Hawker centres are part of the social fabric of Singapore. Here are some of the best examples around the island. By Lifestyle Asia
Officially called food centres, hawker centres were rapidly built from the 1970s onwards to re-home street food vendors, and many have flourished to become institutions. Today, it is where you can find prime examples of local dishes including chicken rice, bak chor mee, roti prata, nasi lemak, laksa, and much more. In recent years, younger hawkers have also stepped in to offer more international flavours from ramen to pasta.
This guide is not exhaustive – we’ll be adding more as we cover them – but here’s a guide to some of the best hawker centres in Singapore.
Bukit Timah food centre
Diners flock to Bukit Timah for the carrot cake and satay bee hoon, as well as perennial favourites such as durian chendol, Hokkien mee, mutton soup and kway chap. Leave space for durian chendol and beancurd with taro balls.
From famous bak chor mee to a Michelin-recognised satay bee hoon, Bedok 85 is a culinary destination in the east. It’s also famous for Cantonese pork porridge, xiao long bao, Fuzhou oyster cake alive, and peanut soup with rice balls.
Adam road food centre
Small in stature but big on gourmands’ minds, this food centre boasts famous nasi lemak, prawn noodles, and mutton soup. Pork leg bee hoon is also a draw, as is the mee Soto and ice kacang, laksa, and Indian rojak.
Hong Lim food centre
As one of the earliest hawker centres built in Singapore, Hong Lim is full of culinary gems including fish head bee hoon, curry chicken noodles, kway chap, and bak kut teh. Younger hawkers also offer international fare from Japanese-inspired lunch bowls to duck confit.
Maxwell food centre
Tian Tian’s chicken rice dominates the headlines at Maxwell, but other stalls serving fish soup, chee cheong fun, xiao long bao, and Cantonese roast meats are just as worthy. Old school snacks come in the form of tapioca cake and ham chin peng, then finish off with local craft beer.
Beo Crescent food centre
Located in between Tiong Bahru and River Valley, Beo Crescent is popular for its lor mee, char kway teow, and clay pot rice. The ban mian is also noteworthy, as well as Teochew braised duck, and fried rice from an ex-Din Tai Fung chef.
Ghim Moh food centre
Head to this food centre for Michelin-recommended braised duck and char kway teow. There are also dripping plates of Hokkien mee, crispy appam, and fluffy chwee kueh.
(This story first appeared on lifestyleasia.com/sg)