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Bond Through Food: 5 Best Casual Restaurants in Singapore

We went out on a hunt for the best casual restaurants in Singapore, evaluating them using the following criteria: 

Menu range

As families and groups of friends frequent casual restaurants, we picked ones with a diverse menu to cater to palates of all ages and preferences.

We awarded additional points to restos offering healthy options (vegan, gluten-free, and the like).

Taste and visual appeal

We narrowed our list to restaurants with dishes that wowed our taste buds and eyes.


We selected casual restaurants with appealing interiors, spacious and comfortable seating, and ample lighting. 

Customer service

Our list included casual restaurants with friendly and attentive wait staff.

1. Haidilao

Haidilao's Homepage

Menu: Hot pot, steamed mini buns, hot and sour rice noodles, barley beer, wheat beer, and more


Address: 103 Irrawaddy Rd, #06-01 to 02, Royal Square, Singapore 329566

Contact Details: +65 6565-5567 | [email protected]

Operating Hours: Daily: 10:00 AM – 4:30 AM

Google Reviews4.6/5
Total reviews5/5
Score consistency4.5/5
Menu range4.5/5
Taste and visual appeal4.6/5
Customer service4.5/5
– Friendliness4.5/5
– Attentiveness4.5/5


  • Flavorful soup bases
  • Wide array of hot pot ingredients
  • Fresh meat and veggies


  • Pricey
  • Long waiting time possible

Haidilao may be well known for its long queues, but it’s also popular for a good reason. The hot pot here was, in a word, phenomenal.

As hot pot fans, we were spoiled for choice when it came to the soup bases (they offer seven flavors as of writing). Oh, and did we mention that customers can choose four bases?

Our favorites so far were the rich and flavorful Bai-yu soup base and the nose-searing Sichuan soup base. We enjoyed dipping our meat and veggies in these two!

We have visited Haidilao outlets a couple of times, and we were always impressed with the consistent food quality. 

The only thing we wished was not consistent was the restaurant’s booking issues and somehow ridiculous waiting time. We had to wait over an hour to eat our fill in every branch we visited. 

Our respite was that we got free snacks while we waited for an available table. 

2. Burnt Ends

Burnt Ends's Homepage

Menu: Barbecue, grilled fish, wine, spirits, and more


Address: 7 Dempsey Rd, #01-02, Singapore 249671

Contact Details: +65 6224-3933 | [email protected]

Operating Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday to Saturday: 11:45 AM – 11:00 PM, Wednesday: 11:30 AM – 11:00 PM 

Google Reviews4.5/5
Total reviews5/5
Score consistency5/5
Menu range4.5/5
Taste and visual appeal4.7/5
Customer service4.4/5
– Friendliness4.3/5
– Attentiveness4.5/5


  • Michelin Star restaurant
  • Gorgeous interiors
  • Creative dishes


  • Booking is difficult
  • Pricey

It was hard to believe that Burnt Ends calls itself a casual restaurant given its one Michelin Star and elegant interiors, but it also made the dining spot all the more interesting.

Our team’s expectations went higher as we needed to book seats several months in advance. We thought that given the hassle in booking, this resto must serve actual delectable dishes.

Fortunately, we were not disappointed. 

We got to dig into fantastic dishes. Our favorites were Blackmore’s striploin, uni + beef, unagi toast, and garlic brown butter.

The ambiance was cozy yet stylish, too. Moreover, being able to watch the meal prep live was in itself appetizing. 

That said, we thought that a few of the food portions were too small for the price. We suggest not coming here if you’re starving.

Some of my companions also told me that a few of the dishes were too salty for their liking. If you’re avoiding sodium, perhaps visiting restaurants serving healthier meals would be the better choice.

