Hawker centres in Singapore are a foodie’s paradise, offering a wide range of wallet-friendly delights, including Chinese favourites, delicious Western fare, heartwarming Muslim dishes, and aromatic Indian options.
Whenever I have friends from overseas visiting, I always make it a point to take them to our vibrant food centres, where they can be fully immersed in the sights and sounds of our local culture.
Singapore boasts a total of 118 hawker centres(!) and everyone has a preferred food spot. It’s challenging to determine the absolute best, but I’ve curated a food guide featuring the 16 best affordable hawker centres in Singapore for delicious local fare; based on my own personal makan adventures and opinions.
Do note that this is entirely subjective, and your favourite place may not be included. Please don’t be offended if it’s not listed!
1. Old Airport Road Food Centre
When it comes to getting recommendations for hawker centres in Singapore, Old Airport Road Food Centre is often at the top of the list. Built in 1972, this iconic food centre has stood the test of time and continues to be a favourite among locals and visitors alike. With approximately 168 food stalls, it offers an extensive range of culinary delights to satisfy every palate.
For satisfying roast pork or char siew, drop by Roast Paradise (#01-121) and pair it with my favourite Hakka Noodle. Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee (#01-116) and Xiang Ji Lor Mee (#01-81) each have their loyal following of supporters for their great bowls of Lor Mee.
Visit Shi Nian (#01-63) for palatable plates of Pig Trotter Rice. If you’re in the mood for something unique, Cho Kee Noodle (#01-04) is the place to be, with their handmade noodles available in a range of varieties including whole grain, beetroot, and spinach. Don’t miss out on their must-try Fried Wanton Noodle!
51 Old Airport Road, Singapore 390051
Daily: 6am – 10.30pm
2. Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre
Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre is known to be one of Singapore’s largest hawker centres in Singapore with over 260 food stalls available. Visit Mum Daughter Kitchen (#02-159) for scrumptious plates of nasi padang with freshly-cooked dishes.
For aromatic Nasi Rendang Daging with Bamboo, visit Bamboo Nasi Rendang (#02-154) which steams the rice with meat wrapped in phrynium pubinerve in bamboo for 3 hours; resulting in a fragrant dish.
Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice (#02-198/199) sells clay pot rice that’s cooked from scratch over charcoal! Order the Mixed Rice which has a little of everything including lup cheong, salted fish and chicken chunks.
Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao (#02-104) serves freshly-made Original Sheng Jian Bao stuffed with pork or prawn. Maria Virgin Chicken 瑪莉亞處女雞 (#02-189) is known to dish out succulent soya sauce chicken and to be the mentor of renowned Hawker Chan. My favourite side dish here is the Signature Braised Beancurd.
3. ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre
Strategically nestled between the neighbourhoods of Alexandra and Bukit Merah, ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre is a stone’s throw away from IKEA and Queensway Shopping Centre. It was built in 1974 and is considered to be one of the oldest hawker centres in Singapore.
For those in search of huge portions of Western cuisine priced below S$10, Wow Wow West (#01-133) has options like Pork Chop and Fish & Chips. Michelin Bib Gourmand stall, Ah Er Herbal Soup (#01-141), sells bowls of nutritious soup and you can pair it with tasty pumpkin rice.
When it comes to delectable desserts, Jin Jin Dessert (#01-21) is a true paradise. The stall boasts an impressive selection of 44 hot and cold desserts! You absolutely must try their Power Chendol (my favourite) with the gooiest gula melaka around and Ice Jelly Soursop for a refreshing dessert. Yum.
There’s also Hua Shun Bak Kut Teh (#01-117) for bowls of flavourful and peppery rich bak kut teh and pig’s organ soup. My personal recommendation is Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (#01-102) which has yummy soy sauce chicken and tantalising noodles.
6 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 150006
Mon to Sat: 8am – 11pm
Sun: 8am – 12am
4. Geylang Bahru Market and Food Centre
After a swimming session at Kallang Basin Swimming Complex, my buddy introduced me to Geylang Bahru Market and Food Centre. Ever since that visit, I’ve become a loyal fan of this place, captivated by its diverse range of delectable offerings.
Ding Xiang Mei Shi (鼎香美食) (#01-32) is owned by a native Chinese couple. Their specialty lies in homemade Xiao Long Bao and a variety of dumplings crafted right before your eyes. Get the Red Oil Chao Shou which is doused in a chilli oil and vinegar mixture, topped generously with spring onions and coriander.
I’m so glad that Hui Wei Chilli Ban Mian (#01-58) was newly-added to the 2023 Michelin Bib Gourmand list. I’ve been a fan of their Signature Chilli Ban Mian, even if it makes me sweat profusely and sets my tongue on fire. Oikos Western Delight (#01-66) serves up old-school Western dishes such as Chicken Cutlet and Spring Chicken.
