10 Food Places That Have Some of The Longest Queues in The World

10 Food Places That Have Some of The Longest Queues in The World

Can you really call yourself a Singaporean if you haven't queued at these top food places in the world?

To most Singaporeans, a queue is a quality indicator of sorts. It could mean either two things: that it’s really cheap (maybe even free!), or it’s really good. In some rare occasions, it could even mean both. There is nothing as validating as long, snaking queues, especially when it comes to food. And never doubt a Singaporean’s love for food –  we will go to great lengths for delicacies deemed worthy of our time.

However, as demonstrated by our preoccupation with accolades, what really counts is queuing and dining at the world’s most popular restaurants. For Singaporeans and fellow food gourmets, it’s time to take your families and join the long lines at these 10 famous places around the world. Because it’s worth the wait, right?

Exploring these amazing restaurants with your family at a bargain doesn’t always have to mean battling the crowd and long queues!

Skip the queues at travel fairs and #CutQueueLah when you book your flights tickets online on Trip.com. Whether you’re heading to Bangkok or to New York, you can enjoy super low fares to over 10 destinations in the world, on some of the best airlines globally.

And that’s not all! You can also receive a $50 Trip.com hotel promo code with your flight booking!*


* Terms and conditions apply

1. Bangkok, Thailand

Thip Samai

Thip Samai Bangkok Thailand

Image credit: Dickson

Thailand is best known for its pad thai (stir-fried rice noodles) and no trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit to Thip Samai. Dig into sun-dried chanthaburi rice noodles that are distinctively smoky due to the burning hot charcoals on which they are cooked.

Thip Samai Bangkok Thailand

Image credit: Thip Samai

Opt for their signatures: Pad Thai Sen Jan Man Goong, which exudes an intense shrimp flavour, or Pad Thai Hor Kai Goong Sot, where moist noodles are wrapped in a thin egg omelette. For the perfect finish, try their famous bottled orange juice that is delivered fresh from the countryside. This pairing will definitely leave you and your family members shouting ‘aroi mak mak’!

Address: 313-315 Maha Chai Rd, Khwaeng Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Fly to Bangkok from S$208. View more flights and prices here.

2. Penang, Malaysia

Air Itam Laksa

Air Itam Laksa, Penang, Malaysia

Image credit: Pandora Voon

Without a doubt, Penang’s most iconic nosh is the Asam Laksa and nowhere does it better than Air Itam Laksa. Opened over 70 years ago, this humble hawker stall never fails to draw the crowds in eevery day

Air Itam Laksa, Penang, Malaysia

Image credit: Hungry Onion

Sweet, sour and spicy – this bowl of springy rice noodles paired with a combo of sliced shredded fish, red chillies, lettuce and onions, topped with fragrant shrimp paste is guaranteed to leave you wanting more. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself ordering another bowl or da-paoing some to bring back to Singapore!

Address: 1, Jalan Pasar, 11500, Ayer Itam, Penang

Fly to Penang from S$127. View more flights and prices here.

3. Tokyo, Japan


Ichiran Ramen, Tokyo, Japan

Image credit: Skyseeker

And again, we have another superlative example – Ichiran – considered the best ramen by many in Tokyo. A bold claim, but one that definitely matches up. Ask any Singaporean for ramen recommendations in Tokyo and Ichiran is bound to pop up.

Think creamy pork-based broth and firm noodles. The winning formula? A house special red pepper sauce mixed with three types of spices that no one but the owners are privy to. And on top of that, you order your perfect bowl of ramen from a vending machine and enjoy it in private booths!

Address: Various locations, check out their website for the full list of locations.

Fly to Tokyo from S$548. View more flights and prices here.

4. London, United Kingdom

Flat Iron

Flat Iron, London, United Kingdom

Image credit: Flat Iron

Famous for its consistently long queues, London’s Flat Iron remains one of the toughest spots to get into for a meal. But, stand your ground and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best steak in the world and at an affordable price. And only at Flat Iron do you get to cut up thick slices of your beef with a mini cleaver!

Flat Iron London United Kingdom

Image credit: Flat Iron

Even with five outlets in London, all restaurants continue to receive a large flux of customers during meal times. Go early to avoid the queues as they don’t take reservations.

Address: Various locations; check out their website for the full list of locations.

Fly to London from S$1088. View more flights and prices here.

5. New York, USA


Ess-a-Bagel, New York, United States

Image credit: Ess-a-Bagel

In the city that never sleeps, it’s best to start the day with one of Manhattan’s most venerated shops, Ess-a-Bagel. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this establishment offers everything from the classic lox-and-schmear, to sandwiches with 18 different house-made cream cheeses, ranging from sweet to savoury, to choose from. The only downside? Having to wait in line!

