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Ultimate Guide to Hawker Centers in Singapore: Must-Try Dishes

Embark on a culinary journey through Singapore’s iconic hawker centers. On these 3 days, we’ll explore some of the best spots to sample the city’s must-try dishes.

Kaya Toast

Day 1: Traditional Flavors and Iconic Dishes

Breakfast at Lau Pa Sat

Start your day at Lau Pa Sat, one of Singapore’s most famous hawker centers. Known for its stunning Victorian architecture, this bustling food market is the perfect place to fuel up for your culinary adventure.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Hainanese Chicken Rice: A local classic that features tender poached chicken and fragrant rice, served with chili sauce and ginger paste.
  • Kaya Toast: A traditional breakfast item made from toasted bread, slathered with a rich coconut jam and served with soft boiled eggs and coffee.

Mid-Morning Snack at Maxwell Food Centre

Head over to Maxwell Food Centre for your mid-morning snack. This hawker center is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, famous for its wide variety of delicious offerings.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice: Often regarded as one of the best in Singapore, known for its succulent chicken and flavorful rice.
  • Popiah: A fresh spring roll filled with a savory mixture of vegetables and meats.

Lunch at Old Airport Road Food Centre

Next, visit the Old Airport Road Food Centre, a legendary spot known for some of the best hawker food in Singapore. Established in the 1970s, it offers a plethora of authentic local flavors.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Char Kway Teow: Fried flat rice noodles with prawns, Chinese sausage, eggs, and bean sprouts, flavored with dark soy sauce.
  • Satay: Skewers of marinated meat, grilled to perfection and served with a peanut dipping sauce.

Afternoon Delight at Tiong Bahru Market

Spend your afternoon at Tiong Bahru Market, a modern hawker center offering a blend of the traditional and the contemporary. The market has been revamped but still retains its old-school charm.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Chwee Kueh: Steamed rice cakes topped with preserved radish and served with chili sauce.
  • Hokkien Mee: Stir-fried noodles in a rich prawn broth, complemented with squid and pork belly slices.

Dinner at Newton Food Centre

Conclude your first day with dinner at the renowned Newton Food Centre. This hawker center is known for its lively evening atmosphere and an impressive range of seafood.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Chilli Crab: Singapore’s iconic seafood dish featuring crab cooked in a spicy, tangy tomato-based sauce.
  • Sambal Stingray: Grilled stingray smothered in a spicy sambal sauce, often served on a banana leaf.
Hokkien Mee

Day 2: Diverse Tastes and Hidden Gems

Breakfast at Tekka Centre

Start your day at Tekka Centre, located in the heart of Little India. This vibrant hawker center offers a mix of Indian, Chinese, and Malay flavors, perfect for a hearty breakfast.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Roti Prata: Fluffy Indian pancakes served with savory curry. Don’t miss trying variations like egg, cheese, or onion prata.
  • Thosai: A thin and crispy Indian-style crepe, often served with chutney and sambar (a spicy lentil soup).

Mid-Morning Snack at Amoy Street Food Centre

Next, head to Amoy Street Food Centre, nestled in the bustling Central Business District. It’s an ideal spot to sample diverse street food options during a mid-morning snack break.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Hokkien Mee: Stir-fried noodles in a rich prawn broth, often served with sambal chili and lime.
  • Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kway): Despite its name, this savory dish is made from radish and rice flour, then fried with eggs and scallions. Don’t miss both black and white versions.

Lunch at Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Continue to Chinatown Complex Food Centre, the largest hawker center in Singapore with over 260 food stalls. This is a haven for food lovers looking to indulge in traditional Chinese dishes.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Bak Kut Teh: A flavorful pork rib soup, simmered with garlic and pepper, served with rice and soy sauce.
  • Wanton Mee: Noodles with succulent pork dumplings, char siu (barbecued pork), and a savory sauce, typically served dry or with soup.

Afternoon Treat at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

Make your way to Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre for an afternoon treat. This local favorite is known for its variety of snack items and traditional desserts.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Chwee Kueh: Steamed rice cakes topped with preserved radish, served with a side of chili sauce.
  • Chee Cheong Fun: Soft and silky rice noodle rolls served with sweet sauce and sesame seeds.

