Living overseas has made me realised how much I love our hawker centres and food back in Singapore. Not only are they really affordable, hygienic but they’re also freakin’ delicious!
Eating hawker food is the best way to experience the most authentic food culture in Singapore. If you’re planning to visit Singapore, be sure to check out at least 1-2 of the following hawker centres. These hawker centres are very local and have a diverse range of Singaporean food which you can enjoy it all at one seating.
(Food centres are known fondly and locally as hawker centres.)
1. Old Airport Road Food Centre
Highlight: With 168 food stalls in one centre, this is the holy grail of all hawker centres in Singapore. Dude, I don’t even know where to start! This is the hawker centre that you need to go if you only have time for 1. There are plenty of legendary hawker food here. You literally can’t go wrong there. Eat till you drop.
2. Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre
Highlights: Up for breakfast? You need to try the Chwee Kueh (steamed rice cakes) from Jian Bo Chwee Kueh (#02-05) which is open at 6.30am daily). Whenever I’m there, I’d hate to share my chwee kueh because I could easily eat 10 of them. They are my favourite. But don’t just follow me.
Save your stomach for some Lor Mee from 178 Lor Mee (#02-58), Fishball Noodles from Hui Ji Fishball Noodles and Yong Tau Food (#02-44), traditional Teochew Kueh from Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh (#02-02), and drink a cuppa Soya Bean Milk from Teck Seng Soya Bean Milk (#02-69) or Coffee from 238 Coffee (#02-81) too.
If you’d like some vegetarian food, Bee Hoon (rice vermicelli) from Ru Yi Vegetarian (#02-26) is also popular choice.
3. Maxwell Food Centre
Highlights: You cannot visit Maxwell Food Centre without having a plate of Chicken Rice with Chilli from Tian Tian Chicken Rice (Stall 10 & 11 that opens at 11am) or the Sliced Fish Bee Hoon Soup from Jing Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon (Stall 77). Dumplings from Special Shanghai Tim-Sum (Stall 92) are good too. There are plenty of famous hawker stalls here.
Visit after lunchtime because this place is packed with locals. But if you’re there for breakfast, be sure to order Bee Hoon with a selection of Ngoh Hiang (meat rolls), Fish Cakes, Prawn Fritters, etc from China Street Fritters (Stall 64) or Lor Mee from Zhong Xing Fu Fish Ball & Lor Mee (Stall 62)
4. Amoy Street Food Centre
Highlights: I just had to list this because I fell in love with their Char Kway Teow (fried flat noodles) from Char Kway Teow (#01-01). I ate it for 5 working days, 2 months straight and I’m not even kiddin’. I also like their Fish Soup from Han Kee Fish Soup (#02-129), Beef Hor Fun from Quan Ji (#01-56/57) and Fish Ball Noodles from Ah Ter Teochew Fish Ball Noodles (#01-14).
Pro tip: This is also located in the financial district so please check it out before/after lunch hour. You really want to avoid the hungry locals.
3. East Coast Food Village
Highlights: A great hawker centre with a wide variety of food near the beachfront! This hawker centre opens late so it’s perfect for a late afternoon/evening visit.
Try the Satay and Chicken Wings from Haron 30 Satay (Stall 55), Pork Trotter from Han Jia Bak Kut Teh (Stall 42), Char Kway Teow from Choon Hiang (Stall 46), Carrot Cake and Popiah from Lagoon Carrot Cake (Stall 40), Laksa from Roxy Laksa (Stall 48), BBQ Stingray and Curry Fish Head from Eastern Red Seafood (Stall 37).
There are just so much to eat there. Bring 3 stomaches along.
6. Chomp Chomp Food Centre
Highlights: This hawker centre is great for early dinners/suppers because of it’s opening hours. Chomp Chomp is relatively small compared to the rest but it has the essentials that you need for a delicious local treat.
Everyone is here for Sambal Stingray from Lucy BBQ Seafood (#01-05) or Hai Wei Yuan BBQ (#01-01), Oyster Omelette and White Carrot Cake from Ang Mo Kio 409 Fried Carrot Cake (#01-24) and Satay at Ang Sa Li Satay (#01-32). My favourites are the Hokkien Mee from Ah Hock Fried Hokkien (#01-27), Chicken Wings from Chong Pang Chicken Wings (#01-28), Black Carrot Cake from Carrot Cake (#01-36).
For drinks, you need to order Sugarcane Juice from Ding Hao (#01-16).
7. Golden Mile Food Centre
Highlights: Tell any locals that you’re going to Golden Mile for hawker food and they’ll say you know your stuff. Try the Chicken Rice at Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (#B1-35), Peranakan Food at Charlie’s Paranakan Food (#B1-30), Beef Noodles at Kheng Fatt Hainanese Beef Noodles (#01-89), Hokkien Mee at Hainan Hokkien Mee (#B1-34), and Fried Kway Teow at 91 Fried Kway Teow Mee (#01-91)
Up for at least 20 minutes wait? You should try the Claypot Rice at Yew Chuan Claypot Rice (#01-73) which serves made-to-order claypot rice that’s worth the wait.
Don’t forget to enjoy the Grass Jelly dessert/drink at Zhao An Granny Grass Jelly (#01-58).
Overall Pro Tip: Don’t be surprised if you see packets of tissue paper, umbrellas or even staff passes on empty tables. The locals reserve their seats this way.