Ess-a-Bagel, New York, United States

Image credit: Ess-a-Bagel

Image credit: Ess-a-Bagel

Address: 831 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022, USA.

Fly to New York from S$1388. View more flights and prices here.

As much as we love to queue for the great food and bargains, it’s always pretty shiok when we get to #CutQueueLah!

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6. Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Chun Shui Tang

Chun Shui Tang, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Image credit: Chun Shui Tang

For true fans of traditional pearl milk tea, or bubble tea, savouring the original milk tea from the inventors themselves, Chun Shui Tang, in Kaohsiung might be a dream come true.

Chun Shui Tang, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Image credit: Chun Shui Tang

Even with numerous outlets all over Taiwan, there is bound to be a long queue at each one. But wait in line and you’ll be rewarded with thirst-quenching concoctions that are carefully shaken to frothy, creamy perfection.

Address: Various locations; check out their website for the full list of locations.

Fly to Kaohsiung from S$425. View more flights and prices here.

7. Shanghai, China

Jia Jia Tang Bao

Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

Image credit: Jason Wang

A perennial favourite among locals and visitors alike, this classic hole-in-the wall restaurant upholds an impeccable reputation for their succulent xiao long baos (XLB), or soup dumplings. Commonly touted as the town’s best and a longstanding culinary rival to Din Tai Fung, you know that Jia Jia Tang Bao is bound to be good.

Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai, China

Image credit: Faim Oui Oui

Signatures include the classic pork flavour and the addictive crab and pork variant. Our advice? Come as early as possible because Jia Jia closes as soon as they run out of XLB, very often by the late afternoon. Keep the kids entertained as they watch the skilled chefs churn out these little purses of joy at expert speeds in the tiny kitchen.

Address: 90 Huanghe Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China.

Fly to Shanghai from S$427. View more flights and prices here.

8. Hong Kong

Lin Heung Kui

Lin Heung Kui, Hong Kong

Image credit: jojosie

Queuing up to wait for a table has become an essential part of the dining experience here at Lin Heung Kui. Being a listee in the Michelin Guide, this legendary dim sum restaurant sees queues as early as 7am in the morning.

Marvel at dim sum trolleys, laden with stacks of bamboo baskets, rolling across the floor like they used to do in the 80’s, and choose from a dizzying array of handcrafted dim sum with specialities like the Lin Heung Special Duck.

Address: 40-50 Des Voeux Rd W, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

Fly to Hong Kong from S$248. View more flights and prices here.

9. Seoul, Korea


Kyochon, Seoul, Korea

Image credit: Eva Neo

Roll up your sleeves and ready yourself for Seoul’s best fried chicken. Also known as the ‘Lee Min Ho’ chicken, this establishment is as well-loved and popular as the hearthrob himself. For 13 consecutive years, KyoChon was crowned the Best Chicken Restaurant by South Koreans and welcomes throngs of customers daily.

This comes as no surprise considering how these wings are freshly made to order and are available in several tantalising flavours – Garlic Soy, Honey, Fried, Salsa and Red Pepper. The chickens used are also free of antibiotics and growth hormones, so you can consume them (almost) guilt-free.

Address: Various locations across Korea.

Fly to Seoul from S$570. View more flights and prices here.

10. Gold Coast, Australia

The Fish House

The Fish House, Gold Coast, Australia

Image credit: The Fish House

Submit to succulent scallops and delectable chargrilled prawns with generous sides when dining at The Fish House. But as its name suggests, it’s their whole fish items that make the biggest splash. Sample coral trouts steamed with ginger and shallots or the red baby snapper with a dollop of creamy tartar sauce.

The Fish House, Gold Coast, Australia

Image credit: Burleigh Tourism

Dig into the daily haul of the finest Australian seafood against a backdrop of spectacular views of Burleigh Beach. To spice things up, watch a live deboning when you order fish – a strangely entertaining process when you’re not the one doing it.

Address: 50 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220, Australia.

Fly to Brisbane from S$589. View more flights and prices here.

So, how many of these places have you yet to earn your badge of queuing honour at? Plan your next vacation to these destinations and #CutQueueLah with Trip.com to enjoy the best flight deals and a $50 Trip.com hotel voucher – all without having to battle the crowds at travel fairs! Good things must share book now and thank us later!

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About Author

Annabel Pang
Annabel Pang

Annabel is a final year English student at NTU wit a h00d playlist. She's no Mary but she's defintely poppin'. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Annabel is a part-time jedi and a force not to be reckoned with. Also a huge foodie with spectacular vernacular. Tread gently.