About this post: In this foodie blog post, I look at the best vegan food in Singapore – including the best vegan restaurants in Singapore, options for vegetarian food in Singapore and usually hard to find stuff, like vegan chocolates, vegan dessert, vegan ice cream, vegan burgers and vegan brunches in Singapore. I hope to keep updating this list of the best vegan food in Singapore on my trips back to the city!
I remember my student days in Singapore. On a limited budget and palate, I mostly lived off Subway’s Veggie Delight (hint: not so delightful), grilled cheese sandwiches and an Indian food stall (hint: not so Indian). I was unaware of my nutritional needs and being vegetarian, afraid to experiment with new flavours. I was hardly a foodie.
Much has changed since.
I’ve travelled, turned vegan, tried all kinds of cuisines, grown to love unfamiliar flavours, even learnt to cook some of them.
Luckily, Singapore has changed too.
Since I last wrote about “must try vegetarian food places in Singapore”, some innovative vegetarian and vegan restaurants and cafes have sprung up across the city. I’ve slowly sampled some of them on multiple trips back to the city, and heard highly of others from friends who live there.
If you’re heading to the little red dot, take my list of must-try vegetarian and vegan food in Singapore and treat your taste buds:
Best for: Vegan Singaporean food, like vegan laksa and vegan noodles.
For a long time, laksa – synonymous with Singaporean cuisine – was only the prerogative of meat eaters. Enter Greendot, a vegetarian eatery, which offers a piping hot bowl of vegan laksa – rice noodles served in spicy soup, topped with shiitake mushroom, noodles and beansprout. A sort of passage into the local food scene!
If you’re feeling particularly ravenous, make a beeline for the customised bento meal which comes with a choice of rice (pick sesame rice!), a main dish (try the sweet and sour soya nuggets or the Gong Bao fresh mushrooms), two greens and a bowl of hot soup. Perfect for a quick, healthy, reasonably priced meal.
Best for: A hearty vegan brunch in Singapore.
A cool vegan cafe and bar meets urban rooftop farming and a boutique gym – a lifestyle concept space straight from a hipster’s ultimate dream. Whether or not you choose to work out, indulge your taste buds in a healthy yet delicious vegan Saturday brunch: think fluffy vegan pancakes, zucchini frittatas and Swiss rosti.
The menu gets even more creative on other days. Sample the BKT barley risotto with fresh daikon (white radish), garlic oil, pink radish, nuts and dough crisps – deliciously crunchy; the King Oyster “Scallops”, a truly delightful plate of king oyster mushrooms with baby corn, hazelnuts and lemon zest; and matcha ice cream with a burst of orange, plum and pistachio flavours. You’d never think of vegan food as a boring salad again!
Also read: Secret Ways to Experience Singapore
Best for: Vegetarian Japanese food in Singapore.
While many Japanese restaurants in Singapore aren’t exactly vegetarian or vegan friendly, Herbivore, with its meatless bento and sushi promises to satisfy your Japanese cravings! Amid the warm ambiance, wooden furnishing and dimly-lit setting, try the shiitake sushi roll filled with mouth-watering flavours of avocado, shiitake mushroom, teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds (ask them to skip the mayonnaise when you order). The Tonkatsu Vegan Bento with the ubiquitous miso soup, rice paper spring rolls, fried “calamari” and Japanese rice also comes highly recommended.
Best for: High quality Italian / Mediterranean vegetarian food in Singapore.
The sinfully delicious food and airy outdoor ambiance make Original Sin a worthwhile splurge when you’re in the mood for something Italian or Mediterranean. Whet your appetite with a mezze platter – hummus, beetroot and almond dip, crunchy falafel balls and homemade pita. Graduate to second course with the Broccolini Pesto Pasta – spaghetti tossed with broccolini (a hybrid of broccoli and kale), sun-dried tomato and walnut pesto! Or opt for the hearty, thin-crust Kashmir Pizza, topped with tofu, hummus, cherry tomato and tandoori sauce.
Best for: Vegan burgers in Singapore.
Despite its ulloo (the Singlish word for obscure) location in the basement of Jalan Eunos mall, VeganBurg – Singapore’s first all vegan joint and the world’s first 100% vegan burger joint – was completely packed when I wandered out there with a friend. Among the interesting variety of burgers, we settled for the satisfying Creamy Shrooms and Tangy Tartar burgers, along with a side of seaweed fries. The patties are soy or mushroom based, extra toppings include vegan “egg” and vegan “bacon”, and chi’kn nuggets are a popular side. I hope to make a trip back for their new Avocado Beetroot burger!
Best for: Innovative, hipster vegan food and vegan chocolates in Singapore.
Hipster food (think avocados and açai) is all the rage around the world, and this is Singapore’s answer to it. In this cosy farm-to-table cafe, settle for the innovative Avocado Kimchi Roll, made with almond sushi “rice”, topped with avocado slices and 7 days aged kimchi. Or order an Açai Bowl for a hearty second breakfast – topped with bananas, berry compote, salted tahini caramel and coconut crackers. Make sure you save space for their dairy-free, guilt-free chocolates – a treat for all taste buds.
