The 10 Best Hawker Centers in Singapore And What to Eat (2022)

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To know Singapore food is to eat at any of the best hawker centers in Singapore. These hawker centers are more than just convenient places to grab a quick bite.

They are an important part of society and are deeply woven into the fabric of the local culinary culture.

While exploring the local food specialties in Singapore, visiting hawker centers was a big part of our quest.

Armed with recommendations from locals as well as our own discoveries, we highlight the best Singapore food markets.

On your visit to the Lion City, here are the best hawker centers in Singapore to taste the local flavors.

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What Is a Hawker Center?

Maxwell Food Center Singapore Food Best hawker center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Inside Maxwell Hawker Center in Singapore

Hawker centers are open-air buildings housing the city’s best food stalls. These food stalls sell local dishes and specialties from the city.

In Singapore, they are conveniently located near large housing complexes, allowing you to easily mingle with locals at the open tables.  

The best hawker center in Singapore is much more than a food court – hawker centers are an institution. 

Why do Hawker Centers Matter So Much to Singapore?

Tekka Center Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Singaporeans dining and socializing

It’s no overstatement to say that hawker centres are the lifeblood of Singapore. In such a racially and religiously diverse country, Singapore’s cultural mesh comes together at hawker centers

These are unique places where Singaporeans gather to eat and connect. 

This quote by authors and anthropologists, Peter Farb and George Armelagos summarizes what food and hawker centers are to Singapore:

 “Food to a large extent is what holds a society together” 

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Dive into Singapore’s food culture with a local guide. This private food and culture tour takes you to different iconic Singapore neighborhoods and hawker centers. You’ll learn the country’s history and culinary traditions and insights into the main dishes.

History of Hawker Centers in Singapore

Old hawker centers SIngapore 1980 by Doi Kuro by Authentic Food Quest
Singapore Hawker Centers in the 1980’sPhoto Credit: Doi Kuro

To appreciate what makes the best hawker center in Singapore, it’s important to understand this unique aspect of Singaporean food culture.

Street hawking in Singapore began in the 1800s and expanded after World War II as a result of high unemployment and the need for affordable food. 

Hawking was a way for low-skilled families to remain employed. At the time, hawking was subject to a range of issues. 

There were water shortages, poor handling of food, sanitation issues, and disorganization of hawking and food stalls

In the 1950s, the government stepped in, and from the 1960s, today’s hawker centres were born.

Today, the best hawker centers can be found in all of the city’s neighborhoods.

Hawker Center Food Map

Here is where to find the best hawker centres in Singapore.

Top 10 Best Hawker Center in Singapore

1. Maxwell Food Center

Maxwell Hawker Center Outside Singapore food Hawker center by Authentic Food Quest
Entrance to the famous Hawker Center

Located in the heart of Chinatown, Maxwell Road Hawker Centre is a bustling hawker center popular among both locals and tourists. 

Maxwell food center is always crowded, but despite having over 100 food stalls, there are only a couple that have the longest lines. 

These select food stalls have received glowing endorsements from Anthony Bourdain and the Michelin Guide. 

Hawker Food Places To Eat at Maxwell Road Center

Maxwell Road Bes Hawker Center Singaporeby Authentic Food Quest
Sellers offering mouthwatering foods to try

There are many stalls and vendors with delicious dishes worth experiencing, from soya sauce chicken rice to Chinese porridge, noodle dishes, and more. 

Everything you can think of, you’ll find at Maxwell Food Centre. 

In addition, you’ll also find traditional drinks like Teh Tarik or Yuenyeung coffee blend alongside fruit juices, desserts, and snacks.

Be sure to check out the Hainanese chicken rice stall Tian Tian, which has a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award. And chefs like Gordon Ramsey have sampled the combination of juicy chicken and fragrant rice. Just be ready to queue.

Head to Zhen Zhen Porridge for a Cantonese-style bowl of warm, thick grain topped with everything from sliced fish to century egg. 

