One for each day of the week.
Want to sample some local food at a fraction of the price?
You can enjoy a snack or full meal at one of Singapore’s much-loved Hawker Stalls. Take a seat and enjoy the theatre – locals eating quickly and then going about their business, or seated all day long, catching up with neighbours over a snack or meal.
The selection of exciting and tempting food from all over the world is a way of getting to try a plethora of dishes, some with unpronounceable names and unusual ingredients. Basically just large food courts, Singaporean Hawker Stalls attract masses of locals and the vibe is bustling and vibrant. Our favourites include:
1. MOST POPULAR
LAU PA SAT HAWKER CENTRE
Corner Boon Tat Street & Robinson Road
Open 24/7, Lau Pa Sat is possibly the best known of the Singapore Hawker Stalls. Located in the centre of the city, it is only a short walk from Raffles Place MRT. This crowded, pulsating centre seats up to 2,500 people and provides everything from basic noodle and rice dishes to iconic chilli crab, local laksa and carrot cake.
The market’s distinctive octagonal shape and ornamental columns were first conceived by British architect George Coleman who also designed many of colonial Singapore’s prominent buildings.
You will find a band playing most evenings, and if you visit after 7pm, you can also visit Satay Street, the road behind the centre, which closes to traffic each night and offers a variety of tasty satays, or meat on sticks.
2. BEST LOCAL
OLD AIRPORT ROAD FOOD CENTRE
Block 51, Old Airport Road, Geyland
Built nearly forty years ago, this food centre is a bit off the beaten track, but considered the best by locals in terms of value and taste. Specialties to try here include fried Hokkien prawn mee, handmade fishballs with sambal chilli, old school chicken chop and pepper crab. The list to try goes on and is well worth the visit.
3. BEST CHINESE
MAXWELL ROAD HAWKER CENTRE
1 Kadayanallur Street
Located in China Town, this food centre is one of the cheapest places to try all kinds of Chinese food. This is where to try the local classic, Hainanese chicken and rice, as well as Zhen Zhen Porridge, Jin Hua Fish Head Bee Hoon and the Zhong Xing Fu Zhou Fish Ball and Lor Mee. You may have to wait for a seat, but with over 100 stalls, the variety of food is impressive.
4. MOST UNUSUAL
CHOMP CHOMP HAWKER CENTRE
20 Kensington Road
Located outside the city centre near Bishan, this centre is popular with the locals and serves up favourites like grilled stingray, barbecued chicken wings, fried Hokkien mee, noodle broths and satay. Usually buzzing, it is worth the trip.
5. BEST INDIAN
665 Buffalo & Serangoon Roads
This three-storey complex is on the outskirts of Little India on Serangoon Road and offers the best sampling of Indian dishes including a variety of curries and Biryani. You will find a wet market on the ground floor, selling everything from fresh meat and seafood, to local and imported vegetables, Indian spices and fresh fruit.
On the upper levels, you will find the local Indian population crowding the centre, so you know it’s authentic. Eat like the locals, and use your right hand to scoop up your food. Try the Teochew dumplings and cakes, prawn vadai (Indian fried dough fritters), and dosa stuffed with marsala-spiced potatoes.
6. BEST LOCATION
SINGAPORE FOOD TREATS
#01-09/12, Singapore Flyer 30 Raffles Avenue
This modern hawker stall is worth the visit, if only for its location. Situated on Level One at Asia’s Largest Observation Wheel, the nostalgic décor will take you back to 1960s Singapore while you enjoy a variety of local dishes. Enjoy the soft shell crab, fish head curry, Katong Keah Kee fried oysters and hearty Chinese broths including pork, chicken and vegetables.
7. MEAL WITH A VIEW
MAKANSUTRA GLUTTONS BAY
#01-15, Esplanade Mall 8 Raffles Ave
Situated right on the bay, the views from this Hawker Stall are worth the visit. Enjoy rotis, chilli crab, wok-hei- laden char kway teow, and all the regular local foods until late into the evening. With the Esplanade Theatre close by, you may also experience a street performance during your visit.
This article is featured in the Flavours of Singapore book.