A guide to hawker food in Singapore: best hawker stalls and centers [with maps]

It is no secret that Singapore is an expensive country but very few travelers know you can save on food budget here. Introducing the culture of hawker food in Singapore and where to find them!

Even if I visit this country frequently, there are still many hawker food in Singapore that I have not tried – there are many! For starters, let me introduce you to what hawker food is.

Hawker food in Singapore refers to the diverse, flavorful, and affordable dishes sold at numerous food centers (often called “hawker centers”) throughout the city-state.

These hawker centres are large, open-air complexes housing many individual stalls, each specializing in specific types or styles of food.

💡 Fun fact: The hawker culture in Singapore is so iconic that it was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2020!

hawker food in singapore

Originating as street food vendors, hawkers have been a cornerstone of Singapore’s food culture since the 1800s.

Over time, they were moved indoors for health and safety reasons, leading to the establishment of hawker centers that have become community dining rooms, where people from all walks of life gather to enjoy an inexpensive and tasty meal.

Hawker food in Singapore is typically enjoyed in an informal setting, with communal seating that encourages a sense of community and conviviality.

It’s common to see a mix of locals, expats, and tourists all sharing tables and enjoying the bustling atmosphere.

Here are some delicious and affordable Singapore hawker food stalls, all under $7 USD!

Change how you travel and see the world by going deep into the culture. Come and travel with me!

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😋 Hawker food in Singapore: what to eat

If it’s your first time visiting Singapore hawker centres, you may get overwhelmed with what to order so before proceeding on the list of places for best Singapore hawker food, here’s a crash course on what to order:

Hainanese Chicken Rice

This dish, originating from the Hainan province of China, is Singapore’s national dish. It’s a platter of tender, poached chicken served with fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth and clear soup.

hawker food in singapore

The combination of simple ingredients creates a rich flavor profile. Spicy lovers, add a spoonful of chili and ginger sauce for that extra kick!

Chilli Crab

Introduced in the 1950s, Chilli Crab is a dish where giant crabs are cooked in a sweet, savory, slightly spicy tomato-based sauce. Typically, it’s eaten with mantou (fried buns).

hawker food in singapore

Use your hands to crack open the crab and dip the mantou into the sauce for an authentic experience.

Laksa

A Peranakan dish, Laksa is a spicy noodle soup made with coconut milk, dried shrimp, and spices, served with prawns, fish cake, and tofu puffs.

hawker food in singapore

It’s the perfect comfort food. Don’t forget to stir in the sambal chili paste and squeeze the lime for a more robust flavor.

Satay

Satay, which has roots in Indonesia, consists of skewered, grilled meat served with peanut sauce, rice cakes, and cucumber-chili relish.

hawker food in singapore

Alternate between meat and rice cakes for balanced bites, and don’t forget to use the sauce!

Roti Prata

Brought to Singapore by Indian immigrants, Roti Prata is a flaky, pan-fried bread served with curry. Tear off pieces of Prata with your right hand and dip them into the curry for the traditional way of eating.

Hokkien Mee

This dish, created by Chinese sailors in the post-war era, features stir-fried noodles with prawn and pork, served with lime and sambal.

hawker food in singapore

Squeeze the lime over the noodles and mix in the sambal for an enhanced flavor.

Nasi Lemak

Originally a Malay dish, Nasi Lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, served with various side dishes.

Char Kway Teow

A dish of flat rice noodles stir-fried with dark soy sauce, prawns, cockles, egg, and Chinese sausage, Char Kway Teow, evolved from a poor man’s meal to a nationwide favorite.

hawker food in singapore

Stir the lime and chili into your noodles for a tangy heat.

Bak Kut Teh

Translating to “meat bone tea”, this dish is a pork rib dish cooked in broth. It’s of Hokkien and Teochew origin. The best drink to pair your Bak Kut Teh is a pot of strong Chinese tea.

🗺️ Map of Hawker food stalls in Singapore

singapore hawker stalls map
👉🏽 Click here to open map of best hawker stalls in Singapore on Google

🍛 Best Singapore Hawker food stalls

Adam Rd Noo Cheng Big Prawn Noodle

📍2 Adam Rd, #01-17
💲 from $3 USD

A cultural culinary institution nestled amidst the hustle of Adam Road Food Centre, this Singapore hawker food stall is famed for its succulent prawn noodles.

Serving customers for nearly three decades, it’s one of the top hawker food in Singapore.

hawker food in singapore

The vibe is authentically local, with no-nonsense seating and a get-in, get-out attitude. There are usually many regulars during lunch, so if you want a quieter time, go in the late afternoon.

