Coffee with butter, anyone?

It’s time to start setting aside your wretched 20 cent-lookalike 50-cent coins. The massive affordable street food festival 50 Cents Fest is back from Jul 28-29 at Chinatown Food Street—and of course bigger, better and badder than last year.

This third edition celebrates Singapore’s diverse food beginnings way back in the 1930s, so expect a renewed focus on the dishes our early immigrants first brought with them; as well as more ethnic options in the spirit of multiculturalism. More than 40 dishes will be on sale, including Kopi Gu You (the old school way of adding butter in black coffee, believed to be a hit with opium smokers in the past), the Nyonya vermicelli dish Kerabu Bee Hoon, and Fish Molee, a lightly spiced creamy fish curry with Indian and Portugese origins. True to the event name, everything is priced from 50 cents.

Elevating 50 Cents Fest from being just another overcrowded hot mess, the festival is even implementing an all-new multimedia element to turn the two-day event into a proper multi-sensory journey. Get ready to see Chinatown Food Street in a whole new light—or old light, as the street undergoes a 1930s makeover with kitschy neon lights and elements of Neoclassical and Palladian architecture. Virtual reality tech will also be used to fill the street with iconic figures of the ‘30s, like the Samsui Lady, Coolie and even opium smokers. (Glorifying that last one seems a little strange but we’ll close an eye for now.)

The festival acts as a closing event to this year’s Singapore Food Festival (Jul 13-29); if you’d like to whet your appetite beforehand, check out what else you can eat here.


50 Cents Fest happens Jul 28-29 at Chinatown Food Street, Smith Street. More information here.