Visit Mei Ji Fishball Noodles (#01-70) for shiok bowls of Fishball Noodles, and Victory Hainanese Curry Rice (#01-40) for a plate of economical curry rice with generous servings, and tasty ingredients.
When you’re on a mission to quench your thirst, search for Fruit & Juice House (#01-34) and order the Pink Guava and Pineapple Mixed Juice (my personal go-to) for a refreshing taste of summer.
69 Geylang Bahru, Singapore 330069
Mon to Sat: 6am – 11.45pm
Sun: 7am – 11.45pm
5. Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre
Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre is situated within the matured estate of Ghim Moh. While it may not be the most conveniently-located hawker centre, a leisurely 15 to 20- minute walk from Buona Vista MRT station will bring you to this culinary gem.
Among the 72 stalls, there’s one standout destination worth exploring— 63 Laksa (#01-20). This hidden gem serves affordable bowls of laksa for just S$2.80, prepared using a cherished family recipe passed down from the owner’s grandfather since the 1960s. For a delightful combination, don’t miss out on their scrumptious Mackerel Otah.
Indulge in one of my personal favourites; Old Teochew 老潮州 (#01-18) which sells mouth-watering plates of mee siam and satay bee hoon (except on Thursdays).
For an authentic taste of Thai cuisine, head over to Yuan Authentic Thai Stewed Beef Noodle (#01-32). This eatery, owned by a native Chiang Rai lady, serves up heartwarming bowls of Thai Beef Combination Noodle that’s perfect for slurping. Don’t forget to give their refreshing Century Egg Salad a shot, too.
For perfectly-charred and crispy white carrot cake, join the queue at Ghim Moh Carrot Cake (#01-16); trust me, the wait will be worth it.
20 Ghim Moh Road, Singapore 270020
Daily: 10am – 10pm
6. Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
Located in the heart of Singapore’s bustling Chinatown lies Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, a well-known culinary destination famous for its assortment of local food. This 2-storey hawker centre contains loads of stalls like the ever-popular Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee (#02-17), which sells its plates of char kway teow from S$4.50 onwards.
Michelin-recommended Ji Ji Noodle House (#02-48/49/50) serves up delicious bowls of wanton noodles that don’t disappoint. Another Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee awaits at Tai Wah Pork Noodle (#02-16), where you’ll find plates of bak chor mee that are worth the long queues.
Heng Kee Curry Chicken Noodle (#01-58) recently also made it to the 2023 Michelin Bib Gourmand list, and serves traditional bowls of curry chicken noodles.
During lunchtime, Tang Kay Kee Fish Head Bee Hoon (#01-70) does tze char bowls with options like Har Cheong Gai Rice Bowl while at dinner, it switches things up to more classic offerings like Salted Fish Fried Rice and Stir Fry Dry Beef Hor Fun.
531A Upper Cross Street, Singapore 051531
Open 24 hours
7. Tampines Round Market & Food Centre
Since its establishment in 1983, Tampines Round Market & Food Centre, accompanied by its neighbouring shophouses, has become an iconic landmark in Tampines.
It stands as a vibrant social and commercial hub, deeply ingrained in the lives of local residents. This popular food spot is also big and airy like an open courtyard with big fans on the ceiling.
Yummy Sarawak Kolo Mee (#01-45) stands out as one of the most sought-after stalls in this food centre, consistently attracting a lengthy queue of eager customers. While renowned for its Sarawak Sibu QQ Spaghetti, their Spare Ribs Chicken Feet Noodle also garners high praise for its exceptional quality.
Xing Ji (#01-35) is another beloved stall that commands a loyal following which sells Wanton Noodle, Shredded Chicken Noodle and Dumpling Soup.
Xin Xing Carrot Cake (#01-44) dishes out plates of soft and fluffy Carrot Cake with an option of adding prawns. For thosai enthusiasts, a visit to Rajarani Thosai (#01-33) is a must. Indulge in their mouthwatering varieties, such as Masala and Butter Egg Onion.
137 Tampines Street 11, Singapore 522137
Daily: 6.30am – 3pm
8. Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre
The charming and quaint neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru is not only known for their cafes and restaurants, but also Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre. Have some silky-soft rice cakes topped with savoury cai poh at Jian Bo Shui Kueh (#02-05) for breakfast to start your day.
Enjoy the coconutty fragrance of blue pea Nasi Lemak at The CoCo Rice (#02-58) with a variety of different sets like a fried chicken whole leg or sambal prawn with sambal petai.
