The bustling Central Business District (CBD) is home to many restaurants, pubs, bistros and eateries. There is always something to eat, but sometimes, everything seems expensive.
What you may not know is that there are many independent eateries that offer mains for S$10 and below in the vicinity of Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer – on top of what you might get at the usual food courts and food centres.
We bring you 10 Affordable Eats in Singapore’s Central Business District Under $10 that will not burn a hole in your wallet.
The Wagon is one of the newest but most unassuming restaurant on Tras Street, Singapore. It looks subtle and unassuming from the outside, along the rows of restaurants and shophouses. But if you can locate this gem, you are in for a treat.
When night falls, a huge red neon signboard bearing the words ‘The Wagon’ lights up in full glory. And that is also when The Wagon comes alive. From the brick walls to the copper pans and pots hung up, the interior of The Wagon is chic and fun – all while boasting a very sassy yet casual vibe.
From French-Japanese inspired tapas served on trolley, to the amazing beef platter which features four different premium cuts of Hokkaido beef (dry-aged in-house), to the whole Muenier Flounder, The Wagon is full of surprises and a place that is suitable for all occasions.
Think of it as a spot where you can have great tapas and mains in a relaxed setting. And did we mention that it serves cocktails at S$7 each during Happy Hour? Also, our readers can quote “ladyironchef” to get a surprise dish from the chef.
Opened by the folks behind Department of Caffeine and Two Degrees North Coffee Co., The Populus Coffee & Food Co. opened its doors to public late last year, and it has been our favourite cafe in Singapore since.
You see, The Populus Coffee & Food Co. is everything a good cafe should be – a neat decor with plants and natural sunlight, comprehensive food menu with wholesome meals and homemade desserts, and a brilliant cuppa.
With the rise of demands for cafes in Singapore, more and more are sprouting out across the island, but sadly, everyone is just cutting corners and compromising on the quality – whatever they are. Thank God The Populus Coffee & Food Co. is nothing like that at all, and they always strive to bring the best experience to cafe-goers.
Xperience sits within the luxurious Sofitel So Singapore which is strategically located in the Central Business District (CBD) of Singapore.
The modern European restaurant is helmed by one of Singapore’s youngest and most charming executive chef, Trevor Paulo, who has a flair for recreating western classics with interesting local twists that has surely captured our hearts.
Chef Trevor Paulo’s unique culinary creations have successfully pushed the boundaries of traditional French cuisine, where his dishes have impressed even reputable 3-Michelin Starred Chefs such as Chef Christophe Muller and Chef Hideaki Matsuo. Despite all the glorious achievements, Chef Trevor remains down-to-earth and enjoys interacting with all his guests.
The next time you are in the CBD or need some surprises in your life, head down to Sofitel So Singapore’s Xperience Restaurant to experience Chef Trevor’s new menu. You will be in for a great time, we promise.
Violet Herbs is what we call an alternative dating spot if you want to do away with the crowd and pretentious vibes at posh establishments.
Conveniently located at Tanjong Pagar, this modern semi-fine dining restaurant is within walking distance from the train station. The restaurant occupies the entire three stories of the shophouse unit along Tras Street – with the first two floors for dining, and a rooftop herb garden where fresh produce are used for the cooking.
Helmed by Chef Edward Hoe, Violet Herbs is one of the most underrated restaurants in Singapore that offers splendid 3-course set lunches (S$33+/pax) and 4-course set dinners (S$58+/pax) at very decent prices that feature high quality and intricate plating.
The main courses are also nothing short of impressive. Mark Violet Herbs down – it should be your next romantic lunch/ dinner spot.
With several outlets across the U.K. and now Singapore too, MEATliquor has really come a long, long way.
The world-famous burgers had its humble beginnings; they were served right out of a van in a car park at Peckham, South London in 2009. Today, award-winning MEATliquor is one of the most established brands for burgers in the competitive food industry.
MEATliquor’s burgers have became quite a legend at its place of origin, where the Brits would queue up for more than an hour in the freezing winter just to get their hands on a burger! Like every other enthusiastic foodie, we were thrilled to experience what MEATliquor in Singapore has to offer. Was it going to live up to its hype or would it be a disappointing fad?