Alternatively, pick up a handmade heritage snack at Maxwell Fy Zhou Oyster Cake, and enjoy the delicious combination of oysters, prawns, and minced meat encased in a crisp, light batter.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: One of the most delicious ways to explore Singapore is by taking a food tour. See our detailed guide  7 Of The Best Food Tours in Singapore You Want To Try – Review

What To Visit Around

Buddha Temple Relic Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Beautiful hidden garden at the top of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Maxwell food center is ideally located for exploring Chinatown and the central business district. Further down from Maxwell Food Center is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. This ornate and colorful temple holds the repository of the sacred Buddha tooth in the Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic Chamber. 

How To Get There

Take the MRT and exit Chinatown. Take the Pagoda Exit and walk 

Address:1 Kadayanallur St S069184

Hours: Open every day, 8:00 am-11:00 pm (2 a.m. on Fridays and weekends)

2. Hong Lim Food Center – Chinatown

Hong Lim Food Center Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Outside Hong Lim Food Center

This food center is located a few blocks from the Chinatown Heritage Center. It is housed in a Chinese neighborhood with a local vibe and not many tourists.

While it is not as famous as Maxwell Food Center, it is a must-stop for all food lovers. 

You want to go at the busiest time during the week, which is at lunchtime when office workers come to eat. 

Hong Lim Food Center is said to be one of the best hawker centers in Singapore. 

Hawker Food Places To Eat at Hong Lim Food Center

Hong Lim Food Center Stall Best Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Get your Bar Chor Mee at Tai Wai Pork Noodle

Hong Lim Food Center has a fantastic array of local foods to choose from. This is the place to try affordable Chinese food as well as Malay food. 

You will find dishes including curry chicken noodles, Braised duck or Kway Chap as well as Char Kway Teow and  Bak Chor Mee. 

You cannot leave Singapore without trying Char Kway Teow. It’s a famous stir-fried dish made of flat rice noodles, with prawns, eggs, Chinese sausages, and more.

Find Char Kway Teow worthy of a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award at Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee. You may have to wait in line,  but the sticky, spicy combination of sauce, bean sprouts, cockles, and fried pork lard is worth it.

If you’re feeling adventurous, head to Ah Kow Mushroom Minced Pork Mee for Bak Chor Mee. 

The food stall run by two brothers has been around for over sixty years. Enjoy the full-flavored broth packed with noodles, pork belly, liver, meatballs, dumplings, seaweed, and sun-dried sole fish. 

Choose Ah Heng Duck Rice for Kway Chap. This is a delicious plate of braised pork belly which you can pair with the Michelin-recommended roast duck rice.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Explore Singapore’s bustling Chinatown at night with a local guide. You’ll learn about Chinese culture and medicine. Eat at a traditional Chinese restaurant and hop on a boat cruise along the Singapore River. Get to know Chinatown Singapore on this night tour with dinner and boat ride.

What To Visit Around

Chinese Heritage Center Best Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Explore Chinese Heritage Center

This hawker center is located a few blocks away from the Chinese Heritage Center on Pagoda street. 

Stop in at the center and discover the early history of Chinese immigrants and early pioneers. 

The center offers walking tours where you can visit the wet market, sample local delights and explore the back alleys of Chinatown.

How To Get There

Located within walking distance of the Chinatown MRT stop

Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, Singapore

Hours: Open every day, 7:00 am – 9:00 pm

3. Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Chinatown Complex Centre Best Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
One of the largest Hawker centers in Singapore – Photo credit: Chinatown Complex Food Centre on Facebook

Chinatown Complex Food Centre is one of the largest hawker centers in Singapore, with over 260 food stalls to sample delicious local foods. 

With a wet market in the basement, this hawker center pulls in locals and tourists alike to sample everything from traditional snacks to Michelin-recommended food. 

In terms of being spoiled for choice, this definitely tops any list of the best hawker center in Singapore.