Dinner at East Coast Lagoon Food Village

End your day with a seaside dinner at East Coast Lagoon Food Village. This hawker center offers an array of seafood delights with a relaxed beachfront ambiance.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • BBQ Stingray: Grilled stingray slathered in sambal sauce, often served on a banana leaf.
  • Satay: Skewers of marinated meat, grilled over charcoal and served with a rich peanut sauce, rice cakes, and raw onions.
Satay

Day 3: Culinary Adventures and Modern Flavors

Breakfast at Adam Road Food Centre

Begin your day with breakfast at Adam Road Food Centre, a popular spot among locals for its delectable Malay and Indian dishes.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Nasi Lemak: Fragrant coconut rice served with fried anchovies, peanuts, egg, cucumber slices, and sambal. Add a side of fried chicken or fish for a more filling meal.
  • Mee Rebus: Yellow noodles in a thick, spicy-sweet gravy, topped with hard-boiled eggs, bean sprouts, and fried shallots.

Mid-Morning Snack at Golden Mile Food Centre

Make your way to Golden Mile Food Centre, known for its diverse range of hawker stalls offering both local and international flavors.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Satay Bee Hoon: Rice vermicelli topped with a flavorful satay peanut sauce, served with cuttlefish, prawns, and vegetables.
  • Roti John: A local Malay sandwich made with a baguette, stuffed with minced meat, eggs, and onions, topped with a generous amount of chili sauce and mayonnaise.

Lunch at Marine Parade Central Food Market

Stop by Marine Parade Central Food Market for lunch. This hawker center is known for its clean environment and affordable yet delicious food options.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Laksa: A spicy noodle soup with coconut milk, shrimp, cockles, and bean sprouts, garnished with a sprinkling of laksa leaves.
  • Fish Head Curry: A rich and flavorful curry made with a whole fish head, vegetables, and a blend of spices, served with rice or bread.

Afternoon Tea at Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Return to Chinatown Complex Food Centre for a leisurely afternoon tea. This time, try some different stalls and flavors.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Bubur Cha-Cha: A traditional Nyonya dessert made with sweet potatoes, yam, and bananas in coconut milk, served hot or cold.
  • Egg Tarts: Flaky pastry filled with a smooth and creamy egg custard, perfect for a sweet snack.

Dinner at Lau Pa Sat

Conclude your day with dinner back at Lau Pa Sat, experiencing its vibrant evening atmosphere. This iconic hawker center transforms into a bustling night market with satay stalls lining the streets.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Satay: A variety of marinated meats, grilled over charcoal and served with a rich, spicy peanut sauce, rice cakes, and raw onions.
  • BBQ Sambal Stingray: Stingray grilled and topped with a spicy sambal paste, served on a banana leaf. The smoky flavor combined with the sambal’s heat makes for an unforgettable dish.

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Ultimate Guide to Hawker Centers in Singapore: Must-Try Dishes

Last Updated: June 21, 2024

Embark on a culinary journey through Singapore’s iconic hawker centers. On these 3 days, we’ll explore some of the best spots to sample the city’s must-try dishes.

Kaya Toast

Day 1: Traditional Flavors and Iconic Dishes

Breakfast at Lau Pa Sat

Start your day at Lau Pa Sat, one of Singapore’s most famous hawker centers. Known for its stunning Victorian architecture, this bustling food market is the perfect place to fuel up for your culinary adventure.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Hainanese Chicken Rice: A local classic that features tender poached chicken and fragrant rice, served with chili sauce and ginger paste.
  • Kaya Toast: A traditional breakfast item made from toasted bread, slathered with a rich coconut jam and served with soft boiled eggs and coffee.

Mid-Morning Snack at Maxwell Food Centre

Head over to Maxwell Food Centre for your mid-morning snack. This hawker center is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, famous for its wide variety of delicious offerings.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice: Often regarded as one of the best in Singapore, known for its succulent chicken and flavorful rice.
  • Popiah: A fresh spring roll filled with a savory mixture of vegetables and meats.

Lunch at Old Airport Road Food Centre

Next, visit the Old Airport Road Food Centre, a legendary spot known for some of the best hawker food in Singapore. Established in the 1970s, it offers a plethora of authentic local flavors.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Char Kway Teow: Fried flat rice noodles with prawns, Chinese sausage, eggs, and bean sprouts, flavored with dark soy sauce.
  • Satay: Skewers of marinated meat, grilled to perfection and served with a peanut dipping sauce.

Afternoon Delight at Tiong Bahru Market

Spend your afternoon at Tiong Bahru Market, a modern hawker center offering a blend of the traditional and the contemporary. The market has been revamped but still retains its old-school charm.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Chwee Kueh: Steamed rice cakes topped with preserved radish and served with chili sauce.
  • Hokkien Mee: Stir-fried noodles in a rich prawn broth, complemented with squid and pork belly slices.

