Discover the Best Vegetarian Food in Singapore

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the best vegetarian food in singapore

Singapore is well-known as a foodie paradise with a diverse range of culinary offerings. The best vegetarian food in Singapore is no exception, with a rich history and fusion innovations that offer an array of flavours and textures. In this article, we will explore the best vegetarian food options in Singapore, including the history of vegetarianism in the region, must-try dishes, and top restaurants and hawker centres to visit.

The Rich History of Vegetarianism in Singapore

Vegetarianism has a long-standing cultural and religious history in Singapore. As a melting pot of cultures, Singapore has been influenced by early migrants and traders who brought their traditional vegetarian practices with them. Hinduism and Buddhism, in particular, have a significant presence in Singaporean culture and placed a strong emphasis on vegetarianism. So, if you need to find the best vegetarian food in Singapore, you can find some pretty decent restaurants for your preferences.

Early Influences on Singaporean Vegetarian Cuisine

In the early days, Singaporean vegetarian cuisine revolved around simple vegetable dishes flavoured with spices and aromatic herbs. Some of the common ingredients included coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and turmeric. Street food vendors, known as hawkers, became the backbone of vegetarian cuisine, serving up healthy and affordable vegetarian specialities in the streets, alleys, and markets.

The Growth of Vegetarianism in Modern Singapore

Today, vegetarianism in Singapore is more than just a religious or cultural practice, it has become a healthy lifestyle choice. Many Singaporeans are embracing vegetarianism as a way to maintain a healthy and eco-friendly diet. The government has also been supportive of this trend by promoting vegetarianism as part of its health and wellness initiatives. As a result, Singapore has seen a growth in vegan and vegetarian restaurants and speciality shops in recent years.

Top Vegetarian Restaurants in Singapore

Joie by Dozo

the best vegetarian food in singapore
Image source: Joie by Dozo

For a luxurious vegetarian dining experience, Singapore offers some of the best fine dining restaurants that cater to vegetarians. For example, Joie by Dozo situated at Orchard Central is a French-Japanese vegetarian restaurant that offers delectable cuisines crafted from fresh and seasonal produce.

Whole Earth

the best vegetarian food in singapore
Image source: Whole Earth

For casual dining options, the Whole Earth restaurant is a favourite among vegetarians thanks to its menu of vegetarian Chinese and Peranakan dishes. This restaurant is a great choice for those who want to experience the flavours of traditional Singaporean cuisine in a vegetarian context.

Madras New Woodlands Restaurant

the best vegetarian food in singapore
Image source: Madras New Woodlands Restaurant

For those on a budget, head over to Madras New Woodlands Restaurant in Little India. The restaurant, which serves up authentic South Indian vegetarian cuisine, is a favourite among locals and is known for its dishes such as masala thosai and samosas.

Annalakshmi Restaurant

the best vegetarian food in singapore
Image source: Naveenan Ramachandran

Another option that offers value for money is Annalakshmi Restaurant at the Temple of Fine Arts. The restaurant operates on a pay-as-you-wish model, allowing you to enjoy the flavours of traditional Indian vegetarian dishes at a price that you are comfortable with.

Genesis Vegan Restaurant

the best vegetarian food in singapore
Image source: Genesis Vegan Restaurant

Genesis Vegan Restaurant is one of the favourite vegetarian restaurants in Singapore for its authentic dishes. They have different viands to choose from and serve plant-based versions of Singaporean, Italian and Korean dishes. You can find them at Havelock 2.

Must-Try Vegetarian Dishes in Singapore

Traditional Singaporean Vegetarian Delights

When in Singapore, some of the must-try vegetarian dishes that you should sample include Nasi Lemak, a coconut rice dish that is often served with cucumber, sambal, and fried tempeh or tofu. You should also try Char Kway Teow, a stir-fried noodle dish that is popular among locals and is usually served with vegetables and mock meat. Another traditional Singaporean dish that vegetarians should sample is Laksa, a spicy noodle soup that is served with tofu and vegetables.

Fusion Vegetarian Dishes

Singapore is known for its fusion cuisine, and vegetarian food is no exception. One of the unique fusion vegetarian dishes that you should try is the Impossible Meat burger at Privé Orchard. This burger is made from plant-based protein and is usually served with sweet potato fries. Another vegetarian dish that is gaining popularity is the vegetarian Japanese Curry Rice from Monster Curry, which is made from vegetables, tofu, and seitan, a wheat protein similar to meat in texture.

Innovative Plant-Based Creations

One of the most innovative plant-based creations found in Singapore is the vegan ice cream from Smoocht. This vegan ice cream parlour uses only natural ingredients such as coconut milk, cashews, and soybeans to create flavours like durian, salted gula melaka, and vegan Milo. Another option is the vegetarian sushi at Herbivor, made from plant-based ingredients such as lentils, mushrooms, and soy.

Exploring Singapore’s Vegetarian Hawker Centers

Iconic Vegetarian Hawker Stalls

Singapore is famous for its hawker centres, and vegetarians are not left out of this experience. One of the best vegetarian hawker stalls that you should visit is the Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre, which is home to the famous Gado Gado and Popiah stalls. Gado Gado is a salad dish made of boiled vegetables and tofu with a peanut sauce, while Popiah is a fresh spring roll filled with vegetables and tofu. Another famous vegetarian hawker centre is the Tekka Centre, which features stalls such as Komala’s and Sri Lakshmi Vilas that serve up authentic South Indian vegetarian cuisine.

Tips for Navigating Hawker Centers as a Vegetarian

One thing to note when navigating hawker centres as a vegetarian is that not all stalls are vegetarian-friendly. You should look for signs that indicate vegetarian or vegan options, which are usually marked with a green dot or a V-symbol. You can also ask the hawker if they have any vegetarian dishes available or if they can customize their dishes to suit your dietary requirements.

The Future of Vegetarian Hawker Food in Singapore

The future of vegetarian hawker food in Singapore is looking bright, with many hawker stalls and centres embracing the vegetarian trend. Some hawker stalls are even experimenting with innovative plant-based creations such as vegetarian satay and carrot cake. With more people embracing vegetarianism in Singapore, we can expect to see even more diverse and delicious vegetarian options available in the future.

In conclusion, Singapore offers a rich variety of vegetarian food options that cater to all budgets and tastes. From traditional Singaporean favourites to fusion creations and innovative plant-based options, there is something for everyone to try. So, if you are a vegetarian visiting Singapore, you should take advantage of the country’s diverse and delicious vegetarian cuisine.