10 Makan Places in CBD That Are Both Affordable & Worth the Calories

Image: misstamchiak.com & Pho Stop Facebook Page

A lot of us work in the CBD area. Or we do our internships there. And for whatever reason it may be that finds you in the CBD area of Singapore, there is one very undeniable fact.

The food is expensive.

Not all of us have large enough wallets to fork out cash to dine at fancy cafes and restaurants.

And not all of us have a choice to travel away from the CBD to grab some yummy, affordable grub day in and day out (lunch is only one hour after all).

So here is a list of 10 places in the CBD you can makan at that will not hurt your wallet.

It’s so affordable, you can go to these places every day and still not break the bank!

1. Komala’s

If you fancy some Indian vegetarian food, head down to this household name in Indian-veg cuisine.

Image: happycow.net

Komala’s has been around for ages and boasts delicious and affordable food that will fill you right up.

The Masala Dosai and Paper Dosai will set you back $3.20 bucks and drinks like Masala tea will set you back slightly over a dollar.

Everything on the menu costs less than 5 bucks meaning you’ll get great value for money, and believe me, even the hungriest of men can get completely filled up for less than 10 bucks here.

Address: 30 Raffles Place, B1-06, Chevron House, 048622
Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm. Closed on weekends.

2. Ying Jang Thai Food

Ying Jiang Thai Food gets very crowded during lunchtime and with good reason. The food is delicious. And super affordable.

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Image: Ying Jiang Thai Food Facebook Page

Tom Yum Soup with rice will set you back $5.50, Mince Pork Basil costs $5, and the Pad Thai is also $5.

Actually, everything in this store costs more or less 5 bucks. So you can get filled to your heart’s content with flavourful and seriously delicious Thai fanfare.

One of the best Thai places to eat at in the CBD area if you ask my opinion!

Address: 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza,#02-50 Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre, 081006
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-8pm & Saturdays 9am-5pm. Closed on Sundays.

3. Pepper Bowl

This is another food place that draws in the crowds. It’s super packed during lunch so you might wanna leave the office a little earlier for an early lunch.

Or a later lunch so that the crowds have dispersed.

Image: misstamchiak.com

The food here is super lit, with their signature being the Black Pepper Beef Hor Fun. It’s only 5 bucks and if you want to add an Onsen egg, that will cost you an additional 60 cents.

This bowls here are full of tender meat (beef/pork/chicken) and packs a punch of flavour.

None of their dishes goes above 5 bucks (unless you add the 60 cents egg), so it is one place you can keep coming back to.

And trust us, you’ll really want to.

Address: #02-102, 7 Maxwell Rd, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm. Closed on weekends.

4. The Wicked Garlic

We’re gonna come right out and say that not everything in The Wicked Garlic is affordable. But if you’re craving decent Italian cuisine in the area and don’t want to bust out a huge amount of money, then this is the place for you.

Image: hungrygowhere.com

Their Margherita Pizza will set you back 9 bucks. The Prosciutto E Funghi and Hawaiian Pizzas will set you back 11 bucks.

The Spaghetti Alla Bolognese, Linguine Aglio Alio e Pollo, and Spaghetti Alla Carbonara will set you back 10 bucks.

As long as you stick to dishes around these price points, you will get a decent helping of decent Italian food at relatively affordable prices.

After all, Italian food isn’t supposed to be affordable in the first place, no?

Address: 10 Anson Road, #01-37, International Plaza, 079903
Opening Hours: Mondays – Fridays, 11:30am-9pm. Saturdays: 10am-8pm. Closed on Sundays.

5. Pho Stop

Image: Pho Stop Facebook Page

Another restaurant that gets really packed out during the lunch period, Pho Stop is well-known by people working in the area for serving up yummy Vietnamese food.

For $10.70, you will get a big portion of noodles and well-cut beef/chicken slices, all in the delicious pho broth.

They don’t skimp on quality or taste, making it easy to see why this is a notoriously popular lunchtime spot.

You definitely will get your money’s worth here and it remains a relatively affordable spot for yummy grub in the CBD area.

Just make sure you go at a good time, or you’ll be caught among the main lunch crowd!

