The Best Affordable Restaurants in Singapore
Updated: October 2019
Singapore is packed with eateries boasting of their gourmet pedigree – with prices to match.
However, eating out doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank, especially not in Singapore, as this city is filled with restaurants that serve up quality cuisine at prices that will keep your wallet happy.
From three-course evening meals to buffet lunches and quick bites to eat, no matter what the occasion is, you’ll find a suitable budget-friendly restaurant in Singapore.
With so many great restaurants to choose from, it can be hard deciding on just one. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our favourite affordable restaurants scattered throughout Singapore, from Bukit Timah to Changi.
Meat Smith: The Full Metal Smokehouse
Meat Smith has three venues in Singapore and offers authentic American BBQ. The clue really is in the name; this place is all about the meat. There’s brisket, sausage, ribs and everything in between here. Sides deliver too, with house-made slaw and fries all delicious.
Meat Smith might not be the cheapest restaurant, but there are a number of great value dishes to look out for. Head down on Tuesdays, when the house cheeseburger comes in at $10. Craft beers and bourbon cocktails are dished out from the bar, completing an authentic US BBQ experience.
Kazoku Japanese Cuisine
A great place for some cheap Japanese food in Novena, Kazoku Japanese Cuisine does fantastic sushi, sashimi and everything in between. Located in the Goldhill Plaza, dining here is not only cheap but lively, as you are surrounded by a bustling atmosphere.
Kazoku is easily one of the best value for money restaurants in the area. Many of the fresh dishes come in under $10, such as the chicken chop and salmon nigiri. Refreshing Tiger Beer is served and there is a 10% discount for Novena workers at lunch time. If it’s tasty Japanese food at a low price that you’re after, then head to Kazoku Japanese Cuisine.
For an affordable dinner in Singapore, Pasta Brava fits the bill. The romantic Italian restaurant in Tanjong Pagar is admittedly fancy for our list of cheap eats in Singapore. However, there are many great value for money options on the menu.
We recommend going for one of the pastas or risottos that are around the $25 mark. If you want to go all out, there are plenty more higher priced options on the menu. If you’re looking for a romantic restaurant that won’t break the bank, especially when Valentine's Day rolls around, then Pasta Brava is for you.
Another extremely affordable Japanese restaurant that makes our list is Chi Kinjio in Tanjong Pagar. Chi Kinjo is famous for its sushi sandwiches which are a lunchtime staple for many local workers. The menu features many other original takes on Japanese classics, with the potato salad another local hero.
If you’re looking for a restaurant where the drinks match the quality of the food, then this might be for you. Highballs are mixed by Sam Wong and there are loads of beers, wines and sakes too.
Pro tip: Happy hour is between 5 – 8 everyday with highballs at $5 served alongside mini sashimi bowls.
Alter Ego forces you to ask the question, do I want to be good or do I want to be bad? If you want to be good, the range of teas, Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls and fantastic salads are for you. It’s clean, it’s healthy and above all, it tastes fantastic.
That said, if you want to be bad, well may we suggest the pizza fries and a few jugs of sangria? The pizza fries are as good as they sound. Deep-fried chips covered in three cheese sauce and pepperoni. But wait, there’s more. Think milkshakes, the likes of which would make Elvis blush. And best of all, the price.
Platypus Kitchen – Bugis Junction
If you’d like something a little more sophisticated and gourmet that isn’t going to leave your wallet lying dead on the floor, Platypus Kitchen is the place for you. Serving up a mix of Asian Fusion and Italian cuisine, this multi-award winning restaurant prides itself on being a fine dining restaurant for everyone.
The list of international wines and craft beers on offer is extensive. It’s still not as impressive as the craft cocktail menu though, which is a wonder to behold. And obviously, there are pairings for every dish to ensure the best possible dining experience. It’s affordable fine dining at its best.
Lime House is a pioneer when it comes to Caribbean food in Singapore. Opening its doors back in 2013 and maintaining the philosophy of ‘welcome home’, it has become one of the most celebrated nightspots in the city. Spread across four floors of a classic Singaporean heritage building, Lime House has got everything from a great restaurant where you can indulge in fantastic Caribbean food, to a nightclub and a chilled-out private rooftop bar.
Lime House is the sort of place you could come in for lunch and just stay all day, sipping on fantastic rum-based cocktails, dining on delicious food and soaking in the chilled island vibes. And it still won’t break the bank.
Pasta J is all about strong, intense flavours. Priding themselves on cooking the long way around, the chefs at Pasta J spend hours extracting every hint of flavour they can to ensure a real taste explosion in their dishes. Pasta J also prepares everything in-house, and we mean everything. Whether it’s caramelised, reduced, smoked, brined, cured, injected, pressure cooked, de-stemmed or aged, they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure they’re presenting the best possible flavours in every single dish.
Pasta J also walks the line of price beautifully. For all of the hard work that goes in to the food, it would make sense for the prices to be high, and for some special dishes, the prices do start to climb. However, generally speaking, much like the style of cooking, Pasta J’s menu is designed to put a smile on your face.
Jacob’s Cafe is a home-style country kitchen that prides itself on taking high-quality ingredients and creating simple delicious dishes. It’s all the care and charm of old-fashioned cooking, that will warm your heart and your soul – and it’s good for your wallet too. This rustic and very cosy restaurant is perfect for sharing a lovely meal with friends and family alike.
If you’re looking for something wholesome and delicious, then you’ll definitely want to try out Jacob’s Cafe. It’s no frills, no fuss cooking at its finest and you won’t regret spending a lunch break here.
Saturday House was designed around the idea of creating a space where it is always the weekend, so whenever you need to escape from the mundane pains of the work week, there is a place to go. The motto here is ‘good food, good times’ and they have more than achieved it. If you need a sanctuary to hide from stress on a Monday, this is the place for you.
The menu is a nice blend of Western and local dishes that all taste great. If you’re after something light to have with a couple of drinks, then you can take the snacks menu, or if you’re looking for something a little more substantial there are the mains, or if you just want to sit at the window and people watch you can do that too. No matter what kind of weekend you’re after, Saturday House has got you covered.
The Workbench Bistro
What started out as a small ice cream cafe has turned into a fantastic cosy bistro that serves up a little bit of everything, as well as the great selection of fantastic ice creams and other desserts. The Workbench Bistro is a charming little spot that’s perfect for fun lunch or decadent dinner, either with mates or for a real family treat with the kids.
If you’re looking for burgers as big as your head and desserts to match, food that looks as amazing as it tastes, and a dinner that doesn’t require you to mortgage your house to pay for it, then The Workbench Bistro is the place for you.
Where’s your favourite place to eat on a budget in Singapore? Let us know in the comments below.