The concept of brunch –  sipping a cuppa in between mouthfuls of “insta-worthy” eggs benedict in a café ornamented with wooden furniture – has evolved into a millennial lifestyle. Brunch is now everyone’s favourite meal of the day, and our city is abuzz with an abundance of cafés serving beautifully plated food. While we wholly embrace this global trend, it should not keep us away from our local breakfast spread.

From good ol’ kaya toast to a fluffy egg prata, these are some humble and familiar food options that are authentically Singaporean. Take a step back from the hype of fancy cafés and fusion cuisines, we’ve compiled 12 of our favourite places for your local brekkie fix. One more thing: they are all open before 11 am. Sometimes breakfast is better than brunch.

  1. Keng Wah Sung

Source: allaboutceil

Kopi, kaya butter toast and a set of soft-boiled eggs. This quintessential Singaporean breakfast offered at Keng Wah Sung is arguably one of the best in town.

Think homemade Hainanese kaya and melted butter wedged in between two crisp slices of toast. Dip the toast into the egg for added flavour and when you’re done with the toast, slurp up the eggy mess directly from the dish, Singaporean-style.

Keng Wah Sung
Address: 783 Geylang Road, Singapore 389672
Operating Hours: 06:00 – 00:00 (Daily)

  1. Chen Shun Mei Tau Huay

Source: slurploveforfood
Source: slurploveforfood

The pudding-like beancurd (think Lao Ban) craze once hit our shores and drove Singaporeans to queue for hours on end. However, it couldn’t stand the test of time in the end.

At the end of the day, we will always go back to our traditional tau huay. Tau huay is the ultimate comfort food and there’s no better way to start your day than with a warm bowl of velvety goodness dosed in sugar syrup. This traditional offering at Chen Shun Mei has an impeccably silky texture and a homely taste to match.

Chen Shun Mei Tau Huay
Address: Serangoon Gardens Market & Food Centre, 49A Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 550267
Operating Hours: 08:00 – 20:00 (Tue-Sun)

  1. Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak

Source: smallpotatoesmakethesteaklookbigger
Source: smallpotatoesmakethesteaklookbigger

If this is a dish that the Sultan of Brunei religiously orders whenever he visits, then it probably lives up to its reputation of being the best nasi lemak in Singapore.

Their chicken wings are out of this world – crispy on the outside and marinated to perfection. Accompanied by fragrant basmati rice, and sambal chilli that packs a punch, this nasi lemak is well worth the snaking queue.

Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak
Address: #01-02 Adam Road Food Centre, 2 Adam Road, Singapore 289876
Operating Hours: 07:00 – 17:00 (closed on Fri)

  1. Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh

Source: eatingsumo

There’s something about steamed rice cakes and chye poh (preserved radish) eaten together that makes it so divine. This unassuming local delight deserves more love than it gets, and Ghim Moh is a long-time bigwig in the chwee kueh scene.

Helmed by the original owner who has 37 years of experience under his belt, rest assured that the quality of this traditional treat will always be top notch – the saltiness of their chye poh complements the supple rice cakes perfectly.

Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh
Address: Ghim Moh Road Market and Food Centre, Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road #01-31, Singapore 270020
Operating hours: 06:00 – 19:00 (Daily)

  1. Zhen Zhen Porridge

Source: recipeshubs
Source: recipeshubs

If you’re looking to find an unpretentious bowl of porridge packed with flavour, Zhen Zhen Porridge is your best bet. They do Cantonese-style congee that is best savoured with a side serving of raw fish salad.

The congee is consistently silky and the egg at the bottom of each piping hot bowl gives it a hint of sweetness. The fish in their famed raw fish salad is incredibly fresh and tender, and also adds zest to the congee. The only downside is that there is always a stream of people at the stall, but good things are always worth the wait.

Zhen Zhen Porridge
Address: #01-54 Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184
Operating Hours: 05:00 – 14:30 (Closed on Tue)

  1. Mr & Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata

Source: therantingpanda
Source: therantingpanda

Needless to say, a staple in our local food culture. Think fluffy-on-the-inside-crispy-on-the-outside prata dipped in a tangy curry sauce. The dough is made in house, and Mr Mohgan has over 30 years of prata-making experience.

They have the standard plain, egg, mushroom and cheese variations, but we recommend the kosong prata which is the crispiest out of the lot. Their freshly made pratas and fragrant curry have won the hearts of prata lovers all over Singapore.