Savour an aromatic plate of Chicken Rice with tender and juicy meat at Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice (#02-82) or go for Tow Kwar Pop (#02-06), a 54-year-old Michelin-recommended charcoal grilled rojak stall in Tiong Bahru Market.
For a rich and lemak treat, get the Lontong at Ali Corner (#02-17) or if you’re in the mood for a comforting bowl of soup, make your way to Koh Brother Pig’s Organ Soup (#02-29). Their clean-tasting broth, filled with tender pig’s organs, will warm your soul.
9. Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre
When you step into Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre, the air is filled with the aroma of delicious dishes as you explore the diverse stalls. Positioned in the vibrant Clementi heartlands, just behind Clementi Mall, this hawker centre boasts selected stalls that consistently draw long queues.
One of them is Boon Kee Wanton Mee (#01-40) which sells Wanton Noodles and Dumpling Noodles with the option to add on Fried Wanton. Soon Lee Porridge (#01-50) gives customers the option to choose between Pork, Chicken or Fish Porridge, and the taste is known to be consistent throughout all these years (something I really appreciate).
Chai Ho Satay (#01-10) offers Chicken and Pork Satay accompanied by a rich and tasty peanut sauce. At Song Fish Soup (#01-38), indulge in their expertly-prepared Fried Fish Bee Hoon, boasting tender fish and a flavourful milky broth.
Lastly, Fried Carrot Cake (#01-45) serves up delectable black or white chai tow kway plates that you simply can’t miss.
448 Clementi Avenue 3, Singapore 120448
Daily: 7am – 9pm
10. Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre
Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. It houses some of the best Malay food you can find out of all the hawker centres in Singapore. Otak-Otak Kampung (#02-165) grills batch after batch of old-school Otak Otak made with fresh fish chunks.
For aromatic plates of nasi briyani bursting with flavour, Geylang Briyani Stall (#02-146) offers fall-off-the-bone tender mutton or chicken to go along with it. For a delicious Indian Rojak featuring an assortment of scrumptious ingredients, search for Rojak & Mee Siam (#02-126).
Make sure to leave room in your tummy for an ice-cold bowl of Cendol priced at just S$2 from Cendol Geylang Serai (#02-107). You can also pack home a variety of sweet snacks like Kueh Salat from Kueh Talam Asli (#02-148) to share with your loved ones.
1 Geylang Serai, Singapore 402001
Mon to Fri: 6am – 9pm
Sat & Sun: 6am – 10pm
11. Changi Village Hawker Centre
Situated at the eastern end of Singapore, Changi Village Hawker Centre has garnered an iconic status and remains a favourite among early risers and supper junkies.
Notably, Mizzy Corner Nasi Lemak (#01-26) and International Muslim Food Stall Nasi Lemak (#01-03) have secured their positions as 2 of the most renowned hawker stalls in the area, thanks to their tantalising array of Nasi Lemak Sets.
Indulge in sinful and crispy delights at Million Star Fried Banana (#01-49), where you can savour a variety of delectable snacks such as Fried Tapioca, Fried Sweet Potato, and Fried Banana. For a mouthwatering experience, make sure to try the irresistible plates of Chicken Chop Hor Fun and Wanton Noodle at Weng Kee Ipoh Hor Fun (#01-19).
For a hearty plate of nasi padang, Hjh Salbiah (#01-04) serves up mean plates of Nasi Sambal Goreng and Nasi Ambeng. For a taste of nostalgia, Hassan Stall (#01-29) sells old-school kampung-style Mee Rebus and Laksa.
2 Changi Village Road, Singapore 500002
Mon to Fri: 6am – 2am
Sat & Sun: Open 24 hours
12. Bedok 85 Fengshan Food Centre
Bedok 85 Fengshan Food Centre reigns as the ultimate supper spot in the East. Renowned for its diverse selection of barbecued delicacies like satay, chicken wings, and stingray, this hawker centre is a local favourite.
However, its fame doesn’t stop there. Bedok 85 is the epicentre of the renowned bak chor mee rivalry, Xing Ji Rou Cuo Mian (#01-07) and Seng Hiang Bak Chor Mee (#01-08) located side by side, attracting crowds from across Singapore.
There’s also Shi Wei Da (#01-41) which serves shiok plates of satay bee hoon. Pavin and I found the best Dry Laksa in the whole of Singapore at Omage Foods (#01-69) but they only operate till 2pm (do take note).
Treat your taste buds to yummy Hotplate BBQ Stingray and other seafood dishes at Chomp Chomp BBQ (#01-44) or have a bowl of piping hot porridge from Chai Chee Pork Porridge (#01-23 & #01-64).
