How To Work Part-Time, Play and Eat On A Budget: The East-sider's guide

Written By: Abigail Goh

Just landed a great job in the eastern part of Singapore but have no idea where are the great places to eat, hang out and save money at the same time? We've got you covered! FastJobs is proud to present to you this awesome guide full of tips for part-timers in the east!

Cheap and good food

Real talk: the best part of eastern Singapore has got to be ALL. THE. FOOD.


Seriously, there’s so much good food that it’s going to take forever to list them. Here are a few must-try places to start eating your way through the East:

1. Old Airport Road Food Centre

SAMSUNG CSCOld Airport Road Food Centre (Photo: Tammy Alysha Lui)

No food guide to the east is complete without this place. One of the oldest and best hawker centres in Singapore, Old Airport Road is a must-go for anyone who happens to be in the area. Heck, it’s a must-go for anyone who happens to be in Singapore, period.

Photo: Tammy Alysha LuiLao Fu Zi Char Kway Teow (Photo: Tammy Alysha Lui)

You’ll be spoiled for choice, but we recommend these stalls for starters: Albert Street Prawn Mee, Nam Sing Hokkien Mee, Dong Ji Char Kway Teow, Lao Fu Zi Char Kway Teow, Shanghai Xiao Long Bao, Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun, Selara Rasa’s, and the original Lao Ban Beancurd stall.

51 Old Airport Rd
Nearest MRT:
Price range: Under S$5

2. The Bedok Marketplace

Selections from The Burning Oak; clockwise from top left: Wagyu Beef Rump Cap, Pork Shoulder Skewers, and Curry Croquettes. (Photo: Nicholas Chen)

Renovated and launched just two years ago, The Bedok Marketplace is the hipster hawker centre of the east, and has a great mix of standard hawker fare and more unconventional options like burgers and yakitori. We recommend: Huong Que Vietnamese Cuisine, Sin Kee Chicken Rice, Chop Chop Selections, The Burning Oak, and Ballistic Meatballs.

348 Bedok Road
Nearest MRT:
Tanah Merah
Price range: There are cheap food options for under S$5, but if you're willing to splurge on the more upscale choices, expect to spend between S$10-20 for your meal.

3. Geylang Serai Market

Geylang Serai MarketGeylang Serai Market (Photo: Tammy Alysha Lui)

Geylang Serai is a bustling Malay enclave with a rich cultural and food heritage. Most of the best food can be found on the upper floor of Geylang Serai Market and also the Haig Road Market, but go easy! You don't want to return to work struggling with a food coma.

SAMSUNG CSCCendol (Photo: Tammy Alysha Lui)

Clockwise from top left: Lapis Sagu, Ondeh Ondeh, and Curry Puffs.
(Photo: Abigail Goh)

You'll find multiple stalls selling similar Malay/Indian-Muslim dishes here, but you won't go wrong if you go with any of these options: Iqbal Soup Kambing, Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang, Hajjah Mona Nasi Padang, and Geylang Briyani Stall. If you want something light, try out Cendol Geylang Serai, or the Malay kueh at any of several snack stalls!

1 Geylang Serai
Nearest MRT:
Paya Lebar or Eunos
Price range: S$5-15

Cool but affordable hangouts

Joo Chiat at night


If you're looking for places to hang in between shifts or after work, this next section's for you. We promise that these selections will go easy on your wallet, and are a ton of fun too!

1. The TGIF Bazaar @ ONE KM

SAMSUNG CSCONE KM mall (Photo: Tammy Alysha Lui)

TGIF Bazaars holds a weekly flea on weekends at ONE KM, which is a quick 5 minute walk from Paya Lebar MRT. Head down for great bargains, and if it gets too hot, you can always duck into ONE KM for some free air-conditioning!

11 Tanjong Katong Road
Operating hours:
4-10:30pm on Fridays, 12-10:30pm on Saturdays & Sundays.
Nearest MRT: Paya Lebar

2. Sports Hub

singapore-sports-hub-755409_960_720 (1)Sports Hub


No, it's not just a new stadium. And there's tons of cool things to do too. Besides state-of-the-art sports facilities, there's also the Kallang Wave Mall, a cool food court, a climbing gym, a skate park, and the first sports-related museum in Singapore. Or you can always just check out the Sports Hub Library. Even if you're not interested in the special collection of sports-related books, you can book the V.Sports stations for some X-Box gaming with friends (or alone...we don't judge), or just enjoy some air-conditioned comfort. If it's nighttime, then it's the perfect time for a stroll on the Stadium Riverside Walk, which also offers a great view of the city skyline.

1 Stadium Drive
Visit the Sports Hub website for more info on facilities and operating hours.
Nearest MRT:
Stadium or Kallang

3. The Katong/Joo Chiat area

If you're feeling more adventurous than shopping malls, spend some time exploring the historic Katong & Joo Chiat district.

Joo Chiat shophouses


You can visit an old-school coffee shop for great local breakfast fare (they open till 4:30pm) or take a walk down Koon Seng Road for some Instagram-worthy shots of gorgeous Peranakan shophouses. Or just take your time getting lost in these streets, and soak up Katong's and Joo Chiat's rich character/heritage. If you've got some extra time to kill, why not try being a tourist in your own country? This part of Singapore is definitely worth a couple hours of wandering and exploring.

Nearest MRT: Paya Lebar or Eunos
Note: The Joo Chiat area is quite dispersed, and some parts are nearer to Parkway Parade and Katong V. Keep reading for tips on how to get to this vicinity (see the next section).

Extreme money-saving transport hacks


Getting around in the East can be daunting for those unfamiliar in the area. But just plan your trip well and it shouldn't be too hard – this is Singapore, after all. And if you're looking to save a bit of extra cash, here are a couple of transport hacks for travelling in the East.

1. Shuttle bus between Parkway Parade & Sengkang/Bedok

SAMSUNG CSCParkway Parade (Photo: Tammy Alysha Lui)

If you live in or near Sengkang, you're in luck! On weekends and public holidays, Parkway Parade provides a shuttle service from Sengkang MRT to the mall, and vice versa. The best part? It's completely free!


Beats taking the long, arduous MRT ride to the east coast. Their other bus service shuttles you to and fro Bedok MRT, which is pretty handy too. Click here for more info on schedules and pick up points.

2. Katong V shuttle bus

Katong mallKatong V mall (Photo: Tammy Alysha Lui)

Katong V has a free shuttle bus too! The route covers Paya Lebar MRT, Bedok MRT, and Katong V. It's only available on weekends and public holidays, but definitely saves you some money in getting from the MRT to Katong V (or even Parkway Parade, which is within walking distance).

Click here for more info on schedules and pick up points.

 -- We hope you enjoyed these tips on how to eat, chill and travel in the East! And if you don't have a job yet or are looking for one, fret not!

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