8 stalls in Singapore for cai png, or economic rice, for under S$4

By Phyllis Leong January 31, 2023
8 stalls in Singapore for cai png, or economic rice, for under S$4
Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Let’s face it: With the latest GST hike, searching for good ol’ hawker gems that don’t break the bank is pressingly crucial. 

As we continue to grapple with rising food costs in Singapore, our wallets are bound to feel the pinch. Thankfully, there’s still a plethora of economical rice (more commonly known as cai png) stalls on our sunny island that have retained their wallet-friendly prices all while touting quality dishes.

We’ve scoured the city and compiled a list of economical rice stalls that serve hearty rice sets below S$4. These are the places you must visit to get bang for your buck. 

1. Goldhill Family Restaurant

6 Hougang Avenue 3, 01-78
Open: Monday to Friday (7.30am to 8pm), Saturday (7.30am to 7.30pm), Sunday (7.30am to 2.30pm)

Affordable economical rice set at Goldhill Family Restaurant. Photo: Jonathan Lim/Burpple

Why visit? The charm of economical rice is undoubtedly its inexpensive prices and a variety of mouthwatering dishes to choose from. Goldhill Family Restaurant recognises this and continues to dole out tantalising comfort fare without succumbing to price hikes. It’s no wonder the stall often welcomes snaking queues at lunchtime!

Price range: $

Signature dishes: Its fried delights, such as the chicken wings (S$1), are a crowd favourite. They usually sell out by lunchtime, so get there early if you want to get your hands on them!

2. Kimly Teochew Porridge 

Blk 346 Jurong East Street 31, 01-71
Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 4am)

Blk 347 Bukit Batok Street, 01-252
Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 4am) 

Blk 70 Serangoon Garden Way
Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 4am)

Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? This reputed Teochew porridge stall belongs to the network of Kimly Group, a coffee shop operator that also runs mixed rice, dim sum and zi char stalls. With three outlets islandwide, this is a convenient pitstop for busy workers. You can take your pick from more than 40 scrumptious and familiar dishes cooked fresh on a daily basis, and pair your meal with either rice or porridge. 

Price range: $

Signature dishes: Opt for its best-selling shrimp paste chicken (S$1.30), a delectable dish rich in savoury fermented shrimp paste that bursts with flavour with every bite.

3. Cai Png at Tastebud Eating House 

932 Hougang Avenue 9, 01-04
Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 9pm) 

Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? Despite its unassuming location, this stall has earned a reputation among Hougang residents for serving up one of the cheapest economic rice sets in town. A plate of your choice of meat and three vegetables sets you back S$3.30, while a dish of two meats and two greens costs a reasonable S$3.60. 

Price range: $

Signature dishes: We recommend ordering its sweet and sour pork. Tossed in a tangy sweet and sour sauce, the juicy pork tenderloin cubes are an absolute treat. 

4. Chwee Hua Mixed Vegetable Rice Porridge   

Boon Lay Place Market & Food Village, 01-154, 221B Boon Lay Place
Open: Monday to Saturday (3pm to 8.30pm) 

A popular economic rice stall in the west, often boasting long queues. Photo: The Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore (FMAS)/Singapore Hawkers

Why visit? Chwee Hua Mixed Vegetable Rice Porridge has been in the game for more than a decade, which is a testament to its popularity among diners. Having amassed a loyal base of customers over the years, the stall owner is hesitant to raise prices. He believes in keeping prices affordable to better cater to residents in the area. 

Price range: $

Signature dishes: You’ll enjoy its crowd-favourite spicy clams (S$2) and vinegar trotters (S$1.50). The former hits the spot with its sweet, briny flavours dressed in a spicy sauce. 

5. Rice Garden   

Blk 273C Punggol Place, 01-882
Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 9pm)

Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? Food always tastes better when it’s served for a cause, and Rice Garden fits the bill. The beloved economic rice chain kickstarted as a programme to offer cheap and nutritious rice sets to low-income families. Today, it’s famed for its healthy dish options, with mixed rice sets priced at only S$3. Better yet: ComCare cardholders can purchase these meals at S$1.50, while concession members need only pay S$2 per plate. 

Price range: $

Signature dishes: Try its braised chicken, an aromatic dish simmered in a broth of dark soy sauce and traditional spices. It pairs perfectly well with steaming white rice.

6. Hao Xiang Mixed Vegetable Rice  

Food Village, 02-01, Blk 660A Edgedale Plains
Open: Monday to Sunday (9am to 8pm) 

Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? We love it when we get more than what we pay for, and this saying holds true when it comes to the generous food portions served at Hao Xiang Mixed Vegetable Rice. There’s an assortment of dishes to choose from: think leafy greens, tender meats and fried fish fillets. Your picks are heaped piping hot onto a plate of rice — our idea of the best kind of lunch.

Price range: $

Signature dishes: A bestseller is the potato slices (S$0.80), a classic dish that’s coated in a sweet soy gravy and stir-fried to perfection.

7. 805 Hougang Veg Rice Porridge

Blk 805 Hougang Central, 01-116
Open: Monday to Sunday (8.30am to 8pm)

Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? Nestled within a bustling coffee shop, this stall stands out from the crowd with comforting economic rice staples cooked to perfection. You can choose from the likes of preserved radish egg omelette (S$0.80), curry chicken (S$1.30) and more each spoonful will have you reaching for more. 

Price range: $

Signature dishes: The sweet and sour pork (S$0.80) is to die for, with crispy skin and juicy morsels of meat. The succulent flesh is the star of the show, and the citrus-based dressing wonderfully elevates its flavour. 

8. Malaysia Boleh! Ipoh Zai Mixed Veg Rice 

Northpoint City South Wing, B1-194/195, 930 Yishun Avenue 2
Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 10pm) 

Photo: Phyllis Leong/HungryGoWhere

Why visit? Operated by Fei Siong Group, Ipoh Zai Mixed Veg Rice is the eatery to make a beeline for if you’re craving authentic Malaysian dishes. It’s best known for its ongoing value set promotion, which costs an affordable S$3.30 for a meat dish and two vegetables. The stall gets crowded during lunch and dinner hours, so be sure to head down early to snag a packet! 

Price range:

Signature dishes: The ngoh hiang gets two thumbs up from us. Seasoned with five spices, the ground pork is mixed with a delicious prawn paste that’s encased in thin beancurd skin.

Kimly Teochew Porridge and Ipoh Zai Mixed Veg Rice are on the GrabFood delivery service. You can also book a ride to all the places listed in the article.


For more content on hawker eats, check out our Senja Hawker Centre guide or affordable brunch stalls at Bedok Food Centre and Market.

Picture for WP

Phyllis Leong


The resident sweet tooth with a severe addiction to desserts.

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