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Secret Staff Canteen & Lesser-Known Food Court Singapore

10 “Secret” Staff Canteens & Lesser-Known Food Courts In Singapore To Score Cheaper Meals

Staff canteens in Singapore

Think of staff canteens and you might imagine the cafeterias at tech companies that serve buffet breakfasts, lunches, and dinners – but only if you have a pass to prove you work there.

Not for this list though. These canteens, while meant for the employees working in the building, are open to the public too. From food courts in industrial parks to canteens in basements, here are some staff canteens and lesser-known food courts in Singapore for cheap food:

Staff canteens & lesser-known food courts at a glance

Here’s where you can find various staff canteens and lesser-known food courts in Singapore, be it to dodge peak hour crowds or score some cheaper dishes:

Canteen/Food Court Address Opening hours
Lava Food House Canteen 2 Jurong East Street 21, Level 4 IMM, Singapore 609601 Mon-Fri 7.30am-6pm, Sat 7.30am-4pm (Closed on Sundays)
Chit Chat & Makan Eating House 152 Beach Road, Basement 1 Gateway East, Singapore 189721 Mon-Fri 10.30am-3pm (Closed on Saturdays & Sundays)
Kallang Food Centre 5 Kallang Place, Singapore 339152 6am-10pm, Daily
Lepak One Corner @ Canberra 1001 Yishun Industrial Park A, #01-1001, Singapore 768743 10am-11pm, Daily
MOE Cafeteria 1 North Buona Vista Drive, Level 2 MOE Headquarters, Singapore 138675 Fri-Wed 10am-7pm, Thu 9am-7pm
Komoco Motors Cafeteria 254 Alexandra Road, Level 3 Komoco Motors, Singapore 159936 9am-7pm, Daily
Fu Eating House 50 Bukit Batok Street 23, Singapore 659578 Mon-Sat 6am-10pm, Sun 9.30am-10pm
Thye Hwa Heng Canteen 29 Eunos Avenue 6, Singapore 400029 Mon-Fri 7am-8.30pm, Sat 7am-8pm (Closed on Sundays)
Northspring Cafe 9 Yishun Industrial Street 1, Singapore 761316 Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 9.30am-2pm (Closed on Sundays)
NTWU Canteens Multiple locations around Singapore Varies across locations

1. Lava Food House Canteen at IMM

Secret Staff Canteen Lava Food House Canteen IMM

The IMM outlet mall is best known as the place to score deals and discounts on branded goods. What you may not know is that you can also snag food at affordable prices when you head up to Lava Food House Canteen located on the 4th floor.

Secret Staff Canteen IMM Lava Food House Canteen

You’ll find mostly local Chinese food here, such as fish soup and chicken rice. But there is 1 stall, House of Fried Rice N Noodle, that sells Sichuan Chinese food too. Their best sellers include Zha Jiang Mian ($4) and Mala Pork Cutlet Noodles ($4.50), which are usually the first dishes to sell out for the day.

Lava Food House Canteen at IMM 食閣
Google Reviews
2 Jurong East Street 21, Level 4 IMM, Singapore 609601
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 07:30 AM - 06:00 PM Show More Timings

2. Chit Chat & Makan Eating House at Gateway East

Staff Canteen Chit Chat & Makan Eating House Gateway East

The Gateway sports a sleek exterior that gives it an optical illusion of being 2D from certain angles, making it one of the most unique buildings in Singapore. You wouldn’t think at first glance that the razor-edged building would have a publicly accessible food court, but there’s one right at the basement carpark of Gateway East.

Secret Staff Canteen Chit Chat & Makan Eating House

It’s easy to miss Chit Chat & Makan Eating House if you’re coming from the carpark. But take the escalator down from the 1st floor of Gateway East and it’ll lead you straight to the cafeteria. On first looks, it seems small with only a couple of stalls to choose from, but walk in and you’ll find a larger seating area for about 150 diners.

Secret Staff Canteen Chit Chat & Makan Eating House Laksa

From our visit and recommendations from people working in the building, the yong tau foo stall is a clear favourite for meals. Each piece goes for $0.60 and there’s a minimum order of 6 pieces. You can even opt to have the pieces fried and change the clear soup to a curry gravy for added flavour.

Chit Chat & Makan Eating House
Google Reviews
Beach Rd, Gateway East, 152, Singapore 189721
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 08:00 AM - 06:00 PM Show More Timings

3. Kallang Food Centre

Kallang Food Centre Lesser-Known Food Court

This isn’t a staff canteen, but it’s a lesser-known food court right smack in the middle of the Kallang Bahru industrial area.

Kallang Food Centre Charcoal Fish Head Steamboat
Image credit: @eatplaytogather via Instagram

Kallang Food Centre has a plethora of options that includes cai fan, zi char, roast meats, and even a stall opened by Singaporean actor and TV host, Ben Yeo. In partnership with celebrity chef, Cao Yong, Ben helms a charcoal fish head steamboat stall here. Dig into a hearty bowl of bubbling fish head soup from $46 – perfect for a communal feast.