Mr & Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata
Address: Poh Ho Restaurant, 7 Crane Road, Singapore 429356
Operating Hours: 06:30 – 13:30 (Closed Tue & Wed)

  1. Tian Tian Lai (Come Daily) Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee

Source: yoursingapore
Source: yoursingapore

The combination of thick yellow noodles and bee hoon is perfect to soak up the fragrant gravy at Tian Tian Lai. Forget chopsticks, scoop your noodles up with a soup spoon for a mouthful of rich, flavourful gooiness.

Apart from seafood, pork lard is also fried together with the mee for added depth in flavour. They serve $4, $5 and $10 portions so you can slurp to your heart’s content!

Tian Tian Lai Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee
Address: 127 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #02-27 Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre, Singapore 310127
Operating Hours: 09:30 – 21:00 (Daily)

  1. Ghim Moh Carrot Cake

Source: yoursingapore
Source: yoursingapore

Affectionately known as chai tow kway to us, this is a dish that all Singaporeans can resonate with. The husband and wife duo helming Ghim Moh Carrot Cake make their own radish cake at the crack of dawn everyday.

The white version is crispy, light and flavourful while the black version is slightly richer and sweeter due to the generous amounts of dark soy sauce used.

Ghim Moh Carrot Cake
Address: #01-16, Blk 20 Ghim Moh Road Market & Cooked Food Centre, 20 Ghim Moh Road, Singapore 270020
Operating Hours: 06:30 – 12:00 (Tue-Sun)

  1. Serangoon Gardens Bakery and Confectionery

Source: slowfood
Source: slowfood

Serangoon Gardens is more than just Chomp Chomp. A gem of a bakery can be found at Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre, an underrated hawker centre just across the road from Chomp Chomp.

This traditional bakery kneads and prepares their own dough, and bakes over ten variations of old school buns and cakes everyday. Do drop by early to try their best-sellers; the potato curry buns and luncheon meat buns! These hot favourites are usually sold out by noon.

Serangoon Gardens Bakery and Confectionery
Address: #01-45, Serangoon Garden Market and Food Centre, 49A Serangoon Garden Way
Operating Hours: 0700 – 1200 (or when buns are sold out, closed on Mon)

  1. Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

Source: haleyxhm
Source: haleyxhm

To Singaporeans, time is money. We are ever the impatient folks perpetually rushing from place to place, but there is something about the bak chor mee here that renders us more than happy to queue to an hour for (you heard us, so go early!).

Starting from $5 a bowl, this hawker dish comes with generous amounts of minced pork, pork balls, wanton and lean pork and liver. The noodles are outstandingly seasoned – a big hit among vinegar-lovers.

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Address: Blk 466 Crawford Lane #01-12, Singapore 190466
Operating Hours: 09:30 – 21:30 (Closed 1st and 3rd Mon)

  1. Afandi Hawa & Family Mee Rebus

Source: justeatla
Source: justeatla

Mee rebus is a popular Malay dish and the one served at Afandi Hawa & Family boasts a rich and fragrant gravy with just about the right balance of sweet and savoury.

For just $2.50, you are treated to a bowl of yellow mee drenched in thick gravy, garnished with beansprouts, green chilli, fried shallots and a boiled egg to top. Mmmdap.

Afandi Hawa & Family Mee Rebus
Address: #01-21, Haig Road Cooked Food Centre, 14 Haig Road, Singapore 430014
Operating Hours: 10:00 – 20:00 (Fri-Tue, Closed Wed & Thur)

  1. Xin Xin You Tiao

Source: nomsaurus
Source: sgfoodonfoot

The ang mohs have their churros and we Singaporeans have our you tiao, a local equivalent. You tiao (fried dough fritter) has been a breakfast staple for as long as we can remember.

Best savoured with kopi or a warm cup of soya milk, the handmade you tiao at Xin Xin has a crispy exterior and also comes with a generous spread of kaya on the side. Truly is the epitome of shiok.

Xin Xin You Tiao
Address: Hainanese Village Food Centre, Blk 105 Hougang Ave 1 #02-19, Singapore 530105
Operating Hours: 06:00 – 11:00 (Closed on Mon)

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so do it right with these delish, time-tested local treats. No one deserves to stomach a mouthful of disappointment first thing in the morning!

(Header image source: foreword)

Also read: Hipster Hawkers: 5 Stalls That Are Redefining Hawker Culture

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