Address: 6A Shenton Way #02-28 Downtown Gallery, 068815
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11:30am-9pm & Saturdays 11:30am-9pm. Closed on Fridays and Sundays.

6. Coffee Hive

If you want to eat some yummy local cuisine and enjoy some nice ambience and AC, Coffee Hive will be the place you want to go.

Image: thecoffeehive.com

This place is frequented by people who work in the area and serves up some delicious local food at very affordable prices.

Try the Claypot Tofu, Chicken Curry and Gong Bao Ji Ding Rice – all this only costs $5.80 per dish.

Their dishes come packed with a ton of flavour and will fill your belly up nicely.

If you don’t want Singaporean food, they also do some Western dishes. They will cost around $7 per dish. But their highlight is still the local fanfare.

If you are working in the area, you’ll find yourself coming back to Coffee Hive time and again to enjoy the yummy food and cosy ambience.

Address: 138 Cecil Street, #01-02, 069538
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday, 7am-8pm. Closed on weekends.

7. Swagat Indian Vegetarian Stall

We are going to be a little sneaky and talk about the other CBD area in Singapore.

In case you didn’t know what I was talking about, it is the Jurong Industrial Park area.

It is quickly becoming our second CBD area, so we better get on top of that and introduce people working in that area to this awesome place to eat at: Swagat.

At lunchtime, they offer free-flow buffets with 13 dishes for just 9 bucks. That’s right. 9 bucks!

Their lunch set meals will set you back 7 bucks. But really, the shining crown jewel of this restaurant is their buffet deal.

If you’re working in the area, you will definitely want to check this one out. It’s great value for money and the food is absolutely decent.

Address: Swagat @ IBP, #01-09, ICON Building, 3A International Business Park, 609935
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm & Saturdays 8pm-3pm. Closed on Sundays.

8. Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang

Spend anywhere from $7 to $10 at one of the best Nasi Padang places in the CBD area. They have an incredible variety of dishes to choose from and the food is 10/10 super duper delicious.

Image: hungrygowhere.com

I could seriously eat here every single day and not get sick of it.

This is legit Nasi Padang btw – they have kept their food as authentic as possible.

Some of the best dishes to try will be the chicken rendang, sambal goreng, sayur lodeh, sambal prawns and tahu telor.

The food here is more expensive than your regular Nasi Padang, but it makes up for that with the beautiful view of the Singapore River and the quality and taste of the food.

Address: 13 Circular Rd, Singapore 049369
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday, 10.30am-9pm. Closed on weekends.

9. Ace Eating House

If you work in the area and are wondering what to eat, make your way down to Ace Eating House as they have one of the best char siew rice and char siew noodles around.

The char siew meat is perfectly smoked and tender, and they tend to be quite generous with it too.

The sauce in the char siew noodles is simply savoury, salty goodness and pairs awesomely well with the well-marinated char siew meat.

At only 3-4 bucks a plate, you’ll definitely come back for more. And you can even afford to pay more for extra meat if you’re feeling hungry. Yum!

Address: 243 Cantonment Rd, 089770
Opening Hours: Every day from 9 am – 8.30 pm.

10. Chin Chin Eating House

Chin Chin Eating House is another must-visit in the area.

Image: tripadvisor.com.sg

Even though this place is popular during lunchtime, you’ll get your food quick so don’t worry.

At Chin Chin Eating House, get the Hainanese Chicken Rice. It is super yummy and is sure to satisfy all your chicken rice hankerings.

Oh, and did we mention it’s only $3.50 a plate? That means you can go for seconds, or ask for extra meat if you’re really hungry and it still won’t break your bank!

We recommend the roasted chicken rice (duh!) because the chicken skin is a super yummy accompaniment to the perfectly seasoned rice.

Once you get a taste for the chicken rice here, you can call this your new favourite lunch spot!

Address: 19 Purvis St, Singapore 188598
Opening Hours: 7 am – 9 pm daily


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Life is one big adventure, so you can find her on the next flight out. (But when flights are too expensive, you can find her in bed catching up on the twenty TV shows she’s decided to watch.) Food time is her favourite time of every day, and way too many things interest her so now she’s just a jumbled-up ball of curiosity navigating this messy, happy little world she has.