85 Bedok North Street 4, Singapore 460085
Mon to Sat: 7am – 2am
Sun: 7am – 12am
13. Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre
Although Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre is technically located in Toa Payoh, it’s located within closer promixity to Braddell MRT. The wet market is located below but as you ascend to the 2nd floor, you’ll discover a lively food haven where a multitude of flavours and aromas await.
For the best experience, I recommend visiting during breakfast and the early lunch period, as most stalls tend to close by mid-afternoon.
Forget about boring chee cheong fun filled with char siew or prawns; Grandpa Homemade Cheung Fun (#02-22) churns out stone-milled mixtures with interesting colours made from spinach and purple dragon fruit. Discover interesting combinations like Egg + Vegetables or Corn + Sausage. You’ll not regret!
If you’re on the hunt for one of the best white carrot cakes in Singapore, Chey Sua Carrot Cake (#02-30) is a must-visit. It boasts a slightly starchy texture reminiscent of crispy orh luak (oyster omelette).
Delicious treats don’t always have to be visually flawless. Ugli Muffins (#02-34) embraces imperfection with pride. It has over 50 years of history and features irregular-shaped muffins in flavours like Banana Walnut and Cranberry.
If you’re craving delectable buns, Teochew Handmade Pau (#02-02) has an array of sweet and savoury options like Small Kong Bak Pau and Big Chicken Pau. Each bite unveils the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into creating these mouth-watering treats.
127 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310127
Daily: 6am – 4pm
14. Haig Road Market & Food Centre
If you’re shopping at PLQ Mall or KINEX, clock some steps and make your way to Haig Road Market & Food Centre, where an enticing array of 72 hawker stalls eagerly await your arrival.
If you’re there at 11am, keep an eye out for Chef Chik (#01-36), led by an esteemed ex-executive chef from Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel. This exceptional stall, known for its restaurant-standard zi char dishes such as Steamed Threadfin Belly and Chef Chik’s Garlic Chee Cheong Fun With Prawn, closes promptly at 3.30pm.
Another stall worth mentioning is Muslim-owned establishment, Sinar Harapan (#01-12), which has been around for the past 46 years. It serves shiok Lontong, Lontong Kering as well as Nasi Ambeng.
Visit Lim Yu Mei (林玉梅) Sarawak Laksa & Kolo Mee (#01-33) which serves Laksa Sarawak and Sarawak Kolo Mee with original, black, or red sauce options.
If you have a penchant for mee rebus, Afandi Hawa & Family Mee Rebus (#01-21) does a pretty good job at only S$3.50 a bowl.
14 Haig Road, Singapore 430014
Daily: 6am – 10pm
15. Hougang Hainanese Village Centre
The vibrant neighbourhood of Lorong Ah Soo houses Hougang Hainanese Village Centre. As you take the escalator to the 2nd level, you’ll be welcomed by an impressive array of approximately 51 food stalls, each showcasing a wonderful selection of local favourites.
If you’re craving for a good bowl of noodles, Punggol Noodles (#02-24) offers delicious Bak Chor Mee and Kway Teow Soup. 明发鸭饭 Ming Fa Duck Rice (#02-01) is a popular stall serving lip-smacking braised duck and pork belly, and they’re usually sold out by early lunchtime.
Prepare to join the lengthy queues that often form at Lorong Ah Soo Lor Mee (#02-51), as this stall has gained quite a notorious reputation. Their specialty is Lor Mee, a unique twist on the traditional dish featuring shredded duck meat instead of the more commonly-used mackerel fish.
105 Hougang Avenue 1, Singapore 530105
Daily: 6am – 6pm
16. Golden Mile Food Centre
Affectionately known as the ‘Beach Road Army Market’ among those serving NS, Golden Mile Food Centre located along Beach Road offers a unique experience. This bustling food centre features 2 levels of food stalls, with the top floor doubling up as a marketplace selling an assortment of military-themed goods and knick-knacks.
86 Lor Mee (#01-86) offers loaded bowls of Signature Lor Mee served with fried chicken cutlet, ebi prawns, fried fish fillets, wanton skins and ngoh hiang. Next-door neighbour, 吃了吗 (Chi Le Ma) (#01-87) offers value-for-money steamed fish sets which is a must-visit.
Savour the exceptional wok hei and pork-free goodness at 91 Fried Kway Teow Mee (#01-91). Indulge in their flavourful char kway teow, expertly prepared with a delightful combination of leafy greens, cockles, egg, bean sprouts, crispy deep-fried ikan bilis, and succulent prawns.
End your meal at 75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup (#01-75) with their handcrafted tang yuan filled with delightful fillings like peanut and green tea.
505 Beach Road, Singapore 199583
Thu to Tue: 11am – 8pm
Wed: 12pm – 8pm