“You’re going to Singapore? But you won’t be able to eat anything!”
“You might be able to get away with not eating meat, but you’ll definitely have to eat fish and animal products”
“Is veganism even a thing in Singapore?”
These are word for word things that were said to me when I told people I was going to live in Singapore. Whether you too are a vegetarian/vegan, haunted by these words of discouragement, or maybe you yourself have said one of those phrases above, this blog post is here to bust those myths!
First off, veganism is a thing in Singapore. The term itself is not as well known as in the UK, but it’s not a completely alien concept. Secondly, being vegetarian is relatively common, and there will generally always be an option to choose veggie. You can wipe the sweat from your brow now, you shall be able eat – hooray!
One of the most common ways people eat in Singapore is at hawker centres. Think of them as a high school canteen, and the whole of Singapore is a high school that never ends. People eat here for breakfast, lunch and dinner due to the cheap prices, convenience and surprisingly good quality. These are dotted all over Singapore, so you won’t go far without one crossing your path. Now most of these actually have a vegetarian stall, which means if you’re a veggie – great news! You are practically covered for every meal if you don’t fancy reliving your first year cuisine of pot noodles and toast. If you’re a vegan however, it’s slightly harder.
As I mentioned, vegan isn’t exactly a well coined phrase in Singapore so asking someone at a hawker centre may not lead you anywhere. Due to the lack of vegans in Singapore, some venders also don’t seem to understand what you mean when you say “no fish” or “no dairy” and some have even lied to me just to get me to buy it! It is possible to eat vegan at hawker centres and find vegan food, however I never wanted to risk it. If you want to learn more, here is a link to an article which informs you how to eat vegan at vegetarian hawker stalls, and what items available will be vegan!
Personally, I chose to buy and make all of my own food, as experiencing the local food wasn’t really one of my priorities. I either shopped online at RedMart who delivered (and offered lots of imported goods from the UK, including Heinz Beans and Sainsburys own brand!), or I shopped in store at FairPrice which is essentially a small Tesco. Everything in Singapore is expensive, and unfortunately grocery shopping is no different. I would equate the pricing as being on a similar level to that of Morrison’s or Sainsburys. However you can find pretty much everything you need at these stores, from fresh produce to processed snacks. The only thing you won’t find is special vegan cupcakes or chocolate… living on Oreos for the next 9 months it is then.
So hawker centres are a hit-miss, and grocery shopping will do just fine to provide you with 3 meals a day. But what about eating out? Here are some of my favourite vegetarian/vegan restaurants and places which have great options!
Vegan Burg (ve)
A completely vegan restaurant that sells, you guessed it, burgers. Not just burgers, but meals, sides and desserts galore! The best burgers I have ever had – if you don’t try here you are sorely missing out.
Nom V Nom (ve)
Selling a range of fast food from burgers, to pastas and pizza. The menu is vast and changes. One of the top favourites loved by all vegan Singaporeans!
Kind Kones (ve)
Serving vegan ice creams of all kinds, as well as vegan desserts. A must visit if you have a sweet tooth. The organic shop which is on the same floor in the shopping mall sells frozen vegan pizzas and desserts under the brand Daiya.
Providing a couple of vegan burgers and a mammoth vegan monster milkshake with a slice of cake on top, it’s a little on the pricier side but is worth visiting if you take a trip out to Marina Bay Sands.
They have a whole vegan menu serving a range of pizzas and sides just for vegans! I’m unsure as to why but they have a lot more on offer than the UK ones do. The margarita pizza was the best I’ve ever had!
Offer vegan burgers, pizza and my favourite, vegan spaghetti bolognese with impossible meatballs! Mine and my friends regular eatery due to the varying menu that catered to all of us.
Those were just my top picks, but there are plenty more. I used this website whilst I was in Singapore which lists not only vegan places to eat, but also what vegan options are available at well known eateries. I would also recommend purchasing the app Happy Cow if you haven’t already. It is a location tracking app which tells you what places near to you offer vegan and vegetarian options – it also works in other countries in SEA which is great for when you’re on holiday! So don’t sweat, Singapore does provide for vegans and veggies alike and despite what you have been told, you will not starve to death nor will you have to live on plain rice and veg. Bon appétit folks!