You can’t visit without trying their namesake Big Prawn Noodle, a riot of flavors swimming in a spicy, prawn-infused broth.

🍜 Pro tip: Customize your noodles by mixing yellow noodles with bee hoon, it’s the local way to get the best texture.

Heng Kee

📍531A Upper Cross St, #01-58
💲 from $3 USD

Nestled in Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, Heng Kee is a mecca for curry aficionados. In operation since the ’70s, it’s a nostalgic time capsule with a simple seating arrangement, adding to its rustic charm.

singapore restaurants

For the most enjoyable experience, hit the place during breakfast. Order their signature Curry Chicken Noodles, a hearty bowl of silky noodles swimming in rich, fragrant curry.

🥔 Pro tip: Ask for an extra serving of potato!

Selamat Datang Warong Pak Sapari

📍2 Adam Rd, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

Situated in the East Coast Lagoon Food Village, this family-run Singapore hawker food stall is a satay specialist, originally started by the patriarch Pak Sapari. It boasts a relaxed, sea-side ambience, with casual picnic-style seating.

hawker food in singapore

When you go early in the evening, the grills are just starting up. Try the famous Satay grilled meat on skewers with spicy peanut sauce.

🍢 Pro tip: Opt for a mix of chicken, mutton and beef satays for a variety.

Ji De Lai Hainanese Chicken Rice

📍105 Yishun Ring Rd, #01-152
💲 from $3 USD

In the heart of Ang Mo Kio, Ji De Lai is a bastion of Hainanese Chicken Rice. The setting is simple and welcoming, perfect for a family meal.

hawker food in singapore

The best time to go is in the afternoon, after lunchtime. Try their tender, juicy Hainanese Chicken Rice, a dish that’s a flavorful balance of subtle and savory.

🌶️ Pro tip: Add a drizzle of their homemade chilli and ginger sauce for an extra zing.

Singapore Fried Hokkien Mee

📍90 Whampoa Dr, #01-32, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

In Whampoa West’s heart, this Singapore hawker food stall gem has been serving its famous Fried Hokkien Mee since the ’60s. With simple hawker centre seating, the space is reminiscent of old Singapore.

hawker food in singapore

A late afternoon visit lets you beat the rush. Order their signature Fried Hokkien Mee, a flavourful combination of noodles, prawn, squid, and pork belly.

🌶️ Pro tip: Pair it with a side of sambal chilli and a squeeze of lime to enhance the flavours.

Bahrakath Mutton Soup

📍2 Adam Rd, #01-10, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

Established in 1991, Bahrakath has become synonymous with the most tantalizing mutton soup in Singapore.

Amidst the welcoming ambiance of Little India, this Singapore hawker food stall provides basic but comfortable seating, perfect for the comfort food they offer.

hawker food in singapore

Bahrakath is a 24-hour operation, but for the best experience, head there for a hearty late-night meal. Try their signature mutton soup, a symphony of tender meat in a broth.

🥖 Pro tip: Ask for a side of crusty baguette and dip it in the delicious, savory broth.

Spinach Soup

📍7 Maxwell Rd, #02-114, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

Perched in the Pek Kio Food Centre, Spinach Soup serves up healthy, delicious bowls of leafy goodness. The eatery provides minimalistic seating, promoting a fast-paced dining style.

hawker food in singapore

It’s an ideal breakfast spot, providing a nutrient-rich start to your day. The must-try is their namesake Spinach Soup, packed with fresh greens, tofu, and a variety of eggs.

Beach Road Fish Head Bee Hoon

📍91 Whampoa Dr, #01-46, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

This Singapore hawker food stall situated in the bustling Beach Road area, has been open since the early ’70s.

hawker food in singapore

Its bare-bones seating only enhances the visceral experience of tucking into a Fish Head Bee Hoon bowl, a soup filled with chunks of tender fish head and smooth, silky rice vermicelli.

The optimal dining time is during dinner when the soup’s rich, milky flavor can be savored in the cool evening.

Hui Wei Chilli Ban Mian

📍69 Geylang Bahru, #01-58, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

Located in Geylang Bahru Food Centre, Hui Wei Chilli Ban Mian has carved a niche for itself with its unique rendition of Ban Mian.

hawker food in singapore

With its standard hawker centre seating, the eatery is unpretentious, letting the food speak for itself. Best to visit in the evening when the chill in the air complements their spicy noodles.

