Populated by passionate foodies, Singaporeans enjoy a wide variety of good food at affordable prices. Hawker centres, which are an indispensable pillar of the Singaporean way of life, offer numerous cuisines. Follow this guide to live like a local and be privy to the best eats in town.
Newton Food Centre
If you caught the Hollywood hit Crazy Rich Asians, you’re likely to find Newton Food Centre familiar. Featured prominently in one of the movie’s earlier scenes, this buzzing hawker centre has long been one of the island’s most popular eating spots, with close to 100 hawker stores.
With all the choices available, it can be hard to pick a dish to sample. We suggest chowing down on the barbeque sambal stingray from Guan Kee Grilled Seafood (#01-53), or digging into a plate of savoury duck noodle from Kwee Heng (#01-13).
Near Newton MRT station.
Newton Food Centre. 500 Clemenceau Avenue North #01-05, Singapore 229495.
Amoy Street Food Centre
A favourite lunch spot of professionals and white-collar workers from around the bustling vicinity, Amoy Street Food Centre is home to both traditional hawkers and modern fusion fare at affordable prices.
While you’ll certainly find a trove of traditional hawker stalls selling classics like fish porridge (#02-100) and lor mee (#02-79)— yellow noodles in a thick, savoury gravy—you may also want to try some of the modern dishes sold here. A Noodle Story (#01-139) serves up a Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded noodle dish that fuses Japanese ramen with prawns, roast meat and dumplings.
Near Telok Ayer and Tanjong Pagar MRT stations.
Amoy Street Food Centre. 7 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069111.
Maxwell Food Centre
Maxwell Food Centre is nestled in a storied neighbourhood of pre-war shophouses and various places of worship. Located at the foot of Ann Siang and Club Street, you’ll find local foods like chicken rice by Tian Tian Chicken Rice (#01-10/11)—which was recommended by the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand—as well as Eurasian meals like shepherd’s pie and devil’s curry (spicy curry flavoured with candlenuts and vinegar) by Popo & Nana's Delights (#01-70).
Near Chinatown, Telok Ayer and Tanjong Pagar MRT stations.
Maxwell Food Centre. 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184.
Lau Pa Sat
This historic market was designed by George Coleman in the 1830s, and has since been carefully restored. Home to local favourites and international cuisines like North Indian, Korean, and Vietnamese, Lau Pa Sat is the go-to location for good hawker fare in the Central Business District.
Singapore's famous Satay Street runs parallel to Lau Pa Sat, where Stalls 7 and 8 arguably sell the best rendition of the street’s namesake grilled beef and chicken skewers (satay).
Near Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar, Telok Ayer and Downtown MRT stations.
Lau Pa Sat. 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582.
Select stalls are open 24 hours daily.
The epicentre of Little India’s bustle, Tekka Centre was formerly named "Kandang Kerbau" after its buffalo pens, and is now named after the bamboo that used to grow in this area. Ethnic garments and accessories are sold on its upper floor, while the dum briyani (an Indian spiced rice dish with meat or vegetables) and Indian rojak (mixed fritters of dough, potato and shrimp) of its food stalls below are touted as some of the best in the country.
Above Little India MRT station.
Tekka Centre. 60 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 229900.
Adam Road Food Centre
Adam Road Food Centre is a stone’s throw from the Singapore Botanic Gardens, whose serene trails bypass swan lakes and lead to award-winning restaurants like Corner House and The Halia. Adam Road’s acclaimed hawker centre is known for its nasi lemak (fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, accompanied with an array of side dishes like omelette, fried fish and anchovies) at Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak and sup kambing (mutton soup) at Bahrakath Mutton Soup King.
Beside Botanic Gardens MRT station.
Adam Road Food Centre. 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289876.
Tiong Bahru Market
Tiong Bahru Market resides in a heritage neighbourhood of Art Deco style apartments and great eats. Get your share of local delights like delicious wanton mee (egg noodles with dumplings) and chwee kueh (steamed rice cakes topped with preserved radish), and don’t miss the famous roasted pork buns at Tiong Bahru Pau. Then, head to one of the many modern cafes in the area for coffee and dessert.
Between Outram and Tiong Bahru MRT stations.
Tiong Bahru Market. 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898.
ABC Brickworks Food Centre
Walking distance from HortPark, Henderson Waves bridge and the many art galleries of Gillman Barracks, ABC Brickworks Food Centre is named after the Archipelago Brewery Company and the brickworks factories that used to populate this neighbourhood.
Built in the 1970s, ABC Brickworks Market is well maintained as a modern and popular venue today, whose claypot rice, which consists of chicken, preserved sausages, vegetables and rice charred and served in a claypot, and Bib Gourmand-winning Ah Er herbal soup attract foodies from across the country.
Near Redhill and Queenstown MRT stations.
ABC Brickworks Food Centre. 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 150006.
In the residential neighbourhood of Serangoon Gardens, make Chomp Chomp your pit stop for mouthwatering grub before you explore Coney Island or Seletar Aerospace Park. This market’s satay bee hoon (thin rice noodles in satay sauce) and Hokkien mee (fried prawn noodles) are top sellers. Wash your meal down with sugar cane juice, which is available in an extra-large glass.
Take a bus from Serangoon MRT station.
Chomp Chomp Food Centre. 20 Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557269.
Old Airport Road Food Centre
With a history that dates back to the 1970s, this hawker centre is popular among local east-side foodies for its sheer variety of stalls.
Friendly rivalries abound here, with multiple wanton mee, lor mee and char kway teow hawkers, each touting their own delectable versions of these local staples. Be sure to make multiple visits, and see if your taste buds can discern the difference in taste!
Beside Dakota MRT station.
Old Airport Road Food Centre. 51 Old Airport Road, Singapore 390051.
Golden Mile Food Centre
Golden Mile Food Centre is in close proximity to Kampong Gelam, which is home to hip cafes and bars. Golden Mile Food Centre’s two storeys of stalls purvey good sup tulang (mutton bone stewed in gravy), Peranakan* fare, Ah-Balling (glutinous riceballs with peanut, sesame or red bean filling, in a peanut soup).
Between Nicoll Highway and Lavender MRT stations.
Golden Mile Food Centre. 505 Beach Road, Singapore 199583.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
The Bedok Marketplace
Previously known as Simpang Bedok Marketplace, The Bedok Marketplace is a beloved hawker centre where East-siders have always congregated for good mee pok (flat egg noodles served with fish balls and minced meat) and Indian Muslim fare. This esteemed establishment is a ten-minute walk from Tanah Merah MRT station, and is fifteen minutes from Changi International Airport via taxi.
The hawker centre is now run by young chefs and restaurateurs, whose home-baked bread, ramen and seafood are must-tries. The Burning Oak’s (#02-16) Wagyu steaks are highly recommended, along with the Japanese dishes at KoKoRo Ramen (#02-22).
Take buses 2, 9 or 48 from Tanah Merah MRT station.
The Bedok Marketplace. 348 Bedok Rd, Singapore 469560.