Hawker Food Places To Eat at Chinatown Hawker Center

Chinatown Complex Food Centre by Best Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
With many stalls to choose from – Photo credit: Chinatown Complex Food Centre on Facebook

You’ll find everything from chili or black pepper crab to Low Mee, Dim Sum, and Hokkien Mee at this hawker center.

Head to Lian He Ben Ji for clay pot rice. You may need to wait, but the payoff is worth it as the food stall holds a Michelin Bib Gourmand award and has been around for over forty years. 

The rice is prepared from scratch over a charcoal fire, with ingredients like boned chicken, salted fish, and duck liver. Portions are large, so go with an empty stomach.

Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu is another food stall with long queues, but their Yong Tau Foo is made extra special by the addition of their own special fish paste. 

Meanwhile, dumpling lovers should hit up Zhong Guo La Mian XLB for vinegar and chili oil-soaked dumplings filled with mouthwatering meat.

What To Visit Around

Sri Mariamman Temple Best Hawker Centres Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Old Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple

This is another of the best hawker centers in Singapore. It is located in the central business district.

You can also get a dose of spirituality by visiting the country’s oldest temple, Sri Mariamman Temple

It’s located in downtown Chinatown and has both architectural and historical significance for Hindu Singaporeans.

How To Get There

Exit the MRT at Chinatown using Exit B and walk for around one minute

Address: 46 Smith St. 058956

Hours: Open every day, 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

READ MORE: Top 15 Authentic Food in Singapore You Want To Try

4. Tekka Center – Little India

Tekka Center Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Outside the colorful Tekka Center

This gem is one of the most iconic centers and landmarks of Singapore. Housed in a colorful yellow and orange warehouse-style building, Tekka center is very local and culturally rich.

Walking through the market, you hear English, Tamil, Hokkien, and Mandarin and see all the different ethnicities congregating together. 

What’s surprising is to hear Chinese vendors speak fluent Tamil or vice versa. At this center, you get a real local picture of the unique diversity that makes up Singapore.

Tekka Centre is also the largest wet market in Singapore. Locals come here to buy a vast range of fresh meats, poultry, fish, and seafood. 

There is a food court on the ground floor and shopping areas on the upper floors.

Hawker Food Places To Eat at Tekka Center

Biryani Tekka Center Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Try Biryani from the popular Allauddin’s Briyani food stall

Compared to other hawker centers, Indian food stalls dominate the food choices. While you will find a variety of dishes, biryani is one of the most famous in the center.

Biryani dishes are mixed rice dishes (chicken, mutton, fish) popular among Muslims of South Indian descent.

This is an aromatic one-meal dish, with perfectly cooked chicken or mutton with fragrant rice. 

For Michelin-favored biryani, head to Allauddin’s Briyani, which specializes in southern Indian-style biryani – choose from mutton, chicken, or fish.

Visit Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice for a Michelin-recommended, Teochew-style meal of tender braised roast duck and fragrant rice. Just be aware that, despite the signage, they no longer sell goose. 

Don’t miss 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles which has been serving up top-rated, delicious prawn noodles since the 1950s.  You’ll have to be quick, as they’re only open 7:00 am-11:00 am during weekdays.

What To Visit Around

Temple Little India Hawkers Centre by Authentic Food Quest
The striking Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Little India is one of the most colorful and vibrant parts of Singapore. There is plenty to see and do. 

One of the most notable temples to see is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. This temple is visually stunning with intricate carvings of Hindu deities on the top of the gate tower. 

It is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore and is dedicated to the Goddess, Kali. 

How To Get There

Take the MRT and exit at Little India

Address:665 Buffalo & Serangoon Roads, Little India, Singapore

Hours: Open every day, 6:30 am – 11:00 pm

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Learn to make Singapore food specialties in a cooking class. See our review of The Best Cooking Classes In Singapore: 6 Top Cookery Classes To Join

 5. Changi Village Hawker Center – Changi Airport

Changi Village Best Hawker Centres Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
You can find cheap and tasty food here – Photo credit:  Geoffrey Rhodes on Flickr cc by 2.0

Changi Village Hawker Center, located on the east coast of Singapore, is a popular hawker center. 

