Welcome to the vibrant culinary tapestry of Singapore, where diverse influences have come together to create a delectable array of local delights. If you’re a true-blue Singaporean, you’re probably no stranger to these beloved local snacks. But if you’re still exploring the culinary treasures of your homeland, we’re about to take you on a journey to rediscover the 30 must-try local snacks in Singapore that are an integral part of our culture. Get ready to savour the flavours that make Singapore’s food scene truly special!
30 Must-Try Local Snacks in Singapore
1. Kaya Toast
Start your day like a local with Kaya Toast. It’s like a warm hug in the morning—crispy, toasted slices of bread slathered with a generous layer of kaya (a sweet coconut and egg jam) and a pat of butter. The perfect blend of sweet and savoury to kickstart your day. The joy of Kaya Toast goes beyond its taste; it’s a beloved part of our culture, steeped in nostalgia. It’s a staple in local coffee shops or “kopitiams,” where generations have gathered for a simple, heartwarming breakfast.
2. Roti Prata
Roti Prata is a crispy, Indian-inspired pancake that’s more than just bread. It’s an art form, served with a variety of dipping sauces like curry, sugar, or condensed milk. Its versatility makes it a crowd-pleaser. The magic of Roti Prata lies in its preparation. Skilled prata makers deftly stretch and flip the dough until it becomes a thin, golden disc of perfection. The result is a crispy, flaky exterior with layers that you can peel apart, revealing the soft, chewy layers beneath.
Recommended spots: Casuarina Curry, Mr & Mrs Mohgan’s (300 Joo Chiat Road), Sin Ming Roti Prata (24 Sin Ming Road)
Skewers of marinated and grilled meat, Satay is a delicious snack you can enjoy as an appetiser or a main course. The tantalising aroma of satay grilling over hot charcoal is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Each skewer is a symphony of flavours—succulent meat, a fragrant marinade, and the smoky char from the grill. The accompanying peanut sauce, with its nutty richness and a hint of spice, adds depth to the experience.
4. Chwee Kueh
Chwee Kueh is a humble yet delightful snack that resonates with those who appreciate simplicity and tradition. The soft rice cakes are made by steaming a mixture of rice flour and water. What truly elevates this dish is the savoury topping. The radish mixture, often cooked with preserved radish and other seasonings, adds a burst of umami goodness.
5. Oyster Omelette
Crispy and savory, the Oyster Omelette, or “Orh Luak” in the local dialect is a must-try. The dish starts with a crispy, lacy omelette, made by frying a mixture of egg and sweet potato starch until it turns golden brown. What makes it truly unique is the addition of plump oysters, which are cooked to tender perfection. The accompanying chilli sauce, often a blend of sweet and spicy, adds a zesty kick to each bite.
Recommended spots: Hougang Oyster Omelette & Fried Kway Teow (435A Hougang Ave 8), Lim’s Fried Oyster, Ang Sa Lee Oyster Omelette (Chomp Chomp Food Centre)
6. Muah Chee
Muah Chee is sticky, chewy, and absolutely delicious. It’s a snack that’s all about texture and contrasts. The chewy, glutinous rice balls are cut into bite-sized pieces, creating a delightful contrast with the crispy coating of crushed peanuts and sugar. It’s not just a treat for the taste buds but also a tactile experience as you pick up each piece with a toothpick, ensuring that you get the perfect ratio of rice cake to peanut coating.
Recommended spot: Hougang 6 Miles Famous Muah Chee (Toa Payoh HDB Hub Food Court)
7. Tau Huay
Satisfy your sweet cravings with Tau Huay, a silky smooth soybean pudding served with syrup. It’s a simple yet divine dessert. Tau Huay, or tofu pudding, is a dessert that’s both comforting and refreshing. What makes Tau Huay truly special is its texture—soft, almost velvety, and it practically melts in your mouth. It’s a dessert that offers a moment of pure indulgence, whether you’re having it on its own or as a light ending to a meal.
8. Pandan Cake
The Pandan Cake is a vibrant green chiffon cake made with pandan leaves, giving it a unique and fragrant flavour. It’s a favourite among locals, and once you try it, you’ll understand why. Each bite is a balance of fluffy, moist sponge and the aromatic, slightly nutty notes of pandan. It’s a cake that’s easy to love, whether you’re enjoying it as a simple teatime snack or as a sweet treat for special occasions.
9. Curry Puff
Curry Puffs are flaky pastries filled with spiced potatoes, chicken, and sometimes include hard-boiled eggs. They’re the ultimate on-the-go snack, perfect for satisfying your hunger pangs. Curry Puffs are the embodiment of comfort and convenience, making them a beloved snack for anyone on the move. The pastry shell is a delight in itself—crispy, flaky, and golden brown, a perfect contrast to the savoury filling within.
10. Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake, or “Chai Tow Kway”, is a classic local dish with a name that can be misleading. There’s no carrot involved; instead, the star of the show is the white radish cake. This cake is made from grated radish and rice flour, creating a firm but slightly soft texture. The highlight of Carrot Cake is the stir-frying process, where the cubes of radish cake are tossed in a wok with eggs, garlic, and preserved radish. The result is a savoury delight, with crispy edges, a tender interior, and a blend of flavours that’s both sweet and savoury, with a hint of umami.
