Mention Jalan Besar and it’s impossible to not think about food. From the famous Swee Choon, Berseh Food Centre, hip cafes and other local eateries, Jalan Besar’s status as a foodie heaven draws in tourists and locals alike. Meaning ‘big road’ in Malay, the one-way street bordering Lavender and Little India was originally a track flanked by betel nut and nipah plantations. Now, it’s a conserved area full of beautiful shophouses. Looking to spend an afternoon here? Here are the top 20 Jalan Besar food that you have to check out!
This famous joint is one of the pioneers of Scissors Cut Curry Rice. And even though it is decidedly un-Instagrammable, fuss-free and no-frills, that’s where its charm lies. It’s hard to miss this spot as there’s bound to be a queue especially during peak hours. Popular options include the braised pork belly, chicken chop and cabbage. Generously drenched with a combination of Hainanese curry and braised dark sauce, dig into the mess and tell us it’s not satisfying!
Address: 229 Jln Besar, Singapore 208905
Opening Hours: 11 am–3 am daily
This is one of our favourite spots on a rainy day. The peppery and slightly tangy, clear soup is simply a delight to slurp up! Enjoy generous amounts of lean pork, meatballs, kiam chye (salted vegetables), liver, stomach and other off cuts. And sides like Hua Diao Wine Chicken perfectly complement the soup too. Not enough broth? Don’t worry – the stall offers free refills!
Address: 24 Foch Rd, Singapore 209263
Opening Hours: 10 am–3:30 am Sun to Thurs, 10 am–4 am Fri & Sat
A former hardware store turned industrial-chic spot for gourmet coffee and eclectic eats, Chye Seng Huat is a familiar name in the local cafe scene. Whether you are into espressos, seasonal coffees or cold brews, its baristas know coffee inside out and will know what to recommend. Feeling peckish? Have your coffee alongside some All-Day Big Breakfast, Tempura Unagi Wrap and Oat Milk Muesli.
Love tiramisu? Pop by this cafe for all things tiramisu! It is a whimsical little cafe that will surely brighten up your day. Enjoy a classic jar, a cupcake and all sorts of tiramisu varieties, even tiramisu beer! You can also customise your own creation if you’d like. Other than sweet treats, the cafe also has a wide range of savoury options such as all day breakfast menu, soups, salads, and main courses.
Address: 150 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207563
Opening Hours: 8:30 am–10 pm daily
There’s no way we can leave out this famous laksa joint, a must-try Jalan Besar food. Especially if you want to taste laksa cooked the traditional way over a charcoal stove, this is where to go. Generously topped with cockles, crunchy bean sprouts and green laksa leaves, this laksa is flavourful – sweet with a mild spice, infused with coconut flavours and hae bi (dried shrimps). Don’t be surprised by its long queue, especially on the weekends. The wait is worth it!
Address: 27 Jln Berseh, #01-100, Singapore 200027
Opening Hours: 9:30 am–4 pm Thurs to Tues. Closed on Wed
This is a stall that’s been around for over 40 years, first as a roadside stall before moving into the food centre. Today, it is run by the second generation Lim, who makes the batter by hand and uses two different chillies in their dish. One is added to the fried oysters during cooking and the other is used as a dip. The husband-and-wife team work perfectly in sync, and the dish has the perfect ratio of crispy charred edges to gooey, starchy middle. Mr Lim also uses Korean oysters, which are plump, succulent and sweet. The robust and tart chilli ties it all together, creating one of the best bites you’ll find in Jalan Besar.
Address: 166 Jln Besar, #01-32, Singapore 208877
Opening Hours: 6 PM–12 AM Wed to Sun
Craving for traditional dim sum? Make a stop at Swee Choon, grandfather of affordable dim sum dishes in Singapore. Since 1962, the restaurant has been serving dim sum classics such as siew mai, har gao, xiao long bao, carrot cake and more. Its more modern creations such as the salted egg yolk custard buns are also said to be some of the best in Singapore! Open till 4am, we highly recommend this as a supper spot.
Address: 183/185/187/189, Jln Besar, 191/193, 208882
Opening Hours: 7 am–4 am Wed to Mon. Closed on Tues
Jalan Besar is home to many foodie gems and this includes Fu Ji Fried Kway Teow. With a history as a pushcart stall in 1960s, netizens rave about the dish’s wok hei and the owner’s expert frying skills. More savoury than sweet, the dish has an old-school flavour with the usual ingredients of lup cheong, cockles, beansprouts and slices of fish cakes. The chilli adds on another flavour dimension, though those who can’t tolerate spice should tell the uncle to add less chilli.
Address: 166 Jalan Berseh, #01-16 Berseh Food Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Opening Hours: 2 – 11PM daily
With an industrial chic vibe, black and white decor, and clean lines greeting diners, 1 Tyrwhitt Bistro & Bar is Italian dining done right. Don’t expect gimmicky frills because this place is about two things: food and the drinks. So what you can expect and look forward to is delicious hand-tossed, thin crust pizzas crisped to perfection (we hear the Black Truffle Egg Pizza is a must-try), authentic, hand-made pastas and a wine list that’ll beckon you for days!
Address: 1 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207522
Opening Hours: 3 pm–12 am Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun
Nestled under a void deck near Lavender MRT, Heap Seng Leong is the spot for a traditional breakfast with a cup of kopi gu you (coffee with butter). Nothing much has changed about it since the 1950s. Heap Seng Leong stays true not just to what traditional coffee tastes like, but everything from the signboard, the cabinets, and even the tiles on the floor are super old-school. It’s definitely a spot many of us bring our foreigner friends to when they’re here for a visit!