Kallang Food Centre
Google Reviews
5 Kallang Pl, Singapore 339152
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 06:00 AM - 10:00 PM Show More Timings

4. Lepak One Corner @ Canberra

Lesser-Known Food Court Lepak One Corner @ Canberra
Image credit: Josephine Ho via Google Images

Located in Yishun Industrial Park, Lepak One Corner @ Canberra is a trendy kopitiam with container-style storefronts and LED lights. Make a beeline for their Korean stall, which serves bibimbap rice bowls from $7, and kimchi fried rice for $9. If you’re dining in a group, get the top-selling Army Stew ($32) to share.

Lesser-Known Food Court Birds Nest Prata
Image credit: @pearl_chua via Instagram

Other shareable eats at this lesser-known food court include satay from $1/stick, baked cheese oysters ($4.5 each), and kebab fries ($10) – fries loaded with shavings of kebab-roasted meat. They also have something called Birds Nest Prata ($8). The unique dish features a crispy prata filled with 2 sunny side up eggs, topped with minced mutton sauce.

Lepak One Corner @ Canberra
Google Reviews
1001 Yishun Industrial Park A, #01-1001, Singapore 768743
Opening Hours:
Tuesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings

5. MOE Cafeteria at Ministry of Education HQ

Secret Staff Canteen MOE Cafeteria

Making healthier choices when eating out isn’t always the easiest – unless you’re dining at the MOE Cafeteria that’s located within the Ministry of Education’s headquarters at Buona Vista.

Secret Staff Canteen MOE Cafeteria HQ

You’ll find the healthier choice symbol at most stalls where there are options to order more veggies or brown rice instead of white rice for your meals. Dieters can even keep their calorie count in check, as each stall also lists out the calorie intake of each dish available.

Secret Staff Canteen MOE HQ Cafeteria

Healthier food doesn’t mean you’re left with only bland alternatives if you’re dining here. We saw snaking lines at the herbal soup stall, which sells dishes such as ABC Pork Ribs Soup ($4) and Watercress Pork Ribs Soup ($4).

Do note that you’ll need to register yourself as a guest if you plan on visiting this staff canteen. You’ll need to show your IC and provide a valid mobile phone number when doing so.

MOE Cafeteria
Google Reviews
N Buona Vis Rd, Singapore
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 07:00 PM Show More Timings

6. Komoco Motors Cafeteria

Secret Staff Canteen Komoco Motors Cafeteria

If you’ve gone past Alexandra Road, you’ll know that this area is known for its car showrooms that display the latest automobiles like electric vehicles and sedans. There aren’t many places to go to for food here, but hidden in the showroom for Hyundai is the Komoco Motors Cafeteria.

Secret Staff Canteen Komoco Motors Cafeteria Cai Fan

There are only 2 stalls at this staff canteen – one that sells nasi padang, and the other that sells cai fan. Each one has a variety of dishes like curry chicken, assorted stir-fried vegetables, tofu, and eggs at affordable prices. A combi of 1 meat dish and 1 vegetable dish with rice will only set you back $2.80. Double the portion of meat and it’s $4.80 for the whole plate.

Secret Staff Canteen Komoco Motors Cafeteria Alexandra

The cai fan stall also sells daily specials for those who aren’t in the mood for rice and dishes. When we visited, we saw fish & chips ($5.50), claypot rice ($4), and Singapore noodles ($4) on the menu. Diners there also told us that the stall occasionally sells desserts like green bean soup and tau suan.

Komoco Motors Pte Ltd.
Google Reviews
253 Alexandra Rd, Singapore 159936
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 09:00 AM - 07:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

7. Fu Eating House

Secret Staff Canteen Fu Eating House
Image credit: Qi Xin Mookata via Google Maps

Tucked away in an industrial complex in Bukit Batok, Fu Eating House has a mookata stall which opens till 11pm daily. Westies can add this unassuming spot to their list of supper haunts, with an array of marinated meats and seafood for grilling.

Secret Staff Canteen Fu Eating House Mookata
Image credit: Qi Xin Mookata via Google Maps

Portions of vegetables and meat are priced from $3 and $7 respectively. Their selection of marinades include basil, mala, and salted egg, as well as the usual suspects like garlic, black pepper, and teriyaki.

Fu Eating House
Google Reviews
50 Bukit Batok Street 23, Singapore 659578
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 06:00 AM - 10:00 PM Show More Timings

8. Thye Hwa Heng Canteen

Secret Staff Canteen Thye Hwa Heng Canteen

Behind Paya Lebar MRT Station is an industrial park easily recognisable for its squat, red-brick warehouses and factories with blue roofs. It’s inside one of these buildings that you’ll find Thye Hwa Heng Canteen.

Staff Canteen Thye Hwa Heng Canteen

The kopitiam has a good mix of Chinese and Malay food, including ban mian (from $4), and lontong and mee rebus (from $3) that see long queues from the minute they open at 7am. You’ll want to jump in line and wait it out though, as many of these stalls close soon after lunch.

Thye Hwa Heng Canteen Prata

There are still snacks like baos and chips available at the drink stall if you’re looking for a midday treat. You can also find plenty of good eats at the Indian food stall available throughout the day, which sells maggi goreng and biryani. The must-order according to various diners is the roti prata that’s only $1/piece and comes with a saucer of fish curry.

Thye Hwa Heng Canteen
Google Reviews
29 Eunos Ave 6, Singapore 400029
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 07:00 AM - 08:30 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

9. Northspring Cafe

Another industrial area hidden gem is Northspring Cafe located in Yishun. The small food court sees large crowds during lunch, as it’s one of the few places to get a meal without having to venture too far from the business hub.

Secret Staff Canteen Northspring Cafe
Image credit: Micah Lim Property and Places
via Google Maps

Although the options for dining are limited, prices are relatively affordable even for the public at this cafeteria. A bowl of fishball noodles is only $3 and comes generously topped with fishballs, fishcakes, fried wonton, and minced meat.

Secret Staff Canteen Northspring Cafe Yishun
Image credit: Jonathan Nagtalon via Google Maps 

We hear the Top Corner Western Food stall garners a crowd whenever they’re open. They’re known for their classics like chicken cutlet ($5.50) and grilled fish fillet ($5.50). These are served with a side helping of salad, corn, and mashed potatoes or fries.

Northspring CAFE
Google Reviews
9 Yishun Industrial Street 1, Singapore 761316
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM Show More Timings

10. NTWU Canteens

Secret Staff Canteen NTWU Canteens
NTWU Canteen at Yishun Bus Interchange.

Image credit: Pohboon Yeo via Google Maps

There are 40 such canteens located around Singapore at bus interchanges and depots, each one selling a similar variety of food, such as economic rice and noodles, and Malay noodle dishes at prices as low as $3 per meal.

Secret Staff Canteen NTWU Food Court
NTWU Food Court at Hougang Bus Interchange.
Image adapted from: Heng Min Zhi via Google Maps

It’s worth noting that these canteens prioritise serving bus captains who often only have a short break to eat before getting back to work. It’s not uncommon for stall owners to bypass your orders even if you’ve been in the queue for longer.

Seats are also reserved for bus captains and no amount of tissue paper can chope your spot, especially during peak hour. It’s best to dabao and eat outside the canteen so that workers can have a place to eat their meal comfortably.

NTWU Canteen
Google Reviews
70A Punggol Place, Punggol Temporary Bus Interchange, Singapore 828865
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 06:30 AM - 08:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

Full list of NTWU Canteens locations.

Bonus: Changi Airport Terminal 1 Staff Canteen

Secret Staff Canteen Changi Airport Terminal 1 Staff Canteen
Image credit: Mike M via Google Maps

This isn’t exactly a well-kept secret, but we had to include it for folks who aren’t privy to this eastside gem. Also known as Orchis Food Court, the Changi Airport Terminal 1 Staff Canteen offers more pocket-friendly food options amidst the many restaurants and cafes in Changi Airport.

Changi Airport Terminal 1 Staff Canteen Ayam Penyet
Image credit: Devanandan Nirojan via Google Images

For something light yet filling, you can go for their yong tau foo – priced $4.90 for 6 ingredients and your choice of rice, noodles, or bee hoon. There are quite a few halal options here, including comfort food like mee siam, mee soto, and mee rebus for just $3.50 each. You can get halal chicken rice for $4.80, or go for an indulgent fan favourite: ayam penyet for $5.

Terminal 1 Staff Canteen – Orchis Food Court
Google Reviews
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 05:00 AM - 09:00 PM Show More Timings

(Closed) Singtel Comcentre Canteen

Secret Staff Canteen Singtel Comcentre Canteen

The Singtel Comcentre is where you might go to recontract your phone line or test out the iPhones at the flagship store before making a purchase. It’s also where you’ll find a staff canteen in the basement of the building. There’s quite a variety here that includes Western, Indian, Malay, Chinese, and even vegetarian options.

Staff canteens & lesser-known food courts in Singapore

The next time you’re left wondering where to eat in an industrial park or office building, check back on this list to see if there’s a staff canteen nearby. These places aren’t just open to the public, they’re also an economical option to ordering food delivery or eating out at a restaurant. You can also explore these lesser-known food courts to avoid lunch hour crowds.

For more places to eat:

Cover image adapted from: Pohboon Yeo & Qi Xin Mookata via Google Maps
Article originally published on 2nd Jan 2022. Last updated by Renae Cheng on 26th May 2024.