The center was refurbished recently and it is now one of the most spacious hawker centers in Singapore. 

You’ll find many famous food stalls and all the must-try local dishes at really affordable prices (under $5 USD).

Hawker Food Places To Eat at Changi Airport Center

Changi Village Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
The popular International Nasi Lemak food stall at the Changi Village Hawker Center

While you’ll find a number of food stalls and different dishes, Malay cuisine dominates. 

Changi Village is popular amongst locals for one particular dish: Nasi Lemak, fragrant coconut rice topped with fried chicken or fish, fried anchovies, and sambal chili. 

One of the most famous stalls for Nasi Lemak is Mizzy Corner Nasi Lemak. Although most stalls serve Nasi Lemak at this hawker center, it’s arguably the best here – enjoy the basmati coconut rice and sambal.

Visit Ho Guan Satay Bee Hoon at one of the corners of the hawker center for satay bee hoon. 

This is a traditional Singaporean dish, which has been served at this food stall by an elderly couple for forty years. The generously portioned curries are delightfully flavorful.

For something sweeter, head to Mei Xiang Goreng Pisang for delicious banana fritters. You can also choose other items like fried tapioca, yam, coconut, and sweet potatoes.

What To Visit Around

Changi Chapel Museum Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Historic Changi Chapel Museum – Photo Credit: Changi Chapel Museum

Beyond the food, Changi Village is an important historical spot for Singapore. This is where you’ll find the Changi Museum and Chapel

The museum explores Singapore’s wartime history during the Japanese occupation between 1942 -1945. 

The chapel is where prisoners of war of different faiths found comfort in religious expression during this dark period. 

How To Get There

Take the MRT to the Tanah Merah Station

Address: 2 Changi Village Road, Singapore 500002

Hours: Open every day, 6:00 am – 2:00 am, 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday

6. East Coast Lagoon Food Village – East Coast Park

East Coast Lagoon Food Village Hawkers Center by Authentic Food Quest (Photo Credit: PrettyKateMachine)
East Coast Lagoon Food Village – Photo Credit: PrettyKateMachine

East Coast Lagoon Food Village is located by the beach in East Coast Park. Opened in 1977, it is one of the best outdoor dining experiences by the water. 

You’ll find a variety of regional dishes including rice, noodles, seafood, shellfish, and more, each one prepared with a secret family recipe.

Hawker Food Places To Eat at East Coast Lagoon Food Village

Satay by East Cost Food Village Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Grilling the famous skewers to perfection Photo Credit: Haron Satay

With its location by the water, seafood and satay (grilled meats on skewers) are extremely popular at this hawker centre. 

On the weekends, locals travel from all over Singapore to get their fill, while dining al fresco.

Haron Satay is one of the most popular stalls for its delicious marinated skewers of chicken, beef, and mutton. 

These are grilled to perfection and accompanied by sliced cucumbers and onions and served with a thick peanut sauce. You can also try the Ketupat or rice dumplings to go along with your skewers.

Be sure to sample the seafood at this market by visiting Stingray Forever BBQ Seafood. 

The sambal stingray packs a punch whilst remaining tender. Pair it with cincalok or fermented prawn sauce to make the most of umami flavors. 

Song Kee Fried Oyster delivers a mouth-watering, Michelin Guide-recommended oyster omelette – just be prepared to stand in line.

What To Visit Around

Promenade East Coast Park Hawker Center Singapore by 
Authentic Food Quest
Stroll along the promenade and enjoy the views

East Coast Park is the largest park in Singapore, popular with everyone from couples, families and friends. 

There is a promenade with white sands and palm streets to walk and digest all the delicious food from all the food courts. 