Address: 10 North Bridge Rd, #01-5109, Singapore 190010
Opening Hours: 5 am–4 pm daily
While people flock to Authentic Mun Chee Kee for their popular Pig Organ’s Soup, we highly recommend opting for the Braised Pork Rice instead of the white rice! The rice perfectly absorbs the delectable sauce, and chunks of braised pork belly covers the rice entirely. It complements the light-tasting soup here, which helps to cut through the richness of the rice.
Address: 207 Jln Besar, Singapore 208893
Opening Hours: 10:30 am–2 am daily
Located in Berseh Food Centre, Sedap Thai is the first Halal Thai mookata in Singapore. Chicken oil and beef fat are used in place of pork lard, and the stall has an assortment of set platters for your enjoyment. Take your pick from the original chicken stock or tom yum soup. And if you've worked up an appetite after all the exploring and walking around, you might even consider opting for the all-you-can-eat buffet!
Address: 166 Jln Besar, Singapore 208877
Opening Hours: 4:30–9:30 pm Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun
Established in 1985, Kok Kee Wanton Noodles is famous for its springy noodles mixed in with a secret sauce. It has several outlets across the island now, but the OG stall still sees long lines of diners queuing up for wanton noodles, fried wontons, dumpling noodles and dumpling soup. When it comes to their wanton mee, we’ve found that some people love it, some others are much less impressed by it. What is your take?
Address: 30 Foch Rd, #01-02, Singapore 209276
Opening Hours: 9 am–9:30 pm daily
Love cakes and pastries? Butter Studio is Halal-certified and the recipes were adapted from the owner’s grandmother. One of the signatures here is the Ispahan (Lychee Rose Cake) which is tender and moist, complemented by the scent of rose and sweetness of lychee. Other wonderful pastries to try include the Gula Melaka cupcake, Nutella Tart and Speculoos Cookie Butter Tart. If you have an upcoming event, it’s worth noting that Butter Studio also does amazing dessert tables!
Address: 147 Jln Besar, Singapore 208865
Opening Hours: 11 am–8 pm Sun & Mon, Wed & Thurs. 11 am–9 pm Fri & Sat. Closedo n Tues
Berseh Food Centre in Jalan Besar is a popular spot for exotic meats like crocodile, turtle soup and even shark meat. So it should be no surprise that they have great mutton soup here too! Jalan Besar Mutton Soup serves a rendition that lightly herbal, non-greasy and aromatic. The mutton is very tender and not gamey at all, which a sour-spicy dipping sauce that packs quite a punch.
Address: 166 Jln Berseh, Singapore 208877
Opening Hours: 10:30 AM–7:30 PM Wed to Mon. Closed on Tues
Despite its name, Antea Social provides a cosy and tranquil space where you can relax and catch up with friends over a cup of tea. Bringing together old and new traditions, their signature is the Oolong collection which is primarily fruit and floral-based, and uses a special tea-making method that involves a two-month-long drying process. You’ll also find green, black, pu erh, and even caffeine-free blends, as well as a selection of cakes to go along with your tea!
Address: 9 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207528
Opening Hours: 11:30 AM–7 PM Tues to Fri & Sun. 11:30 AM–10 PM Sat
Also adopting the name of its former tenant is Druggists. The quirky bar replaced a former Chinese TCM hall and now serves a different kind of therapeutics – the liquid kind. Expect craft beer, cocktails and natural wine on the menu, alongside yummy grub such as Kung Pao Chicken Poppers, Chili Crab Fries and Har Cheong Gai (prawn paste chicken).
Address: 119 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207547
Opening Hours: 4 PM–12 AM Mon to Thurs, 3 PM–12 AM Fri to Sun
Our local dim sum enclave that is Jalan Besar also house another dim sum gem. Dim Sum Haus has been serving up affordable dim sum since 2017, and diners can look forward to an extensive menu filled with a variety of steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried, and baked dim sum dishes, alongside congee and noodles dishes! Must-try include the Steamed Charcoal Chicken & Shrimp Dumpling which is a different take on the classic Siew Mai, as well as the Baked Salted Egg Custard Bun which is filled with oozy salted egg custard. They are also not the usual steam baos but instead a crusty casing similar to Hong Kong-style baked barbecue pork buns.
Brawn & Brains is bigger and better with their outlet at Hamilton Road in Jalan Besar. With a carefully curated selection of roasted coffee, they are no stranger to coffee lovers. Their special house-blend cold brews remain as delicious as always. Steeped for 12-18 hours and slightly sweetened, their White Cold Brew dishes out bold notes of chocolate and nuts. They also have a selection of bites from bowls to open-faced toasts, sourdough pizzas and flatbreads!
Address: 16 Hamilton Rd, #01-06, Singapore 209186
Opening Hours: 9:30 am–5:30 pm Mon, Tues & Thurs, 9 am–6 pm Sat & Sun.
Helmed by pastry chef Wythe Ng who used to work at Keong Saik Bakery and Bakery Brera, expect freshly baked goodies and whimsical sweets at La Levain. For something classic, go for their signature Kouign Amann sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt. Or, try their yummy croissants which are double-baked and come with flavourful. buttery aroma. Expect creative flavours such as Hojicha Mochi Croissant, Burnt Cheese Croissant as well as its signature Bo Bo Cha Cha Croissant, which is made with a layer of purple sweet potato, yam and coconut mochi!
Address: 23 Hamilton Rd, Singapore 209193
Opening Hours: 8 am–6 pm Tues to Sun. Closed on Mon