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12 Intern-Friendly Meals Under $5 In Singapore’s CBD That Aren’t Found In Hawker Centres

CBD Lunches for cheap


From fancy cafes to no-frills hawker centres, there are thousands of food joints in the CBD. And even if you were to have something different every day of your working life, the inexhaustible list of places is bound to last you till retirement! 

Food options in the CBD may be bountiful, but there’s a limit to the finances you’ll allocate to the lunch budget. And if you thought $5 can only get you Hokkien mee or economical rice, these 12 places in the CBD offering non-hawker food will prove otherwise:  


1. Takumen Powered by Ramen 


cheap cbd lunch
Sanuki udon (small)$3.90

Takumen’s main branch at Circular Road can be pretty packed with the lunch crowd, which is why Takumen @ Lau Pa Sat Festival Market is a godsend. And with Sanuki udon ($3.90) and 80-cent tempura flash-fried on demand, we foresee you won’t mind trading-in the air-conditioning for some open-air dining.   

cheap cbd food
cheap cbd lunch

Assemble your own tempura platter from their selection of veggies like eggplant to lady’s finger ($0.80/pc) or sate the carnivore in you with their Chicken Katsu ($2.50/pc)

Takumen by Powered By Ramen
Address: Lau Pa Sat Festival Market, 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Opening Hours: 11.30AM -9.30PM daily | Last order: 9PM (tempura) and 9.30PM (others)


2. Pepper Bowl ($5 pepper lunch style rice)


cheap cbd lunch

You don’t mind going the distance for your food fixes, but when it’s a 20-minute walk from your office to the CBD’s one and only Pepper Lunch outlet at Asia Square, you’re very open to closer alternatives. And just a 3-minute walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT is Pepper Bowl, serving up black pepper beef, stir-fried with the fragrance of wok hei.

cheap cbd lunch

Have your sliced Black Pepper Beef atop some white rice or horfun ($5) but if you’re not feeling for pepper, get the Spring Onion Beef Rice* instead, also going at a $5 price tag. But whichever bowl you order, you’ve the option of adding an onsen egg for just $0.60

*sliced pork option also available ($4.50)

Pepper Bowl
Address: Amoy Food Centre #02-102, 7 Maxwell Rd, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri | 11AM – 3PM (Closed on Weekends)


3. Fill-a-Pita  


cheap cbd food

The only kind of Middle Eastern food you’d think you could get under $5, is kebabs at pasar malams. But Fill-a-Pita is serving you the national dish of Egypt, Koshari Rice, in the CBD at the same price point!

cheap cbd food
Fill-a-Pita’s Koshari Rice ($5) is made with macaroni, lentils, and brown rice, topped with tangy tomato sauce, garlic yoghurt and crispy deep-fried onion bits! 

Don’t miss their pita bread ($2), grilled eggplant ($4) and tabbouleh ($3) – a zesty salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers and couscous – to complete this colourful spread at a pocket-friendly price.   

Address: China Square Central, 3 Pickering Street, #01-29 Nankin Row, Singapore 048660
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri | 11.30AM – 3PM, Sat | 12AM – 3PM (Closed on Sundays)


4. Zhong Guo Xiao La Mian 


cheap cbd lunch
Szechuan Spicy Wantons ($4.50)

If your morning coffee’s long worn off and you need a “pick-me-up” for lunch, Zhong Guo Xiao La Mian’s Szechuan Spicy Wantons are all you need – the hot and sour flavours of the shrimp-stuffed dumplings will jolt anyone awake from their mid-day slump.  

cheap cbd lunch
Xiao Long Baos ($6 for 10)

Giving Din Tai Fung a run for its money, these meaty morsels are going for just $0.60 per piece ($6 for 10), proving that you don’t have to skimp on quality even if you’re on a skimpy budget.   

Zhong Guo Xiao La Mian
Address: Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, #02-135, 335 Smith Street, Singapore 089152
Opening Hours: Wed – Sun | 11.30AM to 9PM (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays)




cheap cbd food

Sandwich places are aplenty in the CBD, but you won’t find a deal like’s Egg Mayo Sandwich with a side of soup going for just $5. This is a secret order on the menu, so don’t be shy to ask the expert sandwich artists to whip one up specially for you!   

cheap cbd food

Their bread of the day range from focaccia, multigrain to sourdough and they’ll slather your favourite bread with a generous helping of egg mayo, complete with freshly-cut lettuce and tomato. 

And if that’s not enough to fill you up, they also give you a bowl of cream of chicken or mushroom on-the-house with every sandwich you buy. JSYK: you’re not getting canned soup here, these soups are homemade and great for dunking your sandwich in!
Address: Amoy Street Food Centre, #02-106,  7 Maxwell Rd, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri | 7.30AM – 3PM (Closed on Weekends)


6. Bami Express


cheap cbd food

For $5, you thought you could only get ban mian from the hawker centre. But Bami Express has made it possible for you to get Vietnamese banh mi stuffed with fillings like fish patties, barbeque chicken, even Viet meat balls for cheap right smack in the CBD.

cheap cbd food
Saigon Banh Mi – $5

Try their Saigon Banh Mi, where every ingredient – baguette, pickles, braised pork, even  Vietnamese ham – is made right in their kitchen. They even brew their own super gao Vietnamese coffee ($1.20), the perfect drink to wash down this tasty Saigon sandwich. 

