One of the many reasons that travelers flock to Singapore is to get a taste of the country’s famous food scene. There are plenty of different types of food to eat in Singapore, and in this post, we’ll talk about where to find these dishes.
What is a Hawker Center?
A hawker center is an open-air complex housing many stalls that sell cheap food. This term is generally used in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. If you’re looking for a quick, cheap meal in Singapore, a hawker center is your best bet. Most dishes will cost between S$2.50 to S$5.00, which is a total steal! While the hawker centers may appear cramped and cluttered, don’t let appearances fool you. These humble food stalls serve some of the cheapest and most authentic food in Singapore. Just be warned that many hawker centers are crowded and perhaps intimidating for first-time visitors. So take your time and carefully check out all of your options!
Lau Pa Sat (aka Telok Ayer Market)
Located in Chinatown, Lau Pa Sat is also known as Telok Ayer Market. Originally built in the 19th century, it is a true Singapore landmark with a very distinctive design. The market is located in Singapore’s financial district and is very clean and accessible for tourists and daytime office workers. Food hawkers sell everything from Hainanese chicken rice, popular Indian foods, and even Japanese noodles and Turkish kebab sandwiches.
Most evenings, the streets outside of the market are shut down to traffic and diners are encouraged to enjoy a cold beer and sticks of barbecue meat (satay) fresh off the grill.
Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore
Open daily, 24 hours
Constructed in 1982, the Tekka Wet Market has been a go-to place for fresh produce and dry goods for all types of ethnic Singaporeans, but mainly the local Indian community. There is also a large hawker food center filled with stalls selling ready-to-eat meals and snacks, mostly of the Indian variety. With 284 stalls, Tekka Market is the largest wet market in Singapore. Since undergoing heavy renovation in 2008, the market has become cleaner and better organized.
This is the place to visit if you want to step into the shoes of a Singaporean and see where they buy their meats, produce and other home cooking ingredients. Tekka Center also has a vibrant food court where you can find Chinese, Western, and Muslim foods. But Tekka Center food hawkers specialize in Indian food, so don’t miss the chicken briyani, tandoori chicken, roti prata, and ginger hot tea.
Address: 665 Buffalo Road, L1 Tekka Center in Singapore.
Very accessible via the MRT’s Little India metro stop.
Open daily from 06:30-17:00
Tiong Bahru Hawker Center and Wet Market
Tiong Bahru is the oldest housing estate in Singapore and it is home to a famous hawker center and wet market of the more spacious places to grab a meal in Singapore. The Tiong Bahru Hawker Center is located directly above the wet market, so it’s a great place to shop and eat. Many of the foods are more Chinese-oriented, including Hainanese chicken rice, Cantonese roasted duck rice, wanton noodles, chwee kueh (steamed rice cake), and char siew bao. When you’re here, also make a stop at Tiong Bahru Bakery for some of Singapore’s best French pastries.
30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore
Open daily from 6am-11pm
Chinatown Complex Hawker Center
This is one of the largest hawker centers in Singapore with over 260 food stalls. As a result, food lovers can find all of Singapore’s famous dishes here, including satay, chicken rice, dim sum, laksa, BBQ stingray, chili crab, and black pepper crab. Don’t forget to save room for popular desserts including ice kachang, cendol, soya beancurd, and tau suan. This hawker center is very popular and located in the heart of Chinatown.
335 Smith Street, Singapore
Over To You
Have you visited hawker centers and wet markets in Singapore? What were some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!