When in Singapore, one of the best things to do is to eat! When you have uncontrollable cravings for some chili crab, chicken rice, or bak kut teh (pork rib soup), head to the food courts or hawker centres and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Being that our company is registered in Singapore, we always frequent the country and trust me when I say that eating is an enjoyable pastime in this country. If you want your taste buds to enjoy the local flavors of Singapore, you must visit the local, down-to-earth food joints.
The best part about the hawker centres is that the food quality is great and the bills don’t hurt your pocket. Everything is so reasonable! A lot of people, including food critics and experts, visit the hawker markets in Singapore to enjoy their favorite dishes. In fact, there are even a few acclaimed Michelin star food stalls, ready to serve their specialties to hungry customers.
With so many options in hand, it can get a little difficult to choose which hawker centre to visit. To help you out, here’s a list of some of the best food courts in Singapore that have been recommended by food lovers.
Maxwell Food Centre
If dishes like fried oyster omelet, Hainanese chicken, and fish soup are on your mind then the Maxwell Food Centre is where you need to go. If you visit the place during lunch time, expect a lot of people so be mindful that it will be busy. If you are traveling, it might pay off to visit the food center during off-peak hours which is either early morning or late afternoon.
The Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice located in stall #01-10 is well worth a visit during your time there. In fact, the late chef, Anthony Bourdain sang praises for this Hainanese chicken stall. Because this hawker centre is located at the edge of China town, it is a convenient stop for travelers who are sightseeing around the area.
Working hours: It opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 2:00 a.m. every day.
Location: 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184
Lau Pa Sat
Next stop on our list is one of the most popular food courts in Singapore, Lau Pa Sat, also known as Telok Ayer Market. Some might say that it is extremely crowded, but with a large seating capacity of more than 2,000 people, it’s possible to find a seat easily. The interiors of the place is beautiful and reminiscent of the Victorian era due to the architectural features.
The kaya toast in Quay 18 is a must-try if you come here for breakfast. Carrot cake, chili crab, and laksa are other dishes that you can have a taste of at Lau Pa Sat. I do recommend coming past 7 pm because this is where the entire place comes to life. The satay stands come out, grilling some delicious meat skewers which are perfectly paired with some cheap beer.
I also recommend trying the Roti Prata from stall 61 as the roti bread is always made fresh and is served piping hot.
Working hours: 24 hours
Location: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Chinatown Food Street
One of the best dining spots in the city is the Chinatown Food Street which serves economical and authentic local food in the country. Located on Smith Street, the hawker stands here are teaming with life with an array of interesting dishes.
Here, you can try exotic dishes like Stingray at Boon Tat Street BBQ Seafood from stall #1-3 or the Satay Skewers at Satay Bee Hoon & BBQ Steamboat which serve delicious skewers with the most amazing peanut sauce. The laksa here is also amazing! If you are visiting the food street for the first time, it is important to remember that your dining credit cards may not always be accepted so it’s best to bring some cash with you.
Working hours: The stalls are open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Location: Smith Street, Singapore 058938
Old Airport Road Food Centre
This 30-year old hawker centre has been named as one of the best food courts in Singapore by the locals. The hawker centre may not be frequented by as many visitors as the other establishments on this list, however, specialties like satay, noodles, char kway teow, and rojak are well known to most people in the country. You simply cannot go wrong with these lip-smacking dishes.
Because the ambiance if very local, dishes are also often a lot more affordable compared to the commercialized street food places. The Lao Ban Soya Beancurd and 51 Soya Beancurd stalls usually have a jam-packed line so I highly recommend giving one of these dishes a go when you’re in the area.
Working hours: The food court is open from around 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: 51 Old Airport Rd, Singapore 390051
Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre
For breakfast or brunch, the Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre is one of the best food courts in Singapore. Several stalls in this market open early in the morning, which makes it the ideal breakfast joint for those eager to start their day right.
The Tiong Bahru Market is popular for dishes like pork ribs prawn noodle, roasted duck, and boiled pork leg. Dishes start at as low as S$3, which clearly suggests that this place is extremely economical. The Jian Bo Chwee Kueh (rice cake with radish) from stall #02-05 is absolutely delicious and is worth trying along with the Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Noodles from stall#02-30.
Working hours: Stalls start opening from 6:30 a.m. and some close late at night (operating hours vary depending on the stall).
Location: 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898
To know how seriously Singaporeans take their food (and how delicious it is), visit a hawker centre anywhere in the country and find out for yourself. These food courts are filled with locals and tourists alike, stuffing their bellies with delicious, flavorful food at unbeatable prices.
If you’re looking for attractions to visit, check out this article on places to visit in Singapore for families.
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