The must-try is their Chilli Ban Mian, handmade noodles served in a flavorful broth, topped with chilli.

Tai Seng Fish Soup

📍3 Yung Sheng Rd, #03-145, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

Over at Joo Seng Food Place, Tai Seng Fish Soup has been redefining the way fish soup is perceived and consumed. The vibe is casual, with a focus on quick service and communal dining.

hawker food in singapore

A late morning visit guarantees fresh catch. The Sliced Fish Soup, prepared with delicate fish slices in a clear, light broth, is a must-order.

🍚 Pro tip: Pair your soup with steamed rice for a more filling meal.

Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee

📍51 Old Airport Rd, #01-32, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

Tucked away in Old Airport Road Food Centre, Nam Sing is a legendary outpost for Hokkien Mee. With its traditional hawker centre vibe, you are bound to feel a part of Singapore’s culinary history.

hawker food in singapore

The perfect time to visit is early evening, right before the dinner rush. Their Hokkien Mee, a medley of noodles, prawn, and squid in a savory broth, is an absolute delight.

Yong Chun Wan Ton Noodle

📍115 Bukit Merah View, #01-56, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

Tucked into the bustling streetscape of Dunman Food Centre, Yong Chun Wan Ton Noodle has been dishing out some of the city’s most tantalizing wanton noodles since the late ’80s.

hawker food in singapore

The space is a typical Singapore hawker food stall setup, with straightforward, communal seating that invites quick turnover and lively interactions.

To beat the queue and enjoy fresh ingredients, visiting for an early lunch is your best bet. Of course, the must-order is their signature Wan Ton Noodle—springy noodles served with plump, juicy wontons and char siew (BBQ pork).

🌶️ Pro tip: Request for their homemade chilli sauce on the side.

Cheok Kee

📍ECP, #01-29 1220, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

Nestled in Geylang, Cheok Kee is a duck rice Singapore hawker food stall with roots dating back to the ’60s. Its modest outdoor seating lets you watch the world go by while enjoying your meal.

singapore hawker food

Visit at lunchtime when the freshly roasted ducks are brought out. Order the signature Braised Duck Rice, featuring succulent duck pieces served over fragrant rice.

🌶️ Pro tip: Try it with their homemade chili sauce for a tangy, spicy complement to the rich duck.

Kwee Heng

📍Newton, #01-13 Food Centre, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

In operation since the ’50s, Kwee Heng at Newton Food Centre is a timeless classic known for its Dried Beef Noodles. Its alfresco seating lets you indulge in people-watching as you dine.

singapore hawker food

Best time to visit is during lunch when the full menu is available. The Dried Beef Noodles, an explosion of flavors with tender beef slices, is a must-try.

🌱 Pro tip: Request for extra spring onions and bean sprouts for a refreshing crunch.

Du Du Shou Shi

📍505 Jurong West Street 52, #01-19, Singapore
💲 from $3 USD

Situated in the heart of Chinatown, Du Du Shou Shi delivers traditional Shanghainese street food. The eatery is minimalist, with a few stools for patrons to perch on.

singapore hawker food

Best to visit mid-morning when they roll out fresh batches of Xiao Long Bao. Order the Shanghai Pork Dumplings, which burst with flavorful soup and tender pork with every bite.

🥟 Pro tip: Don’t rush when eating the dumplings, let them cool a bit to avoid a scalding soup surprise.

🥘 Singapore Hawker Centre List

Adam Food Centre

📍 2 Adam Rd, Singapore
🚆 Botanic Gardens MRT station

Adam Food Centre has been a culinary hotspot near the prestigious Bukit Timah residential area since the ’70s. Its unassuming, open-air design houses over 30 Singapore hawker food stalls, offering an array of multicultural fare.

Singapore Hawker Centre List

With alfresco seating that encourages communal dining, this place exudes an authentically local vibe. At night, the hawker centre morphs into a lively eating spot, buzzing with chatter and the clatter of dishes.

Closest tourist attractions to Adam Food Centre:

  • Singapore Botanic Gardens
  • Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
  • MacRitchie Reservoir

Jurong West 505 Market & Food Centre

📍 505 Jurong West Street 52, Singapore
🚆 Lakeside MRT station

Located in Singapore’s western heartland, this food centre presents a lively snapshot of Singapore’s hawker culture.

Singapore Hawker Centre List

Seating is abundant indoors and outdoors, offering a welcoming community feel. Don’t miss the famous Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak, a true crowd-pleaser.