How To Get There

Take public transportation to Marine Parade Road, and walk to the hawker center via the underpass

Address: 1220 East Coast Park Service Road.

Hours: Open every day, 10:30 am – 2:00 am

7. Old Airport Road Food CenterGeylang

Old Airport Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Old Airport Road Center – Photo Credit: linkway88

Old Airport Road Center is one of the larger Singapore hawker centers with 168 hawker stalls. 

This is one of the best hawker centers for an introduction to the Singapore hawker food scene with its variety of food. 

It has a local vibe and is not frequented by tourists.

Hawker Food Places To Eat at Airport Road Food Centre

Hokkien Mee Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Delicious Hokkien Mee

There is no shortage of cuisine to try at the Old Airport Road Food Center. You will find all the different types of Chinese and Malay foods. 

Hokkien Mee, a rice vermicelli and noodle dish with pork, prawns, and chili is a great dish to have. You’ll also find Nasi Lemak, oyster omelette, prawn fritters, mee goreng, and more.

Don’t miss Xin Mei Xiang for the signature Lor Mee, a delicious dish of fish-topped noodles. 

You may be waiting a while for the Char Kway Teow at Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow, but with the hit of wok hei (a flavor that comes from hot wok) and eggy goodness, you won’t be complaining. 

Otherwise, the curry puffs from Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff are deliciously flaky. Enjoy up to four different flavors in one fried morsel.

What To Visit Around

Geylang District Best Hawker Centre Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Singapore vibrant neighborhood – Photo credit: Jnzl’s Photos on Flickr cc by 2.0

Old Airport Road Food Center is located in the Geylang district, known as the red-light district of Singapore. However, the red-light district is only a small part of Geylang. 

This district is quite vibrant at night, and you will find numerous eateries along Geylang Road which divides the district North/South. 

Nearby the eateries, you also find many fruit shops selling durian. 

How To Get There

The closest MRT station is Dakota at 5 min walking distance.

Address: 51 Old Airport Rd, Singapore 

Hours: Open every day from 5:00 am – 8:00 am and 11:00 am – 3:00 am.

READ MORE: 10 Surprising Facts You Need to Know About Singapore Food

8. Eunos Food Hawker CenterJoo Chiat & Katong

Eunos Center Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Great location for quality food

Right in the neighborhood where we stayed in Singapore was Eunos Hawker Center. This food court may not be the most popular or best-known but it is home to great quality food. 

Ideally located at the base of the MRT subway station, this is a perfect location for great food and easy access to transportation.

Hawker Food Places To Eat at Eunos Food Hawker Center

Roasted Hainanese duck with rice Hawkers Centers Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Roasted Hainanese duck with rice

The cuisine is varied, though there is a heavy Malay focus. There are several popular vendors serving Halal food, Hainanese chicken rice, South Indian Roti dishes, and more.

One of our favorite meals was braised duck with rice. Incredibly delicious, its a wonderful variation on the famous Singapore chicken dish with richer flavors and darker meat.

Sample the legendary Char Kway Teow at Hoon Hong Fried Kway Teow, which has been around for over thirty years.

Stop at Chao Yang Fish Ball Noodle for Herr Kiao or Teochew fish dumplings. It’s delicious and sells out every day.

Make the most of the Nasi Lemak at Nasi Lemak Kukus, which distinguishes itself by serving steamed instead of boiled coconut rice. The chicken set is great – as are the curry puffs, as an extra mouthful.

What To Visit Around

Joo Chiat Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Colorful historical Peranakan homes in Joo Chiat

When we booked our stay in the Eunos area, we didn’t know that we would be in Singapore’s best foodie destination. 

Around Eunos is Joo Chiat/Katong, a well-loved neighborhood with some of the best hawker stalls. 

Singaporeans come to this neighborhood for the hip and colorful atmosphere, culinary choices, and old-world coffee shops selling many local delicacies.

