Singapore Hawker Centres – The Best Street Eats
30 Mar 2021
Eating is Singapore’s national pastime, and thanks to its complex cultural makeup, it is the proverbial melting pot. Get set for the flavourful fusion of Chinese, Malay, and Indian food. It is a supercharged hawker food scene that is very accessible – and incredibly cheap. The enticing aromas and round-the-clock buzz of Singapore’s hawker food centres are the obvious lures. Explore oodles of noodles, satay, chili crab, chicken rice, and more. Perhaps best of all, you can chow down on Michelin-rated street eats for less than $5 – how tempting is that? Here are our top hawker food centre picks and the best bites you simply have to try.
Tekka Centre will win no awards for its aesthetic style, but it’s the very essence of the buzzing Little India district. Set amid stalls selling silk saris and garish trinkets, it’s a foodie haven best known for fragrant biryani dishes of every description. The Mutton Briyani at Allauddin’s is a must-try (the Michelin Guide recognises it), and wash it down with a cup of masala tea. Situated on the same level as the famous wet market, it is always crowded, chaotic, and filled with fragrant aromas.
Buffalo Road, Little India, Singapore 210665
Best for: Biryani, Indian Rojak, Masala Dosai
Maxwell Food Centre: With high praise from Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay, it’s no surprise this Chinatown food centre has arguably garnered the most fame. This is the best bet if you fancy a fast-track introduction to Singapore street food you can feast your taste buds on pretty much everything Cantonese-style here fish ball noodles, porridge, Fuzhou Oyster Cake, and more. Yet its big lure is the signature staple of Hainanese Chicken Rice, Singapore’s unofficial national dish. If you can brave the long lines, you’ll get Michelin standard fare for the princely sum of $5 or less.
Kadayanallur St, Chinatown Singapore 069184
Best for: Hainanese chicken rice
Changi Village Hawker Centre: Enjoying a breezy location close to the sea, it’s not the easiest place to get to for city dwellers, but that also makes it all the more authentic with few tourists. Locals in the know head here for one thing: the best Nasi Lemak in town. This fragrant dish with a spicy kick is another must-try. With a stronger Malay influence than many other hawker centres, the unmistakable scent of grilled satay and spicy sambal in the air. Interestingly there are a handful of bars here offering decent craft beers to wash it down. If you crave a more laid-back hawker food vibe along with cool sea breezes, Changi Village is the place.
Changi Village Rd, Singapore, 500002
Best for: Nasi Lemak