Closest tourist attractions to Jurong West 505 Market & Food Centre:

  • Jurong Bird Park
  • Chinese and Japanese Gardens
  • Jurong Lake

Newton Food Centre

📍Newton, Singapore
🚆 Newton MRT station

Known for its signature overhead canopy design, Newton Food Centre is a Singaporean icon. It has been the backdrop for many movies and TV shows, amplifying its appeal to locals and tourists alike.

Singapore Hawker Centre List

The seating is spacious, accommodating larger crowds, particularly in the evenings when the cool breeze enhances the dining experience. The seafood Singapore hawker food stalls here are legendary; indulge!

Closest tourist attractions to Newton Food Centre:

  • Newton Circus
  • Far East Plaza
  • Singapore Botanic Gardens

Hong Lim Market and Food Centre

📍531A Upper Cross St, Singapore
🚆 Chinatown MRT station

Tucked in the bustling Chinatown area, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre is a two-story culinary haven dating back to the ’70s.

Singapore Hawker Centre List

Known for its no-nonsense vibe and vast seating area, it serves as a testament to Singapore’s rich hawker heritage. Early birds should make a beeline for the famous curry puffs at Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff.

Closest tourist attractions to Hong Lim Market and Food Centre:

  • Chinatown Heritage Centre
  • Clarke Quay
  • Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre

📍69 Geylang Bahru, Singapore
🚆 Geylang Bahru MRT station

Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre, a pillar of the Kallang neighborhood, is a beloved food centre known for its wide variety of hawker fare.

With its clean, airy design and ample seating, it promises a comfortable dining experience. Try the Kway Chap at To-Ricos Guo Shi for a local delicacy.

Closest tourist attractions to Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre:

  • Kallang Riverside Park
  • Kallang Wave Mall
  • National Stadium

Chong Pang Food Centre

📍105 Yishun Ring Rd, Singapore
🚆 Yishun MRT station

Perched in the north of Singapore, Chong Pang Food Centre is a quintessential local food haunt. Brimming with charm, this spot features Singapore hawker food stalls selling an local delicacies.

Despite its basic seating, the atmosphere buzzes with the hum of happy diners. You can’t leave without trying the famous Nasi Lemak from Chong Pang Huat.

Closest tourist attractions to Chong Pang Food Centre:

  • Lower Seletar Reservoir Park
  • Yishun Park
  • Orchid Country Club

51 Old Airport Road Food Centre

📍 51 Old Airport Rd, Singapore
🚆 Dakota MRT station

One of Singapore’s oldest and largest hawker centres, Old Airport Road Food Centre has been serving up mouth-watering local cuisine since 1973. Its spacious, open-air layout offers plenty of seating.

The place hums with activity, especially on weekends, giving visitors a slice of Singapore’s vibrant hawker culture.

Must-tries include Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee, a Singapore hawker food stall that’s been here since the centre’s early days.

Closest tourist attractions to 51 Old Airport Road Food Centre:

  • East Coast Park
  • Geylang Serai Market
  • Katong/Joo Chiat Peranakan Houses

North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre

📍 861 North Bridge Rd, Singapore
🚆 Bugis MRT station

This two-storey food haven located in the historic Kampong Glam precinct has been a local favourite since the ’80s.

It offers a wide selection of Singapore’s culinary delights, and despite its basic setup, the open-seating arrangement invites a friendly, communal dining experience.

The authentic Indian-Muslim fare from Bismillah Biryani is a must-try.

Closest tourist attractions to North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre:

  • Sultan Mosque
  • Haji Lane
  • Bugis Street Market

Zion Riverside Food Centre

📍 70 Zion Rd, Singapore 247792
🚆 Tiong Bahru MRT station

Situated near the Singapore River, Zion Riverside Food Centre is a foodie’s paradise, known for its plethora of Singapore hawker food stalls.

With a riverside setting and al fresco seating, it provides a tranquil dining atmosphere. Be sure to indulge in the Char Kway Teow from No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow.

Closest tourist attractions to Zion Riverside Food Centre:

  • Great World City Mall
  • Clarke Quay
  • Fort Canning Park

Whampoa Makan Place

📍90 Whampoa Dr, Singapore
🚆 Boon Keng MRT station

Tucked away in the residential area of Whampoa, this centre is a hidden gem offering an assortment of culinary delights. Its spacious, circular layout encourages a relaxed and convivial dining experience.

