Hougang food for those on a budget
The MRT ride home from work is a real test of will on some days. Stops at neighbourhoods with good food such as Serangoon and Kovan tempt me to alight early and forgo dinner at home, especially when people board the train carrying plastic containers with heavenly aromas wafting from them. With these Hougang food places that serve cheap and good eats, the temptation only gets more real.
1. SOD Cafe
Cafe food hardly goes below $10, so SOD Cafe is a special find. Order Chicken Supreme ($9.50), a main of chicken thigh topped with melted cheese, or Japanese Curry Baked Rice ($9.50). Get SOD Milk Tea ($4.50) to complete the Insta set-up. The milk tea, pearls, and sugar syrup are served separately, presenting an opportunity for a Boomerang-worthy mixing shot.
Check out other cafes with nett prices in Singapore!
2. Seng Huat Coffee House
Spend breakfast pigging out at Seng Huat Coffee House. A kopitiam isn’t usually first choice when looking for cute breads, but these adorable pig-shaped buns will chase away any morning blues. They come in a few variations: Original Pork Bun ($3.50) which is stuffed with a slice of tender pork patty, Crispy Chicken Bun ($3.50), Bacon and Egg bun ($3.50), and Ham and Cheese Bun ($2.80). Make your breakfast a feast by getting the Original Pork Bun in a set with two soft-boiled eggs and kopi or tea at $4.80. Spaceship Buns ($3 for two buns and a drink) are also worth ordering. Thick slices of airy, fluffy toast are slathered in fragrant kaya and hold a generous cut of butter between them, making for a satisfying breakfast.
Address: 811 Hougang Central, #01-206, Singapore 530811
Opening hours: Daily 5am to 11pm
3. Sin Heng Kee Porridge
You know Sin Heng Kee Porridge serves good food when there’s a perpetual 30-minute wait for congee. The congee here is smooth and flavourful, with a satisfyingly thick consistency. I always order Pork Porridge ($3.50), which has chunks of minced pork that give the dish a more robust, meaty flavour. With 22 porridge dishes on their menu, you’ll definitely find one you like here. For a side, grab their Claypot Dried Chilli Frog ($8/15/22/26), and stir in some gravy for extra savouriness.
Address: 685 Hougang Street 61, #01-150, Singapore 530685
Opening hours: Daily 7am to 9:30pm
Tel: 9118 1569
4. Picnic Cafe
Picnic Cafe spoils people with their pocket-friendly dishes. Here you can get house-made pizzas such as Hawaiian Pizza as well as rice bowls with either Marinated Pork Shoulder or Salmon complete with an onsen egg and salad at just $9.90. If you’re in the mood to splurge, their Crackling Pork Belly ($22) lives up to its name, sporting an ultra-crisp skin and meat that is well-seasoned with herbs.
Address: 1187 Upper Serangoon Road, #01-23, The MidTown, Singapore 533971
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12pm to 10pm, Sat-Sun 10am to 10pm
Tel: 8499 0484
5. 5 Star Corner Western Food
Western food stalls were unquestionably my favourite when I was growing up, and 5 Star Corner Western Food was one place my family frequented. Food here is affordable and comes in large portions. I love their Chicken Cutlet ($6), and their sizzling, steaming plates such as Black Pepper Pork ($8) are eye-catchers as they’re brought out of the kitchen.
Address: 805 Hougang Central, Food Park Coffee Shop, Singapore 530805
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 10pm
Tel: 6385 9388
6. Fatty Cheong
Known for their bu jian tian (literally ‘see no sky’) char siew, Fatty Cheong sees long queues at their main branch at ABC Brickworks Food Centre. Easties no longer have to travel across the island for a taste. Their char siew is exceptionally juicy with a 50-50 fat to meat ratio, and biting into a piece of roast pork creates a biscuit-like crunch. Stick with Char Siew Rice ($3) or indulge and get Char Siew and Roast Pork Belly Rice ($4).
Address: 51 Hougang Avenue 9, #01-22, Ci Yuan Hawker Centre, Singapore 538776
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 11am to 8:30pm
7. Thai Super Bowl
Most would visit Thai Super Bowl for their massive tom yum hot pot, like we did, but the restaurant also serves classic Thai street food dishes for when those BKK cravings hit. I’m always up for some Pad Thai ($5.50) or Basil Chicken and Egg Rice ($5.95), and no Thai food binge is complete without some Tom Yum Soup ($5).
Check out our full review of Thai Super Bowl!
Address: 1 Hougang Street 91, #01-41, Hougang 1, Singapore 538692
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 9pm
Tel: 6385 3195
8. Al Falah Restaurant
For what might be the crispiest prata in Hougang, make a trip to Al Falah Restaurant. Plain Prata ($1) is great for dipping into a side of ikan sambal, and the luscious egg yolk porn on Plaster Prata ($1.50) definitely won’t disappoint. If you’re here after 7pm, try their Maggi Goreng Pattaya ($6), where the sweet and spicy noodles are kept snug in a thin omelette blanket.
Address: 681 Hougang Avenue 8, #01-855, Singapore 530681
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours
Tel: 6343 7786
9. Nit & Grit
Nit & Grit’s buttermilk waffles hit the spot if you’re craving for dessert or a quick snack. The waffles have a delightfully crisp exterior with fluffy insides. Get a sweet-savoury combo of Scrambled Eggs with Maple Syrup Waffle ($3) or a Waffle Bowl ($4.90 for two toppings, $5.50 for three toppings, $5.90 for four toppings). They also make a range of dessert beverages such as Milo Rocher ($4.90), which is a rich, chocolatey Milo dinosaur, topped with a scoop of hazelnut ice-cream, and 3-special Earl Grey Milk Tea ($3.50).
Address: 21 Hougang Street 51, #01-38, Hougang Green Shopping Mall, Singapore 538719
Opening hours: Mon 11:30am to 9pm, Wed-Fri 11:30am to 9pm, Sat-Sun 10am to 9pm
Tel: 8113 2075
10. Hougang Fried Oyster
The fact that Hougang Fried Oyster still fries their orh luah in pork lard that is freshly rendered at their stall already puts it in a different league. There’s a good amount of crunchy bits in the Oyster Omelette ($4/$5) but the stars here are the plump and creamy Korean oysters. The elderly couple stall owners even make their own sambal chilli, which is packed with flavour from dried shrimp.
Address: Blk 435 Hougang Ave 8, Singapore 530435
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm to 9:30pm
Tel: 9111 0702
Hougang neighbourhood treats
There’s nothing better for a foodie than affordable and tasty food just round the block. If you know of any more cheap and good food around Hougang, share with us in the comments below.