Hawker stalls in Singapore made history last week by becoming the first street vendors to be recognised by the prestigious Michelin guide.
While Michelin stars might help these two stalls shine brighter in a myriad of over 6,000 food stalls housed in 100 hawker centres, the philosophy of the traditional Singapore hawker stall remains simple; delicious affordable fresh food and a social eating hub fundamental to Singaporean social life.
If you're new to Singapore, eating in a hawker centre is an ideal way to immerse yourself in local life. However, negotiating that food offering can seem daunting, given that it could take you close to two decades to get through all the stalls, if you tried one daily.
Go with elastic waistband trousers, a spirit of adventure, a stash of dollars and prepare to be fed like never before.
Here are our suggestions on where to eat:
Hawker Centers Singapore
1. Old Airport Road Food Centre
Photo: Jnzl's Public Domain Photos/flickr
One of Singapore's largest and oldest hawker centres, just a little outside the city centre, popular with locals for good quality reasonably priced hawker fare.
A wide selection of stalls offering everything from fried Hokkien mee (noodles) and big prawn mee and satay and rojak (an Indonesian fruit/vegetable salad) to cupcakes, muffins and egg tarts
Address: Block 51, Old Airport Rd
2. Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre
Photo: Walter Lim/Flickr
A popular market with Singaporeans for indulging in good quality, diverse and inexpensive Chinese food with over 83 food stalls to choose from and usually somewhere to perch as you tuck in, with over 1000 seats available.
And if the food choice proves too much – you can always use their online food generator, which will make the decision for you, instructing which stalls to visit and where to find them.
Address: Tiong Bahru Market 30 Seng Poh Road Singapore 168898Website
3. Maxwell Food Centre
Photo: Madeleine Deaton/flickr
Well located, this Chinatown hawker centre is a solid favourite for cheap Chinese food .
Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street, 069184
4. Chomp Chomp Food Stall
A smaller hawker centre with 36 delicious hawker food stalls whose popularity can mean there's stiff competition to snag one of the 400 seats.
Address: 20 Kensington Park Rd, Singapore 557269
5. Lau Pa Sat
One of the most popular hawker centres and set in the Business District, the 120-year-old building seats up to 2,500 people in a huge space with an international food offering.
Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
6. East Coast Lagoon Food Village
Prized for its beachfront location, this is the hawker centre with the holiday vibe. Find a table and take its number before taking your pick of some recommended dishes, including satay, laksa, stingray, and the uniquely Singaporean satay bee hoon (rice noodles in a chilli-based peanut sauce).
Address: 1220 East Coast Parkway, 468960
7. Makansutra Gluttons Bay
Located in a prime position near the new harbourfront with spectacular views, this is where to come if you want to enjoy an evening with a robust food offering to match.
8 Raffles Avenue #01-15 Singapore 039802Website