Popiah is a snack that’s all about freshness and healthiness. These spring rolls are made by wrapping a delicate and thin wheat flour skin around a filling that’s bursting with flavour and texture. The classic filling often includes julienned turnips, prawns, eggs, tofu, bean sprouts, and fresh herbs. The real magic happens when you take a bite, and the various elements come together, creating a balance of crunch, juiciness, and a medley of tastes. What ties it all together is the sweet sauce that complements the freshness of the ingredients.
Rojak is a unique snack that’s all about contrasts and the delightful clash of flavours. It’s a medley of fresh fruits and vegetables, from crunchy jicama and cucumber to sweet pineapple and rose apple. What brings everything together is the sauce—the shrimp paste sauce that’s sweet, spicy, and savoury, all at once. The result is a harmony of flavours and textures, where each bite is a surprise, offering a burst of sweet, tangy, and spicy notes.
Recommended spots: Soon Heng Rojak (Toa Payoh HDB Hub Food Court), Balestier Road Hoover Rojak (Whampoa Makan Place)
13. Kueh Pie Tee
Kueh Pie Tee is a delightful appetiser—mini crispy tart shells filled with a mixture of turnips, prawns, and a sweet chilli sauce. The contrast between the crispy shell and the fresh, crunchy filling creates a textural delight, and each bite offers an explosion of sweet, savoury, and slightly spicy notes. Kueh Pie Tee is a snack that’s a true representation of Peranakan cuisine, showcasing the intricate and harmonious balance of flavours and textures.
14. Nyonya Kueh
Nyonya Kueh is a delightful assortment of colourful and sweet Peranakan desserts. These bite-sized delights come in various shapes, colours, and flavours, making them a must-try for all Singaporeans. What makes them stand out is the vibrant colours, often derived from natural ingredients like butterfly pea flower or pandan leaves. Each piece of Nyonya Kueh is like a little jewel, offering a sweet and fragrant burst of flavour with every bite. The combination of textures and tastes, from chewy to creamy, is a delightful exploration for anyone with a sweet tooth.
15. Min Jiang Kueh
Min Jiang Kueh, affectionately known as “mee chiang kueh,” is a snack that combines the best of both worlds—fluffy and slightly crispy pancakes filled with various fillings like peanuts, red bean paste, or even cheese. What sets Min Jiang Kueh apart is the enticing aroma that fills the air as it’s cooked to perfection, beckoning passersby to sample its delights. Each bite offers a symphony of textures, from the satisfying crunch on the outside to the sumptuous, gooey filling within.
Recommended spots: Tanglin Halt Original Peanut Pancake, Pancake King
16. Tau Sar Piah
Tau Sar Piah is a snack that captivates the senses with its enticing contrast of textures and flavours. This flaky pastry, filled with sweet or savoury mung bean paste, invites you to savour its delicious duality. The crispness of the crust meets the smoothness of the filling, creating a harmonious blend that’s utterly irresistible. As you take your first bite, you’ll be transported into a world of delectable contradictions, where the savoury and the sweet come together in perfect unison.
Vadai, a South Indian snack, is a crispy fritter that embodies the true spirit of Singapore’s diverse food scene. These delectable morsels are made from ground lentils and an array of aromatic spices, creating a burst of flavour in every bite. What makes Vadai truly special is its versatility—it’s a beloved street food that pairs perfectly with a cup of hot tea, making it a go-to snack for Singaporeans.
18. Bak Kwa
Bak Kwa, the savoury-sweet grilled pork jerky, is a snack that’s synonymous with Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore. Each slice is a balance of tenderness and a slight caramelised crust, creating a mouthwatering experience that’s unique to this festive treat. What makes Bak Kwa truly special is its role in bringing families and friends together during the Lunar New Year. Sharing a slice of this delectable snack is a cherished tradition that symbolises the warmth and togetherness that define the festive season. Bak Kwa is more than just a snack; it’s a cultural tradition and a testament to the deep-rooted values of family and community in Singapore.
19. Kueh Tutu
Kueh Tutu, a delightful traditional snack, evokes a sense of nostalgia among Singaporeans. These bite-sized, steamed rice cakes come in various flavours and typically feature sweet fillings like coconut or ground peanuts. What makes Kueh Tutu truly special is the process of making them. Vendors use small, flower-shaped moulds and steam the rice cakes to perfection, resulting in a fluffy texture. The fragrance of pandan leaves often lingers, enhancing the overall experience. Kueh Tutu is not just a sweet treat; it’s a cherished part of Singapore’s culinary heritage.
Otah is a flavourful and spicy snack that seafood lovers in Singapore adore. This savoury fish cake is a blend of ground fish, coconut milk, and an aromatic mix of herbs and spices, all wrapped in fragrant banana leaves. The leaves infuse the otah with a unique, earthy aroma while keeping it moist and tender during the cooking process. Otah can be enjoyed on its own, as a sandwich filling, or paired with steamed mantou. Its bold flavours and mouthwatering aroma make it a beloved favourite, especially when you’re craving something spicy and satisfying.
