We spent five days in Singapore, and I fell in love with the city.

Singapore is hands down the best city I’ve visited from a food standpoint. The Hawker stalls (open air markets with individual stalls selling different types of food, basically a crazier food court) are unbelievable, and offer the most culinary variety that I’ve ever experienced in one place. Singapore is quite the melting pot, and as a result Singaporean food encompasses a huge range of cuisines, including Chinese, Malaysian and Indian. And given its proximity to SE Asia, foods like Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Korean and Thai abound.

It’s visual overload when you walk in, and it took me a few laps around each night before I could make a selection. On our first night in town, I looked for the busiest stall and got in line, and ended up eating the best Won Ton noodle soup of my life, made fresh in front of me and snipped into my bowl with industrial scissors. My favorites from this visit ended up being Hainanese chicken rice and Chili Crab, a whole crab cooked in a tomato and chili sauce, served with fresh sweet rolls for dipping. Other notables included Xiao Long Bao, BBQ Chicken Wings (legit, I swear!), satay, Hong Kong Noodles, and Pho.

Xiao Long Bao, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Live Crab for Chili Crab and Hong Kong Noodles

Xiao Long Bao, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Live Crab for Chili Crab and Hong Kong Noodles

Food from the Hawker centers runs around $5 for most dishes (chili crab excluded, that’s market price). And best of all for any fellow sensitive tummies, the stalls are regularly inspected and are completely sanitary. They don’t look like much when you first walk in but I highly recommend going Hawker as much as possible!

In addition to the Hawker stands, we went to a number of restaurants that absolutely blew us away, including the coolest stealth coffee shop of all time, Chye Seng Huat Hardware. Thank god for having local friends who can clue you in on these hidden gems!

Behind these doors is the most legitimate coffee shop I've ever seen! They roast all beans in house and serve things like cold brew iced coffee and french toast. Plz bring to SF ASAP!

Behind these doors is the most legitimate coffee shop I’ve ever seen! They roast all beans in house and serve things like cold brew iced coffee and french toast. Plz bring to SF ASAP!

Of course, you have to fill the time in between meals, and being the hardcore travelers that we are, we checked a lot of things off our lists: Botanic Gardens, Little India, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Orchard Street, the Merlion and the laser show (go with a good sense of humor and a love of Louis Armstrong and you’ll have fun). We had fancy cocktails and killer views at Ku De Ta at the top of the Marina Bay Sands, and shared a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel (I wouldn’t totally recommend it as it’s wayyyy too sweet and $$ but it’s great to see the hotel and feel historic).

Amphitheater at the Botanic Gardens

Amphitheater at the Botanic Gardens

Gardens by the Bay at night, aka Avatar

Gardens by the Bay at night, aka Avatar

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Obligatory Singapore Harbor pic

Time to break it down by…

  • Best hangover food: Pho, Hainanese Chicken rice
  • Best dumplings: Xiao Long Bao
  • Best dessert: Fresh fruit plates (mango, papaya and dragonfruit, A+)
  • Best breakfast: Tough category, but CSHH french toast ties with Singapore’s traditional Kaya toast (white fluffy bread served with coconut jam and a thick pat of butter)

Final verdict: Love!

Singapore is clean and well-organized, full of delicious food and awesome cabbies. The MRT is expansive and easy to use, and cabs are relatively cheap. The shopping is crazy (note to self, return when rich) and the nightlife is a blast. I found everyone to be extremely friendly and helpful, and getting around is a breeze thanks to English being an official language. And once more for good measure: FOOD!

Overall, this was a definitely highlight of the trip for me. Travis had a slightly different POV, and we can only hope that he chooses to post about it here!

Panorama