The Top Hawker Centers You Need to Eat Your Way Around in Singapore

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Singapore is a food-lovers paradise, the melting point of a number of different Asian cuisines that all congregate in its numerous hawker centers found around the city. If there's one activity seemingly everyone in the city seems to love, it's eating. Unlike other Asian cities, Singapore has long since adapted its street food culture, taking its beloved street vendors and putting them under one roof in what can only be seen as the modern face of street food. While some might mourn the loss of tradition, others rejoice at the improved cleanliness, weather protection and provided seating.

Whatever your opinion though, you can't escape the fact that a visit to Singapore is incomplete without eating your way around these culinary wonderlands. Here are the best centers to head to if you want some delicious street-style food in the city.

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The Top Hawker Centers You Need to Eat Your Way Around in Singapore:table of contents

Maxwell Road Hawker Center

One of the most famous of the hawker centers in the city, Maxwell Road should be the first place you head to when arriving in Singapore. While the center is best known for Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, often claimed to be the best chicken rice shop in the city, there are a number of popular stalls here well worth checking out. Some we'd recommend include Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon, Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake and Zhen Zhen Porridge.

Chomp Chomp Food Centre

While the name might not inspire culinary confidence, sounding like something a six year old might come up with, it's no secret that you'll find some of the best local joints here. While it might be a little far from the center of the city, the benefit is that you'll lose the crowds of tourists that haunt more popular central places like Maxwell. Don't expect it to be empty however, there are hardcore food loving locals that come to this spot every evening.

Many of the vendors in this hawker heaven are great but make sure to check out Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Mee, Chong Pang Huat's chicken wings, the kuih pie tee at I-Chai Speciality and Ang Mo Kio's fried oyster omelette.

Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre

Our personal favorite for some of the best food in Singapore along with a unique atmosphere unlike most of the other centers. On the first floor you'll find one of the most popular wet markets in Singapore, the perfect spot for checking out local produce of the city before you eat. The middle of the hawker center is also holed out, allowing for diners to chill out in the open air. Make sure to feast at 178 Lor Mee (pictured below) and Jian Bo Chwee Kueh along with the delicious roasted meats at Lee Hong Kee.

Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Visiting Singapore and not heading to the vibrant, hunger-inducing Chinatown is simply not done. One of the most incredible Chinatowns in the world, this microcosm of ethnic Sino life is a perfect representation of the city's largest race. There's no better place to eat your way around this community than the Chinatown Complex Food Centre.

Make sure to hit up Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap, Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu and Fatty Ox Hong Kong Kitchen, after that just follow your nose. The spread of roasted meats here are usually pretty great. If you're in need of some sugar to cut through the resultant food coma, head to Old Amoy for probably the best bowl of cendol in the city.

Old Airport Road Food Centre

One of the best places to find all the classic Singaporean dishes, Old Airport Road Food Centre is a Singaporean institution resettling local street hawkers since the 1970s. First to hit your stomach should be Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong's lor mee along with the hae mee at Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodles. The kway teow at Lao Fu Zi is also exceptional along with the deliciously crispy curry puffs at Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff.


If our stomach would permit it, we'd spend the entirety of our time just consuming the delicious treats from vendor to vendor across each of these mouthwatering hawker centers. Grab some eating buddies and order a spread of dishes to share, it's the best way to sample as many of these delightful street eats at once.