You’ll find some of the best hawker food in Singapore. Head to these famous food centres and markets for mouth-watering treats.

Singaporean food has achieved world-class status and it’s no secret that the city is one of Asia’s biggest culinary capitals. What’s truly special is the affordable (and not to mention delicious) street food that you can find virtually anywhere and everywhere at hawker centres around Singapore.

Need some help figuring out where to go and what to order? Fret not we’re here to lend a hand.

Maxwell Food Centre

Conveniently situated near the busy Central Business District (CBD), Maxwell Food Centre is one of Singapore’s most famous local dining enclaves. With over 100 stalls and so many dishes to choose from, it can be difficult to decide what to try. Narrow it down to these three options: Tian Tian Chicken Rice, Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon, and Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake.

Having appeared in countless magazines, websites, and TV shows, Tian Tian is known for their signature dish: chicken rice. This iconic dish is best enjoyed with lots of chilli and dark soy sauce. Be prepared to wait in line as there’s almost always a queue at this well-loved stall.

If you like soup-based dishes, visit Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon for a piping hot bowl of Cantonese-style fish bee hoon (thin rice noodles) soup. Featuring fresh fish slices fried to golden perfection, this dish comes with a mouth-watering fish broth that contains milk. Grab those chopsticks and slurp up the goodness!

Treat yourself to a snack after your main meal at Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake. This soft, warm, crispy, golden-brown gem is also known as the ‘UFO’ and comes with oysters hidden inside the ‘pancake’.

Tiong Bahru Market

If you’re in Tiong Bahru–one of Singapore’s coolest neighbourhoods–be sure to pop by the Tiong Bahru Market for some amazing local creations. Fantastic choices include chwee kueh (steamed rice cakes topped with diced preserved radish and chilli) from Jian Bo Chee Kueh, fishball noodles from Hui Ji Fishball Noodles & Yong Tau Foo, and pau (steamed buns with a filling, typically barbecued pork) from Tiong Bahru Pau.

You can enjoy these bites anytime of the day, but the great thing is that these dishes–chwee kueh, fishball noodles, and pau–are actually perfect breakfast choices. You might want to drop by first thing in the morning before exploring the rest of the ‘hood for its hip cafes, indie bookstores, and more.

Need more information? Want to know what else there is to sample? Check out this cute little site that serves as a guide to Tiong Bahru Market.

Old Airport Road Food Centre

Old Airport Road Food Centre is located in the east and is home to a whole bunch of stunning culinary highlights, including Albert Street Prawn Noodle for that bowl of yellow noodles in an umami prawn broth, and chee cheong fun (rolled up rice noodles–a popular breakfast item) from Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun.

If you and your mates prefer to have a huge feast with plenty of different things to share (read: communal dining), go to Mattar Road Seafood BBQ. Order dishes like barbecue stingray and chilli crab along with a side of rice for a lip-smacking dinner.

Satay by the Bay
Photo by Danny Santos

Are grilled meats your thing? Make a beeline for Satay by the Bay for some tantalising grilled skewered meat (aka satay). This Malay creation is featured at several pushcarts that are found in a little open-air section of the food centre, so pick one and order away. Tip: grab some ice cold beer from the drink stall nearby and don’t forget that sweet-spicy peanut dipping sauce to go with your satay.

Whatever you end up craving, trust that there’s always something for everyone in the city. For more hawker centres in Singapore, save this list or read this article by TimeOut Singapore.