Bami Express 
Address: Blk 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #02-53, Singapore 082001
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri | 11.30AM – 6PM


7. Ying Jang Thai Food


cheap cbd food
Phad Thai ($5)

Ying Jang Thai Food is out to bring a thousand smiles to the faces of the Singaporean CBD lunch crowd, with Thai food like Phad Thai, made true to tradition and going for cheap.

cheap cbd food

With Thai chefs in the kitchen, you can’t go wrong with rice noodles stir-fried with fresh prawns or other classic dishes like Green Curry Chicken, Stir-Fried Glass Noodles with Pork and Mango Salad. And they’re all going at a bargain price of $5 per dish.      

Ying Jang also keeps active on Facebook, so stay tuned for the latest updates in their menu and opening hours on their page. If you’re lucky they might open on the weekends!

Ying Jang Thai Food
Address: Blk 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market and Food Center #02-50, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri | 11AM – 8PM, Sat – Sun (Varies. Check their Facebook Page for more information)

8. The Two Men Bagel House 


cheap cbd food
Source: The Two Men Bagel House

Ladies, if there’s a shortage of eye-candy in the office, you’ll be making frequent rounds to Two Men Bagel House. The two men helming the House are not only easy on the eyes, they also have an eye for spotting bagel flavours popular with the masses like Cheese, Onion, Cinnamon raisin and Sea Salt ($2.60 each).

cheap cbd food
Bagel with Cream Cheese Schmear – $4.50

Have your bagel as is or get it smeared with interesting cream cheese flavours from Walnut & Raisin to Salmon and Dill ($4.50 each).

Two Men Bagel House
Address: Icon Village Altez, Icon Village, #01-12, 16 Enggor Street, Singapore 079717
Opening Hours:  Mon – Fri | 8AM – 7PM, Sat, Sun & Public Holidays | 9AM – 6PM


9. Aussie Roll 


cheap cbd lunch

Aussie Roll’s sushi from Down Under in 32 possible flavours. Get bulgogi beef to deep-fried soft-shell crab, tightly wrapped in rice and seaweed from just $2.60/roll 7.30AM in the morning. Psst… they start rolling out the sushi a whole 1/2 hour before their official opening time at 8AM, so don’t hold back on having makis for breakfast. 

cheap cbd lunch
King Prawn Rolls available in Original and Garlic ($2.80/roll)

For easy dipping in their free-flow soy sauce and wasabi, get the rolls sliced into 4 pieces or if you’d prefer to eat on-the-go, request to keep the roll whole. And once the hectic work day is over, Aussie Roll’s ‘3-rolls-for-the-price-of-2’ promo (after 6PM) is the best way to sate the after-work munchies.

Aussie Roll
Address: Chevron House, 30 Raffles Place, Singapore 048622
Opening Hours: Daily from 8AM – 7PM 


10. Mr. Salad 


cheap cbd food
Basic Salad ($4.90) + Smoked Duck ($1)

You’ve probably tried to bring a homemade salad to the office as part of your ambitious clean eating goal of 2017, but skip the tedious dicing and slicing and order straight from Mr Salad’s well-stocked salad bar, where you get five toppings on a base of romaine lettuce for just $4.90!

Basic toppings include sweet potatoes, green apples to Japanese soba and your choice from 15 delicious dressings. But odds are you won’t stop there because, from just $1, you’ll be loading up on premium ingredients like smoked duck, turkey ham and even feta cheese! 

cheap cbd lunch
This is how Mr Salad rewards you for eating healthy – just collect 10 salad stamps to redeem one basic salad for free (u.p. $4.90).

Mr. Salad
Address: Amoy Street Food Centre, #01-15, 7 Maxwell Rd, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri | 8AM – 5PM (Closed on Weekends)


11. Japanese Restaurant @ Tanjong Pagar Plaza  


cheap cbd food

You’re equipped with tons of tissue paper packets to chope seats during the hectic lunch hour, but now you won’t have to worry about finding places to sit – for just $4.80++, you’ll get a Bento Set complete with healthy fruit, in the comfort of an air-conditioned sitting at Tanjong Pagar Plaza’s Japanese Restaurant. Yes, that’s the actual name of the joint. 

Choose between Dory Fish Teriyaki or Chicken Karaage Set ($4.80++) that comes with a side of miso soup and orange wedges. Yes, we’ll willingly fork out the service charge to dine in comfort.  

Japanese Restaurant
Address: Blk 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #01-06, Singapore 082001
Opening Hours: Daily from 11.30AM – 11.30PM


12. McDonald’s new BBQ Beef Burger with Egg Extra Value Meal


No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. You can actually satisfy your McDonald’s cravings for just $5. And we’re not about just 1 burger – we’re talking about a complete Extra Value Meal with a side of crisp golden fries and coke!

Making your eggy dreams a reality is the limited edition BBQ Beef Burger with Egg. Made with 100% beef patty, a dash of salt and pepper, and decked out in smoky barbeque sauce, this burger even has a tender egg to top it all off.  

cheap cbd food

Joining the ranks of burgers we love – the McDouble®, McChicken®, Filet-O-Fish® and Veggie Crunch Burger is the brand new BBQ Beef Burger with Egg Extra Value Meal at just $5 at participating McDonald’s outlet islandwide. 

And if fries don’t send your food receptors into a frenzy, then swap them out for a corn cup at no extra charge. That way, you now have an excuse to indulge in fast-food on the weekdays!

cheap cbd lunch

Treating yourself to a solid McDonald’s meal doesn’t have to only happen when you’re floating in dough, you can now sate your cravings for their classic burgers and their newest BBQ Beef Burger with Egg.

Click Here To Find Out More About McDonald’s Extra Value Meals!


Note: Offer valid at select participating outlets only

This post was brought to you by McDonald’s.