is where you get to savour traditional delicacies at unbelievable prices ranging from S$2.50 to S$3. It is a place where Singaporeans love and seek comfort in our local delights.

335 Smith Street
Chinatown Complex
Singapore 050335
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Chinatown Heritage centre

Source: Chinatown Heritage Centre


#6 CHINATOWN HERITAGE CENTRE


As the name suggests, Chinatown Heritage Centre is where tourists can get a taste of how life was for the early migrants that settled in Chinatown. The venue has successfully recreated the original interiors of shophouses back in the 1950s.

48-50 Pagoda Street
Singapore 059207
Daily: 9am to 8pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Food playgroundSource: Design District


#7 CULINARY CLASSES AT FOOD PLAYGROUND


Want to pick up new cooking skills or brush up on your culinary techniques? Sign up for one of the day classes at award-winning Food Playground. Challenge yourself and learn to prepare traditional delights such as Chicken Rice, Laksa and Satays.

24A Sago Street
Singapore 059020
Tel: +65 9452 3669
Nearest Station: Chinatown


#8 EAT DIM SUM


The Cantonese community is one of Singapore’s earliest immigrants and along they brought with them age-old recipes of dim sum. Complete your trip with a scrumptious meal of dim sum at one of the teahouses, namely Yum Cha Chinatown and Tak Po Dim Sum Restaurant.

Yum Cha Chinatown
#02-01, 20 Trengganu Street
Tel: +65 6372 1717
Mon to Fri: 11am – 11pm
Sat and Sun: 9am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Tak Po Dim Sum Restaurant
42 Smith Street
Tel: +65 6225 0302
Daily: 7am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Lepark


#9 LEPARK


Named after the Malay slang for chilling, Lepark is a cooler hang-out spot in Chinatown with its Mod Sin tapas and iced cold beers. Its unique location is such a surprise; who would have thought that a bar could exist at the outdoor carpark of People’s Park Complex!

People’s Park Complex Level 6
1 Park Road
Singapore 059108
Tel: +65 6908 5809
Tue to Thu: 4pm – 11pm
Fri: 4pm – 12am
Sat: 11am – 12am
Sun: 11am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

mad about sucre coco citron


#10 MAD ABOUT SUCRE


Mad About Sucre patisserie has been making waves in the local food scene with its unconventional yet impressive desserts, especially its highly raved about Coco Citron ($9.80+). Its chief baker studied at Le Cordon Bleu.

27 Teo Hong Road
Singapore 088334
Tel: +65 6221 3969
Mon: Closed
Tue to Sat: 12.30pm – 10.30pm
Sun: 12.30pm – 5pm
Nearest Station: Outram Park


#11 SHOP FOR TRADITIONAL CHINESE CLOTHES


Take a walk around Chinatown neighbourhood and you will be greeted by rows of mannequins donning traditional Chinese clothing such as cheongsams, jade accessories and whatnot.

Sri Mariamman Temple


#12 SRI MARIAMMAN TEMPLE


Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple built in Dravidian style. The beautiful national monument was built to worship goddess Mariamman, who is renowned for her healing powers.

244 South Bridge Road
Singapore 058793
Daily: 7am – 12pm, 6pm – 9pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown


#13 TEA APPRECIATION


The consumption of tea is an important part of Chinese culture and visitors can drop by either Enjoy Tea or Tea Chapter for tea appreciation classes. These two specialty tea stores also sell a selection of tea accessories and premium tea leaves and they make great souvenirs.

Enjoy Tea
#01-01, 18 Sago Street
Singapore 059017
Tel: +65 6221 7479
Daily: 11am – 8pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Tea Chapter
9 Neil Road
Singapore 088808
Tel: +65 6226 3026
Daily: 11am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

The Daily Roundup


#14 THE DAILY ROUNDUP


Housed within co-working space The Working Capitol is a little cafe called The Daily Roundup, and they specialise in sweet and savoury crepes. These French galletes are simply irresistible and we highly recommend the divine Yuzu Butter Crepe (S$10).

1 Keong Saik Road
#01-02 The Working Capitol
Singapore 089109
Tel: +65 6338 8035
Mon to Sat: 8am – 8pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Nearest Station: Outram Park

Tong Heng Egg Tart


#15 TONG HENG


Chinese bakery Tong Heng has been around since Singapore’s colonial days and is most well known for their mouthwatering diamond-shaped egg tarts. A wobbly pure egg custard is encased in a slightly flaky crust. Besides the must-order egg tarts (S$1.40 each), visitors can also indulge in other Cantonese confectionery such as Char Siew Crispy Cakes and Curry Puffs.

285 South Bridge Road
Singapore 058833
Tel: +65 6223 3649
Daily: 9am - 10pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown