Shopping in Singapore
Obviously, shopping in Singapore is not just about the finer things in life, right?
A man's gotta eat, a woman's gotta clothe herself and the kids need a sofa to jump around on - or maybe in different order.
Let's start with some basics in the food and drink categories.
Essentially, there are five major supermarket chains for shopping in Singapore, located throughout the island with various store types.
These are Fairprice
with about 200+ outlets, including small convenience store shops next to major hypermarket setups, followed by
which has 40+ various outlets and caters to the more upscale and pricier grocery market.
Both chains offer online services, including grocery shopping and home delivery.
French supermarket giant Carrefour
has two major downtown locations and online shopping as well.
Furthermore, there is
which belongs to the same folks who own Cold Storage, and caters to the local market with fairly good prices, even if the stores are not necessarily a dream to go shopping in.
The heartlands - those huge HDB estates where most Singaporeans live - often feature
supermarkets which cater to the cost-conscious Singaporean with a strong Chinese ethnic focus.
If you are really into a Singapore market experience with a super-strong local flavor, head into almost any HDB estate and find a wet market (it gets hosed down - thus wet) with anything from fresh fish, veggies, pots and pans, fruits, etc.
Quite fun and you can get incredibly cheap food there if your are willing to put up with the crowds and the not always too pleasant smell.
Most of these markets are fairly similar - just try any of them out.
Butchers and Bakers
Those supermarkets and wet markets will have a selection of meat too, but if you want a taste of home, you'll just have to submit to the dominance of the Swiss for all things bread and meat in Singapore.
First up, try
Shopping in Singapore - the Swiss Butchery
for more than just sausages. These guys used to somehow belong to each other - then divorced due to whatever reasons - and now compete against each other with very high quality meats and delicatessen products.
They'll even give your kids a slice of Lyoner sausage when you come - just like in Europe.
There is another local place to get your meet, I mean meat, at Bukit Timah Road, called
Meat the Butcher.
These guys know their stuff, and a lot of Ozzies go there, so they must be good, right?
Finally, craving some South American cuts? Try out Espirito Santo for that imported South American beef - delicious.
I mentioned the Swiss, right?
They also seem to have cornered the bread market in Singapore, so check out your local Cold Storage for
with pricy but good breads.
Singapore has its own bakery chains, too,
leading the pack.
Their goods cater towards the local population, so the breads and pastries are lighter and often sweeter than those heavy Swiss and Germans.
A nice place to buy some good local bread, have a cheap cuppa or a sandwich is Simply Bread right on the corner of 6th Ave and Bukit Timah.
Furniture and Kitchen
So you have the house and nowhere to sleep?
Don't despair - what would shopping in Singapore be without everybody's favorite Swede, available twice in Singapore.
and forget everything else, or go to one of a few furniture malls on the island where one building will house dozens of furniture stores.
Those would be Park Mall at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station on Orchard,
Furniture Mall, close to Kampong Glam with 20 stores or more behind a hotel complex - don't get confused by the hotel entrance. There is a corridor next to the reception area that leads to the stores.
If you want some Chinese furniture, check out Dempsey Hill, sort of across from the Botanic Gardens, on a former British Army site. They have a number of stores catering to the white folks who want some Chinese pieces to show off back home.
You'll also find Chinese furniture Mom and Pop shops in various living areas popular with expats along Bukit Timah Road and Dunearn Road.
If you want some nice quality furniture with a more personal or ethnic touch, we like
for their very original (sorry, no other word really fits) furniture made of things like old Indian doors or rail sidings.
You might want to look at
They have a nice collection of furniture for indoors and out, recycled teak, in nice designs. Pricey, though - drive a bargain.
Shopping in Singapore can be an interesting experience in actually finding some of the places.
Some of the furniture stores are literally located in warehouses next to the harbor or in industrial estates.
One of those out-of the way places that has funky, vintage furniture made up like new can be found at Like That One, based in a completely non-descript building you wouldn't look at twice.
Need something for the kitchen? You can get everything at
(comes from tools of the trade) - these people have anything a chef or wannabe could possibly desire. They are just below Originals (see above), next door to the BMW dealership.
There is also a cooking school, restaurant, specialty Italian and French products store inside, and a baking station for the kids to make cookies while you shop.
Oh, lest I forget.
The best time to go shopping in Singapore is during the Great Singapore Sale.
Many, many discounts between end of May to the end of July.
Don't miss it. Shopping in Singapore would not be complete without it.
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Have A Good Shopping Story?
Any tips or ideas about good places to shop, quirky stores, or cool places to spend a buck?