Eat cheap with these $2 main dishes
It’s hard not to burn a hole in my wallet with end-of-year sales like 11:11 and Black Friday around the corner. Knowing that my bank account will surely dip during these sales calls for extreme budgeting towards the end of the month.
If you find yourself stretching your wallet to its limit while waiting for payday, then check out this list of places with dishes under $2 that’ll fill you up without emptying your savings.
1. Soup Yu Mian (133 Mien Fen Guo)
This family-run stall at Bedok has a regular stream of customers despite their odd opening hours in the early morning. It’s not surprising as their noodles are made fresh to order and sold at affordable prices. You’ll be lucky if you manage to snag a bowl of their signature Mee Hoon Kway ($2). If not, you can settle for their Soup Yu Mian ($2) which has a generous portion of noodles with a springy QQ bite.
Check out our full review of 133 Mien Fen Guo!
Address: 216 Bedok North Street 1, #01-68, Singapore 460216
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 5am to 10:30am
2. Laksa (Woo Ji Cooked Food)
Woo Ji Cooked Food is a hidden gem in the food enclave of Chinatown Complex. This humble noodle stall only serves three dishes, one of which is Laksa at $2. It’s easy to assume that they would skimp on ingredients, but this dish is far from minimal. Besides the usual suspects of tau pok and fishball, there are fried wontons and stuffed green chilli. For an added punch of umami, the noodles are finished with a sprinkle of hae bee.
Check out our full review of Woo Ji Cooked Food!
Address: 335 Smith Street, #02-056, Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, Singapore 050335
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 6am to 10am
3. Nasi Lemak (Kedai Makan Muhajirin)
It’s heartwarming to find a hawker stall committing to economical prices for less-privileged residents. As such, Kedai Makan Muhajirin deserves a spot on our list with their $1 Nasi Lemak. A mere golden coin scores you coconut rice with crispy fish, fried egg, and a dollop of sambal which has a spicy kick. You can easily add on sides such as anchovies ($0.50) and fried chicken ($3) if you think the ingredients are not enough.
Check out our full review of Kedai Makan Muhajirin!
Address: Block 20, Lorong 7 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310020
Opening hours: Daily 6am until sold out
4. Lor Mee (Frenzlink Cafeteria)
Frenzlink Cafeteria is an open secret to those working in the CBD for their pocket-friendly dishes. Their Lor Mee ($2), which is jazzed up with golden-brown wonton skins that provide a crunch to the otherwise sticky noodles, is great for days leading up to payday. If you’re lucky, you might score chunks of braised pork belly hidden in the thick gravy. They also offer other types of noodles, such as Wonton Mee, Bak Chor Mee, and Prawn Mee, all at just $2 each!
Check out our full review of Frenzlink Cafeteria!
Address: 62 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058692
Opening hours: Daily 6am to 3pm
5. Century Egg Minced Meat Porridge (Xian Jin Mixed Vegetable Rice)
Easties are blessed with Xian Jin Mixed Vegetable Rice. This Bedok hawker stall serves a hearty bowl of Century Egg Minced Meat Porridge ($2). This simple dish is garnished with fresh spring onions and fried shallots. Be sure to give this thick congee a good mix, as there are chunks of minced meat and slices of century egg hidden below its surface. Add a scatter of pepper and splash some light soy sauce to further elevate the congee’s savouriness.
Check out our full review of Xian Jin!
Address: 216 Bedok North Street, 1 #01-02, Blk 216 Bedok Food Centre And Market, Singapore 460216
Opening hours: Daily 7am to 4pm
6. Chicken Rice (820 Hainan Chicken Rice)
Image credit: @jazz_in_april
820 Hainan Chicken Rice serves up popular hawker fare—Chicken Rice—at a shockingly inexpensive price of $1.50. The roasted chicken breast is on the dry side, but accompanying it is fluffy and aromatic rice that isn’t too oily. If you have the means to, add on other sides such as braised egg and gizzards to complete the meal.
Address: 823A Tampines Street 81, Singapore 521823
Opening Hours: Daily 9am to 9pm
7. Fishball Noodles (Man Yuan Gourmet)
Image credit: @ivanpangth
It’s not easy to find a 24/7 hawker stall, let alone one that serves a $2 meal. So It feels like we’ve hit the jackpot with Man Yuan Gourmet. With their second branch at Toa Payoh, this noodle stall pushes up tasty Fishball Noodles ($2). The fishballs are bouncy, and you can choose to have it dry or with soup. Complete the meal with your choice of noodles and you’re good to go!
Address: 210 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, #01-44, Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Market & Food Centre, Singapore 310210
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours
8. Cai Fan (Goldhill Family Restaurant)
Image credit: @sknsh86
Cai fan is a sure way to keep your food budget under control. Goldhill Family Restaurant takes this one step further with their $2 set which comes with a choice of two vegetables and one meat. Have patience as this Hougang coffee shop stall has a snaking queue during lunchtime, thanks to their cheap prices.
Address: 6 Hougang Avenue 3, Singapore 530006
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am to 8pm, Sat 7:30am to 7:30pm, Sun 7:30am to 2:30pm
9. Soya Sauce Chicken Rice (Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle)
Image credit: @fionajanegomez
Fancy having a Michelin star eatery—Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle—on our list. Popular is an understatement as this Chinatown hawker stall has winding queues that could go on for hours. The signature dish on their menu is the Soya Sauce Chicken Rice ($2), which comes with a generous serving of well-marinated and succulent meat. Don’t chuck the skin aside, as it’s soaked with the sweet and savoury braised sauce.
Address: 335 Smith Street, #02-126, Chinatown Food Complex, Singapore 050335
Opening hours: Mon-Tue 10:30am to 7pm, Thur-Fri 10:30am to 7pm, Sat-Sun 8:30am to 5pm
10. Carrot Cake (Good Spice Carrot Cake)
Image credit: @jasbysim
Whether you like it black or white, Good Spice Carrot Cake serves their Carrot Cake at just $2 per plate. I personally prefer it black as the sweetness from the black sauce complements the savoury and charred chunks of carrot cake. This hawker stall fries each plate fresh to order, ensuring the fragrant dish is served piping hot. It’s a great time to be an early riser as Good Spice Carrot Cake usually sells out by lunchtime.
Address: 44 Owen Road, #01-20, Singapore 210044
Opening hours: Thur-Tue 6am to 1pm
All you need is $2 for a satisfying meal
With this list in hand, you won’t have a reason to go broke. Though some of these places may be rather inconvenient to get to if you don’t live around the area, it’s a small price to pay for a filling meal.
If you’ve got time on your hands, check out our comprehensive coast-to-coast food guide, as we ate our way through the 36km trail.