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A Local’s Guide to Singapore’s Best Hawker Centers

A Local’s Guide to Singapore’s Best Hawker Centers

When visiting a country, it’s only natural to want to try the local dishes as the locals do. After all, food is also part of the culture. 

Luckily, if you find yourself in Singapore, you don’t have to hop from one restaurant to another to get a taste of our local offerings. All you need to do is spot a good hawker center and you’re halfway there! 

Now, the next question is, where can you find the best hawker centers in the country? 

With empty stomachs and hearts brimming with ambition, we embarked on a delicious search to discover the best ones. We’ve also included a list of dishes to try, ensuring nothing but a satisfying food adventure. 

1. Maxwell Road Hawker Centre

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Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184

Contact details: +65 6225 5632

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 8 AM to 2 AM 

Maxwell Road Hawker Center is one of the most popular of its kind in Singapore. Located in the vibrant Chinatown, you can expect this renowned attraction to be bustling from day to night. 

One of the reasons behind its unrelenting popularity is the Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stall. The famous stall even earned a feature on Michelin’s website for its remarkable quality and great value for the price. 

If you’re willing to conquer the long lines, we suggest giving it a try yourself to see what the fuss is all about. 

Other Maxwell Road regulars will also tell you to try Rojak · Popiah & Cockle, another well-known stall in the area. The rojak is the number one must-try, especially if you appreciate complex flavor profiles. 

2. Satay by the Bay


Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, #01-19, Singapore 018953

Contact details: +65 6538 9956

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 11 AM to 10 PM 
  • Saturday and Sunday – 9 AM to 10 PM 

Satay by the Bay is Gardens by the Bay’s very own hawker center, making its location ideal for visitors looking to indulge in a variety of dishes amidst the famous attraction. 

It even offers generous views of the gorgeous waterfront, which is the perfect complement to your mouth-watering meal. 

Aside from its aesthetic allure, you can expect the typical hawker center delicacies like chicken rice, roasted meals, and of course, satay. 

However, all its sparkling qualities come with a price, as this hawker center is more expensive compared to the others on this list. 

That said, if you don’t mind paying a bit extra for accessibility, ambiance, and view, we don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t try Satay by the Bay. 

Another thing worth noting is that it’s quite touristy, but you’ll still be able to spot locals enjoying a plate or two. 

3. Amoy Street Food Centre


Address: 7 Maxwell Rd, Singapore 069111

Contact details: +65 6225 5632

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 6:30 AM to 9 PM 

Amoy Street Food Centre is another fascinating Chinatown addition, offering assorted delights that can easily appease your hunger. 

Despite Singapore’s humid climate, the most popular dish here is the sliced fish soup at Han Kee, probably because of how refreshing it tastes. 

The broth is light, allowing the natural flavors to take center stage. Additionally, the fish and broth ratio is perfect, making the generous portions one of the reasons why it’s so revered. 

Since Amoy Street Food Centre is located in the Central Business District, expect to be rubbing elbows with office workers looking for their fill during lunchtime. Hey, at least it’s a guaranteed gem among locals! 

4. Lau Pa Sat 


Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582

Contact details: +65 6220 2138

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 24 hours 

Lau Pa Sat is one of the exemplary, if not the most, hawker centers in Singapore. Nestled inside a historic building, this iconic destination is well-favored for its gorgeous facade with Victorian elements. 

If you want culinary excellence as well as a rich history under one roof, you know where to go! 

Anyway, do consider trying at least one from the variety of satay choices available here. 

The shrimp skewers are a crowd favorite, which can be best enjoyed with a glass of ice-cold beer, also available in the venue. 

Being in the center of the CBD, a lot of locals also frequent this spot, so expect it to be bustling during lunch and dinner time, as well as on the weekends. 

It might be challenging to find a seat, so consider going outside those hours if you want to avoid this dilemma. 

5. Tiong Bahru Market

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Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd, Singapore 168898

The hip and trendy neighborhood of Tiong Bahru also has its very own hawker center that can easily rival the other locations on this list. Aficionados of architecture will surely enjoy its facade, reminiscent of Art Deco buildings and its old-world charm. 

Aside from its fascinating structure, it’s also famous for its lor mee – a savory (and slightly sweet) dish with yellow noodles drizzled in thick gravy, as well as a variety of garnishings to elevate the flavors. 

Aside from being a hawker center, Tiong Bahru Market also offers a wet market where one can procure fresh produce, along with fish and meat. You can find locals doing their day-to-day shopping routines, making it an actual spot where locals gather. 

6. Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre 

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Address: 20 Ghim Moh Rd, Singapore 270020

Contact details: +6562255632

If you’re looking for a less touristy area, try one of the most road-less-traveled hawker centers in Singapore – Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre. 

Most of the stalls sell quality, yet affordable dishes, making this the perfect spot for those looking for delicious local meals that won’t break the bank. 

The chicken curry bee hoon mee from Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee is the ultimate scene stealer, which is why you’d see a lot of people not caring about the long lines. 

It’s a comforting noodle dish known for its aromatic flavors, as well as its mouthwatering creaminess, making it a favorite among noodle aficionados. We’re sure a lot of locals can back us up on this! 

By the way, if you’re planning on visiting anytime soon, note that they’re under renovation until May 10, 2024. 

7. Golden Mile Hawker Center 

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Address: 505 Beach Rd, Singapore 199583

Operating hours:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday – 11 AM to 8 PM 
  • Wednesday – 12 PM to 8 PM 

Golden Mile Hawker Center is another hidden gem, often left undiscovered by unsuspecting visitors. However, that changes today as we uncover the jaw-dropping delights that await you here. 

You Fu’s hokkien mee is a guaranteed must-try, earning stamps of approval from many local food enthusiasts. This stir-fried dish is much recommended, especially if you have a penchant for a dish with robust, savory flavors. 

Another crowd favorite at Golden Mile is the clay pot rice at Yew Chuan, which we personally love for its smokiness. 

Visitors should also try the fried kway teow, a filling dish that was featured on Michelin. However, do note that it’s best to visit as early as possible since stocks tend to run out before the day ends. 

8. Old Airport Road Food Centre

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Address: 51 Old Airport Rd, Singapore 390051

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 6 AM to 10:30 PM 

Old Airport Road Food Centre is considered one of the first hawker centers in Singapore, earning a well-deserved spot in the local’s hearts (and stomachs). 

Located in Paya Lebar, it exudes quintessential Singaporean charm – the kind that’s usually hidden from the eyes of visitors.  

One of our favorite stalls here is Salt, which is much recommended for those looking for Western flavors. The soy garlic fried chicken wings are to die for. 

If you’re looking for more local plates, try checking out Roast Paradise which is extremely popular for its char siew and crispy roast pork. 

Or, when in doubt, try your luck at the stall with the longest line. You’re guaranteed to find a delightful dish that’s very much worth the wait.