In Singapore? Need a meal in a hurry, at any time of day or night? Look no further than a Singapore hawker centers
These bustling open-air food halls offer up some of the most delicious (and affordable) food in Singapore. At a hawker center, you’ll find rows and rows of food vendors serving up dishes from Singapore, India, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Every bite is delicious - and some have even earned Michelin accolades.
How To Order At A Hawker Center
Yes, hawker centers are fast-paced and busy, but ordering at one doesn’t have to be stressful. First, make sure you have cash with you, as the majority of vendors don’t take cards. Then, take a stroll among the vendor stalls to decide what you’d like to order. (Honestly, this is the only hard part, because there are just too many delicious options to choose from.)
Then, choose a space to sit. You don’t need to sit at a table directly in front of the food stall you’re ordering from - in a hawker center, any table is fine. Many people like to leave one of their possessions on a chair to claim their seat while they order their food. These are usually items people could stand to lose - like umbrellas, magazines, sunglasses. If you see an item like this on one of the chairs you want, choose another one, because that one is already taken!
Some vendors are self service (usually there will be a sign letting you know as much), so you’ll need to wait near the stall until your dish is ready and then carry it back to the table. Others will bring the food directly to your table, so make sure you take note of your table number.
There are many large, open tables. When it’s crowded, it’s totally acceptable to pull up a chair next to people you don’t know.
Top Hawker Centers In Singapore
If you’re not sure where to start, visit one of the hawker centers below!
Old Airport Road Food Centre
As one of the oldest Hawker Centers in Singapore, this spot has plenty of stories to tell. With more than 150 food stalls, it’s a favorite among many locals. Some of the most popular stalls include Nam Sing Fried Hokkien Mee and Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow - but every vendor has something delicious to sell.
Old Airport Road Food Centre, 51 Old Airport Road, Geylang, Singapore, 390051, Singapore
Maxwell Food Centre
This Chinatown spot is home to the Michelin-awarded Tian Tian Chicken Rice, known for their incredible Hainanese Chicken Rice (YUM). Of course, there are also plenty of other excellent vendors to enjoy, like Jin Hua Fish Shop, Popo & Nana’s Delights, and Hum Jin Pang.
Maxwell Food Centre, Kadayanallur Street, Downtown Core, Singapore, 69184, Singapore
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
This is the stuff dreams are made of: the largest hawker center in Singapore. Here, you’ll find more than 260 food stalls with every type of local cuisine imaginable. It’s also home to a Michelin gem Liao Fan, as well as great beer and all kinds of affordable and delectable dishes.
Chinatown Complex Food Centre, 335 Smith Street, Outram, Singapore, 50335, Singapore
Lau Pa Sat
Lau Pa Sat, also known as Telok Ayer Market, is in the heart of Singapore's financial district. It's also a quick ride away from Marina Bay Sands, making it the perfect spot to grab a bite after a rooftop cocktail. This hawker center features great satays, laksa and chili crab. In addition to the good food, Lau Pa Sat is also a feast for the eyes with it's colonial-inspired architecture.
Lau Pa Sat, 18 Raffles Quay, 048582, Singapore