Closest tourist attractions to Whampoa Makan Place:

  • Balestier Heritage Trail
  • Toa Payoh Town Park
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital Heritage Museum

Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre

📍 3 Yung Sheng Rd, Singapore
🚆 Lakeside MRT station

Located in the heartlands, this market-cum-food centre serves up affordable, lip-smacking fare. A classic hawker centre, it features simple seating arrangements and a lively, buzzing environment.

The legendary Long Kee Carrot Cake is a must-try!

Closest tourist attractions to Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre:

  • Jurong Lake Gardens
  • Chinese and Japanese Gardens
  • Science Centre Singapore

Bukit Merah View Market & Hawker Centre

📍115 Bukit Merah View, Singapore
🚆 Tiong Bahru MRT station

With its large, open-air layout, this centre in the Bukit Merah neighborhood is a bustling spot. The seats, though basic, are abundant, offering a sociable, local dining experience.

Grab a bowl of the highly rated Laksa from Bukit Merah Laksa.

Closest tourist attractions to 115 Bukit Merah View Market & Hawker Centre:

  • Tiong Bahru Plaza
  • Henderson Waves Bridge
  • Gillman Barracks

📍 Singapore Hawker Centre Map

singapore hawker centres map
👉🏽 Click here to open map of best hawker centres in Singapore on Google

⁉️ FAQ: Hawker food in Singapore

A “hawker” is a vendor of inexpensive local foods and drinks, often serving from a food court or open-air market stall.

In Singapore, “hawkers” are the heart of local culinary culture, serving various multicultural dishes from stalls in “hawker centres”. Since Singapore is expensive, this is also one of the cheapest ways to eat delicious food. Both locals and tourists enjoy it!

Hawker culture in Singapore involves communal dining in open-air complexes, enjoying a vast array of affordable, multicultural foods. Each hawker centre has numerous food stalls where you are free to choose what to eat (like a food court).

It’s called “Hawker Centre” as it centralizes individual “hawkers” or vendors into one complex for hygiene and regulation purposes.

Singapore’s hawker culture is special because of its unique blend of diverse cuisines, affordability, accessibility, and communal dining experience.

While hawkers are found globally, “Hawker Centres” as a concept of food court, offering an array of multicultural cuisines, is unique to Singapore and some parts of Asia. But Singapore has the biggest Hawker culture.

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12 Comments

  1. The shrimp looked really good. Michelin stared street stalls? I would give it a go. I am not sure I could handle the spicy foods though. I can only do mild spice lol.

  2. The Laksa looks so good, I want to travel to Singapore just to try some! What really strikes me about all these dishes though is the price. The cost is way lower than I would expect for the portion sizes and ingredients. These same dishes would cost five times more here in America!

  3. Well, this post is delicious. Literally got my mouth salivating from looking at the yummy Asian food goodness. Under $10 SGD? You got me. I’m convinced. I’d probably do a double-take on the Beef Noodle and go for the rest.

  4. I love eating from Hawker stalls in Asia and never had a problem with them. Havent been to Singapore yet but will try and taste some of these yummy dishes on my visit there (hoping in the next 12 months).

  5. I could live on Laksa, so Sungei Road Trishaw would be my first stop! Nasi Lemak looks so tasty, especially with the egg, so I’d love to try Wan Xing too!

  6. Lasi Nemak and Laksa are my fav from this list.
    Been there twice and I am so reminded of the delicious taste and flavour.

  7. Some of my favorite dishes and places…like Tian Tian. The best!! Loved the bean curd dessert as well, though we had it somewhere else, though. Quite tasty. Great yummy pictures!!

  8. The Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle looks soooo good I can understand why it has a Michelin star! The Chey Sua Carrot Cake is intriguing but not sure about that line

  9. First, the comments like this motivate us to write more & more. Isn’t it? 🙂

    It’s really hard to believe that one can have a meal under $10 in Singapore. But you showed us.
    I already found some of my favourite here. 🙂 Fried Kway Teow Mee, Nasi Lemak, Soyabean curd, fried prawn mee.

  10. Singapore seems like a street food hub. My husband is going to love trying all these. But being vegetarian I think I will have a tough time and can only try the carrot cake. Thanks for compiling this guide.

  11. Hi Trisha,

    What an amazing share! My cousins live in Singapore, and my sister and I are thinking about visiting them soon. I love the local food, and I was so excited to try it out again. I really appreciate you sharing about your favorite hawkers, I am really looking forward to trying them all out, but I will definitely be trying most of them. Thanks a lot for such an amazing share. My sister and I are total foodies, and I am sure she will love these too.

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