How To Get There

Take the MRT to Eunos Station

Address: Eunos Crescent Hawker Center, Singapore 402004

Hours: Open every day, 6:00 am – 10:00 pm

9. Tiong Bahru Food Market Center

Tiong Bahru Best Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
One of the best hawker centers in Singapore – Photo credit: Choo Yut Shing on Flickr cc by 2.0

Tiong Bahru consistently ranks on lists of the best hawker center in Singapore – and for good reason. 

Find popular Singaporean dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, Wonton Mee, and Chee Kueh all at reasonable prices.

After eating, you can make the most of the newly renovated premises before heading down to one of the best-wet markets in Singapore.

Hawker Food Places To Eat at Tiong Bahru Food Market Center

Curry Soup Best Hawker Centres Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Coconut curry soup with thick rice noddles and seafood – Photo credit: Choo Yut Shing on Flickr cc by 2.0

Lee Hong Kee Cantonese Roasted is enduringly popular for both locals and tourists for its melt-in-the-mouth roasted duck. 

Their Char Siew or honey-roasted and barbecued pork is also worth a try. 

Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice is consistently ranked amongst the best Hainanese curry rice in Singapore, so is well worth a visit. And, if you arrive early enough, you can also enjoy the sambal prawns.

Tow Kwar Pop provides some of the best Rojak in Singapore. It’s made with Tow Kwar Pop or beancurd in combination with cuttlefish, pineapple, apple, and green papaya.

What To Visit Around

Tiong Bahru Road by Best Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Traditional style shophouses – Photo credit: Choo Yut Shing on Flickr cc by 2.0

To combine delicious food with an architectural stroll, Tiong Bahru is undoubtedly the best hawker center in Singapore to visit. 

The housing developments in the area were first constructed in the 1930s and have a unique art deco feel.

 It makes it an ideal location for amateur and professional photographers alike.

How To Get There

Take the MRT to Tiong Bahru Market.

Address: 52 Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore 168716

Hours: Open every day, 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

10. Albert Center Bugis Street Food

Albert Center Best Hawker Center Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
A must stop for foodies – Photo credit: Terrazzo on Flickr cc by 2.0

This food center will please those who favor savory and sweet meals. It has an excellent array of everything from fried carrot cake to comforting bowls of Yong Tau Foo.

Located in the busy Bugis area, Albert Food Center often flies under the radar of lists of the best hawker centers in Singapore. 

However, if you consider yourself a foodie and culinary traveler, we recommend making the trip.

Hawker Food Places To Eat At Bugis Hawker Center

Bai Nian Dou Foo Best Hawke Food Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu stall – Photo credit: Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu on Facebook

Don’t miss Bai Nian Dou Foo at the Bugis hawker center for Yong Tau Foo. It is a stuffed tofu dish that combines meatiness and flavorful fish without being too overwhelming. 

The stall is so popular that it’s even branched out to other locations in Singapore.

For seriously juicy fishballs, be sure to hit Hock Lee Fishball Noodles – but you’ll have to get there early, as they sell out quickly. 

Combine with either Mee Kia or Mee Pok for a filling meal, or have it with fish soup. 

Singapore’s Famous Rojak is worth a visit for its rojak, which is amongst the best hawker foods. 

Ingredients like turnip and bean sprouts are combined with freshly fried You Tiao and Tau Pok for delectable crunchy flavors.

What To Visit Around

National Museum Singapore Best Hawker Food Singapore by Authentic Food Quest
Learn about Singapore history and culture – Photo credit: National Museum of Singapore on Facebook

There’s plenty to do around the Bugis area once you’ve eaten your fill at the food centre. The National Museum of Singapore is close by for a deep dive into this city-state.

And, for some shopping head to Haji Lane for boutiques and hip food stalls.

How To Get There

Take the MRT to Bugis MRT station, taking Exit A out of the station.

Address: 270 Queen Street Singapore 180270

Hours: Open every day, 6:00 am – 9.30 pm

Hawker Center FAQs

What is the most popular hawker food in Singapore?