3. Merci Marcel

Merci Marcel's Homepage

Menu: Ravioles de Royans, barramundi tartare, Impossible Marcel burger, crepe Marcel, and more


Address: 390 Orchard Rd, 01-03 to 04, Palais Renaissance, Singapore 238871

Contact Details: +65 6735-2608 | [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM, Sunday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Google Reviews4.7/5
Total reviews5/5
Score consistency5/5
Menu range4.45/5
Taste and visual appeal4.6/5
Customer service4.75/5
– Friendliness4.7/5
– Attentiveness4.8/5


  • Generous portions
  • Friendly waiters
  • Relaxing ambiance
  • Breakfast available


  • Often busy
  • Limited menu

If you’re looking for a hearty French brunch after walking around Orchard Road, Merci Marcel is one of the places we’d recommend without a second thought.

Despite the limited menu, or perhaps because of it, you are bound to discover dishes worth returning to. Our favorites include the ravioli, shredded duck, and homemade truffle fries. 

The duck was particularly memorable for its rich, meaty flavor and generous portion.

Other customers, meanwhile, would point you to the Marcel burger, eggs Benedict, and crab tartine. They’d say these mainstays are always cooked and seasoned well.

The caveat is that you should be willing to wait for an available table as Merci Marcel seems to be perpetually full. 

We tried walking in once and had to wait about an hour, so we recommend booking ahead for fuss-free entry.

Our respite was that we got a seat at the resto’s al fresco area, surrounded by trees and the subdued hum of city life. 


Menu: USDA prime ribeye set, salmon filet set, cauliflower soup, pork riblets, brownies, and more


Address: 1 Scotts Rd, #03-09/10/11 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208

Contact Details: +65 8129-4500

Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Google Reviews4.6/5
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency5/5
Menu range4.45/5
Taste and visual appeal4.7/5
Customer service4.7/5
– Friendliness4.7/5
– Attentiveness4.7/5


  • Perfectly grilled dishes
  • Welcoming ambiance
  • Reasonable prices


  • Portions a bit small
  • Closed on Mondays

KOAL is one of the best restaurants to visit when you can’t grill at home but still crave that charred meat sensation. At least, that’s how it felt to me (who loves grilled food so much).

The great thing was that KOAL wasn’t being pretentious with their offerings. I ordered the grilled ribeye and Iberico pork, which were one of my best decisions, as these dishes were both sensational.

The grilled broccoli and cauliflower soup were pleasant surprises, too.

Know, though, that the portions here can be too small for big eaters. In my case, I had to add shoestring fries to satiate my hunger. 

If you’re coming with friends or family, be prepared to order plenty. Fortunately, that shouldn’t be a problem, as the prices were reasonable.

Also, the dessert was a bit of a hit-and-miss. I thought the brownies were decent but nothing to write home about.

That said, the restaurant’s ambiance was laid-back with a hint of posh, which was ideal for casual dining and one I would love to experience again.

5. iVegan

Menu: Kimchi, cold black fungus, portobello steak, black bean burger, primavera pizza, vegan bowls, sushi


Address: 301, #01-109 Upper Thomson Rd, Thomson Plaza, Singapore 574408

Contact Details: +65 6513-1790

Operating Hours: Daily: 11:30 AM – 9:30 PM

Google Reviews4.8/5
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency5/5
Menu range4.7/5
Taste and visual appeal4.7/5
Customer service4.8/5
– Friendliness4.8/5
– Attentiveness4.8/5


  • Wide range of food options
  • Big portions
  • Warm and friendly wait staff


  • Space a bit small
  • Possible longer waiting time due to queue

Our team isn’t vegan, but we can say that iVegan’s delectable dishes were palatable regardless of our dietary preferences.

We particularly loved that their vegan burgers, sandwiches, and pasta were flavorful and just as filling as the non-vegan ones. 

It was also a plus that the resto didn’t stop on the usual Western fare. They also have sushi, ramen, and Chinese stir fry. 

The extensive menu was a godsend, as we had different cravings!

We also loved the resto’s coffee, especially the smooth cappuccino. 

The prices here were also budget-friendly (a bit pricier than hawker stalls but more affordable than other vegan restaurants), making it ideal for large meals with one’s friends or family.

That said, we would have loved it more if they had Southeast Asian fare. We certainly won’t pass on a laksa or cendol.

We also encountered a bit of waiting, as there was a queue in the restaurant when we visited.   

FAQs about Casual Restaurants

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