Dinner at Newton Food Centre

Conclude your first day with dinner at the renowned Newton Food Centre. This hawker center is known for its lively evening atmosphere and an impressive range of seafood.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Chilli Crab: Singapore’s iconic seafood dish featuring crab cooked in a spicy, tangy tomato-based sauce.
  • Sambal Stingray: Grilled stingray smothered in a spicy sambal sauce, often served on a banana leaf.
Hokkien Mee

Day 2: Diverse Tastes and Hidden Gems

Breakfast at Tekka Centre

Start your day at Tekka Centre, located in the heart of Little India. This vibrant hawker center offers a mix of Indian, Chinese, and Malay flavors, perfect for a hearty breakfast.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Roti Prata: Fluffy Indian pancakes served with savory curry. Don’t miss trying variations like egg, cheese, or onion prata.
  • Thosai: A thin and crispy Indian-style crepe, often served with chutney and sambar (a spicy lentil soup).

Mid-Morning Snack at Amoy Street Food Centre

Next, head to Amoy Street Food Centre, nestled in the bustling Central Business District. It’s an ideal spot to sample diverse street food options during a mid-morning snack break.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Hokkien Mee: Stir-fried noodles in a rich prawn broth, often served with sambal chili and lime.
  • Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kway): Despite its name, this savory dish is made from radish and rice flour, then fried with eggs and scallions. Don’t miss both black and white versions.

Lunch at Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Continue to Chinatown Complex Food Centre, the largest hawker center in Singapore with over 260 food stalls. This is a haven for food lovers looking to indulge in traditional Chinese dishes.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Bak Kut Teh: A flavorful pork rib soup, simmered with garlic and pepper, served with rice and soy sauce.
  • Wanton Mee: Noodles with succulent pork dumplings, char siu (barbecued pork), and a savory sauce, typically served dry or with soup.

Afternoon Treat at Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

Make your way to Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre for an afternoon treat. This local favorite is known for its variety of snack items and traditional desserts.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Chwee Kueh: Steamed rice cakes topped with preserved radish, served with a side of chili sauce.
  • Chee Cheong Fun: Soft and silky rice noodle rolls served with sweet sauce and sesame seeds.

Dinner at East Coast Lagoon Food Village

End your day with a seaside dinner at East Coast Lagoon Food Village. This hawker center offers an array of seafood delights with a relaxed beachfront ambiance.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • BBQ Stingray: Grilled stingray slathered in sambal sauce, often served on a banana leaf.
  • Satay: Skewers of marinated meat, grilled over charcoal and served with a rich peanut sauce, rice cakes, and raw onions.
Satay

Day 3: Culinary Adventures and Modern Flavors

Breakfast at Adam Road Food Centre

Begin your day with breakfast at Adam Road Food Centre, a popular spot among locals for its delectable Malay and Indian dishes.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Nasi Lemak: Fragrant coconut rice served with fried anchovies, peanuts, egg, cucumber slices, and sambal. Add a side of fried chicken or fish for a more filling meal.
  • Mee Rebus: Yellow noodles in a thick, spicy-sweet gravy, topped with hard-boiled eggs, bean sprouts, and fried shallots.

Mid-Morning Snack at Golden Mile Food Centre

Make your way to Golden Mile Food Centre, known for its diverse range of hawker stalls offering both local and international flavors.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Satay Bee Hoon: Rice vermicelli topped with a flavorful satay peanut sauce, served with cuttlefish, prawns, and vegetables.
  • Roti John: A local Malay sandwich made with a baguette, stuffed with minced meat, eggs, and onions, topped with a generous amount of chili sauce and mayonnaise.

Lunch at Marine Parade Central Food Market

Stop by Marine Parade Central Food Market for lunch. This hawker center is known for its clean environment and affordable yet delicious food options.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Laksa: A spicy noodle soup with coconut milk, shrimp, cockles, and bean sprouts, garnished with a sprinkling of laksa leaves.
  • Fish Head Curry: A rich and flavorful curry made with a whole fish head, vegetables, and a blend of spices, served with rice or bread.

Afternoon Tea at Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Return to Chinatown Complex Food Centre for a leisurely afternoon tea. This time, try some different stalls and flavors.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Bubur Cha-Cha: A traditional Nyonya dessert made with sweet potatoes, yam, and bananas in coconut milk, served hot or cold.
  • Egg Tarts: Flaky pastry filled with a smooth and creamy egg custard, perfect for a sweet snack.

Dinner at Lau Pa Sat

Conclude your day with dinner back at Lau Pa Sat, experiencing its vibrant evening atmosphere. This iconic hawker center transforms into a bustling night market with satay stalls lining the streets.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Satay: A variety of marinated meats, grilled over charcoal and served with a rich, spicy peanut sauce, rice cakes, and raw onions.
  • BBQ Sambal Stingray: Stingray grilled and topped with a spicy sambal paste, served on a banana leaf. The smoky flavor combined with the sambal’s heat makes for an unforgettable dish.

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