21. Dough Fritters
Known locally as “You Tiao,” these deep-fried dough sticks are a staple in Singapore’s breakfast scene. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, You Tiao pairs perfectly with a steaming bowl of congee or a cup of hot coffee. They can also be found in local favourites like “You Tiao Cheong Fun,” where they’re wrapped in rice rolls and drizzled with sweet soy sauce. The simplicity of this snack is its charm, making it a beloved go-to for many Singaporeans.
Where to get: fried snack stalls at most hawker centres
22. Goreng Pisang
If you’re in the mood for a sweet and crispy snack, look no further than Goreng Pisang. These deep-fried banana fritters are a popular street food in Singapore. The ripe bananas are coated in a light, sweet batter before being deep-fried to golden perfection. The result is a delightful contrast between the crispy exterior and the soft, caramelised banana within. Goreng Pisang is a treat enjoyed by people of all ages, whether it’s an afternoon snack or a side dish during a meal.
23. Chee Cheong Fun
Chee Cheong Fun, or rice noodle rolls, is a classic Cantonese snack that has found a home in Singapore’s diverse culinary landscape. Soft, silky rice noodle sheets are often rolled up and served with a sweet, savoury soy sauce or a spicy chilli sauce. Some variations even include fillings like prawns or char siu (barbecue pork). The simplicity and texture of Chee Cheong Fun make it a delightful option for those looking for a light, yet satisfying, snack.
Recommended spots: Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun (Old Airport Road Food Centre), Pin Wei Hong Kong Style Chee Cheong Fun
24. Steamed Buns
Steamed buns, known locally as “Bao”, come in various fillings and are a beloved part of Singapore’s street food culture. These soft, fluffy buns can be stuffed with everything from barbecued pork (Char Siu Bao) to sweet red bean paste. The combination of the pillowy bun and flavourful filling creates a delightful balance of textures and flavours. Steamed buns are a convenient and delicious snack option that’s easy to enjoy on the go.
Recommended spots: Nam Kee Pau, Tanjong Rhu Pau
25. Salted Egg Fish Skin
Salted Egg Fish Skin is a delightful and addictive snack that combines the crispy goodness of fried fish skin with the rich, savoury flavor of salted egg yolk. Each piece is meticulously coated with a luscious mixture of salted egg yolk and a medley of aromatic spices, creating a satisfying and indulgent snack. The combination of crispy texture and umami-rich seasoning makes Salted Egg Fish Skin a popular choice for gatherings and as a savoury treat that you can’t stop munching on.
Recommended spot: IRVINS
26. Ang Ku Kueh
Ang Ku Kueh, or “Red Tortoise Cake,” is a traditional Singaporean snack with a unique charm. These sweet glutinous rice cakes come in various colours and are typically filled with sweet fillings like mung bean or peanut paste. What makes them stand out are their intricate and vibrant designs, which symbolise longevity and good luck. The chewy texture of the rice cake and the sweetness of the fillings make Ang Ku Kueh a cherished treat, especially during festive occasions.
27. Durian Snacks
For durian enthusiasts, Singapore offers a variety of snacks featuring the “King of Fruits.” You can find durian-flavoured treats like durian puffs, durian ice cream, and even durian crepes. These snacks capture the pungent and creamy essence of the fruit, making them a must-try for those who appreciate the unique flavour of durian. Whether you’re a durian lover or simply curious, exploring these snacks can be a delicious adventure.
28. Butter Cream Cakes
Butter Cream Cakes are a delightful indulgence that many Singaporeans have grown up with. These light and fluffy sponge cakes are generously filled with a creamy and buttery icing. The combination of soft cake and sweet, velvety cream creates a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Whether you’re enjoying it as a tea-time treat or celebrating a special occasion, Butter Cream Cakes are a comforting and timeless dessert.
29. Old School Biscuits
Singaporeans have a deep affection for nostalgic “old school” biscuits, which have been part of our snack culture for generations. These classic biscuits come in various shapes and flavours, from fragrant pineapple jam biscuits to crisp cream crackers. Many still cherish them as a simple, comforting snack, evoking warm memories of childhood. They’re perfect for dunking in tea or enjoying as a quick pick-me-up.
Sachima is a delightful Chinese snack that has made its way into the hearts of Singaporeans. It consists of crispy strands of fried dough bound together by a sweet and sticky syrup. Some variations include peanuts or sesame seeds for added flavour and texture. Sachima is a crunchy, sweet treat that’s perfect for satisfying your sugar cravings and enjoying as a snack during gatherings or celebrations.
Recommended spots: Pan Ji Cooked Food (Chinatown Complex Food Centre)
Within the vibrant culinary tapestry of Singapore, local snacks are a delightful showcase of our culture and heritage. From Kaya Toast to Roti Prata, Satay, and Chwee Kueh, these local snacks in Singapore tell unique stories and bring people together. They embody our rich culinary heritage, blending diverse cultures and traditions to create Singapore’s distinctive food culture. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, these local snacks in Singapore invite you to savour and share, nurturing a love for our local food culture.