Also read: 10 Awesome Free things to do in Singapore
Best for: Vegetarian Peranakan food and vegan noodles in Singapore.
Singapore’s Peranakan cuisine was often off-bounds for plant-based eaters until Whole Earth came along – a vegetarian restaurant featuring fusion Peranakan-Thai dishes. Situated in a quaint Peranakan-style shophouse, come here to indulge in the spicy Penang Rendang, their signature dish of shiitake mushroom with marinated herbs and spices. Or order a bowl of hot and spicy Tom Yum soup on a rainy Singapore evening.
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Din Tai Fung
Best for: Steamed vegetarian dumplings in Singapore
One of the two repeats from my 2010 ‘must try vegetarian food in Singapore’ list, Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese chain serving up sumptuous dumplings – so irresistible that I’ve eaten at DTF in Singapore, Bangkok and the original DTF shophouse in Taipei! I love their melt-in-your-mouth steamed vegetable dumplings, packed with mushrooms and greens, dipped into a side of soya sauce, vinegar and chilli. My record so far is 24 dumplings in one sitting!
Tip: The chilli dip on the table sometimes contains shrimp. Check with the staff, and if that’s the case, ask for cut chilli on the side to add to your soya sauce – vinegar mixture to dip the dumplings.
Location: Multiple locations, including Raffles City and Marina Bay Sands
Find Din Tai Fung on: Website | Facebook | Instagram
Also read: Not Your Typical Travel Guide to Taiwan
Murugan Idli Shop
Best for: Vegan Indian food in Singapore.
It’s probably impossible to find fresher, softer idlis in Singapore, with tangy sambar and four kinds of chutney to dip them in – and the crowds at Murugan Idli often attest to that. This hole-in-the-wall joint near Mustafa Centre in Little India also offers crispy dosas and tasty uttapams – guaranteed to satisfy all your Southern Indian food cravings.
Also read: Solo Travel: To Go or Not To Go
Best for: Vegetarian Chinese food and vegan buffet in Singapore.
If you dream of unlimited dim sums and a vegetarian steamboat (where ingredients are cooked on the table in a simmering hot pot), head to LingZhi for a vegetarian lunch buffet. Treat yourself to steamed ‘Siew Mai’ and mushroom dumplings, crispy yam croquettes, vegetarian ‘rojak’ and a steamboat featuring atleast five different kinds of mushrooms. An indulgent feast.
Also read: How I Quit My Job in Singapore to Travel
Bollywood Veggies (Poison Ivy Bistro)
Best for: Fusion Singaporean and Indian farm-to-table food.
The brainchild of Ivy Singh Lim – Singapore’s iconic rebel – Bollywood Veggies is a 10-acre farm in Kranji, a rare countryside experience in a city otherwise filled with concrete malls and manicured gardens. In the farm’s Poison Ivy Bistro, fresh, organic, farm-to-table cuisine fuses Indian and Singaporean flavours. Given the homegrown variety of edible plants – including tapioca, sweet potato, pumpkin and aloe vera – don’t miss the Vegetarian Platter featuring farm tempura (batter-fried veggies) and spring rolls. Along with the spicy kangkong or magic mushrooms, order the unique Blue Nasi Lemak Rice, made with blue pea flowers from the farm!
Tip: Vegan / vegetarian options are not marked on the menu, so check with the staff before ordering. And remember to buy some of the 20 different varieties of bananas grown on the farm!
Find Bollywood Veggies on: Website | Facebook
Bonus: Vegan desserts and vegan ice creams in Singapore
Best for: Vegan desserts in Singapore.
This Italian plant-based ice cream joint is a guilt-free indulgence for anyone seeking a healthy treat. Their 16 ice cream flavours are made of brown rice milk and cane sugar, pack in 50% less calories than dairy ice cream and taste as decadent – try the “it’s getting dark” (dark chocolate), “mint mint mia” and “nutella, it’s really you” on crispy vegan waffles!
Tip: Smoocht also does kickass vegan pizzas and brownies.
Location: Jurong East
Find Smoocht on: Facebook
Cocowhip at Sarnies
Best for: Vegan soft serve ice cream in Singapore.
Conjured up in Australia, Cocowhip is an innovative coconut-based soft serve ice cream that I just can’t wait to try. Drop by at the otherwise not very vegetarian / vegan friendly Sarnies Cafe, only for a decadent helping of a Cacao Bliss Cocowhip, topped with macadamia nuts or sweet cacao nibs!
This post is co-written with Remya Padmadas – a journalist by day and dreamer the rest of the time. She aspires to travel the world and become a teller of stories.
What are your favorite vegan / vegetarian restaurants in Singapore? Which of the above would you most like to try?
*Cover image: Afterglow Singapore.