From Hainanese chicken rice to barbecue pork and char siew rice, any of the best hawkers center in Singapore will provide dishes to please even the most demanding foodie.

Which is the largest hawker centre in Singapore?

Chinatown Complex Food Center is the largest hawker center in Singapore. It has over 260 stalls serving Singaporean fare combined with influences including Chinese, Indonesian, and Malaysian.

Which hawker center has modern hipster stalls alongside traditional ones?

Although not included on our list of the best hawker center in Singapore, Timbre+ in west Singapore is probably the most hipster of the country’s hawker centers. It’s an urban container-like food park with about 43 food stalls serving fusion and traditional dishes to an eclectic dishes crowd.

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In Summary

You can’t say that you’ve visited Singapore without having sampled local food at the city-state’s best hawker center. 

Visits of any length are incomplete without tasting the local cuisine and connecting with locals at any of the best hawker centers in Singapore.

Even though you may not hit all these food courts, just choose a few and experience Singapore’s cultural mesh. 

Get the dishes that bind the country together and savor the local flavors.

Have you been to any of these best hawker centers in Singapore? What local specialty did you try? Please let us know in the comments below.

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26 Comments on “The 10 Best Hawker Centers in Singapore And What to Eat (2022)”

  1. How painful it must have been to research all of these hawker centers! Haha!! I hadn’t heard of these before, but they really do sound like a great way to get to know the real side of a neighborhood. I’m hoping to travel back to Asia soon, so Singapore and hawker centers are now high on my priority list!

    • The painful part of the research was all the eating and working with the finite capacity of the stomach 🙂 The pain continued as we were looking over pictures and recalling the delightful flavors. Yes, do get back to Asia and hit Singapore. Well worth the trip 🙂 Thanks, Vicki!

  2. Oh man. I’m currently jet lagged, wide awake in the middle of the night and with no food in the house since I was away for a week. This made me so hungry! Now I want fried oysters, satay and Char Kway Teow.

    I’d never heard of hawker centers but I also really didn’t know anything about Singapore cuisine. This is a great guide to have for when we go.

  3. This is a very informative post! I must agree, it is at the hawkers that you get to see how diverse Singapore is. Though if you search for good Laksa at the hawker, it might take you some time. LOL

  4. All these places look like so much fun Claire. Because each offers the best of both worlds; cheap food that is delicious. Oh yeah, being indoors and with prying eyes checking out the dishes I know each place is sanitary too, or else stalls will close if they get a bad rap from the locals and ex-pats, and tourists too. Reviews reverberate far and wide I would think. Cool post.

    • Awesome Ryan, so glad you enjoyed the article. If you haven’t been to Singapore yet, you are missing out especially for the food. You can’t beat the prices and peace of mind on the hygiene stands. Well worth the experience. 🙂

  5. Definitely the the lifeblood of Singapore! We visited Singapore last year and the hawker centers were a highlight – definitely a great way to connect with locals, find authentic food and feel like you’re immersing yourself – we loved the opportunity to people watch 🙂

  6. Isn’t street food in Singapore the best? My favourite is the Maxwell one. Noodles and curries all the way. This is a great list to check out other ones when I’m there next.

  7. I haven’t been to this area of the world but the hawker centres look amazing. It’s great that you have recommended places to go though as I wouldn’t be sure which would be the best, and also which are hygienic

    • Hawker centers in Singapore are an institution. It’s where you can find the best and most delicious food. In Singapore, unlike many other countries, each food stall is graded “A” to “D” That will guide your food decisions 🙂 Don’t hesitate to reach out for tips when you eventually make it to Singapore. Appreciate you stopping by.

  8. The foodie in me is going crazy right now! Singapore is so high up on our bucket list as we heard so many incredible stories about it. Furthermore, we are both foodies so the food taste and availability (and price) will either make or break a destination for us. Having read your story, I think Singapore is the next best place after Tokyo 😛 Brb, buying a plane ticket 😀


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