Heading up to level 2 of 73 Amoy Street to Dapper Coffee was a tiny setback, especially after trudging through Singapore’s humid weather. But the cosy space made up for the “hike”, and we spent an idyllic afternoon at the cafe over great coffee.
The swanky interior resembles a cool British pub. The coffee aroma that filled the air was alluring and we were thankful for the good range of different coffee to choose from.
Let’s see what the hype about Dapper Coffee is all about.
High ceilings and a spacious interior aside, walking into Grain Traders feels just like visiting an old friend. The aroma of fresh veggies and proteins is one so comforting and familiar; we knew we were in for some wholesome goodness.
A new addition to Capitagreen in Raffles Place, Grain Traders serves up healthy grains, together with proteins and vegetables that are far from haphazardly cooked and prepared. And yes, they are healthy AND tasty food.
From The Quarters’ trademark durian crème brulee to Miss Molly’s fusion laksa pasta, third culture proprietors have successfully transformed Tanjong Pagar from a ghetto zone into a cultural splendor. The rows of charming old heritage shop houses are now homes to a melting pot of cafes and restaurants.
While Korean restaurants seem to dominate the dining scene at Tanjong Pagar, we cannot deny the existence of many other up-and-coming eateries. The historic district of Tanjong Pagar is so popular that even award-winning Tippling Club and Gattopardo Restaurant have shifted to the bustling neighbourhood and never looked back.
Here is our guide to 30 bars, cafes and restaurants in Tanjong Pagar:
New year; new resolutions. It’s time to get into the groove of eating clean (especially after all that Christmas and New Year’s indulging). So for those in the Central Business District, we’ve gathered serious intel on five gourmet joints that offer healthy eats - that not only include salads, but also carbs and meats – to please the body and the palate.
Teppei Japanese Restaurant at the ground floor of Orchid Hotel has been gaining a strong following because of its extremely affordable omakase (prices start from S$50/pax). The last time we checked, its omakase during dinner is fully booked till December. If you are not able to get a table for omakase, go for its barachirashi and tempura set during lunch.
Few things are more therapeutic than enjoying some alone time and have coffee while reading a book on a quiet afternoon. One of the cafes in the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood that we go to regularly is Drury Lane.
Talk about the hottest Korean BBQ restaurants in Singapore, and we all think of Super Star K at Tanjong Pagar. The outlet specialises in using charcoal grill for its Korean BBQ, and the authentic dining experience explains its popularity among Singaporeans and tourists alike. Perpetually packed and crowded, dinner might have to come with a little wait, but we will tell you it is going to be worth the while.
Updated on 6 Oct 2014: Restore Living is no longer in operation.
Restore Living is a vintage furniture shop and cafe which is tucked in a shop house along Tanjong Pagar Road. Freshly baked bagels, homemade waffles in a nice and quint cafe surrounded by vintage furniture – it is the formula for a perfect afternoon. All the vintage furniture in the shop is available for sale. If you are looking for a new addition for your place, you can choose your favourite piece and bring it home.
SPRMRKT prides itself on redefining your local supermarket experience. It is a space where food, retail and art mingle together. You can enjoy a cosy meal at the bistro while shopping for daily necessities and random gifts.
The food is simple and unpretentious. There are two menus at SPRMRKT. The all-day breakfast menu dishes out the usual favourites such as Eggs Benedict ($14) and Breakfast Croissant ($7) everyday. The ala carte menu, on the other hand, changes daily and it offers a selection of salads, soup, and mains. Most of the items are priced reasonably below $20. For those who are working in the central business district, SPRMRKT is a nice place to grab a quick lunch.
2 McCallum Street
Tel: +65 6221 2105
Mon to Fri: 8am – 9pm
Sat: 9am – 4pm
While cafes are sprouting out everywhere these days – most with predictable and mediocre brunch, Selfish Gene Cafe at Craig Road stands out for their consistency in delivering good comfort food.